Euro Ampera Drivers Might Switch to Gas-Power to Save Battery

GM might let European drivers switch the Opel Ampera to petrol power only under specific circumstances. According to a HeadlineAuto report, General Motors' European division is actually considering adding a switch for the Opel Ampera (the Volt's European twin) that would allow the driver to control how the drivetrain operates.

The switch might prove useful when motorists decide they want to take a long journey between cities. Drivers could put the car into its charge sustaining mode so that the gasoline-powered engine would run constantly in order to maintain a full charge of the battery. Then, if traffic slows or the car enters congested urban areas, it could be put back into its normal battery-first mode. These are speculations based on the statements made by GM's Lars Peter Thiesen, who is overseeing the process of finetuning the Opel Ampera for the European market.

The Ampera is available for pre-order at a retail price of €42,900, which equals roughly $58,000 USD based on current exchange rates, or $18,000 more than a Volt costs in the US. The high price is partly due to a bit more equipment, but mainly because of Europe's Value Added Tax (otherwise known as VAT), that accounts for around 20 percent of the sticker price.

The Ampera only provides 40 to 80 km (25 to 50 miles) of range on a full electric charge. Opel justifies this by saying that most Europeans drive less than 60 kilometers (37-38 miles) per day. When a longer trip is necessary, the Ampera’s range can be extended by the use of a gasoline engine/generator, improving the total driving range to more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a full tank.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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