Opel Ampera: A planned child without child benefit?

Andrew Hopkins

Chancellor Angela Merkel asked the German national car industry to come up with an innovative vehicle. In two days time, Opel will introduce her planned baby at the Geneva Motor Show. However, the full gestation period for this embryo – in production terms at least – will take another two years. But we are curious to see whether the car industry will have received the necessary child benefit from the German government by 2011, otherwise the pram will remain empty. If a financial solution is not found soon for Opel, then this particular offspring may never see the light of day in the automotive world.

Maybe the Ampera is the rescue that Opel needs. In 2011, it will be the first series production vehicle to run entirely on electricity. The vehicle will be priced competitively in line with a similar diesel model at 30,000 euros. The Ampera is powered solely by its 150bhp electric motor, which means it is not a hybrid but a purely electric car. It does 0 to 100kph in just under 9 seconds and has a top speed of 160kph.