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by Red J

9-3N Infotainment system

August 30, 2014 in NEVS

Saab 9-3 EV infotainment. Image by Teknikens Värld

Saab 9-3 EV infotainment. Image by Teknikens Värld

In February we found first pictures of what could be a new and modern navigation system for the 2014 9-3.

It was not until April that we found an official reference to a new infotainment system in the Chinese spec. sheet of the 9-3 2014/15.

Those two posts where more or less based on rumours with some confirmation from NEVS, but still we had no real pictures of the system and we had only some rumours about the hardware-platform it was based on, but those where not 100% right.

It was not till the presentation of the electric 9-3 that we saw the first real pictures of this infotainment system (we have talked in the past of it as a navigation system, but the it is more capable than a simple navigation system, thus I will talk about an infotainment system). The guys at Teknikens Värld took some better pictures of the interior of the 9-3 EV the same day, and have been kind enough to let us use them.

With this post I will try to summarize all the information we have, partly confirmed, about that system, and talk a little bit about why NEVS has made a right option for the future with this system.
Read the rest of this entry →

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by till72

Food for thought

August 29, 2014 in News

Those last few days have been (again) very challenging for a Saab fan. It almost feels like we have been there before – no production, wages postponed, appeal for reconstruction first denied and then granted, even spiced with the brand name issue. From reactions in comments and elsewhere on the net I can see that many fans feel like being in a deja vu right now. But even if I can understand that in some way I tend to disagree. Let me put my thoughts into a few lines. Not so much as a vast editorial, more as food for thought before the weekend.

From all that we have learned from various sources a solution to the financial problems combined with a change in ownership is really that near. Obviously the Vänersborg court also saw that. We should also not forget that the vast majority of suppliers still stay calm. NEVS obviously gained some trust here by giving them some insight in the process. This must not have been easy, especially because of the bad experience some of the suppliers had before. So in terms of a solution being near I would give NEVS the benefit of doubt here.

Another issue that popped up today are the rights to use the name Saab for the cars built in Trollhättan. Saab AB obviously decided to cancel the agreement with NEVS. They did not give any insight in the reasons they had for this but one can imagine a few: it could be a try to avoid being associated with the troubles NEVS is in or even a try to take some influence in the things that are going on. We also do not know if this is a final decision or if the agreement can be revived once NEVS is back in calm waters. In the end it does not really matter. The decision is there so I asked myself what this would mean. And even if I know about the rich history of Saab Automobile and I am hooked on the iconic Saab brand I don’t think that not having the name rights nessesarily means the end of NEVS. Honestly, if I can still drive those fabulous cars that I love I would rather deal with a new name than with a name right owner who threatens to withdraw the rights in any turbulence.

Some may say that the name is one of the key values in Saab/NEVS. But is this really the case? When it comes to cars the name Saab has taken quite a few hard hits through all the trouble, bankrupcy and absence on the market. We were all pretty clear that it needs quite some marketing to get Saab back to proper sales when new models come out. I even dare to wonder if if would take so much more effort to establish a new name than polishing up the Saab name. Don’t get me wrong, for romantic reasons I would prefer to drive cars named Saab for the rest of my life but if the car is still made by the same company, with the same philosophy I would still buy it. And there are quite a few names that could even give us fanatics a cozy feeling. Griffin for example.

Enjoy your weekend, enjoy your Saab.

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by till72

Press Release: The District court approves Nevs’ application for reorganization

August 29, 2014 in NEVS

The District court of Vänersborg, Sweden, today August 29 approved the application for reorganization from National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB.

The District court has appointed Mr. Lars Eric Gustafsson, Attorney at Hamilton law firm in Stockholm, as administrator during the reorganization period.

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by till72

Court Grants Reconstruction for NEVS

August 29, 2014 in News

A few minutes ago the Vänersborg court decided that NEVS fulfills the requirements for reconstruction. So NEVS gets the time they apperantly need to finish their negotiations.

The PDF with the official statement from the court can be found here.

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by till72

NEVS apply for reconstruction (again) – updated (again)

August 29, 2014 in NEVS

Just as I published the last post saying we won’t have to wait for it too long PV Väst announces that NEVS are at Vänersborg court with a revised Version of their application.

Update 1:
NEVS states that they have secured a loan of 20 million crowns to get through the first 3-4 weeks of the reconstruction. They also stress that the reason for the reconstruction is not to reduce the liabilities to the creditors and that NEVS intens to pay it all in full.

Update 2:
NEVS expects to have an agreement on a development cooperation for the Phoenix platform in place that will generate obe 1 billion crowns of cash for NEVS. That will be enough to pay off the debt of 400 million crowns and fund the company for another year. My educated guess is that this Partner will be Dongfeng.

The deal with a possible new owner has been negotiated for six months now and according to NEVS the board of that prospective owner has decided to fill this deal with life if some last requirements are met. As I see it, this will be Mahindra.

The decision by the court is expected for this afternoon.

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by till72

NEVS, Saab AB and the brand name

August 29, 2014 in NEVS, News

According to P4 Väst Saab AB reacted to NEVS’ application for reconstruction by cancelling the agreement to use the Saab name on the cars made in Trollhättan. Saab AB’s spokesman Sebastian Carlsson did not comment on any details of the decision. Also NEVS did not publically react on the announcement yet.

While the news of those last two days were not what we like to hear I’d like to encourage you not to panic right away. A main point for Saab AB is to ensure that they are not associated with another bancrupcy process like the last. In the current situation there might be a chance for that worst case but it’s not nessesarily the case. Such an agreement can be revived at any time if there is that new investor that gives Saab AB enough confidence.

And the case that Saab AB and most of the suppliers with insight in the negotiations taking place between NEVS and their future partners have been rather patient with the open invoices shows that there is at least enogh confidence to give it some time. The application for reconstruction was mainly a move to get a bit more time for finalizing the ongoing negotiations under the protection of such a process. We will see how quickly NEVS’ appeal of the court decision will come now, but I think we won’t have to wait too long.

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by Tim

SU EXCLUSIVE: NEVS will appeal the court decision!

August 28, 2014 in News

Mattias Bergman confirms to SU that NEVS will appeal the courts decision to deny NEVS reconstruction!

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by Tim

Court say NO to NEVS reconstruction

August 28, 2014 in News

The court in Vänersborg declined NEVS the protection of company reconstruction. The reason the court states is that NEVS financial solutions are vague or undocumented. Missing is for example exact information on funding requirements over time and if when and what amounts will be injected.

The court also feels that it is clear that NEVS has not secured future liquidity for its duties during a reconstruction. NEVS has not turned in information supporting realism in the duties expected of them,

COMMENTS FROM SU:

If you remember back in 2011, this is basically a repeat of what happened almost 3 years ago. SAAB Automobile AB’s first application for reconstruction was also rejected, this was in turn turned over to a court of higher level and approved. I think we can expect similar development from NEVS. The new application to the court of appeals will most likely be filled up with a lot more information on the pending deal.

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by Tim

NEVS Application for company reconstruction

August 28, 2014 in News

I have read the application and below you can read a translated version of it. It’s pretty clear that NEVS aims to have a deal done within 5 weeks and therefore asks the court to accept a reconstruction and not appoint the committee for it for at least another 5 weeks.

Applicant

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB

Application

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, below referenced as NEVS or Company, is in present time not able to pay for outstanding debt is applying for company reconstruction.

Background, Economy and reason for payment difficulties

NEVS was founded as a storage company and registered on April 3rd 2012. On May 2nd 2012 the company was purchased by National Modern Energy Holdings Limited here after mentioned as “NMEH” in purpose of acquiring the assets of the three bankrupt companies Saab Automobile AB, Saab Automobile Tools AB and Saab Automobile Powertrain AB. On June 13th 2012 a deal with the three bankrupt companies was struck in which NEVS acquired most of the assets in the three companies as to machines, tools and non material assets regarding the Saab 9-3 as well as the rights to the new architecture known as the Phoenix. NEVS also acquired all shares in Automobile Property AB which owned the real-estate of 1 700 000 m2 and 500 000 m2 of constructions where NEVS has its main business today. NEVS entered the facilities on August 31st 2012.

As part of the sale NEVS entered into an agreement with SAAB AB in which NEVS was given exclusive rights to produce and sell cars with the brand name SAAB. The rights to use the name is governed by a licensing agreement between SAAB AB and NEVS. A total amount of 1 700 MSEK was used to acquire the total amount of assets. The purchase was financed through a loan from NMEH, which was later converted ownership shares.

NMEH is registered on the British Virgin Islands. The company is in turn owned by China Dragon Base Holdings Ltd which is registered in Hong Kong. Mentioned company is owned by Kai Johan Jiang which also sits as the chairman of NEVS. NMEH also owns all shares of State Holding Ltd hereon after known as SPGL. SPGL is registered in China and is the mother company for a lineup of companies who maintains businesses in China with the focus of Green Technology as well as battery production.

NEVS original business plan was to keep the joy of driving which Saab represents and only produce electric vehicles. The vision of the company was to form the future sustainable way of traveling in a car with minimum negative affect on the environment. In its first step the conventional drivetrain in the Saab 9-3 was to be replaced by a high-tech electric drivetrain developed in Japan. Through its sister company SPGL which owns a battery factory a high grade of synergy was to be achieved. New requirements set fourth by the Chinese government was estimated to mean a high demand would take place for electric cars in China. China was judged to be the main market for electric cars in the world. The business plan also called for a continued development of the phoenix platform with the purpose to replace the Saab 9-3 with a brand new lineup of cars in the year 2017. Read the rest of this entry →

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by Tim

Press-release: NEVS applies for reorganization

August 28, 2014 in News

To create more time for negotiations Nevs applies for reorganization

The Board of Directors of National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB has today, August 28, 2014, decided to apply for a reorganization to create more time for the ongoing negotiations. The application has been submitted to the district court in Vänersborg, Sweden.

“The tripartite negotiations we have with two global vehicle manufacturers are still progressing, but are complex and have taken more time than we predicted. We need additional time to complete the negotiations and reach an agreement. Therefore, we apply for a reorganization. We intend to fully pay our debts to our suppliers”, said Nevs’ President Mattias Bergman.

Nevs has about 400 suppliers of direct materials and 500 suppliers of indirect materials. The vast majority of these have chosen to await the outcome of the ongoing negotiations. Some creditors have filed applications for an order to pay at the Swedish Enforcement Authority.

The upcoming activities from the Enforcement Authority may involve mandatory sale of assets that are supposed to be included in Nevs’ agreement with above mentioned vehicle manufacturers. Loss of such assets could obstruct finalizing a contract with them. To get more time to complete the negotiations, Nevs filed for a reorganization today.

Nevs proposed Mr. Lars Eric Gustafsson, Attorney at Hamilton law firm in Stockholm, as administrator during the reorganization period.

Mikael Östlund

9-3 EV1: First impressions

August 28, 2014 in Editorial, EVs, NEVS

I’m sure many of you have seen the excellent pictures of NEVS new prototype of the electric car, EV-1.
Last Friday I went to see the car live and to get a closer look at the car in Trollhättan.
I will not repeat the facts from the release, if you want to take a closer look at the presentation from NEVS, check it out here. This will be some personal reflections and observations, without testing the car.9-3_ev1_1

The first thing I noticed when I saw the EV was that except from the yellow line on the bumpers with text that say this is a electric vehicle (“elbil”), and the fact the car is missing a exhaust-system it looked pretty like the other 2014 9-3 Aero’s from Nevs. The first things that I found out look different on this particular prototype (NEVS have some more EV-prototypes) is the wheels (17″ ALU59 with 225/50 tyres), the blue Ice-block headlamps and regular halogen foglights (2014 9-3 use as we know LED-lamps). All in all, without the yellow tape, this could be a face-lifted regular everyday-use car – in other words a perfect car for testing.

One more thing I noticed pretty soon was the ride height, without any proof or measuring, for me it can look like the same ride height as the 9-3x. For me it sounds reasonable, because the batteries of the car is mounted under the car where the petrol-tank and exhaust-system is mounted on a “normal” 9-3 – and this is giving the car an immediate benefit; it is just as practical as the 9-3 sedan we know. Another benefit having the batteries under the car is the weight-issue, doing it this way is giving a low center of gravity since the batteries is pretty heavy. One more thing regarding the ride-height, destroy a battery isn’t a thing you want to do, most because high voltage, and second because the price of the battery. For a EV the total cost of the batteries about 40% of what the car costs. But if the accident is a fact does this prototype have approximately 190 batteries in total, and they is grouped in 11 separate modules, so you can change only one module if necessary.

ev1_ren_gladje

Pure Joy – Under development in Trollhättan

When we talk about the batteries, the guys from NEVS told me the batteries is planed to last the entire life of the car. You can charge the battery approximately 5000 times, so if you charge your EV every day it will be about 13.5 years. One of the things NEVS do to increase the lifetime of the batteries is to not take out max power from them, and they are also have plans for cooling down the batteries.
The charging of th batteries must be done from a standard 16A plug, the prototypes is not support faster charging yet, but that is of course something NEVS will work with. The battery-pack is 37kWh in total, and it will take about 10h to charge.

So if we go to the inside of the car is it as I said earlier pretty like the regular 2014 9-3 Aero, even the sound isolation is at this prototype is exactly like the the 1024 9-3 Aero. The first thing you will noticeis that there is no gear-shifter. That is replaced with four buttons (R,N,P and D), and the function is like a car with automatic transmission – the big difference is that you push the button instead of moving the gear shifter. The instruments is also different, there we find the tachometer you will find a “range-meter”, wich tell you how many kilometres you can drive before the battery is empty. Where we usually find the fuel-gauge we have a gauge with the same function, but with “fuel-gauge” design. We find find the speedometer in its usual place, but it’s only scaled to 160kph. Now the EV prototypes is limited to max 120kph, so at this stage this isn’t a big issue. You also find a Ecometer where we find the turbo-meter, this will help the driver to drive economic so you can take out longest possible range, wich for the prototypes is about 200km.
The observe reader will recognise the instruments, the hardware are taken from SAABs e-Power concept, but NEVS have developed new software. If this is something NEVS will keep, or if they will develop something new is a open question. I think this looks OK, but remember this is a prototype and the focus right now is to test technical solutions – not to make fancy instruments ;)

IMG_0643

In the interior we also find another great feature we in SU crew have waited for; the new Infotainment!
This is a thing that isn’t exclusive for the EV, as soon it’s ready we will also find it in the 9-3 Aero. Sadly the Infotainment wasn’t ready, so I can’t say anything about functions, but the Infotainment is as we had written before based on a Android device, and that opens for NEVS to make their own user interface and maybe doing their own special apps for service-points, charging-points and so on. But I can say it looked great, with this new touch-screen the dashboard looked more clean then ever, it’s no need to say I liked this very much ;)

So what will be the next step for the EV prototypes? From what I see I think NEVS will be working on slimming the 9-3, every unnecessary kilo slimmed away is extra range. A question is also how whey are planing to heat up the couple during the winter. If the fan is going to use power from the battery-pack we will have a lower range during the winter, and personally I think this is a important question for many here in Scandinavia. We will have the same range that we are used to have summertime, and we want a warm and comfortable car =)