Switch e-cars. Saab classic with electric drive.

The topic is busy and it is trendy anyway. Converting Saab classics and youngtimers to electric drives is one of the topics of the future. It has been a trend in the USA for a long time, in Europe it is becoming increasingly popular. Converting a classic has a few arguments in itself, perhaps even combining the best of the past and the future.

SWITCH e-car based on Saab 9.3 I
SWITCH e-car based on Saab 9.3 I © SWITCH e-cars 2020

Many Saab owners appreciate their vehicles. They love the clear, Scandinavian design and high functionality. But in the background the anxious question always remains: how long you can still use and enjoy your vehicle. A start-up from Lower Saxony says it has now found an answer to the question. It converts youngtimers and classics into electric cars.

The Saab classic becomes an electric car

With Switch e-cars, a company is entering the market that seems to have a certain affinity for Saab. The first conversion of the start-up from the greater Hanover area is a Saab 9-3 I Cabriolet. The choice of the brand from Sweden was probably not made by chance. According to co-founder and partner Lutz Kirsten, the first 9-3 series is particularly suitable for converting to an electric drive. Swedish individuality is preserved, and the drive is emission-free if you run on “green” electricity. The entry into city centers will remain secure in the future, you are setting a counterpoint against the wave of consumption and you are traveling with a clear conscience and reassuringly far from the mainstream.

Do you ensure the individual mobility of the future?

Switch e-cars was founded in 2019 by Michael Hintz and Lutz Kirsten after a preparatory phase of more than 18 months. Kirsten started with a start-up in the transport industry in 1985 after completing her studies. His path led to the establishment of PoolOne Giant Media, which he claims to be the largest provider of giant poster spaces. He has been involved in electromobility since 2018 and is one of the two partners of Switch e-cars. Michael Hinz started his professional career after studying process management at Volkswagen, before starting to look after companies in the automotive industry as an independent management consultant. Like Lutz Kirsten, he is one of the two partners in the start-up.

The company is based in Sarstedt near Hanover, and the young company has access to an extensive network of engineers and specialists. Electric car remover Heiko Fleck is part of this network as well as longstanding Saab specialists. The vehicles themselves are converted at Scania near Stania in Eime. The workshop has been a fixed term for Saab drivers in the Hildesheim region and beyond.

Is this the future for classics and classic cars?

In addition to vehicles that have already been converted, such as the Saab 9-3 e-Cabriolet, which have been completely rebuilt for sale, Switch e-cars also offers other options. With the “My Car” program, just about any classic or classic car can be converted to an electric drive. With “Dream Cars” you have another mainstay in your portfolio. Here, Switch e-cars guides the customer from the first idea to implementation through the complete range of electrical options.

The company's founders see their approach as sustainable and future-oriented. Maintaining the old, often classic body and many components saves resources. What is available does not have to be produced again and is used for years, if not decades. Further advantages are lower costs during operation due to a reduction in maintenance requirements, lower consumption and a reduced tax burden. Switch e-cars also sees an increase in value of the classic after its electrification.

Whether this will be the case is an open question. In the medium term, it depends on the market acceptance and the quality of the conversions. Will we be gliding through the area with electrified classics in the future? Silent, without emissions? Or is it a sacrilege to convert classic vehicles to electric cars? How do the readers see that? Vote and discuss with us!

Can you convert classic cars and youngtimers into electric cars?

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10 thoughts on "Switch e-cars. Saab classic with electric drive."

  • I would also say difficult question. On the one hand, Saab history gets lost, but on the other hand, the cars may be preserved. However, the values ​​offered do not make it particularly attractive to convert such a car. Maybe things would look different in a Saab 96.

  • When it comes to converting to an e-drive, you are of course torn. My SAAB vehicle, which is largely in good technical condition. I would not like to convert to e-drive. If you take a look at the used portals, vehicles are now often offered in which the condition is not bad, but apparently an economic total loss and thus a "slaughter" is due due to an engine failure at mileage from 250,000. This is particularly true of the non-turbos, which are rather unpopular in the scene. For this vehicle, a conversion to e-drive could be the chance for a further automotive life. I can only advise you to be open in this regard, because we cannot rule out that at some point the city centers may only be accessible to “emission-free” vehicles. I looked at the converted SAAB at “Scania bei Stania”: The e-SAAB made a good impression on me! In particular, the 900-2 and the 9.3I (until 2002) can still be converted without any problems due to the manageable number of control units.

  • Je suis très intéressé de mettre ma Saab 3 liters TDI 9-5 Estate en ELECTRIQUE. Do you have knowledge of the transformation that is possible pour les particuliers? Merci et dans l'attente de votre réponse. D-Mamy

  • An alternative future idea that may one day become a reality, if we are legally forced to partially or completely exclude internal combustion engines from traffic. Then it is all about maintaining a good body, the mechanical repair of which can be costly.

    But how about the TÜV or MFK? Do not think that these changes are entitled to old-timer status for vehicles over 30 years of age or are there future “environmental protection” adjustments in this regard? Depending on the legal situation, it will probably depend on the country!

  • As a collector's item, seasonal vehicle or third-party car, it was out of the question for me, so the car should remain original. But if you use your Saab as an everyday car, you may have an interesting alternative.
    @Herbert Hürsch
    At the moment, a hybrid is, in my opinion, the type of drive with the most sensible solution anyway. The range of the electric motor should only be higher, min 100km. That would be very good.

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  • The political view (PS)

    The article doesn't surprise me. Was it even here or at Skandix? Wherever. In any case, I stumbled upon retro-electrified classic cars and Swedes before ...

    It was a Volvo P1800. Almost a 007. At least one Roger Moore in the role of Simon Templer. That's pretty cool and stylish for an EV ...

    Be that as it may, if politicians do not want the promotion of electromobility to be understood solely as an economic stimulus program, take the environment and resources seriously, then they would not only have to promote such retrofits (the existing cars), but also the promotion also be higher than that for brand new and still to be manufactured EVs.

    Let me guess. But that's not how it works. Right?

  • In principle, I think the idea is good, certainly not suitable for every Saab and its driver, but definitely worth considering. It would also be important to be able to arm it back if desired.

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  • The 5th element

    Already while reading and before I came to the survey with its 3 options, a 4th possibility shot through my head.

    A hybrid would be cool. And one who leaves the original technology largely in the car and could be dismantled. That would be a kind of ecotuning, with the option of driving inner-city short distances purely electrically or also using 30 KW and the torque of an electric motor. For example, to be able to overtake a tractor with 3 trailers on a country road during the harvest season even more safely than would be possible with a turbo alone.

    At least that would be my personal favorite. Nevertheless, I find the approach exciting and the conversion more sustainable than an electric new car, provided that no drive trains are sacrificed that are still good for many kilometers. Because then the conversion would have the pale aftertaste of a scrappage bonus light.

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  • A very difficult question. Should one, shouldn't one? I am absolutely undecided whether I would be able to “sacrifice” a good SAAB for a conversion. It would look different if the technology was bad and only the sheet metal was good.

    Thanks to the blog for keeping up in Corona times!

    18
  • ´´Everything is well and good ... but you CANNOT be serious´´ to convert a SAAB as an ideal and as desired with a turbo engine into an e-mobile! Should it become sportier and more modern, or what is the background? ´´This gives the car a completely different grace which has nothing to do with the original idea of ​​SAAB´´´! Never be able to inspire a vehicle ´´! ´´ // Should those at VW BMW MERCEDES and all other European manufacturers do whatever they want with their vehicles - must something like this also find its way into SAAB?

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