With the Chevy Volt set to debut next year to great excitement, European customers are eager to get their hands on electric vehicles of their own. While GM may not initially offer the Volt in Europe, its German subsidiary Opel will be offering an electric vehicle with a virtually identical design to the Volt in 2011.
The Opel Ampera will arrive in 2011 and feature the ‘Voltec’ plug-in hybrid system, which pairs a small, efficient combustion engine with batteries and an electric motor. The system is the same system found in the upcoming Volt and in the Cadillac Converj concept.
Images of the upcoming Ampera leaked from a trademark database maintained by Europe's Office for Harmonization of the Internal Market (OHIM). That database is a regular source of leaks, as it frequently contains design renderings and sketches. In the Ampera's case, its trademark entry features a wealth of renderings of the upcoming production design.
The final production model may change slightly in appearance before its official unveiling, which is likely soon forthcoming. While the Ampera's renderings show that it will be a virtual Volt-lookalike, they also show that it will be getting unique wheel rim designs, as well as a revamped front bumper.
The car will charge on a standard 230-volt European outlet. It shares a 40 mile range on its battery with the Volt, enough for most Europeans according to GM. With a full tank of gas, this range is extended to an ample 500 miles.
GM recently asked the U.S. government for $16.6B USD more in loans. It hopes to use this money to avoid bankruptcy and help it forge ahead in international markets like Europe and the UK, where demand for its new electric vehicles is expected to be high.
quote: In Europe they can't get away with that.
quote: my Ford just turned 5 years-old and shows no signs of slowing down.
quote: I wonder how much mpg a Prius would get after a engine swap with a 1.1L diesel engine...
quote: everyone just looks how much it will cost you for fuel... but... when you have lets say 10.000 usd price diference volt - and some diesel ... you can easly see how much miles you can drive on diesel just on price diference...
quote: In a country, say France, were 80%+ of the electrical power is Nuclear Power, a Volt system can reduce the CO2 emissions of Driving by 50-75% even compared with the most efficient Diesels cars in the same category.
quote: With a full tank of gas, this range is extended to an ample 500 miles.
quote: Volkswagen, recently got their small clean diesels to pass
quote: [Prius] makes my 5 year old daughter point and laugh (no joke).