Saab owner prepares to roll out 250,000 EVs

Saab's successor company National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has formed a new partnership with technology firm Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to help bring more than 250,000 electric vehicles (EVs) to the global automotive market.

The partnership will see HPE create a global manufacturing IT platform for the Swedish-Chinese consortium, with production beginning next year.

“We are entering a highly competitive and disruptive market, so we need a partner who can both help us accelerate the setup of our EV production and give us the agility we need to quickly adapt,” said NEVS president Mattias Bergman. “HPE had the best-engineered solutions to enable us achieve these goals – they convinced us with their technology leadership, collaborative approach and proven track record in the automotive industry.”

NEVS has already signed a number of strategic agreements to rollout new EVs, including an agreement with power plant operator Panda Energy to deliver 150,000 electric cars along with 100,000 electric commercial vehicles.

To accommodate this, HPE will be will designing, building and operating integrated EV manufacturing solutions which span from IT infrastructure to business processes, building on its expertise in establishing car production plants around the globe.

Senior vice president and general manager at HPE Jan Zadak said: “Working closely with NEVS, HPE will lay the foundation for a production environment which accelerates the time it takes to go from idea to value.”

EV boom

HPE’s solution will be rolled out first across NEVS’s existing manufacturing plant in Trollhättan, Sweden, and a new plant in Tianjin, China. The tech firm will eventually look to replace the majority of NEVS’s existing manufacturing processes, creating a globally standardized and integrated EV manufacturing IT platform.

NEVS, which was founded in 2012, will begin the production of its first ‘premium’ EVs in 2017 across China and Sweden, with plans to expand into Europe and the US.

NEVS acquired Saab’s assets, subsidiaries and factory, after the carmaker’s bankruptcy. The rights to the Saab brand and its logo were not included in the deal, but NEVS reportedly plans to revive the brand with an electric lineup aimed chiefly at the Chinese market.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) recently forecast that sales of EVs will hit 41 million by 2040 – almost 90 times the equivalent figure for 2015.

Manufacturers are gearing up for something of an EV arms race, as evidenced by this year’s Paris Motor Show, which saw the unveiling of Volkswagen’s first EV concept along with a number of other affordable EV ranges being announced.

Alex Baldwin

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