Chinese electric cars based on former Saab 9-3, 9-3X models
NEVS 9-3 concept, 2017 CES Asia
Swedish auto brand Saab may never return, but the company NEVS has officially debuted its electric cars adapted from Saab assets it acquired following the brand's fall from grace.
NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) is, in fact, a Swedish company, though it's backed by Chinese investors.
And the new 9-3 series is NEVS' first major production vehicle to be shown.
Yes, it's based on the long-gone Saab 9-3 and 9-3X models that date back to a January 2002 debut, but they are powered exclusively by electric motors.
NEVS did not provide specifics on batteries or motors, but it says a single charge should result in 300 kilometers (186 miles) of range, likely on the European test cycle that produces figures 20 to 30 percent higher than U.S. EPA range ratings.
NEVS doesn't plan to start producing the 9-3 series for production yet. Instead, it has plans for ride- and car-sharing programs first
The cars will be deployed in Tianjin City in China, to become the core for what NEVS calls a "new type of mobility solution" for sustainable cities.
The city of Tianjin is home to 15 million people.
As for the NEVS 9-3 series itself, there are plenty of modern amenities bundled into the car.
They include a Wi-Fi hotspot, over-the-air update capability, smartphone control, fleet management tracking and recording software, and a cabin air filter that is said to eliminate 99 percent of "hazardous particles."
NEVS also says the vehicles will exhibit Saab traits—without actually mentioning the word Saab in its press release—of safety, quality, handling, and comfort.
Panda Energy Company has already ordered 150,000 NEVS 9-3 series vehicles, and NEVS will eventually add the 9-3X wagon model to expand its model portfolio.
Once the first 150,000 cars are delivered, Panda Energy will order an additional 100,000 cars from NEVS.
The 9-3 series will be produced in NEVS' Chinese factories, which have the ability to produce 200,000 cars per year, using tooling imported from the former Saab plant in Trollhättan, Sweden.
While NEVS also owns that plant, and the brand's in-development next-generation Phoenix platform, it cannot use the Saab name or its logo.
NEVS said the 9-3 series will make its official debut at the 2017 CES Asia show in Shanghai, where it plans to outline additional information on the cars and the mobility program.