Rüsselsheim. The Opel Ampera is unique. The first electric vehicle suitable for everyday use has been on sale for almost two years and at a current price of 38,300 euros, the customer gets a car today that is equipped with the technology of tomorrow. Owners across Europe have now driven a total of 100 million kilometers on pure electric power, so it’s time to review real-life electric mobility.
The number of electric vehicles in the European market in 2013 is still too low. While their market share has increased slightly over last year, from 0.15 to 0.19 percent, this is still far behind the forecasts of numerous experts.
Opel is doing its utmost to support electric mobility. CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann says: “The Opel Ampera was the first electric vehicle on the market from a European manufacturer. Two years later, we remain committed to our strategy of providing sustainable mobility. We will continue investing in electric propulsion and believe in an emission-free automotive future – not only tomorrow, but also today.”
A total of 7,700 customers have already chosen the trendsetting Opel Ampera. In 2012, it was the best-selling e-car in Europe and was voted Car of the Year by a jury of trade experts. Currently the Opel Ampera is in third place among European e-car registrations with a market share of almost ten percent. In the Netherlands – Europe’s largest and most important market for electric cars – the Ampera is the undisputed leader with an impressive market share of 40 percent. In Germany – the only major market for electric vehicles in Europe without incentive programs – its market share has grown to a remarkable ten percent, and this upward trend is continuing: since its price was reduced in September 2013 to 38,300 euros, orders have almost doubled – a clear indication of how price-sensitive the electric vehicle market remains.
Customers who opt for an electric car quickly become fans. Owners in Europe have reassessed their approach and the Ampera is increasingly being driven in pure battery-powered mode. This is reflected in fuel consumption figures. In a study in the Netherlands, drivers achieved figures substantially lower than the EU standard fuel consumption level (1.2 liters fuel per 100 km, 27 g/km CO2). (See video).
Dutchman Benny van Wijngaarden, for example, covers over 25,000 km annually with his Ampera and uses just 0.9 liters of gasoline per 100 km. However, the Belgian fuel-saving champion is clearly Franky Van Liedekerke, who needs only 0.5 liters per 100 km while covering almost 15,000 km annually. These frugal Ampera owners drive more than three-quarters of their total mileage on pure battery electricity without requiring assistance from the Ampera’s range extender.
With their environmentally aware driving, European Ampera drivers have been able to prevent 13,000 tons of local CO2 emissions entering the atmosphere over the past two years, compared to emissions from conventional cars – a blessing for the environment. Ampera owner and mountaineering icon Reinhold Messner shares this view: He is able to roll along emission-free through the small towns of his native South Tyrol which are often overrun with traffic.
While environmental friendliness is one of the Ampera’s strengths, fuel economy is another benefit. Herbert Hans Grüntker, Managing Director of the Frankfurter Sparkasse (Frankfurt Savings Bank), highlights: “We use the Opel Ampera as a company car because for us it is the perfect combination of economic and ecological efficiency. We can recharge the Ampera at our own charging station. And our employees and business partners enjoy the comfort and wonderful quietness of this elegant electric car.”
The German business world is currently discovering the attractions of the Opel Ampera in a car-sharing project, RUHRAUTOe, led by Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer of the CAR Institute. The Ampera is the most popular choice among the pool of various electric cars. From a total of 80,000 km driven, RUHRAUTOe users covered more than 50,000 km with the Ampera in almost 700 drives.
“The Opel Ampera is extremely well received by the business customers in RUHRAUTOe,* says Dudenhȍffer. “The ability to drive electrically without range restrictions is very important for companies and can easily be realized with the Opel Ampera.”
Something Peter Meyer, president of the German automobile club ADAC, underlines: "Since spring 2012 an Opel Ampera is being intensively used by our employees of the ADAC Technical Forum in Landsberg am Lech both for testing and interim analyses as well as for drives to appointments or film- and photo shoots. Thanks to the easy range extension technology, the Ampera enjoys great popularity and within the first test year already covered over 32,000 kilometers without any problem, some 45 percent of which were powered by pure battery electricity."