GM has a product program in place working to develop a series production E-Flex extended range electric vehicle for the Opel brand, according to GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.
The program is based on the Volt program, Wagoner said, and most of the development currently is underway at the GM Development Center in Warren, Michigan, leveraging the Volt work. Wagoner made the remarks after a speech delivered today at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club.
On Tuesday, GM Europe announced it will invest a total of €9 billion (US$14 billion) into Opel through 2012 with €6.5 billion (US$10 billion) to be spent on the development of new vehicles and propulsion systems. The product rollout is to include 17 new passenger cars, including an extended range electric vehicle based on the E-Flex system, and 3 light commercial vehicles.
Opel unveiled a diesel concept variant of the E-Flex architecture at the Frankfurt motor show (IAA) last year. (Earlier post.) Using a 1.3-liter engine coupled with a 16 kWh Li-ion battery pack, the concept at the time offered up to 55 km (34 miles) of all-electric range. In the announcement about the funding, GM said it is looking at a 65 km (40 miles) electric range for the Opel E-Flex vehicle—i.e., in line with the specifications for the Volt.