Saab has announced plans to roll out a test fleet of electric vehicles within the first quarter of 2011. The Trollhattan based company will use global locations for the test fleet including home country Sweden. Housing the EV tech that’s being researched will be the next generation 9-3.
Saab’s EV test fleet will be launched in partnership with Boston-Power and Electroengine. Boston Power is a Massachusetts-based company that manufactures lithium ion batteries while Electroengine is a Swedish firm that modifies conventional combustion engine vehicles into high performance electric vehicles.
“The main purpose is to draw technology from this test fleet, technology that we can then incorporate quickly. The key target short-term is to drive fuel consumption down. You can electrify certain portions of the vehicle,” said Jan Ake Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile AB.
Victor Muller who is the chairman of Saab and CEO of Spyker Cars also touched on the impending Saab 92 small car, calling it “the missing link” and confirming that they have almost everything in place, including the design and specifications. “The only missing link is making the contract with a potential partner and how we are going to fund it. It’s currently not in our business plan, but it has a compelling business case,” he said.
There are speculations that Saab’s small car will use BMW’s MINI platform and drivetrains.