Opel will discontinue the Ampera due to weak sales

Article by Christian A., on July 21, 2014

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.

For those who don’t know, the Opel Ampera uses a 1.4-liter DOHC four-cylinder gasoline-powered range extender that generates 84 hp that powers a 55 kW generator, but also an electric motor with a peak output of 149 hp (111 kW) and 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) of torque.

Using just the juice from the 17.1 kWh lithium-ion battery the Opel Ampera offers a range of 60 km, while helped by the internal combustion engine the range is extended to 500 km. Ampera is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9 seconds, while top speed is limited at 161 km/h.

The ground-breaking Opel Ampera commemorated its global debut at the 79th Geneva Motor Show. General Motors Europe president, Carl-Peter Forster, revealed the longer-range electric vehicle and talked about plans to start production later in 2011.

The Opel Ampera's wheels are electrically turned at every time and speed. For trips no more than 60 km (MVEG), it operates on the power stored in the 16-kWh LI-I battery and produces no CO2. After the battery’s charge is over, the engine’s generator produces electricity to extend the Ampera's range to over 500 km.

The Ampera can plug into any household outlet of 230 volts to charge. GM Europe is investigating the conditions for a recharging framework for plug-in electric vehicles with energy businesses, such as Spain’s Iberdrola.

As opposed to a traditional battery-electric automobile, the Ampera removes "range anxiety," giving drivers confidence and peace of mind. They no longer have to worry about getting stranded due to a used-up battery.

GM will manufacture the Ampera battery pack at the first LI-I manufacturing facility operated by a major automaker in the US. The T-shaped pack will have over 220 lithium-ion cells providing plenty of power. The almost completely quiet electric drive creates 370 Nm of instant torque, equal to 150 hp, goes from 0 to 100 km/h in about nine seconds, and has a 161 km/h top speed.

Ampera will be sufficient for the needs of most customers in Europe and their everyday driving needs. For instance, about 80 percent of drivers in Germany travel under 50 km daily.

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Topics: opel, opel ampera, sales

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