With the price premium of electric vehicles still high, Opel is reportedly holding off on development of the Adam EV to avoid giving customers sticker shock. According to Automotive News Europe, Opel was working on an electric version of the Adam minicar that was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, but the price the automaker would have had to charge for the final product was apparently too high to reasonably ask for from customers.

The article says that Opel had already made an Adam EV test mule using components from the electric Chevrolet Spark that goes into production next year. Even using shared technology, however, the anticipated pricing made it a bad business case. Opel's head of sales and marketing, Alfred Rieck laid out the chicken-and-egg scenario, saying that some customers are not willing to pay the higher prices for EVs right now, but that the only thing that will drive the prices down is increased sales.

With this in mind, it will be interesting to see where the Spark EV is priced and how well it does with customers.


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  • 30 Comments
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I agree with svx pearlie. Opel, like most European auto-manufacturers, has watched carefully at the slow sales of Nissan and Renault, and the disastrous sales results for Mitsubishi and Peugeot-Citroen, and decided that there just isn't a big enough demand for a small EV. To achieve unit cost savings these vehicles need sales in the hundreds of thousands to recover costs, not a handful of monthly sales, in only heavily subsidized markets. This maybe a hard truth, but it's reality. Demanding that Auto-companies should lose money selling unprofitable models, for 'moral' reasons, just ain't gonna happen. But cheer up, because GM's Volt/Ampera continues to improve in sales, and the luxury Tesla is starting to ramp up, so EV technology is alive and well.
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Maybe they just need to make a nice looking EV. I can't help but notice all of the failing EVs are SUPER UGLY. I'm not counting the Tesla, because that's beautiful. Then again, that helps my point a bit. Tesla sales are successful. Remember Hybrids? Honda Insight beat Prius to the market, but the Insight was weird looking. Smaller rear axle, covered rear wheels, and strange teardrop shape. Toyota came along later with a much more conventional looking Prius and it blew Honda sales out of the water.
      incompatible.quadrilateral
      That's a real shame, I like how it looks.
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Tesla has set the bar really high with the Model S for new EV's coming on the market. And Nissan has set the low bar with the Leaf that new EV's must exceed to enter the market. Limping in with just yet another CARB compliance EV won't cut it anymore. GM is probably better off just spending their money making the Chevy Volt drivetrain better, and spread it into more cars. They seem to be holding their own among PHEV's, they should build on that.
      ferps
      • 2 Years Ago
      A bit off-topic: with the European economy cratering and with GM having excess capacity there already, they really should send the Adam to the US as a Buick. It's a good-looking car that fills the growing premium compact niche where GM lacks product, and it couldn't hurt to have some buyers under 60 in a Buick showroom.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ferps
        Yeah, this looks better than the Chevy Spark EV.
      Mason
      • 2 Years Ago
      How do they expect increased sales to drive down electric vehicle prices if they won't produce any electric vehicles?
        skierpage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mason
        They don't. Nissan has invested billions in battery production facilities, and are finding the Leaf to only be a moderate success. Meanwhile Opel has done little to ensure a volume supply of affordable batteries, so making a "me too" electric car will lose them a lot of money. Leaf and Model S own the EV market.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mason
        [blocked]
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mason
        They would turn it around and say "How are we going to push electric vehicle prices down if people won't buy them." And they have a good point. The PHEV model will probably be the main plug-in model for the near term. Hopefully the C-Max Energi & Fusion Energi sell in decent numbers along with the Volt.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          [blocked]
        q3a7vodk4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mason
        You talk as if the only problem with EVs is that there isn't the economy of scale cost savings. It isn't. Clearly Opel is saying that EVs are a bad value proposition regardless of how many are producible.
          Val
          • 2 Years Ago
          @q3a7vodk4
          @scr Actually Elon Musk has said that the materials for 1kWh of battery cost $80, and tesla is assumed to be getting them at $200+ per kWh. A fwe years ago analysts were saying that batteries cost $600 per kWh, and they have to go down to $300 to be viable. So Musk should actually know how much the materials cost, since he is keeping a close eye on battery tech. And those are the materials that o into the factory, not the raw ores that are mined and have to be processed.
          Mason
          • 2 Years Ago
          @q3a7vodk4
          I didn't say that was the only problem with EVs, that's what the article is about. And I agree with artandcolour2010, Opel just doesn't have the time and money to develop an EV.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @q3a7vodk4
          @Scr: Perhaps you would specify which materials 'batteries' use per kilogram, how much is used and what they cost. Actually of course there are many different chemistries out there, and not all of them use any expensive materials at all. LiFePo for instance mainly uses lithium carbonate, which is cheap, as is phosphate, and we aren't going to run out of iron anytime soon. For other chemistries the Leaf and Volt use lithium manganese spinel, and manganese is also cheap. The only material which some use which is fairly expensive is the cobalt in the old laptop batteries which tended to catch fire. Modern NMC batteries use a lot less of it, and the nickel they add to the cobalt and magnesium is in much reduced quantities per kilowatt hour.
          artandcolour2010
          • 2 Years Ago
          @q3a7vodk4
          I don't agree they are a bad value at all, and I don't think that's what Opel thinks. I completely agree they need to build more and more of them to lower the cost. I think this is more a case of Opel's coffers are bare. They really don't have the money to develop a smaller than Volt EV at this time,
          Scr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @q3a7vodk4
          You've got a good point with the economies of scale issue. Batteries cost what they cost because of the expensive raw materials in them, not because of production, research or tooling costs which get less with volume produced. No matter how many you make, you can't get around the minimum material costs, which, if anything, will get even more expensive. The prices will not come down to be affordable to the general motorist.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mason
        [blocked]
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      So the initial people into the market price the cars too high and those who are behind can use cost as a reason to not pursue the EVs at all. Pretty weak.
      Smoking_dude
      • 2 Years Ago
      wait a minute. so gm can make a cheap gm sail or now the renamed springo, for china, but no simple adam ev at opel? the success of dacia? no premium audio, it is even an option, no AC, no premium leather seats, no luxury plush dasboard. dacia is simple, but it drives well. so this is why opel is going down. make the adam an ev or hybrid. shrink the size of the voltec system 4-6 kwh battery, and less hp. it works with the honda fit (jazz) ev and with the prius c or yaris hybrid. but nooooo talkin bout chicken egg. if you never start producing an ev you never gain the knowledge.
      Luc Plouffe
      • 2 Years Ago
      And it look better than the competition
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think the slow start of the Nissan Leaf has caused a lot of automakers to scale back their EV plans. :-/ Unless you are a hardcore environmentalist, national security maven, peak oiler, or techno-gadget fan; EVs remain a tough sale to most people. Hybrid sales are going up quickly though.
      Steve
      • 2 Years Ago
      Import this model as a Buick here in the states to compete with the mini and 500c. It can sell better than a Chevy. Those models are more upmarket and can make it here if properly advertised. GM can do this if it really has the right team.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Steve
        [blocked]
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