While the first generation Volt/Ampera will be built in Detroit until 2015, the second generation of the extended range electric vehicles, which are already under development, will probably be manufactured in Europe.
“At that point it will make business sense to ramp up volumes of the Volt and Ampera, and to have several production sites for the ‘EREV’ model family,” said GM Europe president Nick Reilly for Autocar. “We will need one of those factories to be in Europe, and I’m very keen for it to be Ellesmere Port.”
The GM Europe official mentioned that the 2015 Ampera range will include a compact-medium hatchback, a four-door replacement of the upcoming Ampera and a crossover SUV similar to the Chevrolet Volt MPV5 concept that was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show.
The new range will probably be marketed under the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera brand, with a lower price than the current Volt/Ampera and with increased operating range.
“We’re anticipating a 50 per cent improvement in the cost of the electrical components in the EREV powertrain in time for the second-generation cars,” Reilly said.
The first-generation Ampera is expected to enter production at the end of 2011 and will be marketed as both Vauxhall and Opel.