GENEVA, Switzerland --- General Motors Europe President Carl-Peter Forster this month unveiled the Opel Ampera, an extended-range electric vehicle, at the Geneva Motor Show and announced plans to put the car into production in late 2011 in Europe.
The Ampera will also be offered with right-hand drive in the United Kingdom by Opel's sister-brand, Vauxhall.
"The Opel Ampera further demonstrates GM's leadership in the electrification of the automobile," said Carl-Peter Forster. "Its ground-breaking Voltec electric propulsion system is the kind of game-changing technology the automotive industry needs to respond to energy and environmental challenges."
The five-door, four-seat Ampera incorporates several styling cues from the Flextreme and GTC Concept show cars, the company said.
The Ampera's wheels are turned electrically at all times and speeds. For trips up to 60 km (MVEG), it runs on electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery and emits zero CO2. When the battery's energy is depleted, electricity from an engine-generator extends the Ampera's range to more than 500 km.
The Ampera can be plugged into any household 230v outlet for charging. GM Europe is analyzing the requirements of a recharging infrastructure for plug-in electric cars with energy companies, including Iberdrola of Spain.