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Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Opel Ampera - Electric Drive
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Opel Ampera - Electric Drive Arrives In Europe For 2011

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, Opel was showcasing the pre-production version of their new 'Ampera' electric-drive hybrid car. The Opel Ampera is expected to enter production in 2011 and go on sale throughout Europe. Opel's Ampera seats four passengers comfortably and it is driven by a 150 hp electric drive motor powering the front wheels. The Ampera's drive system is in a hybrid configuration whereby electricity is initially provided from a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that once depleted uses a four-cylinder petrol (gasoline) engine generator to extend the car's range.

Driving performance of the Opel Ampera is very good with a zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) time of about nine seconds and a top speed of 161 km/h (100.05 mph). The Ampera's lithium-ion battery pack is composed of 220 lithium-ion cells and the pack is configured in a T-shape with some of the battery located below the central drive console and the T-end of the battery pack located under the rear passenger seats. The Opel Ampera can run up to 60 km (37.3 miles) soley from its battery, and thereafter the petrol (gasoline) starts and provides extended range power as an electricity generator. Opel says that with the addition of the engine's generator charging, the Ampera can travel a distance of 500 km (310.7 miles) off of a full tank.

Opel says that the Ampera is charged by plugging the car into a standard 230 V household outlet overnight. As an example of the Ampera's driving versatility, Opel provided data that indicating that the average German driver travels a commute of less than 50 km (31.07 miles) per day. Hence for this type of commute, Opel says that the Ampera would behave as a zero-emissions car, deriving its power entirely from the fully charged battery. The Ampera's petrol (gasoline) engine would only start once the driver exceeded a distance of 60 kms (37.3 miles) in their daily commute.

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