Saab Restarts Production; Pure Electric Version of 9-3 Coming in 2015

SEP 20 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 5

Saab 9-3 Electric

Saab 9-3 Electric

It took approximately 15 months from the time of acquisition, but National Electric Vehicle Sweden finally achieved what some critics thought to be impossible: restarting Saab 9-3 production.

2015 Saab 9-3 ePower

2015 Saab 9-3 ePower

Two Saab 9-3s just rolled off the Trollhattan production line, marking the restart of production.

These 2 9-3s are petrol vehicles – not electric (based on the existing generation that was launched in 2002) were built to ensure the line is operational.

Soon however, NEVS will start production of the pure electric version of the Saab 9-3, but before that happens, more ICE 9-3s will be built to iron out any kinks in the production and build process.

All of the ICE 9-3s to roll off the lines in the coming days (weeks or maybe even months) have been purchase by Chinese government agencies.  These vehicles will not be sold to the public.

But the upcoming electrics will be marked for retail sales.

NEVS says that the 9-3’s lithium-ion phosphorus cells are manufactured in Japan before being assembled into battery packs in China.

Additional (reliable) info on the electric 9-3 is scarce at this time.  However, we do now that it’ll make its first appearance sometime next year, but it won’t officially launch until 2015 after making a grand debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show that year.

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5 Comments on "Saab Restarts Production; Pure Electric Version of 9-3 Coming in 2015"

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Spec

I don’t have a lot of faith in a crew that decided to name their new electric car company with the acronym NEV.

Mike

And what countries will this EV be marketed in? Perhaps all the same ones the 9-3 was already available in?

jeff

Given my experience with the electronics in Saabs, I would be very weary of this venture.

I are also enough electronics horror stories from Volvo, BMW, Mercedes owners.

Steven

I haven’t personally experienced any problems with electronics on Volvos or Saabs – all very reliable from what I have seen – but have suffered a great deal with the likes of VW who seem to have put together the electronics in some of their smaller cars with spaghetti

Michael

I never had any electrical problems with any of my four Saabs. In fact, the only problems I ever had were normal wear-and-tear things: brake pads, exhaust, hoses, etc. The pre-GM cars were more solid in my opinion. GM-Saabs had cheap trim pieces and lacked that heavy, solid feel. BMW, Mercedes and the other brands are getting into electric as an afterthought. Saab is going into EVs as a dedicated strategy, with plants completely retooled for quick production. I think it will work, especially if they’re reliable. Something is needed between a Tesla ($100k) and a Prius (dorky). The Chevy Volt is cool, but a little Tron-ish. If Saab retains some of its quirky pedigree and European styling and turns out an EV with special innovations like long-distance capability between charge-ups, or sporty performance or even body surface solar cells for supplemental power while it sits in parking lots all day, Saab could pull ahead of the pack.