Swedes Hop On Hybrid Electric Merry-Go-Round


Could Saab's 2009 9-4x get an electric makeover?

Lest we forget, the Swedes made that forward-thinking (or foolhardy) pledge to become oil independent by 2020, which is perhaps why they are jumping on the hybrid electric-car one-upmanship prevalent these days. So far Toyota is the rabbit in the race, while GM is saying the Vue might beat the Volt. Seems like a long time ago that Chris Paine's "Who Killed The Electric Car?" documented the weirdness that drove car companies to have their own electric creations shredded.

Now all those same companies are busily dusting off and updating their technology (and Chris Paine's possibly shooting a sequel!). Swedish-based Saab is working on a "city-sized electric car" prototype for its parent company GM, to be ready for viewing next year. Though Saab has been mum on details of how the car will look, it is described as a plug-in to be recharged through regular outlets as well as during driving and braking. The project is seeking over $600,000 in research funds from the Swedish Energy Agency. Meanwhile Saab and Volvo - which displayed its ReCharge hybrid concept in Detroit and spoke of a robot-driven system for vehicle charging - are together with state-owned utility Vattenfall working on an "attractive total hybrid plug-in solution" using lithium ion phosphate battery technology from ETC Battery and FuelCell Sweden. Vattenfall is responsible for "fast-charging plug-in infrastructure" plans. Via ::Autobloggreen and ::NyTeknik (Swedish)