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Opel CEO Neumann presents key of Ampera-e to the Pope Francis

Everyone in the world probably knows how Pope Francis prefers simple living. Thus, it would be impossible to see the Pope in luxury and opulent models. As such, his holiness generally prefers to be in a Fiat 500L or a Renault 4.

Currently, the Vatican has disclosed that it is implementing plans to be the first ever country in the world to be CO2-free. It is important then to make the shift to electric models or ones that are powered with renewable energy.

Opel's latest gift to the Pope falls in line with the overall ambition of the Vatican. The brand gave him the keys to the latest Opel Ampera-e and this was presented to the Pope by CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann himself. This was at the sidelines of the "Laudato Sì: the Sustainability of Communication and Innovation" conference. The conference was attended by various entrepreneurs, experts, institutions, and opinion leaders. The objective of the conference was to discuss certain issues related to environmental sustainability and hopefully answer questions when it comes to what the future of mobility is. At the same conference, the brand, Vatican, and Enel, an energy company based in Italy, made a commitment to develop a sustainable mobility program for this all important city state.

Read the entire article Opel CEO Neumann presents key of Ampera-e to the Pope Francis

Opel set to launch first electric car dubbed Ampera-e in 2017

By now, electric cars have finally established themselves as viable alternatives to their gas guzzling counterparts. And it's not hard to imagine why. Indeed what could be cooler than a state-of-the art vehicle that helps protect the environment with its zero pollution mobility? Opel's answer is the Ampera-e, its new battery electric car set to be launched by 2017, which is a copy of the Chevrolet Bolt.

According to Opel, the new electric car will go farther on a full charge than most electric cars available in the market today. It is also be priced cheaper than its competitors. This is made possible due to Opel's experience and expertise gained from its previous hybrid model, the original Opel Ampera, which set the standard for modern electric cars back in 2011.

GM Chairman and CEO May Barra made the announcement at the CAR Symposium in Bochum, Germany. Barra revealed that Opel and parent firm General Motors have always viewed a future where electric cars play a vital role in meeting its transportation needs. Barra added that Ampera-e's contribution in making this vision a reality lies in the technological advancements incorporated into the new car's design.

Read the entire article Opel set to launch first electric car dubbed Ampera-e in 2017

Opel planning an electric successor for the discontinued Ampera, will arrive within 4 years

Two days ago we told you that the Opel Ampera will be discontinued due to weak demand and the German manufacturer owned by GM was not planning to replace the vehicle when the second-generation Chevrolet Volt will arrive. Still, it appears that the Opel Ampera will definitely have a successor in the electric vehicle segment as the company plans to keep its position as an innovative leader.

Opel said in a statement that electric mobility remains important to them and the development will continue in order to drive down costs and deliver affordability. The new model will be launched between 2014 and 2018, but the manufacturer refused to give us any more details.

We do know that the successor is codenamed BEV (battery electric vehicle) and will be much smaller and cheaper than the Opel Ampera.

Read the entire article Opel planning an electric successor for the discontinued Ampera, will arrive within 4 years

Opel will discontinue the Ampera due to weak sales

GM promised its customer that the next-generation of the Chevrolet Volt will be more fuel efficient and cheaper than its predecessor. Still, it appears that we will see the new vehicle only in the United States as GM’s Opel division decided to discontinue the Ampera a.k.a. a rebadged version of the Volt.

The Opel Ampera was introduced on the market in 2012 but the manufacturer sold 3,184 cars in 2013 while this year only 332 vehicles left the showrooms in the first five months. The then-Vice Chairman of GM Steve Girsky expressed his frustration about the car’s reception in Europe.

Girsky said that all the governments in Europe said that they want electric vehicles but when GM showed up with one, there’s no demand.

Read the entire article Opel will discontinue the Ampera due to weak sales

Opel is cutting the price of Ampera electric car in Germany by 17 percent or by EUR8,000, General Motors' European brand disclosed at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This means that the new Ampera will effectively have a tag of EU38,300 ($50,400) in Germany, according to Opel chief executive Karl-Thomas Neumann.

Opel’s CEO told reporters that it was no coincidence that Ampera’s price cut coincided with the unveiling of electric offerings by its rivals like the electrified version of the Volkswagen Golf hatchback and Up minicar.

Neumman said that the price cut move is to “remind people” that Opel has been in the electric vehicle market already for one and a half years. A spokesman for Opel said that the brand will also implement price cuts in other markets, but noted that the size of the reduction will differ country to country due to differing tax laws.

Read the entire article Opel cuts price of Ampera electric car in Germany by 17% to EU38,300

Vauxhall has entered into a six-month pilot partnership to include its all-new electric Ampera into the fleet of automobile sharing network Zipcar, Inc., which provides self-service pay-as-you-go automobiles. Members of the leading car sharing network in the world can now book a reservation for the Ampera through the Internet or their smart phones, just like what they do when booking one of the 1,700 vehicles across the Capital.

This partnership will be a first in the United Kingdom wherein a car sharing club is offering an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) to its members. The Ampera is recognized as the European Car of the Year for 2012. The Ampera units will be very easy to find on the busy street of the Capital with the vehicle's highly attractive full-body wrap liveries of spots and country meadow, making them movable landmarks of London.

General Manager Mark Walker at Zipcar UK commented that they are "committed to positive change" in their city environments, adding that the pilot partnership "marks a step change in the evolution of electric vehicles in London" as well as "represents a major advance" for the city and its people.

Read the entire article Vauxhall, Zipcar ink 6-month deal to include Ampera in car sharing network

General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt may not be making waves in the United States, but the plug-in hybrid model is doing better in Europe under the Opel brand. According to the Detroit News, GM has already received around 7,000 orders for the Opel Ampera, raising expectations at the US carmaker that it could sell as many as 10,000 units of Europe’s Volt by the end of 2012.

Seen as the main reason for Ampera’s growing popularity in Europe is that the gasoline price in the continent is nearly twice more expensive than in the US, thus attracting more fleet and retail customers who value fuel efficiency. 

Fleet or commercial customers currently account for around 60 percent of Ampera sales. The Ampera was recently awarded as the 2012 European Car of the Year, becoming the first car developed in the US to win the distinction. GM rolled out the Ampera in Europe – and released the Volt in selected countries – in February, and has since received much support from the fuel-concerned customers.

Read the entire article Volt’s Opel Ampera counterpart becoming popular in Europe

The Vauxhall/Opel Ampera is on a winning streak as it got an award at 13th International Monte Carlo Rally for electric and alternative propulsion cars after having been recently given the award for “Car of the Year 2012.” There were four Amperas named in this list of top 10 vehicles. The French duo Bernard Darniche and Joseph Lambert were able to beat the whole competitive field.

Last Sunday during the last day of this race, this electric vehicle got to the finish line in the capital of the Côte d’Azur principality. There were about 130 participants from about 30 manufacturers, including seven Amperas and one private Ampera team. The rest of the contenders included a Renault Fluence Z.E., a Tesla Roadster sports car, a Mitsubishi I-MiEV and a Peugeot Ion.

Aside from being the overall winner, the Ampera teams also did well. Coming in at No. 3 are Charlotte Berton and Olivier Sussot. Seventh place went to Jean-Claude Andruet and Patrick Lienne while Hanns Werner Wirth and Daniel Riesen finished 8th.

Read the entire article Opel Ampera wins the Monte Carlo Rally for electric and alternative propulsion cars

We have to admit that an electric rally car sounds a little bit weird, but Opel will provide six Ampera vehicles for the prestigious international Rally Monte Carlo. According to the German manufacturer, the Opel Amperas will make their debut in the “Alternative Energy” version of the rally, which commences in Annecy-le-Vieux, Clermont-Ferrand and Lugano today.

The rally will finish on March 25 in the capital of Monaco, Monte Carlo. In order to take part, competing vehicles must have a maximum of 115g/km CO2 emissions. Apparently, the aim of the rally is to cover a certain distance at a constant speed and use as little energy as possible.

Some 150 vehicles are expected to take part this year. For those who don’t know, the Opel Ampera is the system model of the Chevrolet Volt and it is not quite an electric car as it also uses a gasoline engine. The Ampera uses a 16 kWh lithium ion battery that powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor, and it can cover a distance of between 40 and 80 kilometers.

Read the entire article Opel Ampera will debut at the 2012 Rally Monte Carlo

COTY’s UK jurors gave the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera and Chevrolet Volt the award for ‘Car of the Year’ with the highest score of 47 points. The judges, which consisted of 59 leading automotive journalists from 23 nations in Europe, paid tribute to these groundbreaking electric vehicles. The winner -- Vauxhall Ampera / Chevrolet Volt – won with 330 points, with a considerable lead against runner-up: VW Up (with 281 points) and Ford Focus (with 256).

This also marks the first time ever that they made their selections in the context of the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show.

The President of the COTY judging panel, Hakan Matson, handed the “Car of the Year 2012” award to Karl-Friedrich Stracke, the CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, and Susan Docherty, Chevrolet’s President and Managing Director for Europe. There had been seven COTY finalists before the Ampera and the Volt later emerged as the joint overall winner.

Read the entire article Vauxhall/Opel Ampera and Chevrolet Volt voted “Car of the Year 2012”

Vauxhall has won a contest by the Association of Chief Police Officers Intelligent Transport Systems (ACPO ITS) to showcase an electric vehicle that utilizes revolutionary crime-fighting technology, which could be brought into the active Police service by 2015. On January 31, 2012, Vauxhall demonstrated the innovative Ampera in Police livery packed with the latest policing equipment on the Home Office's Centre of Applied Science & Technology (CAST) podium at the Police & Security Conference held in Farnborough.

 The Vauxhall Ampera is on the shortlist for both European Car of the Year and World Car of the Year recognition. It is fitted with a wide array of high-tech kit in order to aid Police officers in fighting crime.

The features include internal camera for facial recognition linked to the Police National Database, four external-mounted cameras for evidence gathering, and a second screen mounted on the passenger sun visor to allow the passenger to access all Police information.

Read the entire article Vauxhall showcases Ampera police vehicle packed with high-tech features

Deliveries of the Ampera plug-in hybrid to Europe have been delayed, according to General Motors Co.'s Opel/Vauxhall unit. The U.S. authorities’ investigations over the battery fires are ongoing. A total of three battery fires on the Chevrolet Volt took place weeks after the crash tests conducted by the government.

An Opel spokesman told Automotive News Europe that no cars will be delivered to customers while the process to deal with the issue is being set up “to make sure they are safe.”

The Ampera has already started deliveries to dealers in Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland. Last June, Opel said that the Ampera would be entering the European market by the end of 2011.

Read the entire article GM delays the deliveries of Opel/Vauxhall Ampera on battery worries

It’s now Opel Ampera’s turn to undergo Euro NCAP’s tests, the same ones that the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Nissan LEAF were subjected to. This new EV has a balance of structure, interior and restraint system that’s well-optimized, enabling it to get the maximum points in the side pole test. Using the new rating scheme, the Ampera scored 85% in adult occupant protection, 86% safety assist, 78% in child occupant protection, and 41% in pedestrian protection.

The standard equipment for the model includes Electronic Stability Control and a seatbelt reminder system for the driver, front passenger and rear seats.

These tests indicated that in a frontal impact, the passenger cell that may hold adult occupants stayed stable. Also fitted as standard equipment on this car are the driver and passenger airbags. The tests with the dummies showed that the knees and femurs of both front seat occupants are well protected.

Read the entire article 2012 Opel Ampera gets five star rating at the Euro NCAP crash tests

General Motors Co. will offer 10,000 units of its Ampera plug-in hybrid in Europe in 2012, according to GM Europe President Nick Reilly. He said that the Ampera, a sister model to the Chevrolet Volt, is assembled together with the Volt in the Hamtramck facility near Detroit. Opel will get 6,000 units from GM's allocation of 60,000 units for next year.

GM's Vauxhall brand in the UK will sell the remaining 4,000 cars. The Ampera makes use of the Volt's technology but its styling is quite different. For example, it features the bold-looking grille of Opel.

Premium content in the Ampera include Bose speakers and touchscreen monitors. GM is preparing for the launch of the Ampera and Volt this November in Europe. GM is planning to sell as many as 2,000 units of the Volt each year in the region. Opel has given the Ampera a price tag of 42,900 euros, higher than the Volt’s price of $39,995 (28,125 euros) in the U.S.

Read the entire article GM to offer 10,000 units of its Ampera plug-in hybrid in Europe in 2012

General Motors Co. may not decide on whether it will build the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera plug-in hybrid vehicle in Europe for another two years, GM Europe’s President Nick Reilly disclosed, stating that they won’t produce generation one because they lose money on it.

According to an insider, European production for the company may not start before 2015, which is the time when the second-generation vehicle will be launched.

Reilly, who also serves as the chairman of the Opel/Vauxhall supervisory board, further said that they know that they are going to take “a lot of cost” out of the second-generation model, such as the batteries and other components.

Read the entire article GM may delay decision to build the Ampera in Europe for another two years

General Motors Co.'s Opel/Vauxhall unit will offer an eight-year warranty for the new Ampera plug-in electric car’s battery system. At the Geneva Motor Show, Opel CEO Nick Reilly said that the Ampera – the Chevrolet Volt’s sister model - will also be sold with Opel's "lifetime guarantee" in European countries that carry the warranty.

Reilly said the company has received 3,000 pre-orders and 1,000 deposits from private buyers for the Ampera, which will be sold in in Europe in November 2011 for EUR42,900. Reilly added that fleet users and governments are also interested in the Ampera.

GM, with the battery warranty, seeks to allay fears in Europe on the durability of a new wave of mostly untested lithium-ion batteries. Opel will not sell the Ampera at a lower cost while leasing the Ampera's battery pack, a retail model that certain automakers will use to bring the sticker prices of their EVs in line with conventionally powered vehicles.

Read the entire article Opel to offer an eight-year warranty for the new Ampera

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.

Read the entire article Opel Ampera production version coming to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

Vauxhall Motors said car buyers in the United Kingdom can purchase the Ampera plug-in hybrid for GBP28,995 (about $46,000). The price includes a GBP5,000 subsidy offered by the UK government to buyers of the electric cars.

Opel Ampera is a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Volt. The Chevrolet Volt costs $41,000 in the United States. The Ampera will be sold as an Opel and will cost EUR42,900 ($57,739) in European markets outside the UK. The Ampera is designed to be powered by electricity at all times.

For the first 25 to 50 miles (40 km to 80 km), electricity stored in the 16-kilowatt hour lithium ion battery pack powers the drivetrain, resulting in zero emissions. For longer trips, a gasoline-fueled engine/generator sustains the battery charge and extends the driving range to 300 miles (500 km).

Read the entire article United Kingdom will get the cheapest Opel/Vauxhall Ampera plug-in hybrid

The European unit of General Motors Co. will sell the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera (a rebadged Chevrolet Volt) for EUR42,900 (about $58,000). However, Opel sales and marketing head Alain Visser said in a statement that the steeper price of the Ampera will come with high quality features.

Premium features to be included in the Ampera include Bose speakers and touch-screen monitors. Opel said it has starting taking reservations for the Ampera and deliveries are set to start commence in October 2010.

The Ampera will be produced alongside the Volt at GM’s plant in Warren, Michigan, and the Ampera shares Volt’s technology. But it has more styling modifications like Opel’s bold-looking grille.

Read the entire article 2011 Opel Ampera priced at €42,900

The plug-in hybrid Opel Ampera is likely to be offered with a price tag of 24,500 pounds (about 28,000 euros), according to Opel's managing director Hans Demant. The Opel Ampera was officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year and is slated to go on sale in 2012.

With this price, the Opel Ampera would be less expensive than the top of the line Vauxhall Zafira with automatic transmission.

It is often referred to as the European Volt, probably because it features the same powertrain used by the Chevrolet Volt and shares most of the other features except the design.

Read the entire article Opel Ampera likely to be offered with a price tag of GBP28,000