• Nov 11, 2010
2011 Opel Ampera – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors is ready to begin taking orders for the 2011 Opel Ampera, the European cousin of the Chevrolet Volt. The MSRP has been set at €42,900, which equals roughly $58,718 USD based on current exchange rates, or $18,438 more than a Volt here in the States. Sure, the front end is more aggressive and the wheels are better but is the Ampera nearly $20,000 better than the our all-American electric sedan?

The answer lies with Europe's Value Added Tax, otherwise known as VAT – add German's 19 percent VAT, and the final price becomes €42,900. Take away the VAT and the price is €36,050 or about $49,280, which is a bit closer to the cost of the Volt.

Those interested in purchasing an Opel Ampera can register at Opel-Ampera.com to become "ePioneers." Those brave, electric pioneers will have access to updates on the car, a chance to test drive one and the first opportunity to purchase the Ampera when it goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011. More information can be found in the press release idling silently after the jump.



[Source: General Motors]
Show full PR text
Opel Ampera – Revolutionary Electric Car Starts at 42,900 euros
  • Environmentally Friendly: Family car drives 40 - 80 km electrically
  • Freedom: Battery re-charges in three hours; endless e-driving possible
  • No Anxiety: Range can be extended to more than 500 km when needed
  • Spacious: Five-door car seats four and has ample trunk space
  • Dynamic: Nearly silent torque feels like flying
  • Reservations now being taken

Rüsselsheim. Electric mobility begins now: Starting today, Opel will begin taking reservations for the 2011 Ampera, Europe's first electric vehicle that also features extended-range capability.

Electric mobility is the best solution for reducing automobile emissions and dependency on petroleum but if electric vehicles are to have a significant benefit on the environment and society, they must be attractive to a wide variety of buyers, not just city dwellers. Now this ambitious goal has become considerably easier to reach – with the revolutionary Ampera electric car.

The majority of drivers will find an electric car, such as the Ampera, remarkably easy to accept. That is because in addition to a powerful, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery, it has a unique electric propulsion system that extends its driving range. While providing all the benefits of state-of-the-art battery electric vehicles, such as zero tailpipe emissions and spirited performance, the innovative Ampera is not compromised by the typical disadvantages, such as limited range or long hours of immobility spent recharging a large battery.

That makes the five-door, four-seat Ampera the first electric car in Europe to give owners the freedom to drive wherever, whenever they want, with no worries of being stranded with a depleted battery. The manufacturer's suggested retail price throughout Europe for the base model starts at 42,900 euros, including national VAT. In Germany, with 19 percent VAT, the Ampera net price is 36,050 euros. Because trim levels will differ from market to market, prices in each country may differ. Customers wishing to reserve an Ampera can register at www.opel-ampera.com and become an 'ePioneer', receiving exclusive news and a chance to test drive the electric car. In addition, they will be among the first to have the opportunity to own Europe's first practical, family electric car. Sales start in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Some competitors choose to split their offers for electric cars into two portions: a base price for the car and a leasing rate for the battery pack. This does make the price appear attractive because the battery leasing rate is not highlighted. However, battery leases are paid monthly for several years, so the total cost is roughly the same as a car whose total price includes both the car and the battery. Opel's pricing scheme eliminates confusion by listing the total cost of the car and battery. Opel is also researching customer preferences regarding financing and leasing schemes for the Ampera. The company will announce these options later.

"The Ampera defines a new class of e-mobility. No other electric vehicle provides the freedom of individual transportation as the Opel Ampera," said Alain Visser, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Opel. "We have compromised on nothing. The Ampera is a beautiful car that is as fun to drive as it is packed with premium content."

Reliable battery not disturbed by inclement weather

The Ampera is an electric vehicle that can operate in a wide range of weather climates. It is powered by electricity at all times and speeds. For the first 40 – 80 km, power is supplied by the electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. While driving on electricity delivered by the battery, the Ampera drives free of gas- and tailpipe-emissions.

Independent research found that about 80 percent of Europeans drive less than 60 kilometers per day, so the Ampera would meet their requirements. When the Ampera's battery runs low, the battery can be recharged in about three hours at 230v by plugging the vehicle's on-board charge system into a standard outlet. Because the battery can be re-charged quickly, most Amperas are likely to be driven in battery mode nearly all the time.

If a longer trip is required, the gasoline-fueled engine/generator can seamlessly extend the total driving range to more than 500 kilometers on a full tank. This range-extending technology means the Ampera is suitable for worry-free daily use by the whole family.

If electric vehicles are to have a significant benefit on the environment, they must be sold in high volume. Electric cars like the Ampera – with extended range capability – are the quickest way to reach this goal because they require few adjustments in lifestyle.

Beautiful design – clearly an Opel

The Ampera carries the DNA of Opel's new design language – a prominent grille, bold Opel badge and daring boomerang headlamps. Every element of the Ampera was designed and analyzed for efficiency, making the Ampera one of the most aerodynamic and energy-efficient vehicles in the market.

Inside, the Ampera is packed with the premium content fitting for a ground-breaking vehicle. From Bose speakers to touch-screen monitors, this car brings mobility to the 21st century.

The Ampera already has won high accolades from specialists throughout the continent. Awards from authoritative magazines and websites include Greenest Car of the Year by www.whatcar.co.uk, innovation trophy from L'Automobile Magazine in France and best electric car by Auto Swiat in Poland.

PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS: Opel Ampera General

Vehicle type: 5-door, front-wheel-drive hatchback
Category: Electric vehicle with extended-range capability
Chassis: independent McPherson struts front, compound crank twist axle rear, four-wheel disc brakes, full regenerative brakes to maximize energy capture, electric power-assist steering
Seating capacity: four

Performance
Top speed (km/h): 161
EV range (km): 40 - 80 (MVEG cycle)
Total range (km) > 500

Dimensions
Wheelbase (mm): 2685
Length (mm): 4404
Width (mm): 1798
Height (mm): 1430
Cargo volume (L): 301

Battery system
Type: lithium-ion
Energy (kWh) 16

Electric drive unit
Power (kW / hp): 111 / 150
Torque (Nm): 370

Exterior
Tire and wheel size: specially developed low rolling-resistance tires on 17-inch forged aluminum wheels


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      The novelty of the Volt and other Gas/Electric hybrids are suppose to be their fuel efficiency, thus their low cost to owners. Yet most of these vehicles are out of reach to most start-up families because the cost of ownership is prohibited. Irony much?

      GM's first swim in this area was with the EV1.. As I recall, most of it's buyers were celebrities. Hopefully, they'll learn from those past mistakes. Electric vehicles shouldn't be reserved for ONLY the rich as a novelty toy to impress their wine and cheese friends.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, until the cost of building them comes down, that's what happens.

        Even mature technologies don't always make things cheaper to own. As you stated, gas/electric hybrids do offer good fuel economy, but they are pricier up-front. Even after quite a long development timeframe.

        There are 2 hybrids you can buy in the US which make sense from an economic standpoint, the M-B S400 Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid ironically. The M-B happens to be the cheapest S-Class we can get here, but it's sort of an inaccurate statement because there is no 6cyl non-hybrid S-Class for sale here that you can compare to. The Lincoln is somewhat similar. It's the same price as the base MKZ, but the MKZ comes standard with a 6cyl while the hybrid uses the Fusion's 4cyl hybrid system with less overall power. Other than those, every single other hybrid option will take many, many years to pay off the cost of the hybrid technology compared to a non-hybrid version fo the same or similar vehicle.

        Saving money should never, ever be the reason for buying a hybrid, anyone with basic math skills can figure that out. At least looking at any hybrids that have come out up until now. The driving goal should be to reduce your usage of fossil fuels.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hard to believe they'll sell many Amperas or Volts for that matter at the current prices. Sure, first adopters might, but I don't think the two faces of the Volt will sell compared to a Focus diesel or somesuch. I'd rather have an A3 diesel.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pray we never become a socialized government here or we might be paying $20,000 VAT taxes, too. Vote capitalist!
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Sorry Bloke, but I don't call paying an extra $20,000 for the same car a good idea."

        You're not paying an extra $20K. The difference between an average 7% sales tax in the US and 20% VAT in Europe on $41K is roughly $5,000.

        Remember, the $41K list price in America does NOT include sales tax. Unlike Europe, retail prices in America are never quoted as tax-inclusive. So the actual tax-inclusive cost in America is broadly $44K.

        And the $58K tax-inclusive price in Europe is the cost using the forex rate - the price to an American having to convert his dollars. In real terms, the price to a western European (taking into account higher VAT rates) is closer to $46K-$50K depending on country.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Just don't get sick or injured as you might be put on a medical waiting list for several months due to their socialized healthcare"

        You're talking to someone who has spent many years living in both Europe and the US. While there are certain types of operation that do have waiting lists on the NHS - such as hip replacements which can take several months - if you break a leg or are diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, you are treated immediatelyas you are under the private US system. The quality of care in both systems is identical in my own experience. However, of the two I would choose the NHS, simply because you avoid the carte-blanche style punitive bills which appear from nowhere many months after treatment.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry Bloke, but I don't call paying an extra $20,000 for the same car a good idea. If you prefer to do that though, then by all means please move there if you're not already. Just don't get sick or injured as you might be put on a medical waiting list for several months due to their socialized healthcare which everyone pays an arm and a leg for (no pun intended).
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Bloke, my only problem is I have spent way too much time on this stupid blog conversing with fools. Now I'm going to go enjoy lunch with my beautiful wife."

        Of course you are. You're as transparent as teenagers come. Good riddance, kid.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ ManOnFire81

        You sound like someone who has never been outside of the US, or if you have you didn't understand what you were seeing.

        There are MANY things that European countries do right that America gets so, so very wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ManOnFire81

        You have no idea about how american needs to pay so much for the little medical stuff here & there just cuz there is no medicare. If you think it's paying an arm and a leg over there, then u probably have to pay with your house here in USA.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The most "socialist" economies in Europe are also the most wealthy and healthy.

        Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands are top performers, great public finances, no imminent collapse here. Do you watch FOX News a lot?

        While Greece is the sick man of Europe, the UK had to make cuts, that is not Europe. Germany's booming etc. You really do sound ignorant about this continent.
        • 4 Years Ago
        wasn't the $41,000 us price after some sort of rebate from the Gov for buying a hybrid/electric vehicle? I could care less about the volt, so i could be wrong..
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ ManOnFire81 , stop watching Fox News, it's not good for your brain cells.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Well Bloke said it... You get what you pay for. Yeah, Europe has a lot of nice stuff, but they are also so deep into debt that their economies are almost on the verge of collapse.

        I could go out and buy a Ferrari right now and note how much better it is than my current Mazda, but I would be so far in debt I wouldn't be able to see how to get out for a long time. The money to pay for all that European extravagance has to come from somewhere..." - Man on Fire

        Well, I have to say I am staggered by the sheer ignorance of this post. Firstly, most European economies are nowhere near on the verge of collapse, and many are in better shape than that of the United States currently. What's happened recently in both Europe and America is that swathes of private sector debt have been moved into the public sector. That debt can only be shored up budget surpluses (impossible), by growth (which is minimal since much of that growth has shifted to China and India) or by inflation (which can't be afforded because of the remaining high levels of private sector debt). So countries are making cuts to spending programmes because it's the only feasible option.

        What you refer to as "European extravagance" is the typical one-sided approach by naive American right-wingers who don't have a pot to urinate in. Europeans pay handsomely into a system which affords them certain expectations for a good quality of life - generous SMP and SPP benefits for example when starting a family. They pay 11% social security on average, 20% VAT, and high excise duties in many EU states on fuel, alcohol and tobacco. The problem for European countries occurred when governments began bailing out irreponsible private financial enterprise in the EU and USA during a period of global economic cooling and governmental income was dropping. These governments have unfairly made the taxpayer who contributed heavily in the first place effectively pay the price for those bailouts.

        I would also point out - in answer to your Ferrari analogy - that the rate of personal bankruptcy is far higher in the US than in any EU nation.

        • 4 Years Ago
        NightFlight,

        Actually I have traveled all over central America and eastern Asia. My brother currently lives in central China. The United States is still the best country in the world, despite our problems. I can't believe I am having to defend capitalism and the United States on here like I am! What is this? The Dark Ages? Has everyone gone mad???
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love the way the Opel looks. Again, Europeans get the "better" versions of the American cars.
      Reminded me of a Cheetah with the stripes under the eyes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That old Testa can be reworked into Koenig twin-turbo, making it timelessly awesome.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's a matter of taste. I for one is not terribly fond of what Opel does with the front end of their cars. Sure its funky as some here say, but Funky also means childish, over styled etc, etc. Such designs NEVER stand up to the test of time. In two or three years when Opel moves on from this design, this will get OLD awfully fast.

        Remember the Ferrari Testaterossa? It was all the rage in the 80s, now it is amongst the least desirable of ALL Ferraris.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well it also comes from the fact you can't just do a straight currency conversion.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Diesil is quite a bit cheaper here, as in like 1 euro per gallon which is a good reason so many drive thema gallon of diesel in europe is not 1$"

      Eh no...diesel is about 1 euro pr liter, not per gallon, in europe. Sure you live there?

      1l = 1euro hence 1 us gallon is 3,7 euro or about 4$ (At least now, before 600billion FEDinjection)

      The volt has potential here, problem is, eletricity is also very expensive.

      Brave of GM to build the car and it does look good.

      As much as I hate fuelprices here, I have to admit, our cars make more sense.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Also, people in Europe are already used to paying more money for higher fuel efficiency, ie Diesels are more expensive."

      That argument doesn't hold up. Yes, they're more expensive to buy - marginally - but diesel fuel is also taxed a good deal less in many European countries making it cheaper to buy. Whatsmore, residual values on diesels are higher.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't you find another blog to post at?

      Your comments are beyond repetitive and annoying. You never offer any worthwhile criticism or comments. It is always about a vehicle being too costly, or something about nav systems and buttons. It isn't 1990 anymore, you aren't going to find a vehicle that is worth a damn for under $10,000.

      PLEASE go away.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This was in response to SimpleCar's post.

        I HATE ABs commenting system.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ouch! That VAT really hurts! Imagine what a similar VAT in the US would do to car prices!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Hellas, but again, you get what you pay for. Take a drive from Detroit with its dreadful roads into Essex county, Canada with its billiard-table smooth and clearly marked highways and you begin to see where that extra cash goes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        We have the same type of VAT here in Canada..its called GST which adds 5% on everything but the air we breath! On top of that we pay another 7% provincial (state) tax and in effect everything we buy costs almost 16% more!!!!

        And the irony is that our dollar has equalled teh US for sometime know, but our the same car costs a lot more here in Canada than the US...yes...yes...I know...economies of scale and other BS, but I am sick and tired of getting gouged on everything I buy..thats why I have stopped buying staff here...I do my shopping in the US.



      • 4 Years Ago
      People that say euro has it correctly are fools. I live in Germany and have for about 3 years now. Roads better in Europe, NO!

      1. The 19% VAT tax is on everything and its already attatched to the price you see. So the price its listed for is what you pay.

      2. The roads are not all that by any means. On top of 50% of roads not wide enough for two large trucks to pass each other. Add to that the stupid farm trackers using the highway to get places doing the fierce pace of 30-35 miles per hour with no chance to pace them for the longest stretch and the fact all the shit., mud and rocks they track all over the road. Or how about them parking right around blind corners on narrow roads and just about anywhere else they want. So for people to say its so great you know nothing.

      3. Diesil is quite a bit cheaper here, as in like 1 euro per gallon which is a good reason so many drive them.

      4. Opels look way better then any chevy crap we get. Look at there Opel Insignia compared to our Regal. The Regals not all that bud but the buick grill ruins the whole care. But then again they have a badass Opel Insignia Wagon with 325hp but then again its 49,000 Euro.

      Before you start spouting off about how America sucks do a little research or better yet try living there.

      To add to that its amazing how many Germans want me to get stuff for them from this horrible place called USA.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another non story.
      • 4 Years Ago
      €42,900 for a hybrid compact Opel?! That's, like, €15,000 more than the base Prius here in Sweden, and even the Prius costs too much. Hell, it's €20,000 more than the Auris Hybrid. This is waaaaaaaaay overpriced.
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