EV Electra aims to make Swedish-engineered Emily GT in Italy

The Emily GT, an electric sedan prototype created by former Saab engineers in Sweden with Chinese funding, may see production in Italy under the auspices of a Canadian startup, reports Autocar.

The startup in question is called EV Electra, and it has just had an offer to buy an Italian factory approved, CEO Jihad Mohammad said in a LinkedIn post. EV Electra had previously discussed plans to build cars in Turkey, as well as the former Saab factory in Trollhättan Sweden, but the startup failed to agree on a deal with the factory’s current owner, according to Autocar. Saab’s former development center, meanwhile, is now being used for work on the Polestar 5.

NEVS Emily GT prototype – Photo credit: Plint/Protean

EV Electra has shown renderings of other body styles beyond the initial sedan, including a wagon, coupe, and convertible. It’s also shown a sports car called the Rise and a luxury sedan called the Capital ES. In separate LinkedIn post, Mohammad said the startup is already moving on to choosing dealers, and expects to begin delivering at least one of these proposed models in August 2024.

The Emily GT originated under NEVS, which bought the remains of Saab—including its future product development—after the Swedish automaker went bankrupt in 2011. NEVS planned four EVs for China based on the Phoenix platform that was going to underpin the next-generation Saab 9-3, plus an electric version of the old 9-3 and 9-3X using that model’s General Motors legacy platform. A version of the latter was publicly shown in 2017.

NEVS Emily GT prototype – Photo credit: Plint/Protean

Similar in size to the Tesla Model S or Lucid Air, the Emily GT was created with those Saab roots as a demonstrator for Protean in-wheel motors, rather than a production model. China’s Dongfeng Fengshen E70 recently became the world’s first passenger vehicle to use them. Protean just this past week also showed a Land Rover Defender EV conversion taking advantage of the tech as part of weight-saving measures.

Development reportedly started in 2019, with the first prototypes reportedly being completed in 10 months. However, the Emily GT wasn’t revealed to the public until 2023. EV Electra bought the rights to the project, development of which had reportedly halted in 2021, that same year.