The Saab Automobile Partnership With Boston-Power

Posted on 12. Mar, 2010 by in 2010-2019, 9-3SS, Boston, Massachusetts

Film Credit: Saab History

On December 15th, Saab Automobile announced their partnership with a Swedish coalition for the advancement of zero-emission vehicles.

One of the businesses that was announced in this partnership, was award winning Boston-Power of Westborough, Massachusetts, provider of next-generation lithium-ion battery technology.

Once Saab’s future became secured with a new buyer, Saab History took the initiative to contact Boston-Power in order to learn more about their partnership with Saab Automobile as part of this coalition. Having the opportunity to meet with Founder and CEO of Boston-Power, Dr. Christina Lampe-Önnerud for an interview and a tour of the facilities, it became quite clear that Saab’s future in electric vehicles was moving fast. Boston-Power’s excitement, energy, experience and knowledge is evident, and their unique position will certainly support a long term partnership with Saab, for both Plug-In Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles (PHEV/BEV).

This partnership received funding from a $12 Million Dollar Swedish Energy Agency grant and as indicated in the film, will produce up to 100 zero-emission fully electric Saab vehicles based off of the existing 9-3 platform by the end of this year.

The lithium-ion battery system used in the Saabs is based on Boston-Power’s Swing 4400 battery cells. This battery system has the necessary extended calendar life, high energy density and is 20-50% more efficient in overall volume compared to traditional systems today.

As Sweden continues to make progress towards sustainability and climate change by being off of fossil fuels by 2020, this partnership between Boston-Power & Saab Automobile aims to accelerate this movement. Dr. Lampe-Önnerud, a Swedish entrepreneur in Saab’s largest market in the United States, drives this message home with Boston-Power’s battery technology.

“We at Boston-Power are very excited about the opportunity to be part of a coalition of companies helping Saab bring its first zero emission vehicle to market. Saab’s reputation for engineering leadership makes it the perfect partner for Boston-Power and the coalition. Its commitment to technological innovation perfectly complements our passion for delivering market-leading portable power solutions for the automotive market.”

I am very excited about this partnership and would like to celebrate the first of the test fleet vehicles produced by test driving one and sharing that experience here with you on Saab History.

A special thanks to those at both Boston-Power as well as CHEN PR, for the opportunity to bring awareness of this game changing technology partnership with Saab Automobile.

Boston-Power, Inc.
2200 West Park Drive
Westborough, MA 01581-3961, USA

www.boston-power.com

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18 Responses to “The Saab Automobile Partnership With Boston-Power”

  1. Ted Y

    12. Mar, 2010

    Thank you Ryan for providing this insightful interview. Very interesting and promising.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Stephen Huntress

    12. Mar, 2010

    Excellent job Ryan. It was very interesting to listen to her enthusiasm for Saab’s engineering strength. Saab and it’s partners have the muscle to produce a zero emission vehicle that can be used in northern climates. Old tech batteries hate cold weather. They’ll get it right. I love the socket hidden behind the license plate. Another reason for a Northeast headquarters?

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ryan

    12. Mar, 2010

    Ted & Stephen,

    Thanks. I agree, this is another reason Saab should eventually move their North American headquarters to the New England region for all of the other previous reasons in addition to development & collaboration proximity with companies like Boston-Power.

    R

    Reply to this comment
  4. MarcB

    12. Mar, 2010

    Very interesting presentation.

    It is clear that the automobile company that really delivers the first zero emission product will have hit a home run.

    In listening to the presentation, though, I was disappointed not to hear specifics about the downside of current electric car … high cost, high weight that impedes handling, range (Chevy Volt is only 40 miles) and long charge times (generally in excess of 12 hours).

    The zero emission objective is what is required, but to be a true breakthrough that will be a hit in the market, the less it deviates from traditional power plants the better.

    One alternative to electric is currently being tested in California … the Honda Clarity … powered by a Hydrogen Fuel Cell, and it looks like it may be superior alternative vs. electric, with the only emission being H2O.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Sandy

    12. Mar, 2010

    Thanks Ryan,
    nice video, well produced.
    Very interesting and inspirational clip, as Christina seems very positive and knowledgeable. Obviously, she would not emphasize any drawbacks with their current test phase. Hopefully soon we all will get a chance to drive a quiet and quick Saab ZE. I can’t wait to see and drive a production sample…
    IMHO, Hydrogen has no future (presently) as producing it is still both expensive, energy intensive and impracticable…
    Sweden gets 90%+ of it’s electrical energy from CO2 free sources (hydro and nuclear, some wind), the rest comes mostly from imported, mostly coal generated electricity from Germany). The goal is to get the electricity supply ever more from renewable sources, making electrical transportation ideal in Sweden.
    The future starts now!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Todd

    13. Mar, 2010

    Looks like I got my next Stock to buy.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Sandy

    13. Mar, 2010

    Well, Todd, you might want to do a google translation of this article before buying any stocks…

    http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/fordon_motor/bilar/article738116.ece

    Reply to this comment
  8. socko

    13. Mar, 2010

    great stuff ryan! thanks for letting me know.

    see? EV saabs are a wonderful idea!

    regarding MarcB’s comment, the volt is not a great electric car. GM and others had thousands of cars a decade ago that got over 100 miles per charge. they built them against their will, fought the mandate, won and crushed/shredded nearly all of them. in general, there are 3 levels of charge times including an over night, a 4-5 hour charge and a quick charge that can get you back on the road in minutes.

    yup, there’s some public perception issues to work through yet. EVs are a hundred times less complicated, are nearly maintenance free, run cleaner (even with coal fired electricity) and the fuel is domestic.

    cheers,
    brandon
    (5000 EV saab miles and counting….)

    http://www.saabhistory.com/2009/06/07/saab-enthusiast-converts-1970-saab-96-to-electric-power/

    Reply to this comment
  9. Sandy

    13. Mar, 2010

    Hi Brandon,
    You are the man! Read about your conversion here, half a year ago.
    Great work, how are things going along with your EV – project?
    Do you have any tech details / specs to share?
    Cheers, Sandy

    Reply to this comment
  10. MarcB

    13. Mar, 2010

    Socko: So far, I have yet to see an EV that performs in a way that people will buy. Beyond Volt, there’s also Tesla … very fast, very cool car, but again, long recharge, limited range, though I understand it’s further than Volt, crazy price, and far too much weight for reasonable handling if driving at all aggresively.

    The major issue for Hydrogen seems to be infrastructure and the cost of converting stations to deliver hydrogen.

    The bottom line is that the automobile that delivers the ability to perform like gasoline and diesel … light weight, long range, reasonable price, fast recharge or refill, while eliminating emissions will have a home run.

    My point here is that EV isn’t there yet, hydrogen fuel cell tech is another approach, and I understand there ar eothers.

    Reply to this comment
  11. socko

    13. Mar, 2010

    hi marcb,
    nissan leaf, mitsubishi imiev, bmw mini-e (lease only), th!nk city, toyota rav4 ev – all being driven and/or tested today – all get 100 miles or more range. i could list 50 more highway-capable electric cars and plug-in hybrids that are due to come out in the next few years. again, many of the cars coming will offer 2 or 3 charging options. but really, with 100 miles range most people will very rarely charge anywhere other than home and work. i speculate that there is a huge market for these vehicles even with the current range limits. we’ll do our famous road trips with the “other” car or a rental. it’s possible that your needs may not be met by these cars – and that’s ok.. 🙂

    last i heard the honda clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle cost seven figures each and jamie lee curtis really loves leasing hers.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Chris

    14. Mar, 2010

    Sandy and Todd — The Ny Teknik article is someone’s attempt to discredit Boston-Power. Full of incorrect info. Based on ‘secret leaked report’. ‘Unnamed sources’. Data not being provided to Boston-Power save for over phone + under press deadline. In fact, report still has not been provided to Boston-Power. Boston-Power preparing fact-based response containing lots of testing data that debunks points raised in the article. Boston-Power customers + partners reject premise of article as well. Disappointing approach to journalism.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Sandy

    14. Mar, 2010

    Chris,
    understand you work in some position with Boston Power. Good, and I wish you and Boston the best of luck. It would be great if you could point out the incorrect info in the Ny Teknik article, and prove why this is wrong.
    Personally, to me, it seems like Enerdel has the upper hand, though.
    But competition is good, and spurs development, so keep at it!
    Maybe Ny Teknik can produce a direct comparative test between the two (or more) battery manufacturers…???

    Reply to this comment
  14. Chris

    14. Mar, 2010

    Hi Sandy. Yes – my company has had a 3.5 year relationship with Boston-Power assisting with media + market analyst relations in the US. That’s how we’ve had the pleasure to get to know and work with Ryan. Apologies for not stating that in prior post – what I get for Blackberrying with one eye and watching basketball on TV with the other! 🙂 Boston-Power will issue a response soon. I’ll post that here so folks will have access to the data contained therein. Among other things, it will underscore Boston-Power’s long cycle life, energy density, safety, fast-charging and Nordic Ecolabel-certified capabilities. Completing this document has been a bit like chasing shadows, since we’ve still not been given access to the testing data referred to in the article. Agree with you, for sure, that transparent access to this kind of info best serves the market. Boston-Power has years of testing data – internal and third party-generated, etc. We’re happy to bring our products into labs – as long as everyone is open about the parameters, the process, the results, etc. And we can all leave the ‘leaks’ and ‘unnamed sources’ stuff behind…Cheers.

    Reply to this comment
  15. socko

    16. Mar, 2010

    hey sandy thanks for your comment.
    ryan just asked the same thing so here’s a little update:

    http://www.saabhistory.com/2010/03/16/an-update-from-brandon-on-his-electric-saab-96/

    and at the bottom is a link to a page with more technical details if you want.
    cheers, brandon

    Reply to this comment
  16. Ryan

    17. Mar, 2010

    Chris,

    Thank you for your follow up to the questions raised here.

    Reply to this comment

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