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Opel says Ampera was Europe’s best-selling passenger electric-drive vehicle in May

The extended-range electric vehicle Ampera is Europe’s Nº1 passenger electric-drive vehicle with more than 20% market share, according to Opel sales figures from May 2012.

Especially in markets with governmental incentives like the Netherlands we have performed very well.

—Enno Fuchs, Opel’s e-mobility launch director

In the Netherlands, the Ampera has taken more than 77% of the passenger EV market share in May. The average year-to-date market share for the Ampera in the Netherlands was more than 50%. Based on the latest available figures, the Ampera is also the best-selling EV in Germany with a share of more than a third and Switzerland with 44%.

A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor of the Ampera. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, distances of between 40 and 80 kilometers (25 to 50 miles) can be covered in the purely battery-operated mode. In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, power is inverted to the electric drive unit from a generator driven by a 1.4-liter, 63 kW/86 hp gasoline engine. Extended-range mode enables a total driving range of more than 500 kilometers (311 miles) without refueling.



Why was the name changed from Volt to Ampera?


The Ampera is a Vauxhall/Opel brand, which are far more popular and have far more dealers than Chevrolet, the GM brand here.


No absolute figures for sales, just % of EV sales (which are tiny in Europe, despite $7.5 gasoline).

Still, I wish them well. PHEvs are the way to go [IMHO], if people can afford them.


In The Netherlands it outsold the LEAF 25:1 in May.

358 Amperas, 27 Volts, 14 LEAFs.


Given the small numbers, those fractions could be reversed the next month.


Given the small numbers, EV sales in general are not yet a big dollar issue.

And I guess the incredible technology hidden (until now) in the EV1, the "crushing" PR stunt, the delay in production from 2000 until now and the pent up demand have paid off and will boost all EVs to market dominance now.

Or not.


HarveyD asks: "Volt to Ampera?"

Opel has these model names ending with an 'A', like "Astra", "Agila", "Insignia", "Corsa", "Zafira", "Meriva". Ampera sounds better than Volta.


Especially because if you called it a Volta, buyers might wonder if they'd be up a river without a paddle.


Just to put it in perspective [and why GM's spin doctor tried to hide the 'figures' from the public]:

"From January to May 2012, around 2,300 Opel/Vauxhall Amperas have been registered in total Europe... there were in Jan-Mar 982, in April 499 and in May 803 registered Amperas.”

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