Electric car perspectives

The electric car has long been an issue for Saab. Even before Victor Muller and NEVS ... electric convertibles were on the road for test drives in Germany ... what happened to them? In Europe, the topic of EV is not really starting out, in China something is moving. A look at Asia - for the late start of the week.

Saab 9-3 e-Power Concept
Saab 9-3 e-Power Concept

BAIC & the 9-3 EV

The electric car in Germany - difficult terrain. Maybe because you don't really want it politically or because corporations make such good money on old technology like the combustion engines. The German providers revised their goals for 2020 yesterday, a boom seems far away.

In China, there is a strong emphasis on the electronic card - because the party likes it that way. The production figures, low for a long time, climb at an impressive speed. 72.711 plug-in hybrids were sold in China in the first half of the year, an increase of 240%. The production of pure electric cars increased by 250% to 76.233 units. Even if the growth should halve in each of the following years: a fine market is maturing here.

BYD is the market leader in EVs (all-electric and plug-in hybrid) with 19.789 units sold in the first half of 2015. BAIC follows in third place with 3 vehicles; if you exclude the hybrid models, BAIC is number 5.892 for all-electric drives.

The bestseller is the 150 / 160 / 200 series, the EV looks similar to a Mercedes B-Class. In addition, the manufacturer also delivers Electric car on Saab 9-5 Basis off - with 89 registrations in the first half of 2015 a wallflower in the statistics.

What is still missing is an EV on Saab 9-3 basis. A study was shown at fairs, since then it is quiet around the electric middle class of BAIC.

BAIC e150 EV. Most sold EV series in China.
BAIC e150 EV. Most sold EV series in China.

At NEVS in Trollhättan one will hope that it stays that way. If BAIC had licensed an electric car based on Saab 9-3, you could have a problem with the license for the NEVS derivative. An experience that Opel was able to make in the past when attempts were made to obtain licenses for China and were rejected as another GM derivative.

However, NEVS, and I rarely hear that, has partnered with Dongfeng to get things on the right track. The backbone of the new partnership should pave the way for the production license and license for the NEVS 9-3 EV. If you do not allow any gross mistakes.

Growth market EV?

300.000 “New Energy Vehicles”, purely electric and hybrids, could be sold in China this year. Little in a market with 18.4 million new registrations in 2014, just a small piece of the cake. Nevertheless, with the consistent political will and generous funding, an exciting market with opportunities for innovative providers could arise. How fast it grows, how big it will be, is difficult to say. EV predictions are easily wrong.

Renault-Nissan's Carlos Ghosn predicted millions of electrified Renaults and Nissan for 2016 1.5. Currently the counter is on 250.000 vehicles. Or Barack Obama. 1 million electric cars should travel this year in the US. With his prediction from the year 2011 he was thoroughly wrong. In January, it was 280.000.

Are the China Swedes from Trollhättan with their 9-3 EV and market launch 2017 or 18 in a consolidating market in the right place at the right time? NEVS is building a plant for 200.000 units, GM announced a $ 14 million investment in a new “green” factory for 470 EVs 200.000 days ago. The domestic manufacturers also follow suit. Fisker, like battery manufacturer A123 stranded with Chinese owners, is also coming back on the market. In 2016, the first new Fisker EV should roll off the assembly lines at the US plant in Morenos Valley.

The EV from the new NEVS plant will hit a well-stocked market. Technically, you go other ways than the Saab Automobile AB. The former partners from Sweden are no longer on board, new suppliers provide the necessary technology, except the platform everything will be different.

There is no catchy brand name to get started; BAIC could offer competing technology on a comparable platform. A “Senova” 9-3 EV at an aggressive price could spoil the party for NEVS. GM also plans to place 200.000 units of new energy cars in the market. The prelude to the displacement competition! And the customer in China has become demanding ...

It counts innovative technology, clever software, good design, new ideas in sales. An excellent price / performance ratio, noticeably lower operating costs than conventional drives. Then the Swedish-Chinese EV story becomes a success story.

16 thoughts on "Electric car perspectives"

  • Why not start with a hybrid with range extender (ie a small combustion engine). Then you minimize the tiresome Akku- topic. There were interesting approaches from GM / Opel and BMW. Unfortunately, all of the EV are currently terribly ugly cucumbers (except Tesla and VW).

  • On the coast yes, in the country rather less.

  • The low level of success of electric cars in Germany is probably related to the higher speeds driven. While combustion engines work more efficiently at higher speeds (such as when driving at high speed on the motorway) and thus “compensate” for part of the additional consumption caused by air resistance, electric motors are always equally efficient. This means that if you drive 200 instead of 100, the power consumption roughly quadruples.

    China certainly has fewer highways and the maximum speed is 120 km / h (according to Wikipedia), as in the US.

    Before a mass distribution of the electric car only much better batteries must be invented. Approximately 3-Fache energy density.

  • Does not Norway benefit from the Gulf Stream?

  • Then I just hope that NEVS lays down a new bankruptcy in the near future,
    because with the known Konstelation also DongFeng will sooner or later jump off.
    Wonder how long can NEVS stay afloat?

    New Konkrus and maybe a new owner coming from the gasoline industry …….

  • A few corrections:

    Regarding the report by NYTimes / Broder: there was obviously a deliberate deception - many of his claims could easily be refuted.
    More here: http://insideevs.com/tesla-responds-to-ny-times-model-s-drive-broder-drove-in-circles-to-kill-range/

    Regarding winter suitability: in Norway, a country where the winter is much harder and longer than average, the share of electric cars in new registrations from January to August 2015 was over 17%. These cars are not only used in summer. In the first place in the registrations of electric cars during this period was the e-Golf, in second place the Model S from Tesla, the latter of course is usually not used as a second car (the only e-Golf owner I know personally has this The only family car in use here in Northern Norway - it replaced a Volvo V70).

    The “refueling times” are at least with the Tesla superchargers on a very bearable level, the time when charging is just enough to stretch your feet a bit and have a bite to eat. The coverage is not yet perfect (e.g. here in Northern Norway), but it is more than impressive across Europe (http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger).

    Hydrogen drive: Here we are talking about electric cars, whose electricity is generated in a fuel cell from hydrogen. The efficiency here is approximately at 50% of a battery-powered electric car, a gas station network is not yet rudimentary.

    After 3 months and good 9.000 electric kilometers, I can say from my own experience that I, like the vast majority of drivers of electric cars, under no circumstances wish to return to the burner and hope that the technology also in Norway as soon as possible The acquisition becomes more affordable.

  • My prediction is that Dongfeng will sooner or later swallow the store. NEVS is too small to be a serious partner. The new cars will carry the name SAEB because the old one will not get back. See Rover what is Roewe now and no pig interested anymore.
    The SAEB company will then languish like Roewe at SAIC, which by the way was a state-ordered compulsory merger.

  • Oh thank you ... maybe I should read several sources in the future 😀

  • I miss the topic completely at the A ...! Both Nevs and electromobility. If Trollhättan becomes superfluous for Nevs, it's great !! Then let them sell the work quickly! 😉

  • If you want to be in the black it is almost hopeless to bet on Ev's…. even if they are technically innovative and of high quality.
    Is that also the case with Tesla…. Top vehicles and still in the red….

  • On closer inspection, NEVS has no choice but to put on the Chinese electrical card. The name Saab is gone and thus the Europe and America business. Since in China probably the policy is on ČV`s you can certainly score there with a good product. With the new plant, however, if the Chinese card stings, Trollhättan sooner or later becomes superfluous. If electromobility in Europe is to become really important in the near future, surely nobody has been waiting for NEVS and Chinese products. There are other companies that can certainly offer good solutions. You could say that with Dongfeng, NEVS has a strong partner on the side, but it's just a strategic partner. Dongfeng is not financially involved. If things are not going according to plan then a partnership is not worth much anymore. How to be with the company at the Dongfeng shareholder (PSA) and GM could see well. Despite financial participation was there quickly out of breath. On the other hand, you have to keep PSA to good, who can hold it with GM from without getting itself under the wheels. In Europe, however, NEVS no longer has a chance. Nobody needs redirected China cars and then it's more than good that Saab is not on top of that.

  • Certainly would be the better strategy - in order to generate significant income, however, one should also quickly use the so-called “2. Pillar ”+ Sweden image to be there so that the other EV manufacturers are not all ahead.

    It becomes very clear that time is pressing!

  • I'm not sure, but is the technology “ready for Sweden” yet?
    Tesla got quite a broadside in the US from John Broder, who was testing the Model S for the New York Times. It was testing on the US east coast in winter and was confronted with range problems. This problem was completely lost in the Tesla support chaos. This chaos showed up in such a way that on the way to the next “Supercharger”, in order to optimize the range, it was recommended to vary the speed. He couldn't find the Supercharger any further because it was unlit in a corner of a supermarket parking lot. But that was just the tip of the chaos.
    The real problem, however, was that the range had collapsed due to the cool temperatures and he therefore urgently had to charge.

    But you do not need a Tesla to experience that, a friend of mine as a family car (!) Last summer in the summer brought a Renault Zoe. His experience is that in winter the range decreases by up to 30%.

    Now neither the US East Coast nor the area along the Franconian Saale has such winters as in (parts of) Sweden. And I think it will take even longer for the battery-powered electric car to work well in all parts of the world.

    But I personally have more hopes for hydrogen propulsion. For me it has several advantages. On the one hand, many gasoline engines could (in principle) be retrofitted, on the other hand, cars with electric motors would no longer have to lug around several hundred kilos of “ballast”.
    And the tank times would be on a bearable level.

  • Do I have to understand the China strategy? Why does not NEVS start in Sweden with the EV? Saab had always benefited from the good Sweden image. Will NEVS earn points with Made in China?
    The other Swedes can do better. “The Swedish SUV”, the Volvo XC60 campaign, says it all.

  • Actually, I have resigned myself to the fact that there will probably be no new Saab, and if so, if it came from NEVS, they would be able to achieve a brilliant stroke of genius that I would buy a car from NEVS. But nevertheless, even if with a lot of sadness in your heart, you are still interested in what is going on in the former Saabwerk. I am particularly excited about the bussiness plan that will be presented in the fall, but what should come other than China and EV. However, I have to say that this whole NEVS story made me take a closer look at the topic of electromobility. At the moment I need 2 cars because my V6 is drinking too much in the city and surroundings. On the other hand, however, it is still a special experience when traveling overland and on longer trips. My personal conclusion is that a modern 9-3 estate car with plug-in hybrid and a properly dimensioned combustion engine at an acceptable price would be exactly my thing. I would get something similar from my friendly Saab dealer in the Stuttgart area in the form of an SUV. However, from a Japanese manufacturer where I'm not even sure how to spell it correctly, so the search continues.

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