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SAAB/ NEVS - Will they be breathing down Teslas neck?

They Established the production inn the late GM owned SAAB factory in Sweden, just 100km from the Norwegian border ( The second largest TM marked in the world...)

http://saabcars.com/en/products/

My guess is that they wll make 9-3 and 9-5 models with some of the options I miss on Model S today.. Adaptive cruise controll/PreCrash/radar, Lane keep assitant, heated and electrical folding sidemirrors, remotecontrolled pre-heating system (plugged and unplugged) ...

But, I also beleive that TM keep their head above the Californian sand and will launch more options by the end of this year. Also for Retrofit.

I never liked the SAAB design anyway.. Model S has been my screensaver for the last two years..

As an owner of a 2011 Saab 9.5 and a soon to be owner of a S, I can assure you they will not be making the 9.5 as an electric. GM did not allow the license of this platform and technology to any company but Spyker. Spyker has sued GM, as this was one ( of many) reasons Spyker was unable to sell Saab.

Most likely the 9-3 and possibly the epsilon platform may go electric. The first company to hit a $30K 300 range electric will win the battle. Or at very least raise the production bar.

I loved my 9-3, but you're still talking about adapting an ICE chassis to an EV powertrain. It's difficult/impossible to realize the full potential of an EV that way.

Considering that the ICE powered 9-3 was often around $30k I have a hard time imagining that they'd be able to pull off a solid EV conversion for less than $50k.

IF they can find a source of significant funding, retain/rehire the best SAAB employees, and hire some solid EV powertrain engineers they might be able to start a from-scratch platform that would compete with Tesla in a few years.

And it will probably be like every other EV conversion, slower and with worse handling than the ICE version, and with crappy range to boot. Maybe I'll be surprised someday, but everybody keeps saying "wait until company X announces their EV, it will be great" and it never is.

Any Saab EV has an uphill battle in Europe and is hopeless in the US. Even the other decent EVs are dropping prices to get sales. The S works because of the range combined with the styling, but Tesla had to build it out of Aluminum to compensate for that heavy battery. I don't know how anyone is going to produce a low priced EV unless they remove most of the battery, which takes us back to the other so-so choices in the market today.

Model S battery isn't really that heavy, maybe about 500kg with the casing. Not much heavier than large V8 with automatic transmission and all the associated gizmos that could provide same torque. Car still weights two tons. That's 1500kg that isn't the battery.

It isn't the tech, it is the price of the batteries that makes really cheap long range BEV impossibility for now.

Much of the added weight in the S is steel safety bracing to make up for the body not being made of steel!

So they are now developing an EV based on the frame of a 2002 Opel Vectra. I'd say, good luck in the market !

@Brian H

IMO (since I'm not a Tesla Engr.) I doubt there is any steel bracing or otherwise in the Model S. You can't weld steel to aluminum (dissimilar metals and all) so, other than bolting them to each other you couldn't get the crash safety ratings they want to achieve. They probably just use thicker aluminum forgings/extrusions to achieve the safety bending loads they want. Even though steel is 2.8 times as heavy as aluminum, thicker aluminum does add up in the weight department. Also, putting dissimilar metals right next to each other (even bolted interfaces) invites galvanic corrosion problems. So without some sort of gasket between these interfaces, the framework would corrode faster.

Just my $.02.

wdazed;
There is extensive boron steel hex structure, notably in the rear, crumple zone, and rollover bracing, in the S. The entire casing of the battery is steel. The steel reinforcement is why the S is so strong it broke the test machine in the crush safety test. It costs something in weight, but was necessary to fulfill Elon's "safest sedan on the road" pledge.

Your 2¢ is worthless, about 0.000001¢.

@Albert B

I dont think the funding be an issue ..

Chinese owners:

" The City of Qingdao has, through its investment company Qingdao Qingbo Investment Co, Ltd, signed a contract with NEVS’ parent company National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd. and with National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS). The city, which invested 2 billion Swedish crowns ($307.33 million) in NEVS, will hold 22 percent of company shares"

Source :
http://elonmusktesla.wordpress.com/tag/e-saab-9-3-ev/

Brian, are you saying the reason the S weighs so much is that they added steel to make up for the fact that they built the car out of lightweight aluminum? Something doesn't compute. ;)

Well, a solid steel shell/body would have weighed even more. And most of the bracing would still be required. I hear the GenIII won't support the expense of aluminum, and will be a standard steel build, but with a smaller body.

Given past personal history with SAAB, I seriously doubt anything they make will be an issue for Tesla.

Having owned and driven the car for a little while, I think it would be very hard for a conventional car company to break its own mold to build an electric car without it becoming some inevitable adaptation of a conventional car into an electric platform.


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