Opel Announces Ampera-e (Chevrolet Bolt EV) For 2017

FEB 11 2016 BY MARK KANE 92

Opel confirmed today that it will be introducing a new all-electric car in Europe in 2017.

Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e

As expected, the German brand (being part of General Motors) will use a rebadged Chevrolet Bolt EV, just like in the case of the Ampera Volt several years ago.

The real surprise is the name of the European Bolt – it will be called Opel Ampera-e.

Well, while Bolt/Volt names in the U.S. brings some heating discussions, the Ampera-e, on top of the previously withdrawn Ampera (first-gen Volt), may lead to some confusion as well. Perhaps the name is indicating that Opel will indeed also introduce a new Ampera (second-gen Volt) as earlier testing spy shots lead us to believe?

Related – Opel Confirms Upcoming Battery Electric Corsa

Two images attached to the press release present a car nearly identical to the Bolt EV. There is not much time, or reason, to mess with the Bolt’s solid design.

Unofficial sources have pegged planned European allotment for the Chevy Bolt EV Opel Ampera-e at about 10-15% of total production.  A number which likely represents about 5,000 units in the car’s first full year of availability.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra stated:

“The Ampera-e promises to transform the electric vehicle market in Europe as the first EV that combines long range at an affordable price.”

While Opel’ CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann says that Ampera-e will open up the road to electric mobility “by breaking down the barriers of high price and short driving range.”


Opel Announces Game-changing Ampera-e Battery Electric Car

  • New Opel battery electric vehicle will break down barriers to electric mobility
  • Five-door, five-seat Ampera-e will have longer range than most electric cars
  • Fun to drive, outstanding connectivity and affordably priced

Rüsselsheim.  Opel will launch a revolutionary new battery electric car next year, as the German brand continues the biggest, most far-reaching model offensive in its history with 29 new models between 2016 and 2020. The new five-door, five seat will be called “Ampera-e”. It will not only have a longer range on a full charge than most electric cars, it will also be affordably priced. Building on the electrification expertise established with the original Ampera, which set the benchmark for modern electric cars in 2011, the new Ampera-e combines innovative electric-mobility with state-of-the-art connectivity and exciting driving dynamics.

Announcing the Ampera-e today at the CAR Symposium in Bochum, Germany, GM Chairman & CEO Mary Barra said: “GM and Opel have always been convinced that electric cars will play a defining role in future mobility. The game-changing technology of the Ampera-e is a significant step toward realizing that vision. Our new battery electric car is also another boost for Opel’s reputation for making innovative engineering widely accessible.”

Trends like urbanization and protecting the environment also call for new kinds of mobility and alternative propulsion systems. “Electric vehicles have the potential to make a significant contribution to climate protection and emissions reduction”, says Opel group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “The new Opel Ampera-e will open the road to electric mobility by breaking down the barriers of high price and short driving range.”

The unique, compact proportions of the Ampera-e are driven by the battery pack being mounted flat, under the vehicle floor. The efficient packaging of the battery also enables a roomy interior providing comfortable seating for five passengers and trunk space comparable with that of a car in the compact class.

The Ampera-e will also offer the award-winning personal connectivity and service assistant, Opel OnStar and connectivity and infotainment technologies that will integrate smartphones and other electronic devices seamlessly into the vehicle.

Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e

Chevrolet Bolt images for comparison:

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Hat tip to Andreas!

Categories: Chevrolet, Opel / Vauxhall

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

92 Comments on "Opel Announces Ampera-e (Chevrolet Bolt EV) For 2017"

newest oldest most voted


You will know GM or any car maker for that matter, is serious about selling EVs and the health of people when they start selling EVs in the huge family sedan segment and not just commuter cars in the cute little hatchback category.

Oh look, yet another person thinks the North American vehicle market IS the market. The US does not pull industry demand, and is becoming more and more out of step with global preferences with each passing year. Any company that focuses (heh) on the Yank Tanks you claim are so vital will be left still lower in industry position.

The cute little hatchback is the main “family” car in Europe.

I would definitely have preferred it to be called Opel Bolt. It is short, easy and catchy.

Ampera worked fairly good but Ampera-E will just be annoying. Why not reuse the old Electra model name or something like that instead?

Two suggestions:

– Opel Kapitän Electric

– Opel Commodore Electric

Anyway, the name is fine by me. This is great news, and assuming the price is reasonable and the cargo space enough for a family of 4, this might well be our next car (and first new car as well!).

If you want to spend that much on a car with that range, buy a used Model S. The Ampera-e will come with a huge, lets call it “price-premium”, for the European customer. And I would not be surprised, if they would take the back seats out, just to make it more unpractical, or at least make it a 4 seater.

A used Model S comes with a much larger price premium in the form of repair bills. If the Bolt is as reliable as the Volt then lifetime ownership costs will be a fraction of owning any Tesla, even the Model 3.

Well you might have forgot the upfront, “f**k the Europeans” bill, the Bolt will have. But I have checked the used Tesla prices in Germany. If the Ampera-e will be that expensive, they will even struggle to sell 10. Teslas apparently hold their value…

I think Tesla has the same “bill” too, no way to avoid it. Value Added Tax is around 20% in Europe and more extra tax “goodies”. And Tesla has big extra bill for maintenance and repairs. So you need to have deep pockets anyway if you want to go electric.

Charging Bolt in Europe should not be a problem, most countries have plenty of fast chargers and they are starting to go over 50 kW now. Hopefully Bolt will not add some 50 kW safety limit. E.g.:

I bought a Model S in Germany myself, with the 19% sales tax, but when I bought mine, the price in Euro was lower than in Dollar. Which wasn’t a big deal, because one Euro was worth quite a bit more than one Dollar. But the Ampera was still a quite bit more expensive than the Volt. Thats what I mean by the “f**k the Europeans” bill. And of course repair bills might be higher, but I was diving a BMW before so my 4 year service plan was lower than 2 years of BMW service…

I don’t think Tesla does have the same import issues, because they have a final assembly point in the Netherlands, so any nation with preferred trading status (which should be all E.U. and all other preferred European preferred states). The imported Teslas are still basically manufactured in the U.S., but there is just enough assembly to be considered built there. Pretty smart.

The last time I read up on the issue to barriers to U.S. manufactured vehicles being able to be competitive in Europe and Japan, I ended up not feeling too sorry for the U.S. automakers. Best I could tell if they can protect the truck market in the U.S. they give this up. Hence, Toyota’s and Nissan’s Trucks are built in the U.S. to be competitive.

Opel is a real car manufacturer with factories etc.? If this was as big an issue as you say, GM could easily build or assemble the Ampera-e in Germany.

That’s likely what they will do.ship the parts and do the assembly.after all, most of it comes from Korea anyways….

You’re right that it is possible, but I doubt either of us know how much it costs to retool an existing plant focused on other models (both in terms of plant changes & opportunity cost). By saying it is easy, could you show your math?

While we might like to see them do it anyway, or do something like what Tesla did, production of this car could be constrained by what LG could supply. That seems like a strong argument for focusing on the markets it has the best chance of succeeding in. Mitsubishi did that with the Outlander PHEV, and while I personally didn’t like it, I understand that is going to happen at times.

I was surprised to see GM/Opel announce this for 2017 – I would have predicted the bean counters would say it made sense to do at this stage – so shows what I know.

Meant to say, “bean counters would say it made no sense”

Once again, wish there was an edit button.

Cheapest used Tesla in Norway is a 3 year old S60 for $57k.

I’m expecting the Bolt, excuse me Ampera-E (how will you even pronounce it? :P) to be cheaper than that even in Europe.
I hope they learned something from the last time.

And the Model S is way too big for me so in that case it would be compared to a Model 3 in a few years anyway.

Mikael said:

“…Ampera-E (how will you even pronounce it? :P)”

Awkwardly. 😉

This is great news for the European market. A true competitor for the next gen. The small hatchbacks are needed for many roads in Europe. The large wide Teslas… while a blast to drive on the open road would be very challenging in many old villages. I am simply grateful that there are more options. I also hope that GM will choose to build it in the factory in Germany once it is a hit. Local manufacturing keeps the costs down and lowers the carbon footprint to transport the cars to markets.

Electra would actually be quite fitting. If they are going to do a rebadge they could at least do that.

Since it’s Europe, let’s throw in some extra letters.

Opel Boulte


And the name could have been worse. How about a BMW X5 xDrive40e???

Opel Bolt-7/200e professional-hairstyle-drive. That would be an awesome name!

Does it mean GM would change its minds here from BOLT to become the VOLT-e 🙂

“Bolt” is also extremely suitable since that’s also Opel’s actual logo.

Well, it german that would be Open Blitz.

Bolt probably sounds too close to Trunkenbold (drunkard). 😉

OpeL Blitz, of course …

But I don’t want an Opel! If I buy a Chevrolet I want it to say Chevrolet!

You know, it’s more like an LG car anyway…

Hahaha…you would be one of the few in Europe that would want to buy a Chevrolet.

Especially when you can choose Opel over Chevrolet. 😉

Germans want German branding of course but outside of Germany I doubt that Opel is a more attractive brand than Chevrolet.

In many countries in Europe Chevrolet was ranked dead last in customer satisfaction among other things.

There is a good reason why Chevrolet pulled the whole brand from Europe. There is no nice way to put how much is sucked.

Opel is not very highly regarded but way higher than Chevrolet.

Anyone still remember that the last generation of Saturn cars were actually nice rebadged Opels. They didn’t seem to be that bad. Maybe the Buick Electra will come back as a rebadged upscale BOLT. Come on GM… get the Voltec Drivetrain into every economy car you make… and into those nice S10/Colorado trucks… A luxo Caddy BOLT version with 250 miles and loaded to the teeth… for 50k…A luxury Caddy with Voltec… come on imagine it!

Opel has several good products, and I don’t think they are doing too bad in European markets.

In my country, Norway, they have somehow aquired an air of “old man’s car”, even though some of their cars have gotten rave reviews (for instance, the Zafira, which the motor press seems to agree is the best car in its segment, but which was still a pretty slow seller).

Just 5000 units? That would be quite low…

The 2015 EU sales of the top 5 EVs:
Zoe: 18,670
Model S: 16,455
Leaf: 15,515
i3: 11,820
eGolf: 11,124

So they are gong to screw up the price aren’t they?

yup, seems so. I expect a price above 40.000€ (taxes included). Something between 42.000€ to 45.000€.

It would be awesome if they can make it to something around 37.000€.

Taxes of which country? Germany? I would guess 40,000€ without taxes, so about 48 in Germany, maybe even more. Back when we still had a strong Euro, you could buy the base Model S for 64k(with taxes). At the same time the most basic Ampera was selling for 45k(with taxes) and was sold at $40k in the US. All that with a Euro to Dollar ratio of 1.35, todays ratio is 1.1.

Not that I think of it, 48,000€ seems pretty optimistic to me.

Looks like GM isn’t serious about the Bolt, either.

The article don’t say when in 2017. 5000 may be too much if it is December 2017.

“Unofficial sources have pegged planned European allotment for the Opel Ampera-e at about 10-15% of total production. A number which likely represents about 5,000 units in the car’s first full year of availability.”

Does that sound like “we are going to sell Ampera-eses just in December 2017”? No, it said 10-15% of total Bolt production is meant for the European market. And I don’t hink they meant one specific month of Bolt production, but through the total product cycle.

Yes, exactly, 10-15% of total year production in the US or worldwide. But it doesn’t say they are going to sell it in Europe for the whole year. There is no information on this.

5000 units is pure speculation based on unofficial sources. It shouldn’t be taken too literally.

Surely the supply will be limited at first (well, which EV isn’t?), but LG has plans for new battery factory in Europe so they should be able to ramp up the production if there is sufficient demand. GM has already stated that they will build as many as they can sell.

Yeah, they are obviously either lying about not being production constrained or else about wanting to transition to green vehicles. They could EASILY sell far more than 5,000 of the Bolt (rebadged or not – but that car at that price) in my tiny little country of Norway alone!

Opel being German I suppose at least 3000 cars will be allocated to the home market. I would like to hear how many will be allocated for Norway. And I’d be very surprised if its more than they could sell in ONE WEEK if they actually wanted to.

This car is going to be the next outlander phev in the Dutch market. 5000 units? They can sell 5000 alone to dutch lease companies. The company car tax for BEVS is only 4 percent and this is the only viable option. I guess the rest of Europe can kiss this car goodbye if they have just 5000.

I dont care about the car name –
but I do care how fast the car will load! 🙂


I hope they keep in mind that, at least in Europe – and I hope in US and all other countries too – 150 kW CCS (new) chargers will soon start to be deployed, likely starting in 2017.
I hope they allow the car to get all the power the battery is able to sustain (without adding too much cost).

…which is probably between 50-60 kW maximum FCDC charge rate, which Bolt Chief Engineer Josh Tavel has said it will have.

Seems everyone wants the 60 kWh Bolt/Ampera-e to be the market’s most affordable 200-mile EV AND they want it to have the capability to charge at rates that would fry even a 90 kWh $100K+ Tesla Model S. Can’t have both.

He didn’t say so. He said:
“..were still figuring out if we want to limit it to say, 50kW’s or 60kW’s or possibly higher”. The limit can be different in Europe, CCS plug is different.

So it can be anything. Few 120 kW CCS/Chademo chargers are available in Europe right now, you can drive up and charge:

Great, this 120 kW charger. Apart from Tesla the Kia Soul EV is the only car that can profit from the extra speed on the moment. It was one of the reasons I leased it, but I guess my lease will have ended before France, where I live, will put up the first 120 kW CHAdeMO charger.

Anyway, we still urgently need more 50 kW chargers. They are promised (Corri-Door), but arriving much more slowly then promised. So since they are so slow, they better put up 120 kW chargers, to be ready in 2017 for te Bolt.

How do you guys in Europe feel about the recharging location for the plug being on the left front side of the car? Does it matter enough to kill your interest in buying one? Or is it something you can accommodate.

how fast the car is loaded depends how quickly you can lift the suitcases into the trunk.

Ghosn will beat this car and GM know it, so GM sales planning people are intelligent and plan 5.000 units. 😉
Who will buy a 60 kWh Opel for 40.000 € when you get a 40 kWh Zoe for 20.000 €, or a Leaf II for 35.000 with comparable range.

Where do you get a 40kWh Zoe for 20k? Have they announced something? I would totally buy a 40kWh Zoe, even for 25k…

With battery rental making the t
TCO the same?

A 40kWh Zoe. Not a 22 kWh Zoe.

Why does a 40 kwh zoe not have battery rental? The 22 does…

There is no 40 kWh ZOE!

Why they should announce a car 1 year ahead when they wan’t to sell their actual cars, they show it in Paris end 2016.
Opel also doesn’t show their new Astra one year ahead. Production of Bolt is around 10 months away.

In fact most people compare the 2012 Zoe or all other “first generation” EVs with the 2017 Bolt which uses totally new LG battery cells, but most people forget that many carmakers will use this cells in 2017, also Hyundai, Nissan (announced). And others like Samsung have also some new cells in pipeline for BMW.

And for Europe the Opel will be not competive because of tax. Only listen to Musk or Ghosn, when you really want to sell cars you MUST produce where you sell (Europe, US, China, Japan). Musk didn’t plan for fun battery factory in Europe, Model 3 factory in China, all big carmakers make it with gasoline cars.

Ver interesting! Thank you, if they’d loose their battery rental…
The next Zoe might have become one of my most anticipated new EVs. I already own a Model S, but my daughter is 17 and a 100+ mile EV should be good enough for her, when she turns 18. And a Model 3 would be by far to expensive and, in my opinion, not appropriate for person of her age…

That the announcement come just a few days after German minister meeting about incentives is no coincidence. Opel would not do it without support in their core market.

Maybe they will sell the whole 5000 to their cousins in Great Britain as by 2017 we will be out of Europe

GM have a plant in Australia that they plan to close, they could build the Bolt there for the RHD markets.

There is a reason ALL automakers are closing their Australian plants. The cost is too high.

It’s physically impossible for you to be out of Europe.

Out of EU possibly, but that will hardly happen either.

When are you going to start driving on the right side by the way? 😉

Mikael said:

“It’s physically impossible for you to be out of Europe.”

Well, moving the entire British island group a few thousand miles would certainly be a bit of an engineering challenge.

“When are you going to start driving on the right side by the way? 😉 ”

Well now, that is physically impossible. 😉

GM could export all 5k units to Norway duty free,unlike The Netherlands which has a 10% EU duty, and sell all of them at full price.

Ok ok 2500 for Norway and 2500 lease vehicles for the Netherlands.

Very likely this will be my next car. Few years ago I thought I would never buy Opel, but then came the Ampera and now this.

I didn’t think GM could outdo themselves with Bolt/Volt naming. Wow, I was totally wrong.

The next Europe plug in offering will be the Ampera-EE, people will definitely be able to tell the difference.

Josh said:

“The next Europe plug in offering will be the Ampera-EE, people will definitely be able to tell the difference.”

Nah, they’ll call it the Ampera-E. Nobody would ever confuse that with the Ampera-e.

I thought it was just indifference or oblivousness that caused the confusing Volt/Bolt naming, but this Ampera-e naming makes me believe that it’s all entirely intentional; for some reason, GM wants consumers to confuse its EREV and BEV.


You are making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s too trivial of a thing to cause serious potential buyers to lose interest over one or the other, both which are GM products anyways.

I was at a press briefing in DC last year when Pam Fletcher was talking about GM’s future in electric cars. I was sitting at a table up front with 6 car magazine/blog ladies. I know how to choose where to sit…
Anyway Pam was rolling talking about how the Bolt would have 200 miles of AER and the new Gen II Volt would be arriving by late 2015.
Half the ladies thought the Bolt was arriving in 2015 and the other half thought the Volt would have 200 miles of AER.
They could not tell when Pam was saying Bolt and when she was saying Volt.

They should have been paying attention instead of checking out the other people in the room, or simply zoning out.

Again – serious buyers are going to figure things out. This is not a big issue.

You know, just a few years ago these companies were telling us it was impossible to build these kind of cars.

And now they are delivering. Amazing how how a few regulations, a bankruptcy, and a push from Elon Musk can make these elephants dance.

It was impossible to sell a 200+ mile, five-seater PEV at the price GM is giving the Bolt, until LG Chem started selling them battery cells at $145/kWh! (Of course, I’m talking about PEVs made in good numbers, not a mere compliance car like the Spark EV.)

I always thought the Spark EV had another purpose besides compliance. I figured it could likely be just as much R&D to give them a bit more experience to try some things out until battery prices come down enough. People were ranting about how GM was only going to produce around the minimum compliance numbers with the Spark and not make a 50 state EV, even though they were investing more than necessary to do that. I still wonder if this was the case.

It was also impossible for LG Chem to sell at $145 per kWh until GM made the commitment to buy 25,000 60 kWh battery packs per year for 5 years. That is 7.5 GWh.

Terrible name.

But the real question is pricing. The Volt 1.0 Ampera failed to sell in Europe because it was priced about twice as high as it was in the USA. The U.S. dollar is strong now, raising the price of an export to Europe. Will GM be able to sell the Bolt “Ampera-e” at a competitive price?

Here’s hoping they can!

I hope they will not be competitive, not because its a GM, because it is a LG! Every main component is made from LG, only imagine all automakers do this shit. In 10 years all main car components ar made in China and everybody complains about unemployment? A electric motor needs longer to produce than a gas engine and GM is proud that they developed all and LG build it, are they crazy! Read the biography from Elon Musk, as far as it goes they should try build all in house like Tesla, Nissan, Toyota and build were you sell. GM also did it with Opel, produce in Europe and sell here. Don’t get me false, Bolt is great but GM did the wrong decisions about production, its a joke. Next Bolt they will be proud that they pay the development office in China.

Bosch and VW have been doing the exact thing you are describing to the European economy and pulling all development and money streams only to Germany. It’s time they get a dose of their own medicine. I would not be mad at them if they hadn’t turned the entire continent into a diesel-ghetto but now they deserve a kick in the nuts.

95 % of the easy workers do not decide what models their brand build. I hope Musk and Ghosn kicks GM nuts, they create jobs where they sell, later when Tesla will be bigger Musk will sure build some factory in Europe and Asia, produce where you sell. Big companies have responsibility of hunderd thousands jobs an GM throws away MOST important things like engine and battery. If every company is stupid like GM all is produced in China where simple worker gets a penny a day and corrupt boss 90 %. And at the end of the day whole word complain about China environmental pollution, YEAH because they need 70 % more energy to produce for foreign countries which wants cheap stuff like i phone.
That carmakers can produce globally all other show us.

The Ampera wasn’t anywhere near twice as expensive as the Volt. From 2013 on, the Ampera cost 38,300 EUR including 20% VAT. The net price without VAT was therefore about 31,916 EUR, which was about $43,000 in 2013 dollars (EUR/USD exchange rate was about 1.35). The Volt’s MSRP was $39,995 at the time, so just about 10% less.

Before 2013, the price was about 5,000 EURO higher (but the Volt was more expensive too). But even then it wasn’t anywhere near twice.

>>”The Volt’s MSRP was $39,995 at the time, so just about 10% less.” No, see http://insideevs.com/opel-slashes-over-10000-off-ampera-price/ 1) The Volt price was not $39,995 in the U.S. at the point the price was cut on the Apera 17% to make it $50,333. In the U.S the Volt was $34,995 including destination. Those price cuts were announced August of 2013 for the Volt and Sept 2013 for the Ampera. So, that 10% number is based off the wrong starting value. 2) There is no 20% VAT or any tax close to 20% in the U.S. (last 2 states I live actually have no sales tax). If the Ampera wasn’t exempt from it, it makes no sense to take that out of the equation in the context of Pushmi-Pullyu’s comment regarding it being too much for a consumer there to buy compared to the U.S. But, lets explore the idea that everything is just more there and consumers expect that. Even after the 17% price cut, the difference in price between the Ampera and Leaf (including VAT) was MORE than $10 grand in Germany according to InsideEVs. Meanwhile in the U.S., the difference between the cheapest Leaf S vs. the Volt was just… Read more »

Of course you need to take tax out of the equation if you want to compare cars and not countries. The Inside EVs article made the same mistake.

And I have no idea why you are now bringing the Leaf into this. If anything, you should compare the Ampera to PHEVs like the Audi A3 e-tron, which (surprise) happens to cost about the same as the Ampera did but sells much better in Germany.


Looks like you need to read the previous comments as both those things are explained. I agree, your numbers are off even more than Pushmi’s.

Range ok, not a fan of the design though. Basically, the battery is the only thing that’s decent and it’s not even GM that makes them. Reminds me of the honda jazz -> tall small car. I’ll wait till the end of march, I think there’s a strong probability the Model 3 will be a better proposition.

“the Model 3 will be a better proposition.”

I have some serious doubts about Tesla Model ≡. There have been some hints from Musk that it will not be a conventional-looking car at all. We’ll see on Apr 1st. Hopefully, they don’t make it too wacky like suicide doors or lambo doors or something.

I think you meant March 31 for Elon’s reveal. April 1st is when they say “APRIL FOOL’S!!!”

damn, put that Benjamin on the right country but the wrong Horse! It only it were Verbal, I could claim my mumbling made the ‘B’ sound like a ‘V’, but NOOooo..

(still feel pretty good about the prediction, hehe, and WTH, 12/2017 is still a ways off)