The Hybrid Theory

Something about the way the threads were going yesterday didn’t sit well with me when I heard Saab people saying they were done with Saab. People that have loved this brand were actually talking about selling their current Saabs because they couldn’t stomach a Saab that was different then what they have come to know as Saab. People were even writing about how if they build electric and hybrid models, it would be better if they just shut down and died. This prompted me to write this below.

In the world that is Saab, yesterday brought news of a newly formed company in Sweden trying to acquire Saab. This company is called National Electric Vehicle Sweden and has upset some Saab faithful. The name of the company has sent fear that this will be an electric company with no interest in gas. In fairness, what we know of them so far is that they are interested for sure in electric and hybrid technologies and my question to this would be, is this a bad thing?

Forget about electric vehicles for a moment and let’s look at hybrids. The number one selling hybrid is the Toyota Prius (which I personally can’t stand and think is beyond ugly). I can tell you that on a recent trip to Seattle, I was amazed at how many I saw on the roads, I think I counted ten and in that span maybe 4 Saabs. As much as it surprised me to see so many in Seattle, today blew me away. While looking at a webpage called Hybrid Cars I was floored. More than one fifth of new passenger cars sold in Japan are hybrids and leading the pack is the Toyota Prius with 35,875. Even more shocking is that the number is for February 2012. Nearly half of Toyota’s sales in Japan are hybrid vehicles.

For Toyota, the hybrid business is booming so well that the third on the list is the Toyota Aqua sold in the US as a Prius C. They had originally planned on selling 12,000 of these Aqua’s per month and with the February total reaching 21,951 they are not able to keep up with demand. Wouldn’t we love to have this issue at Saab?

The reason I bring this all up is to level the playing field. We heard many people yesterday saying this would be the end of Saab and it was a disaster waiting to happen. If you look at the facts above, you have to at least see that there is a business model for success in there somewhere. We need to open our minds a little and not be quick to judge. I don’t know for sure that this company will only look at electric and hybrids as their way into the market and even if I did, I can’t say that they would be wrong.

Now with all this in mind, is a hybrid so bad? I don’t think so. Will a hybrid Saab be for everyone? Probably not. Is hybrid technology getting better and are hybrids selling? Yes is the simple answer to both. In the month of February 2012, Toyota has sold more hybrids in Japan then Saab did globally in 2011.

I love the old Saab as much as everyone else, but when the alternative is no Saab, to me there is no alternative.

Jake
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Hybrids are only half of the story. Electric cars are a different story. There’s also a reason why Fisker, Tesla and so many more are failing: they’re not established brands, and they’re selling their cars at ludicrous prices. Even the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are failing miserably. Toyota is an established brand. They sell their cars cheaply. Saab will NEVER be able to do this under anyone but Mahindra. Judging buy the owners of NEVS, they won’t have the money to sell a hybrid cheaply. If they do, Saab will lose financing and be dead again, likely for good.… Read more »
EuroDriver
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Agreed, a standalone alternative energy car company has no place in the industry and it will not survive. I want SAAB Saabs!

Timeshifter
Member
4 years 4 months ago
How can you say that Tesla or Fisker are failing? Tesla, for now, built only one model – Roadster, which is basically electric version of Lotus Elise. Do you expect to have huge sales with Lotus Elise-like cars? The both upcoming Tesla models (S and X) are not yet in sale, and I already know guy who ordered Model S… Fisker has only one model – Karma, which is on sale less than year and it is extremely luxurious model, so also do not expect huge sales. You guys, expect that those companies can from scratch build mainstream cars in… Read more »
saabdog
Member
4 years 4 months ago

With all due respect Timeshifter, this is how we can say that electric cars are failing:

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/05/25/alt-fuel-cars-unsustainable-without-government-assistance/

John
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Hybrid car are the future for now, PSA Citroen Peugeot have hybrid diesel car now and with 100 mile to gallon and 200 bhp, I think if saab come back this is what they need, and think about it with the 1.9 diesel saab have and connected to electric motor you are going to get 250 bhp and over 100 miles to the gallon , saab needs to be a little crazy like the 1980s saab turbo ( black widow ) to win people back.

100%Saab
Member
4 years 4 months ago

“As automakers increase their efforts to design vehicles that are more fuel-efficient, college engineering programs are likewise adapting their curriculums, preparing students to build vehicles increasingly powered by batteries.” – The New York Times in the Automobile section online now, 5/24/12 2100 CST.

At least someone thinks that’s the way automobiles are headed. Still I like my current 9-3s.

Timeshifter
Member
4 years 4 months ago

+1
SAAB lost liquidity, SAAB lost facilities, SAAB lost everything what makes them big car manufacturer except technologies. Thus the SAAB can be used as dynamic company which aims into the future.

Harriet
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I love my current Saabs, but this is the way of the future – it just has to be the right hybrid, not a clone of a bad one – we expect that from Saab – it’s interesting that you saw only 4 Saabs in the time you saw 10 Prius in Seattle – b/c in my neck of the wood (Morris County NJ), we see many more Saabs – probably thanks to our wonderful dealer – Reinertsen Motors. We are all hoping for the best and the real reasoning here may be to get GM totally out of the… Read more »
saabdog
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I’m willing to wait it out, but if Saab goes all electric, they will lose me as a customer, not because I am anti-environment or a slave to old technology. I need a car that can drive me and my family across any part of the U.S. (thousands of miles) in any type of weather reliably, safely and comfortably. There is NO EV in the world that can do that, even with all of the Billions of dollars sunk into battery technology. I think it is a pipe dream to think that Saab can miraculously develop an EV that can… Read more »
David-SAAB
Member
4 years 4 months ago

agreed 🙂

phermansson
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I actually agree with you on that one, I’ve got a 2,5 hour drive to work (one way) and there is no electric car that can take me there and back in one charge. But I do think that the guys buying Saab are smarter than this, they know that if they want to sell cars they can not go all electric. Saab has fantastic Ethanol and Clean Diesel technology within it, combining that with an electric rear axel and hybrid system and you’ve got a car that probably could take me that distance 2-3 times before it needs to… Read more »
kochje
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Me too, as long as the car has the Saab identity and of course that name.
If not I just drive our Saabs till the last possible moment but never will buy another brand.

KT
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Exactly what i was saying in a previous blog. Think how powerful yet fuel efficient the TTID is. Now imagine that with hybrid technology thrown into the mix. I think it would make an incredible powerplant for any future SAAB models.

Not to say the TTID would be available to the new owners but one would hope. It’s certainly one of the best diesels i’ve driven for a long time.

David-SAAB
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Allow me to re-post a comment I made earlier: At last we see where our brand can be heading. As has been stated before on this very blog site – A Saab is better than no saab at all. Hybrid and Electric Saabs may just be what is needed after all. Here we had a brand that held a certain type of quirky fascination, what better than to continue this legacy with quirks and fascination where the rest of the automotive world seems to be heading anyway – sustainability. Sure this is not my first choice by far. I too… Read more »
metalhead
Member
4 years 4 months ago

+99, any Saab is better than no Saab, provided they are still designed and made in Trollhattan.

Jesse Crandle
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I really enjoy driving standard, and so far I hate all implementations of CVT transmissions, but how crazy awesome would a robust/sporty diesel Saab electric hybrid be? having 400 lb-ft of torque with those electric motors then having a turbo diesel be able to kick in and then stay in that power band… I think a 50 mpg economical hatch or combi like that could very much be considered “the new 99 Turbo”. To my knowledge no one does a diesel hybrid, or a sporty CVT for that matter, but I think it can be done. I read an article… Read more »
paul
Member
4 years 4 months ago

+1

saabman
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I have found myself feeling rather despondant since yesterday’s news (and rumors) leaked out. However, I am trying to console myself with the knowledge that Saab has been an industry leader in developing innovative technologies. And perhaps the hybrid/electric vehicle approach will turn out to be the next chapter in that story of innovation and unique thinking. Assuming that the new owners will truly want to take advantage of the extraordinary expertise that Saab’s former workforce had, it could well be that we will see Saab become the industry leader–if not in sales then in the combination of development, innovation,… Read more »
saabdog
Member
4 years 4 months ago
In order to make EV’s viable in the marketplace it is going to require a paradigm shift in battery development…a true “moonshot”. And I humbly ask all of the EV true believers out there: is battery technology there yet or even anywhere close? If you’re being honest, the answer must be NO. However, if (and when) battery technology does reach the ability to perform on par with ICE engines, the public will beat the doors down to get those automobiles, and there will be no need for governments to have to coerce customers into these cars a la the Chevy… Read more »
Dan P
Member
4 years 4 months ago

this is spot on. There’s a thing called R&D which I suspect a new Saab will put some time into rather than just kicking a AAA battery powered car out the factory doors..

mp2dtw
Member
4 years 4 months ago
If the new Saab can make cars that are as practical for most and the value is there, as it had been, I don’t have any issue with this direction. I hadn’t planned to buy an electic or hybrid car because the value isn’t there–plus I can’t fathom driving anything but a manual gearbox. Only one hybrid and not one electric car sold in the US has a manual. Saab has never been and should never try to be a car manufacturer with something for everyone, like the Big Three, Toyota or Volkswagen. Hopefully, the niche it works towards is… Read more »
Mark
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I certainly don’t dismiss hybrids and electric cars and they should definitely form of Saab’s inventory for the future. However petrol, diesel and alcohol fueled cars will continue to form the major part of the vehicle market for at least the next decade. If Saab is unable or unwilling to continue participating in this sector of the market, it will have an immense struggle trying to stay in business. Perhaps that would be a struggle it would lack the resources to survive? It will be certainly be good for Trollhattan and Sweden in general for Saab to continue manufacturing cars,… Read more »
Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago

How much can one keep taking away from a Saab, until it no longer is a Saab? A badge or 4 letter on a hybrid does not speak to me.

Dan P
Member
4 years 4 months ago

so what should they do? Build some new 2-stroke models? Things change. Hybrid can be 50/50, 20/80, 99/1..

A Saab is a car built with consideration to form and function, safety and performance.

It isn’t just a fwd turbo-4, but hey, they may build those in the future – with electric rear axle!

davidgmills
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I like my Shindaiwa two stroke (they call it a hybrid too since it has some of the features of a four stroke) weedeater a lot. 50 to 1 mixture gas to oil. Doesn’t smoke at all. Still harder to start than a four stroke though. Great power.

Longtime SAAB
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I grew up around SAABs. What attracted my father to them was that they were unlike anything else on the market. They were independent and created vehicles, not based on what other car companies were doing, but the way they thought they should be made! My first car was a 93 with a sun roof, and my second car a 96 2-stroke. Today I own both a 93B and a 96. Both are 2 strokes and unlike anything else built. I look at these cars and see what SAAB truly stands for. I still drive a more modern Saab as… Read more »
Dan P
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I stand by what I said a few weeks back when all the negativity around “golf-carts” (really guys? grow up) started. We always talk proudly about Saab as being innovative and pioneering, then baulk at the idea of them possibly taking the lead in what will surely become the technology of the future. I am amazed that so many seem opposed to something that Saab was already working on, namely the electric axle tech. This will be a godsend for reducing consumption in traffic, and a very neat way to circumvent the recharging issue. If that’s all they’re building at… Read more »
Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Whats innovative about hybrid? everyone else is doing it.
The electric real axle system was never saab exclusive to start with and now anyone can have access to it – saab dont even have preferred customer statues.

phermansson
Member
4 years 4 months ago

A hint, right now Saab doesn’t even exist… so anything is better than that!

Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Yes, that’s why I am very glad for the factory workers and the local region, but I can’t be excited about a product that I personally don’t want. Some people do and it’s great for them – especially if they are Saab fans, but Japan’s post is questioning why some of us feel disappointed with the outcome. And my answer is – we are happy for ‘saab’ the company and the locals, but some of us just won’t be excited about a hybrid only product line, so for us at least, a big connection we have with Saab has been… Read more »
rune
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I am a systems developer by trade. There is a sharp contrast between what the customer thinks he wants and what he actually wants. I suspect the same holds true for cars (and I am certainly no easy customer myself). Basically, if you knew twenty years ago that you needed an iPhone, someone would have put it together much sooner. The product eventually released may pleasantly surprise you yet. Keep in mind that Saab already had many hybrid models, even though the BioPower engine was not marketed as such in several markets. If you own a late-generation petrol 9-3 or… Read more »
Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I doubt it, I would think we are SAAB rivers BECAUSE we know what we wanted or did research – I would (like to think) we are better than your average consumer joe. 1. It has to survive the harsh condition of Australia outback 2. I am quite cheap – hybrids will cost more. And with Diesel the saving in fuel economy (especially since I don’t do city driving, and only long distance cruises) of a hybrid is debatable. And no, I still don;t think I need an iPhone, I want a phone that I can use to talk, that’s… Read more »
rune
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I wrote ‘you’, but meant ‘people in general’. I do not like the iPhone much either (for similar reasons as yours). I would still be using my Ericsson T68 (from 2001) had it not been for some buttons were starting to fall off. You (and I) disqualify electrical hybrids because of the added price. However, as far as I am concerned, if anyone can crack the price/benefit problem, it will be Saab’s engineers. As far as diesel goes, I have no reason to doubt Kjell acBergström when he states (http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2009/06/ams-ethanol-a-dream-fuel-according-to-gm-powertrain-sweden.html) “Diesel engines must reduce its compression ratio to reduce emissions… Read more »
Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago

In that case, I will cautiously (and with reservation) wait and see what happens with their plan.

Unfortunately, in the mean time, my next car might be a Kia.

Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Curious, which field do you work in? I am a software engineer myself.

jagoblu
Member
4 years 4 months ago

spot on

jagoblu
Member
4 years 4 months ago

rune spot on

aus715
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I love cars. Saab cars in particular, and even the odd Germanic 1980’s high performance model too. Why do I like SAABs? I’m not really sure actually. Yes the push in the back from the turbo is great, the safety is real, the handling is strong and the cars actually look really attractive and are clearly built well. Too well, some say. BUT….the New Era post GFC demands that we take a deep breath and consider personal transportation in the next decade as going through a necessary change. If we don’t do this now, SAAB as we know it WILL… Read more »
Bob Widger
Member
4 years 4 months ago
As an owner of six Saabs and two Toyota Priuses over the past 27 years, I’m finding the discussion of Saab possibly producing hybrid vehicles very interesting, especially the level of vitriol directed toward the Prius in particular. A majority of the negativity seems to focus on the styling of the Prius, but let’s face it, if Saab were producing a hybrid,one would assume that the styling would be on par with other Saabs – outstanding…so this should not be a concern. The Prius was developed to achieve one goal – extremely high mileage. I’ve never gotten below 43 mpg… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 4 months ago
You may like your Prius, but many don’t want them. Comparing the number of Priuses to Saab is probably not a fair comparison. My sister in law hated her Prius because of horrible traction in the snow and went back to a Subaru. It doesn’t snow that much in DC so maybe you haven’t had the problem she had. Maybe poor snow traction has nothing to do with a hybrid. But I don’t like all the batteries. These things are pretty damn toxic. And to many people, electrics are toxic in other respects, especially to anyone trying to sell them… Read more »
Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Electric car is a concious purchase – just because one’s own car don’t burn gas and pollution (which is arguable anyhow) doesn’t mean up in the chain, the fossil fuel/ nuclear power used to generate those electricity didn’t pollute any how.

So unless the electricity came from wind/ solar power 100%, by driving it is still contributing pollution – just conveniently you don’t get to see it.

JerseySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago

No to mention the mess created by lithium mining to make the batteries!

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 4 months ago

That is of course the idea, to generate the power from light/wind. Funny enough though, is just how short-sighted our politicians here in Germany are:
-On one hand, we now got a program to promote electric cars, one million in 8 years (that won’t be reached, but that’s the goal)
-On the other hand, there is a tremendous effort to get into renewable energies, and away from nuclear power/coal/oil, in electrical power generation (renewable energy act).

BUT: Ths latter goal assumes sinking power consumption, totally ignoring the fact that the cars from the former will require _more_ power. Pathetic.

adamb
Member
4 years 4 months ago
So, people want to buy Saab and not the Prius? In that case why is Toyota selling buckets full of Prius and Saab is bankrupt. 1.5 million Prius have been sold in the past 4 years, seems that Saab didn’t sell that many cars and went bankrupt. I love Saab and spent nearly 5 years of my working on them and with, and I love my 9-5 but there seems to be some very odd viewpoints on there that people seem to think that the market wants Saabs and not the things that are selling? If that was the case… Read more »
Garrett
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I’ve wondered if Saab came back what would make them unique? Everyone is using turbos to increase fuel efficiency. I used to take solace in my old Saab was achieving better mileage than new competitors. That’s no longer true. Competitors have caught up in safety (not where it matters most in a super strong structure, but most of the motoring public doesn’t care). A hatch? Saab died not having one at the same time Honda and BMW did. Real-world EVs would put NEVS in a good position in the market and regain Saab’s old position. So far, only Nissan has… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Yeah, but every time I buy an electric power something, I seem to be disappointed in it. Weedeaters, chainsaws, mowers — none perform anywhere nearly as well as the gasoline equivalents regardless of that 100% power you talk about. And the battery versions are even worse. There is no comparison between a cord powered drill and a battery powered one.

JerseySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago

“We are 10 years away from practical EVs that can handle long distance only EV travel.”

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, that’s the kind of thing people were saying 40 years ago.

In a similar vein we’ve been 15-20 years away from practical fusion power for the last 60 years. 🙂

davidgmills
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Kind why we still have the ICE.

JerseySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago

It’s funny in a way since electric cars were very popular over 100 years ago in the early days of the automobile. Now they’re the ‘way of the future.’ Everything old is new again!

I can’t believe it’s after 1:00 AM and I’m still up doing this, time to hit the sack, sure hope I don’t get any early service calls this morning…

tianalfred
Member
4 years 4 months ago

If it is for real the National Electric Vehicle Sweden, and its shareholder is National Bio-Energy Group, whose parent is State Grid, which is a top electricity power in China, its CEO is former china’s premier’s son/daughter. this means that a huge money is there. is it a good news?

RS
Member
4 years 4 months ago

What is it with Sweden and China nowadays? Here I sat thinking ‘national’ meant something.
State Grid is probably not too much into BioPower and Diesel hybrids 🙁

Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Jason, the reason some of us saying we will not be interested in this new direction Saab might be going is simple: Saab will no longer have any product that fit our needs. I think it’s safe to say the followers and commentors on this very blog are the the most die hard Saab enthusiasts. But what got us to like the marque in the first place? – They had a product that suited our needs perfectly. THEN we got into knowing the culture, the history and whole package that comes with being a Saab, At the end of the… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 4 months ago

For any battery powered car to fit my needs, I will probably have to wait fifteen years. I will be 77 then and lucky to be alive much less driving.

JerseySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago

We’re in a similar boat. 🙂

I expect that good used gasoline-powered Saabs will be available for the rest of my expected life span, certainly for the amount of time I have left to be driving. The young guys can be the guinea pigs for the “wave of the future” electric cars.

Mark
Member
4 years 4 months ago

As I outlined in my comments above, I believe Saab needs to actively remain in the Gasoline/Diesel/Biofuels section of the market whilst progressively developing other technologies. To do this it might require other resources and possibly owners. Totally abandoning conventional cars at this stage would be quite premature.

JerseySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago
(This was meant as a response to Bob Widger but I misplaced it as a new comment.) “I’ve never gotten below 43 mpg without even trying to be frugal with the accelarator.” That’s nice, but frankly not all that impressive. There have been quite a few non-hybrid cars over the years that have reached that kind of mileage, some built decades ago. (I have a 1980s Popular Science magazine kicking around with a cover story about several 40 mpg cars that were available at the time. A friend who had a VW Rabbit Diesel back in the day regularly got… Read more »
Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago

My 9-5 Aero, MFY2002, does 47MPG on long distance touring style trips.

Wittendorff
Member
4 years 4 months ago

That equals 19 km/L!! How on Earth do you achieve that? The best I can get of my -06 9-3 is 12-13 Km/L with an average of 11 km/L.

aus715
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I easily get that from my Aero 9-5 too. And almost on my Linear SportEstate 2.3t as well. And with an Auto box. Not in the city though. Which is where most of us spend 90% of our motoring time, with an average speed less than 40km/h. So the Prius wins there in big way. Ten year old turbo engine/auto then gets 16l/100km/h. Not good.

w3c validator
Guest
4 years 4 months ago
For me Saab has always been about design language and feeling.. and not about what type of fuel they use. If Saab uses hybrid/eletric technology I’m even more happy, as it is even more environmental friendly than petrol. Why not combine CNG (that we have a lot of in Sweden) with electricity. Or E85. What ever fuel they use, the more environmental friendly the better, because I do believe that’s the way to go in the future. And if this path gives me the possibility to buy a Saab in the future, I so much prefer that than not having… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Guess its a European thing. They are not cutting it in the US except in a few places.

Dan P
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Look, they aren’t really cutting it anywhere in comparison to a traditional ICE. But that’s not to say that, in time, they won’t! That is the point.

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 4 months ago

imho, no. Europeans have wholeheartedly embraced Diesel cars which have comparable mileage to the Prius, without the hazzle of complex technology. Only Diesel hybrids might have an impact over here.

jonthaa
Guest
4 years 4 months ago

couldn’t agree more. Oil is too precious to burn it for transportation purposes. And when used as fuel, it has nasty pollution effects. People who think electricity and cars are a bad combination remind me of those people who thought computers would remain an exotic product due to their room-size dimensions.

phermansson
Member
4 years 4 months ago

ANA already built and sold a CNG / Biopower hybrid car, but the management of Saab at the time in 2008-2009 didn’t think it fitted Saab’s profile and decided not to promote the car. Even so ANA built and sold lots of Tri-Fuel cars!

adde
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Can talk only for myslef, ofc… Pure electric “plugg in” car is nothing for me as of yet. Maybe its for someone else, but not me. Lets just say it doesnt meet my needs (without going in why and such), period. Now, hybrids are something else. Could easily go with a hybrid only if it means petrol/diesel engine in combination with eAAM rear axle. As long as i dont have to plugg in my SAAB over the night. If s**t hits the fan, ill still be happy about SAAB’s existence as a brand, but it will no longer be a… Read more »
Bryan Kazes
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Mg other issue is that the electric grid in my area cannot handle the taxation and burden that would be would be plaacd on it.

We Lose power If it’s windy ..

Mark
Member
4 years 4 months ago

You need some of Maud’s windmills!

leriksso
Member
4 years 4 months ago

🙂

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Now that the EV hype has somewhat faded, I think that any company with a clear mind wouldn’t bet their complete operation on pure electrical stuff. So, I am pretty confident that the first step towards electrification will be plug-in hybrids. Hence, I wouldn’t worry too much about NEVS’s intentions. We just can’t tell if and when batteries will be sufficiently improved to become the sole energy source for cars. A lot of people here discuss this in regards to Saab. But this is, imho, a wrong point of view. Saab is not a battery company, unless they set up… Read more »
Chris Hansel
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Ev vehicles of today do not sell well in the U.S., due to the great distrances. However Hybrids are selling well, and better, every year. It doesn’t take too much vision to see that hybrids are a a step towards full EV vehicles down the road. Swegovt is making the right move here. Besides, I will able to use the HOV lanes here in Phoenix!

metalhead
Member
4 years 4 months ago

To be honest, I am rather excited bout Saab EVs and hybrids. They can prove to be a leader for others to follow, just like what they did with the 99.
The problem is, if NEVS takes over, will they produce cars under the brand Saab, or will they just use the factory and technology for their own brands? THIS is what i want to know, as long as Saab cars are still produced and developed, I don’t see a reason to ditch the brand.

mattea
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Have we alredy forgot EAAM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41Ytf5-qBm4 this is also hybrid
I want a 9-3 CC whit elektric rear drive whit 40-60 km reach and the 1,6 200 Hk biopower engin for the front wheel
Saab is a Saab caus of the inovations, the safty, the fun to drive, and caus of us fans, this can be soo good.

mattea
Member
4 years 4 months ago

To korekt myself, a total of abot 200 Hk , Biopower ~ 165Hk and elektro ~35 Hk and lots of toque 🙂

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 4 months ago

If hybrid is good for BMW http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/hybrid-power-facelifted-bmw-7-series why can it not be good for Saab too?

But, whether a company can survive on EV/Hybrids alone, that’s a matter for debate…. personally, I don’t see it, sadly.

zippy
Member
4 years 4 months ago

BMW 5 series hybrid just got a pasting in Autocar. It costs ££££ more than a 535d and averaged just 21mpg on test against the average 45mpg the 535d got. IMO pointless.

bpsorrel
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Yes indeed! A good reason not to buy one and this is one of the problems I see for “new Saab” if they do go down this route.

Sadly though, I think our love affair with the ICE is coming to an end. I’m glad I was young in the 70s and 80s! A lot of nice cars to enjoy back then and no loony greenies trying to spoil the fun! 😀

Daniel B
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Isn´t it strange that when news broke in 2011 about the electric rear axle, allmost all media reported that this was going to be as big for Saab as the turbo was back in the 70:ies. We all stood upp (almost all) and said YES! Look what Saab can do. And now talking about hybrids we start to talk this technology down…? My 2 cents is just that until we know the full scale of NEVS businessplans for Saab (we don´t even KNOW if they will be the buyer of Saab yet…) -then lets just take a step back and… Read more »
theSandySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago

+1

rune
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I do not think it is fair to bring past comments into this. 2011 was a completely different situation. Allow me to expand: I have certainly learned a few things the past year. E.g. Volvo has launched a hybrid V60. The announced price in Sweden was significantly higher than what I paid for my 2011 9-5 BioPower. I can drive 100000 km in my 9-5 before I reach the price of the V60 standing completely still. And I bet my 9-5 comes with more creature comforts than that Volvo. In my book, that means that particular Volvo is completely useless.… Read more »
Daniel B
Member
4 years 4 months ago
To some degree I agree with you. It would have been preferable if the E-AAM would have been an option, but still. We don´t know if NEVS plans is to bring out ONLY electrical cars or hybrids. We don´t KNOW anything at all.. I hope we will learn more in the next few months though..:) Still the world is changing and we cannot go on putting fossil fuel in our cars, busses and trucks forever. The E-AAM-tech was said to be significantly cheaper than a “standard” hybrid system, but I have no idea how this would stand compared to the… Read more »
rune
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Yup, we definitively lack many of the pieces to this puzzle. That does not exactly help the temperature of these discussions.

And yes, I am still in Mariestad! Heading to THN tomorrow; Give me a little nudge if you’re in the neighbourhood! I’m the guy in the blue 9-5.

MichelD
Member
4 years 4 months ago
+1 Also, when I’m looking at the younger generation 12-14 years old or less, electric car should be a lot more popular and developed. Yes it requires development (autonomy, charging time), but not impossible and of course, the price will go down. The CRT / LCD example is a good one. Performance is also great with electric cars, better than a Turbo and I love my turbo. Look at Telsa, what they can do as a very small company and with what they will come up in a near future. We have 2 SAABs and one of them could be… Read more »
theSandySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I understand that some of you are negative to EV Saabs. EV’s alone cannot satisfy all driving needs of everyone, all the time. However, how many have ever driven one? The reason that everyone talk EV is that it so much more efficient use of energy, be it from nuclear fission, Maud’s wind mills, solar or the oldest coal fired generators… I was lucky to test drive one of the Electro Engine Saab Convertibles as discussed here: http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2009/10/driving-the-electro-engine-saab-9-3-convertible.html It felt virtually ready for production, at least interms of the driveline, super smooth, ultra quiet, fun to drive with good handling… Read more »
jagoblu
Member
4 years 4 months ago

🙂

zippy
Member
4 years 4 months ago

The only reason the Prius is a big seller in Japan is because the Japanese, and the Americans for that matter, see diesels for exactly what they are – dirty.

Saab, or should I say NEVS, will never sell enough hybrid/electric cars to stay in business so I hope they arent considering ditching real cars.

hilmar
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Jason, very well written article. There is not only black and white. Saab fans should be open minded, for the workers in THN who urgently need a new job and for new technologies. Some time fossil fuel will end, why not thinking about alternatives now and avoid the dependence from mineral oil companies – just look at the costs for fuel today. Let us think and act for our children. We are not old-fashioned, aren´t we ? 😉

Coke is it
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I don’t have anything against an EV/hybrid, EV is the future but we are not in the future yet and Saab can probably not survive with only EV/hybrid. I’m not counting the new 9-3 with eXWD as a hybrid since it’s somewhere between a petrol car and a “real” hybrid. I’m all in if the owners continue to develop Saab in the direction they already started with more and more electrification and hybrid solutions. I do not care for a company that just want to get the engineering department and the Saab brand to start developing small boring EV’s with… Read more »
davidsblumberg
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Out with the old, in with the new!
Fossil fuels are history, there is no reason whatsoever to rebuild Saab using 1920s technology.
The attraction has always been independence and revolutionary ideas – windtunnel testing in 1947, engine right-sizing in the 70s, dedication to safety decades before anyone else. That’s the soul of Saab, and that fits perfectly with electricity, hybrids and yet unheard of technologies.
Love live Saab!

Wittendorff
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Very well said.

talladegan
Member
4 years 4 months ago

+900

JerseySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago
“Fossil fuels are history” Nonsense, we have fossil fuels to last centuries. I’ve been hearing this “we’re running out of oil” nonsense for 50 years or more. Yes, it is a finite resource by definition, but it is a very large finite resource. We will not be running out any time soon. The U.S. alone is sitting on top of nearly 2 trillion barrels of oil, and hydrocarbon-based products can also be made from coal which is very plentiful. By the time we are actually in danger of running out of oil all of us here will be long dead… Read more »
davidsblumberg
Member
4 years 4 months ago

We also have an endless supply of CFCs, which we could use as propellents and refrigerants. However, we choose not to as we discovered it destroys the ozone layer and adversely effects all life on our planet. Likewise, we might have an “endless” supply of fossil fuels, but seeing as the use of these fuels is proven to adversely change the global climate impacting every living thing on our planet, it is not in our best interested to continue using them.

rune
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Feel free to point me towards the proof. I was convinced of AGW back in the 90s, but after having looked at some of the research, I’m far from convinced. E.g. how can they tell temperature from tree rings? I have heard a claim that warm temperatures means bigger space between the rings ( = stronger growth). So, does that mean the trees in Sweden will grow 50 feet in a year if the average temperature hits 40 degrees per year? I have a feeling the answer is ‘no’. Yet small rings only counts as ‘cold’ as I understand it.… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 4 months ago
There is no reason to build Saab with 2100 technology either. Or 2200 technology. Electrical motors have had over 100 years to develop batteries that could give them decent range and they haven’t yet. So this technology is hard to do. It may never be accomplished. I don’t see how you start a company with a product that does not have the proven technology that people need and want. Plus as someone else said, maybe the grid can’t handle going to electric cars. I could see it if the grid were based on thorium power but we don’t have that… Read more »
xelav
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I think it’s only because of a lack of information about the new bussinesplan that a lot of writers here are (more than) sceptic about the hybrid/ electric(?) plans of the not yet confirmed new owner(s) of Saab . That’s logical IMO . Saab couldn’t go on the way they did , that would end up the same sad way, concur with Audi BMW etc. is not the play field for a small car manufacturer. Although for me, I never ever have had any interest in hybrids I do think that for Saab it might be an outcome. Only I’m… Read more »
sandborg
Guest
4 years 4 months ago

Has it occurred to anybody that we have not seen their business plan yet?
It could very well be in addition to electric/ hybrid vehicles that they will also build the traditional gasoline/petrol automobile.

Allan B
Member
4 years 4 months ago

So the Luddites won’t buy an electric Saab. Who cares? Not me. I believe in a bright future. My diesel 9-3 will keep me going until I can buy an amazing Saab EV a few years down the line.

JerseySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Fortunately for you then diesel engines last a long time, unless there is a sudden breakthrough in battery technology I would not hold my breath waiting for a usable full-electric vehicle.

Örjan
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I do not understand. Many of those who drive Saab do it because they like that Saab has been far ahead in technology. But now that when it´s supposed that “the new Saab” will make hybrids, which is precisely to be on the cutting edge of technology then they will abandon Saab, will sell the Saab they own and will never buy another. A bit contradictory to say the least. If “the new Saab” do not develop hybrids it will go under again in a few years no matter how many billions of Euro, the new owners put in. Some… Read more »
davidgmills
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I never bought Saab because they were ahead in technology. I never thought Saab was ahead in technology. I think they are behind. But I think what they did do was make good choices out of what was available (maybe except for the two stroke). I think this is a bad choice of what is available.

E. Boon
Member
4 years 4 months ago

No carmaker can survive on hybrid or electric only. Given their limitations it still is a niche market.
In the way I need a car hybrid is not an option.

Iiari
Member
4 years 4 months ago
My skepticism has nothing to do with the mode of locomotion, and everything to do with the issue of capitalization. It’s about viability. A cobbled together car company, born out of the ashes of a damaged brand, supposedly focused on the EV or hybrid niche (which can no longer be called a niche, as EVERY mainstream car company either already has models of this type out or is developing them). What SHOULD we think based upon those rumors? I’d rather have Spyker! I think everyone here was mostly in agreement that a large, well funded, and completely established company was… Read more »
RS
Member
4 years 4 months ago

This is exactly the yardstick. If the new owner won’t take care of the customers of Saab 1.0 or build EV’s only from day one, they are obviously in it for other reasons than what ‘SAAB’ has stood for in the past and I’m out.

Nate 9-3
Member
4 years 4 months ago

100% agree – especially about the CPO portion. At some point the new SAAB has to take care of me for me to be on board. I would want to be taken care of after the factory, then the dealers. This mash up seems to take care of the factory (good), not the dealers (bad) and not Spyker-era owners or CPO purchasers. That’s a big strike. It seems as though the government was taken care of, interestingly enough.

Taras
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I would not mind to have a Saab hybrid… I thing it will be pretty cool to charge my Saab in a garage..
but as long as there will be lime-yellow convertible!!!

Eagle63
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Interestingly, of the few hundred co-workers of my company none of those people that drive hybrids or electric are car enthusiasts; they have reasons other than the car itself for driving those vehicles. That’s saying something doesn’t it ?
Those that DO love cars drive Alfas, Jaguars, Saabs, Porsches etc…
And as long as those e-vehicles are less inspiring to drive, less practical, have less range, less performance, less towing power etc they will understandably not be bought by the car enthusiast.

BMW Rider
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Mahindra is the only answer that I like and I’m not going to buy a Saab car just because it says Saab on it. I’m not interested in an all electric car. A hybrid… maybe but that’s still a hard sell to me. And I’m also one of the ones with a 2011. If Saab 2.0 won’t support current owners left without a warranty I won’t buy another new Saab of any shape or form ever again. That’s just the way it is.

TonymacUK
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Guys, check out TTela – some useful stuff there – perhaps the English speaking Swedes can give us non- Swede speakers a better translation than Google?

witek
Member
4 years 4 months ago

On a recent trip with my family in florida I was renting a brand new prius. We did 290 miles in 4 days( half highways, half regular driving). I filled the tank to full before returning the rental and then smile got wide on my face when only 5.4 galons went in. That’s make 53 miles pre galon. Saab hybrid! I’m IN. All the way.

Douglas Brown
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I agree, Better to have a hybrid Saab than no Saab at all ! Great article!

scottmil
Member
4 years 4 months ago
The thing that is central to what we think of as SAAB is design. This is the most important factor in what distinguishes SAABs from other vehicles. The design is why people like SAAB, the design is why SAAB has fans. Becoming an electric car company is a gimmick, and gimmicks do not coincide with the superior, modern design aesthetics of what SAAB is best known for. People who like good design don’t like gimmicks. Electric cars are also primarily motivated by an ideology, and good design generally doesn’t come out of such stringent ideologies because they are too myopic.… Read more »
JonM
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I sadly agree that electric/hybrid Saabs will be final straw for the Saab brand’s passionate fan base.

Driving a hybrid vehicle costs more in terms of overall energy consumed than comparable non-hybrid vehicles. The energy necessary to plan, build, sell and dispose of the hybrid/electric cars from initial concept to the junk yard gives me pause as to any rationale for people to buy these things.

Long live (my memory of) Saab

Wouter
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Personally, I’m excited and proud that Saab may become a company to produce partially or all-electric cars. I’d certainly buy them if they look nice. Come on people. We will run out of affordable fossil fuel sooner or later. They question is not if, but when this will happen. Maybe later if you’re living on an oil-well or in the US, where gas prices are artificially low, but in Europe it’s getting more expensive by the day. Other kinds of fuel will come. Live with it. It’s 2012 people, not 1960. The past has passed. People that dislike electric cars… Read more »
Viper
Member
4 years 4 months ago

If I’m not mistaken, the Lexus CT200h is a hybrid. I saw this for the best time parked in a side street the first time I saw it and went wow! Now Lexus is a direct competitor to Saab. The CT200h is no ugly boring average Prius. It looks good, it is a luxury car and has the performance to go with it. Now if Lexus is a direct competitor to Saab, then a future hybrid Saab say 93, would be like the Lexus CT200h. Now that surely cannot be a bad thing.

Katsura
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Sorry, personally the Ct200 looks like a bashed crab to me.

3cyl
Member
4 years 4 months ago

SAAB has not demonstrated that it can suceed financially in today’s traditional car market, so it is understandable that a buyer might want to try something different. That is not to say it will work out any better, but they may feel there is no point to knocking a new head against the same old wall.

Skipper
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I guess we really should “wait and see”, however I too am concerned that we may never see another “REAL” Saab again! I have never seen an electric or hybrid car that I’ve actually liked and I’m not convinced about them either. They seem to cost a fortune and also have some limitations too. I just hope and pray that whoever buys Saab realises what Saab is really about!

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