Currently reading: Saab-engineered Nevs Emily GT saved by Canadian EV start-up
Radical 621-mile electric saloon, developed by former Saab engineers, moves a step closer to production

The Nevs Emily GT, a 621-mile electric saloon developed by engineers from Saab, has taken a step closer to production after the project was bought by Canadian start-up EV Electra.

The striking EV was revealed to the world by Nevs engineers in April, after the Swedish firm was placed in "hibernation mode" by its Chinese owner, Evergrande Group.

Nevs acquired the rights to many of Saab’s assets when the storied brand entered bankruptcy in 2012 and is based in Saab’s old home city of Trollhättan.

In a statement, Nevs CEO Nina Selander hailed EV Electra’s acquisition of the Emily GT – as well as the Nevs Pons autonomous pod – as a “realisation of shared dreams” and a “profound moment”.

The joint statement added that EV Electra will soon begin assembling its first cars at a factory in Turkey.

EV Electra founder and CEO Jihad Mohammad said: “We will have cars coming out of Trollhättan again.

"We did this acquisition fully aware that we will need to back it all the way through development to mass production.

"I'm a firm believer in in-house production and strong balance sheets. I also believe Trollhättan has the personnel that can make our visions come true.

"The acquisition of the Pons and Emily projects signifies a pivotal milestone in our pursuit of innovation and sustainability. We're thrilled to embark on this journey."

What is the Nevs Emily GT?

The Nevs Emily GT is a four-door, five-seat electric car rivalling the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Tesla Model S.

It is claimed to be capable of driving more than 1000km (621 miles) between charges, thanks to a huge 175kWh battery.

Battery capacities of 140kWh and 105kWh were also in the original plans, as was 11kW wireless charging via a pad connected to a fixed hub.

The Emily prototypes used a 52kWh battery from the Nevs 9-3, an electric conversion of the Saab of the same name.

Back to top

In-wheel motors making 121bhp are mounted at each corner, giving the Emily GT 484bhp in total.

Each motor sandwiches a drive unit between the alloy wheel and the aluminium brake disc, reportedly giving finer control of torque vectoring.

Such was the extent of the vectoring that the car can turn without using the steering wheel.

An air suspension system with active dampers was utilised to counteract the negative effect on ride quality caused by the increase in unsprung weight from the in-wheel motors.

A high-performance variant of the Emily GT was also in the works, with planned outputs of 653bhp and 1623lb ft. This would cut its 0-62mph sprint time down from 4.6sec to 3.2sec.

It has yet to be announced whether EV Electra will change these specifications.

The striking styling – which bears a strong resemblance to the final Saab 9-3 and Saab 9-5 – is reported to have been penned by an unnamed Italian and refined by former Saab designers.

Nevs' owner, the Evergrande Group, originally signed off a run of 20 prototypes. However, Evergrande – which made its fortune as one of China’s most prolific property developers – hit financial problems in 2020, and only six were built.

Back to top

In April, Emily programme director and former Saab engineer Peter Dahl told Swedish publication Carup: “Everything is in place to take it further into production. The prototypes are completely drivable, except that the airbag and auto-braking systems are missing.” 

Dahl said the project was about a year and a half away from completion.

Evergrande put Nevs into "hibernation" in April, having failed to secure a buyer. Of the Swedish firm’s 340 employees, 320 were laid off.

That month, Polestar signed a lease for part of Nevs’s Trollhättan factory. The Volvo spin-off will use the facility as an R&D base for its future EVs.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a MG Metro 6R4 feature

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like a Caterham Seven or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
russ13b 29 April 2023

NEVS were working on a Phoenex platform EV years ago, and a car being a year away from production does mean that it's basically finished as far as engineering etc goes. That these prototypes have a smaller battery doesn't really mean anything either. 

FastRenaultFan 28 April 2023
Looks great inside and out. Certainly looks like a SAAB from the side and tge rear but not from the front which is OK. A pity it might never be made unless one of the Chinese companies takes the company over.
Boris9119 28 April 2023

As Sulphur Man says, vapourware, incredible that Autocar deems this worth a headline article? So a defunct company, about to attempt an IP, talks up an 'almost production ready' prototype that is at least 1.5yrs from production, assuming someone builds a new factory and production line, the prototype has a circa 50kwh battery, yet their claims as headlined by Autocar refer to a 175kwh battery, and theres no mention of price - because in fairness they do not have a clue themselves. I cannot imagine a scenario where the business case for this 'enterprise' even remotely begins to make sense. Hence, as Sulphur Man posted, this is nothing but vapourware.

wmb 30 April 2023

Point taken and a solid one, yet that doesn’t mean that there is a real possibility of this vehicle or some version of it coming to market. As I understand, it is the IP that is for sale and the most valuable. Big, major automakers probably won’t bite, due to already being heavily invested in designing their own BEV that fits into their production portfolio. For a smaller company like Mazda, this may be a big windfall for them! They could purchase the IP for pennies on the dollar, finish the development and hire a tier one supplier to build the vehicle. Being a small auto maker and in recent years, seeming to shy away from partnering with other automakers, this could bring them up to speed with larger automakers immediately! It could also support their move up market, as their current products have been trending. Just a thought.