The NEVS Emily GT, a stillborn electric sedan developed by former Saab engineers and powered by in-wheel motors, may have a future thanks to EV Electra, an EV startup founded in Lebanon and today based in Canada.
NEVS is the Chinese-backed Swedish EV startup that famously tried to save Saab after it went bankrupt in 2011. After failing in that effort, NEVS attempted to use its own name for a brand of EVs packing the latest technology and developed by many of the same people that worked at Saab.
One of those EVs was a large sedan code-named the Emily GT. Development started in 2019 and was completed in only 10 months, though NEVS only revealed the sedan in early 2023, shortly after the company announced it was shutting down and seeking buyers for its assets.
NEVS Emily GT prototype - Photo credit: Plint/Protean
The Emily GT was never intended for production. Its purpose was as a demonstrator for in-wheel electric motor technology from Protean, a British EV technology company acquired by NEVS in 2019.
One of the people that worked on the car was Simon Padien, a former Saab designer who was part of the team that worked on the last Saab 9-5, which may explain why the Emily GT with its boxy greenhouse looks like it could be a spiritual successor to the 9-5.
No specifications have been released by NEVS, but it's thought the Emily GT can support a battery as big as 175 kwh. Each of its four Protean in-wheel motors is thought to be rated at 120 hp, which would mean a combined output of around 480 hp.
NEVS Emily GT
Further development of the Emily GT stopped in 2021 when NEVS parent company Evergrande Group ran into financial trouble, linked primarily to its real estate business in China.
EV Electra has said it plans to start production of EVs in Turkey but hasn't mentioned any specific models. The company's CEO has also said he wants to build cars in Trollhättan, where the former Saab plant is located, and where the Emily GT was developed.
EV Electra hasn't said how much it paid for NEVS's assets. The same company in 2021 announced it paid $500 million for a majority stake in Detroit Electric, a Chinese-backed startup that announced plans for three cars in 2017 but has since fallen off the radar.