SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,
I want to start a conversation about converting old Saab's to Electric. As everyone knows the 1999-2003 9-5 and 9-3 models are cheap and plentiful with blown engines (sludge). There has been a lot of discussion about Saab EV which gave me a lot of hopes for the survival of Saab. Yes I know that we now have NEVS and they are building 9-3's in China that are completely electric. If you have seen the pictures on the internet these cars look just like the last generation of 9-3 so my thought is if they can simply electrify a Saab 9-3 why couldn't we? We being the large community of Saab enthusiast that we and many other forums are collectively we should be able to figure it all out. On the WEB there is a site called EV West which seems to have kits to convert a few cars to electric it seems mostly VW's.
I have seen a lot of discussion about converting existing vehicles to electric and some of the topics that seem to present problems. Here is a list of some that I have seen. Please feel free to contribute either a problem or a solution.
1) Cost, especially of the batteries.
a) where to put the batteries is in the gas tank. If anyone has ever replace their plastic tank just imagine sawing it in half putting the batteries and electronics in there. It could then be a plug and play design just like TESLA.
2) What type of electric motor should you use.
3) Wiring, kind of needs an electrician with mad skills to help figure things out.
4) Maintaining existing systems like A/C HVAC, ABS brakes, Air Bags, Entertainment.
5) Transmission and drive train. I have heard that electric motors are powerful and can just rip a transmission apart.
I know this is not everything but thought it might be a fun discussion to have with you guys to see if collectively as a group we could find a way to do it. I mean how cool was it in "Back to the future" to see all the vintage cars that had been converted to electric flying vehicles! Maybe someone has a connection to NEVS and you could just buy the whole electrification kit, find a nice 9-3 and slap it in.
I am not looking for a fight or any negative thoughts just a pure positive and fun "what if" discussion on what is fast becoming the future of the world of automobiles. I mean, Volvo has decided that they are going to release every new model they build as and EV just google the Volvo xc40! So why not Saab!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
There should be a kit sold because the electric motors on Teslas are next to the wheels.
Batteries cannot just hang where the current gas tank is now for various reasons like weight, size, and having a moisture proof seal around the electrical connectors.
The video above is pretty nice, saw it a few months back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,577 Posts
Those are coming. There are quite a few companies appearing to make what I'd called "advanced EV conversion kits" that use AC motors and Li-Ion batteries with modern PWM controllers, different from companies that will sell you a bunch of parts. VW, for example, is making a kit to convert or air-cooled cars:


and Electric GT is making a kit to convert older RWD cars:


Swindon Powertrain has a cool setup aimed at cars with transverse engines:


There are others coming, and a few places that are making adaptation kits for, primarily, junkyard Leaf parts, like:


It's neat stuff!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
There should be a kit sold because the electric motors on Teslas are next to the wheels.
Batteries cannot just hang where the current gas tank is now for various reasons like weight, size, and having a moisture proof seal around the electrical connectors.
The video above is pretty nice, saw it a few months back.
Hi MNtastic,
I was actually thinking of using the actual gas tank as the container for the batteries. I have replaced my 9-5 gas tank and it is a completely sealed heavy duty plastic container that would normally contain gas (which also doesn't work so well with water). There are electrical wires coming out the top for the fuel pressure sensor and the fuel pump and it has been my experience that this strategic area/location of the car is very water resistant. With a little design you could probably make the tank into a completely water tight container for the batteries and all the necessary components. The reason I keep talking about this is because of a concept I saw Tesla was planning for future battery maintenance. Their idea was that you could simply drive a Tesla over a maintenance pit on the floor and an automated system would disconnect the battery pack pull it out and put a new battery in. You would then be ready to go for another 3k charging cycles. Just like an RC car. That was there way of dealing with end of life battery issues. This is something that most electric cars have not had to deal with yet because they haven't been on the road long enough to wear out a battery yet. So with the Saab gas tank you could have a company that just built plug and play battery packs that fit where the gas tank would be then any shop could just drop the old battery and put a new one in. You return the old battery to this company for refurbish/recycle. There is a water resistant tube that goes from the tank to hole you put gas in. I as thinking this with be prefect place to house the wiring harness/plug for recharging the car. You would replace the filler tube with a socket for the purpose of using a charging station.
Here is a second option I though of as well, since you don't need the gas tank on an all electric vehicle it could be a place were you move the spare tire to and have a hoist system like most SUV's with the spare tucked up under the floor pan which has a crank to lower it when you need to change a tire. You know Tesla's don't have a spare, right? They have road side assistance that comes out and changes your tire for you. Anyway this design would free up the entire spare tire well for batteries and electronics needed in the trunk. I have also turned my Saab 9-5 into a camper by building a platform that fits in the trunk and raises the trunk floor to the level of the large frame structure bar between the back seat and the trunk. I sits under the trunk carpet by removing three plastic pins that hold the carpet in place. This adds about 5 inches of height to the area under the trunk floor. It is almost a perfectly flat bed that you can sleep comfortably on with just an air mattress. I have to add about a 1 inch pad on the backs of the seats to make it completely flat. The point is that you can create a large waterproof area in the trunk to store batteries and electronics and you don't lose too much trunk space.
😀
You also mentioned weight and size I am thinking that we would need and engineer to do some calculations based on the motor size and power requirement to figure out if the tank would hold enough batteries to power the car. Weight wise wouldn't a container of lithium batteries and electronics weigh about the same as 17 gallons of explosive liquid? Currently the gas tank is suspended in place by two rubber covered metal straps and it does move around some.
Yes electrical connectors need to be as water resistant as possible but there are electrical connectors everywhere on a Saab right now that withstand the elements. I'm thinking of the alternator, starter, battery, lighting, alarm system box and I am sure there are others I am just not thinking of.
Great suggestions and I like the video thanks for keeping the discussion going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I donno but rather by a saab ev than a tesla
Hi Mariosaab,
I totally agree with you! Saab EV would be better then a Tesla any day after all Saab did create a Saab 9-3 EV first. I can't find the video from years ago but here is one that is similar for 2009 Saab 9-3 .
I believe that they started experimenting with converting their original production cars to all electric maybe as far back as 2002? I also can't remember the name of the company that was helping them with finding a battery technology that would extend the range of an all electric car. That was the focus of the endeavor which was computerized battery management. They had not even started working on the other issues such as how to provide heating and air conditioning in the cars but just running them all electric. Just look now with NEVS it is still the 9-3 that everyone loves. Part of my reason for this discussion thread is the fact that we are not likely to see a NEVS in the US anytime soon. There are a plethora of Saabs with no engine and a price tag under $1000 dollars. The Saab community could get all of these back on the road with electric drive trains and a little collaboration creating some cool businesses in the process. Here is a company that is building battery technology that I know would be keenly interested in retro fitting Saabs. https://cadenzainnovation.com/about/ The founder of this company was working with Saab in 2010 before GM killed them off. Thanks for keeping the discussion going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Those are coming. There are quite a few companies appearing to make what I'd called "advanced EV conversion kits" that use AC motors and Li-Ion batteries with modern PWM controllers, different from companies that will sell you a bunch of parts. VW, for example, is making a kit to convert or air-cooled cars:


and Electric GT is making a kit to convert older RWD cars:


Swindon Powertrain has a cool setup aimed at cars with transverse engines:


There are others coming, and a few places that are making adaptation kits for, primarily, junkyard Leaf parts, like:


It's neat stuff!
Hi jvanabra,
I agree some neat stuff. I appreciate your contribution to the discussion. I was hoping that out of this discussion the Saab community could put together a step by step with video's and pictures. List of parts, prices and where to buy things. As is usual with a Saab owner cost is important so finding the most cost effective way to do this would be cool. In Denver I see more and more Saab carcasses that have beautiful exteriors and interiors but need new power(needs engine) to get them moving and back on the road wouldn't it be cool if it could be electric?
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top