From Opel press: The 2011 Opel Ampera electric vehicle with extended-range capability will be the first electrically driven car in Europe suitable for everyday driving. With its unique electric propulsion system providing lively acceleration and high levels of refinement, the five-door Ampera seats four passengers, offers ample trunk space and features an extended range of more than 500 kilometers.
The Ampera is powered by electricity at all times and speeds. For trips between 40 to 80 km, power is supplied by the electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. The 288 lithium-ion cells in the T-shaped battery pack provide ample power. The nearly silent electric drive unit delivers 370 Nm of instant torque, the equivalent of 150 horsepower, zero to 100 km/h acceleration in around nine seconds and a top speed of 161 km/h.
When the Ampera’s battery runs low, the battery can be recharged in up to four hours at 230v by plugging the vehicle's on-board charge system into a standard outlet. Because the battery can be re-charged quickly, most Ampera cars are likely to be driven in battery mode nearly all the time.
If a longer trip is required, the gasoline-fueled engine/generator can seamlessly extend the total driving range to around 500 kilometers on a full tank. This range-extending technology means the Ampera is suitable for worry-free daily use by the whole family.
Unlike a conventional battery-electric vehicle, the Ampera eliminates range anxiety. It gives drivers confidence and peace of mind that a depleted battery will not strand them. The Opel Ampera is scheduled to go into production in late 2011. It will also be offered with right-hand drive in the United Kingdom by Vauxhall.