General Motors’ Germany-based Opel division has announced plans to launch a new electric car called Ampera-e.
The Ampera-e is one of 29 new or redesigned Opel models that are scheduled to go on sale between this year and 2020. Its name is a reference to the Opel-specific variant of the first-generation Chevrolet Volt, but it’s essentially a re-badged version of the hotly-anticipated 2017 Bolt that made its official debut last month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visually, the biggest differences between the two models are a re-styled front bumper, a new grille accented by two thin strips of chrome trim, and, of course, Opel emblems on both ends.
Opel hasn’t published technical specifications yet, but it’s safe to assume the Ampera-e will borrow the bulk of its powertrain components from its Chevrolet-badged sibling. It will be equipped with a totally flat battery pack located under the passenger compartment, an innovative packaging solution that will allow it to offer space for five passengers, and 16.9 cubic feet of trunk space.
Chevrolet predicts the Bolt will be capable of driving for over 200 miles on a single charge. The pack takes nine hours to fully re-charge when plugged into a 240-volt outlet, though Chevrolet is expected to offer an optional DC fast charger capable of providing an 80-percent charge in less than an hour.
Opel promises the Ampera-e will go on sale across the Old Continent — including in England, where it will wear a Vauxhall emblem — next year, but a more specific time frame hasn’t been provided yet. We should learn more about the Rüsselsheim-based company’s first series-produced electric car next month at the Geneva Auto Show. Whether the Bolt will be sold in Australia, where the local GM-owned brand is Holden, is anyone’s guess at this point.