Paris Motor Show: Opel’s Ampera-e gets 500km range

No right-hand drive production for new electric car, but an EV for Ireland and the UK is in the works


The electric Opel Ampera-e should be one of the stars of the Paris motor show, with its neat styling, its 500km one-charge range and, according to Opel anyway, its dynamics which have “the feistiness of a sports car.”

It’s not though because it won’t be coming in right-hand drive. General Motors’ accounts added up the sums and decided they didn’t like the answer, and presumably still had fevered memories of the last electric car Opel tried to sell in Ireland, the original Ampera range-extender.

Based on the US market Chevrolet Bolt, the Ampera-e has a 204hp electric motor good enough for a maximum speed of 150kmh and a range of 500km between charges. It’s been designed, just like the VW ID concept, to be an electric car anyone can just buy and use, without worrying about the switchover. "Our Ampera-e is not eco-luxury, not a gadget and not just a second car. Opel is showing that electro-mobility is also achievable for a much broader audience thanks to the most innovative technology – Opel is democratising the electric car with the Ampera-e", said Karl-Thomas Neumann, Opel's CEO.

But while we’re missing out on the Ampera-e, it’s been confirmed that at some point in the near future, GM will bring out a right-hand drive electric car, just not a version of the Ampera-e. Vauxhall bosses confirmed to Autocar magazine at the Paris show that they realised that they had missed the boat this time, but were working hard to build a business case for a next-generation model that will be all-electric.