The Opel Ampera-e will finally eradicate the biggest downside of an electric car for everyone – range anxiety.
In accordance with the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC, the current standard for range comparisons between different vehicles), the new electric car from Rüsselsheim can clear the magical 400-kilometre barrier by a considerable margin without recharging (provisional, purely electrical range in excess of 400km, measured based on the NEDC).
This makes Opel’s new electric compact model by far the best in its segment. In comparison, the BMW i3, equipped with the optional large 33kWh battery, can only cover 300 kilometres in the NEDC, the Nissan Leaf manages 250 kilometres, the Renault Zoe 240 kilometres and the Volkswagen e-Golf 190 kilometres.
With at least 30 percent more range than its closest competitor, the Opel Ampera-e revolutionises electro-mobility. Naturally, the maximum range in everyday use deviates from the NEDC values. In practice, factors such as road characteristics, weather conditions, driving style or additional load influence the range. However, the Ampera-e can effortlessly cover more than 300 kilometres even under average everyday conditions.
The 4.17m long Ampera-e not only impresses with its outstanding range. It also offers space for up to five people and a hatchback trunk volume of 381 litres, which is above average for cars of a similar overall length.
This generous spaciousness is made possible by the clever integration of the 10 battery modules. The entire package is located in the underbody and tailored to the contours of the vehicle. This means that no space is wasted. The battery consisting of 288 lithium-ion cells and a capacity of 60kWh was developed in cooperation with LG Chem.
The Ampera-e excites with its acceleration that is on par with sports cars. The maximum torque of 360Nm is responsible for the electrifying temperament of the Opel newcomer.
Effortless starts from a standing position (such as at traffic lights) or highway access are two of the Opel Ampera-e’s main strengths. The compact car goes from 0 to 50 km/h in 3.2 seconds, and accelerates from 80 to 120km/h, which is especially important for overtaking, in 4.5 seconds (preliminary figures). Top speed is electronically limited to 150km/h for the benefit of the overall range. The performance of the electric engine is equivalent to 150kW/204bhp.
But the Ampera-e has even more to offer: the revolutionary electric car allows casual and almost silent cruising while also being able to recharge the batteries when in motion. To do so, the driver just needs to ease off the accelerator in the normal “Drive” mode. The Ampera-e recuperates automatically in overrun and wins back energy from the electric motor that doubles as a generator. The motor’s braking effect is increased when the driver switches to “Low” mode, thus also increasing recuperation.
Furthermore, the driver can switch to “Regen on Demand” for maximum energy recuperation via a paddle at the back of the steering wheel. The drag torque of the motor is so high in “Low/Regen on Demand” modes that the brake pedal does not need to be applied to reduce speed to a full stop in normal traffic. The Ampera-e can thus be safely controlled via the accelerator (One Pedal Driving). Obviously, the brake pedal still needs to be applied in case of emergency.
Initial vehicle simulation models show that drivers can increase the range by up to 5 percent compared to “Drive” mode when applying “One Pedal Driving” with the corresponding full recuperation while in dense city stop-and-go traffic.
“In the Ampera-e, we will bring an electric car suitable for everyday use to the market. It delivers an extensive range and will be offered as of spring next year already. The Ampera-e is not eco-luxury, not a gadget and not a pure second car. Opel is showing that electro-mobility is also achievable for a much broader audience thanks to the most innovative technology. Opel is democratising the electric car with the Ampera-e,” said an enthusiastic Opel CEO Dr Karl‑Thomas Neumann.
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