NEVS Launches First All-Electric Car Off of Saab 9-3 Sedan

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【Summary】National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a Chinese consortium, purchased Saab back in 2012 after the company was killed off. The company’s taken five long years to come out with its first electric vehicle, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the 9-3 sedan from yesteryear.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jan 20, 2018 12:00 PM PT
NEVS Launches First All-Electric Car Off of Saab 9-3 Sedan

It was a sad day in automotive history when Swedish automaker Saab went bankrupt. Saab, which produced some of the safest vehicles in the world, saw various automakers take control of its operations, including General Motors, Spyker, and even supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg, but the latter never officially went through. After GM blocked a move for Spyker to sell Saab to a Chinese consortium fell through, it looked like Saab would never see the light of day. 

How NEVS Came To Own Saab

As Auto Express covered in a report earlier this January, Swedish-Chinese entrepreneur Kai Johan Jiang purchased the majority of the Saab's assets with a simple plan in mind: to bring the Swedish cars back under a new umbrella – National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). The plan for the company was simple and involved manufacturing and developing electric vehicles exclusively. 

"The focus is only on electric vehicles, as we see this being a key growth market," Ulrika Hultgren, NEVS' official spokeswoman, told Auto Express. The first thing on the schedule, explained Hultgren, is for the introduction of a "pure EV for the Chinese market based on the Saab 9-3." 

NEVS Resurrects Saab 9-3 As An  EV

It may have taken NEVS a little time to reach its goal, but the Chinese consortium has finally come out with an all-electric variant of what used to be the Saab 9-3. Earlier this month, NEVS officially began its production of the all-electric NEVS 9-3 in Tianjin, China. The introduction of the vehicle, according to NEVS, is "an important milestone in implementing NEVS vision to shape mobility for a more sustainable future and to start delivering EVs to our partners." 

There will be two phases of vehicle production claims NEVS. The first phase is for an annual production of 50,000 electric vehicles, while phase two will see production increase to 220,000 units. The large production figures will hopefully help NEVS fulfill its pre-orders which range in the thousands. As Motor1reports, NEVS entered into a $12 billion strategic collaboration agreement with EV leasing company Panda New Energy for approximately 150,000 vehicles. NEVS, according to the outlet, also has a deal with the Turkish government to utilize the 9-3 intellectual property rights. 

Motor1 claims the NEVS 9-3 will have a range of 186 miles, but no other specifications on the electric vehicle have been provided. NEVs, though, has stated that it is working alongside DiDi Chuxing, to develop the second and third generations of electric vehicles. The goal for NEVS is to supply DiDi with "cost-effective high-end EVS." NEVS also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Didi Huaxing, earlier this August, claiming the company will be a major partner for the automaker. 

Furthermore, DiDi and GEIDCO (Global Energy Interconnection Corporation), along with NEVS, has created a joint venture called, GNEVS (Global New Energy Vehicle Service Company Limited) that's aligned to "provide services and infrastructure to the increasing Mobility on Demand Electric Vehicles." 

While redesigning Saab 9-3 sedans to be powered by electricity only doesn't sound like a brilliant idea, China's move to force automakers to sell EVs has resulted in electric cars having a record year in the country. If Saab didn't stand a chance on its own, hopefully electric vehicles with some help from a Chinese manufacturer do. 

via: Auto Express, Motor1

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