2011 Opel Ampera
The American Chevrolet Volt has a starting price of $41,000. His European brother however, GM’s Opel/Vauxhall Ampera will have a basic price of $58,600 (42,900 euros). Alain Visser who is Opel’s sales and marketing chief, recently affirmed that this price difference between the European and the North American model is justified because the Ampera in Europe will be available with high-quality features.
In the statement, he said that “We have compromised on nothing. The Ampera is a beautiful car that is as fun to drive as it is packed with premium content.” Some of the premium features of the European Ampera listed by Opel are touchscreen monitors and Bose speakers. Reservations for the car are already being made and it will go on sale in October next year. The Ampera will be built together with the Chevrolet Volt in Warren, Michigan, US. The car will get the same technology as the Volt, but it will have different styling modifications like the bold-looking grille that is traditional for Opel cars.
Unlike other manufacturers that are selling electric vehicles or will be selling them in the near future, European automaker Opel will not allow the possibility for the customer to buy the vehicle and rent the very expensive battery that powers the Ampera. This method is used by other automakers in order to lower the prices of the electric vehicles, reducing the price gap between an EV and a gasoline car. Opel said that by leasing the battery of the Ampera it will make the car affordable at a first sight, but taking into consideration that such a lease will last for several years, the total amount of money a customer will have to pay for the battery pack will be just about the same as purchasing the car with the battery from the beginning.
Similar with the situation of the Chevrolet Volt in the United States, the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera will benefit from government subsidies in various European countries. The officials at Opel declared that their car will be powered by the electric motor at all times during driving. During the first 25 to 50 miles (40 km to 80 km), the Ampera’s power for the drivetrain will come from the electricity that will be stored in the 16 kW lithium-ion battery. Using exclusively the electric power, the car will have zero CO2 emissions. For distances bigger than 50 miles, the Ampera will be powered by the gasoline engine that will sustain the battery charge and increase the driving range to 300 miles (500 km).
2011 Opel Ampera
Intensive research regarding how many km do Europeans per day, say that about 80% of people that live in this continent travel less than 60 km each day. Taking this in consideration and the fact that the time necessary to recharge the battery of the Ampera is only about three hours or so, the officials at Opel said that the car will be most likely driven in the electric mode.
General Motors will officially launch the Chevrolet Volt in Europe in the last part of 2011, just about the same period as the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera will be available for sale.
Opel/Vauxhall CEO Nick Reilly affirmed at the 2010 Paris Auto Show that the Ampera will be most likely sold to local government agencies or as a business fleet car, a strong market for Opel. The Volt will be designated for the retail clients in Europe.
General Motors already started production on the Chevrolet Volt that will be sold in the United States. The company said that it would start making delivers by the end of this year.