SAE Offering Tuition-Free Educational Training For Displaced Auto Professionals
New Study Concludes Climate Changes Largely Irreversible for More Than 1,000 Years After CO2 Emissions Completely Stopped

Opel To Introduce Ampera Extended Range Electric Vehicle At Geneva Motor Show

GM’s Opel will introduce its application of the Voltec extended range electric vehicle architecture in the form of the new Ampera. The five-door, four-seat Opel Ampera will be revealed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.

For short trips up to 60 km (37 miles), the Ampera will run only on lithium-ion battery power charged via a standard 230V outlet. For longer distances, the car will continue to drive on electricity that is generated by a small internal combustion engine.

The Ampera will be well-suited to the daily driving schedule of most European customers. For example, approximately 80% of German drivers travel less than 50 km daily.

Additional information on the Opel Ampera will be released 3 March at the Geneva Motor Show.

In 2007, GM unveiled the third variant of its what it then called its E-Flex electric vehicle architecture at the Frankfurt Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The Opel Flextreme was a plug-in diesel series hybrid that offered up to 55 km (34 miles) of all-electric range. A 1.3-liter turbodiesel powered an onboard generator to replenish the 16 kWh li-ion battery pack and extend the vehicle’s driving range to a total of 715 km (444 miles).


Alex Kovnat

How fast can the Ampera go? In my present lifestyle, I travel to work on an expressway where you need a 100 Km/hr speed capability. Would the Ampera be able to accomplish this, or is it for those who only need a 70 Km/Hr capability (i.e. no expressway driving)?

Its range on batteries alone would be enough to get me from my home to my workplace. Then I would need access to electric power to recharge, to avoid running the engine to get home again. It would take a substantial investment in electric wiring and power outlets if everyone were to insist on recharging their batteries away from their homes.


I'm not certain of any published top speed, but US press covering the Chevy Volt, with what will likely be an identical powertrain, has said that it is suitable for expressway use. It's basically a series hybrid that doesn't start the engine for the first 60 km/37 mi. There's no electric motor RPM limit that constrains EV-only top speed like there is in the Prius. In the Volt-type powertrain the electric motor is the only way the car moves. Even when the engine runs, it's just making electricity for the motor, and has no connection to the wheels.

Even if you have to use the engine on the return trip each day, that's still 60 km each day that you *didn't* use the engine.


Voltec platform under the Volt skin has been reported, in GM news releases, to be capable of around 150-160km/h (95-100mph).


Hmmm Ampera ... Aptera. Coincidence? I think not. At least we know GM has there eye on the future. Too bad they are stealing the good brand identity, rather than the even better engineering ideas. If Ampera is a failure, it will ruin the European market for Aptera before they even arrive.

Anyone want to drink a Butgeiser beer?


I can only assume you are joking.
If they can use Touareg, Maybach and Veyron for cars in Europe I guess Ampera (yuck) and Flextreme (yuck) are OK.
But we know they WILL absolutely devastate tempera paints, Crispy Crème doughnuts and Dreamworld.


Ehm, maybe you haven't noticed but: Ampere (measure of electric current) -> Ampera

The comments to this entry are closed.