One step toward this ambitious goal comes courtesy of German automaker Opel, which decided to give an Ampera-e to Pope Francis. The ceremony took place on the sidelines of the “Laudato Sì: the Sustainability of Communication and Innovation” conference, with CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann handing over the car’s keys personally.
“We are proud that we as Opel can contribute to the ambitious goals of the Vatican City,” declared the head honcho of the Russelsheim-based company that was recently acquired from General Motors by Groupe PSA. “Our new Ampera-e will make electric mobility feasible for everyday use without any compromises,” Mr. Neumann concluded.
Needless to say, the Vatican is so small that an NEDC range of 520 kilometers (323 miles) seems a bit overkill. And if the pontiff would wake up one morning with the urge to max out the Ampera-e, the Vatican doesn’t have a stretch of road long enough for the compact electric vehicle to hit its top speed (150 km/h or just about 93 mph).
The European counterpart of the Chevrolet Bolt in the United States, the Ampera-e is an interesting addition to the European landscape. Not only does it boast more range than its nearest rival, but the little bugger also happens to be a much more interesting proposition than the Ampera it indirectly replaces.
As a brief refresher, the Volt-based Ampera was phased out because sales were worsening with each and every month. With the Pope's blessing, here's hope the Ampera-e will be a more successful product than the Ampera.