Tag Archives: electricity

Mark Kandutsch's 1972 Electric Saab 96 Project

Posted on 17. Mar, 2010 by .



Photo Credit: M Kandutsch

Saab History has recently had the great opportunity to speak with Mark Kandutsch of Bar Harbor, Maine, who has recently completed a 1972 Saab 96 Electric Vehicle Project.

This project itself, was triggered by the Doctor’s interest in creating an EV project after reading an inspiring article in a do-it-yourself magazine a few years ago where Electric Vehicle’s (EV) were featured. The project looked easy enough on paper, so the brainstorming began.

Choosing The Vehicle

Mark had previously owned Saab 99’s and 900’s over the years. His previous experience, coupled with specific needs for a vehicle that was streamlined, had no power steering and was lightweight, and without knowing about other Saab 96 EV projects like Brandon’s or Christen’s 96, he chose a 1972 Saab 96 that was for sale in the local classifieds.

Restoring & Converting The Saab 96

The 1972 Saab 96 that was chosen needed a lot of body work, so Mark spent most of his time and energy restoring the body of the vehicle complete with a new paint job and fitting “lightening bolt” on the rear trunk symbolizing the electrical energy driving this vehicle. The project began in September of 2008 and was completed in March of 2009. Mark indicates that at least four to five out of the seven months were devoted towards the body work where 2 to 3 were spent on the actual EV conversion process. He believes that if he were doing another project, he’d be able to do the conversion in about half that time being 1.5 months.

Daily Operation Of The Saab 96 EV

Since the restoration was completed in March, Mark has used the vehicle as his daily driver to and from work which is 10 miles round-trip. He does not drive the vehicle in the winter as the salt roads cause serious rust and he was not interested in reversing the restoration of his beautiful Saab 96 EV. In a given week, he can go up to 40 miles on a single charge with his current battery setup. Mark admits that he feels more comfortable charging the vehicle daily or every few days just in case he needs to make the unexpected errands going either to or from work.

Charging of the Saab 96 EV

The current charging device used to power all batteries at the same time, is powered 100% by the grid. While Mark does have solar panels on his house, they are not the latest in Photovoltaic technology and therefore aren’t capable of providing the necessary electricity needed for the charge. A typical daily charge would be about 2 hours after work, and if the batteries are fully discharged it would be about 3.5 hours max.

Another Saab EV Success Story In The Making

Today, Mark has driven the vehicle approximately 5,000 miles and has never had to walk home due his use of electrical power guages that he’s currently upgrading which will soon include the ability to monitor miles per kWh.

For more details on Mark’s 1972 Saab 96 EV project, please check out more photos and details on EV Maine.

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An Update From Brandon On His Electric Saab 96

Posted on 16. Mar, 2010 by .


As we continue the topic of electrifying Saabs following the Boston-Power partnership, Saab History has recently received an update from frequenter, Brandon Hollinger of Pennsylvania. It was June of last year when we first heard about his project making headway with the conversion of his 1970 SAAB 96 to become fully electric.

Today, he’s refined the project and beautified his vehicle complete with “Electric” emblems and a new paint job, including special details such as stickers under the hood that read “high voltage”.

As this focus continues in the Saab community as seen with a number of individuals over the years, it’s also nice to see it really picking up speed. I’m sure that we’ll learn about more and more individuals taking it upon themselves to convert their Saabs to become fully electric.

Here’s Brandon’s update on this vehicle since we last covered it here on Saab History.

Thanks for your interest in the 96-volt SAAB 96 conversion! Here’s some random reflections:

The past year has been eye-opening as I test-piloted the “SAAB 96-V” over 5,000 petroleum-free miles. While the car honestly performed just as expected (outside of 2 minor human errors) the real surprise was I didn’t miss my other car at all. It seems people (I included) don’t really know how much they drive per day. The statistics are pretty consistent: 90% of US trips are less than 30 miles. With a range of about 50 miles provided by my 96-volt lead-acid battery pack I was able to do up to 3 days of commuting to and from work. With off-peak charging, I enjoyed discounted utility rates and it added only $10-15 to my monthly utility bill – another pleasant surprise. I’d use my gas-powered SAAB 900 Turbo maybe once or twice a month to do a longer journey. I’m now seriously considering taking that car off the road to save on insurance costs. I could use the saved money to rent a newer car for those few longer road trips and also avoid the costs of maintaining the 900. (easier said than done… as I do have an attachment to that car:) …and rent out the extra garage $pace as I’ve done in the pa$t! I do want to add that the numerous electric vehicles (EVs) now on their way to market will most likely offer 100 or more miles per charge or have a backup gas-powered generator for range extension: “plug-in hybrid electric vehicles” (PHEVs).

“But aren’t you just exchanging a tailpipe for a smokestack?”
This is a common question I’ve encountered at shows this past year and meeting people on the street constantly. While I think it’s best to seek sources of electricity that are cleaner than coal, my potentially coal-powered EV is still cleaner than it’s gas counterpart. One reason is efficiency. I’ve read that the internal combustion engine is around 20% efficient compared to 90% for electric motors. Therefore better use of the dirty fuel. Another interesting fact is power plants don’t ramp up and down their electricity production to match fluctuating demand. Rather they run at the same level, day and night, resulting in a huge excess of wasted electricity at night. I’ve confirmed this numerous times with my provider. […]

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Electroengine, The Company Behind True Electric Saabs

Posted on 15. Dec, 2009 by .



Photo Credit: Electro Engine

Here is some background on Electroengine, The Company Behind True Electric Saabs that launched their first test vehicles in June this year in Sweden.


The Swedish company Electroengine in Sweden AB has developed a new system that makes it possible to adapt standard cars with internal combustion engines to high performance electric cars. A demonstration vehicle was on public display at the annual Almedal week in Gotland, Sweden, and the official launch took place on 29th June at 9.00 am in Visby harbour.

The system, which is entitled True Electric™, can be used directly in the production of new cars. It can also be used to convert existing cars to be purely electrically operated cars. This can be done without compromising the safety and performance of the cars. Furthermore, the system has the potential to be considerably more cost-effective than the electric drive systems that are currently on the market. One of its key components is a revolutionary battery management system for which a patent is pending.

Electroengine’s Managing Director, Thomas Bergfjord, comments: “Many people still want to keep driving nice-looking, practical and safe cars with good performance and handling while they are also keen to choose a more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative. True Electric™ now makes it possible to combine the environmentally friendliness and low running costs of electric cars with the functions and performance of existing petrol-driven cars. We can, for example, use our technology to achieve 0-100 km/h acceleration of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h in a SAAB 9-3, as well as being able to drive it 150-200 km purely on electricity without having to change the car’s interior or exterior – thus retaining the luggage space and tow bar.”

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GM Strategically Reviews Saab Automobile Brand

Posted on 02. Dec, 2008 by .


GM Will Immediately Undertake A Global Strategic Review Of The Saab brand. This title was posted today as part of GM’s plan for long-term viability plan. If you read it closely, it is exactly the same wording that took place just before they announced that GM’s hummer brand was for sale as well, some months ago.

The writing is on the wall for Saab Automobile as part of GM’s submission of their plan for long-term viability to the United States Congress for the “bridge loan”.

Let’s see how this review evolves from here on out, and why not review Saab, it’s only been almost 20 years since GM purchased them, good time now that they are in dire straights. This “review” should have taken place a long time ago, then again GM wasn’t looking to sell them, they were just looking to exploit Saab for engineering prowess and how Saab could benefit them, not vice versa. Now that the engineering has been exhausted and used up, and GM has no interested in investing in Saab for Saab’s sake, they are now looking to “review” them. We should have seen this all along.

Now that GM is “reviewing” Saab, Saab Automobile are responding by looking to the Swedish Government for financial support.

Let’s look at the timeline for Saab History sake:

SAAB (1947-1969), SAAB-SCANIA (1969-1989), GM (1989-2009), SWEDISH GOVERNMENT (2009 – ?) One Can Hope Saab is nationalized before GM cannibalizes them, right? 70% of Swede’s can’t wrong.

I am hopefull for a new owner that truly cares about the Saab brand and its future.

GM Submits Plan for Long-Term Viability to the U.S. Congress

* Reaffirms GM’s commitment to energy-saving vehicles and technologies
* Outlines the need for Federal bridge loans and line of credit
* Requests Federal board to oversee loans, assist with restructuring
* Aggressive plan details GM actions to support long-term success

WASHINGTON – General Motors Corp. today submitted a plan to use Federal bridge loans to create a leaner, more competitive company, one that is profitable and self-sustaining for the long term.

The plan, submitted in response to Congressional hearings in November, includes a detailed blueprint for a successful, sustainable General Motors. Building on a product renaissance and comprehensive restructuring that has been under way for several years, the plan calls for:

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GM Begs Congress For A No Strings Handout, Again

Posted on 17. Nov, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History

General Motors continues to begs congress for yet another “no-strings” handout, Again

The leadership within GM continues to prove, year after year that they are not committed to solving any actual problems.

In the latest assault to our intelligence, Weber Shandwick a contractor for GM has put together a proganda video clearly created to instill fear, uncertainty and doubt across the country in order to get normal hard working people to spend time out of their day to contact their local state and federal representatives to save GM?

The exploitation of the public today through GM is at its all time worst, and what really gets me is that GM has no problem asking for no-string handouts from us, the tax payers, of course with nothing in return, just squandering more money, more empty promises and a continued barrage of lip service on how they are really making a difference.

The writing on the wall is that GM is done regardless of an actual bailout coming to fruition, and we need to move quickly to ensure that GM stays that way if we want society to move ahead. When GM dies, people will loose jobs, there’s no doubt of that, but we’re in a new sustainable movement today and if people in the transportation sector loose their jobs in unsustainable career options, what would be the problem if they gain new positions as a result that are more economically sustainable in same field?

Take the new proposition 1A in California for instance, which is a new sustainable “high speed rail” project which will take approximately 20-years to complete at the cost of $40 billion, opposed to $80 for renovations to existing automobile infrastructure. It requires no oil nor gas, does not pollute and even gets its power via electricity from wind turbines. If those detroit auto workers loose their jobs, why not get them back into the railroad industry, its more environmentally sustainable and thus economically sustainable.

The fact is, this country had its first strong boost of economic growth with the inception of the railroad and many of those workers, ended up moving into the automobile industry a generation later due to cheap oil, so why not reverse the trend back by moving people from the automotive industry to the high speed rail industry given that we now realize the mistakes we’ve made? Let’s pick up where we left off and move ahead. Did you know that General Motors actually built locomotives back in the day? If they did it befeore, they can do it again..it just takes some actual intelligent foresight to see the light..with new leadership..maybe that will happen some day in order to save the company.

Sustainability is the future folks, the faster all industries get on board, the better we’ll all be as the slow and resistant to change will of course meet their inevitable demise much like GM, Ford and Chrysler is seeing today as a result.

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GM Boosts Turbocharging Without Mentioning Saab

Posted on 29. Sep, 2008 by .


General Motors has recently announced that it will double its global production of small four-cylinder turbocharged engines and that’s a good thing, so in the press release posted this past September 25th, I was expecting to see Saab listed as the beneficiary here, nope, Chevy instead!

Had it not been for Saab’s turbocharging innovations back in 1976 with their concept car, 1977 when it hit development as a 1978 Saab 99 thanks to Per Gillbrand, this press release would not exist nor would all of these mentions that seem way too close to Saab’s evolutionary brand messages such as “fuel efficient and fun to drive” as stated below.

I find it absolutely unacceptable that Saab is not mentioned here by General Motors. What is truly the the problem with actually acknowledging that it was not you, but Saab that has provided GM turbocharging, fuel efficiency, 5-star crash safety ratings, fun to drive characteristics?

While it is great that there is a new factory being built in economically depressed Flint, Michigan at a former brownfield, in a LEED certified facility for “right sized” small-displacement turbocharged engines, it’s wrong to not mention Saab with regards to bringing turbocharging to the GM portfolio.

The market is really falling in Saabs lap and therefore credit is due Saab for bringing General Motors to where they are today.

Let’s begin by providing Saab the credit, as well as the benefits from their own innovations instead of Chevy. It’s one thing that Ford is ripping off Saab’s naming conventions with the use of turbocharging (ie. ecoboost), but for Saab’s owner, General Motors, to use turbocharging without mentioning Saab, is just insulting to the brand and everyone that was responsible at Saab for the development and success of this innovation.

Here is their press release below to read for yourself.


Strategy Highlighted by the 2011 Chevy Cruze’s new 1.4L Turbo that is Expected to Be a Fuel Economy Leader

GM’s ‘Boost’ In Efficient Four-Cylinders Includes More Turbos

FLINT, Mich. – GM will double its global production of small four-cylinder engines (1.0L to 1.4L) by 2011, with more than half of the increase coming in North America. The strategy is highlighted by an all-new, 1.4L Turbo engine that will power the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze.

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Scandinavian Collaborative Hybrid Projects In The Works

Posted on 17. Mar, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

I have recently been made aware of more projects that are in the works addition to both the Saab 9-3 BioPower Hybrid Convertible, and the Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept.

The press release below indicates that Saab and Volvo are collaboration with Sweden’s electricity provider, Vattenfall, and will be doing quite a lot of continued research and development on hybrid technology.

This is really good news.

Please read below:


Together with electricity provider Vattenfall, Saab Automobile, ETC and the Swedish state, Volvo Car Corporation is launching a joint broad-based research venture to develop spearhead technology in the area of plug-in hybrid cars. Sweden will be the arena for the field tests.

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Sodertalje, Sweden

Posted on 08. Mar, 2008 by .


Sodertalje, Sweden is where SCANIA began in 1891. I have included a nice promotional video as well as some background on the Sodertalje region for your information from their tourist board.


Stockholm’s big sister, Meeting place, The town that is full of life

Transport hub The European highways intersect here 44 min to Stockholm C Fast trains to Göteborg, Malmö, Karlstad etc. The canal – the gateway between Saltsjön (the Baltic) and Lake Mälaren Arlanda and Skavsta airports within easy reach

Town of contrasts Town on the water – sweet and salt From rolling countryside to the million homes programme From Sörmland to the exotic

From all corners of the world 80 nationalities 12,000 Assyrians/Syrians 3,400 Iraqis National minorities: Finns and Roma

Two giants … Astra Zeneca: One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. SEK 10 billion of investment in five years. Scania: Moving operations to Södertälje. A total of 16 000 employees.

… and thousands of small businesses 4 600 businesses 40 000 jobs One of the region’s strongest labour markets Great development potential

A thriving cultural life Five culture houses World-class theatre and music Dynamic cultural associations

A sporting town with stars and breadth Masses of stars: Björn Borg, Malin Ewerlöf, Johanna Sjöberg, Kennedy Bakircioglu … 130 sports associations: Everything from aikido to varpa New stadiums: The Football Stadium and Axa Sports Centre

Södertälje – a town with over a million 1.2 million visitors! Tom Tits Experiment: Sweden’s largest science centre Sydpoolen: One of the largest water parks in Sweden Torekällberget: What Södertälje used to be like

Town centre renewal Shopping malls renovated Better traffic environment Streets, squares and parks are being refurbished New housing is being built The unique Maren waterfront environment

Housing – from metropolis to the countryside 400 new waterside homes 2,500 apartments and houses in five years Glasberga sjöstad: A new district is being built Hansta strand: Canalside homes Kallfors in Järna: Still expanding!

Södertälje’s new town hall A meeting place for service, democracy and culture A workplace for 400 Open to everyone Unique: Town theatre and town hall under the same roof Moving in: 2008 Cost: SEK 370m

Investment in Hovsjö We are renovating the area The tenants have a great deal of influence A housing fair in Hovsjö in 2009?

Choice and security in school Pre-school: Language development and individual needs Compulsory school: Compulsory schools with their own profile Upper secondary school: Working together Municipality – Business A broad range of adult education

Choice and security in school Culture School: 1,600 students in new premises A town with many free schools Secure pupils who enjoy being at school!

University town
Campus Telge Today: 1,000 students Major expansion of KTH’s (Royal Institute of Technology) engineering programme ultimately to 5,000 students The county’s best place for higher education (ask the students!) Working together higher education – municipality – business

Antroposophists Biodynamic cultivation Architecture to fire the imagination Vidar Clinic – health careSaltå kvarn – bakery

How Södertälje is governed –The Municipal Council, Social Democrats 23, Left Party 4, Green Party 4, Moderate Party 14, Centre Party 5, Liberal Party 5, Christian Democrats 4, Pensioners Party 2, National Democrats 2, Swedish Democrats 2, Election turnout up from 72 to 73 per cent.

Up and coming Group

Parent Company Telge with 9 subsidiaries Established 2004 with 800 employees Housing, Premises, Cleaning, Power trading, Electricity sales, Energy, district heating
network, Water, Port, Recycling, Science Centre

Municipal finances

This is how SEK 100 of tax revenue was used in 2005:
Compulsory school SEK 24.18
Care of the disabled SEK 15.51
Care of the elderly SEK 14.97
Childcare SEK 09.97
Upper secondary school SEK 09.06
Social measures for children,
adolescents and adult
with problems SEK 06.06
Library, cultural and leisure
activities SEK 05.32
Social assistance SEK 04.48
The year´s surplus SEK 04.27
Other activities SEK 01.99
Childcare SEK 09.97
Emergency services and
protection SEK 01.36
Adult education SEK 01.22
Labour market measures SEK 01.19
Environmental and health
protection SEK 00.42

Source: http://www.sodertalje.se/templates/Page____1723.aspx t

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