A look at the NEVS electric car factory in Tianjin

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.

Production plant. Photo Credit: NEVS

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 Collaboration 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.

Electric car pre-series production in the Chinese "Frickeboa"?

The plant in Tianjin itself is still a long way from being ready for production. But as in Trollhättan, there is 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.

9 thoughts on "A look at the NEVS electric car factory in Tianjin"

  • blank

    We may still see some surprises there, and companies will appear on the battery-powered slipper market that we really didn't expect. Bukki mentioned logistics companies, for example. Take a look at the German post office. Without further ado, they simply build their e-transporters themselves and are now bringing a “civil” version of it onto the market for everyone. I also find Dyson exciting, who knows, I think in the distant past there were also cars and motorcycles from Miele. I am actually wondering why more electrical and electronic companies are not taking on this topic. Siemens, for example, has been building electric vehicles for a long time, but only on rails. Would certainly be exciting and would bring a lot of color into the vehicle landscape if there were Panasonic, Sony, Bosch, Siemens or Philips vehicles on the roads in the future

  • blank

    Very good info. Thank you. But it shows again the inability of NEVS. You can only look jealously at Volvo and Landrover.

    • blank

      But they do not have really great “environmental cars” either!

  • blank

    I also “loved” Bob Lutz's article. Highly interesting and based on the theoretically logical scenario, the journey will probably really go in the direction described by Lutz. The scope for design for classic automobile manufacturers will rapidly decrease in the next 10 years. People whose blood is more than 50% gasoline, even if they may be brilliant “old school auto engineers”, will no longer be able to follow this development. This z. Some people who are highly versed in automotive technology naturally also suspect that they have already mutated into “fossils”, but due to their socialization in the old automotive world, they can no longer accompany or even shape the revolution described by Lutz. It's tragic, but it can't be turned back.

    Even many normal drivers cannot really imagine this new type of “partially individual” mobility. But they too suspect that things will change tremendously in the next 10 years.

    As a normal citizen, who is still in the world of internal combustion engines to locate, one should continue driving his fossil fuel guzzlers for a while, because maybe a rash pansicher switch to a battery car (no hybrid!) Also only an interim solution.

    The vision that maybe in 20 to 25 years we will be moved completely autonomously from A to B in “modular cabin trains” is, in my opinion, not a confused science fiction but the real change in relation to personal mobility.

    Even a pioneer like Tesla would soon be obsolete in this world. Logistics companies and other pioneers that we do not even know yet will be ahead and set the tone.

    My newest car is ten years old and my oldest skimpy 20. You should just wait and see, refuel as cheaply as possible and enjoy the occasional traffic jam-free roads.

    Everything will be fine!

    • blank

      By theory, NEVS was always right. They would have had the makings of a European electric car pioneer. But only from the theory
      The Bob Lutz article is first class. Can one sign to 100%. That's the future.

  • blank

    The career becomes a little clearer through the photo series. One should simply continue to wait and see how the production of vehicles develops - perhaps next to the Chinese vehicle series there are also electric vehicles “made in Trollhättan” for the European market.

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