Rüsselsheim: In figures released today, the extended range Opel Ampera (mechanical twin of the Chevrolet Volt) was Europe’s best selling passenger electric vehicle for the month of May. The 35 mile extended range car accounted for 1 in every 5 electric cars sold (20%) in the region.
“We are proud that we are the number one in Europe. Our sales data and customer feedback confirms that we are definitely on the right track with the Ampera”, says Enno Fuchs, Opel’s e-mobility launch director. “Especially in markets with governmental incentives like the Netherlands we have performed very well.”
Speaking of the Netherland’s specifically, Opel notes that the car achieved a whopping 77 percent of the passenger EV market share for May, making it “the undisputed leader of its segment by a wide margin with all the other competitors only managing single figure percentages.”
It should be mentioned that the car has just been released in that country and there was a fair backlog of pent-up orders skewing the numbers slightly. Still the numbers for the year so date are still impressive, as the Opel Ampera has accounted for slightly over half of all passenger EV sales in the country.
Other notable countries where the Opel has more than a slight foothold in market share are Germany (33%+) and Switzerland (44%).
The Ampera has won more than 50 national and international prizes including the “Car of the Year 2012” award and the “World Green Car of the Year 2011”. There have also been accolades for safety like the maximum 5-star Euro NCAP award.
Vehicle specifics as promoted by Opel’s website:
A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor of the Ampera. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, distances of between 40 and 80 kilometers can be covered in the purely battery-operated mode, free of emissions. In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, power is seamlessly inverted to the electric drive unit from a generator driven by a 1.4-liter, 63 kW/86 hp gasoline engine. Extended-range mode enables a total driving range of more than 500 kilometers without refueling.