Tag Archives: energy

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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The Saab Automobile Partnership With Boston-Power

Posted on 12. Mar, 2010 by .


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


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Saab History To Saab: Please Release All New Saab 9-5

Posted on 20. Dec, 2009 by .


A few years ago, Saab Automobile debuted “Laura Oh’s” hit single “Release Me” as an indicator of their interest in leaving GM at the 2007 60th Anniversary Saab Festival.

That release me song ended up being used in a television commercial with the facelifted Saab 9-5 sedan initially and became quite the hit.

While this song subtly indicated Saab’s road to independence, it was on February 20th this year at the press conference where Saab officially indicated that they were beginning their independence in what became a 6-month reconstruction process.

This year, the all new Saab 9-5 flagship model symbolizes this new road to independence for Saab Automobile and as we’ve learned about, it’s a hit and it too needs to be released upon Saab’s independence.

As we cannot consider the idea of Saab Automobile nor this vehicle not seeing the next era around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to make a video showcasing the all new Saab 9-5 since it’s global launch in September.

This video includes music from a rather new Swedish artist to the Saab community, Agnes Carlsson (not related to Erik Carlsson), who also has a song titled “Release Me”.

I hope you enjoy watching this video, perhaps it may help channel our energy while also sending a message that this vehicle needs to be released and thus, Saab Automobile ultimately needs to be rescued.

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Swedish Minister, Maud Olofsson Now Responds

Posted on 18. Dec, 2009 by .



Photo Credit: SVT

Swedish Minister, Maud Olofsson responds to GM’s announced closure of Saab today according to SVT.

She looks angry at GM, and why not, they are to blame in this as they plan on “winding Saab down” afterall.

-A very sad news for all employees and will at the worst possible time, “said Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson (C) in his first comments on GM’s announcement that Saab closure.

“I am the first to complain that GM did not want to pursue the deal, she said, adding that she does not think GM has really clear about how the settlement will go to.

When Maud Olofsson later held a press conference in Trollhattan, she was more critical and noted that she is the GM who made the decision.

-Owners of Saab is GM and GM could have done much more for Saab in any year. The government has tried to make it as attractive as possible to be here in Trollhättan, “said Olofsson.

“Must take responsibility”
“But GM must now take responsibility. The most important thing now is to take care of the employees and the future, how to take advantage of expertise and what we can build for the new out of it, “says Olofsson.

But just a minute earlier, it is news that the government and the state would go into the Saab.
“We do not have the knowledge and not money,” said Olofsson.

Meeting in Trollhättan
She has called a meeting with concerned authorities and representatives of trade and business on Monday, in Trollhattan, to review the situation.

The meeting will among other things, clarify the need for more action than what has already been presented in the form of additional resources to the Employment Service and Almi, type TT.

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Saab Enthusiast Converts 1970 SAAB 96 To Electric Power

Posted on 07. Jun, 2009 by .



Photo Credit: (Blaine T. Shahan/Sunday News)

Another Saab Enthusiast by the name of Brandon Hollinger of Pennsylvania, has converted his Saab to 100% Electric Power on his 1970 Saab 96 according to the Lancaster Times.

This a huge accomplishment and very inspiring, now being added to the ranks of Mark Ward with his former 1995 900 NG EV, Christen Johanssen with his 1972 SAAB 96 EV, Duke University’s 1972 Saab Sonett III EV and Walter Kern and his 1974 Saab Sonett III EV.

Are there other Saab EV projects in the works, if so please contact Saab History to tell us about it. Way to Go Brandon!

I encourage you to read his piece below, with a nice video in addition to the photos directly on the article.

This past winter, Brandon Hollinger decided to save on gas by removing the fuel tank from his 1970 Saab.

He also went ahead and pulled the engine.

In their places went a 9-inch electric motor and 16 six-volt lead-acid batteries.

Brandon Hollinger’s electric Saab

The result: a plump-fendered classic that whisks quietly down the street, turning heads, sparking questions.

It’s the reaction Hollinger had been hoping for.

He wants people to know that electrics are six times more efficient than gasoline-powered cars.

He wants them to know that electrics accelerate snappily and can handle easily the day-to-day driving needs of the average motorist.

He wants to un-kill the electric car.

In fact, he said, it was the 2006 documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” that set him on his quest.

The film convinced him that Detroit was dragging its feet launching new-generation electrics. So he decided to construct one himself.

There was one hitch.

The 35-year-old Lancaster man is a professional musician, not a Tappet brother [of the column, “Car Talk]. He was vaguely interested in mechanical stuff. But he’d never read a schematic in his life.

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Saab History Wants An Aggressive Relaunch Of Saab Automobile In North America This Year

Posted on 01. May, 2009 by .


It has been twenty years since I recall seeing one of the most aggressive advertising campaigns spearheaded by none other than former Saab-Scania of America, Inc’s, Bob Sinclair.

In this video, filmed in 1989 at the former Saab-Scania headquarters in Orange, Connecticut, just before 50% of Saab Automobile was purchased by General Motors, you will see Bob Sinclair sending a strong message about an aggressive advertising campaign that really hits the nail on the head.

At that time, it was the energy that leaders such as Bob Sinclair had that really encouraged people to be excited about a car company such as Saab and you can see it in the video so clearly.

Today, it’s about not only leadership and energy, but also those that have passion for the company and we need to bridge that gap this year to what Bob Sinclair brought to the table. I have said it before and I will say it again, we need all of this and more for the new Saab Automobile North America, Inc. that I hope is relaunched later this year in the United States.

We need a workforce that is committed to the company, we need leaders that are focused on long-term success, and we need a new home that is appropriate and logical and makes the most sense for the company.

I am a strong proponent for an aggressive relaunch of Saab Automobile in the United States this year and again, I am committed in assisting in this process in just about any way I can.

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Saab History Learns That Koenigsegg & Power Circle Are Best Choices As Prospective Saab Automobile Owners

Posted on 30. Apr, 2009 by .



I have recently received an e-mail from an anonymous insider. This person has indicated that apparently Saab Automobile believes that the Swedish company Koenigsegg & the Swedish investment group (Power Circle) are to be the best possible buyers for their company at this time.

Swedish company, Koenigsegg is the third automobile manufacturer in Sweden and has a long racing history and is touted as the best company to take ownership of Saab Automobile.

Power Circle is a Swedish investment group coupled with Sweden’s Innovatum in Trollhattan and the country’s largest energy provider, Vattenfall. The Norwegian government has also expressed interest in funding the new hybrid development and electric car projects at Saab Automobile as well.

It looks like right now, unless things change, the Swedish investment group, Koenigsegg & the Swedish Government will be the formation of financially supporting Saab Automobile once emerged from reconstruction on May 20th. Having a fully-Swedish owned & invested company will satisfy the requirements of the Swedish Government’s loan guarantees ensuring sustainability and locality keeping all production, talent, engineering, etc. at Saab Automobile in Sweden.

I should mention that the Power Circle group, and all of the parties involved have not responded to Saab History’s inquiries, and they are the only ones that have not, coincidence?

I leave you with a quote from Saab Automobile’s Eric Geers not too long ago.

“I cannot disclose who they are, but I can confirm that there is a group of investors in Sweden which has shown interest,” Saab spokesman Eric Geers told Automotive News.

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Sweden’s Maud Oloffson Indicates Funding Will Be Available, If Saab Transitions Into Wind Industry

Posted on 12. Mar, 2009 by .


Photo Credit: Aaron Gilbert / NWSOC

A writer on Green Tech Media recently picked up a dialog from Sweden’s Maud Olofsson, regarding her interest in ultimately seeing Saab Automobile contribute to the wind turbine industry.

As we may know, Saab Automobile have been collaborating with Volvo and Sweden’s primary energy provider, Vattenfall for some time now on a hybrid vehicle and quite possibly, other developments. Could there be future developments on energy that we are unaware of too?

We know that spending resources on wind turbine energy is not new for Saab, as their former counterparts, SCANIA collaborated on this project back in 1975 when they created one of the first wind turbines in Sweden.

The question is, if GM go bankrupt on March 31st, 2009, and Saab also does not find an owner by then, it seems that instead going out of business, the only way the Swedish Government will fund Saab, is to aid them in transitioning their business to the wind industry.

It’s clear that Saab literally know just about everything when it comes to turbines from their airplane industry long ago to turbochargers that came about in late seventies, could wind turbines be the last opportunity for them if all else fails? At least with that, we know the Swedish Government will support them if no other owner comes through to support their current automobile business.

One thing is for sure, if that ever did happen, it would be a fast-tracked way to be in line with Sweden’s mission to be off of fossil fuels by 2020 completely (11 years from now).

Airplanes->Automobiles->Wind Turbines?

Here is the article below for your reference:

Sweden to Saab: Merge to Wind Power or Shut Down

Swedish car company Saab received a tough message from the Swedish Minister of Trade: change your business and start producing wind power towers and turbines.
by: Fredrik Wass

Bullet Arrow March 4, 2009

Swedish car company Saab, a subsidiary of the American company General Motors, could change its business and go into producing wind power towers and turbines. That is the message from Swedish trade minister Maud Olofsson, after refusing a financial support package to the Swedish car manufacturer, now on the brink of shutdown.

The message from the Swedish government should be considered in light of the country’s ambition to make Sweden a greentech export success story, even as its car industry falters. For example, Swedish power company Vattenfall, owned by the Swedish government, is already Europe’s largest power supplier from wind power sources since it acquired the Dutch firm Nuon last week.

Greentech exports now represent only 2 percent Sweden’s total export business, a low number that the government is trying to increase. The idea that Saab, which also manufacturers airplanes, could transfer its operations into wind power system is not at all unreasonable, claims Swedish industrial economics professor Staffan Laestadius, talking to the Swedish magazine Miljöaktuellt.

“Producing wind power is more realistic for Saab than ever being a profitable car manufacturer again. It is also substantially more desirable for Sweden,” he said.

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