Saab will begin testing a fleet of all-electric 93s early next year.

Top Saab executives said at the US media launch of the new Saab 9-5 that they hoped to test the fleet in a variety of different locations around the world.

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The cars will be used to develop technology for Saab’s alternative-fuel vehicles, to which the company has now committed as part of guarantees to lenders including the Swedish government and European Investment Bank.

“The main purpose is to draw technology from this test fleet, technology that we can then incorporate quickly,” said Saab CEO Jan-Ake Jonsson. “The key target short-term is to drive fuel consumption down."

The electric Saab 93 fleet will be run by a consortium including Saab, lithium-ion battery producer Boston-Power, the Swedish Energy Authority and Electroengine, a Swedish firm claiming to have developed a new electric propulsion system that can be fitted to internal combustion engine vehicles, without substantial re-engineering costs.

Jonsson also said the company will develop smaller-displacement, turbocharged engines in the future.

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