Vauxhall/Opel pushing ahead with electric car research project

Vauxhall/Opel is pushing ahead with a new partnership designed to integrate electric vehicles into modern networks and infrastructures.

The two plug-in Merivas spied here were caught during a charging cycle last week, prompting internet speculation that Vauxhall/Opel is working on a fully electric version of its mini-MPV.

See the spy pics of the Meriva plug-ins

But a Vauxhall spokesman insisted, “This car does not indicate that we’re considering building a hybrid or electric powertrain for the Meriva.”

Instead, the cars are believed to be part of Opel’s role within MeRegio (Minimum Emission Region), a research project that involves seven other partners including Bosch, Daimler (through the Smart brand) and data management firm SAP.

It’s designed to integrate the next generation of electric vehicles into the network, intelligently managing load and charging phases, feeding back energy into the grid where required (and crediting the car user with this), and facilitating cross-border roaming standards.

The project also aims to establish up to 600 private, commercial and public charging points in Baden-Württemberg.

Several manufacturers, including BMW with its Mini E, have identified power network integration as an area of potential problems and benefits for electric vehicle users.

It’s hoped that using the battery capacity of thousands of EVs would help to offset the costs of cells, which are still relatively expensive.

More details of Opel’s involvement are expected this autumn. But it’s still unclear if the manufacturer’s input will extend to a fleet of trial vehicles, a policy that has been adopted by several motoring manufacturers.

John McIlroy

See all the latest Vauxhall reviews, news and video

Join the debate


22 September 2010

The New Meriva is already such a heavy lump of metal i think a nuclear reactor is more appropriate than a load of batterys in the boot.

This would also spell an end to the flex-seating as this relies on a flat floor pan.

22 September 2010

[quote andrepaul999] i think a nuclear reactor is more appropriate than a load of batterys in the boot.[/quote]

Fission or fusion?

"There's a fine line between wrong and visionary. Unfortunately, you have to be a visionary to see it." - Dr Sheldon Cooper

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring
  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune
  • BMW X2
    This is the new BMW X2
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    Doesn’t deliver many typical crossover selling points but looks perky, handles keenly and is well capable of winning over your latent cynic
  • First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The newest version of Rolls-Royce's flagship model sets new standards for opulence and luxury whether you're driving it or being driven in it