Just as the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car is launching in North America, its European cousin is beginning deliveries across the Atlantic.

In Europe, General Motors markets the U.S.-built Bolt EV as virtually identical Opel Ampera-e under its German Opel brand.

An example of what is known in the industry as "badge engineering," the Ampera-e is essentially a Bolt EV re-branded as an Opel.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Opel Ampera-e (nee Bolt EV) to debut at Paris Motor Show (Aug 2016)

Perhaps not surprisingly, demand is already picking up in what is likely the world's friendliest country for electric cars.

Opel has already received thousands of Ampera-e orders in Norway, Stein Pettersen, the automaker's Norwegian public-relations manager, told Side 3 (via CleanTechnica).

That demand convinced Opel to begin delivering cars in Norway in June.

Electric-car rally in Geiranger, Norway [Image: Norsk elbilforening via Flickr]

Electric-car rally in Geiranger, Norway [Image: Norsk elbilforening via Flickr]

So the Ampera-e will be available throughout that (admittedly smaller) market even before the Bolt EV is available nationwide in the U.S.

As of this month, the Bolt EV will be available at dealerships in California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia.

The first cars were delivered to customers in California's Silicon Valley in December—almost exactly 20 years after the first 40 GM EV1s were delivered to California lessees.

CHECK OUT: When can I buy a Chevy Bolt EV electric car? See state-by-state schedule

But Chevy won't begin taking orders for the Bolt EV in all states until July, and deliveries in the last states won't begin until September.

In Norway, the Ampera-e battery warranty also covers degradation below 60 to 70 percent up to 8 years or 180,000 kilometers (111,000).

The U.S. Bolt EV battery warranty covers up to 40 percent loss of capacity for 8 years or 100,000 miles.

Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e

Chevy has said that owners would only see that much degradation in "extreme circumstances."

In Europe, the Ampera-e is rated at 520 kilometers (320 miles) of range.

However, that rating is based on the notoriously-optimistic New European Driving Cycle, which is known to be somewhat divorced from reality.

In the real world, the Ampera-e will likely achieve a range closer to the Bolt EV's EPA-rated 238 miles.

In all but a handful of respects, the Ampera-e is in virtually identical to the Bolt EV, and will be built alongside the Chevy in Orion Township, Michigan.

[hat tips: George Betak, Nicklas Lindqvist]


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