Opel Ampera production version coming to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 8, 2011

Beside the Zafira Tourer Concept, Opel also announced that at this year’s Geneva Motor Show it will bring the production version of the Ampera. According to the German manufacturer the new Appera extended-range electric vehicle will be the first electric car in Europe suitable for everyday driving. Ampera offers plenty of trunk space and interior space for four passengers.

Still, just like the Chevrolet Volt, the Opel Ampera is not a full-electric car as it comes with a gasoline-fueled engine/generator that can extend its range to more than 500 kilometers on a single fuel tank.

The car is powered by a 111 kW/150 hp electric motor capable to deliver 370 Nm of torque from standstill.

This electric motor can push the Opel Ampera from zero to 100 km/h in 9 seconds and to a top speed of 161 km/h. Ampera can act as a full-electric vehicle for the first 40 - 80 kilometers, when the power is supplied by the electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery.

The battery can be recharged in about four hours at 230V using the vehicle's on-board charge system into a standard outlet. Due to the short time, the car can be used as a full-electric vehicle when driving it in the cities.

When launched, the new Opel Ampera will be the first emission-free, electric-powered vehicle in Europe that could be used for daily driving. It features the Voltec electric propulsion system that offers emotional acceleration as well as high levels of refinement.

Not only that, the five-door Opel Ampera offers remarkable comfort for it seats four passengers and even provides enough space for luggage. At all times and at all speeds, the Opel Ampera is powered by electricity. Electricity is stored in and supplied by a state-of-the-art 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery, allowing the Opel Ampera to cruise up to 60 km (MVEG) while emitting zero carbon dioxide.

Once power in the battery has been used up, an engine-generator – fueled by either gasoline or E85 – seamlessly kicks in and provides electricity to the electric drive unit while sustaining the charge of the battery.

This allows the Opel Ampera to have an overall range of up to 500 km. The battery could be recharged by simply plugging the Ampera’s on-board charge system into a standard household 230v outlet.

With this capability, Opel Ampera drivers won’t feel any range anxiety, knowing that even when the battery has been depleted, the vehicle could still run hundreds of miles.

Frank Weber, global vehicle line executive and chief engineer, remarked that electric driving is not just about the environment, but it is also about great fun, adding that the Opel Ampera boasts of 370 Nm of instantaneous, silent torque.

Hans Demant, GME's vice president of engineering, remarked that they consider the vehicle’s advanced lithium-ion battery system to be the key to making the Opel Ampera appeal to consumers. He noted that the carmaker’s engineers at its r&d center in Mainz-Kastel, Germany have been vigorously testing the battery to make sure that it meets the expectations of customers.

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