Vauxhall Is Working On Its Own All-Electric Car

8 months ago by Mark Kane 41

Opel Ampera-E

Opel Ampera-E

Vauxhall Ampera

Vauxhall Ampera

Because both the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Opel Ampera-E derivative are only left-hand drive, the UK and Australia were simply excluded from  GM’s new BEV.

That’s not good news and there were probably some GM execs that realized this would be a problem (especially since the UK is a strong European market for EVs).

According to Autocar, Vauxhall intends to solve this problem by having its own all-electric model on sale in the future.

The question still without an answer, is whether or not it will be a separate model intended just for LHD?  Or a new global model inclusive of both RHD & LHD capabilities?  Or even an eventual modified/adapted version of the Opel Ampera-E (despite being initially excluded)?

“GM won’t be producing a right-hand drive version of the Opel Ampera-e, but it has confirmed that a right-hand-drive electric car is under development for the future.”

Tina Muller, Opel’s marketing boss said:

“Now we realise that electro-mobility will become bigger and bigger and that’s why we need to do a second step, one that will include right-hand drive. I can’t tell you exactly when it will hit the market, but for sure it’s part of our plans.”

source: Autocar

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41 responses to "Vauxhall Is Working On Its Own All-Electric Car"

  1. R.S says:

    It shows again that for most GM executives, the known world ends at the US borders.

    Luckily it isn’t all of them.

    1. Trollnonymous says:

      GM knows exactly where the border is and goes beyond it regularly.
      They sent jobs across the border to build their product and parts and re-import them back across the same border to sell to us.

    2. acevolt says:

      If GM only focuses on the US, how do you think they sold 3.6 million cars in China last year and only 3.1 million cars in the US. I bet the car Vauxhall is working on is a modified version of the Bolt. With the UK being their 4th biggest market, they should have designed the Bolt with right hand drive from the beginning.

      1. R.S says:

        Sorry, China and the US. I was over exaggerating.

        But you got what I meant, they built an EV and forgot about the UK. Especially with an EV it should have been very easy to make it LHD, but it seems they just forgot. Even the Kia Soul EV made it to the UK.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Well, they knew Brexit was coming…

          LOL.

          1. Martin Winlow says:

            Ah, interesting you should mention that… Lots of nonsense being talked about continental car makers getting the hump over Brexit and stopping exporting their cars to the UK in the news, currently. I can’t help but think that such a stupid move would harm them more than it would us (I’m in the UK). But even if it did, it’s not like BMW and all the rest rule the roost in terms of EV production so were something to develop along those lines, the UK could find itself being pushed in EV adoption quicker than it might have otherwise happened, especially so considering we have a big LEAF plant in Sunderland.

      2. Marco says:

        Take 70% LG parts, throw in some cheep tires, a super cheep interior, some suspension pieces & loosely “bolt” (pun intended) them all together, and what do you get? a GM Bolt.
        Wow! boyz and girls. Amazing.

        Still good job LG. I’ll wait till the “LG” version comes out the year after, since it will have better warranty.

        1. Someone out there says:

          It’s a GM design being mass-produced in a Korean factory.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            BS.

            Only the sub assembly parts are built in Korea.

            Majority of the car are still build in the US.

            With the US parts, it won’t be a car.

            Without the Korean parts, you can slap an engine or other EV components, it is still a good car.

        2. DJ says:

          Oh look, it’s one of these guys. Can I say dumbasses or is that not allowed?

          As far as I know only Koenigsegg makes all their own parts and that may only be on specific models?

          What’s wrong with GM focusing on the larger markets? I mean they can only sell so many of these because of the restriction on the # of packs that can be created. Why spend the extra time/$ if they are confident they’ll sell through in the markets they chose to go in to?

          1. Paul Smith says:

            Nobody makes all their own parts. Tires, alternators, fans, shocks, and many other parts are third party.

        3. All-Purpose Guru says:

          Don’t feed the trolls, people.

          1. Phr≡d says:

            +1 APG, I suggest:

            — .. crickets .. —

            short, sweet and easy (conveying complete silence that allows perception of crickets, so Soothing, as diametrically opposed to 100db trolls that can’t even conceive what they are despoiling, as they Need response so Very Badly!)

    3. Nix says:

      R.S. — Or GM simply doesn’t want to risk sinking a bunch of money into the British automotive industry at this exact point in time.

      Historically, the UK hasn’t exactly been a hotbed for successful auto manufacturing businesses. Most UK car manufacturers have either failed, been sold off to foreign parent companies, or remain low volume niche manufactures.

      And it isn’t just GM who is holding back right now investing in the UK market. See my post below.

      1. Someone out there says:

        But it’s not just the UK and Ireland, it’s also Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan and possibly Hong Kong. That is quite a few people, even if you only count the well off ones.

        1. wavelet says:

          The Japanese do not buy foreign cars, except a very small number of luxury brands. It’s not a market for the Bolt or any mid-priced car, EV or not.
          India is only a market only for the lowest end of EVs, like the Mahindra Reva — all the ones by foreign vendors are simply too expensive.

          That leaves just the UK as a significant remaining RHD market — the rest are small.
          Additional RHD EVs will come, including the Bolt — it’ll jsut have to wait 1-2 years.

          And Vauxhall isn’t developing anything — there’s no such thing as Vauxhall engineering, and hasn’t been for decades.

          1. All-Purpose Guru says:

            Vauxhall does do some development, but generally Vauxhall development is carried out by Opel. Mostly Vauxhall does manufacturing stuff for the few plants in the UK they still have. Almost all of the product design (including RHD development) is done by Opel.

            For that matter, lots of GM development in general is done by Opel, including the Chevy Cobalt, Buick Cascada, and the Chevy Volt. (Reference the GM Delta II and Epsilon platforms, all designed by Opel and refined into individual vehicles by in-country designers.)

        2. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “But it’s not just the UK and Ireland, it’s also Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan and possibly Hong Kong. That is quite a few people, even if you only count the well off ones.”

          Yes, you just listed those markets that GM doesn’t traditionally compete well or are small in terms of overall or EV market.

          The biggest 3 markets are China, US, and EU (now that UK is no longer part of).

          They are all LHD driving country!

          1. Phr≡d says:

            (singling out) Australia?
            you mean Holden?
            a (damned good, when I can find it) race series alone has me questioning that conclusion (from my US armchair).

            GM bean-counters is My humble take, they haven’t all retired or died yet – they will, and there will be RHD EVs before the end of next year (cuz I got money on it).
            Go Vauxhall!! to coin a constant phrase, lol.

        3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          Eventually there are not so many people who would be going to buy RHD Bolt in 2017. GM is in business making mass market cars, not burning cash. They planned some 20k-30k production for the first year. Do you really think it makes sense to produce an economy car for just few thousand people or less? I don’t think so. Eventually, IF they will see higher demand and will expect bigger sale numbers, they may make RHD version.

          Nissan has advantage here as they have RHD home market that would generate RHD sales in any case. GM doesn’t, and they can’t expect much sales in India/Australia/Japan.

  2. Nix says:

    With Brexit looming, it isn’t just GM that is delaying business plans for the soon-to-be former EU nation. So I don’t know why anybody would be surprised at GM delaying UK cars. Especially green cars that are tied to EU pollution/GHG mandates that some politicians in the UK violently oppose.

    Brexit has already delayed the UK’s plans to cut coal electricity production, and nobody knows where the UK’s environmental regulations will go once the EU regulations no longer apply. This just isn’t a good time for businesses to invest into such an uncertain market.

    Anybody who claims to know about Brexit, who can’t quickly name off a few dozen major companies or industries who are also delaying or planning to move if the UK finalizes the exit, isn’t being intellectually honest.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Thank you for that perspective, Nix. As is often the case, your post is by far the most informative of any comment posted here.

        1. georgeS says:

          @Nix
          “Brexit has already delayed the UK’s plans to cut coal electricity production, and nobody knows where the UK’s environmental regulations will go once the EU regulations no longer apply.”

          Interesting. That never occurred to me. I wonder how it affects the big nuclear facility they are putting in.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            That nuclear facility with some obligations to buy electricity at crazy ~0.10GBP/kWh rate
            for decades is already signed this month. I have no idea what is their reasoning.

    2. Someone out there says:

      Funny then how they are not holding back any other models.

      1. Martin T. says:

        The UK will be an amazing success once they leave the EU. Trade barriers tied to EU will be removed allowing the UK to once again be more COMPEDITIVE. The only sour grapes will be the Germans who sold a lot of car UK way.

        The UK is lucky to escape the EU and it will be a win for them!

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          It would be great win if they would be able to haul their island somewhere closer to Canada :/ Otherwise it looks they are still stuck with EU for geographical reasons just like Norway or Switzerland, except they will need now to beg to be admitted to trade game under EU conditions only.

    3. Tom says:

      The Bolt has been in development for at least a couple for years, long before the recent Brexit vote.

      GM was noncommittal about a right-side driver version of the Bolt from the very beginning. I seriously doubt that this decision has anything to do with Brexit.

      Having said that, I wish that GM had made a right-side version of the Bolt from the outset for the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand market because that is a sizeable market to ignore. GM sells very few cars in Japan.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “Bolt from the outset for the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand market because that is a sizeable market to ignore”

        Combined less than 2 cities in China…

      2. Nix says:

        Tom,

        I wasn’t referring to the Bolt, but to the timing for this statement regarding the timing of a future RHD Opel/Vauxhall:

        “Now we realise that electro-mobility will become bigger and bigger and that’s why we need to do a second step, one that will include right-hand drive. I can’t tell you exactly when it will hit the market, but for sure it’s part of our plans.”

        When they say “I can’t tell you exactly when”, they definitely have to be thinking about Brexit when they consider that timing.

  3. vdiv says:

    I think GM is misdirecting everyone. They will produce a RHD version, and I think they will produce an ICE version of the Bolt. A 3-cylinder diesel for half the price, that’s the ticket!

    1. vdiv says:

      Ok, this is all speculation of course and GM doesn’t have a 3-cylinder diesel, but they do have a very nice 3-cylinder 1.0l Ecotec gasoline engine.

  4. Thomas J. Thias says:

    The official statement from GM/ Vauxhall :

    Link Goes To Vauxhall Media –

    https://media.gm.com/media/gb/en/vauxhall/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/gb/en/2016/vauxhall/09-13-ampera-e.html

    Best-

    Thomas J. Thias

    517-749-0532

    Publisher: Twitter @AmazingChevVolt

    1. R.S says:

      How unfair is that? Bragging about how good it is while telling you you can’t get it.

      Ampera-e slogan in the Uk should be: Ampera-e the best car, you can’t buy.

  5. ClarksonCote says:

    It would be great to end up having a RHD version of both the Bolt and the Volt. Interesting to see how that plays out.

  6. EVs_are_the_future says:

    This is great news to hear. My main car is a Vauxhall Corsa petrol variant. As soon as the Vauxhall variant of the Bolt or similar hits the UK it will replace the Corsa.

    We tried a LEAF for 6 months but it just did not have the practicality we needed so had to return to fossil based transport for our own sanity.

    So Vauxhall if you are listening, we want a pure electric car from you. Please…

    1. vdiv says:

      Just curious, what aspects of the Leaf did you find lacking?

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      You may see longer range Leaf or eventually 60 kWh version sooner or at the same time. Or Honda battery car. GM isn’t the only player.

  7. Someone out there says:

    This is excellent, the more the merrier! Hopefully they can come up with a couple good ideas that can be put in future LHD cars.

  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    Expect Vauxhall to annonced the Vampera-F, a low-speed, short-range BEV targeted at the Indian market.

    :p