NEVS on Wednesday at the 2017 CES Asia taking place in Shanghai, China previewed a pair of electric cars destined for production and outlined a new mobility program to be run in the Chinese port city of Tianjin.
NEVS is the company that bought the assets of Saab following the Swedish firm’s bankruptcy in late 2011. NEVS’s original plan was to revive Saab, but after running into its own financial difficulties and losing the rights to the Saab name, NEVS formed its own brand and started focusing on electric cars and mobility.
At CES Asia, NEVS presented concepts for a 9-3 electric sedan and 9-3X electric SUV. The vehicles use the underpinnings of the former Saab 9-3 and 9-3X but feature updates and electric powertrains developed by NEVS. The company is holding back most of the details until closer to next year’s market launch but says the range will be approximately 186 miles.
NEVS’s vehicles will also have modern features such as a WiFi hotspot, over-the-air software update capability, remote control via smartphones, and air filters with up to 99 percent filter efficiency.
NEVS is finalizing comfort, ride and handling testing and so far has only mentioned sales in China. The 9-3X will arrive shortly after the 9-3. Production will take place at a plant in Tianjin.
NEVS already has a number of orders from firms in China. The most lucrative is a $12 billion deal with electric car leasing firm Panda New Energy. Under the agreement, NEVS will supply Panda with 150,000 electric 9-3s between now and 2020. Part of the agreement will also see Panda receive 100,000 additional electric cars from NEVS as well as some related services from companies associated with NEVS.
In addition to the production of electric cars, NEVS will test the waters with a new mobility program in Tianjin. The pilot program will provide access to the city’s 15 million residents with car- and ride-sharing services. Making up the fleets will be electric cars from NEVS.
Eventually, NEVS is aiming to launch a fleet of self-driving taxis. The company would use its own self-driving city car which was also previewed in concept form at CES Asia.