Former Saab factory to produce electric NEVS 9-3 EV from 2018
Trollhättan plant will be the European post of the Chinese-backed National Electric Vehicle Sweden company; production of its 9-3-based EV has commenced in China
Under ownership of National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), which acquired the main assets of Saab when it of business in 2012, the Trollhättan factory will begin building 9-3 EVs in the second half of 2018. It will be the brand’s second production plant, joining the Tianjin facility in north-eastern China.
Tianjin, which has now begun building the 9-3 EV for the Chinese market, has an initial capacity of 50,000 units per year but is planned to be expanded to enable production of 220,000 vehicles per year by 2019.
The 9-3 EV is based on the underpinnings of the Saab 9-3 and has a similar exterior design but ditches the old model’s drivetrain. It has a claimed range of 186 miles and features wi-fi connectivity, over-the-air update software capability and smartphone-controllable vehicle charging.
The 9-3 EV has formed the base for a 9-3X EV, an electric crossover that will be produced for China but could also be expanded to reach into Europe and elsewhere. NEVS aims to use its growing model line-up to become one of the world’s biggest makers of electric cars.
It has stated that it plans to operate ‘mobility pilot’ schemes of the 9-3 EV in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe in 2020.
As part of its push, NEVS is planning to open a second factory in China, where electric car demand has skyrocketed due to stringent emissions limits. It’s also considering opening a factory in Turkey.
NEVS chairman Kai Johan Jiang told Automotive News that his company has already received around 300,000 orders for its electric cars from ride-sharing firms such as Panda New Energy.
NEVS is based in Sweden but has strong ties to China, being co-owned by several big companies from the area: National Modern Energy Holdings, Tianjin Binhai Hi-Tech Industrial Development Area and Beijing State Research Information Technology Company.
Source: Autocar Online