The Saab 9-3 ePower Concept was first introduced at the Paris Motor Show in September 2010. Now, a fleet of vehicles based on that concept is under construction at Saab’s factory in Trollhattan.
Off to the side of Saab’s main production line is a room called Frickeboa, which is a multi-purpose facility that we’ll learn a bit more about in future entries on this site. Think of it as a combination of a prototype production line and training facility.
Right now, Frickeboa is being used to hand build Saab’s test fleet of zero emissions vehicles. The particular vehicles you can see in this article are intended to be used for validation testing inside the company. The final fleet vehicles will go out later this year and be used extensively by a select group of drivers, with feedback from the process being used to further improve the technology.
The Saab 9-3 ePower, the basis for these test vehicles, uses a lithium-ion battery pack and a new, advanced battery management system to deliver 200 kilometers of zero-emissions driving with the convenience of a full sized family wagon.
The Saab ePower is the first electric vehicle from Saab and is a result of a co-operation between Saab Automobile, Boston Power (batteries), Electroengine in Sweden AB (battery management system), Innovatum (project management), Power Circle (Sweden’s electric power industry trade organization) and the Swedish Energy Agency (partial financing).
Here’s a look at what’s happening on the build right now…
Saab 9-3 SportCombi bodies awaiting their fit-out as zero emissions electric vehicles.
Parts awaiting fitment are stored off to the side of the Frickeboa production line. Each crate has a label denoting an individual ZE vehicle from the production run.
A couple of vehicles on the line…… think of Frickeboa as a smaller, but fully functional version, of the main production line.
And a closer view of the same vehicle…..
A view of the battery case inside the vehicle. It goes down the middle of the car, allowing for optimal weight distribution and forms a divider between the two rear seats.
And a view from the rear of the car….
The cars take almost two weeks to build by hand at Frickeboa and come out as complete vehicles, just like off the real line.
The Saab 9-3 ePower transmission gearshift in detail…..
A look at the battery pack in a mostly-finished interior…..
And the finishing touch……