The world seems to be full of electric car startups. New manufacturers announce themselves every week, it is slowly getting inflationary. Below that we find prominent and unexpected names. Like the vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson, which wants to invest more than € 2 billion in electric car development.
Or Alcraft engine. A startup with roots that could not be British. Part of the founders comes from the venerable Morgan Motor Company. And if it has to be that we should drive in the future electric car, then please so. With so much style, and in one Alcraft GT.
Clearly - very few startups will survive. And not everyone takes advantage of their roots. Like NEVS, which had the opportunity to build on the unique history of a legendary brand. The material for a very special story was and is there. It was not used. There was nothing left of promises and announcements, on the contrary. In the Stallbacka, the management is fighting a lonely, tough struggle for existence.
In contrast to earlier Saab times this runs without fan base and support from outside. No convoys, no social media views. You look interested, but without empathy and with a cold eye on what is happening.
NEVS R&D Center Trollhättan. The desks are orphaned.
In Sweden the situation seems to have been resolved. At least as far as employees are concerned, because they decide for themselves where they see their future. The result: The empty desks in the R&D center are increasing every week. This does not only apply to the project-based consultants who have left NEVS completely. Even among the permanent positions, more and more developers are choosing a future beyond the old Saab buildings.
The startup hopes to cooperate with DiDi on liquidity and the future. The recently agreed Cooperation is a glimmer of hope, not more! Beyond Sweden, they are already preparing for the future. The pre-series production of the NEVS 9-3 EV should start in a few weeks. What seems strange with regard to the problems in Trollhättan, is quite understandable. A tangible, perhaps even well made, product and production could increase the credibility and value of the electric car startup.
Pre-series electric car production in the Chinese “Frickeboa”?
The plant in Tianjin itself is still a long way from being ready for production. But as in Trollhättan, the Asian R&D Center has a Chinese version of the legendary "Frickeboa". A separate production line where vehicles could largely be assembled by hand. The NEVS R&D Center in Tianjin employs 200 people, and under certain circumstances they could soon start producing pre-series electric cars.
The body parts must come from Sweden. In Trollhättan sheet metal parts are manufactured and shipped to China. The pictures of the tour of the Chinese factory, taken in September 2017, shows a strange emptiness. The body shop with its big presses is still missing, but one discovers well-known components. Saab rims, the torso of an 9-3 body, and a look at the technology of electric cars. Before 12 months, we were not allowed to photograph these details yet, NEVS puts them online in China.
There are interesting details from the development of a startup that could have been Swedish and unique, but decided for China. And that still has an uncertain future ahead of it.