Saab owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has only managed to produce a handful of cars since taking over the Swedish automaker in 2012.

But the Chinese-backed company now claims it will launch five electric-car models by 2018. And we have an idea of where it will get the funding to put that ambitious plan into action.

NEVS recently struck a deal valued at approximately $12 billion with China's Panda New Energy, to supply the firm with 150,000 electric cars by 2020.

DON'T MISS: Saab Owner NEVS To Launch Five Electric Cars By 2018, For Chinese Market

These will all be electric versions of the old Saab 9-3, based on the General Motors Epsilon platform and built from 2003 through 2011.

NEVS previously said this model would enter production in 2017. It built at least one prototype in 2014, but there has been little apparent activity related to the project since then.

Panda is one of numerous "new energy" companies taking advantage of Chinese government incentives. It leases cars, primarily to chauffeur services.

Saab 9-3 EV electric prototype shown by NEVS, 2014

Saab 9-3 EV electric prototype shown by NEVS, 2014

It hopes to become the largest electric-car leasing company in the world.

In addition to the initial, 150,000-car order, the agreement will see Panda take delivery of an additional 100,000 electric cars from NEVS at some point in the future.

ALSO SEE: Saab 9-3 Production Restarts, Electric Version Still Planned (Dec 2013)

Panda will also receive some related services from companies associated with NEVS.

In addition to the Epsilon-based 9-3, NEVS recently said it would launch four models based on the nascent Saab Phoenix platform.

The Phoenix platform was intended to underpin a new generation of post-GM Saabs, but the company collapsed before it could be put into production.

2014 Saab 9-3 Aero

2014 Saab 9-3 Aero

The Phoenix-based models will include a small sedan and three small crossovers, NEVS previously said.

It's still not clear whether any of these vehicles will wear the Saab name, as NEVS lost control of the rights last year.

MORE: Old Saab 9-3 To Become Turkish National Car; Electric Version May Be Included

NEVS is still negotiating for use of the name with its current owners--a consortium that includes the Swedish aerospace company also known as Saab.

The electric 9-3 will initially be built at the former Saab factory in Trollhättan, but NEVS has said it plans to build cars in Tianjin, China, as well.


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter