Electric Cars

2017 Opel Ampera-e is a Bolt of electricity for Europe

General Motors has unveiled Europe's Chevy Bolt twin, the Opel Ampera-e, at the Paris Motor Show.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Opel's Ampera-e looks almost identical to Chevrolet's Bolt...because it is.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

If this compact hatchback looks familiar, there's a good reason for that. This is the new Opel Ampera-e, aka the Chevrolet Bolt. The pure-electric hatchback will sell under General Motors' Opel nameplate in Europe, where it will do battle against local rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric, Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.

Interestingly, while it's all but identical to North America's Bolt, GM announced at the car's Paris Motor Show introduction that the Ampera-e will receive an official mileage estimate of 500 kilometers. That's around 311 miles per charge, substantially more than the 238-mile range quoted by General Motors in America. So what gives? The difference is that the Opel's figure is calculated using the New European Driving Cycle test, whereas the Chevy is evaluated on the EPA cycle. Either way, the Ampera-e figures to easily offer the longest range in its class.

As a bit of a stunt, an Ampera-e was driven from London to Paris for the car's reveal. That's 417 kilometers, and GM claims that the car arrived with over 80 km still showing on its range telltale. GM also claims the Ampera-e can sprint to 50 kph (31 mph) in just 3.2 seconds, thanks in large measure to its 0-rpm electric torque peak.

Curiously, the new Ampera-e won't be sold outside mainland Europe in traditional markets such as the UK because GM has elected not to covert the car to right-hand drive. That's according to Britain's Autocar, which seems utterly perplexed by the exclusion.

In any case, Opel fans will have to wait a little longer for their five-seat EVs. While the Bolt goes on sale in the US this fall, the Ampera-e won't hit European dealers until spring 2017. If it's any consolation, Europe, you'll be able to order this screaming yellow paint. In America, the loudest shade we'll be offered is orange.

Update, 10/3/16: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Ampera-e has a shorter total range quoted under European test cycle standards versus the EPA's test in the US. The text has been amended for accuracy.