Opel/Vauxhall want a partner for developing fuel-saving hybrid powertrains

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2011

Opel/Vauxhall, the European subsidiary of General Motors Co., is thinking of having a partner in the development of fuel-saving hybrid powertrains to share in the expenses, as the brand rolls out more gasoline-electric vehicles.

The Wednesday issue of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has quoted Karl-Friedrich Stracke, the chief executive officer of Opel, as saying that the hybrid technology is turning out to be more valuable.

Stracke added that they have not engaged in any concrete discussions yet but a partnership would definitely be a good way to reduce expenses.

He also stated that what makes this goal more urgent is the presence of European legislation stating that by 2020, automakers have to sell cars that release an average of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, according to Autonews.

Stracke reiterated that they need hybrid technology to be used beginning with the compact vehicles and upwards. The vehicle manufacturer is wagering that the Ampera, which is an extended-range EV based on the Chevrolet Volt, would contribute in reaching its target.

The paper further reported that around 6,000 orders have already been received for the vehicle model, which starts deliveries in November at a price of 42,900 euros before grants. The brand desires to sell more than 10,000 Amperas throughout Europe by 2012.

Stracke forecasted that the company may hit 12,000 units or more. In July, he informed Automotive News Europe that any pronouncement to manufacture a second-generation Ampera would depend on the success of the hybrid's sales.

He added that business case for around 40,000 to 60,000 units annually is needed. “Then maybe it makes sense to locally manufacturer it on the Continent or even in the UK," he stated.

Topics: opel, vauxhall, hybrid

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