Dec 12, 2012
Rüsselsheim. Opel’s revolutionary and award-winning electric car, the Ampera, is still at the top of the electric passenger car league table in Europe based on latest available sales figures (Jan. - Oct. 2012). The news comes despite very challenging market conditions for the whole electric vehicle market with car makers reporting lower EV sales growth figures than predicted earlier this year. The Opel Ampera (“Car of the Year 2012”) enjoys more than 21 percent market share in the European EV segment. It is likely to remain the overall leader of its segment for the whole of 2012.
“The Ampera is still the dominant leader of the European electric passenger car segment ,” says Opel Vice President Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alfred E. Rieck. “Considering that the demand of the EV market is smaller than originally predicted by analysts and car makers, we are extremely pleased that we have consolidated our leadership position in the market
The strong overall European market share of the Ampera is reflected in its leadership position which has been consolidated in several important European markets.
For example in the Netherlands its market share increased to 66%. In Germany, it remains the leader by a wide margin (28% share) and the same is true of Belgium (22%) and Switzerland (31%).
Although total European EV sales have increased by around 130 percent year on year (Jan-Oct 2011 vs. Jan-Oct 2012), this falls well short of industry expert predictions. Sales of electric vehicles differ widely per market. Whereas only one of every 1000 cars sold in Germany is an electric vehicle (EV), its neighbor country Austria already tracks 3 EVs per thousand cars, France 5 and The Netherlands as high as 8 out of 1000. Top of the ranks in Europe is Norway where 30 out of 1000 registered vehicles are electric cars. Despite this very heterogeneous environment, Opel has managed to grow its European Ampera sales by at least twice as much as the overall European EV market growth.
In November, Opel announced that it had more than doubled its Ampera fleet customer base in the space of just six months, from around 700 in March to almost 2,000 in October across Europe. This is an increase of more than 180 percent.
A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor of the Ampera. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, distances of between 40 and 80 kilometers can be covered in the purely battery-operated mode, free of emissions. In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached 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.