General Motor’s European division, Opel (which is in turn the parent company of Vauxhall), has announced plans for an “affordable” five-seat electric car in 2017.
The Ampera-e, as it will be known, will be based on the US Chevrolet Bolt, and the company expects the car to have a longer range than previous electric cars.
As AutoExpress notes, the Bolt can do 200 miles on one charge, whereas rival Nissan Leaf (which arguably leads the affordable EV field at the moment) can only manage 155 miles, despite having a larger battery.
The announcement was made by GM Chief Executive Mary Barra, who was speaking in Germany. According to Reuters, she said:
“Like its twin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Ampera-e promises to transform the electric vehicle market in Europe as the first EV that combines long range at an affordable price.”
The expectation is that the new vehicle will offer more boot space compared to other EVs too – by storing the batteries under the seats. And while there are no other details just yet, looking at what the Bolt is capable of, we can make some educated guesses.
For example, the Bolt can be plugged into a normal power socket and will charge up in just over 9 hours – so we can probably expect similar. AutoCar notes that the Bolt is capable of doing 0-60mph in just 7 seconds.
2017 looks set to be a busy year for electric cars, as the “affordable” Tesla 3 will also be going on sale too.