Interested buyers for the MY2011 Opel Ampera electric vehicle could now make reservations to be among the first to own this model. Regarded as the first EV in Europe capable of travelling longer even after its battery ran out of juice, the Ampera offers the right solution for those who usually travel less than 60 kilometers daily but sometimes need to go farther.
Yes, the Ampera – which could operate in a variety of climates at all times and speeds – will be entirely powered solely by electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery for the first 40 to 80 kilometers. During that period, the Ampera is purely an eco-friendly vehicle emitting nothing, with the owner enjoying pollution-free driving.
The good news is that according to an independent research, around 80 percent of Europeans drive less than 60 kilometers daily. This means that the Ampera would be able to cater to their daily travel needs without causing harm to the environment. Once the battery runs out of juice, it is very easy to re-charge.
A customer just has to plug the Ampera’s on-board charge system into a standard outlet (230v) and wait for around three hours. This fast re-charging time means that an Ampera driver would not have to worry about running out of battery power while in the midst of a travel.
But should the Ampera’s battery power reaches zero, drivers still do not have to worry as Opel has devised a great way to extend the vehicle’s range – by installing a gasoline-powered engine/generator.
Good news is that the Ampera does not have to stop when the power source shifts to the engine. When the battery runs out of power, the engine/generator will smoothly and seamlessly kick in and allow the Ampera to travel over 500 kilometers more.
Thus, whether for a short trip or a long cruise, the Opel Ampera offers to cater drivers’ range needs. As for its looks, the new Ampera inherits the genes of the carmaker’s new design language, evident in its bold Opel badge, prominent grille, and audacious boomerang headlamps.
Thanks to its well-designed and well-studied form, the Ampera boasts of being one of the most aerodynamic and energy-efficient vehicles currently available. Inside its cabin, meanwhile, is an array of premium content like Bose speakers and touch-screen monitors.
Now that the five-door, four-seat Ampera is now ready to be reserved, interested buyers are expected to flock into Opel’s showrooms. Its base model carries a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (Europe-wide) that starts at EUR42,900, including national VAT.
Its net price in Germany is EUR36,050, as the country only charges 19 percent VAT. Likewise, since trim levels for the new Ampera will differ according to where it is being sold, the prices should be expected to differ too.
For the understanding of those who may complain that the Ampera could be more expensive than other EVs, Opel structures its pricing not like its rivals. Prices of other EVs may seem less expensive because rival carmakers only highlight the base for the car and excludes the leasing rate for the battery pack.
But since battery leases are paid every month for years, the total price of those EVs would be more or less the same as those whose overall tag includes both the car’s and the battery’s. Since Opel’s pricing scheme includes both the cost of the Ampera and its battery, the total price of the EV is easier to understand.
To reserve, interested buyers just need to register at www.opel-ampera.com and become an ‘ePioneer,’ a privilege that allows them to receive exclusive news and to get a chance to test drive the Ampera. Opel will start sales of Ampera in the fourth quarter of 2011.