Yesterday, after reading most of the information about NEVS buying Saab Automobile AB and reading some of the comments here at SU, I wrote this post.
I reads similar to what Jeff wrote yesterday, but we wrote them at the same time without knowing that the other one was also writing about it.
Although there is no new information in this post, I wanted just to show you that we here at SaabsUnited are critical versus the presented business plan from NEVS, but we also see a future for Saab in that plan.
If you like to know my thoughts about the business plan from NEVS, enjoy the post
I must admit, that today I had no access to the I-net till I went back home after work, and so I won’t be able to read 200+ comments on the different posts on the new owner of Saab Automobile AB. But on one of the few comment I’ve read somebody stated that an electrical Saab is no Saab.
From what I know, and from what I’ve read today about the plans of NEVS, I must admit that I’m a little bit disappointed. I don’t subscribe the statement an electrical Saab is no Saab, as an electric vehicle can very feel embrace the philosophy behind Saab. Saab managed to move from two stroke engines to four stroke engines, from naturally aspirated engines to turbo engines and it also managed to make a diesel behave like a Saab, so why shouldn’t Saab mange to build an EV that feels like a Saab? (Back in October 2010 I felt at home in a 9-3 e-Power).
But yes, I’m disappointed because it looks like they want to go the Tesla way, all electric. It just happens that my current company is involved in the development of e-cars for a major OEM, and I see the challenges they are facing, so I know that the Tesla way is no easy way. And willing to bring an EV in 18 months time will be a very tough job for anyone involved, but I wish them all the luck and I’m looking forward for Geneva 2014 where such a car could be presented to the public.
I’m also disappointed, because I get the impression that they want to sell only in China. So I’m hoping that something has been lost in translation.
But where is a shadow there must be light.
After going though the presentation of the press conference, I had to stop at slide #10. On that slide you can see the estimated evolution of EV and PHEV stock till 2020. I would first see those 20 million cars with a grain of salt. Experts in Germany are already saying that one million cars in 2020, as planned by the government, is a tad too optimistic. And to expect that Spain will be the third country with the biggest amount of electric cars by 2020 in the current economic situation is also really optimistic.
But this is not what cached my attention. Call me overoptimistic, but, why are they showing the numbers of the total stock of pure electric vehicles(EV) and Plug-In Hybrids (PHEV)?
If you tell people that your business plan is about selling red carpets, would you show a graph displaying the need for carpets of any colour to strengthen your business case? I, wouldn’t.
So if they think about EV in a more broad way(EV, EREV, PHEV), then Saab 2.0 can be a success, and I’m sure that many of the current Saab fans will be proud of Saab once again if NEVS succeeds with their business plan.
As I’ve said before, I’m looking forward the Geneva Motor show in march 2014, where that electric 9-3 could be presented to the broad public. Till then I will try to follow the development of the new Saabs (with the help of our friend Djup Strupe) and discuss with you the pros and cons of the existing technology used in EV and what could be in a few years time.
Using the words from somebody I know
I am sure we will start learning more in the next days , weeks, and months…