Things Look Pretty Sad For The Zombie Electric Saab

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This just in for your daily (monthly? yearly?) dose of Saab news: the reborn EV Saab 9-3 sounds bleak as all hell. I don’t know if my poor heart can take any more of this.

When we last left off, we learned that National Electric Vehicle Sweden (which is a Chinese company that now owns Saab) had just received its electric vehicle production license from the Chinese government. The plan was that, as part of a $12 billion deal with Chinese leasing firm, Panda New Energy, NEVS would sell its new EV starting the first half of 2017. There were some delays.

But! It now seems that we’re one step closer to (maybe?) getting the production version, as Auto Express has some new numbers to report:

NEVS claims that the 9-3 EV will is capable of 186 miles on a single charge with a top speed of 87mph, though little has been revealed about the basis of the car’s powertrain. NEVS plans to produce 50,000 vehicles a year during its first phase of production; phase two will see NEVS produce 220,000 EVs a year.

Beyond the all-electric 9-3, second and third-generation EVs are planned. Neither of these future vehicles have been named or teased, but both will be developed in partnership with Chinese ride-sharing service DiDi Chuxing. China’s Uber equivalent predicts that by 2020, they will run one million vehicles on its ride-sharing platform across the country. NEVS will be one of DiDi’s main EV providers.


The numbers are... not great. The range isn’t bad, but the top speed is lower than that of a Nissan Leaf’s. Overall, the thing doesn’t seem like it will have anything near the performance of a Tesla. I don’t know, maybe I’m being mean. Maybe I should just be grateful that we’re getting a Saab at all.

We’ll see how the re-branded Saabs will fare when (if?) they do come out.