We have been promised one and here it is – an affordable and sophisticated Opel electric car, capable of more than 500 km on a single charge. Opel Ampera-e is finally going on sale and it seems to be as impressive as the company promised to be. However, the launch is not going to be ordinary either.
Usually, mainstream car manufacturers are not very particular about their cars going on sale, unless it is a new supercar or sporty convertible or something special like that. Ampera-e is none of those things – it is basically a small hatchback, an everyday cruiser for ordinary people. But Opel is not going to do the usual thing and release it immediately all over the place. Because it needs to prepare for mass production, Opel will launch it little by little. Recently Ampera-e went on sale in Norway, soon Germany, Netherlands, France and Switzerland will follow. The rest of European countries will get it later in 2017 or 2018, when production volume grows larger. These countries were not selected randomly – there is actually some smart logic behind it.
Opel wanted to start selling the Ampera-e in countries that already have needed electro mobile infrastructure and legislation. Norwegian people love electric cars, because government created conditions for that: there are no purchase taxes on EVs, exemption from VAT on purchase and leasing, low annual road tax, no charges on toll roads and ferries, free municipal parking and much more.
Norway is leading the world’s electric car sales and it does make sense to start selling Ampera-e there. Peter Christian Küspert, Opel Group Vice President Sales Aftersales, said that the list of countries is not written in the stone: “we are flexible here and will be able to add countries or change the order at short notice if somebody becomes so attractive because of changed policies for example. Our goal is to have enough capacity by 2018 so that we can offer decent volumes in most European countries”.
Opel thinks Ampera-e is going to be company’s best seller in Norway, because of how hugely popular electric cars have gotten there. But also, Ampera-e is quite an impressive electric car. It has a much better range than its closest rivals and can be recharged for 150 km of range in just 30 minutes at a public 50 kW DC fast-charging station.
Ampera-e is assembled at the Orion plant in Michigan. It should not take long until it is roaming Scandinavian streets among Teslas and Leafs – with such characteristics Ampera-e is going to be an instant success.