Saab get funds to build 100 electric cars

This is one of the stories that I covered very briefly, but missed the details of in the last 24 hours or so. There’s definitely not enough hours in the day to cover all this stuff effectively and give you time to read it before moving on to the next thing.
The story, from NyTeknik:

Today, it was clear that the electric car project ZE Saab 9-3 in Trollhattan receive 86.7 million crowns in aid of the Swedish state…..ZE stands for Zero Emissions. After having converted a total of three Saab 9-3 for electric cars is now the rate increase. More than 100 cars, “said Energy Agency.
If everything goes the way it can lead to the Boston Power starts a new battery factory in Sweden.
Such a development has already been discussed, confirming Anders Lewald, electric car expert at Energy Agency.

The project is a continuation of previous work that led to the True Electric vehicle we all saw a few months ago, made by a company called Electro Engine but in partnership with a number of companies, including Saab.
Of course, Saab have got to hang around long enough to build these 100 cars, unless they’re planning to get them all done by New Year’s Eve.
This is a great project for Saab to be so involved in, but we need a decision, darnit!

Driving the Electro Engine Saab 9-3 Convertible

There was a comment earlier today from theSandySaab stating that he’d recently driven the Electro Engine Saab 9-3 Convertible.
I wrote to him asking for some more background so that I could post the comment as an article here. Instead of a little background, we’ve got the whole enchilada!!
It turns out tSS is a real electric-car-watcher, as you’ll see below.
The vehicle sounds impressive (still, again) and here’s hoping that Saab get to continue to play a role in its continued development. I noted when checking out Electro Engine’s website today that they’re running an electric SportCombi as a well as the electric Convertible we’ve seen before.
My thanks to theSandySaab for these thoughts.

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So, as a Saab nut since almost as long as I can remember, I have been following SU and THS for some years now, especially during the recent financial/car industry crisis. The day starts and ends with SU. For financial reasons I have done most of my own work on old VW Beetles many years ago, but have at least a reasonable mechanical and engineering understanding. Also tried to understand the technology behind wankel/rotary engines, EGR, VVC etc… but always had a feeling the technology behind even new ideas was already old. Why explode dino juice to get propulsion? After all, even the first cars were electric.
Thanks to the strong oil interests weighing in on Ford’s decision to produce a gasoline engine in the model T, we still today using mainly oil to propel our vehicles. I have always wondered what happened to the GM EV1 that went silent after the initial massive media coverage. A year ago I came across the movie “Who killed the electrical car”.
The sad truth is explained very well in this documentary, revealing how the car industry needs the internal combustion engine, as they are in bed with the oil industry, the technology is there already and paid for with no or little interest to reinvent, but mainly, they need the customers back to for scheduled maintenance and servicing of this dirty, old engine technology. Oil, spark plugs, filters, you name it, you pay for it. See the movie!
Since then I have followed electric car developments, mainly the Tesla Motors and it’s Roadster. Finally there is a fun to drive electric alternative with very good range and clever people behind the company. However, the car is prohibitively expensive, and the more you get to know about their battery technology you realize how complex it is. Still, they guarantee the battery pack to keep at least 80% of it’s original range up to 7 years. Also, the model S looks promising, and looks very good.
ElectroEngine Saab 9-3Reading on SU about the ElectroEngine’s True Electric concept, I was very happy, intrigued and curious. An electric Saab with the latest technology!
So when passing by in Sweden I contacted them and got a talk and a short test drive, one of many they did that day. With a core team of only 3 persons, they are working on a very tight schedule. The drive was a very pleasant experience, very drivable, also at low speeds and extremely nice low end torque. It virtually looked, felt and drove like the original (or better) and very quiet. Even the fuel gauge was the same, just wired to indicate the charge status.

Read moreDriving the Electro Engine Saab 9-3 Convertible

Swedish electric car: three years away

This seems like a little bit of a downer after all the promise showed by the Electro Engine Saab 9-3 Convertible, but it seems we might still be three years from regular production of an electric car from Sweden.

A gathering took place recently at the Innovatum facility in Trollhattan. All of the potential suppliers and manufacturers got together to see where the possibilities for electric vehicles were at.

Ny Teknik was there to cover it (Googletrans)

During a seminar at Innovatum technology park in Trollhättan, Saab Automobile and Volvo Cars discussed Swedish development of electric cars. 29 sub-contractors also had a chance to present techniques for the car makers – techniques which can allow a Swedish-made electric car within three years…..

The day seems to have been driven by an effort called the Flash Project, which seems to be a collaboration of a number of companies, including Saab and Electro Engine. It seems to be a government funded research project aimed at speeding the development of electric propulsion for mass produced automobiles.

There was a great openness between suppliers. All automakers have the same problem – to get electric cars are running well and be in the forefront when it comes to climate comfort. It is good if everyone uses the same type of solutions.” he tells Nyteknik.se, and continues:

– To create an electric car does not happen overnight, it is a very large project. But I really think that there were many great Swedish ideas at the seminar.

It seems we’re still all a while away from sneaking up behind pedestrians and scaring them inside out driving one of those sexy silent Electro Engine Saab 9-3 Convertibles, but hopefully Saab can remain at the forefront of this research and come up with a segment-leading example when it’s finally ready.

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Thanks Magnus!

AMS check out the ElectroEngine Saab 9-3 Convertible

There was a lot of noise (pardon the pun) made about the ElectroEngine Saab 9-3 Convertible a few months ago when it was displayed at a big think tank event in Sweden called Almedalen Week 2009.
All’s been quiet since then but that doesn’t mean nothing’s been going on. Electro Engine seem to have increased the range of their vehicles and are hoping to do a limited run of 100 vehicles next year, a project that Saab are reportedly quite agreeable to.
TrueElecAMS.jpg The guys over at Auto Motor and Sport recently headed to Uppsala and checked out the vehicle for themselves. The car runs 300 kilometers on a charge, has over 330hp, goes from 0-100km/h in just 6.3 seconds and is scheduled to be priced at around half the cost of a Tesla.
Their main question was….. what’s the catch?
Well, you’ll have to buy the magazine, either at the news stand or digitally in order to find out if there is one, but it seems that Alrik from AMS came away from the test drive very impressed.
The 100 vehicles built next year will be evaluation vehicles that will be used to verify the car’s battery backs – the key to the whole package. The battery packs store more energy and charge faster, but perhaps more importantly, they’re constructed in such a way that if one of the cells of the battery pack is faulty, the individual cell can be replaced, which is much cheaper than replacing the whole battery pack.
This is a very exciting development, with Saab right in the middle of it.

Press release on True Electric

I don’t want to get too hooked up with this company, because there may not be any substantive link with Saab in the future.
The display car is a Saab 9-3 convertible, and they have received development help from Innovatum in Trollhattan, who also do work on projects with Saab. But whether Saab can/will take this any further in terms of production model development remains to be seen.
Regardless, it’s an interesting development in electric propulsion and a lot of it’s taken place right in Saab’s backyard, so here’s the Googletrans of a press release that came out on the eve of the car’s debut at Almedalen Week 2009:
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Swedish company behind the next-generation electric cars.
2009-06-25 14:13
The Swedish company Electro Engine in Sweden AB has developed a new system that enables high-performance electric of conventional cars today is powered by internal combustion. Demonstration vehicles shown to the public during Almedal Week. The launch will take place June 29 kl. 09.00 in Visby harbor.
The system, known as True ElectricTM, can be used directly in the manufacture of new machine cars. It can also be used to convert second-hand cars to pure electric cars. This can be done without any reduction in car safety and performance. Moreover, the system has the potential to be far more cost effective than the system used for electric traction in the market today. A key component is a revolutionary and patent-pending systems for battery management.
Electro Engines CEO, Thomas Bergensfjord, notes, “many want to continue running stylish, practical and safe cars with good performance while they are keen to choose a cleaner and more cost-effective alternative. With True ElectricTM can now combine electric cars environmental friendliness and low running costs with the existing cars function and performance. For example, we may have a SAAB 9-3 to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.5 seconds, reaching a speed of 180 km/h and run 15-20 mil (which I think is 150-200 miles or kilometers – SW) of clean electricity without we changed the car exterior or interiört – with both the trunk and pull the hook to go. ”
According to Christer Asplund, project manager at the Power Circle, electricity industry association, this is a world news which may have a significant impact in bilvärlden. “We can really tell an important step in a technology. Moreover, it is a novelty which I believe is awaited the car makers. There has been much talk and long, not least in the sites and forums online, the need for a really good electric cars. A car that combines the advantages of large, safe cars with good performance and electric all the benefits, both in terms of environmental benefits and lower operating costs. The first vehicle shown is a SAAB is especially gratifying. “adds Christer Asplund.
“It is a unique concept as Electro Engine have produced. Cooperation with the vehicle manufacturers have already begun, both for cars and other vehicles. The American tradition of innovation and engineering, today’s launch is something to be proud of, both at home and internationally”,
Tore Helmersson, president of Innovatum AB, a development of Swedish industry and based in Trollhättan, has committed to deep to support the Electro Engine. Innovatum operates a number of future projects aimed at reducing dependence on fossil fuels. “Electric cars will eventually be an important part in the Swedish vehicle production. With Electro Engine illustrated that American innovators force can pave the way for a technology”, summarizes Tore Helmersson.
True ElectricTM is a modular and future-proof system for electric propulsion based on patent-pending innovations in particular battery management, power electronics and advanced synkronmotorer. The system then adapted to each vehicle type and model.
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And here’s another photos, from Allt om Motor, where there’s another story:

This is a unique concept that Electroengine has developed. Cooperation with manufacturers has started, both for cars and other types of veichles. For Swedish tradition of invention and engineering the launch today is something to be proud of, both here in Sweden and internationally”

TrueElectric9-3conv2.jpg
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Thanks to Per and Carl-Henrik!

ElectroSaab!

Could this possibly be another Saab ‘green’ technology-share for the future?
It’s an independant operation, but it’s Swedish (in Uppsala), it looks to be quite innovative, and they’ve used a Saab 9-3 convertible as their display car.
true-electric-Saab.jpg
The company is called True Electric and they’ll be displaying the car – which is operational and ready for test drives – at an event called Almedalen 2009. It’s hard for me to understand exactly where this is being held from the translation, but I’m sure you Swedes can find it.
True Electric’s technology involves Lithium Ion batteries like other electric vehicles, but the difference seems to be the way they’re managed. Each sell is individually regulated and instead of using thousands of batteries (like other electric vehicles) the True Electric model uses only 160 for a travel distance of around 300km.
It should be less costly to install and maintain, as well. Conversion of existing cars is a few years away, but they’re hoping to nail it down to the lower end of the 50,000 to 100,000 SEK price range. Maintenance should be cheaper because with individually regulated cells, you can replace an individual cell if faulty, rather than replace the whole battery pack.
It’s certainly an interesting technology (and a good looking car to model it with). I hope they can take this further, preferably with that little Swedish company in Trollhattan.
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Thanks to Daniel G for the links!

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