UK Won’t Get Ampera-E, As Bolt Platform Built For “LHD Markets” Only

6 months ago by Eric Loveday 119

Opel Ampera-E

Opel Ampera-E

Opel Ampera-E/Chevrolet Bolt EV Cutaway

Opel Ampera-E/Chevrolet Bolt EV Cutaway

The 2017 Opel Ampera-E will be sold in most of Europe, but the electric car won’t be offered in the UK.

That’s because General Motors apparently has no plans to do a right-hand-drive version of the Ampera-E (as we predicted here over year ago), which means that its British marque, Vauxhall, won’t have a version to sell in the UK.

This also obviously means there will be no Holden Ampera-e/Bolt in Australia and residents of Japan won’t be seeing GM’s recently rated 238 mile/383 km all-electric car either.

Autocar reports:

“The zero-emission MPV is being launched in left-hand-drive European markets as an Opel.”

“The new model, which is due to be launched in European markets next year, won’t make it to Britain despite the growing popularity of EVs here because of its all-new underpinnings.”

“The structure has been developed for left-hand-drive markets only, and to adapt it to a right-hand-drive version would incur significant costs.”

Opel Ampera-E range comparison

Opel Ampera-E range comparison

Vauxhall doesn’t seem pleased by this decision and say that it’s in discussion with General Motors to develop more universal electric car platform for the next-generation model. At the same time, Vauxahll has confirmed that a right-hand-drive version of the current Ampera-E will not be produced.

Rory Harvey, Vauxhall’s chairman and managing director, stated:

“Vauxhall is committed to having a future EV presence in its range. The technology that underpins the new Ampera-e is of great interest to us, and we will be evaluating left-hand-drive cars from next spring and demonstrating them to clients.”

“The fact that the Ampera-e is not an eco-luxury or second car for customers broadens its appeal greatly, but it’s obviously vital that the car we sell in our market is right-hand-drive, and that won’t be available in the current generation.”

Source: Autocar

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119 responses to "UK Won’t Get Ampera-E, As Bolt Platform Built For “LHD Markets” Only"

  1. Anon says:

    Whomp. There it is…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffCEr327W44

    GM/LG must not be able to make enough for international variants. Sad.

  2. Timothy Aspinall says:

    GM/Vauxhall UK have just shot themselves in the foot big time..The UK market is ready for the ampera e. They have just lost a lot of potential sales and credibility for the future. I have no doubt that the ampera e will be a great car and much sought after.
    I wonder how many will go to the continent and buy the LHD version whilst putting the proverbial two fingers up to Vauxhall

    1. Someone out there says:

      GM is limited in how many they can produce and they will have no problem selling them all as LHD without exporting to RHD markets. If the car becomes a huge hit and they can find more batteries to produce more cars I’m sure they would go RHD as well, but with the current production limits it wouldn’t make much financial sense spreading out more than necessary.

      1. Jacked Beanstalk says:

        It’s good to finally see GM show some courage in the face of evil.

        If the Bolt becomes an EV sensation and Brits want a piece of the action then they’ll finally be forced to drive on the right side of the road!

        /s

  3. LOL says:

    RHD is not vital for Bolt’s success in Europe. What’s of immense importance is to know exactly what buyers wish for and that is adaptive suspension and wireless charging capability. At the moment there are no inductive chargers across Europe so GM should assign its executive officers a task to push in that field, that is if they plan to post some significant sales. You give customers what they want or ypu get stuck with selling a meager couple of hundred items per month. The producer that succeeds in propeling wireless charging infrastructure will generally see higher demand. We’ll see how deep GM can dig.

  4. Another Euro point of view says:

    I am not sure GM will be selling this car at a profit considering large battery/limited intended production figures provided by GM (30K cars per year) so the idea of building a few thousand of RHD versions was probably rejected by GM cost accountants right from the beginning. Not a problem at all IMHO if correctly priced in the rest of Europe with good marketing.

    1. Gary says:

      The mis-quote that keeps on giving.
      GM predicted 30K sales the first year. They have repeatedly stated that volume is not production constrained – they can do 80K or more if the demand is there.
      Keep in mind that they tend to under promise and overdeliver (200+ range coming in at 238 is one example)

      1. Tech01x says:

        LG Chem doesn’t have the production capacity to allow GM to hit 80,000 vehicles in the short term. For 80,000, GM would need almost 5 GWh. If all of LG’s planned capacity increases goes through for 2017, that would be almost 2/3’s of all of LG Chem’s capacity, and they supply a slew of other automakers and products.

        1. MaartenV-nl says:

          The other automakers don’t have a high volume long distance car. And I guess GM has some priority clauses in its contracts with LG-chem.

          But they need to scale to several 100k worldwide.

        2. Kdawg says:

          How many lines are running? How many shifts? How many days a week?

          It would be interesting know what LG could actually do if push comes to shove. They did just build a new factory in China.

          1. Nix says:

            The other question is how much would GM be willing to pay to push LG into building batteries 24/7/365 and pay LG to expand factory floor space, installing more equipment, etc.

            If by next summer dealers are still selling every Bolt they can get their hands on in less than a few weeks without deep discounts, and GM doesn’t have to use big incentives, I can see them paying LG extra to boost production.

            If they burn through the initial backlog of customers by summer, and have to discount to close out growing inventory before the Model Year change-over, I don’t think they will.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Kdawg said:

            “It would be interesting know what LG could actually do if push comes to shove. They did just build a new factory in China.”

            Jay Cole said that LG has some unused capacity in some countries, but I think that’s where it’s more expensive for them to produce the cells. It seems almost certain that the $145/kWh price which LG is charging GM is partly due to the favorable exchange rate with S. Korea. Move some or most of that battery cell production elsewhere, and LG won’t be able to sell them as cheaply. Or rather, since they almost certainly have locked in the price in their contract with GM, LG would have to cut deeply into the profit margin… which probably is already razor-thin. It seems likely that that $145/kWh is a “sweetheart deal” price which LG gave GM in exchange for GM giving the contract for building the entire EV powertrain to LG Electronics.

            Of course, it could turn out that I’m wrong; perhaps LG will be able to deliver a lot more battery cells to GM in the near term. But I think they won’t be delivering substantially more for a couple of years.

            Oh, that new factory in China? It’s too new to deliver in quantity. It’s said to take about two years to fine-tune a new factory for volume production. Perhaps LG can reduce that time, if they’re just duplicating what they’ve done in S. Korea, but I don’t think it’s realistic to believe the factory will produce in quantity less than a year after it was built.

            1. Kdawg says:

              I think the Chinese factory will move faster than that. They already surprised everyone by building the factory in under 2 years.

      2. ffbj says:

        ..and you believe what GM says, because…

      3. Jacked Beanstalk says:

        80K? That’s not what we’re hearing here in MI. Suppliers can ramp up to 50K in the first year and if necessary they can build capacity up to 70K in the second year. Even if the Bolt is a sort of iPod-like sensation that 2nd year capacity represents a fairly hard limit and construction of new capacity will take time.

        LG manufactures Bolt batteries in Korea but they can fire up production in their MI plant if necessary. That’s factored in to the 50K and 70K figures, but LG are not necessarily the only or primary limiter on capacity.

        Ultimately nobody seriously expects sales to hit those upper limits. The Bolt is no Tesla, rather it’s a $37K econobox with the sex appeal of an econobox. GM engineers did hit it out of the park but they were saddled with a rather archaic car platform. There’s only so much the stylists can do with the dimensions and drag coefficient requirements. Just my opinion but GM tend to favor conservative boring cars and the risk averse managers stomp out any sexiness in the design studios.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          LG most certainly is the limiter on Bolt production. Not only is GM using LG’s new, cheaper, cells which can use deeper cycling; LG Electronics has been contracted to supply all the EV powertrains for the Bolt.

          It is LG which controls the limits to Bolt production. Not GM.

          And I don’t believe GM will look elsewhere for battery cells, either. Without using LG’s chemistry, not only would the cells be more expensive, they also couldn’t be cycled as deeply. That would reduce the usable battery capacity, and therefore the range of the car.

          I suppose it’s possible that some other battery maker could license LG’s chemistry. But then they would have to change their operation and fine-tune it before they could start making the new cells in quantity.

    2. ffbj says:

      I doubt if it was ever even brought up at a meeting, maybe as a joke.

    3. MaartenV-nl says:

      The $37500,= leaves ample room for incentives and discounts while staying profitable.
      Battery prices are a third or lower than they were when the Volt was introduced.

      And no need for a complicating second drive train.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Another Euro point of view” said:

      “I am not sure GM will be selling this car at a profit considering large battery/limited intended production figures provided by GM (30K cars per year) so the idea of building a few thousand of RHD versions was probably rejected by GM cost accountants right from the beginning.

      GM made several decisions which clearly indicate they wanted to limit development costs for the Bolt; this is one of them. Another is farming out the entire EV powertrain to LG Electronics, apparently part of a package deal which included a low, low price for LG Chem’s new battery cells.

      We can hope that in future years, GM will move to increase production, including putting a RHD version into production. But that apparently won’t happen in the first year, and I have my doubts it will happen in the second.

  5. Alan says:

    It’s disappointing, but then again, I doubt they will be selling this in huge numbers anyway if it’s true about the 30-50K a year production.

    UK customers will overlook them as soon as others roll out similar range vehicles of a similar price.

  6. bogdan says:

    Maybe it’s just time to abolish RHD world wide. It’s just unnecessary cost. Not to mention the driver skills needed to do both.

    And if the RHD drivers don’t want that, they should wait for fully autonomous driving and the problem is solved.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Indeed, given LHD’s near global dominance.

      Also at the same time, or possibly as a trade while we are tying up loose ends, could we finally implement the metric system in the US (and Myanmar/Burma) to make that a global standard too?

      1. Kdawg says:

        “My car gets 40 rods to the hogs-head, and that’s the way I like it!” – Grandpa Simpson.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          …and whoosh, I’ve derailed the thread

          +1 me

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          From now on, speed should always be measured in furlongs per fortnight.

          Adopting the metric system is far too rational to ever be adopted by us Americans. 😉 (Actually… I’m not sure that’s a joke.)

      2. bogdan says:

        1999 a mars probe was lost because the enginners screwed up the metric and imperial units which resulted in a major fault in design.
        This is just one example of course.

        1. ffbj says:

          Actually it was a minor coding flaw, easy to fix, disastrous not too.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          It would make our life so much simpler around here…that said, I pretty much have all the “miles-to-km math” now memorized in my head after doing it so much.

          1. chris says:

            Jay as a yank that spent the last 4 years in Australia I can drive on either side but would often explain to the Aussie’s that the RHD requirement does impose costs on their cars.

      3. Mikael says:

        Speaking about Myanmar (or rather Burma as all of us who don’t support the military dictatorship call it)… it’s one of the few places in the world where you drive on the right side of the road but the cars are RHD. 🙂

    2. Rick says:

      Agreed, add unifying charging standards and connectors i.e. just use CCS in production cars from now on. So tired of politics complicating everything and wasting time and resources for nothing.

      1. Rick says:

        I must add that this is further evidence that gm is still not serious about being a credible global brand.

        1. Kdawg says:

          Because of the small portion of the globe that uses RHD? And this is just 1 of GM’s cars, as if they don’t make any RHD vehicles. And it’s a car that is in the very small market of BEVs.

      2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Which CCS connector do you mean? North American or European?

        1. MaartenV-nl says:

          As long as it can connect to CHAdeMO, who cares?

        2. Nick says:

          European.

          Then you can use 3 phase power.

    3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Yeah, I’m sure that Well, if you have a few trillion dollars handy you could give it to the few small countries with RHD, like the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Oh, and Japan. And India, of course.

    4. Adam says:

      It’s just too late for that now, the mega expensive traffic setups the world has just can’t be easily converted. Last major change was in Sweden in the 60s.

      As cars models become more global, LHD vs RHD is less of an issue. The bolt simply won’t be sold in volumes enough to justify it. Bring on Model 3 if you are looking for a long range EV in RHD.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Adam said:

        “It’s just too late for that now, the mega expensive traffic setups the world has just can’t be easily converted.”

        That’s the same short-sighted, penny-wise but pound-foolish argument that prevents the USA from switching to the metric system.

        The longer we (or they) wait, the more expensive it’s going to get. And there’s quite clearly a long term benefit, so why not start now?

        1. bogdan says:

          I don’t understand what logic invented the imperial system:

          1 foot = 12 inches
          1 yard = 3 feet
          1 mile = 1.760 yards = 5.280 feet

          By the name of it, it must bee very primitve. Maybe it was invented in the stone age.

          The Metric system:
          1 m = 1.000 mm
          1 km = 1.000 m = 1.000.000 mm
          Very suitable for engineering and every thing else.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            The problem was that the Imperial system, such as it is, wasn’t “invented”. It grew from a variety of different industries each developing their own measurement standards, and then people having to convert from one system to the other. Jewelry merchants used drams to weigh small things; produce merchants used bushels for produce; farmers used rods and furlongs to measure their fields.

            Actually, the conversion from inches to feet makes sense. 12 is divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 6. So for carpentry, that is a useful conversion. The other ratios… not so much. And of course, math is easiest with millimeters and centimeters. Even when doing carpentry, I sometimes measure in mm and cm because it’s easier to scale up to larger sizes.

    5. speculawyer says:

      I tend to agree that RHD should just say “Uncle” and switch to LHD.

      However, as a country that still stupidly has not fully adopted the metric system, I have no moral high ground to mock them.

  7. ClarksonCote says:

    Surprised the “underpinnings” are not compatible with RHD.

    Just open up the platform design in Microsoft Visio, and choose the “Flip Horizontal” option. Problem solved.

    Sheesh. 😉

    1. bogdan says:

      Or drive it in reverse and u have RHD 🙂

      1. Kdawg says:

        Or buy a LHD and use it to deliver mail 🙂

        1. Terawatt says:

          Since it’s an EV, wouldn’t that make it e-mail?

            1. Kdawg says:

              (rimshot)

      2. Rick Danger says:

        Driving in reverse would also make it RWD 🙂

        1. bogdan says:

          And goes quicker from 0-60 mph!

    2. MaartenV-nl says:

      Or adapt a Wii remote control.

  8. wavelet says:

    Odd that it would be especially complex to convert the design… If anything, since there are less mechanical linkages (throttle pedal is drive-by-wire etc.) it should have been simpler to design for both handedness versions in advance. That said, in the immediate term, it isn’t an issue because GM will likely sell all it can produce in LHD markets. If the car proves successful, I’m sure they’ll be able to redesign without too much trouble, to intro RHD a year afterwards.

    Incidentally, the Bolt wouldn’t currently sell in the 2 markets which constitute the vast majority of RHD cars: Japan (because foreign cars don’t sell there at all, except for luxury brands) and India (Bolt is too expensive for the market… The Mahindra Reva is more like it).

    1. Nix says:

      The Bolt is also a bit on the large size for the Japanese market, where the small “Kei Car” is popular, smaller than even the US iMiev.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It’s not a question of complexity, but of cost. Regardless of how easy or hard it is to produce two varieties of the car (LHD & RHD), there is a fixed for from developing the production line so it can produce both varieties. And that fixed cost adds to the unit cost of the cars. When a car is expected to have a razor-thin profit margin already (which seems almost certain to be the case for the Bolt), then it’s understandable when the manufacturer makes choices to limit development costs as much as possible.

      GM doesn’t want to have a repeat of the early years of the Volt, when the car didn’t sell as many as they expected, so the model surely wound up taking more years to start earning a profit than GM expected.

    3. Terawatt says:

      > it isn’t an issue

      For GM! It’s somewhat of an issue for the UK. And Vauxhall is missing out big time.

  9. Tech01x says:

    Obviously, if this vehicle sells well, and it should, GM can choose to do an expansion of cell supply and then it would make sense to put in the resources to offer a RHD version.

    Right now, with low gas prices, GM needs to offset a lot of SUV purchases in U.S. CARB states. That’s the primary market, and the ZEV credits allow them to have a slightly negative gross margin on the Bolt itself.

  10. ffbj says:

    Not worth it, since they will be losing money on the Bolt, they are not inclined to lose even more money. Low volume sales will be a further indicator of the compliance nature of this vehicle.

    1. georgeS says:

      @ffbj
      “Not worth it, since they will be losing money on the Bolt,”

      I don’t know. Looks like they have it priced to make some profit.

      I think it’s more a case of wanting to sell cars with a HIGHER profit margin than the BoltEV.

      1. Kdawg says:

        People keep saying that about the Bolt EV, just like they kept saying that about the Volt. We already know Chevy IS making a profit on the Gen2 Volt. The Bolt EV is more expensive than the Volt and it has a $145/kwh price of batteries. I would say they are making a profit on it as well.

        But it’s more fun for people to say they aren’t.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          But how many years did it take before GM actually started making an overall profit on the Volt?

          A Nissan exec was quoted, circa 2011, saying that they planned to start making an overall profit on the Leaf only in the third model year of production. (My understanding is that the average Gasmobile model is expected to start making an overall profit shortly after the first year of production.) And that was before Nissan had to build two more battery factories to supply worldwide demand for the Leaf, so I would guess it took them more than three years.

          One way that all too many EV advocates ignore reality is in ignoring the fact that legacy auto makers make a smaller profit margin (or none) on PEVs (Plug-in EVs). That leads to them blaming those companies for not wanting to make PEVs. The reality is that it’s not so much that they don’t want to, as that they make considerably better profit selling gasmobiles.

          Of course that will change, as EV tech (including battery tech) advances and costs to produce them come down. GM putting the Bolt into production is an important step along the road to bringing production costs down, so that’s good for the EV revolution regardless of how many or how few GM sells.

          GM has quite clearly made choices to limit development costs on the Bolt, and the lack of RHD is one of those choices. Do you think GM would have made those choices if they could make as large a profit margin off a BEV as off a typical gasmobile? I, for one, don’t think so.

          1. wavelet says:

            It’s very difficult to define “making profit” on a specific vehicle.

            for quite a few decades there has been no such thing as a single-car drivetrain: All engines & all transmissions are used in multiple models. So you need to somehow account which share of the drivetrain development cost should apply to the specific car — lots of ways to slice that, especially when in many cases engines and/or transmissions (or their components) are based on previous versions.

            And it’s not just single manufacturers — engine development costs are high (billions in some cases), to the point that even competing carmakers co-develop engines and either share the R&D cost or have other agreements in place.

            Cars also tend to differ in details between geographical markets: Engines offered (marketing driven), safety features (regulatory differences), interiors etc.
            Sometimes not just details: Actual body size may be slightly different.
            So how do you account for the various cost of selling in the various markets?

            Given the upfront development cost of a car is very high (until it’s homologated, meaning before a single unit can be sold to the public), I doubt any mostly-new car makes a profit before it sells for quite a while (one year sounds possible only for models which have very minor changes over existing ones, a.k.a. facelifts, where the actual chassis & drivetrain doesn’t change.

            Also, I suspect number of units sold is a much more significant factor than number of years sold, which varies by orders of magnitude.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              A lot of good points there, wavelet; especially that last one. Thanks for your response.

              Perhaps I’ve committed the fallacy of applying a general rule to a specific case. As you say, the unit cost should vary greatly by the volume produced, especially in the first few years of production when the bean-counters are still amortizing away the development costs.

              It is of course a matter of choice, rather than fact, as to how a business chooses to account for development costs of a new car model. But there’s no such ambiguity when it comes to sunk costs vs. new costs. Legacy auto makers have already spent untold billions of dollars on figuring out how to produce gasmobiles more cheaply. Those lessons have been paid for, so there’s no new cost associated with using the knowledge and expertise gained. Contrariwise, figuring out how to make BEVs cheaply is something auto makers are just beginning to explore, so most of those costs will be ones they’ll have to pay for over the next several years.

              1. Kdawg says:

                There’s also a “cost” to not doing the R&D and developing plug-ins.

                The car companies that don’t invest in this technology are going to get left behind.

    2. Get Real says:

      I’m afraid that ffbj and Tech01x are probably correct here.

      As excellent as the Bolt is, GM is still completely wedded to its polluting ICE profits and the Stealership business model.

      Having said that, there is a strong possibility that the excellent Bolt will mainly be a money-losing compliance car for CARB state sales and a potential hedge against the possibility that full vehicle electrification might become mandated at some point.

      The Bolt is also GM’s attempt at fighting back against Tesla, which interestingly is mainly a threat against the German luxury brands.

      It is obvious to me that the Bolt is the so-called “moonshot” referenced by Akerson a few years back and it came out of the Tesla study group that he commissioned at GM.

      After GM’s disappointment in at least Gen 1 Volt sales, the way overpriced ELR debacle, and the similarly overpriced European Opel/Holden/Chevy Ampere/Volt, GM is as usual setting the bar low on sales after raising the bar high on engineering a great car.

      I call it a lack of real vision leading to self-inflicted wounds by squandering their opportunities to dominate in electrification.

      I think their refusal to migrate their class-leading Voltec technology into bigger US vehicles like CUVs/SUVs/trucks and at least mid-size sedans unfortunately demonstrates their reluctance to endanger their polluting ICE profits.

      I hope I’m wrong BTW.

      1. Kdawg says:

        They did migrate Voltec into the Malibu Hybrid, a mid-size sedan.

        The CT6 PHEV for China also developed.

        1. Get Real says:

          LOL, they migrated the Voltec transmission into the Malibu Hybid and left out the most important part of the Voltec system, the PLUG (and a bigger battery!

          In other words, GM missed an opportunity to blow away the competition, (i.e the Ford Fusion Energi which does really well in sales.

          The Chinese Cadillac might be a great car but in today’s political environment it is sheer folly to expect it to do well in the US and unfortunately because of past GM decisions Cadillac is a dying brand.

          1. Kdawg says:

            The most complex part is what is important.

            “Cadillac is a dying brand.”
            That may be fun for you to say, but the data doesn’t support that statement.

            1. Get Real says:

              I’m pretty sure that most readers here would agree that the most defining part of a Plug In Vehicle is…..THE PLUG!!!!

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                I suppose it would be snarky of me to predict that, within a few years, the plug will start to disappear from EVs in favor of wireless charging. 🙂

                Will we still call them “plug-in EVs”, in the same way we some people still call a BEV’s accelerator a “gas pedal”? Or will we come up with a new term for EVs which are powered mainly (but perhaps not entirely) by electricity stored onboard in batteries?

      2. georgeS says:

        @get real
        “As excellent as the Bolt is, GM is still completely wedded to its polluting ICE profits and the Stealership business model.”

        They are wedded to making a profit and increasing stock value. That’s the way things work in a capitalistic system. In order to maximize profit they need to sell their most profitable cars and trucks.

        I think all the flack GM gets in the comments on this site is un-justified. GM is second place right behind Tesla when it comes to developing electric power trains. SECOND , not 3rd or forth.

        Geesh if you want to pick on somebody pick on Chrysler or Ford.

        1. Get Real says:

          While I mostly agree with you George.

          #1
          You didn’t address the Stealership business model issues

          http://insideevs.com/why-dealerships-fail-at-selling-electric-cars/

          #2
          Putting short-term profits over long-term gain is a rather stupid and short sided business practice IMHO.

          One only has to look how Toyota came to dominate the Hybrid market by investing up front and growing the segment until it became very profitable for them.

          #3
          I agree that GM is way ahead of FCA and Ford for that matter.

          I just wished that GM would start leveraging their outstanding electrification engineering because they could become the dominant player in this segment which I am convinced will start growing exponentially in the near future.

          I think instead it will be Tesla on the mid to high-end and probably VW on the mid to lower-end or maybe even the Chinese will come in and blow away the laggard OEMs, some of which will probably fail like FCA.

          1. Kdawg says:

            “I just wished that GM would start leveraging their outstanding electrification engineering because they could become the dominant player in this segment”
            ———–
            What do you think they’re doing? No one else has a PHEV with 53EV miles, or an affordable 200+ mile BEV. No one else has a mid-size hybrid that gets 46mpg combined.

            You should focus your outrage elsewhere.

            1. Get Real says:

              I think GM is doing exactly what I said in my first post, they are mostly just hedging on PEV vehicles, mainly for compliance reasons and the vehicles themselves are really excellent.

              Once again, I think most readers here would agree that Tesla, not GM is setting itself up to become the dominant player in PEV (or at least BEV) space and GM is making great PEVs but not selling them very vigorously for the reasons I already stated.

              And for the record, I’m certainly not “outraged” at GM as I own a Volt (despite the dealership experience) and will probably get a Bolt if the dealer doesn’t try and mark them up even though I reserved for a Tesla Model 3.

              I fully support ANY company that makes compelling PEVs and I will NOT buy from those companies that don’t and that includes Ford.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                I agree 100%, and well said.

                GM is developing PHEV and BEV tech only as a hedge against the inevitable, albeit currently slowing approaching, domination of EVs in the market. If GM was “leveraging” their EV tech, then they would already be selling SUV, CUV and pickup PHEVs, as well as larger sedans, all using Voltec, and possibly even all having an electric range of 35+ miles.

                I’m not outraged at GM, either. (Well, I am outraged over their backing of various State auto dealership associations’ attempts to suppress Tesla sales. But that’s a different subject.) I understand perfectly GM’s desire to keep making and selling its core product: The gasmobile. I am, however, frustrated at how slowly the EV revolution is progressing. That’s not GM’s “fault”, but as they say: If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. Other than GM’s development of the EV1, the Volt, and now the Bolt, GM is indeed part of the problem.

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I wish people would stop calling the Bolt a compliance car. A car produced in the volume of 25,000+ per year is far beyond mere compliance numbers.

        In fact, 25k per year will probably put the Bolt into the top 3 or 4 on InsideEVs’ Monthly Plug-in Sales Scorecard in 2017.

        Even for gasmobile sales, 25k per year isn’t especially low.

  11. georgeS says:

    Is it illegal to drive a LHD car in the UK? If not just import one and start driving.

    1. Alan says:

      No it’s not illegal to drive a LHD vehicle here in the UK, the drawback is the insurance !

      I will now have to wait until Nissan put a bigger battery in the e-nv200 or the Budd-e gets going over here.

      Have another 18 months before my Outlander PHEV comes off lease so not all bad news !

    2. Nix says:

      The problem with driving a LHD in a RHD market, or a RHD in a LHD market is passing on two-way roads. You have to have a death wish to try to pass without having a passenger help you check for on-coming traffic.

      The problem is that you have to pull half way into the other lane before you can get an unobstructed view around the car you are trying to pass. By then, there might already be a car coming right at you!

      Trust me, it is not fun.

  12. Nix says:

    UK market will sink like a stone after they actually do the Brexit anyways (they still haven’t actually exited yet). And the Aussies aren’t serious about EV’s. GM made the smart call of where to invest their money.

    1. vdiv says:

      Yer kidding, right? They are not serious about lame EVs, but with all that solar power and Mad Max gene they would love to have a fast and affordable long-range EV. Who wouldn’t?

      1. Nix says:

        vdiv — I will let the Australians who run http://myelectriccar.com.au/incentives
        explain it to you:

        “Australia has to be the most unenlightened developed country in the world in this regard. No wonder the manufacturers see little merit in bringing EVs to the land down under. We are the world’s least encouraging country for EVs…”

    2. Alan says:

      The word Nix has several meanings:

      Two of which are as follows:

      Nothing at all &

      Expressing denial,

      They both sum you up perfectly !

      1. Nix says:

        Alan — Sorry you and your fellow countrymen voted to ruin your economy on the fantasy that exiting the EU had zero consequences. Time to grow up and smell the coffee.

        The EU has already told you no, you will not get all the benefits of trading with the EU unless you follow the Norway path. Where the only way to get favored trade status is to agree to follow EU laws, all without ever having a vote in the creation of EU laws.

        Hurling insults won’t change that. Don’t blame me for delivering the bad news.

        1. Alan says:

          Sorry to say you are deluding yourself along with the likes of Juncker et al,

          We buy far more from Europe than it does from us, the only loser there will be the Eurozone, it’s already in the toilet, any downturn with render the southern states bankrupt, the banks are up to their necks in debt they can’t possibly pay back (Italy’s banks will fail first).

          Not to mention the fact that without intelligence sharing, the EU will be considerably worse off in terms of security.

          It might appear as though the EC is holding all the aces, but that is most definately not the case.

          I wouldn’t believe too much of what you read in the media, our economy is doing far better than anywhere in Europe and we can if we so please, drastically reduce corporation tax to attract business from all around the world. Apple inc welcome, Google welcome !

          Widen your gaze !

          1. Nix says:

            Sounds like you’ve swallowed the rhetoric.

            Just answer this: What happened to the promise to “give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week”?

            Did you swallow that rhetoric too?

            1. Alan says:

              Ah, now I see,

              Another left wing loser having a whinge because they lost.

              Get over it !

              1. Nix says:

                I’m from the US. As in United States. I didn’t lose a thing.

              2. Nix says:

                Oh, and you still evaded the question, what happened to the promise to “give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week”?

                1. Robert M says:

                  I am also from the US so I don’t have a dog in this fight. However it takes time to pull out from the EU. I am guessing even if they fast track the process it will take at least a year to pull out.

          2. Nix says:

            Oh, and good luck trying to create that fantasy tax haven for Apple and others. Because the rest of the world is acting to close those badly abused loophole.

            First it was the EU ruling against Apple, now it is the United States acting at several levels to close that loophole too.

            http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obama-administration-targets-corporate-offshore-140734841.html

            http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/panama-papers/treasury-looks-companies-lowering-tax-rates-moving-abroad-n550936

            If you think you can build the future of your nation on the basis of robbing tax revenues from the United States, you are badly in delusion. Such a bald, desperate move will trigger international repercussions.

            The UK would be stepping face-first into what has already well on it’s way into becoming a massive sh!t-storm. The UK trying to save themselves from a post-Brexit crash by making a move like that would just intensify and focus the storm.

          3. Nix says:

            And finally, if the UK were considered an export market for the EU, it would only make up 16% of the EU’s export market.

            That is to say, if the EU loses exports to the UK, they are only putting 16% of their export income on the line.

            However, the EU buys 44% of UK’s exports. That means if the UK loses the EU export market, they would lose 44% of their exports.

            Which do you think has the upper hand in negotiations? The one with only 16% of their export revenues at jeopardy, or the one who has close to half of their export revenues at jeopardy?

            To quote the infinite wisdom of American comedy “The Seinfeld Show”:

            GEORGE: You can’t break up with me. I’ve got hand.
            NOEL: And you’re going to need it.

            1. georgeS says:

              @Nix
              I’m a UK fan from USA. I agree that the UK made a mistake exiting. Wasn’t this very economic decision made by popular vote in a real election in the UK??

              If so I would think that leaving a complex issue such as this to the general public is a mistake. I don’t think Mr and Mrs GQ public are informed enough to make the decision.

              but at any rate I bet Cameron is a much happier person now that he is out of politics.

              It’s odd how closely UK politics tracks US politics.,….and even more interesting that we have all been arguing the same conservative versus liberal ideas since 1800’s.

              1. Nix says:

                I’m from the US too, but having spent part of my life living overseas it never shocks me that where-ever you go, there are always conservative factions and liberal factions of the population. Even in places like Iran, they have left and right political groups that mimic the US left and right.

                The funny thing about the Brexit vote, is that it was really Cameron himself who essentially made the decision to hold the vote. That didn’t work out that well for him…

          4. bogdan says:

            Apple, Google, they all need HQ in EU country, otherwise they could place HQ in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are democrats too u know, just like the brits.
            And when GB goes out, then the’ll say bye bye GB.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Alan said:

        “The word Nix has several meanings:”

        In comments on InsideEVS, the word “Nix” indicates the best-informed comments; the ones most worth reading, aside from rare ones posted by InsideEVs editor Jay Cole.

        Slamming Nix isn’t as much a reflection on Nix as it’s a reflection on you.

  13. vdiv says:

    Now we know what the “e” stands for in Ampera-e, ediots!

  14. Spider-Dan says:

    Sad to say, but GM learned their lesson with the Volt/Ampera. They made a great car and it underperformed all the sales targets, so now with the Bolt, they are letting demand drive supply.

    1. vdiv says:

      That’s another way of saying they don’t want to make it. It was exactly that language that GM used to weasel out of the original ZEV mandate.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        No, it’s a way of saying that GM made a great car that few Europeans wanted to buy, so they aren’t going to fall over themselves trying to cater to the EU market again.

        1. Kdawg says:

          Yes, why promise 60k in sales, just to give more fodder to the trolls if it doesn’t happen.

          Market should always drive supply.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I rather suspect the Volt/Ampera would have sold a lot better in Europe if GM hadn’t priced it about twice as high as they did in the U.S.

          Now, perhaps GM priced it that high out of necessity, I dunno. But regardless of whether the high price was by choice or necessity, that certainly explains the lack of sales. It would be denying the facts to say the lack of sales shows a lack of interest in compelling PEVs (Plug-in EVs) among Europeans.

    2. MaartenV-nl says:

      And they made a car so usable that demand will drive supply to high numbers.

    3. Nix says:

      Yes, GM was doing OK selling in the EU until the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV crushed them. GM was doing OK with 3-5K units in sales in 2012/2013.

      Then in Nov. 2013 Mitsubishi started selling the Outlander PHEV in the EU, and Outlander PHEV sales skyrocketed from 8K to 20K to 30K units, while GM PHEV sales dropped below 1K and just kept sinking before GM pulled the plug.

      I’m not sure GM learned the right lesson from this, since I don’t see a Voltec Equinox PHEV being sold there to compete head to head with the Outlander PHEV that crushed them.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        I’d still say that the gap between pre-Outlander Ampera sales and Outlander sales is still inexplicable. Europe is not exactly known for its burning lust towards SUVs.

        1. Get Real says:

          Not inexplicable at all, the Outlander PHEV is a more useful vehicle for anyone that has to haul alot of cargo or people compared to the Volt even though the Volt is a much better PEV.

          And then their was the Euro pricing on the Ampera/Volt.

        2. Nix says:

          I have to wonder how much of the SUV/CUV preference in the EU/UK is due to high fuel prices, instead of an actual reflection of what people would like to drive.

          Case in point, the Land Rover Range Rover.

          I don’t actually know the answer, but I suspect that fuel prices might allow the Outlander to be an option for people who otherwise might choose a smaller ICE car.

  15. BraveLilToaster says:

    If you ask me, this is just further proof that GM doesn’t really want to sell too many Bolts. Unlike their competition.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      GM is required to make profit each and every quarter now. Especially after bankruptcy.

      GM’s competition doesn’t seem to be required at making profits or nearly as much.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        Absolutely correct. If GM wasn’t constrained by profitability like some other automakers, they could be just as aggressive.

    2. Kdawg says:

      This article is about the Ampera-e in Europe. I think GM would love to increase their European market share any way they can.

  16. ModernMarvelFan says:

    GM doesn’t sell many cars in RHD countries in general.

    GM is mostly a LHD automaker in terms of volume and units. Two of its biggest market are China and US which are LHD only (yes, there is Hong Kong but that is small cookie).

    This isn’t surprising at all.

    I think Norway is more than enough to offset what is lost in UK and Australia alone.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      As I understand it, Hong Kong is still treated as a separate sales region by car makers. Hong Kong uses RHD country, a legacy of being part of the British Commonwealth not so many years ago, while mainland China is LHD.

      Furthermore, you need a special license to be able to drive back and forth between HK and mainland China. According to what I’ve read, such licenses are not common.

  17. speculawyer says:

    That’s what the UK gets for not buying the Chevy Volt or Opel Ampera.

  18. Warren of Canberra says:

    Now we know the results of stopping car manufacturing in Australia. Admittedly Australia & New Zealand are small markets but it is just typical of American business decisions not think outside their comfort zone, with the obvious exception of Tesla. Markets such as India and Indonesia as well as most of south of the African continent are right hand drive as well as a majority of South East Asian countries. All large population centres with a growing middle class. European manufacturers, not US owned and run, can make left & right hand drive cars easily as well as Korean and Japanese vehicle makers. Looks like US car makers are off our shopping lists.

    1. Someone out there says:

      It costs a lot of money to set up a production line. RHD adds a lot of costs to the LHD production line so if they are production limited and can sell all cars as LHD why bother with the extra cost?

    2. wavelet says:

      Warren,
      GM hasn’t said anything official, but estimates on this site & elsewhere elsewhere (based partly on info from suppliers, and battery manufacturing limits) are GM expects to sell 25K-30K in the first year.

      Even if they sell double that (and it’s hard to belive they can do more during that first year to to LGE’s battery manuf. capacity), that’s still not enough to have RHD right off the bat.

      I think your conclusions are premature; give them a couple of years to see how the Bolt does before they start addressing secondary markets (and given Japan & India are mostly irrelevant, the remaining RHD market is decidedly secondary, no offense (-: ).

  19. apkungen says:

    They’ll change their minds when they realize it sells like butter melts in Sunshine!

  20. Pedro says:

    Nooooooo, I was so excited about this car to be my next car as I do love tesla 3 but no much details available or even a real date anytime soon. Shame on Chevrolet/Vauxhall/opel to discriminate uk market

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