My Urban Car

Saab 9-3 is back – as a volume EV model

Thought Saab was dead and no longer making cars? Well Chinese company NEVS had other plans when it took over Saab’s assets turning the 9-3 into a EV car and SUV designed to appeal to the big Chinese mobile car service providers.

The Saab 9-3 EV was presented to the public in spring 2017 with production of 200,000 cars a year due to begin in 2018.

The press release from NEVS provided the following spec overview

“FEATURES, the new NEVS 9-3 series:

  • The new NEVS 9-3 series offer a high level of smart technology to enhance the in-car experience, such as WiFi hotspot, over-the-air software updates and battery management by smart-phone.
  • The new NEVS 9-3 series also offers a world-class filter of cabin air, “Always Clean Air Cabin” (ACAC), with a filter efficiency up to 99%. It takes less than a minute to reduce the hazardous particle levels for PM 2.5 from 500 to 50 µg/m3.
  • The new NEVS 9-3 series are based on more than 70 years of Saab Automobile engineering experience. This is mirrored by the outstanding driving and riding experience through low center of gravity with smart suspension geometry and tuning.
  • The Swedish heritage shown in both design, high safety and quality standards.
  • The new NEVS 9-3 series has already passed through rigorous comfort, ride and handling testing and will be launched to the market during 2018.
  • There are already more than 150’000 9-3 vehicles ordered, from different Chinese companies
  • The fleet-management portal makes it possible to track and diagnose cars on the road in distance, which will significantly enhance both the drivers’ and passengers’ safety and health.
  • 300 km range
  • Prepared for mobility services:
    • Digital Car-key in smart-phone App
    • Fleet-Management Portal
    • Vehicle-control by smart-phone
    • The new NEVS 9-3 series EVs will be built in NEVS’ China factories”

NEVs already claims to have orders for 150,000 vehicles and has now signed a new strategic partnership to build and co-develop cars  with DiDi Chuxing, the Chinese equivalent of Uber that has 400m users.

Why does it matter? Well if I was a European car exec I would be wondering why most of my volume EV models aren’t due to reach customers until 2020 /2021 and why I’m going to be outsold in China by a dead Swede?

From Twitter today

David Nicholson

David Nicholson Is the founder of Rivergecko Ltd & MyUrbanCar which provide consultancy and advice for drivers and fleets to speed the transition from dirty fossil fuel transport to clean vehicles powered by renewable energy on land water and air.

The @MyUrbanCar twitter feed is a source of news & reviews of electric & plugin cars and vans in the UK.
The @rivergecko twitter feed & websites bring news and opinion on cleantech transport including cars, vans, buses, trucks, shipping, rail & aviation as well as autonomous vehicles & renewable energy, air pollution & motor industry news.

David Nicholson has worked as an underwriter at Lloyd's of London since the 1980's. His interest in technology goes back many years including interactive mapping, apps, green tech, boats, solar and cars.