Electric Saab One Step Closer to Reality With $307 Million Investment
National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), owner of now-bankrupt Saab, announced last week that it had signed a deal worth $307 million with Qingdao Qingbo Investment Company. The deal calls for NEVS to eventually build electric vehicles in Qindao, China. Under terms of the agreement, Qingdao Qingbo will secure 22 percent of NEVS shares.
More importantly, this deal will allow NEVS to move forward with plans to launch its first electric vehicle in early 2014, and will provide NEVS with easy access to a shipping port for exportation of its future vehicles
Though headquartered in Trollhättan, Sweden, NEVS will eventually divert production from its Trollhättan factory to a manufacturing facility in Qingdao if and when demand exceeds total production capacity in Sweden.
NEVS hopes to begin production on an electric vehicle based on the Saab 9-3 in the second half of 2013, but this plan—which began in Paris two years ago, shifted with Saab's change of ownership in 2012, and continued to slowly evolve throughout the year—is an ongoing saga that is likely to continue on its rocky path.
If the track record of other EV start-ups can serve as a precedent, NEVS will fall behind on an optimistic launch schedule of an all-electric Saab. Maybe in 2015?
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