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TEST DRIVE: Opel Ampera (Chevy Volt)

Hey Guys
On Tuesday there was the first Day of the annual "Klassikwelt Bodensee" and "the electric Avenue" in Friedrichshafen at the Lake of Constance in Germany. Both are Fairs all around mobility - Cars (!!), Motorboats, Motorbikes and Planes. Surely I will focus more on the Things on 4 wheels, so lets go on with this!

After the Business Talk of "TEA Expo" I had the Chance to Test Drive the Opel Ampera (Chevrolet Volt in the US) a few Kilometers outside the Halls. According to my GoPro Video the Test Drive took about 25 Minutes including a Photo-Stop.
So don't await too much, but I can already promise you more details about Opel's "24h Mobility Test" with 11 Amperas, which started on Friday morning soon!

The Opel Ampera (or Vauxhall Ampera in the UK or Chevrolet Volt in the US) is an Electric Car, with an petrol engine as a Range Extender. According to Opel there are between 40 and 80 kilometers in the pure E-Mode quite possible. After the 16 kWh Lithium-Ion Battery is sucked empty the 63 kW (86 PS)  petrol engine starts to work.

What was, in the beginning, a bit unreal for me is that the engine now works at a constant speed, no matter how hard I push the gas pedal or not. Okay, when I was accelerating more the rotational speed went higher, but you still have the same monotone sound in your ears.

But this contributes to an fuel saving driving, and that's what we want with the Ampera, driving with a less fuel consumption or almost with none!

But this is maybe the biggest critic point of the Ampera, the high fuel consumption. While "real electric Cars" need not even one milliliter of petrol to run their up to 200 km range the Ampera needs, according to Opel, 1,2l in the first 100 km. But 4,8l for each 100 of the next possible 400 km.
That's a bit sad that Opel adverts the Ampera as an E-Car, although it is an E-Car WITH a Range-Extender!

Once, as the Battery is empty, it needs minimal 4 hours to Charge it again at a 16 A high voltage Charging station. With normal 10 A or 6 A connection it needs up to 11 hours.

With the Ampera you can reach a maximum speed of 161 km/h (100 mph) and accellerate from 0 to 100 km/h (66 mph) in 10 seconds.
When you have the gear level in the "L" mode instead of just in "D" the Car automatically brakes when the driver takes the foot of the gas pedal. So you're driving more efficient because so the recuperation can charge the battery better back and in city traffic you will be able to drive some more kilometers just with the "extra" recovered braking energy.

The Basis Ampera model starts at 43,900 € with 4 light alloy wheels, Airbags for the Driver and Passengers, interior in "nickel grey" , 7 " LCD Touchscreen, the Pedestrian Friendly Alert and a few more gadgets and things as standard. There is also a "Comfort" and "Epioneer" version available, with different interior colors, metallic paint for the exterior a Navigation System with a BOSE Sound-System and more.

While driving you can check your current energy flow on the 7" LCD Touchscreen, see if its using power from the battery or if its recuperating (the recovery of the braking energy). Through this Display the Car also gives you advice on a efficient driving, like its in winter better to use your seat heaters than the air condition.

Inside the Ampera I was feeling not like in an EV, everything is well worked and for people with a "fear" of Electric Cars and resulting the joy of a pure electric Driving the Ampera can be definitely the entry for a efficient way of transportation.

the Opel Ampera with the Zeppelin NT

the Ampera's back

European Car of the Year 2012


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