NEVS electric cars with Scandinavian DNA

We have already visited the press shop and the bodyshop. In the future, NEVS electric cars will be rolled off the production line for Sweden, Europe and North America. We have a surprise for us and so we are driven with three vehicles on the other side in the development department.

Body shop. View at Rohvossen at NEVS.
Body shop. View at Rohvossen at NEVS.

As part of the Saab Festival 2015 many guests had the chance to see the first floor of this building with its test facilities. But there are floors in this building that normally no outsiders have ever penetrated.

The prototype clinic of NEVS

On the second floor, where the prototype clinic is, you do not have the chance to set foot every day. In a three-storey room surrounded by offices with windows, the models of the prototypes are usually processed here. For us, the PhoeniX concept car from Geneva 2011 has been driven there. We also see the design study 9-3 Turbo Edition. NEVS wanted to bring it to market before deciding to "lay down" the 9-3 with conventional drive.

The Turbo Edition would have been an interesting 9-3 if this car had seen the light of day: Changed front section, different rear section, new hood, changes in the interior, central turbo display. And all of this in the “cardinal red” turbo color as it was with the first 99 Turbo!

New platform for the NEVS electric car

It was interesting that Hans-Martin could then tell us a little bit about how the Phoenix platform has continued in recent years. The development has definitely not stopped, the platform has been adapted further and adapted to the needs. To speak of Phoenix 2.0 would be a clear understatement, the platform is as flexible today as it would have been possible in the days of Spyker.

The first NEVS electric car for China, which is due to hit the market in 2017, will largely look like the old 9-3. But the platform, which will be the basis for the "old" body, is completely different from the known floor pan. NEVS has decided to only continue to use the body design. The savings in development costs mean that the electric cars can be offered at an attractive price in China. This step is understandable, the 9-3 in its last form is more or less unknown in China, and is therefore perceived as a new vehicle by Chinese customers.

The look into the future. The NEVS design department

As so often, the best comes to the end: The fourth floor, the holy grail in design. In order to gain entry, it is necessary to hand over your mobile phone, hand in cameras and then through the security checkpoint. After these security measures we are then on the top floor. A room that houses well 35 desks and holds a "brainstorming zone" in the middle. Around it are the people who come from 14 nations and work on the design future of the NEVS brand.

Of course, we can not show any pictures of this office due to the prohibition of photo prohibition. Everywhere are materials and drawings for the new vehicles to see! But we are allowed to share an impression, and that is more than overwhelming. The NEVS design language starts where Saab was last. Each individual drawing of the walls is design-technically recognizable for a Saab connoisseur as a further development of the design language. Hockeysticks on the sides, continuous light strips and cockpit-like pulpits around the driver will shape the design future of the NEVS brand.

NEVS focuses on long-term dialogue

What impression remains after this day? Back on the way home, with the necessary distance to the plant and the euphoria that occurs again and again? You can understand why NEVS decided against the name Saab. To invest a significant part of the available funds for license money? It would not have been a smart move.

After much deliberation, NEVS decided to invest in its own name and a long-term trademark. Which one owns and does not have to license. The new products, the electric cars from NEVS, are intended to open up a larger customer base. Including customers who might never have boarded a Saab. The impression that this company can succeed if the products are right is definitely there. Knowing how much Saab DNA is in every consideration, how much Saab know-how is gathered in the form of former employees, lets look at a positive future with NEVS.

It is also very interesting that we were informed at the end of this day. Events like the one on last Wednesday will be held in the future with a certain regularity for “ambassadors” from the Saab scene. They are intended to give the Saab community an insight into the newly emerging product.

We would like to thank Michèl Annink, Jonas Hernqvist, Mikael Östlund, Thomas Ahlzen and Hans-Martin Forhofhof for the hospitality!

31 thoughts on "NEVS electric cars with Scandinavian DNA"

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    9-3 Turbo Edition? Sounds like I bought it right away ...

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      I would have taken that too. The knowledge of this missed opportunity hurts now.

      Then a Microlino for the city as a clean e-mobile. Shit, the first series is sold out!

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    A possible efficiency advantage of rechargeable batteries is probably not as great as adopted by Thilo, but you can probably say that it is given. Overall, the situation is quite complex and multifactorial and the race between the approaches is currently open. To regard fuel cells as the final stage in e-cars and batteries just as an intermediate step, I think accordingly also wrong. Some comments on the complexity of the situation:

    Even before 15, I've been working on patent applications for fuel cells, and none of these technologies has come to market so far. Fuel cells are bitches, bitchy, easily poisoned and immediately snapped.

    On the other hand, I have been observing battery technology for about 2008 and even then there were positive reports about new approaches with up to ten times higher energy density. And even this has not gotten onto the market until today.

    There is a massive lack of components in both technologies. Some argue that there is already a power grid, but not a hydrogen network. But: I expect 25-40% more power consumption in electric cars (of course not in perilous micro-vehicles, but in real cars that want to use even normal families, like Teslas or just the Saabs). And there is neither an infrastructure nor suitable fast charging stations. Even the so-called fast charging stations, which can deliver eg 25 or 50 kW, load with 200 kWh batteries, which are at least necessary, almost 10, or 5 h. That is not fast. And yet the cables are already heavy.

    -But that with the hydrogen infrastructure would also be feasible if it were based on the electricity infrastructure. The hydrogen can only be obtained from water by electrolysis, and that would theoretically also be possible at home. But there are no such plants, nor the compressors for 700 Bar Druck as a small garage. So: Both approaches require massive upgrades.

    -Tanks with 700 bar pressure were declared "ready for the market" years ago. Yeah, where are you? It's just being delayed. Something is completely wrong in the camp of the fuel cell representatives.

    - In spite of the lower efficiency of hydrogen compared to rechargeable batteries, this could be compensated by a greater practicability, because hydrogen is just as easy to store as electricity in rechargeable batteries. Therefore, the advantage also depends on how much and how much electricity is available. And that's a question that's not in the automotive / cell chemistry / fuel cell field, but in other technology areas, including research on fusion reactors.

    As you can see, many factors. The battery side could easily win the race, for when one manages to make ad hoc batteries with a significantly higher energy density and at low cost marketable. Then the race would probably have gone.

    Such a sudden profit is not to be seen in fuel cells, at least for me, there does not seem to be a single relevant factor as a tip on the scales, but frankly, is not recognizable in Batteries that this jump would succeed, because it works little progress. I once suspected that the rumors about an electric car from Apple could be related to a breakthrough in the battery Apple could have made. But I'm skeptical, because you do not listen to it. If Apple did that (and who else would have the money for the research) NEVS would be at the end, just like Tesla.

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      Quote: And even this has not come to the market today.
      I think this lobby from different areas is powerful and prevents:
      - Oil-producing countries / COMPANIES (!!!)
      -processing chem. Industry (also in Germany !!!)
      Automobile manufacturer in particular
      have NO INTEREST in e-mobility. These companies want to change the old one minimally (!) And bring “dinosaur technology” to the buyer as long as possible. The "mobility / propulsion revolution" can only come about with massive amounts of money power and an immediate mass of affordable e-cars. Who can and should do this ????
      Toyota? VW? GM? I don't believe in these 3! Too "half-hearted".
      Personally, I believe more in Fa. Like Google, Apple and Co. They have the financial power, craving heads who want to make a difference, want to leave old ways of thinking.
      It remains exciting!
      The “combustion engines” can then later drive with us on the “Hansa Veteranen Rallye” 😉

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        This can really be the case with fuel cells. You develop something to be prepared for everything and to leave a good impression, and then you do not actually bring it to the market.

        The case is probably different with rechargeable batteries. There is also strong interest here outside of the car market, and there the electronic (cell phone and laptop batteries) as well as the electrotechnical (power storage) and chemical industries (chemicals for batteries) are interested in further developments. This area is not dealt with at all by the current automakers, as far as I can see. Tesla's new battery factory also uses conventional technologies; Tesla probably doesn't have a “Cell Chemistry” research department, does it?

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      Thanks for the interesting summary.
      From a practical point of view, it would certainly be useful for NEVS to also offer hybrid models. So EV with internal combustion engine. Either as a plug-in hybrid or as a range extender. To put only on EVs with battery carries great risk. Hydrogen is far from being ready.
      In China - the engine of the current development at NEVS - as far as I know, EVs and hybrids a'la Prius and Co are allowed to drive into the cities due to the eternal smog in the cities. Normal burners are excluded.
      That's why I could well imagine that NEVS will not only offer pure EVs.

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    Hope we can see the 9-3 Turbo Edition. Sounds like a blast

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    Saab always boasted of being on the front line, but now I see that SAAB (sorry NEVS) is just behind. A judge would be, if one would go directly into the fuel cell technology. Unfortunately, this company lacks the courage to do so. The battery-powered vehicles are just suitable for local traffic. If, on the other hand, you standardize the batteries and simply switch them, then this would be interesting. You can charge batteries without a car.

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      Fuel cells in cars are a waste of energy - due to the system, the energy consumption is approx. 3 times as high as in a purely battery-electric car. Battery electric cars are already suitable for long journeys today, and in the not too distant future they will also be affordable for a larger group of buyers.

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    The author of the article is called Gustav. Thank you for the super exciting contribution!
    Is Gustav now part of the blog team?

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      Gustav has been supporting us in the background for years. He is very busy professionally and therefore can not regularly appear as an author in appearance. The appointment at NEVS Mark and I could not perceive so quickly, Gustav spontaneously jumped in for which we are very grateful!

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    Very nice, so there really seems to be a lot going on ...

    The Master of Suspense (Tom) knew that very well when he inserted articles that encouraged one or the other reader to express themselves critically about NEVS again, or even to be angry ...

    After all, the tour is over a week ago today. But so be it, we want an exciting blog - including guesswork and controversy. OK then!

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    In any case, I think it's positive that jobs are being maintained and created in Trollhättan. I find the focus on electric mobility just right, because the future lies there. It will be exciting if the following generations are also offered in Europe, but not only the car is important, but also the right charging infrastructure.

    I've been traveling in Europe a little over 3 km for the last nearly 8000 weeks and would not want to return to fossil fuel in everyday vehicles. BTW: Range anxiety I had never experienced, also the loading of the vehicle was mostly done much faster than I had drunk my coffee / read mails or talked to other electric car drivers. Not only at Saab, there is such a community

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      Then you either have a miracle electric car or drink your coffee very slowly. Once refueling with pay takes in a conventional car max. 5 min and you can drive 600km again. And with you?

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        Do you drive 1000 Km daily?
        Some time ago I saw a survey on the German motorist's movement profile (I do not know where anymore), then 85% of the daily routes would already be possible with actual EVs / ranges. The remaining 15% long-distance riders just have to stay with burners until there are solutions.
        So, do not always see everything black and white. It's always a start.

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        To put it in a nutshell: Thilo is in a country with limited roads. Electric cars are almost ideal there, there are no roads that would be comparable to German highways.

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    The partly aggressive comments (especially yesterday) I do not understand either.
    It's about MADE IN SWEDEN, in Trollhättan, not MADE IN CHINA.

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    Some of the excitements cannot be understood. NEVS is an adventure that accompanies the blog with Tom and Mark. In a few years time we might say: Hey, we were there from the start ... Or maybe not.
    That it has nothing to do with Saab is clear to everyone. If design ties in with it and evolves, so much the better. At some point I need a new car, maybe the alternative comes from Sweden. With all the lack of ideas around this would be the best thing that can happen to us.

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    Hello
    I find it understandable that NEVs are now starting to clarify the brand name with the public relations.
    We blog readers are also closer, thanks to Tom and Marc (thank you)! The other potential customers have hardly noticed anything yet.
    But of course it shouldn't be surprising that there are Saab fans who don't like what's happening now. These voices existed before ... (e.g. about the GM)
    Greeting André

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      Moin
      Of course I was talking about GM.
      Greeting André

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      Everything is understandable, as long as one respects the comments on the form and tone. Unfortunately does not work 100% perfect, as you could read today. It would be nice if readers who are not compatible with the situation would pay attention.

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    Why not also invite the international trade press to do so remains a mystery to me ...

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      I would not see it that way. It is too early, that will come. In addition, NEVS has a lot of press presence in Sweden. The press review will come next week. Before we continue with Saab

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    You seem to have learned from the mistakes of the past. It is also pleasing that new employees seem to create a more open communication culture.
    Is it just the question what these were ominous bodies that were spotted in the Bodyshop ???

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    Maybe you finally understood that you need buyers to get to the market. Good product and new name are not necessarily associated with success (see Qoros).
    But if SAAB drivers are hoped for and won as potential customers, then you have people who present the product to the public. That definitely changes public perception.
    And if we SAAB riders are equally satisfied with the NEVS vehicles, we are the best ambassadors a company can have.

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    Never too late to be open and the plan to organize future events for botscans from the Saab scene is promising. I will follow this well and maybe as a Saabist in the future we would like to drive with a NEVS.
    This, however, looks very good and glad that there is now this openness.

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    Fascinating ... The question really arises why NEVS has been stonewalling for years and only now (reputation battered) is approaching fans and potential buyers.

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      What should they show?
      Once they had the turbo built. I would have been a customer with or without SAAB lettering.

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    Exciting this news from NEVS! I have one question left:
    WHY FIRST NOW THIS OPENNESS ???

    Of course, NEVS MUST find / convince new customers! Otherwise the company is like SAAB before… 🙁

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      The question is legitimate. The decision in terms of brand names is probably a reason. In addition, I see the involvement of employees who have not been working at NEVS for long, in the background. The car industry is changing rapidly, new ways to dialogue with the customer must be found. NEVS is currently doing just fine.

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