PARIS PREVIEW: Saab to show electric 9-3
The model is the prototype for a test fleet of 70 vehicles that will participate in extensive field trials in Sweden early next year and will be used to help develop a purpose-built, electric Saab vehicle with a projected driving range of approximately 200km through the use of high-density energy storage in lithium-ion battery cells.
The Saab ePower is the result of a co-operation between Saab Automobile, Boston Power (batteries), Electroengine in Sweden AB (electric power trains), Innovatum (project management) and Power Circle (Sweden’s electric power industry trade organisation).
The model is based on a standard 9-3 SportWagon to offer the comfort, size and practicality of a SportWagon. Under the bonnet is a 184PS electric motor driving the front wheels through a single-speed transmission. Instant torque enables zero to 100kph acceleration in 8.5 seconds, together with a top speed of 150kph.
As you might expect from the Swedish carmaker, the battery pack is designed to operate with full power in ambient temperatures as low as -30ºC. It can be fully recharged from a domestic mains supply in three to six hours, depending on depletion status. Its lithium-ion battery cells are also the first to receive a Nordic Ecolabel accreditation for their environmental safety and sustainability, which includes manufacturing processes.
The user trials will see hundreds of drivers evaluate a 70-strong fleet of Saab 9-3 ePowers in central, west and eastern Sweden during 2011-12.
Mats Fägerhag, executive director, vehicle engineering at Saab Automobile, said: 'This programme is designed to evaluate the potential for developing a high-performance, zero-emission electric vehicle and is an important next-step in the extension of our EcoPower propulsion strategy. This includes engine rightsizing, which exploits Saab expertise in turbocharging, as well as the use of alternative fuel, such as bio-ethanol through Saab BioPower technology.'