EVS has finished the development of the electric car. There are several ways of fitting the batteries the car but not many ways to do it in order not to compromise the driving experience. One of the key factors for the engineers at Saab has been to maintain or even improve the drivers experience of the car and thus the batteries have been placed in the car in such a manner that it wont affect the passenger space nor deteriorate the driving experience. A lot of focus has thus been placed on the weight and balance of the car.
Tuesday I visited NEVS and had the honor of taking a few laps on Saabs test-track together with their lead-testdriver Kjell Olofsson, who is a former rally driver and part of the Saab Performance Team. One of the things he told me was, just because its an electric car, it can still be a lot of fun to drive! Even a lot more fun than a conventional gasoline car.
In a few weeks the base-plate of the car is ready for production and thus the production line needs to be rebuilt in order to accommodate the new product that is to be built on the production line. Both the electric and gasoline version of the 9-3 will be produced on the same line and the electric cars will be shipped of to China to have the batteries installed. Having the batteries installed in China is both financially and more environmental friendly than first shipping the batteries to Sweden for complete assembly.
200 Electric cars will built before April to be part of a test-fleet in China, some electric cars will also stay in Sweden for further testing. This also means that an increase in the production rate will take place.