Opel Ampera-E: The Most Extensive Review You Will Ever See – Video

APR 25 2017 BY MARK KANE 27

Buckle up!  Because one of the first Opel Ampera-e electric vehicles has been put through its paces by Autogefühl in Oslo, Norway.

As always, the media outfit goes to great lengths (40+ mins) to detail the offering; including an extensive exterior, interior and driving experience walk-through.

Opel Ampera-e (Autogefüh)

As we know ourselves from driving the Ampera-E’s sister car (the Chevrolet Bolt), GM’s EV can manage 350 km/220 miles or even more quiet easily on a single charge without a problem.

The Bolt/Ampera-E has been officially rated at 383 km/238 miles by the EPA.  In Europe, the Ampera-E is rated for a rather comical optimistic 520 km/323 miles of range.

For the price, which stands just higher than a BMW i3 in Europe, there is absolutely no competition in the segment.  Autogefühl concludes that if your main requirement is range, then the Ampera-e is a fine choice.

The interior quality isn’t of course on par with the BMW i3, or even the Volkswagen e-Golf according to Autogefühl, but it’s a decent car with nice solutions: a roomy interior, brisk acceleration, slightly SUV-like upper seating position, and multiple regeneration mode choices.

Autogefühl notes however, that after the initial sales boom, the price still would need to be lowered to go truly penetrate the mass-market.

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27 Comments on "Opel Ampera-E: The Most Extensive Review You Will Ever See – Video"

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i3 cheaper than Ampera-e in Europe? Why is it opposite in US?

The cost of shipping an Ampera from the U.S. to Norway is significantly greater than the cost of shipping an i3 from Germany to Norway.

Likewise, the cost of shipping an i3 from Germany to the U.S. is significantly greater than the cost of shipping a Bolt within the U.S.

There are likely also import duties added to the cost of an i3 in the U.S. and an Ampera in Norway.

Perhaps the currency exchange rate is mostly to blame?

A strong U.S. economy vs. a struggling or tepid European economy, which seems to be currently the case*, would suggest a strong US Dollar vs. a weak (or weaker) Euro. All else being equal, that would mean higher prices in Europe for the same cars.

Jay Cole, in comments, has said that auto makers tend to balance out prices internationally, ignoring currency exchange issues. Perhaps GM isn’t following the trend here; they certainly didn’t for the Volt/Ampera, and as a result that car failed to sell in Europe.

Here’s hoping GM doesn’t follow the same path with the Bolt EV/Ampera-e.

*But the 1% richest Americans are keeping almost all the newly created wealth for themselves, so the middle class and working poor are seeing little or none of that. (Sadly that’s the facts, not just an opinion.)

Indeed. What I was mentioning is that automakers won’t adjust dollar-for-dollar based on the currency fluctuations as it relates specifically on a model…they really can’t.

ie) a Chevy Cruze made in Ohio won’t get an extra bump when sold in Ontario, Canada to allow for a currency swing, and the brand new 2018 Equinox made in Ontario won’t be discounted when sold in Michigan

But rather they will use a basic/normalized cost for the entire lineup, otherwise certain offerings will become incongruent.

In the example cited above, if they adjusted over the past ~30 months for the unexpected swing in the CAD to USD (which has been significant, as have currency moves in Europe) the Chevy Equinox sold in the US would become almost the same cost as the Chevy Cruze ($17.4l k vs $17k) because the CDN dollar has moved from about par 3 years ago to $1.36 today. So it would be darn hard to sell a Cruze, Sonic of Trax at a Chevy dealer with the Equinox undercutting.

Fair disclaimer: of course all the vehicles don’t have 100% content from any country, so there is a split offset happening on the foreign parts componentry splits

*But the 1% richest Americans are keeping almost all the newly created wealth for themselves, so the middle class and working poor are seeing little or none of that. (Sadly that’s the facts, not just an opinion.)

Question is- WHY? I’d suggest it results from the so-called ‘free market’ [or dog-eat-dog] philosophy of the US economy where taxation is a dirty word & Government is set up purely to benefit the wealthy. ‘Socialism’ is the greatest evil, indistinguishable from Communism, apparently.

I must have it all wrong, yet the 1% persists…

I was hoping they’d shed a little more light on the DCFC capability, given that there are at least a few >50kW stations in Norway. I’m going to pull the trigger on an EV in a couple months, and unless I find that the Bolt can charge significantly faster than 50kW at least up to 50% SOC, I’m going to have a hard time justifying the extra ~$8k or so compared to something like an Ioniq if the Bolt’s limited fast charging means it’s actually not that much of an improvement for the occasional long distance trip. The results we’ve seen so far even on 50kW chargers have not given me much hope, maybe GM will roll out a software update to speed up charging once they’re more comfortable? I’m imagining them releasing the car while they’re still testing in the lab to see exactly how high they can go in DCFC rate… not holding my breath though!

where did you find >50 kW fast chargers?

I can’t see how it would be a limited improvement over the IONIQ. Maybe if you literally drive all day and you manage to find 100kW+ chargers at each location?

If you want to drive 200 miles round trip? Bolt easy. 300 miles? Bolt easy. 400 miles? Bolt still winning. Those are all due to the longer time before the first charge. Past that the IONIQ might start to win if you find greater than 50kW chargers at each location and assuming the Bolt can’t go past 50kW (which we don’t know yet).

But you’re talking about driving over 7 hours in the day (not counting charging) at that point. How often do you do that?

I definitely think the Bolt will be better for long trips, but the question is whether it’s $8k better. If the Bolt is 90 minute stops every 3 hours of driving while the Ioniq is 30 minute stops every 1.5 hours, I’ll take the Ioniq and buy myself something nice!

My figures on a 50kW charger seem to say that you will get to 80% charge in 1 hour as long as you come in with at least 5% charge at the start.

So I don’t really see why a stop would be 90 minutes every 3 hours on a Bolt, even on 50kW chargers. If you want an 80% charge I figure it would be less than 70 minutes.

This is all from my figures which seem to show it carrying the “full” 43kW charge rate (limited by the 125A charger) past 60% state of charge, despite the 53% figure often quoted out there in the wild.

And I hope it’s even a bit better on 80kW chargers.

I’m interested in seeing how the IONIQ does. I believe it accepts charge faster. I wouldn’t be surprised if 30 minutes to 80% isn’t an overestimate for it.

Thanks for the details. Are you the one who’s been collecting DCFC data on a Bolt and detailing the taper?

Agree that it will be really interesting to see how the Bolt does on a DCFC that can output at least 80kW. Suspect the first one we’ll see will be in Norway.

If it can hold 80kW up to close to 50% SOC, I might be tempted. The other aspect is whether Hyundai is pushing their smaller battery too hard at the risk of longevity. I have faith in GM on that front, especially given the slowish charging rates.

GM has stated the Bolt can support 80kW charging.

In my observations, GM is much more conservative than a company like Tesla and will probably never roll out an OTA update for something like an increase in charging speed, even if the system was found through additional testing to be robust enough to do it. The change would be rolled out as a model year change only, IMO.

CEO Mary Barra did say the Bolt was capable of OTA updates, but that they were still working out their implementation strategy. That was near the reveal, but I haven’t heard much since.

I think they might have contractual issues with the dealerships, and whether that would be considered “services”.

Maybe they would have to setup an upgrade payment method like Tesla.

But, yeah,…I could see them doing it more as model year upgrade, and maybe a service call at a dealership.

“quiet easily” should be “quite easily”
“to go truly” should be “to truly”

His english gets worse with every new review 😀

Und wie ist dein Deutsch? 😉

I think the original Ampera did so well because it was quite cheap. Glad to see Ampera 2 going down the same route. Oh well, maybe leaf 2018?

Seems to be missing a /sarcasm tag. 😐

That guys good. There’s something about his manner of speech that makes him very pleasurable to listen to.

Nice little car. But I still prefer my used Model S over a new Chevy BoltEV. Mostly because of the super charging and the styling.

…. except perhaps I might prefer the more upright seating position of the BoltEV.

I guess the question I’ve always had with this car is if GM sold Opel to Peugeot, then how exactly is this car going to be manufactured and released? Are they under contract to Peugeot perhaps? Will they be sharing technology? What’s the arrangement of all that?

It’d been reported that GM/LG will continue to support the Ampera-E (that is, supply parts & training to Opel, now PSA) for several years — it would have been very odd otherwise. There were also stories PSA/Opel acquired rights to use the drivetrain designs… Not sure if that’s true, and what it’ll mean in practice.

Day-um. (shaking head) Can’t believe this car. Sometimes it seemed like this day would never come, but it has.

Europeans drive 130 kmph. Their range will be max 190 miles on a single charge.

Not in the congested cities I’ve been in like Paris. Lucky to be moving 25kmph.