Opel Ampera Mules Road Tests Begin

German manufacturer Opel has begun road testing of the upcoming plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Ampera. The testing is being done at the manufacturer's Dudenhofen proving ground, in expectation of the production debut in 2011.

Ampera's electric propulsion system - including the battery, motor, engine and electric generator are being tested on existing production vehicles. The so called Voltec system is being evaluated in terms of performance and overall driving impression, while the lithium-ion battery is being put through its pace, reported.

"The Ampera development cars show that a practical, electric four-seater, with cargo space and the capability to be the first automobile in the household, is not just theory, but a car that will be reality by 2011," Frank Weber, vehicle line executive for Ampera development was quoted as saying by the source.

The Ampera is being developed in three stages, the first being engineering and the development of subsystems as well as integrating them into a working system. The seconds stage will mean the assembly of the vehicles per se and their subsystems. These will be the wind-test vehicles, followed by the final, production stage.

Based on GM's Volt, the Ampera will be at the centre of Opel presentation at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show. The GM Voltec system comprises of a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, which provides an autonomy of up to 60 kilometers and a petrol engine which extends the total range of the Ampera to about 500 km. The battery can also be recharged via any household 230v outlet.

autoevolution will be attending the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, so stay tuned for some real up close and personal shots of the vehicles, as well as for first-hand details of the motorized contraptions.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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