Η Opel έδωσε σήμερα το press kit του Opel Ampera μέσω του οποίου μας ενημερώνει με κάθε λεπτομέρεια για το Ampera, την Ευρωπαϊκή έκδοση του Chevrolet Volt, το οποίο έκανε ντεμπούτο τον περασμένο Μάρτιο στη Γενεύη. Το Opel Ampera θα ξεκινήσει τις πωλήσεις του μέσα στο έτος με την τιμή του στη Γερμανία να ξεκινά από τις 42.900 ευρώ, ενώ στη Γερμανία χάρη στις εκπτώσεις φόρων της Γερμανικής κυβέρνησης, η αρχική του τιμή ξεκινά από τα €36.050. Η Opel δηλώσει ότι είναι το πρώτο ηλεκτρικό αυτοκίνητο στην Ευρώπη το οποίο “μπορεί να πάει οπουδήποτε, οποιαδήποτε στιγμή.

Το Ampera έχει 4 προγράμματα οδήγησης έτσι ώστε να γίνεται καλύτερη εκμετάλλευση των μπαταριών του. Το πρόγραμμα “Normal” είναι για καθημερινή μικτή οδήγηση. Το “Sport” κάνει την οδήγηση λίγο πιο απολαυστική μειώνοντας όμως την αυτονομία. Το πρόγραμμα “Mountain” ρυθμίζει το υβριδικό σύστημα να λειτουργεί πλήρως στις ανηφόρες και να μειώνεται στις κατηφόρες και τέλος το πρόγραμμα “City” έχει ως στόχο να δουλεύει κατά κόρων ο ηλεκτροκινητήρας και έτσι το σύστημα ανάκτησης ενέργειας κατά το φρενάρισμα και ο βενζινοκινητήρας φορτίζουν συνεχώς τις μπαταρίες ώστε να τις κρατήσουν όσο γίνεται στο 100%.

Να θυμίσω ότι το Ampera μπορεί να έχει αυτονομία 40 ες 80 χλμ κινούμενα αποκλειστικά με τον ηλεκτροκινητήρα του αλλά τότε ένας βενζινοκινητήρας 1.4 λίτρων αναλαμβάνει, όχι την κίνηση του οχήματος, αλλά την φόρτιση των μπαταριών του, ανεβάζοντας έτσι την αυτονομία στα 500 χλμ. Η ροπή του κινητήρα αγγίζει τα 370 Νm, ικανά ώστε να κάνει τα 0-100 χλμ/ώρα σε 9 δευτερόλεπτα με την τελική ταχύτητα να φτάνει τα 160 χλμ/ώρα. Η φόρτιση της μπαταρία ιόντων λιθίου 16 kW γίνεται μέσω απλής οικιακής πρίζας μέσα σε περίπου 4 ώρες.

Περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες μπορείς να βρες στις φωτογραφίες, στα video αλλά και στο αναλυτικότατο δελτίο τύπου που ακολουθεί

[Πηγή: Opel]

Δελτίο Τύπου

First Electric Vehicle to Go Anywhere Anytime

  • Revolutionary: Establishes new vehicle segment in European auto market
  • Unlimited: EV without restrictions to driving range or practicality
  • Environmentally friendly: 40 – 80 km of emission-free, electric driving
  • Efficient: Less than 40 g/km CO2
  • Ease of use: Battery re-charges in four hours at a standard household outlet
  • Stylish and practical: Sleek, futuristic looks, four-seat cabin, five-door versatility
  • Powerful: 150 hp electric drive unit delivers the equivalent of 370 Nm torque
  • Driver focused: Touch-screen displays replace dials and switches

Rüsselsheim. Opel moves mobility forward and makes good on its promise: the revolutionary, sleek and practical Opel Ampera is Europe’s first electric vehicle to enable ‘go anywhere at any time’ mobility. First deliveries of the series production car will be made before the end of this year.

The wheels of the Ampera are electrically driven at all times. A unique 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds an advanced, 111 kW/150 hp electric drive unit to deliver between 40 and 80 km of pure electric operation with zero emissions – depending on terrain, driving technique and temperature – when fully charged. According to the ECE R101 regulation for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the Ampera consumes less than 1.6 l/100 km and emits less than 40 g/km CO2 (preliminary data).

On the road, the Ampera’s Voltec electric propulsion system ensures lively performance and promises an unrivaled driving experience. Instant torque of 370 Nm enables zero to 100 km/h acceleration in around 9 seconds and a top speed of 161 km/h. The Ampera delivers nearly silent electric drive under battery power and a highly refined NVH performance even in extend-range drive mode.

Thanks to the Ampera’s intelligent and practical extended-range capability, drivers enjoy peace of mind because they will never be left stranded by the roadside with a depleted battery. The Ampera offers all the environmental benefits and spirited driving performance of a battery-powered car with none of the drawbacks.

While independent research shows that the Ampera’s pure battery zero-emissions driving range is sufficient to meet the daily needs of 80 percent of European drivers, it also provides a total driving range of more than 500 kilometers thanks to its range-extending gasoline engine. This is seamlessly engaged to generate electricity if and when the battery has reached its minimum state of charge.

Just as revolutionary as its unique Voltec electric propulsion system, is the Ampera’s eye-catching design. Sleek, aerodynamically-efficient styling encapsulates a cabin that replaces conventional dials and gauges with high-definition color displays and touch-screen functionality.

It is also a car that’s practical to use. The five-door body format provides comfortable accommodation for four adults with flat-folding rear seats and a trunk capacity of 310 liters.

On sale later this year, the Ampera embodies Opel tradition in offering advanced technology that delivers real-world benefits at realistic prices. Like all Opel products, the Ampera is backed by a lifetime/160,000 km vehicle warranty (Germany/UK) and an eight year/160,000 km guarantee for the battery system.

The Ampera goes on sale throughout Europe at a recommended retail price of 42,900 euros (incl. VAT; in view of differing trim levels between markets, prices in each country may vary). In contrast to other manufacturers, Opel’s pricing scheme eliminates confusion by always listing the total cost of the car and battery.

The Opel Ampera is receiving enthusiastic receptions across the board. It has already been chosen as the winner of numerous awards by both the media and public. Opel’s EV is also electrifying thousands of ePioneers across Europe. These are potential customers who were among the first to take the Ampera for a test drive. They are receiving exclusive information and services, together with a host of other benefits. Over 5,000 potential customers have already joined the ePioneer community at www.opel-ampera.com. Opel expects Ampera sales in 2012 to reach around 10,000 units.

“Unlike a conventional electric vehicle, the Opel Ampera can be the only car you need to own,” says Alain Visser, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Opel. “The Ampera delivers it all: revolutionary propulsion, progressive styling, excellent safety, high quality and user-friendly functions, all combined with superb driving dynamics.”

The Ampera is more than a fascinating high-tech product with great environmental value. Visser adds: “It transforms visions into reality, and so interprets the Opel brand’s philosophy and values in a highly advanced, trend-setting way. The Ampera stands for the company’s greenest, most positive, creative and future-oriented thinking with which we are taking on the challenges of the future.”

The Ampera spearheads the roll-out of Opel’s industry-leading, e-mobility product program, which includes small, purely battery-powered cars for city driving and the development of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles that generate their own on-board electricity supply.

Revolutionary Voltec electric propulsion system

The electric drive unit, located under the hood alongside the gasoline engine, consists of an electric traction motor, an electric generator/motor, and a planetary gear set that improves overall efficiency by reducing the combined rotational speed of the electric motors. Unlike a conventional powertrain, there are no step gears.

In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, motive power from a generator is seamlessly inverted to the electric drive unit. The generator is driven by a highly-efficient 1.4-liter, 63 kW/86 hp gasoline engine.

Opel expects that 90 percent of the time, drivers will select one of the two main driving modes: Normal and Sport. ‘Sport’ mode increases the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal. There are two additional modes for special driving situations: ‘Mountain’ mode ensures sufficient battery energy is available for sustained driving on alpine roads. ‘Hold-charge’ mode preserves the remaining energy capacity of the battery pack by activating the gasoline engine – a useful feature to take full advantage of the Ampera’s battery-powered driving range for use in restricted emissions zones, such as urban areas and city centers.

The unique T-shaped, 198 kg, 16 kWh (installed capacity) battery pack is positioned in the center tunnel of the vehicle and protected by ultra high-strength Martensite support rails. It comprises 288 prismatic lithium-ion battery cells and is configured for optimum performance and durability. A genuine industry first, it uses a liquid thermal management system and is the only mass produced battery pack that can be warmed or cooled. Opel’s Alternative Propulsion Center Europe in Mainz-Kastel near Rüsselsheim played a key role in the battery system’s advanced engineering.

The Ampera is as easy to recharge and comes equipped with a six meter long charging cable conveniently stowed in the trunk. Using a standard 230V/16A power outlet, owners can fully recharge the battery in less than four hours and also program the charging time to take advantage of lower, off-peak electricity rates.

Exterior and interior design: Electrifying good looks

Sleek, sculpted and precise: the Ampera takes Opel’s award-winning design language into the EV segment, blending sculptural artistry with German precision. Finely balanced proportions are combined with a low, wide stance that gives the Ampera a dynamic, future-oriented appearance. EVs have never looked this good before!

Distinctive ‘boomerang’ headlamp housings – a new element of the Opel design language – are a clear Ampera identifier, as is its prominent grille and bold Opel badge. Every aspect of this revolutionary car has been designed and analyzed for efficiency. The Ampera is one of the most aerodynamic, energy-conserving vehicles on the market.

The cabin of the Ampera reflects the ground-breaking nature of its propulsion system. Two interactive, high-definition color screens denote the car’s unique status within Opel’s product portfolio. They are integrated within a signature Opel wraparound front fascia design.

Replacing conventional instruments in front of the driver is the Driver Information Center (DIC), a reconfigurable graphic display. Designed for maximum ease of use, the DIC is teamed with a full-color, touch-screen display in the top of the center stack, which is the primary interface for all infotainment, navigation, climate control, power use and charging functions.

A driving efficiency display, alongside the speed read-out in the DIC, depicts a revolving ball, which moves up or down and changes color according to vehicle speed, acceleration and braking. Keeping the ball in the center of the display denotes optimum power usage.

The cabin offers all the space, comfort, and convenience features you would expect from a premium compact car: five-door flexibility, comfortable accommodation for four adults, and a seat up/seat down load carrying capacity of 310/1005 liters. The battery pack is located low down in the center of the car, which enables the use of flat-folding rear seat-backs.

Extensive equipment: State-of-the-art infotainment options

In addition to the standard electronic climate control and radio with steering wheel controls, a Bose® premium audio system is offered together with a navigation system as an optional package.

The Bose® Energy Efficient Series sound system delivers a superior listening experience while consuming 50 percent less energy than a conventional audio system with similar performance. The infotainment system includes audio with six speakers and a sub-woofer; a 60-GB hard drive offering 30-GB music storage; satellite navigation with ‘real-time’ dynamic guidance; steering wheel controls; voice recognition and Bluetooth hand-free phone connectivity.

An electrically-powered cabin heating and air conditioning system, including heated front seats, ensures interior comfort in a wide range of ambient conditions. There are three climate mode settings – Fan only, Eco or Comfort – which adjust the climate control system’s effect on the vehicle’s electric driving range or fuel economy.

Fun-to-drive chassis developed for European demands

The Ampera handles like a tightly tuned sports sedan. Developed by Opel engineers in Rüsselsheim, its chassis characteristics have been honed to satisfy the expectations of discerning customers.

Front suspension is by McPherson struts with aluminum lower control arms and hydraulic ride bushings. The semi-independent rear suspension features a compound crank (torsion beam) which combines the packaging advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle with low weight and consistent wheel camber control.

The rack-mounted, electric power steering system incorporates premium quality ZF components. It has dual pinions, one for steering and the other to add assistance, giving variable effort turning.

The advanced friction brake blending system maximizes the energy generated during braking. It allows for maximum regenerative braking through the electric motor, recharges the battery when braking, and seamlessly engages the friction brakes when the pedal is stepped on harder for a fast stop – all completely imperceptible to the driver.

Maximum passive safety

The Ampera’s core body structure ensures outstanding crashworthiness and stiffness.

More than 50 crash tests at various speeds and angles were conducted in the development of the Ampera’s safety systems, including front, side and rear impacts as well as rollovers.

A number of tests were also carried out to ensure the safety of the lithium-ion battery system, including its water tightness in wet or flooded road conditions. In an emergency, the battery pack can be easily disconnected by rescue services.

The Ampera will be assembled at General Motors’ Hamtramck plant in Detroit. The battery pack is produced at GM’s own battery assembly facility in Brownstown, near Detroit, the first such plant built in the US by a major carmaker.

Opel Ampera – Overview

First Electric Vehicle to Go Anywhere Anytime

  • Revolutionary: Establishes new vehicle segment in European auto market
  • Unlimited: EV without restrictions to driving range or practicality
  • Environmentally friendly: 40 – 80 km of emission-free, electric driving
  • Efficient: Less than 40 g/km CO2
  • Ease of use: Battery re-charges in four hours at a standard household outlet
  • Stylish and practical: Sleek, futuristic looks, four-seat cabin, five-door versatility
  • Powerful: 150 hp electric drive unit delivers the equivalent of 370 Nm torque
  • Driver focused: Touch-screen displays replace dials and switches

Rüsselsheim. Opel moves mobility forward and makes good on its promise: the revolutionary, sleek and practical Opel Ampera is Europe’s first electric vehicle to enable ‘go anywhere at any time’ mobility. First deliveries of the series production car will be made before the end of this year.

The wheels of the Ampera are electrically driven at all times. A unique 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds an advanced, 111 kW/150 hp electric drive unit to deliver between 40 and 80 km of pure electric operation with zero emissions – depending on terrain, driving technique and temperature – when fully charged. According to the ECE R101 regulation for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the Ampera consumes less than 1.6 l/100 km and emits less than 40 g/km CO2 (preliminary data).

On the road, the Ampera’s Voltec electric propulsion system ensures lively performance and promises an unrivaled driving experience. Instant torque of 370 Nm enables zero to 100 km/h acceleration in around 9 seconds and a top speed of 161 km/h. The Ampera delivers nearly silent electric drive under battery power and a highly refined NVH performance even in extend-range drive mode.

Thanks to the Ampera’s intelligent and practical extended-range capability, drivers enjoy peace of mind because they will never be left stranded by the roadside with a depleted battery. The Ampera offers all the environmental benefits and spirited driving performance of a battery-powered car with none of the drawbacks.

While independent research shows that the Ampera’s pure battery zero-emissions driving range is sufficient to meet the daily needs of 80 percent of European drivers, it also provides a total driving range of more than 500 kilometers thanks to its range-extending gasoline engine. This is seamlessly engaged to generate electricity if and when the battery has reached its minimum state of charge.

Just as revolutionary as its unique Voltec electric propulsion system, is the Ampera’s eye-catching design. Sleek, aerodynamically-efficient styling encapsulates a cabin that replaces conventional dials and gauges with high-definition color displays and touch-screen functionality.

It is also a car that’s practical to use. The five-door body format provides comfortable accommodation for four adults with flat-folding rear seats and a trunk capacity of 310 liters.

On sale later this year, the Ampera embodies Opel tradition in offering advanced technology that delivers real-world benefits at realistic prices. Like all Opel products, the Ampera is backed by a lifetime/160,000 km vehicle warranty (Germany/UK) and an eight year/160,000 km guarantee for the battery system.

The Ampera goes on sale throughout Europe at a recommended retail price of 42,900 euros (incl. VAT; in view of differing trim levels between markets, prices in each country may vary). In contrast to other manufacturers, Opel’s pricing scheme eliminates confusion by always listing the total cost of the car and battery.

The Opel Ampera is receiving enthusiastic receptions across the board. It has already been chosen as the winner of numerous awards by both the media and public. Opel’s EV is also electrifying thousands of ePioneers across Europe. These are potential customers who were among the first to take the Ampera for a test drive. They are receiving exclusive information and services, together with a host of other benefits. Over 5,000 potential customers have already joined the ePioneer community at www.opel-ampera.com. Opel expects Ampera sales in 2012 to reach around 10,000 units.

“Unlike a conventional electric vehicle, the Opel Ampera can be the only car you need to own,” says Alain Visser, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Opel. “The Ampera delivers it all: revolutionary propulsion, progressive styling, excellent safety, high quality and user-friendly functions, all combined with superb driving dynamics.”

The Ampera is more than a fascinating high-tech product with great environmental value. Visser adds: “It transforms visions into reality, and so interprets the Opel brand’s philosophy and values in a highly advanced, trend-setting way. The Ampera stands for the company’s greenest, most positive, creative and future-oriented thinking with which we are taking on the challenges of the future.”

The Ampera spearheads the roll-out of Opel’s industry-leading, e-mobility product program, which includes small, purely battery-powered cars for city driving and the development of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles that generate their own on-board electricity supply.

Revolutionary Voltec electric propulsion system

The electric drive unit, located under the hood alongside the gasoline engine, consists of an electric traction motor, an electric generator/motor, and a planetary gear set that improves overall efficiency by reducing the combined rotational speed of the electric motors. Unlike a conventional powertrain, there are no step gears.

In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, motive power from a generator is seamlessly inverted to the electric drive unit. The generator is driven by a highly-efficient 1.4-liter, 63 kW/86 hp gasoline engine.

Opel expects that 90 percent of the time, drivers will select one of the two main driving modes: Normal and Sport. ‘Sport’ mode increases the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal. There are two additional modes for special driving situations: ‘Mountain’ mode ensures sufficient battery energy is available for sustained driving on alpine roads. ‘Hold-charge’ mode preserves the remaining energy capacity of the battery pack by activating the gasoline engine – a useful feature to take full advantage of the Ampera’s battery-powered driving range for use in restricted emissions zones, such as urban areas and city centers.

The unique T-shaped, 198 kg, 16 kWh (installed capacity) battery pack is positioned in the center tunnel of the vehicle and protected by ultra high-strength Martensite support rails. It comprises 288 prismatic lithium-ion battery cells and is configured for optimum performance and durability. A genuine industry first, it uses a liquid thermal management system and is the only mass produced battery pack that can be warmed or cooled. Opel’s Alternative Propulsion Center Europe in Mainz-Kastel near Rüsselsheim played a key role in the battery system’s advanced engineering.

The Ampera is as easy to recharge and comes equipped with a six meter long charging cable conveniently stowed in the trunk. Using a standard 230V/16A power outlet, owners can fully recharge the battery in less than four hours and also program the charging time to take advantage of lower, off-peak electricity rates.

Exterior and interior design: Electrifying good looks

Sleek, sculpted and precise: the Ampera takes Opel’s award-winning design language into the EV segment, blending sculptural artistry with German precision. Finely balanced proportions are combined with a low, wide stance that gives the Ampera a dynamic, future-oriented appearance. EVs have never looked this good before!

Distinctive ‘boomerang’ headlamp housings – a new element of the Opel design language – are a clear Ampera identifier, as is its prominent grille and bold Opel badge. Every aspect of this revolutionary car has been designed and analyzed for efficiency. The Ampera is one of the most aerodynamic, energy-conserving vehicles on the market.

The cabin of the Ampera reflects the ground-breaking nature of its propulsion system. Two interactive, high-definition color screens denote the car’s unique status within Opel’s product portfolio. They are integrated within a signature Opel wraparound front fascia design.

Replacing conventional instruments in front of the driver is the Driver Information Center (DIC), a reconfigurable graphic display. Designed for maximum ease of use, the DIC is teamed with a full-color, touch-screen display in the top of the center stack, which is the primary interface for all infotainment, navigation, climate control, power use and charging functions.

A driving efficiency display, alongside the speed read-out in the DIC, depicts a revolving ball, which moves up or down and changes color according to vehicle speed, acceleration and braking. Keeping the ball in the center of the display denotes optimum power usage.

The cabin offers all the space, comfort, and convenience features you would expect from a premium compact car: five-door flexibility, comfortable accommodation for four adults, and a seat up/seat down load carrying capacity of 310/1005 liters. The battery pack is located low down in the center of the car, which enables the use of flat-folding rear seat-backs.

Extensive equipment: State-of-the-art infotainment options

In addition to the standard electronic climate control and radio with steering wheel controls, a Bose® premium audio system is offered together with a navigation system as an optional package.

The Bose® Energy Efficient Series sound system delivers a superior listening experience while consuming 50 percent less energy than a conventional audio system with similar performance. The infotainment system includes audio with six speakers and a sub-woofer; a 60-GB hard drive offering 30-GB music storage; satellite navigation with ‘real-time’ dynamic guidance; steering wheel controls; voice recognition and Bluetooth hand-free phone connectivity.

An electrically-powered cabin heating and air conditioning system, including heated front seats, ensures interior comfort in a wide range of ambient conditions. There are three climate mode settings – Fan only, Eco or Comfort – which adjust the climate control system’s effect on the vehicle’s electric driving range or fuel economy.

Fun-to-drive chassis developed for European demands

The Ampera handles like a tightly tuned sports sedan. Developed by Opel engineers in Rüsselsheim, its chassis characteristics have been honed to satisfy the expectations of discerning customers.

Front suspension is by McPherson struts with aluminum lower control arms and hydraulic ride bushings. The semi-independent rear suspension features a compound crank (torsion beam) which combines the packaging advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle with low weight and consistent wheel camber control.

The rack-mounted, electric power steering system incorporates premium quality ZF components. It has dual pinions, one for steering and the other to add assistance, giving variable effort turning.

The advanced friction brake blending system maximizes the energy generated during braking. It allows for maximum regenerative braking through the electric motor, recharges the battery when braking, and seamlessly engages the friction brakes when the pedal is stepped on harder for a fast stop – all completely imperceptible to the driver.

Maximum passive safety

The Ampera’s core body structure ensures outstanding crashworthiness and stiffness.

More than 50 crash tests at various speeds and angles were conducted in the development of the Ampera’s safety systems, including front, side and rear impacts as well as rollovers.

A number of tests were also carried out to ensure the safety of the lithium-ion battery system, including its water tightness in wet or flooded road conditions. In an emergency, the battery pack can be easily disconnected by rescue services.

The Ampera will be assembled at General Motors’ Hamtramck plant in Detroit. The battery pack is produced at GM’s own battery assembly facility in Brownstown, near Detroit, the first such plant built in the US by a major carmaker.

Opel Ampera – Brand & Market

The Right Car at the Right Time

  • · Revolutionary: Opel establishes itself as trendsetter in electric mobility
  • · Value: Advanced, break-through technology at a realistic price
  • · Conquest potential: Appeals to new customer groups
  • · Next-step: Carries forward Opel tradition of innovative design and technology

Rüsselsheim. “You simply have to drive the Opel Ampera to realize how great it is,” says Alain Visser, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Opel.

With its unique combination of innovative, highly-efficient, future-orientated technology and everyday practicality, the Ampera defines a completely new vehicle segment in Europe. It is a car like no other thanks to a series of key characteristics:

  • It is environmentally friendly because it is driven electrically at all times, with zero emissions most of the time.
  • It offers unlimited mobility thanks to a range-extender engine which means you can drive wherever you want, whenever you want.
  • It offers convenience and ease of use. The battery can be quickly recharged from a domestic electricity socket in less than four hours, while the range-extender engine can be refueled at any filling station whenever required.
  • It is a perfect blend of performance and environmental responsibility. Virtually silent in use, the Ampera offers more green power than any hybrid vehicle, and handles like a sporty car – all with extremely low CO2 emissions.

Dynamic design and high-quality features, including a high-tech user interface and infotainment system, give the Ampera a sporty, premium character. It is also a spacious, five-door car with four seats and a large luggage compartment.

“The Ampera is more than a high-tech product with great environmental value. It is a brand campaign on wheels,” says Alain Visser. “It is a vision transformed into production reality, a practical solution to the issues of the here and now. Unlike other electric vehicles, the Opel Ampera can be the only car you need to own. The Ampera embodies the greenest, most positive, creative and future-oriented thinking within our company, a great resource which we will deploy in taking on the challenges of the future.”

Innovation to meet real customer needs

The Ampera is proof of Opel’s advanced engineering skills in alternative propulsion technology. It will be the ‘halo’ product of Opel’s ecoFLEX vehicle range, each of which is focused on delivering reduced CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy. And it will spearhead the introduction of electric vehicles in the European marketplace, paving the way for a future free of petroleum-based propulsion.

As the first extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV), the Ampera offers uncompromised, everyday usability and establishes Opel as the leader in the field of electric propulsion

The Ampera offers a unique and compelling proposition, one that aligns the environmental benefits of an electric car with the unrestricted mobility of a conventional vehicle. Between 40 and 80 kilometers of electrically-powered driving is available on a single battery charge. Without burning a drop of gasoline, this is sufficient to meet the daily needs of around 80 percent of all European drivers as independent research shows they drive less than 60 kilometers per day. Should the battery reach its minimum stage of charge, the Ampera’s range-extender engine takes over to give a total driving range of more than 500 kilometers.

With such an unrivalled appeal, the Ampera will introduce the Opel brand to a new customer audience, most of whom have never driven an electric vehicle before or owned a car carrying the Opel symbol. Opel research shows that a growing number of these potential customers want to buy an electrically-powered car but have been discouraged by the practical limitations of having to rely on battery-powered transportation. The Ampera eliminates such concerns.

Opel’s first EV has already been enthusiastically greeted. Apart from winning numerous awards from both the media and public (e.g. Auto Zeitung’s ‘Auto Trophy 2010’ and What Car? magazine’s ‘Green Technology Award’), it is electrifying thousands of ePioneers across Europe. These are potential private and fleet customers who were among the first to take the Ampera for a test drive. They are receiving exclusive information and services, together with a host of other benefits. Over 5,000 such potential customers have already reserved an Ampera – and there are more to come by joining the ePioneer community at www.opel-ampera.com.

These customers are environmentally conscious and want to make a contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions. They are early adopters of innovative technologies that can meet their everyday needs and improve the quality of their lifestyle.

Typical Ampera buyers will be middle to senior managers, or professionals – such as doctors, lawyers, architects and engineers – with a higher-than-average income and an open, cosmopolitan outlook on life. Opel research shows they have largely post-materialist tastes and value high quality products, while being suspicious of indulging in ‘conspicuous consumption’ and the adoption of fashionable status symbols.

Sales start this year at 42,900 euros

The Ampera is the right car at the right time. It goes on sale throughout Europe during the final quarter of this year at a recommended retail price of 42,900 euros, including VAT, although in view of differing trim levels between markets, prices in each country may vary. In contrast to other manufacturers, Opel’s pricing scheme eliminates confusion by always listing the total cost of the car and battery.

Offering a unique combination of everyday practicality and revolutionary technology, the Ampera is set to become the first true, electric ‘people’s car’. It introduces advanced technology to a mass audience at a realistic price, making the ownership of an EV with everyday practicality possible for the first time. In doing so, it reinforces the position of the Opel brand, which is deeply rooted at the center of society.

Like all Opel products, the Ampera is backed by a lifetime/160,000 km vehicle warranty (Germany/UK), as well as an eight year/160,000 km guarantee for the battery system.

Opel expects to sell around 8,000-10,000 units during 2012, the first full year of production. In the final quarter of this year, sales start in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, France and Switzerland. In the first quarter of 2012, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece and Norway will follow. In April and May, right-hand drive versions for the UK will be introduced. And, in June, sales begin in Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

Building on Opel tradition

In both its looks and technology, the Ampera extends a well-established Opel tradition for future-oriented automotive design that includes practical innovations to be enjoyed by all.

In modern times, this tradition is evidenced by the Opel GT, an eye-catching coupé launched in 1968 which rapidly achieved iconic status. It was followed by the Opel Calibra, introduced in 1989 with a world-best drag co-efficient of just 0.26, and the smaller Tigra in 1994. Both were stylish coupé executions that introduced exciting design to a mass audience.

With the first generation Zafira, launched in 1999, Opel established a new class for compact vans, unveiling a unique concept for seven-seat flexibility with its Flex7 system.

And in the last three years alone, Opel has injected exciting design into the mid-size and compact segments of the market with its widely-acclaimed Insignia, Astra and Meriva product lines. These have introduced Opel’s new design language, sculptural artistry meets German precision, an engaging motif that will continue to inspire future products carrying the Opel symbol.

Recent technical innovations that deliver real-world benefits at realistic prices have included the introduction of maintenance-free diesel particulate filters; Opel Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL), the integrated Opel FlexFix bicycle carrier; Opel FlexRide adaptive chassis control, and most recently, Opel FlexDoors for the Meriva which enhance entry and exit.

With its unique Voltec electric propulsion system, the Opel Ampera now takes a further step forward. “Unlike other electric vehicles, the Opel Ampera can be the only car you need to own,” says Alain Visser. “The Ampera delivers it all: revolutionary propulsion, progressive styling, excellent safety, high quality and user-friendly functions, all combined with superb driving dynamics.”

Like all Opel technical innovations, the Ampera’s extended-range capability offers an accessible, real-world answer to real people’s needs. It is trailblazing technology combined with an exciting design execution, lively performance and a great fun-to-drive appeal.

The arrival of the Ampera introduces tomorrow’s technology today. It symbolizes the strength of Opel as future-orientated brand able to develop innovative, relevant and affordable solutions.

Opel Ampera – Design

Electrifying Good Looks Showcase Efficient Performance

  • · Sleek: award-winning Opel design language extended to EV segment
  • · Efficient: optimized aerodynamics support electric propulsion system
  • · Futuristic: high definition touch-screen displays replace instrument dials
  • · Meticulous: attention to detail delivers premium quality refinement

Rüsselsheim. Sleek, sculpted and precise: the Ampera takes Opel’s award-winning design language into the EV segment, blending sculptural artistry with German precision and drawing inspiration from the 2007 Flextreme and GTC Concept cars.

Finely balanced proportions are combined with a low, wide stance that gives the Ampera a dynamic, sporty and futuristic appearance. EVs have never looked this good before!

Distinctive ‘boomerang’ headlamp housings – a new element of the Opel design language – are a clear Ampera identifier, as is its prominent grille and bold Opel symbol. Every aspect of this revolutionary car has been designed and analyzed for efficiency, making it one of the most aerodynamic, energy-conserving vehicles on the market.

“The Ampera takes Opel’s new design language into the electric vehicle segment and it redefines how such cars look as well as perform,” says Mark Adams, Vice President of Design at Opel/Vauxhall. “We have focused on giving the Ampera a visual appeal that’s as strong and compelling as its driving dynamics and efficiency.”

Inside, the Ampera is designed to reflect the unique, ground-breaking nature of its propulsion system. The cabin takes Opel’s distinctive ‘wing’ front fascia design to the next level, with two color displays and touch-screen functionality now replacing conventional instrument dials and controls. Futuristic, easy to use and intelligent, the driver interface of the Ampera combines stylish execution with innovative functionality. The cabin offers all the space, comfort, and convenience features you would expect from a premium compact car: five-door flexibility, comfortable accommodation for four adults, and a load carrying capacity of more than 310 liters. The battery pack is located low down in the center of the car, which enables the use of flat-folding rear seat-backs.

Sleek looks of a sport sedan

The Ampera’s impressive, ground-hugging stance is created by wide front and rear tracks (1,551 / 1,572 mm), with sleek, low bodywork wrapping 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels positioned at the outer edges of the wheel-arches. The sweeping windshield/roof-line flows over a glasshouse which is stretched by a black shoulder line under the side windows diving forward of the A-pillar.

The boomerang motifs are slashed vertically into the deep front fascia, with the black cut-outs housing ice-blue LED daytime running lights, powerful bi-halogen headlamps and turn signals. The lower portions of the boomerang elements frame a trapezoidal air intake that mirrors the shape of the signature Opel grille above it.

A black cut-out in the rear bumper fascia echoes the shape of the front air intake, and combines with vertical slots in the fenders to give the rear of the Ampera a sporty character to match its dramatic frontal styling.

The high rear deck features a flat spoiler integrated into the tailgate above narrow tail lamp units, which are underlined by a chrome bar – with a prominent Opel symbol – that visually stretches the width of the vehicle. The wedge-like profile is emphasized by the black shoulder line which is subtly aligned with the front and rear light units.

The exterior color choice comprises seven finishes: Black and Olympic White solid colors; Cyber Grey, Sovereign Silver and Power Blue metallic colors; and Cardinal Red and Lithium White premium finishes.

Aerodynamic design

The Ampera’s sleek looks also encapsulate excellent aerodynamics to help maximize driving range and lower emissions still further. Opel engineers and designers worked together to ensure the Ampera cleaves the air as efficiently as possible. The success of their work is reflected in an exceptionally low aerodynamic drag co-efficient. By reducing the energy needed to overcome air resistance, they have added an estimated 13 km to the car’s battery driving range, and 80 km to its total extended range.

An aggressive rake on the windshield and rear screen helps reduce turbulence and drag, while airflow around the front fascia and door-mounted rear-view mirrors has been optimized. In the rear, sharp edges and the carefully designed spoiler control airflow. Those vertical slots in the bumper also create a clean point of separation for air passing around the side of the car.

Malcolm Ward, Ampera chief designer and Opel/Vauxhall Director Exterior Design, says: “The vertical slots at the outer edge of the rear bumper not only emphasize the wide track and stance, but also serve an important aerodynamic function. By providing clean airflow separation, they help reduce aerodynamic drag. The long, thin tail lamps also enhance the Ampera’s high-tech looks.”

Attention to detail includes the use of clear, polycarbonate inserts for the alloy wheels which minimize turbulence, further reducing aerodynamic drag.

Goodbye gauges, hello screens

“The interior of the Ampera has been designed to reflect the unique and ground-breaking nature of its propulsion system,” explains Malcolm Ward: “Take a seat in the Ampera and you will experience a completely new interior ambience. It’s like stepping into the cockpit of the future!”

The Ampera’s cabin carries forward the wraparound, ‘wing’ motif for the front fascia, established as part of the new Opel design era introduced with the Opel Insignia in 2008 and featured in the latest generation of Opel products. However, the Ampera’s unique position in the Opel portfolio is underlined by the integration of two interactive 7-inch high definition color screens, which provide a new driving interface.

Replacing conventional instruments in front of the driver – including the elimination of a rev counter – is the Driver Information Center (DIC), a reconfigurable graphic cluster display.

This is teamed with a full-color, touch-screen display in the top of the center stack, which is the primary interface for all infotainment, navigation, climate control, power use and charging functions.

Premium quality interior that’s practical to use

The cabin features Jet Black leather seats as standard, with the center stack finished in a Dark Argent metallic appliqué. There is a choice of three contrasting colors for the door and seat trim inserts: Frosted Nickel, Spice Red and Ceramic White.

“The center stack and middle console combine to create a strong visual ‘backbone’ that runs all the way through the passenger compartment,” adds Ward. “With individual bucket seats provided for all occupants, it’s a layout which enhances the overall premium appearance of the cabin.”

The Ampera offers practicality as well as smart design. A storage compartment on top of the instrument panel includes a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet and the spacious glove box has an opening lever within easy reach of the driver.

The front center storage console includes another 12-volt auxiliary power outlet, USB/AUX input sockets with pass-through channels for cables, and twin cupholders. A 12-volt auxiliary power outlet is also available for rear passengers in an open center console with cupholders.

All four door pockets are large enough to hold a 1.5-liter drinks bottle and those in the front also include a recess for umbrella stowage.

To accommodate larger items, the rear seatbacks fold flat to the same level as the rear cargo deck, which has an underfloor storage compartment alongside the vehicle’s charging cable.

Precision engineering

The quality of fit and finish in the Ampera maintains the standards established by its conventionally-powered Opel peers. For example, the use of a one-piece side body gives a clean exterior profile, virtually free of seams.

All secondary or ‘hidden’ surfaces, such as those revealed around the door openings, have been executed for a flush and well-finished appearance.

The Ampera’s design quality extends to the under-hood architecture. All major components share a common standard of appearance, with similarly grained surfaces, colors and overall aesthetics. The integrated architecture features minimal visible openings and fasteners.

Opel Ampera – Energy & Environment

Quiet and Emissions-free Electric Propulsion Benefits the Environment

  • Pioneer: Opel takes lead role with introduction of eco-friendly technology
  • Green energy: Cooperation with energy providers makes electric car use sustainable
  • Unlimited range: Independence from public charging infrastructure

Rüsselsheim. Both people and the environment benefit from the Ampera’s revolutionary Voltec propulsion concept. The first extended-range electric vehicle fully suitable for everyday use establishes a completely new vehicle segment in Europe. With the series production launch of the innovative Ampera at the end of the year, Opel creates the conditions for this new form of sustainable mobility to establish itself on a broad basis.

The Ampera covers between 40 and 80 km with the electric power from its 16 kWh lithium-ion battery – with zero fuel consumption and emissions. The battery can be fully recharged in less than four hours from a standard 230V/16A household socket. This underlines the suitability of the car for everyday needs, because independent research shows that 80 percent of Europeans on average drive less than 60 km a day – and can therefore use the Ampera without consuming a single drop of gasoline. For longer distances, the Ampera has a range-extender engine that enables the car to travel over 500 km without stopping for recharging or refueling.

“Electric vehicles are among the best long-term solutions to the energy and environmental challenges society faces today. With the Ampera, Opel leads the way and takes a pioneering role in the introduction of highly efficient eco-technologies – the Ampera is the right product at the right time,” says Karl-Friedrich Stracke, CEO of Adam Opel AG.

Green energy cooperation for sustainability

If Ampera owners use renewably generated electricity, CO2 emissions will be even further reduced when using battery power – in energy production as well as while driving.

That’s why Opel has initiated a number of cooperations with green energy providers, currently a total of 23 partnerships in Germany. The initiatives include an on-site check of the home charging-point by the provider. The energy management system of the Ampera can also be programmed so that it only recharges outside peak times, for example by using cheaper night-time electricity rates. Recharging can also be programmed to take place when sufficient wind or solar energy is available, for instance from one’s own photovoltaic system.

The impact of electric vehicles on total energy consumption is extremely small. The electricity required to run one million electric cars in Germany, for example, would only raise total consumption by 0.3 percent.

A wide-reaching infrastructure with public charging stations which would require substantial investments is not yet in place. But this is no reason to delay a purchase: the Ampera is the first electric vehicle with unlimited range, enabled by its independence from a special charging station infrastructure. This means it can already be used today as an electric vehicle fully suitable for everyday use.

Opel Ampera – Ownership Experience

Environmental Responsibility with Low Running Costs

  • Economical: Lower running costs than a conventional car
  • Responsible: Permanent zero-emissions driving possible
  • Freedom: First electric vehicle that does not demand change of lifestyle
  • All-round: Versatile and practical at the same time – and still fun to drive

Rüsselsheim. Apart from helping to conserve the environment, owning and running the Opel Ampera also makes a great deal of financial sense. The Ampera offers exceptionally low running costs in addition to the benefit of servicing intervals and a new vehicle lifetime warranty (Germany/UK) similar to that of a conventional Opel.

Independent research shows that around 80 percent of cars in Germany travel less than 50 km per day, while the average daily distance driven in Europe is less than 60 km. The Ampera provides between 40 and 80 km of battery-powered driving, so this is sufficient to meet the daily needs of most drivers.

In keeping with Opel’s philosophy of providing innovative yet affordable transportation, the Ampera substantially broadens the appeal of zero-emissions driving. A recommended retail price 42,900 euro (incl. VAT) makes revolutionary technology available for a large customer group. And in many European markets, that price tag is already substantially reduced because Ampera buyers qualify for government EV subsidies, such as 7,000 euros in Holland and £5,000 in the United Kingdom. Current trends indicate that an increasing number of European countries will follow, as the political desire to encourage EV sales increases.

The Ampera is Opel’s first step in democratizing access to zero-emissions driving with everyday practicality. It will no longer be the preserve of those who can afford to buy a battery-powered electric car in addition to owning a real-world capable, conventional vehicle. It is one car that meets two needs.

In true Opel tradition, the Ampera is also a car that’s easy to live with. It’s adaptable to use with a five-door format and flat-folding rear seats. It’s also stylish, great fun to drive and can be fully recharged in less than four hours. And, most important, the Ampera’s unique range-extending capability means you will never be left stranded by the roadside.

“With innovative, highly-efficient, future-oriented technology, low running costs, lively performance and full everyday practicality, the Ampera makes a compelling choice for environmentally-conscious consumers,” says Alain Visser, Opel Vice President Sales, Marketing and Aftersales.

Low running cost and high residual value

Like all cars from Opel, the Ampera is backed by a lifetime/160,000 km new vehicle warranty (Germany/UK) which covers all major components. In addition, the battery system has a separate eight year/160,000 km guarantee. The vehicle also carries a 12 year/160,000 km anti-corrosion warranty.

Servicing and maintenance requirement are similar to those of a conventional Opel: an intermediary service every year/30,000 km and a main service every two years/60,000 km. In fact, service and maintenance costs for the Ampera will be 15-20 percent less than those of a mid-size vehicle, primarily due to the almost maintenance-free Voltec electric propulsion system and battery, as well as the low maintenance requirements of the range-extender engine.

Opel also grants Ampera owners an additional and exclusive premium ‘my Ampera’ service. Included in the purchase price, this personalized customer care program includes, for example, proactive customer service, support with home charging, 24/7 roadside assistance in the unlikely event of a breakdown, as well as the provision of a courtesy car.

On the road, the Ampera’s unique Voltec electric propulsion system delivers remarkably economical transportation. Charging the 16 kWh (installed capacity) battery pack with 10 kWh of electricity provides energy for between 40 and 80 km of zero emissions driving at a cost of just two euros, based on an average domestic mains supply tariff of 0.20 euros/kWh. So the Ampera is able to meet most people’s routine driving needs at a truly minimal cost.

Beginning the journey with a fully charged battery, the Ampera’s energy costs for an average of 60 km (40 to 80 km depending on terrain, driving technique and temperature) are only 2 euros. The Ampera covers this distance with zero emissions and without a single drop of gasoline. Driving this distance on 250 days of the year (15,000 km in total), the Ampera would require 500 euros worth of electricity. The Ampera’s annual energy usage in this case equates to 2,500 kWh of electricity – little more than half of what a typical German household with four people consumes in a year.

According to the UNECE regulation for measuring the emission of CO2 and fuel consumption (ECE R101), the Ampera consumes less than 1.6 liters of gasoline per 100 km. In addition to around 10 kWh of electricity, this amounts to a total of 4.56 euros/100 km for electricity and gasoline at a pump price of 1.60 euros/liter.

The Ampera also makes sense when considering the total cost of ownership, which includes the purchase price of the vehicle and its estimated depreciation in value, as well as servicing and running costs. According to EurotaxSchwacke, the Ampera’s residual value is expected to be on the level of premium C/D-class competitors, such as Audi A4, BMW 3-series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

24/7 EV engineered for all occasions

Thanks to its extended-range capability, the Ampera offers zero emissions driving and the potential for long distance travel within one and the same vehicle. Its battery can be recharged in less than four hours at a standard 230V/16A household outlet. With a total driving range of more than 500 kilometers, the Ampera makes the enjoyment of weekend and holiday trips just as convenient as using a conventional car.

Just as important, the Ampera is always available for that unexpected trip, such as a sudden call-out or a spontaneous decision to go somewhere. Unlike a conventional electric vehicle, it need never be out of commission for hours while plugged in for recharging. Even in mid-charge, the Ampera is always ready to go. It can be disconnected at any time and simply driven away, thanks to its onboard range extender.

Opel Ampera – Propulsion System

Unique Voltec Electric Drive Offers Efficiency and Sporty Performance

  • Smooth performance: Wheels driven electrically at all times
  • Zero emissions: Pure electric range between 40 and 80 km from lithium-ion battery
  • Efficient: Less than 16 kWh/100 km electricity consumption in the NEDC test cycle
  • Environmentally friendly: Less than 40 g/km CO2 in combined ECE R101 test cycle
  • Unique: Range extender eliminates range anxiety, with more than 500 km driving
  • Powerful: 111 kW/150 hp high-torque electric motor, 161 km/h top speed

Rüsselsheim. At the heart of the Opel Ampera is its unique Voltec electric propulsion system, making it the world’s first electrically driven, extended-range production vehicle.

The Ampera redefines electric driving in an innovative, intuitive and efficient – yet responsive – way. A 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is combined with an advanced, 111 kW/150 hp electric drive unit to deliver between 40 and 80 km of pure electric operation (depending on terrain, driving technique and temperature) when fully charged.

Independent research shows that around 80 percent of Europeans drive less than 60 kilometers per day, so the Ampera easily meets their requirements without using a single drop of gasoline.

In extended-range mode, which is automatically activated when the battery reaches its minimum state of charge, power is seamlessly inverted to the electric drive unit from a generator driven by a 1.4-liter, 63 kW/86 hp gasoline engine. Extended-range mode enables a total driving range of more than 500 kilometers without refueling. According to the official EU test standard for electric vehicles (ECE R101), which comprises mixed driving conditions (pure electric and gasoline) over a distance of 100 km, the Ampera will consume less than 10 kWh of electricity (equaling less than 16 kWh/100 km) and less than 1.6 liters of gasoline, emitting less than 40 g/km CO2 (preliminary data).

“With the launch of the Ampera, Opel is opening a new chapter in automotive history,” says Rita Forst, Opel Vice President Engineering. “The Voltec electric propulsion system delivers real driving pleasure, as well as environmental benefits, so this is a car that makes sense on an emotional and rational level. The strong, instant drive torque, the near silent operation and the seamless transmission system all combined give the driver a feeling of effortless performance that’s truly unique.”

Forst adds: “I personally have driven the Ampera for thousands of kilometers and the sheer pleasure of electric driving is something you will never want to be without once you have experienced it. Even if the battery becomes depleted, this car won’t let you down, so we’re offering peace of mind as well as all the benefits of electric driving. The Ampera is one huge step in our commitment to put cleaner, more efficient yet affordable vehicles on the road. Just as important, they will all be fun to drive.”

Permanent electric drive system

A 111 kW/150 hp electric drive unit powers the Ampera’s wheels at all times. Positioned under the hood alongside the gasoline engine, it consists of a pair of electric motors and a multi-mode transaxle with planetary gears. Unlike a conventional powertrain, there are no step gears within the unit. Inside the drive unit, one or both of the motors drive the vehicle, according to required performance and speed, for optimal efficiency. One of the motors serves a dual function, either helping to drive the wheels or operating as a generator to keep the battery pack at its minimum buffer level. To ensure long-term durability, transmission fluid is pumped around and through the electric motors to lubricate them and keep temperatures down.

At higher loads and speeds, the second motor will activate as needed for efficiency. The propulsion system’s optimizer program continuously evaluates the most efficient mode, and seamlessly switches between a one-motor or two-motor operation to consume as little energy as possible while still meeting the driver’s needs. This is completely imperceptible to the driver.

The efficiency of any electric motor reduces as it approaches its maximum rotational speed. By using two motors, coupled to the planetary gear transaxle, the Ampera can therefore improve overall efficiency by reducing the rotational speed of the motors to achieve a given vehicle speed. This configuration reduces battery drain at highway cruising speeds.

Gasoline engine extends the Ampera’s range

What sets the Ampera apart from other electric vehicles is its ability to continue running whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge – a practical feature that eliminates range limitations associated with conventional EVs.

In extended-range mode, motive power is seamlessly inverted to the electric drive unit from a generator. The generator is driven by a highly-efficient 1.4-liter, 63 kW/86 hp gasoline engine.

The speed at which the engine runs is not directly related to vehicle speed as its function is to provide sufficient electrical power for the Ampera’s electric motors, while also sustaining the battery pack’s minimum state of charge. The engine control strategy is focused on minimizing consumption and achieving low emissions at all times. Even after long periods of inactivity, the engine is optimized to function reliably and meet emissions requirements quickly after a cold start.

It is a 16-valve, four-cylinder unit with an aluminum cylinder head and is designed for ease of maintenance. Its specification includes:

  • Chain-driven camshafts for low friction performance and a lifetime, maintenance-free operation
  • Coil-on-plug ignition system eliminates spark plug leads which results in greater operating reliability and lower maintenance requirements
  • Platinum-tipped spark plugs with replacement intervals of 160,000 km

Two main selectable driving modes, plus two additional modes for rare occasions

The Ampera is a one-of-a-kind electric car designed to function in all conditions without increasing the workload of the driver. In addition to ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ mode can be selected via a ‘Drive Mode’ button in the center stack. Opel expects that these will be used 90 percent of the time.

Normal mode is the standard setting for the Ampera and is activated each time the car is started to provide maximum efficiency in most driving situations.

Sport mode automatically reconfigures the accelerator pedal response to provide a quicker torque application for sporty driving. While Sport mode does not provide a higher full power output, it does provide a more direct response to driver inputs.

Two additional modes are available for special driving situations, Mountain and Hold-charge:

Mountain mode is expected to be rarely necessary. It ensures sufficient battery energy for prolonged driving on steep mountain roads, when vehicle performance could otherwise be compromised. Mountain mode changes the default settings to sustain a sufficient state of charge so that supplemental power is available from the battery if required. The driver should select this mode 10 to 15 minutes before starting a long uphill climb at higher speeds to enable a full vehicle capability.

Hold-charge mode. This function is especially useful when driving into restricted emissions zones, such as urban areas and city centers, where emissions charges may apply (e.g. London, Milan, Florence, Stockholm). Hold-charge mode enables the driver to preserve the full energy stored in the battery pack. For example, when driving a long distance before entering a city, this mode activates the gasoline engine at the start of the journey, even if the battery is fully charged. When entering the city limits, the driver can then switch to Normal mode and take advantage of the vehicle’s full battery-powered range of 40 – 80 kilometers.

Ampera delivers uncompromised performance

Ampera customers do not need to sacrifice strong acceleration and performance for ultra-high efficiency. When taking off from standstill, the Ampera actually feels like a powerful V6 sedan due to the instant and substantial 370 Nm of torque from its electric drive unit. On the open road, Ampera drivers can overtake with ease and confidence thanks to 111 kW/150 hp of electric power.

The Ampera’s propulsion system delivers zero to 100 km/h acceleration in around 9 seconds and a top speed of 161 km/h. With extremely rapid acceleration from zero to 50 km/h in just 3.1 seconds, the Ampera is quicker in city traffic conditions than many sporty cars.

Opel Ampera – Battery & Recharging

Industry-leading Battery System is Easy to Recharge

  • Durable: 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with active thermal management
  • Easy to use: Convenient charging at a standard household outlet
  • Quick: Full recharging in less than four hours using a standard 230V/16A power outlet
  • Programmable: Charging times can be set for cheap, off-peak electricity rates

Rüsselsheim. The Ampera’s battery pack is one of the first lithium-ion units to be offered in a high-volume production vehicle. It uses a liquid thermal management system and is the only mass-produced battery pack that can be warmed or cooled. Developed in collaboration with battery cell supplier LG Chem, the pack is produced at GM’s own battery assembly facility in Brownstown Township, near Detroit, the first such facility in the U.S. built by a major automaker. Opel’s Alternative Propulsion Center Europe in Mainz-Kastel, near Rüsselsheim, also played a key role in the battery system’s advanced engineering.

This unique battery system is designed to provide excellent value, safety, quality, reliability, performance and durability. Major features include:

Thermal management for durability and reliability

Battery performance is sensitive to temperature changes so the Ampera’s pack is temperature-controlled via an advanced liquid cooling system which continually monitors and maintains temperature for optimum performance and durability. Circulating coolant passes through a series of internal cooling fins in the battery modules. In cold weather, the battery is preheated during charging to provide a full power capability. In hot weather – the most challenging environment for a battery – the Ampera’s battery can also be chilled during charging. During driving, the thermal management system is powered by the battery itself or – when in range-extender mode – by the gasoline engine.

Diagnostics for safety and performance

The battery management system continuously monitors the battery in real-time for optimum operation. More than 500 diagnostic functions run 10 times every second, keeping track of the battery pack’s condition. About 85 percent of the diagnostics ensure the battery pack is operating safely, while the remaining 15 percent monitor battery performance and life.

Cell design and chemistry for performance and efficiency

GM’s selection of a prismatic cell format and the advanced manganese lithium-ion chemistry are designed to provide long life and a high power output, with a properly maintained temperature. This enables enhanced acceleration and an increased regenerative braking capability for greater vehicle efficiency.

Energy management for durability

Fully charging or fully depleting a battery shortens its life. The Ampera’s energy management system therefore never fully charges or depletes the pack. The battery is controlled, or buffered, so that it operates within a safe state-of-charge window. In demanding situations, such as when driving in Mountain mode, the lower limit of the battery’s state-of-charge will be raised to ensure there is adequate power when needed. The battery’s top and bottom ’buffer’ zones help ensure long life.

Space and weight saving design

The unique T-shaped, 198 kg battery pack is positioned in the center tunnel of the vehicle. This design enables a low center of gravity for improved driving dynamics. The pack comprises nine linked battery modules which contain a total of 288 prismatic lithium-ion battery cells and is protected by ultra high-strength Martensite support rails.

The cells are encased in polymer-coated aluminum housings. These are thermally efficient, safe and designed to withstand extreme heat and cold, or dramatic temperature changes. Each cell is the size of a 13 x 18 cm photo frame, less than 6.5 mm thick and weighs about 450 grams. It contains a carbon anode (negative electrode), a manganese cathode (positive electrode) and a safety-reinforced separator, which isolates the electrodes while still allowing the transfer of electrically-charged ions between the elements in each cell.

Lithium-ion was chosen instead of nickel metal hydride for the battery chemistry because it stores two to three times more power in a much smaller package. Lithium-ion batteries are therefore more efficient, offer greater packaging configurability and suffer little loss of charge when not in use. They are also less prone to ‘lazy battery’ syndrome, when maximum energy capacity is gradually lost through repeated recharging after being partially discharged.

Due to its refined design and execution, Opel is able to offer an eight year/160,000 km warranty on the battery pack and all its components.

Recharging the Ampera is easy

The Ampera is easy to recharge and comes equipped with a six meter long charging cable conveniently stowed in the trunk. Using a standard 230V/16A power outlet, owners can fully recharge the battery in less than four hours and also program the charging time to take advantage of lower, off-peak electricity rates.

The charging cable connector incorporates an intelligent function which will prevent any damage to the battery system if it is connected to an inappropriate power supply. It is equipped with LED status indicators that illuminate in green or flashing red when connected. When all indicators are green, the vehicle can be charged. If any are flashing red, charging will not take place because the available voltage is not within the permitted range, or the electrical outlet is not safely earthed.

The cable enables four levels of charging current: 16 A, 13 A, 10 A or 6 A. The respective level is selectable and indicated via LEDs.

In-vehicle charging displays

A charging status indicator light is located in the center of the instrument panel near the windshield. The battery charging modes are selected and displayed in the center stack screen. These are accessed via the ‘Efficiency’ switch on the center stack or the ‘Charging’ button at the top of the touch-screen. The three charging mode displays are as follows:

Immediate Mode. Charging begins as soon as the vehicle is connected to an electrical outlet. The screen indicates the mode, as well as the estimated time of completion.

Delayed Departure Time Mode. A departure time is selected via the touch-screen, and charging will automatically be completed in time for a scheduled departure.

Delayed Rate and Departure Time Mode. Ampera owners can save money by deciding at what time of the day the car re-charges its battery. The Ampera is able to calculate the charging start time based on the utility rate schedule, utility rate preference, and the programmed departure time. The vehicle attempts to use the cheapest rate to achieve a full battery charge by departure time. To use this function, electrical rate information from the utility company is required.

Opel Ampera – Body & Passive Safety

Trendsetting EV with Highest Safety and Top Comfort

  • · Outstanding crashworthiness from advanced structural design
  • · Battery pack tested for water tightness and safety in emergencies
  • · Driver-activated warning for pedestrian safety alert
  • · Extensive noise insulation delivers high cabin comfort

Rüsselsheim. The Ampera’s core body structure ensures outstanding crashworthiness and stiffness. Occupant restraint and protection systems fitted as standard include eight airbags.

A number of tests were also carried out to ensure the safety of the 16 kWh lithium-ion battery system, including its water tightness in wet or flooded road conditions. In an emergency, the battery pack can be easily disconnected by rescue services.

The battery pack, located in the center tunnel of the vehicle, is protected by ultra high-strength Martensite rails which run along the floor on each side and also form the upper portion of the tunnel. The same material is used in a front plate at the dash panel, while a high-strength, low-alloy steel plate is used at the rear of the tunnel.

Strong safety structure

Crash impact protection is provided by an extremely rigid passenger cell. It has been designed to ensure the least possible deformation and the largest possible survival space in the event of a crash. To help dissipate high impact forces, the front, sides and rear of the passenger cell are protected by energy absorbing zones that deform in a controlled manner.

More than 50 crash tests at various speeds and angles were conducted in the development of the Ampera’s safety systems, including front, side and rear impacts as well as rollovers.

Interior occupant safety systems

A comprehensive array of eight airbags is fitted as standard and comprises:

  • · Dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags
  • · Driver and front passenger knee airbags for lower leg protection
  • · Head curtain airbags above both seating rows for side impact/rollover protection
  • · Front seat-mounted side airbags for thorax and pelvis protection

Adjustable head restraints are fitted to the front seats to help provide protection against whiplash neck injury in the event of a rear impact. The pedal assembly is also collapsible for lower leg protection in a front impact.

Three-point seatbelts are fitted in all four seating positions. For front seat occupants, they include pre-tensioning of both lap and shoulder-belts, together with belt force limiters. The front seats are also designed with integrated ramps to help prevent ‘submarining’ in the event of a heavy frontal impact.

To allow the fitting of a child seat, both the front passenger airbag and the front seat-mounted airbag can be disconnected via a key-operated switch in the glove box. An ISOFIX child seat installation system is fitted for the rear seating positions.

Pedestrian alert

Due to its extreme quietness when being driven on battery power, the Ampera has an audible chirping sound that can be activated by the driver to warn pedestrians of its approach.

Especially useful while driving at low speeds – such as in town, within traffic-calming zones or when parking – this function alerts people nearby who may otherwise be unable to hear the vehicle. To activate the ‘chirp’ alert, the driver simply pushes a button on the turn signal stalk on the steering column.

Anti-theft protection

The Ampera’s optional Content Theft Deterrent system is designed to provide all-round peace of mind. Any attempt to enter the vehicle or any movement inside the cabin will trigger an alarm accompanied by flashing lights. The system is activated whenever the driver has left the vehicle locked and parked. It carries its own back-up power supply.

Whisper-quiet cabin

The Ampera’s electric drive system is exceptionally quiet. Designers and engineers have also adopted a series of measures to isolate the cabin from road, wind and residual drive system noise: These make traveling in the Ampera as relaxing, comfortable and quiet as possible and include:

  • Double front bulkhead insulation. The front-of-dash metal panel is sandwiched by two damping mats to help prevent noise transfer from under the hood. The passenger side is covered with a 25 mm-thick rubber mat tuned to the acoustics of the car and buttoned to the panel close-out caps for a tight fit. The engine/drive system face is clad with a tight-fitting, 10 mm-thick pre-formed fiberglass mat. All holes in the panel for wiring harnesses and cables are as small as possible and sealed off with composite grommets.
  • On the underside of the hood, a pre-formed fiberglass blanket provides an effective noise barrier. Rubber seals along the hood closure edges, and between the rear edge and air induction panel, ensure a snug, well-crafted appearance and further reduce noise.
  • To block the transfer of airborne noise through the hollow structures in the vehicle’s architecture, composite nylon baffles reduce noise by 40 decibels.
  • The five-layer acoustic headliner is made of a thermal fiber usually found on premium vehicles. Three layers are a polyethylene/felt substrate for sound insulation; and a two-layer polyurethane skin, called Taffeta, provides a premium-looking woven fabric appearance.
  • Even the carpeting does double-duty as a sound reduction tool. The carpet module is precisely formed to the shape and contours of the floor pan and incorporates a composite backing under the thick carpet pile. Its precise fit eliminates gaps between the floor and the carpet to reduce or eliminate noise transfer into the cabin.
  • Liquid-applied sound deadeners, which are lighter and easier to use than conventional sound-deadening mats, are the first acoustic treatment applied to the body structure, including the floor pan, footwells and doors. Robotic equipment is used to ensure the deadeners are sprayed uniformly and into hard-to-reach locations.
  • The doors, a common source of wind and road noise, feature several noise reduction measures as well, including a flexible acoustic water deflector that covers the entire center portion of the inside of the door. All holes within the door’s interior structure are closed out with composite grommets. The doors are fitted with a triple-layer sealing system that includes body mounted seals on all openings and trailing edge seals on the rear doors.
  • Composite wheel house liners help block rain and other travel noise (such as on a gravel road). Lower profile, structure-less windshield wipers reduce wind noise by about one decibel compared to conventional wipers.
  • Another common source of noise occurs in chassis-to-body structure interfaces. The Ampera incorporates an isolated front sub-frame with hydraulic mountings to the car’s structural members. This minimizes the transfer of noise and vibration from the road and drive system into the cabin.

Opel Ampera – Chassis & Driving Dynamics

Electric Driving with Sporty Handling

  • Agile: Chassis system tuned for responsive handling
  • Precise: McPherson strut front and compound-crank rear suspensions
  • Refined: Direct and energy-saving electric steering system
  • Advanced: Electro-hydraulic regenerative braking system
  • Standard: Electric Parking Brake (EPB)

Rüsselsheim. The Ampera is designed to drive like an agile sports sedan, connecting the driver to the road through responsive driving dynamics. It benefits from an extremely stiff body structure and carefully tuned suspension, steering, braking and chassis components, all within optimized track and wheelbase proportions.

The Ampera is based on Opel’s new compact-class architecture which was developed in Rüsselsheim and is also used by the new Astra.

A solid foundation is provided by the unitary body structure, incorporating longitudinal rails, made from high-strength steels, which extend along its entire length. The chassis is also made with very high-strength steels which provide stiffness and durability without adding unnecessary weight.

An isolated front sub-frame contributes to overall quietness and outstanding noise and vibration performance, as well as ride and handling dynamics. The transfer of resonance is minimized by mounting the engine and the electric drive unit to the sub-frame, and then the sub-frame to the body. Tuned mounts are tailored to the gasoline engine’s inherent movement under torque to effectively damp vibration and noise.

Other contributors to the Ampera’s excellent ride and handling characteristics include:

  • A wide track (1,551 mm front /1,572 mm rear), long wheelbase (2,685 mm) and a center of gravity 40 mm lower than most conventional sedans
  • An energy-efficient and responsive dual-pinion electric power steering system
  • McPherson struts with forged aluminum components for reduced weight and responsive action
  • Cold-formed and dual coated front springs to reduce weight and high frequency rebound and extended corrosion protection
  • Semi-independent, compound-crank rear suspension with optimized trailing arms
  • Hydraulic ride bushings in the front and rear suspensions
  • An electro-hydraulic regenerative brake system capturing energy up to 0.2 g, and tuned for excellent brake feel
  • Standard 17-inch alloy wheels, weighing about 20 percent less than conventional steel wheels

Opel engineers have developed the chassis for agile handling qualities that deliver typical Opel driving pleasure. For example responsive calibrations for the steering, springs and dampers, as well as special tires, have been chosen in order to satisfy the vehicle handling expectations of discerning customers. The result is optimal performance, with a finely-judged balance between ride comfort and handling agility. A low center of gravity, due to the floor-mounted 198 kg battery pack, also contributes the Ampera’s dynamic driving appeal.

“Whether your priorities are operational efficiency or sporty performance, the Ampera is designed and engineered to deliver on all counts,” says Eggord Thomaschky, Ampera Vehicle Performance Manager.

Ride comfort and handling agility with McPherson strut front suspension

The McPherson strut front suspension features side-load compensation under compression to improve stability. The struts incorporate cold-formed, high-performance springs in the highest steel strength possible. These are lighter than conventional springs and have less coiling, yet deliver a spring rate tuned to the Ampera’s specific weight and dynamic requirements.

The lower control arms are mounted on the front sub-frame to ensure the precise control of kinematics. The use of hydraulic bushings in their attachment points results in a higher degree of ride isolation, quieter performance and a reduction in the transfer of road input loads. The control arms and knuckles are made of aluminum for more nimble handling and reduced unsprung weight.

A hollow, 26.5 mm thick front stabilizer bar is designed for minimum mass and maximum stiffness. It is mounted on the rear portion of the sub-frame, with each end connected to the front strut via a direct-acting link.

Light, space-saving rear suspension

The semi-independent rear suspension features an adapted compound crank (torsion beam) with a double-walled, U-shaped profile at the rear. It combines the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle with low weight and consistent wheel camber control.

The trailing arms feature a thin wall design with a thickness of just 3.3 mm, giving a mass saving of about 1.75 kilos. Combined with weight-optimized rear springs, the Ampera’s rear suspension is lighter than traditional torsion beam layouts.

The space-saving design has also helped engineers achieve a low center of gravity for improved agility. The fuel tank is accommodated between the rear wheels, thus enabling a lower position for the rear seats.

Electric power steering improves feel, saves energy

The Ampera features a rack-mounted, electric power steering system that is specifically tuned to be fast-acting, giving direct feedback for the driver. It has dual pinions, one for steering and the other to add assistance, giving variable effort turning. A combined electric motor and sensing unit monitors steering angle, and delivers the appropriate assistance to the steering gear in all scenarios. The system is separately powered from a 12V battery in the rear of the vehicle and consumes less power than conventional hydraulic or electro-hydraulic systems.

Key to its refined performance is the premium ZF steering gear. The ZF system incorporates outstanding torsional stiffness, with less operating friction, for a near-perfect linear response. It provides an extremely smooth, predictable transition between steering inputs and an enhanced connection between the driver, the vehicle and the road.

Sophisticated, regenerative braking system

The Ampera is equipped with a ‘fully blended’ electro-hydraulic braking system that enables 100 percent regenerative braking (i.e. recharging the battery during braking), 100 percent friction braking (i.e. traditional disc braking), or any combination of the two.

During regenerative braking, the decelerative g-forces are converted to electrical energy, which is then stored in the battery pack. If the battery is already fully charged, the brake controller module initiates friction braking only.

The system uses a high pressure hydraulic accumulator to provide boosted braking. Extra solenoids also control the blending of friction and regenerative braking. Regenerative braking alone provides up to 0.2 g of deceleration, which accounts for about 94 percent of typical braking applications. Braking that involves more than 0.2 g deceleration is delivered by a combination of regenerative and friction braking.

This sophisticated system is highly sensitive to driver inputs. During an emergency stop, for example, it seamlessly transitions to 100 percent friction operation, with Brake Assist to ensure the minimum stopping distance.

Large, ventilated steel disc brakes (300 x 11.8 mm front / 292 x 11.5 mm rear) have a Ferritic Nitro-Carburizing (FNC) finishing treatment which eliminates corrosion and ensures longer life. They are clasped by steel calipers (60 mm front, 38 mm rear). Harder-wearing, organic brake pads are designed to reduce noise and enhance pedal feel.

Anti-lock brakes. The four-wheel, anti-lock braking system uses inputs from wheel speed sensors to regulate individual brakes for reduced stopping distances, maximum stability and improved steering control.

Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) uses independent rear control for improved stability and braking during cornering, as well as a more effective use of the rear brakes as vehicle loadings increase. The Brake Assist function reduces stopping distance in emergencies.

Traction control. Traction control uses brake and torque interventions to enhance grip during take-off and acceleration in all road conditions. The system senses when one or more wheels begin to spin faster than the vehicle speed and applies braking as required.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The standard ESC system uses the vehicle’s electronic brake and traction control capabilities to provide more precise, controlled anti-lock braking performance, as well as exceptional traction and yaw stability during emergency maneuvers. This important crash-avoidance function utilizes inputs from sensors measuring wheel speed, yaw, lateral acceleration and the steering angle to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle.

Electric Parking Brake (EPB). Fitted as standard, the EPB is operated via a pull switch in the center stack and can be activated even when the vehicle’s electric motor is not running. It is automatically disengaged when the vehicle moves off.

If it is applied when the vehicle is still moving, a warning chime and message will be activated and the vehicle will continue to decelerate as long as the switch is held in the ‘up’ position. Releasing the switch will then disengage the EPB.

Opel Ampera – Interior Features & Infotainment

Innovative Interfaces Reflect Revolutionary Driving Experience

  • Futuristic: Color displays with user-friendly touch-screen functionality
  • State-of-the-art: Premium navigation and infotainment systems available
  • Efficient: Electrically-powered interior climate control and heated seats as standard

Rüsselsheim. In keeping with a car that drives like no other, the view from the driver’s seat of the Ampera is unique, with advanced display and control technologies replacing traditional controls.

It’s a futuristic layout where buttons, switches, dials and needles give way to high definition color information displays, touch-screen functionality and touch-sensitive controls. The driver benefits from a user-friendly interactive experience that is as revolutionary as the vehicle’s propulsion system.

A full range of infotainment services and electronic climate control functions are available, including satellite navigation, voice recognition, hard-disc music storage and electrically-powered air conditioning.

Screens instead of dials and needles

Two seven-inch screens are used: one displaying key driving information and the other providing touch-screen access to infotainment, climate control, vehicle efficiency data and other key functions such as battery charging programs.

In front of the driver, a traditional main instrument cluster comprising speedometer, tachometer and other gauges, is replaced by the Driver Information Center (DIC), a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color screen. The main graphic displays include: vehicle speed, driving efficiency, battery pack state of charge and electric driving range, fuel level and extended driving range, trip information, vehicle function icons and warning lights.

The driving efficiency display, alongside the speed read-out, shows a revolving ball which moves up or down and changes color according to vehicle speed, acceleration and braking. Keeping the ball in the center of the display denotes optimum power usage. Two levels of DIC display – enhanced or simple – can be selected via a configuration control switch located in the front fascia to the left of the steering wheel.

A second seven-inch screen is mounted in the top of the center stack. Using touch-screen functionality and three-dimensional graphics, it is the primary interface for infotainment and climate control functions. When activated by the ‘Efficiency’ (leaf symbol) switch on the left of the center stack, it also shows power flow, energy information, and charging displays.

The power flow display shows real-time energy flow between the battery, the electric drive unit, the engine, and the wheels. It depicts the vehicle’s current power flow whenever the display is selected. In combination with the driving efficiency display in the DIC, it gives Ampera drivers a unique view of the interaction between power flow and vehicle performance.

Three energy information displays can be called up on the center stack screen:

Energy Usage. Information is shown on all drive cycles since the battery was last fully charged. This includes the distance travelled in battery-powered and extended range modes, total gasoline consumption and average fuel economy. The ‘Lifetime Fuel Economy’ displayed on this screen represents a cumulative total over the life of the vehicle that cannot be reset by the driver.

Energy Efficiency. The screen shows data on energy efficiency over the most recent drive cycle, based on driving style and interior climate settings.

Efficiency Tips. This includes driving advice to improve energy use for greater fuel economy and optimum driving range. For example, using seat heating instead of turning up the cabin temperature in cold weather saves battery energy.

The charging display screens are also accessed via the ‘Efficiency’ switch on the center stack or the ‘Charging’ button at the top of the touch-screen. There are three programmable charge modes with related displays.

Further details are provided in the Efficient Driving spotlight and the Battery and Recharging section of this press kit.

Industry-leading touch-sensitive center stack

The center stack faceplate sets new standards for clean, clear design, with touch-sensitive controls distinctly marked for operating audio functions, seat heating and access to the touch-screen navigation and electronic climate controls.

The only real buttons or knobs on the center stack are the ‘power’ button for starting the vehicle, driving mode selection (Normal, Sport, Mountain or Hold-charge), Electric Parking Brake actuation, doors lock/unlocking, hazard warning actuation, and two rotary controls for audio on/off/volume and radio menu selection.

Infotainment with optional sat-nav and 60-GB hard drive storage

In addition to the standard radio with steering wheel controls, a Bose® premium audio system is offered together with a navigation system, voice recognition and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity as an optional package.

Features available for the Ampera infotainment system:

A Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) tuner is standard with the Bose®/navigation package and optional for the standard radio. The ‘Timeshift’ function provides recording of up to 20 minutes of radio programming for later playback.

Europe-wide satellite navigation with a seven-inch touch-screen display and operation features dynamic route guidance with RDS-TMC to avoid traffic holdups, and Points of Interest selection.

The Bose® Energy Efficient Series sound system offers superb sound reproduction with components that are 40 percent lighter, 30 percent smaller and 50 percent more energy efficient than conventional systems with the same performance. Two 2.5-cm tweeters are fitted in the A-pillars, two 16.5-cm High Motor Force woofers in the front doors; two 10-cm neodymium mid-high-range speakers in the rear doors, and a 11.5-cm High Motor Force neodymium woofer in an 8-liter custom-engineered bass enclosure mounted in the spare wheel well. A Bose energy-efficient series amplifier is also mounted in the spare wheel well and includes Bose digital signal processing and eight channels of customized equalization.

The 60-GB hard drive includes 30 GB dedicated for music storage and is accessed via the infotainment touch-screen display. Digital music files can be downloaded through the USB port for storage and playback. The USB connection also provides iPod capability, enabling recharging and control of MP3 players.

Electronic climate control (ECC) system

The vehicle’s heating, cooling and ventilation is controlled by accessing the climate touch-screen display in the center stack.

Electrically-powered cabin heating and air conditioning ensures interior comfort in a wide range of ambient conditions. Under some extreme cold conditions, a full heating and defrost capability is maintained by automatically engaging the gasoline engine, even if the battery has adequate power to drive the vehicle.

There are three climate mode settings – Fan only, Eco or Comfort – which adjust the climate control system’s effect on the vehicle’s electric driving range or fuel economy. A climate power usage display also gives the driver feedback on energy efficiency based on the setting selected.

The system includes solar and humidity sensors that help the ECC adjust fan speeds and temperature for optimum comfort. The air conditioning compressor is electrically powered at all times, dispensing with the need for a belt drive from a running engine. A Coolant Heater Control Module (CHCM) is an essential element of the hybrid heating system. It is the default provider of heat to the cabin, but will disengage whenever the engine coolant is warm enough to supply the required heat.

Unlike conventional systems, the Ampera’s electronic climate control functions on the principle of predictive and adaptive equation computer models, designed to work with the highest possible efficiency. A first in the industry, Opel developed the software and has applied for a variety of patents for it. It has now been refined for an electric vehicle application. Performance data includes more than 200 characteristics, while conventional air conditioning units with electronic control have only about 20 characteristics. The result is a higher comfort level, which is more stable and harmoniously compensates for temperature fluctuations inside the car.

Battery energy can be saved and interior comfort increased by programming the climate control system to start while the vehicle is being charged. Electricity is drawn from the mains supply instead of the battery pack, increasing the vehicle’s battery driving range as well as ensuring a warm or cool cabin at start up. This pre-conditioning function includes window defrosting/defogging and can be set in advance via the vehicle recharging menu or by remote control.

Heated front seats

The Ampera features heated front seats fitted as standard. An automatic heating function can be engaged or disabled via the climate touch-screen. In automatic mode, the seats will heat as required by the cabin temperature setting, which also takes into account the prevailing outside temperature.

Alternatively, seat heating can be manually operated by touch-sensitive on/off controls on either side of the center stack fascia, offering a choice of three heat settings. Manual selection will always override the automatic heating function if selected via the climate control touch-screen.

Drive Unit Shift Lever

The shift lever operating the Ampera’s electric drive unit is located in the console between the front seats and functions in a similar way to that of a conventional automatic transmission. The shift position is illuminated in the Driver Information Center.

P (Park) locks the front wheels and should remain engaged when pressing the starter button to activate the propulsion system. Provided the foot brake is applied, the lever is moved from Park by pressing the shift button.

D (Drive) is selected for normal driving. If more power is needed for passing, and the vehicle is travelling at less than 56 km/h, the accelerator pedal should be pressed about half way down. At higher speeds, it should be pressed all the way down.

L (Low) is a comfort feature. As soon as the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, the generator is activated to recuperate energy for storage in the battery pack. The car decelerates with a G-force of up to 0.2 – sufficient to make it unnecessary to press the brake pedal in many instances.

R (Reverse) can only be selected when the vehicle is stationary.

N (Neutral) disconnects the propulsion system from the wheels.

Ultrasonic Front/Rear Parking Assist and Rear-View Camera

This optional guidance system assists the driver when parking and operates at speeds under 8 km/h. Sensors in the front and rear bumper detect objects at a range of up to 1.2 meters in front of the vehicle and up to 1.5 meters behind it and at least 25 cm above ground. Selecting Reverse also engages the rear-view camera located above the rear number plate and displays the image in the center stack screen. The previous display is restored after approximately 10 seconds, once the vehicle is shifted out of Reverse.

Vehicle personalization

The Ampera offers a wide range of settings which can be selected by the driver. These remain unaltered if someone else has been driving the vehicle.

The following settings can be selected and saved by the infotainment controls or the touch-screen in the center stack display:

  • Climate and Air Quality
  • Comfort and Convenience/Chime volumes
  • Languages
  • Lighting
  • Power Door Locks
  • Remote Locking, Unlocking, Starting

Opel Ampera – The future of sustainable personal mobility

Opel Leads the Way with E-Mobility Alternative Propulsion Strategy

  • Future freedom: ‘e-mobility unlimited’ strategy leading to independence from fossil fuels
  • Unique: Ampera creates new market segment of extended-range electric vehicles

Rüsselsheim. The revolutionary Opel Ampera is a key first step in the roll-out of Opel’s ‘e-mobility unlimited’ alternative propulsion strategy. It is a pathway to the electrification of the automobile which will lead to independence from fossil-based fuels.

E-mobility is a three-pronged approach that meets the challenges of the 21st century, while preserving all the personal freedom the automobile has given the world. Opel’s strategy focuses on the introduction of three electric vehicle types:

  • Small, battery-driven cars capable of covering short distances
  • Extended-range electric vehicles – like the Ampera – allowing short and long distance travel in a single vehicle that meets everyday family needs
  • Fuel-cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen providing zero emissions at all times

With the launch of the Ampera, Opel now puts an extended-range electric vehicle on sale for the first time, creating a new segment of the car market. In addition, Opel anticipates bringing the first series-production fuel-cell electric vehicle to market by 2015, as well as its first battery-only small car by 2013.

Today, a part of our electricity is already being generated from a range of sustainable sources, such as solar, wind and water power. Supporting the further deployment of electricity derived from renewable energy sources, Opel’s e-mobility program will deliver electric vehicles that play a role today, tomorrow and in the foreseeable future, providing sustainable, energy-efficient and environmentally responsible transportation.

“We’re convinced we can keep the freedom and enjoyment of individual mobility in line with society’s environmental goals,” says Rita Forst, Opel Vice President Engineering. “The development of the electric vehicle is the best near and long-term solution.”

Covering all bases

True to the ‘e-mobility unlimited’ strategy, engineers at Opel’s Alternative Propulsion Center Europe in Mainz-Kastel are developing technology for pure battery-powered vehicles, extended-range electric vehicles like the Ampera, and fuel-cell vehicles, able to generate their own electricity onboard through the chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen.

At the same time, Opel is continuing to refine and optimize the potential of the internal combustion engine at its International Technical Development Center in Rüsselsheim. This also includes working with alternative fuels, such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), as well as diesel and gasoline.

In the foreseeable future, Opel will offer a mix of electrically-powered and gasoline/diesel-powered vehicles. Over time, the composition of that mix will change, with electric vehicles gradually replacing their combustion-engine peers as oil prices increase – in response to rising global demand and dwindling supplies – and the need to reduce CO2 emissions becomes more pressing.

Although the ‘age of oil’ may be coming to an end, Opel already has the vehicles to ensure the age of affordable, personal transportation will continue.

Opel e-mobility: Pure battery power

Energy density is a key aspect of automotive fuels, and the energy density of liquid fuel is about one hundred times greater than that of batteries storing electricity. Compared to a tank of diesel fuel, Opel estimates that to accomplish a 500 kilometer long journey, a battery would be more than 19 times heavier and require almost 14 times more storage space, even when already adopting an optimistic outlook for future battery development.

On the other hand, propulsion from electricity is much more efficient. About 90 percent of its energy is converted into instant power by a traction motor, giving impressive off-the-mark acceleration and an instant throttle response. By contrast, about 70 percent of the energy from a combustion engine is wasted as heat, and it does not give the instant power delivery of an electric motor.

Despite the adoption of the latest lithium-ion battery chemistry, Opel believes that for the foreseeable future, the driving range of a battery-powered car will continue to be limited. Re-charging times are also unlikely to be significantly reduced. As a result, battery-powered vehicles are best suited for use in urban areas, covering short distances and supported by the proximity of re-charging points.

Opel built its first battery-powered vehicle, the Opel Electro GT, as long ago as 1971, using nickel-cadmium batteries. Now it is developing a small battery-powered car for urban and commuter use.

Opel e-mobility: Extended-range electric vehicle

The arrival of the Ampera now adds an extended-range capability, revolutionizing the appeal of the electric vehicle. Independent research shows that around 80 percent of cars in Germany travel less than 50 km per day, and daily average driving distances in Europe are less than 60 km. While Opel expects 90 percent of Ampera journeys to take place purely on battery power – without using a single drop of gasoline – its unique Voltec electric propulsion system offers all the flexibility of a conventionally-powered vehicle.

In this way, the Ampera overcomes range anxiety – the fear of being left stranded with a depleted battery – and is the first electric vehicle suitable for year-round family use. If or when the battery reaches its minimum state of charge, a highly-efficient anciliary powerplant – a small gasoline engine which powers a generator – is automatically engaged to give a total driving range of more than 500 kilometers.

With a five-door body, four-seat accommodation and ample luggage space, the Ampera makes holiday trips, or a journey of any length at any time, perfectly feasible. If the gasoline tank is near empty, the Ampera can be refueled as easily as a conventional vehicle.

In other words, the Ampera is a practical, all-round vehicle. It meets the needs of those who seek efficient, battery-powered transportation, while also demanding the flexibility and freedom offered by a conventional car.

Opel e-mobility: The arrival of the fuel cell

While the Ampera is the right car at the right time, Opel continues to push ahead with a sustainable technology that will remove the automobile from the environmental debate altogether. It is pioneering the development of vehicles powered by fuel cells, which generate their own electricity onboard by chemically combining hydrogen with oxygen in a stack of hundreds of fuel cells. The only by-product is water vapor.

Like the Ampera’s range-extended concept, the fuel-cell also has two decisive advantages over pure battery-electric vehicles: the high energy density of hydrogen offers an emissions-free driving range of several hundred kilometers, and fuel-cell vehicles can be refueled in only three minutes, a much shorter time than required for battery re-charging. In their range, performance and flexibility, fuel cell vehicles therefore offer a driving experience comparable to the cars of today.

Opel and General Motors have been pioneering research in fuel-cell technology since the 1960s. Opel has been operating HydroGen4 vehicles in its test fleet for the second phase of the CEP (Clean Energy Partnership) project in Berlin since December 2008. CEP is the European lighthouse project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen as a fuel for road transport. Opel partners like ADAC, Allianz, Bild/Axel Springer AG, Coca-Cola, Enertrag, Hilton, IKEA, Linde, Pace and Total are testing the hydrogen-powered cars in everyday conditions. The regular use of these cars with a wide spectrum of utilization profiles enables Opel engineers to collect comprehensive performance and fueling data, while gaining a better understanding of infrastructural correlations.

The CEP project was extended in 2010 and 2011 to include the Hamburg, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse regions. Opel will support this deployment by strengthening its market test fleet in Germany.

To date, GM’s fuel-cell vehicle customers around the world have accumulated more than 3.22 million kilometers without any problems. Over 100 fuel-cell vehicles – the largest market test fleet worldwide – have now been successfully assessed for everyday compatibility by a range of customer groups. As a result, Opel and General Motors anticipate having a fuel-cell vehicle ready for series production as soon as 2015.

The greatest remaining challenge is not the technology itself, but the development of a Europe-wide infrastructure with sufficient hydrogen fuelling stations to support these vehicles. Opel is already liaising with government agencies and fuel companies in Germany to begin the process.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and can be easily produced from renewable energy sources, particularly through using excess generating capacity from wind farms which is not taken up by national electricity grids. Hydrogen is already being produced in this way for the CEP test fleet in Berlin.

Opel’s development pathway of e-mobility

Long Tradition of Environmentally-Friendly Electric Cars

  • Five decades of electric propulsion systems research
  • EV1 – first series-production electric vehicle in 1996
  • Fuel cell program on the road since 2000

Rüsselsheim. The Ampera is the culmination of research and development by Opel/GM in the field of electric propulsion systems that spans five decades.

As long ago as 1966, GM’s Electrovan was running with a prototype hydrogen fuel cell (Power 32 kW). And exactly 40 years ago in 1971, Georg von Opel, the grandson of the company founder, broke six electric vehicle world records at the wheel of a 188-km/h Opel Electro GT powered by two coupled electric motors giving 88 kW/120 hp. Energy was supplied by a nickel-cadmium battery pack and at a constant speed of 100 km/h, the car had a range of 44 kilometers.

In 1969 GM even presented a precursor of the Ampera, a Kadett-bodied electric car that “made its own electricity”: The 88 km/h Stir-Lec 1 experimental model featured 14 lead-acid batteries that were constantly recharged by a small Stirling combustion engine in the rear.

Research took a step forward with the Opel Impuls program during 1990-97. Impuls 1 was a Kadett-based vehicle powered by a 16 kW direct-current electric motor using nickel-cadmium battery cells with a liquid electrolyte. It had a range of around 80 km and a top speed of 100 km/h. This was followed a year later with Impuls 2, based on an Astra station wagon. It used 32 lead-acid batteries to power two three-phase asynchronous motors giving a total of approximately 45 kW/61 hp.

From 1993 to 1997, Opel carried out its first large-scale electric vehicle test program with Impuls 3, also based on the Astra station wagon. A fleet of 10 cars was tested on the German island of Rügen, covering a total of more than 300,000 kilometers. Five vehicles were fitted with nickel-cadmium batteries (45 kW/61 hp) and the other five used sodium/nickel-chloride high-energy batteries (42 kW/57 hp). All vehicles were equipped with a three-phase asynchronous motor.

Meanwhile, in 1992 the widely-acclaimed Opel Twin concept car was revealed with interchangeable drive units. The vehicle could run on whichever source of power was most environmentally compatible and economical in any given situation. A three-cylinder, 0.8-liter gasoline engine giving 25 kW/34 hp could be used for highway driving, while an electric unit with two 10 kW/14 hp wheel-hub motors came into play for city and short-distance driving. The drive train was located in the rear, allowing an unusual seating layout. The driver had a central forward position, with three passenger seats in the back.

In 1995, Opel took electro-mobility into the commercial vehicle segment with the Combo Plus concept van. Two sodium/nickel-chloride high-energy batteries operated in combination with a 45 kW three-phase asynchronous motor.

The EV1 of 1996-1999 was GM’s first series-production electric vehicle. A total of 1,117 of these sleek coupés were built and most were used by customers in California and Arizona under a special leasing agreement. The 102 kW/137 hp three-phase motors linked to a NiMH battery gave EV1 zero to 100 km/h acceleration in just nine seconds. It had a range of 112 – 145 km and a top speed of 129 km/h. The car featured weight-saving aluminum construction, regenerative braking and an extremely low 0.19 drag co-efficient.

Opel’s fuel-cell development took to the streets with HydroGen1 in 2000. Its hydrogen fuel-cell supplied electricity for a three-phase asynchronous motor giving 55 kW/75 hp and 251 Nm of torque. A buffer battery covered power peaks. In 2001, a fleet of 20 HydroGen3 models was driven by test customers. Power was increased to 60 kW/82 hp, giving a top speed of 160 km/h.

In the 2004 Fuel Cell Marathon, two HydroGen3 vehicles covered nearly 10,000 km across Europe, from Hammerfest in Norway to Lisbon in Portugal. At the wheel of a HydroGen3, Grand Prix driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen also won the 2005 Monte Carlo Rally for cars using alternative propulsion. Today the HydroGen program continues with a fleet of more than 100 HydroGen4 vehicles taking part in testing with customer groups around the world.

In 2002, GM revealed two futuristic concept vehicles that combined fuel-cell technology with the use of advanced electronics. The Hy-wire concept used ‘by-wire’ technology to dispense with a traditional dashboard, and even pedals. Steering and braking was carried out by the left and right hand, using ‘X-drive’ operating controls. The fuel cell in the rear powered a 60 kW/82 hp motor driving the front wheels. The AUTOnomy concept accommodated all its components, including the fuel cell, in a flat, skateboard-like chassis, controlled by ‘by-wire’ technology. Propulsion was provided by four 30 kW/41 hp electric motors in the wheel hubs.

Opel moved into hybrid technology with the Astra Diesel Hybrid concept, revealed in 2005. Powered by a 92 kW/125 hp 1.7 CDTI engine and two electric motors with outputs of 30 and 40 kW, this concept car offered fuel savings of up to 25 percent. The electric motors could provide additional power or enable pure electric, zero-emissions driving. The power boost from the motors delivered zero to 100 km/h acceleration in less than eight seconds, while combined consumption was less than 4 l/100km.

Two years later, at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, Opel revealed its innovative Flextreme concept car, featuring Voltec extended-range electric propulsion. A precursor of today’s Ampera, the Flextreme was a full-sized monocab offering a 55 kilometer battery-powered driving range from its 120 kW electric motor. When the 16 kWh lithium-ion battery became depleted, an on-board 1.3 turbo diesel engine took over to generate electricity. Like the Ampera, the Flextreme’s wheels were electrically driven at all times.

The Flextreme GT/E concept, presented at the Geneva Motor show in 2010, illustrated how Voltec extended-range electric vehicle technology can also be plugged into large or mid-size vehicles. It highlighted the versatility of the E-REV drive system and provided a glimpse into Opel’s future plans for this ground-breaking technology. The Flextreme GT/E concept also included measures to optimize airflow management and reduce weight. The targeted, intelligent use of special high-strength light-weight materials offered a 40 percent reduction in weight compared to conventional materials, further contributing to reduced energy consumption and an increased driving range.

Securing personal mobility

Opel’s e-mobility strategy not only recognizes the challenges that confront the automobile as an environmentally and socially responsible means of transport; it also provides all the answers. Small, battery-powered cars for zero-emissions city commuting; extended-range electric cars like the Ampera for all-round mobility; and fuel-cell vehicles which can generate their own supply of electricity.

“Opel continues to invest heavily in the electrification of the automobile,” Rita Forst, Opel Vice President Engineering sums up. “We now have the means to secure individual mobility for as many people as possible in an environmentally-responsible and sustainable way.”

Opel Ampera: Technical Data Overview

Voltec electric propulsion system
Type electric drive unit
Output kW/PS 111 / 150
Max. torque Nm 370
Battery system
Type rechargeable energy storage system
case T-shaped; glass-filled polyester structural composite with aluminum thermal radiation shield and steel tray
Mass kg 198
Battery chemistry lithium-ion
Thermal system liquid active thermal control (warming or cooling)
Cells 288 prismatic
Energy (installed capacity) kWh 16
Charging time (at 230V/16A household socket) hrs less than 4 (actual charge times may vary)
Range-extender engine
1.4 ECOTEC
Emissions standard compliance Euro 5
Fuel gasoline
Number of cylinders / valves per cylinder 4 / 4
Displacement cm³ 1398
Bore x stroke mm 73.4 x 82.6
Block material cast iron
Cylinder head material cast aluminum
Compression ratio 10.5:1
Output kW / hp 63 / 86
at rpm 4800
Max. torque Nm 130
at rpm 4250
Transmission
Driveline front-wheel-drive
drive unit with planetary gear set, electric motor, electric motor/generator
Driving performance and range
Maximum speed km/h 161
Acceleration 0 – 100 km/h seconds ca. 9
Pure electric range (dep. on driving characteristics and surroundings) km 40 – 80
Combined electric / extended driving range km more than 500
Energy consumption (preliminary)
Electricity (compared to NEDC) kWh/100 km less than 16
Gasoline (according to ECE R101 ) l/100 km less than 1.6
CO2 emissions (according to ECE R101) g/km less than 40
Vehicle dimensions
Length mm 4498
Width mm 2126/1787
Height (at curb weight) mm 1439
Wheelbase mm 2685
Track, front mm 1546
Track, rear mm 1572
Turning circle, curb to curb m 11.00
Interior dimensions
Seating capacity (front / rear) 2 / 2
Headroom (front / rear) mm 960 / 915
Shoulder room (front / rear) mm 1435 / 1369
Hip room (front / rear) mm 1364 / 1301
Legroom (front / rear) mm 1068 / 866
Cargo volume (rear seat backs up / down) l 310 / 1005
Capacities
Curb weight kg 1732
Gross vehicle weight kg 2000
Generator cooling l 7.3
Battery pack cooling l 7.0
Power electronic cooling l 2.9
Fuel tank l 35.2
Engine oil w/filter l 3.5
Drive unit fluid l 8.45

Opel Ampera – Spotlight: Efficient Driving

Ampera Helps Drivers Save Energy and Money, Maximize Range

The Ampera is about using electricity to power your vehicle. This is about much more than using less gasoline – as is the case with all hybrid vehicles – it is also about using an energy source other than petroleum and being able to use energy which is generated from renewable sources. In order to use this energy even more responsibly, the Opel Ampera can deploy a number of intuitive, easy-to-use features to help the driver conserve energy. While efficient driving in the Ampera is similar in principle to efficient driving in a conventional vehicle, this revolutionary car takes the process much further.

All drivers can save fuel by learning to drive with foresight, but the Ampera adds innovative functions which help the driver optimize its operational efficiency. These help to save energy, maximize range and reduce electricity costs. They are part of the Ampera’s mission to deliver real world benefits that save energy and help to further reduce the vehicle’s environmental impact. The Ampera becomes even more environmentally friendly when it is re-charged using green energy. Valuable features are:

Driving efficiency gauge. This is shown in the Driver Information Center (DIC) and consists of a spinning, ‘leaf’ ball. The vehicle is operating at its most efficient level when the driver keeps the ball green in the center of the gauge. Under heavy acceleration, the ball turns yellow and moves up towards the top of gauge, indicating that the vehicle is accelerating too hard to achieve optimal operational efficiency. The ball also turns yellow and moves towards the bottom of the gauge to show when the driver is braking too aggressively. The ball stops spinning when the vehicle is stationary.

Advanced friction brake blending. The Ampera’s advanced friction brake blending system maximizes the energy generated during braking and deceleration. It allows for maximum regenerative braking through the electric motor, recharges the battery when decelerating, and seamlessly engages the friction brakes when the pedal is stepped on harder for a fast stop – all completely imperceptible to the driver.

Energy use and efficiency tips. The Ampera keeps a log which can be used by the driver to monitor and improve energy consumption. Three energy information displays can be called up on the center stack screen:

  • Energy Usage shows data on all drive cycles since the battery was last charged. This includes the distance travelled in battery-powered and extended-range modes, total gasoline consumption and average fuel economy. Drivers can also check the ‘Lifetime Fuel Economy’ of their Ampera.
  • Energy Efficiency shows data over the most recent drive cycle, based on driving style and interior climate settings.
  • Efficiency Tips include driving advice to improve energy use for greater fuel economy and optimum driving range. For example, using seat heating instead of turning up the cabin temperature in cold weather saves battery energy.

Power flow display. This is activated in the center stack display and shows the flow of energy in real-time between the battery, the electric drive unit, the range-extender and the wheels. It depicts the vehicle’s current power usage pattern and, in combination with the driving efficiency display, gives the driver a unique view of the interaction between power flow and vehicle performance.

Eco’ electronic climate control setting. The driver can optimize the Ampera’s driving range by selecting the ‘Eco’ button in the climate control touch-screen. The air conditioning and electrical heater will operate to achieve the desired temperature setting while conserving energy as much as possible, although the required adjustment will not be made as quickly as in ‘Comfort’ mode. Alternatively, the vehicle’s driving range can be extended even further by selecting the ‘Fan Only’ button, which switches off the air conditioning and the heater.

Cabin preconditioning. Battery energy can be saved and interior comfort increased by starting the Ampera’s climate control system while the vehicle is being charged. Electricity is drawn from the mains supply instead of the battery pack, maximizing the vehicle’s battery driving range as well as ensuring a warm or cool cabin at start up. This function includes window defrosting/defogging and can be started 10 minutes before departure via the vehicle recharging menu or by remote control on the key fob.

Delayed Rate and Departure Time Charge Mode. Ampera owners can save money by deciding at what time of the day the car re-charges its battery. The Ampera is able to calculate the charging start time based on the utility rate schedule, utility rate preference, and the programmed departure time. The vehicle attempts to use the cheapest rate to achieve a full battery charge by departure time. To use this function, electrical rate information from the utility company is required.

Opel Ampera – Spotlight: Operating Modes

How the Ampera Generates an Electrifying Experience

Rüsselsheim. The Opel Ampera’s Voltec electric propulsion system comprises a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack (total capacity), a traction power electronics unit, the 111 kW/150 hp main electric traction motor (‘master’ engine), a 54 kW/72 hp electric motor, which also serves as the generator in range-extender mode, and a 1.4-liter 63 kW/86 hp gasoline engine (‘slave’ engine). While the traction motor provides 370 Nm of instant torque, the primary role of the motor/generator is to supply electricity when the range-extending gasoline engine is activated. The purpose of the 1.4-liter engine is to provide mechanical power for conversion into electricity by the generator whenever the Ampera’s battery pack reaches its minimum state of charge.

Power from the electric drive unit is transmitted to the front wheels through a differential and a planetary gearbox. The efficiency of an electric motor always reduces as it approaches its maximum rotational speed. GM/Opel engineers have, therefore, adopted a planetary gear set to reduce the maximum rotational speed of the traction motor. This sophisticated configuration utilizes three clutches which are electrically activated as required. One connects the electric motor/generator to the outer ring gear of the gearbox, another connects the ring gear to the gearbox housing, and a third connects the gasoline engine to the motor/generator for extended-range driving.

On-the-road performance is the same whether the electric drive unit is operating in battery-only or extended-range mode.

Battery-powered driving

Single-motor EV mode. In this mode, electricity is supplied entirely by the Ampera’s 16 kWh battery pack. At speeds below 100 km/h, only the primary traction motor is engaged. It delivers up to 111 kilowatts of power and instant, smooth torque of 370 Nm for spirited performance. The outer ring gear of the planetary gearbox is locked to the housing in this mode.

Two-motor EV mode. At higher speeds, the motor/generator functions as an auxiliary traction motor. The rotating speeds of both electric traction motors are added together in the planetary gear box. By adding a second motor, the speed of the main traction motor can be reduced. Since a motor rotating at high speed loses efficiency, the two-motor operation helps to reduce battery drain, increasing the pure battery-powered driving range at highway speeds. The two-motor operation is achieved by connecting the motor/generator to the outer ring gear.

During normal EV driving, the Ampera’s intelligent control system will seamlessly switch between a single and two-motor mode in order to conserve energy, consistent with the prevailing vehicle speed and the accelerator position.

In two-motor mode, the motor/generator is still powered by electricity from the battery. Therefore, in both single and two-motor modes, the Ampera is purely electrically driven and does not consume a single drop of gasoline. Thanks to this state-of-the-art electric drive system, the Ampera can achieve a battery-powered driving range of between 40 and 80 km.

Extended-range driving

Single-motor extended-range driving. Whenever the Ampera’s battery pack is depleted to its minimum state of charge, the gasoline engine is activated to extend the vehicle’s driving range. The engine is connected to the motor/generator, which then acts as a generator in order to supply electricity for the primary traction motor, while simultaneously maintaining the battery pack’s state of charge. The outer ring gear of the gearbox is again locked to the housing.

Two-motor extended-range driving. At higher speeds, the motor/generator adopts a dual function. While working as a generator to produce electricity, it also functions as an auxiliary motor and supplies drive torque by being re-connected to the outer ring gear of the gearbox, as in two-motor EV mode. In two-motor extended-range mode, the Ampera achieves greater efficiency at highway speeds than would be possible by using the primary traction motor alone. For optimal efficiency at higher speeds, some of the mechanical power of the gasoline engine is used for propulsion. But even in this mode, the Ampera is still being driven electrically.

  • sofokles5

    ωραίο εμφανισιακά! ξερεις ΑΒ σε τιμές ελληνικής ΔΕΗ πόσο ρεύμα καταναλώνει τις 4 ώρες που φορτίζει (απο άδειο)? ή πόσα χρήματα χρειάζονται με το σημερινό τιμολόγιο της ΔΕΗ για να φορτίσει?

    • όχι, δεν ξέρω πόσο ρεύμα χρειάζεται :S

  • pAtros

    Akoma ena kakogousto asteio ths yvridikhs texnologias, (an mporei na thewrhthei texnologia)… ena akoma asxhmo autokinhto pou skopo exei na mhn promotarei thn eukairousa lush g tous rupous kai thn exikonomhsh energeias, alla na thn afhsei kapou sthn akrh wste na uparxei mia kalh dikaiologia g megaluterous forous… vgalte ena omorgo yvridiko re kai oxi ena montelo o kathenas alla poikilia. varethika na plhrwnw venzines… (xexexe)…!!!

  • sofokles5

    Το Ampera θέλει 16 KWH για να γεμίσει η μπαταρία του.
    1 KWH (μέσος όρος) κοστίζει συμφωνα με το τιμοκατάλογο της ΔΕΗ 0,09 ευρώ.
    Άρα τα 11 ΚWH που χρειάζονται για να “φουλάρει” το ampera (ειπαμε αν πεσει στο 30% η μπαταρία = 5 KWH, ξεκινά αυτόματα ο βενζινοκινητήρας) είναι 1 ευρώ.
    Ανα κανεις 300χλm την εβδομάδα χρειάζεσαι περίπου 4,5 ευρώ (μηνας = 20ευρω. Η μπαταρία εχει αυτονομία για περιπου 70 χλμ).