Swedish car manufacturer Saab is working hard to redefine itself as a significant player in the production of electric vehicles, following a bumpy few years that saw the company enter bankruptcy twice. Photos became available yesterday from an event the company held in Trollhättan to show off their EV-1 prototype.
The car is, essentially, a modified Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan in which the batteries are placed under the floor. This keeps the full interior space of the vehicle, as well as the luggage compartment, fully intact. With that, the Saab 9-3 EV aims to be just as practical as the Saab 9-3 Aero with a gasoline engine.
"When we developed the Saab 9-3 Aero for 2014, we focused on enhancing the driving experience, safety and quality. And the starting point for our development of the Electric Vehicle project was to maintain all those good attributes and characteristics”, said Stig Nodin, Saab's Vice President Engineering and Product Development.
The car is equipped with lithium-ion batteries from Beijing National Battery Technology, a firm that is owned by Saab's latest parent company, National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd.
The range for these prototype electric vehicles is approximately 125 miles (200km) on a full charge, however it is expected that a future production model will include a larger capacity battery. The company announced earlier this year that they will build about 200 of the electric models for a test run in the Chinese market. Large scale production is then expected to begin in 2015 for distribution in China, Sweden and other markets.