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.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Electric Saabs en route

Despite the production at Saab being down since April, the production of the 70 electric Saab 9-3 test fleet is en route.

Around 50 engineers are involved in the electric car project. Now the battery to the first of the 70 test cars has been installed. The calculated distance the cars can be driven between each charge is 200 km. The battery is air cooled and is mounted between the four seats in the car and under the car in a T-shape. This gives the car a luggage space similar to the regular Saab 9-3 SportCombi.

"Everything is standard. Tires, suspension and the car is only slightly heavier than the heaviest standard model," Peter Zienau who is responsible for Saab's electric cars tells TTELA while he drives the TTELA journalists to Saab's test track in one out of the five prototypes of the electric car that are ready.

"At the end of the year, the cars will be sent out to get feedback from customers," says Thomas Ahlqvist, who is technical project manager.

Despite being an electric car, it does have the performance of a gasoline car with 0 to 100 km/h in 9.1 seconds and 150 km/h in top speed.

The batteries have a total capacity of 35 kilowatt hours. A full charge by regular electrical outlet takes about four hours. At a quick charge station, it takes between 30 and 40 minutes.

The production at Saab in Trollhättan has been down since April, but that has not affected the electric car project.

"We are independent of the regular production. The cars are built on a prototype line where we built them in a series," says Peter Zienau.
But when Saab's car production gets under way in August, even the electric cars will be built on the regular line.