Some 42 years ago, the first SAAB Electric Vehicle saw the light of day in Trollhättan. Developed by then SAAB-Scania, the prototype for the Swedish National Postal Service was ahead of its time in many ways. Today, the car returned to Stallbacka after having been on display in a museum in The Netherlands for several years. This “Ur-EV-SAAB” was standing in the heart of the NEVS Technical Centre, next to one of the SAAB 9-3 EV prototypes developed by NEVS while the latest generation of EV’s is getting closer to the production stage…
A heavy NEVS management delegation was on site to welcome the car that had been acquired earlier last year in the Netherlands. In close collaboration with Saabpartners.com, the EV was obtained from a now closed privately held SAAB museum and presented to a NEVS delegation in October in conjunction with the opening of Saabpartner’s new showroom in Meppel (see earlier coverage of this event, including video footage).
The press event was attended by several journalists from regional and local media and opened by Dirk Koppen, co-founder of Saabpartners. Dirk shared the story about the background of this unique EV and handed over the car, together with a symbolic “EV emergency kit” to NEVS President Mattias Bergman and Stig Nodin, Vice President Engineering & Product Development.
New EV generation getting closer to production
Next to the “Ur-EV-SAAB” was a prototype of the recent developments: a SAAB 9-3 EV based on the “Phoenix 1.1” architecture, the platform the EV’s ordered by Chinese Panda New Energy and Huateng plus the collaboration with Turkish TÜBITAK is based on. Stig Nodin confirmed that their development efforts around the new SAAB 9-3 based-EV is paying off. “I am quite happy with both the reliability and the performance and that they are in line with our customers’ requirements. We listened carefully to what our customers would like to have and we’re offering now a sub 10 second 0-100 km/h acceleration. Of course we can provide even better performance yet it’s all about the actual requirements. The other thing is that while further improving acceleration is relatively easy, it is a trade-off against other things and we are investing a lot in increasing the driving range. We currently are very confident to offer a range of 250-300 kilometres. That can be extended further by for example adding more batteries, but that increases the cost of the car.”