For the techies – power to Saab’s electric test vehicles

Press release…. relating to fleet of 70 electric vehicles that Saab will be testing this year.

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UQM Technologies PowerPhase® Electric Propulsion System Powers Saab 9-3 ePower All-Electric Development Test Fleet

  • Saab 9-3 ePower test fleet of 70 vehicles will be powered by UQM Technologies electric motors and controllers
  • Deliveries of PowerPhase 135kW systems to Saab began in Q3 of CY 2010
  • These electric propulsion systems for the Saab 9-3 ePower vehicles were previously announced by UQM as an order from an international OEM
  • UQM has in place validated production lines for its PowerPhase 100 and 135kW systems with annual capacity of 40,000 systems

LONGMONT, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–UQM Technologies, Inc. (NYSE Amex: UQM), a developer of alternative-energy technologies, has been selected by Saab to power its all-electric Saab 9-3 ePower development test fleet. Initial deliveries began in the third calendar quarter of 2010 and will continue through CY 2011.

“This order from Saab reinforces our ability to meet the performance, quality and cost needs of international automobile companies developing electric and hybrid vehicles,” said Eric Ridenour, President and CEO of UQM Technologies. “The PowerPhase 135kW systems for Saab are being built on our validated production lines with annual capacity of 40,000 systems. These production lines are among the many steps we have taken to fully prepare UQM to grow from test-fleet programs to production fulfillment.”

The UQM PowerPhase 135 kW electric propulsion systems will power the 70 Saab 9-3 ePower test fleet vehicles. The 9-3 ePower program is the first step towards developing a potential Saab production vehicle. The PowerPhase 135kW features a power-dense 135 kW/181 hp electric motor and advanced control system. Saab will use our propulsion system with a single-speed transmission, and the company has published performance estimates of 100 km/hr (62 mph) acceleration in just 8.5 seconds together with a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). Saab will begin field trials of the test fleet in Sweden early this year.

“We are looking forward to working with Saab through its automotive testing and qualification program with our PowerPhase electric propulsion system,” said Ridenour. “Our history of technological innovation in developing electric propulsion systems combined with extensive production engineering capabilities gives us a unique advantage in meeting the development and production needs of vehicle manufacturers.”

About UQM Technologies

UQM Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of power-dense, high-efficiency electric motors, generators and power electronic controllers for the automotive, aerospace, military and industrial markets. A major emphasis for UQM is developing products for the alternative-energy technologies sector, including propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, under-the-hood power accessories and other vehicle auxiliaries. UQM headquarters, engineering, product development center and manufacturing operation are located in Longmont, Colorado.

Auto Motor and Sport road test True Electric Saab 9-3

Saab are about to show what they’re calling the 9-3 ePower – a concept vehicle made to trial electric technology with a view to future application in road cars.

Their partner in this venture is a company called ElectroEngine and their first vehicle of note has been seen before, known as True Electric. This vehicle is different to the 9-3 ePower, though it’s based on what is basically the same technology.

Auto Motor and Sport visited ElectroEngine and got a chance to drive the True Electric Saab 9-3 Convertible. Swedes should go to Auto Motor and Sport and download the full report in PDF form. My thanks to Arild for this translation.

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Close Encounter

Saab 9-3 True Electric. In about one year’s time, Saab can start selling electric cars that can be driven 300 km on one charge and that costs around 350000 SEK. The company Electroengine, located in Uppsala, is responsible for the flash of genius.

Electric SaabYou’ve read it before: bzzzzzzz, and then the electric car drives away! Zero emissions, zero excitement, zero reality in the world of car buyers – however, the maximum dream, weight and price. But this is not yet another test drive down the same line. Although I’m sitting in the first prototype the driving experience is so good that I would buy it directly. There is no feeling of drawbacks.

The engines don’t sound like high whining sewing machines, but make a kind of rough sound and, yes, a mechanical feeling. Directly on the drive shafts there are two large electric motors of more than 165 horsepower each! There is no gearbox and therefore not any noise from the gears. But what gives you that real feeling of desire is not really the car itself but the fact that the technology inside has taken a major leap forward compared to the electric cars I’ve previously driven. And the strange thing, or should we say symptomatic thing, is that the technology does not come from the automotive sector, but from a small technology company, who happens to be located in Uppsala: Electroengine.

Read more

Saab 9-3 ePower

Press release, via the Saab Newsroom:

Saab 9-3 ePower

Saab Automobile is taking its first step towards developing an all-electric vehicle with the Saab 9-3 ePower.

Making its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month, the Saab 9-3 ePower is the prototype for a test fleet of 70 vehicles which will participate in extensive field trials in Sweden early next year.

The performance of the cars will be evaluated under a variety of real world driving conditions as part of the development process for a purpose-built, electric Saab vehicle. Targets to be verified include a projected driving range of approximately 200 kilometers through the use of high density energy storage in lithium-ion battery cells.

Read more

Electric Saab 9-3 to show in Paris

TTELA write that the ElectroEngine Saab 9-3 will be showing at the Paris Auto Show next month.

Right now, there are 10 electric test vehicles in the hands of various companies and government agencies in Sweden. That test fleet will be boosted by another 70 vehicles in the hands of selected private customers later this year (pick me, pick me!!).

In the meantime, Saab and ElectroEngine will be showing off the vehicles at the Paris Auto Show….

– Yes, this is of course a technology concept. It’s about showing off technology that can be used in vehicles [that follow],” says chief engineer Mats Fägerhag.

TTELA point out that this is not Saab’s first “green” concept to go on show. They’ve had the BioHybrid convertible and the E100 BioPower concept, along with others in other countries. They also had a hand in powertrain development for the upcoming Chevy Volt and Opel Ampera vehicles that have gone from concept to (pre)production.

All of that, however, hasn’t led to a production ‘green’ vehicle for Saab – yet.

It is clear that Saab, with extensive expertise in the field, will soon have its own options in the area to show off.

– We do not comment on future products, but there is news [still to come] for both the short and long term,” says Mats Fägerhag.

The Paris Auto Show is on from October 2-17.

Saab are not expected to have anything substantially new to look at, though they will premiere new, lower emissions versions of their 9-3 range and of course, the 2011 Saab 9-5.

There is some hope that they might also announce some form of new technology partnership(s), however this is still just conjecture and hopeful expectation at this point.

Thanks Tobias, for the tip!

Boston TV Saab story now online

Earlier in the week I wrote about a Saab story done in Boston, featuring my mates at Charles River Saab. It’s about the rebound in the car industry and the cult of Saab, so it should make for some good viewing.

Click here to watch it.

As a bonus, there’s also a separate story on electric cars, featuring Boston Power, the company providing the battery technology that Saab are using for their test fleet in conjunction with True Electric.

Click here to watch that one.

Thanks to Pierre for the tip!

Clarification on the Electric Saabs story

A few days ago, a story appeared on the Swedish Radio website that hinted at a possibility that Saab could be producing electric cars for consumers by the end of this year.

SR quoted Saab’s technical director, Mats Fägerhag, saying that Saab had been lagging behind in terms of this technology and wanted to be at the forefront by the end of the year.

Several news agencies read this as meaning production vehicles, however I’ve heard from Saab in the last 24 hours, suggesting (as suspected) that SR were referring to the trial program that’s being run with Innovatum, ElectroEngine, Boston Power, etc, which will see 100 test vehicles leased to various business and municipal agencies by the end of the year.

Thanks to the people at Saab for the update.

Sunday Night Quick Snippets – Electric Saabs Edition

Hey all,

It’s a long weekend here this weekend. And it’s a hot one here in Tassie.

Whilst we’ve been baking under blue skies, Melbourne – just a few hundred kilometers north of us – has had storms like you wouldn’t believe. One of our regulars, Mike900, works not far from a big BMW dealership in the city. He went down to take a look at their forecourt last night and everything there was hail damaged (10cm diameter hailstones, too).

Ouch.

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I guess I better get this on site as I’ve got a lot of email about it.

Saab’s head of Tech Development has been talking with Swedish Radio about electric cars. Specifically, about electric Saabs. If the Googletrans is correct, then Saab could be aiming to have electric technology available by the end of the year (?!)

Must be in the forefront of electric cars

Saab has come so far with its plans to manufacture a car that runs on electricity that it will start selling electric cars in one year.

– You will see hele-electric Saabs go out to the customer in December, “said Mats Fägerhag is technical director at Saab in Trollhattan.

Car manufacturers around the world focusing really hard to get the full electric cars. At the Geneva Motor Show, many brands and other companies that showed up their electric cars they were planning to launch within a few years.

But Saab is thus at once to get the electric cars already at the end of the year, although it remains to be done:

– We are lagging behind, I have known for a long time, “says Mats Fägerhag, but we are very fast so within a year we will be in the forefront.

But the foundation has been in the electric vehicle architecture driven by Innovatum in Trollhattan Saab, but that had more fingers in the pie than previously wanted to tell you:

– The elsaaben we were all very much behind But while we were out-owned GM, we had to be careful to tell us what we should invest in because it would be in line with the company’s other strategies. Going to a different degree of electrification we believe is a necessity, but since it is the question of how to do it, “says Mats Fägerhag.

I might have to send some emails out about this. When he says they’ll go out to customers in December, does that mean they’ll be available for sale, or they’ll send a bunch out to selected customers for field trials?

It’d certainly be another rabbit out of a hat if they could go electric so quickly. There has, of course, been the True Electric joint venture, but I didn’t think that was so close to being ready for public consumption. They were planning on producing 100 cars that would be distributed to corporate and municipal lessees in Sweden (with maybe a few in the US).

It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.

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I’ve spent a good part of this evening wading through all the styling variables for the SU Forum. There are a lot of them!

Click that link and scroll down to the bottom. There you should see a drop down box with “Default Style” written there. Click the drop down and there should be an option for “SU Laser Red”.

It’s my first attempt at Forum theming, so be gentle. I know it needs a new header, but that’ll come in time.

The soft launch continues…..

“ZE Saab 9-3” electric car confirmed to roll out soon

The following is a Googletrans press release from Electro Engine:

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A Swedish co-operative with the task of rapidly developing high-performance electric cars has been shaped. On 10 December, Energy Agency took the necessary decision to launch the project. Two demo cars have already been presented this year and these have been very well received. The new project intends to produce over 100 electric cars in 2010.

The collaborative partners are Saab Automobile AB, Electro Engineering in Sweden AB, the battery company Boston-Power Inc., Innovatum AB in Trollhättan and the Power Circle, electric power industry association. These five parties have shown that there is a unique and competitive concept rooted in reality. Based on the positive experiences of demo vehicles, which have already been seen since the summer of 2009, they have now decided to go ahead and extend the electric car project.

The project ZE Saab 9-3, which recognized the zero emission of CO2 (Zero Emission), Swedish engineering gives a boost and encourage the dissemination of knowledge in the world in one of the hottest technology shifts that are currently unfolding. From the start of the project includes a unique combination of vehicle manufacturers (Saab), driveline supplier (Electro engine) and battery manufacturers (Boston-Power), Project Coordination (Innovatum) and the demonstration and power skills (Power Circle). At the same time, the proposal to provide for a Swedish kompetensnod for electric car development.

The team reflects the mix of skills needed to quickly get the vehicles in a demo fleet and thereby ensure a Swedish-based and competitive electric car solution. The cooperating parties behind the Swedish electric car has received support from the Energy Agency of 86 million kronor. The total project cost is approximately 200 million.

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And there’s some comment on this in NyTeknik today as well:

When the cars roll out from the assembly the next two years, they leased to municipalities, businesses and organizations. Half will roll in Gothenburg and Trollhättan, half in Uppsala and Stockholm.

– In addition, perhaps some ports in Boston, said Thomas Bergfjord CEO of Electro Engineering, which develops power electronics in cars……

……Saab in Trollhättan builds cars, but without engine, gearbox, exhaust and fuel tank. How much of the rest of the production, which could end up in Sweden is unclear.

The guys at Power Circle (a consortium of power providers in Sweden) are having their say about it too, calling for incentives from the government:

But if Sweden is to become a leading electric car electric car buyers nation must have some hefty carrots to nibble on to boost sales, according to Christer Asplund. An electric car is significantly more expensive than a conventional car.

He points to Norway and France, where state and municipal electric cars are taken seriously and implemented a series of incentives for electric car electric car owners and buyers – price discounts, tax rebates, and free parking, among other things.

Should the project be successful, they are predicting sales of up to 60,000 electric vehicle in Sweden by 2020. 10% of those are estimated to be Swedish, but let’s hope for more than that.

Thanks to various contributors (you know who you are)

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