Euro-bound Volt clones will be built in U.S.
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Opel Flextreme
The internal debate over whether the upcoming Volt will be badged as a Chevrolet or an Opel across the pond has been decided. The first Euro-bound EV's from the General will be Opels, though we are not sure how much in common the vehicle will share with the Flextreme concept. Carl-Peter Forster, president of GM Europe, indicates that a Vauxhall version is also in the works (this would be nothing more than a right hand drive variant for the British market) and that all three of the vehicles will be quite similar in design. A gasoline range-extending powerplant will see shared duty in the trio as well, though we would expect a diesel option in Europe at least at some point.
For the forseeable future, all three E-Flex variants will be built at the same factory in Detroit, and Europeans should expect to see the Opel in 2012. Of course, the extended-range electric car will carry a price premium, with a €10,000 bump over a comparable gas engined vehicle currently being thrown around. We hope that the Volt and its clones will prove popular enough to see that cost premium dwindle somewhat as the cost of batteries drops and allow the General to make a few bucks in the process.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]
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