IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Monday, March 14, 2011

SR interview with Mats Fägerhag about the eXWD

I am very facinated by technology, both the technology of today and that of the future. Right now what fascinates me the most is Saab's upcoming electric cross-wheel drive, eXWD, also know as the hybrid drive train developed by Saab and marketed by eAAM.

Here's a short interview done by Swedish radio with Saab's technical director at the Geneva Motor Show. They do of course talk about the eXWD system.

All Saab cars can get all-wheel drive

Saab Automobile has unveiled a concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, which show the direction of design in future Saab cars. But perhaps equally important was the revolutionary new all-wheel drive that Saab engineers have developed and which may end up in all Saab cars in the future.

- It provides extremely secure handling. I think most Saab buyers in the future will appreciate this system, says Mats Fägerhag who is head of technical development at Saab in Trollhättan.

What are the possibilities to further develop this system?

- You can use larger electric motors, and you can have a transmission that lets you can disengage the conventional diesel or gasoline engine, and then you can run on pure electricity. And if you put in a larger battery, a battery that can be charged, and all of a sudden you have a plug-in hybrid.

It is in cooperation with American Axle that Saab has developed this special four-wheel drive where the front wheels are powered by a standard engine and rear wheels by electric motors at each wheel.

A special battery will supply those engines with the power and the battery can be charged in different ways, for example during braking, which means that this four-wheel drive has better fuel economy than conventional front-wheel drive.

It is a revolutionary technology, says Mats Fägerhag, and the system can evolve to become more and more electrical and Saab can get a so-called plug-in hybrid being charged from the socket.

In about one and a half years, this four-wheel drive will be in production and then the next step is not far away.

- We present the basis technology today. Thereafter one could imagine that one can increase the performance step by step, and a performance step is very close in time compared to the basic design. So if I say that this design is completed in October 2012, then the next step follows pretty close thereafter, says Mats Fägerhag.