Opel Tests Electric Drive In The Vivaro Van
HANNOVER, GERMANY - Opel debuted the Vivaro e-Concept at the recent 2010 IAA Commercial Vehicles Fair in Hannover, Germany. The Opel Vivaro e-Concept is a hybrid electric drive concept van, with a range extending gasoline (petrol) engine that acts as a generator once the battery is depleted. The Vivaro e-Concept can drive the first 100 kms (62.14 miles) off pure battery power from its lithium-ion battery modules - during which time it produces zero emissions and performs similar to an all-electric vehicle. With a full tank of fuel, the electric drive Vitaro can also extend its range by and additional 400 kms (248.6 miles) before requiring a fill-up. Like the Chevrolet Volt, the beauty is that some customers may be able to meet their daily driving distance needs solely by charging the battery and running off the electric drive power produced by the lithium-ion batteries.
Using technology similar to GM's 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the Opel Vivaro e-Concept uses a 111 kW electric motor to power its wheels - the electric motor produces 370 Nm of maximum torque. Opel engineers have mounted the lithium-ion battery modules under the Vivaro's floor space, and the batteries are sealed to protect them from outside environmental damage.
Opel says that the battery modules location also helps to produce a low centre of gravity, which delivers very good cornering, and the enhancement of the van's balance and stability in cross cross winds. Charging the batteries is performed by simply plugging the van into a household outlet or by using a commercial quick charger (see photo).
The electric Vivaro e-Concept has the same 5.0 cubic metre storage capacity as a standard Vivaro, but with a cargo carrying load of 750 kilograms. Opel sees that future demand for the Vivaro e-Concept will come from customers who need low noise and low pollution transport capability. The Vivaro e-Concept is also ideal for applications where it receives tax incentives from government authorities for its purchase and operation.
Opel has yet to announce the planned production date for the Vivaro e-Concept, but it looks like it could go into limited trial production within the next twelve months if it is using much of the Chevrolet Volt's powertrain. For this we await Opels announcement of the exact release date and the Vivaro e-Concept's final specifications.