The First and Last Electric Saab

As short-lived as its parent company, there’s little hope the Saab 9-3 EV will ever grace American shores.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
never released an electric vehicle in America, and now it looks as if it never will. The company name is up for sale, so fans awaiting the
Saab 9-3
EV might want to stop holding their breath.
After leaving GM in 2009, the Saab name had been reclaimed by its original owner and is now up for sale, leaving a defunct factory and creditor troubles in its wake. While the automaker-formerly-known-as-Saab might have come tantalizingly close to producing its first electric vehicle, it’s now unlikely to reach American soil.
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Does Saab have electric cars?

Yes and no. Saab produced prototypes for an EV in 2020, but nothing ever came of it. The recent Trollhättan factory closure, creditor court case, loss of the Saab name, and the layoff of almost half its Swedish employees means it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll ever see a production model, let alone a U.S. release.
You may hear about a rogue electric Saab driving around New York, but don’t get your hopes up—it’s a custom project (dubbed the Saab 9e Aero by its owner) without official backing.

The Saab 9-3 EV prototype

Starting price: N/A
Powertrain: N/A
Driving range: 186 miles
Charging time: N/A
Rumor has it that the NEVS 9-3 was a pure electric car with a range of up to 300 km, or 186 miles (this is Sweden, after all). Ten such models were spotted in a cargo parking lot in Wallhamn on Tjörn, fresh off the boat from China. It was hoped that the over-20-years-old 9-3 platform might see some revitalization, but alas, the vision never came to pass.

How to decide if going electric is right for you

You might not be able to drive an all-electric Saab, but there are plenty of other green choices on the market. Before you run to a dealership, take a moment to weigh your options—not every car is suited for every driver, and EVs are no exception. You’ll be able to make the most out of a
Nissan Leaf
or a
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
if you : 
  • Have a garage: A home charging station is the most reliable and economical way to charge an electric car, and you’ll have a much harder time charging an EV on the street.
  • Have access to public charging stations: It’s going to happen at least once—you forget to plug in your EV overnight and rush out in the morning, only to find yourself with a few miles of charge left. You may be out of luck if your city doesn’t have many public charging stations.
  • Drive a short distance every day: Every EV’s driving range is different. As long as your workplace (and errands, friends, schools, etc.) fall within that range so that you don’t have to be reliant on charging, you shouldn’t have any trouble completing your daily activities.
  • Have a plan for road trips: For the most part, modern EVs don’t regularly exceed 300 miles in range. If you regularly escape to a cottage (or grandma’s house), you may need to map out charging stations or make sure you have access to another vehicle.
  • Don’t plan on towing much: Batteries weigh a ton and trailers are out unless you choose something like the
    Ford Lightning
    . Your EV’s driving range will pay the price for any excessive additional weight.
Before you get discouraged, there are a lot of advantages to going green so long as you can handle the logistics. You could be eligible for a
$7,500 federal tax credit
and local government incentives, insurance discounts and lower fuel costs, and the joy of a clean, quiet drive. EVs may demand more time to solve questions of charging and range, but most owners agree it's well worth it.

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