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.
Opel chief financial officer Michael Lohscheller remarked that the price cut would not impact its expectations of a slightly narrower loss for Opel in 2013, given the relatively low sales figures. Lohscheller added that the better-than-expected results in the first half would not also cause Opel to revise its outlook upwards.
He noted to Reuters that the second half is traditionally weaker than the first half in the auto industry because of seasonal effects. According to official figures from the KBA motor vehicle agency, only 828 new Ampera cars were registered in Germany in 2012, when around 3.08 million vehicles were sold overall.
The Ampera is capable of travelling between 40 km and 80 km on electric power. As soon as this runs out, combustion engine range extender kicks in and allows another 500 kilometers of driving.
Once launched, the new Opel Ampera will be the first emission-free electric vehicle in Europe that could be used for daily drives. Its Voltec electric propulsion system doesn’t just offer superb acceleration and high levels of refinement but is also complemented by an extended range of over 500 km. In addition, the new Opel Ampera offers enough to comfortably accommodate four passengers and their luggage.
Frank Weber, global vehicle line executive and chief engineer, remarked that driving electrically isn’t just about the environment but also about experiencing great fun. He quipped that with 370 Newton meters of instantaneous torque, the driver feels like flying.
At any time and at any speed, the wheels of the Ampera are all electrically driven. Pure electric range is estimated at 60 km, with power derived from a 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery.
During pure electric driving, the new Opel Ampera practically emits no carbon dioxide. Once the lithium-ion battery depletes its energy, a gasoline/E85-fueled engine would seamlessly kick in to deliver the needed electricity for the electric drive unit. The engine also serves as a generator, which means it also sustain the battery’s charge in the process. Thanks to this setup, the Ampera could travel by 500 km more. Owners could recharge the battery just by plugging its on-board charge system into a standard household 230v outlet.