Saab Builds EV Concept Fleet

Saab has announced that it is building a fleet of electric vehicles based on its 2010 9-3 ePower model, which we first reported on last fall. According to the automaker’s original plans, at least seventy 9-3 ePower cars will be manufactured for testing in the field later this year.

The electric vehicles are currently being built at Saab’s production facility in Trollhättan, Sweden at a prototype factory the company calls Frickeboa. The cars are being assembled by hand, and take approximately two weeks to be completed.

image via Saab

Equipped with a 184 horsepower, front-wheel electric motor, the car can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.5 seconds, and has top speed of roughly 93 miles per hour. Powered by a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery system, the 9-3 ePower has a stated range of almost 125 miles on a full charge, which can take six hours to fill from a household outlet.

Saab has released some photos of the vehicles being put together which you can see below:

image via Saab

The automaker says the cars seen above will resemble the final production models that will be available for public purchase in the future, but that final variations may be altered depending on feedback they receive from drivers of the test fleet.

image via Saab

As you can see, the lithium-ion battery pack sits in the middle of the vehicle, between the seats of where the rear passengers would sit, creating a sort of divider or armrest once the interior is added.

image via Saab

A final look at the electric motor system of the 9-3 ePower. It looks as if Saab, like many other automakers these days, is catching on to at least giving electric vehicles a trial run.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.