Holden. Chevy. Opel. Vauxhall. These are the brands that we know will get a version of the plug-in Volt. Granted, the Europeans will call it the Ampera, but under all those models will be the Voltec technology that gives the sedan a 60-km (37-mile) electric-only range and a 500-km (310-mile) total range when the gas tank is filled up. At the Geneva Motor Show this week, General Motors announced that British Volt fans will be able to get a right-hand drive version of the Vauxhall Ampera some time after the Ampera's production start in late 2011.
In Europe, GM is testing a vehicle plug-in infrastructure with utility company Iberdrola of Spain, among others. One difference between the Ampera and Volt is that most European outlets supply higher voltage, between 220v and 240v, instead of the 110v plugs commonly used in the U.S. How this affects the car's charging time remains to be seen. See new pictures of the Opel- and Vauxhall-branded Amperas in the galleries below. If you only have time to look at one image, check out what they've done to the interior. Wow.
Video and more after the jump.
Gallery: Vauxhall Ampera
Gallery: Opel Ampera
Geneva World Premiere: Opel Ampera to Debut in 2011
March 2, 2009
Electric car with 500 km extended range
Geneva/Rüsselsheim. The revolutionary Opel Ampera today celebrated its world premiere at the 79th Geneva Motor Show. General Motors Europe president, Carl-Peter Forster, unveiled the extended-range electric vehicle and announced plans to put the car into production in late 2011.
The Ampera will also be offered with right-hand drive in the United Kingdom by Opel's sister-brand, Vauxhall.
"The Opel Ampera further demonstrates GM's leadership in the electrification of the automobile," said Carl-Peter Forster. "Its ground-breaking Voltec electric propulsion system is the kind of game-changing technology the automotive industry needs to respond to energy and environmental challenges."
The five-door, four-seat Ampera is influenced by Opel's award-winning design language of sculptural artistry meets German precision, incorporating several styling cues from the innovative Flextreme and GTC Concept show cars
"There could not be a more fitting way to celebrate Opel's 110 years of innovation in the car industry than by revealing the Ampera," said Alain Visser, GME Vice President Opel.
The Ampera's wheels are turned electrically at all times and speeds. For journeys up to 60 km (MVEG), it runs on electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery, and emits zero CO2. When the battery's energy is depleted, electricity from an engine-generator extends the Ampera's range to more than 500 km.
The Ampera can be plugged into any household 230v outlet for charging. GM Europe is analyzing the requirements of a recharging infrastructure for plug-in electric cars with energy companies, including Iberdrola of Spain.