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GM outs long-range ‘affordable’ electric car, coming 2017

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chevrolet bolt
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, a 'twin' of the upcoming Ampera-e

The future of cars is undoubtedly electric, but price is still a barrier to entry for many.

General Motors has confirmed plans to build an “affordable” electric car, set for production in 2017.

The vehicle will be a five-seater, and will be manufactured by Opel, the company’s European division.

It’s set to be named the Ampera-e, and will be very similar to the existing Chevrolet Bolt, currently pegged for the USA.

The announcement – first reported by Reuters – was made by GM CEO Mary Barra, who said:

“Like its twin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Ampera-e promises to transform the electric vehicle market in Europe as the first EV that combines long range at an affordable price.”

chevrolet bolt2017 Chevrolet Bolt interior

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According to the report, the Ampera-e will offer “a greater electric range than the vast majority of electric vehicles currently available in Europe”.

GM also noted that pricing details would be provided at a later date.

Check out our interview with Ford on the future of driverless cars:

Would you be tempted by an “affordable” electric vehicle? Let us know in the comments.

Ralph

February 11, 2016, 4:02 pm

Range for me is less of a problem - an EV would be the 2nd car and used for the school run, shopping etc. The two issues are initial outlay and battery life/cost of replacement. The cost of running the thing is a no-brainer: approx 2p per mile compared to 15p for our pluto-barge and 10p for our current run-around(VW Tiguan). Sort out the cost to buy and a decent guarantee for the battery and I'm there

cros13

February 15, 2016, 2:32 pm

Most of the newer EVs have 8 year / 160,000km warranties or better on the drivetrain including the battery (the warranty usually guarantees you will have a minimum of 70% of rated capacity 8 years in). Expected lifespan is 20 years on those in UK/Irish climate. I'm on my third EV and the worst I've seen is less than 1% capacity loss for every 10,000km. Both of the later model EVs have had literally no capacity loss whatsoever in 50,000km. In fact one of them (a 2014 nissan leaf) is actually showing BETTER stats than the day I brought it home.

Battery warranty claims are rare. On the 2010-2012 Leaf (which had a much less resilient battery) there were three battery capacity related claims on more than 40,000 cars sold.

Ralph

April 13, 2016, 6:03 pm

Thanks cros13 - useful response. But using today's prices (I expect them to decline considerably in reality) what would a new battery pack cost eg for a leaf?

cros13

April 13, 2016, 6:26 pm

I'm not sure in UK/Ireland...because at least in Ireland nobody has had it done, and there were only three warranty replacements in 60,000 european sales which were comped. I know in the US they swapped some of the MK1 batteries due to excessive wear in hotter climates (the MK1.5 battery (Mid-2013 and later in UK/Ireland) fixed those issues). A few people were outside warranty and had quoted replacements at $5.5k including part exchange of their old battery.

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