Chevy Bolt EV To Be Sold In Europe As Opel Ampera-E Electric Car


Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e

Enlarge Photo

When the first-generation Chevrolet Volt debuted just over five years ago, General Motors created a version for Europe called the Opel Ampera.

It was essentially identical to the Volt except for styling and other cosmetic differences, something that's known in the industry as "badge engineering."

Now that the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car is on the way, GM is at it again.

DON'T MISS: First Drive: Chevy Bolt EV 200-Mile Electric Car Development Vehicle

The Opel Ampera-E is more or less a Bolt EV with new badges, destined for the European market.

This model was announced today by GM CEO Mary Barra at the CAR Symposium in Bochum, Germany, though she provided little information besides a couple of renderings.

The Ampera-E looks almost identical to the Bolt EV, with what appear to be just a few styling changes.

Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e

Enlarge Photo

Performance will presumably be similar to the Chevy as well, although for now GM only says it will "have a longer range on a full charge than most electric cars."

GM promises a 200-mile range for the Bolt EV in the U.S., though the rated range will likely rise under the test cycles used under the more lax European testing protocol.

ALSO SEE: Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera: What Are The Differences? (Mar 2011)

Like the previous Ampera, the Ampera-E is to be sold as an Opel on the European continent. However, plans for the right-hand-drive U.K. market are unclear.

The Volt-based Ampera was built in the U.S., alongside its Chevy sibling at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, and it seems likely that GM will do the same with the Ampera-E.

The Bolt EV is set to start production later this year at the Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, which currently builds Sonic small cars for GM.

Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e

Enlarge Photo

At the same time, GM may also be preparing a second-generation Ampera range-extended model based on the new Volt, according to Car Advice.

The Australian car site has published spy photos of a partially-camouflaged second-generation Volt being tested in Europe.

MORE: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Specs Released: Battery Pack, Motor Power, And More

Camouflage on the front fascia and rear bumper--along with the lack of badges--may indicate that GM is working on a restyled version of the Volt to serve as the next Ampera, the site claims.

The first-generation Volt was also sold in Australia as a Holden, although so far GM has not indicated it will sell the second-generation model there.

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