National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has officially received approval to build the 9-3 EV at a facility in Tianjin, China.
The company, which acquired the assets of Saab Automotive in 2012, became the first joint venture company with international backing to be approved for production by the Chinese National Development Reform Commission (NRDC).
Initially, the production facility in Tianjin will be capable of building 50,000 cars a month, but that capacity could jump to 220,000 per month as a part of ‘Phase II’ of the NEVS plan. Production will initially be focused on fulfilling a 150,000-strong order from a leasing company.
Cars started rolling off the production line on December 5. Details are a bit tough to come by at the moment, but we know it will have a high-efficiency cabin air filter – crucial for buyers in heavily-polluted Chinese cities – and receive over-the-air software updates a-la Tesla Model S/Model X.
Range will be 300km with a 140km/h top speed, and the company is promising a “fantastic” driving experience, thanks to a low centre of gravity and Saab’s engineering expertise. We’ll hold off on commenting on that for now.
Owners can also expect to benefit from a smartphone app-key, and in-cabin Wi-Fi. Pricing hasn’t been announced for the 9-3 EV.