Opel/Vauxhall ends development of electric Adam minicar due to high costs

Article by Anita Panait, on November 8, 2012

Opel/Vauxhall has terminated the development of an electric version of the Adam minicar, citing high costs. Opel’s project has already reached the stage of development of a working car, using the same technology applied to the incoming Chevrolet Spark EV minicar. According to Dieter Metz, Opel's chief engineer for the Adam, the termination of the Adam EV project was a business decision.

He detailed that Opel could not charge the customer the price needed to make it work on the cost aspect. Alfred Rieck, Opel's head of sales and marketing, remarked that electric vehicles are hard to sell since customers are not willing to pay higher prices for EV technology. Rieck quipped that in looking at the technology available on the market today, electric vehicles are very expensive.

He noted that a carmaker would decide on a certain price of the car but consumers would not be interested in it, adding that only increased sales would bring down prices of electric vehicles. Opel currently markets the Ampera plug-in hybrid, considered as a sibling model to the Chevrolet Volt. Both cars run on electric power, but are supported by a small gasoline engine as a backup in case the batteries get depleted.

Chevrolet is planning to roll out the Spark EV in the United States and other global markets in 2013. Opel will commence selling the Adam in January 2013, with a starting price of EUR11,500 in Germany.

The Adam is targeted towards rival minicars like the Fiat 500 and Mini. The Adam will initially be available with 1.2-liter and 1.4-liter gasoline engines. An Adam powered by a 1.0-liter turbocharged engine and which  boasts of carbon dioxide emissions of below 100 grams per kilometer will go on sale in 2013.

Opel will commence sales of the new Adam in early 2013. By then, the new Opel should be able to attract attention as it was able to during its global debut at the Paris Motor Show in September. Aside from its contemporary and colorful appearance, it is backed up by seemingly unending personalization options, thereby ensuring customers that each Adam is distinct.

The new Adam marks Opel’s entry into the lifestyle A-segment. With dimensions of nearly 3.70 meters in length and 1.72 meters in width (excluding mirrors), the new Adam hatchback is perfectly sized to maneuver in the urban settings. While it is tagged as a car made for the city, the new Opel Adam could still go beyond thanks to its agile nature, as made possible by its chassis and steering settings.

Its four passengers (including the driver) are treated to a premium-like cabin that could be further be personalized thanks to the availability of a wide array of color, decors and interior lighting options. Moreover, despite its compact size, the new Adam offers generous space especially for the people sitting on the front compartment.

What may set the Opel Adam apart from its rivals is that it is laden with a number of premium technologies that could only be in upper segments. These include the new IntelliLink onboard infotainment system that allows for smartphone (Android and Apple iOS) integration, as well as a power steering system with a "light touch" CITY mode. Also included are the Side Blind Spot Alert and the next generation of the Park Assist system that could automatically park the Adam on a slot.

With these high levels of equipment and personalization, the Opel Adam is certainly a good proposition for customers’ money. Its base version – powered by a 51 kW (70 hp) 1.2-liter gasoline engine – costs just EUR11,500 in Germany (RRP including VAT). Available options are also as light on the pocket. For instance, starlight headliner illuminated by 64 LED lights can be availed for EUR380 while IntelliLink infotainment system is priced at EUR300.

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