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Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Saab 9-3 EV exposed

2010-09-20 09:04
Saab’s first electric car is called ePower and it is being prepared for the upcoming Paris motor show, the company has revealed.

The ePower is a converted Saab 9-3 SportsCombi wagon fitted with a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The floor pan has been modified and the battery back is housed in the space usually reserved for the exhaust and fuel systems. It takes three to six hours to charge the batteries and the range should be about 200km, Saab said.

The 137kW electric motor drives the front wheels and Saab quotes a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.5sec and a top speed of 150km/h. An auto-style transmission offers drive, neutral, park and reverse modes and an electric parking brake is fitted to maximise the use of space within the cabin.

The traditional rev counter, fuel and turbo boost displays are replaced in the instrument cluster by battery status, power consumption and driving range indicators.

A fleet of 70 ePower units will be tested by hundreds of families in Sweden through 2011 and 2012, the company said, although it was not stated whether the cars would be commercially available.

The Swedish automaker is also using its Paris show stand to introduced three engines for its 9-5 range: a two-litre turbocharged BioPower engine that runs on ethanol, a two-litre turbodiesel and a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine.

Wheels24 will be at the Paris motor show to bring you the latest coverage.

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