Saab's 9-3 ePower EV Motors Ahead

Saab’s new owners announced the all-electric 9-3 ePower late last year, and has just revealed the system that will provide motive power:  a 180 hp “PowerPhase” system from UQM Technologies capable of pushing the car to 60 mph in a pretty zippy 8.5 seconds (about the same as a 1980’s 5.0 Mustang convertible w/ an automatic).  The 9-3 ePower’s top speed will be limited to 93 mph (150 km), and the UQM batteries should be good for 120 miles of “normal driving”.

One point of interest is UQM’s air-cooled battery-pack, which seems to go against the trend of “advanced” water-cooled batteries in cars like the Chevy Volt.  Saab maintains the move will significantly cut costs without significantly degrading performance, promising full power even in extreme temperatures.

We’ll see, won’t we?

You can read Saab’s full press release, below.

UQM Technologies PowerPhase® Electric Propulsion System Powers Saab 9-3 ePower All-Electric Development Test Fleet

Saab 9-3 ePower test fleet of 70 vehicles will be powered by UQM Technologies electric motors and controllers
Deliveries of PowerPhase 135kW systems to Saab began in Q3 of CY 2010
These electric propulsion systems for the Saab 9-3 ePower vehicles were previously announced by UQM as an order from an international OEM
UQM has in place validated production lines for its PowerPhase 100 and 135kW systems with annual capacity of 40,000 systems
LONGMONT, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–UQM Technologies, Inc. (NYSE Amex: UQM), a developer of alternative-energy technologies, has been selected by Saab to power its all-electric Saab 9-3 ePower development test fleet. Initial deliveries began in the third calendar quarter of 2010 and will continue through CY 2011.

“Our history of technological innovation in developing electric propulsion systems combined with extensive production engineering capabilities gives us a unique advantage in meeting the development and production needs of vehicle manufacturers.”
“This order from Saab reinforces our ability to meet the performance, quality and cost needs of international automobile companies developing electric and hybrid vehicles,” said Eric Ridenour, President and CEO of UQM Technologies. “The PowerPhase 135kW systems for Saab are being built on our validated production lines with annual capacity of 40,000 systems. These production lines are among the many steps we have taken to fully prepare UQM to grow from test-fleet programs to production fulfillment.”

The UQM PowerPhase 135 kW electric propulsion systems will power the 70 Saab 9-3 ePower test fleet vehicles. The 9-3 ePower program is the first step towards developing a potential Saab production vehicle. The PowerPhase 135kW features a power-dense 135 kW/181 hp electric motor and advanced control system. Saab will use our propulsion system with a single-speed transmission, and the company has published performance estimates of 100 km/hr (62 mph) acceleration in just 8.5 seconds together with a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). Saab will begin field trials of the test fleet in Sweden early this year.

“We are looking forward to working with Saab through its automotive testing and qualification program with our PowerPhase electric propulsion system,” said Ridenour. “Our history of technological innovation in developing electric propulsion systems combined with extensive production engineering capabilities gives us a unique advantage in meeting the development and production needs of vehicle manufacturers.”

About Saab

Saab, or Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (Swedish Aircraft Company), was founded in 1937 as an aircraft manufacturer and revealed its first prototype passenger car 10 years later after the formation of the Saab Car Division. In 1990, Saab Automobile AB was created as a separate company, jointly owned by the Saab Scania Group and General Motors, and became a wholly owned GM subsidiary in 2000. In February 2010, Spyker Cars N.V. of the Netherlands, acquired the company from GM as an independently-run business.

Saab cars reflect the brand’s unique Scandinavian design ethic, which is fused with its aircraft engineering heritage. The company is a global premium car maker with a distinguished history of innovation. It is recognized for its pioneering role in turbocharging, as well as occupant safety and the introduction of flex-fuel technology through Saab BioPower. Saab Automobile AB currently employs approximately 3,800 staff in Sweden, where it operates world-class production and technical development facilities at its headquarters in Trollhättan, 70 km north of Gothenburg.

Please visit www.saab.com for more information.

About UQM Technologies

UQM Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of power-dense, high-efficiency electric motors, generators and power electronic controllers for the automotive, aerospace, military and industrial markets. A major emphasis for UQM is developing products for the alternative-energy technologies sector, including propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, under-the-hood power accessories and other vehicle auxiliaries. UQM headquarters, engineering, product development center and manufacturing operation are located in Longmont, Colorado.

Please visit www.uqm.com for more information.

This Release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act. These statements appear in a number of places in this Release and include statements regarding our plans, beliefs or current expectations, including those plans, beliefs and expectations of our officers and directors with respect to, among other things, orders to be received under our supply agreement with CODA Automotive, our ability to successfully expand our manufacturing facilities, and the continued growth of the electric-powered vehicle industry. Important Risk Factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements are contained in our Form 10-Q filed today, which is available through our website at www.uqm.com or at www.sec.gov.

Source:  Saab, via Engadget.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.