Saab 9-3 ePower Electric Prototype Unveiled

The Saab 9-3 ePower prototype, Saab’s first electric vehicle, has finally been unveiled.  The new offering from the renowned Swedish automobile company will debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Featuring a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 135 kW (184 PS / 181 hp) electric motor, the ePower can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 8.5 seconds, hit a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph), and travel up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) on a single charge.

Depleted batteries can be recharged with a standard household outlet in less than six hours. Charging time can be significantly reduced if the voltage of the electrical feed is higher says the company, because there is no limit to the battery’s input capacity.

Sources say that 70 ePowers will be “evaluated under a variety of real world driving conditions as part of the development process for a purpose-built, electric Saab vehicle.” The plan is that Saab will enlist hundreds of drivers as well as their families for test-driving and evaluation.

These tests are likely to take place in central, west and eastern Sweden during 2011-12. In order to keep track of essential data, each car will have aircraft-style, black box recorders. The company says that the car will not be going into mass production.

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