NEVS announced its plans to reopen the former-Saab factory in Trollhatan, Sweden to produce its electric 9-3s in the second half of next year.
The Chinese-owned National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which bought the assets of Saab after the Swedish automaker went out of business, is planning to take advantage of the growing global demand for purely electric vehicles.
“We are embracing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the automobile industry with the adoption of new technologies moving forward way faster than we expected,” Chairman Kai Johan Jiang said to Bloomberg. “Car-sharing, electrification of automobiles and autonomous driving are the inevitable trend of future transport.”
The company has already begun production of the 9-3 EV in their Tianjin factory in north-eastern China, which has an initial capacity of 50,000 cars per year and will be expanded to 220,000 cars by 2019.
NEVS claims that they already have 300,000 orders for electric cars from ride-sharing companies such as Panda New Energy. Based on the outdated Saab 9-3 platform, the electric NEVS 9-3 is said to offer a driving range of 300km (186 miles), a WiFi hotspot, over-the-air updates and a special air filtration system. The company showcased a redesigned concept of the 9-3 in early 2017 but these changes never made it to production apparently.
“Being an early entrant to the electric-car industry doesn’t guarantee the company will be a strong player,” Jiang said. “It is like great waves sweeping away sand -95 percent of companies won’t be able to survive, given that the threshold of electric car-making is quite high, so passion alone won’t nail it.”