Saab has released pictures of its first-ever electric car, the Saab 9-3 ePower, which will make its debut at the 2010 Paris Auto Show later this month.
The Saab ePower is a result of a co-operation between Saab Automobile, Boston Power (batteries), Electroengine in Sweden AB (electric power trains), Innovatum (project management) and Power Circle (Sweden’s electric power industry trade organization).
Under the hood is a 135 kW/184 hp electric motor driving the front wheels through a single-speed transmission. Instant torque enables zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration is just 8.5 seconds, together with a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).
Projected driving range between charges is 200km (125 miles) from the vehicle’s 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
The pack is intended to support re-charge cycles equivalent to 10 years average use. It can be fully recharged from a domestic mains supply in three to six hours, depending on depletion status. Charging times can be greatly reduced if the voltage of the electrical feed is raised, as there is no limitation on the battery’s input capacity.
The battery pack is in the space where the fuel tank and exhaust system would be on the standard car.
Saab will begin field trials in Sweden early next year with a fleet of 70 test cars, so it’s just as well the battery pack is capable of working in temperatures as low as -30 degrees C.
All vehicles will be equipped with aircraft-style black box recorders to monitor the performance of the test cars.
“The 9-3 ePower program is our first step towards developing a potential production vehicle that will deliver the sort of advanced performance our customers expect. We now look forward to working with our technical partners in developing such a product,” said an Ake Jonsson, Saab Automobile’s CEO.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]