Vauxhall parent group Opel will launch a new electric hatchback, the Ampera-e, in Europe next year, and it's likely the car will come to the UK
11 February 2016

Vauxhall parent Opel will launch a new electric car, dubbed Ampera-e, in Europe in 2017.

The new model, which takes the form of a five-door, five-seat hatchback, is destined to be an affordable rival for the likes of the Audi A3 e-tron, BMW i3, Volkswagen e-Golf and second-generation Ford Focus Electric.

Opel says the launch of the Ampera-e is part of its ongoing model offensive which will result in the launch of 29 new vehicles between now and the end of the decade.

Opel says the new car builds “on the electrification expertise established with the original Ampera, which set the benchmark for modern electric cars in 2011. The new Ampera-e combines innovative electric mobility with state-of-the-art connectivity and exciting driving dynamics”.

Autocar understands that the new Ampera-e is closely related to the new Chevrolet Bolt underneath, meaning it’s likely to use the same 197bhp, 266lb ft electric motor and offer the same range of around 200 miles. The Bolt, which was unveiled at this year’s Detroit motor show and is also set to be sold in Europe, is claimed to reach 60mph in less than seven seconds.

The Bolt can be charged from a standard socket in nine hours - a figure likely to be replicated by the Ampera-e.

Opel has so far only confirmed that the Ampera-e will be fed by a flat battery pack mounted underneath the cabin floor. The company says the packaging of the battery allows for “a roomy interior providing comfortable seating for five passengers and trunk space comparable with that of a car in the compact class”.

Opel says the Ampera-e will come with its OnStar infotainment service and smartphone integration.

While Vauxhall hasn’t specified whether the Ampera-e will be launched in the UK, it seems highly likely that it will, given the growing appetite for electric vehicles in this country.

Announcing the Ampera-e in Germany today, GM boss Mary Barra said: “GM and Opel have always been convinced that electric cars will play a defining role in future mobility. The game-changing technology of the Ampera-e is a significant step toward realising that vision. Our new battery electric car is also another boost for Opel’s reputation for making innovative engineering widely accessible.”

Opel chief Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann said: “The new Ampera-e will open the road to electric mobility by breaking down the barriers of high price and short driving range.”

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Ampera
The handsome Ampera is primarily propelled by electric motors; a 1.4-litre petrol engine is used to charge the car's batteries

The Vauxhall Ampera promises the ability to cover 175 miles on a gallon of petrol. Does it deliver?

Join the debate

Comments
6

11 February 2016

Looks like 2017 will be year of the plug. Even if the 200 mile range ends up as 150 it'll be progress over the original Leaf and with a 0-60 in under 7 seconds what's not to like.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

11 February 2016

In other news, Ford have announced they've sold the Fiesta production line to an undisclosed buyer...

11 February 2016

The second gen electric cars coming along like this and the new Leaf look very promising. With a 150 or 200 or even 250 mile range, electric cars will start to make sense for a lot of people. Won't be long before the government starts taxing the electricity they use.

11 February 2016

I don't think taxing the electricity used will be possible, but there was talk of a taxation system based on how far you drove/when you drove a few years ago, so I think it'll be something similar to that.

11 February 2016

I think you will find you already pay 5% VAT on your electricity. Not sure how they are going to square this circle Fuel duty raise 25 to 30 billion. With 35 million cars road legal that's nearly a grand each. Time for some more Solar panels.

15 February 2016

I think GM have missed a trick here, I liked the look and concept of the original Ampera, but I suppose the saloon car look isn't too favourable nowadays. So why on earth haven't they gone done the faux mini-SUV look rather than the mightily dull MPV route...?

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