A Good Sign
The Swedish automaker Saab Automotive AB is about to unveil its first all-electric vehicle, which is powered by a battery from Boston-Power Inc. of Westborough.
The Saab 9-3 ePower sport wagon will debut Sept. 30 at the Paris Auto Show. “I am absolutely thrilled,’’ said Boston-Power chief executive Christina Lampe-Onnerud, who said her company’s battery will give the car exceptional performance. “This car has 27 percent more driving range per weight and volume than any other [electric] car,’’ she said. ...
The ePower is a standard Saab 9-3 model with the gasoline engine and drivetrain removed. Instead, it is fitted with a 184-horsepower electric motor to drive the vehicle’s front wheels, along with a Boston-Power lithium-ion battery pack. Saab expects the ePower to travel up to 124 miles on a single charge. The car will accelerate from zero to 62 miles per hour in 8.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 93 miles per hour. Lampe-Onnerud said the car’s recharging speed would depend on the kind of recharging equipment used. But she said the Boston-Power battery is capable of charging to full power in an hour, reaching 80 percent of capacity in 30 minutes.
The car is not the typical hard charging speed demon, but it will do the job for local commutes in most places, even in California. And it's all-electric: no gasoline will be powering it and polluting the air. But here's the best part of the story:
In June, Boston-Power said it plans to double its workforce both in Massachusetts, where it had 110 workers, and abroad, where it has 400 workers, mostly in Taiwan. It also said it plans to build a battery factory in either Europe or China.
A hundred new jobs in this country isn't much, but it's a start. If Saab's ePower is a hit with the public, both in Europe and the US, chances are more people will get jobs, not only with Boston-Power but also with other companies which will spring up to get in on the action of providing batteries for such vehicles. Even our own automakers may get inspired to build such vehicles.
It's a start, and a clean one at that.
Labels: Good News