Vauxhall has confirmed that there are no current plans to bring a right hand drive version of the Opel Ampera-e to the UK – but that’s not stopping the firm evaluating the model and demonstrating it to potential customers.
Based on the Bolt from Chevrolet – a General Motors brand along with Opel and Vauxhall – the Ampera-e will go on sale early next year in Europe, after having its debut at the Paris Motor Show at the end of this month. The car has currently only been engineered for left hand drive markets, though Vauxhall does say that the importance of the UK market ‘holds potential for future (electric) models’.
With an official NEDC range of 250 miles, Vauxhall is saying that the Ampera-e can achieve more than 185 miles in real world driving conditions easily – even taking into account driving style, road, and weather conditions. Fitted with a 60kWh battery pack, the Ampera-e is said to achieve the official (and realistically unattainable) mileage of its closest competitor – the BMW i3 with its 33KWh battery – in real world driving.
Rory Harvey, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director: “Vauxhall is committed to having a future EV presence in its range. The technology which underpins the new Ampera-e is of great interest to us, and we will be evaluating LHD cars from next spring and demonstrating them to clients.
“The fact that Ampera-e is not an eco-luxury or second car for customers broadens its appeal greatly, but it’s obviously vital that the car we sell in our market is right-hand-drive, and that won’t be available in the current generation.”
The news will not be a particular surprise since there has been no previous hint that Vauxhall would get a right hand drive version for the UK. However it will still be a disappointment since the UK is one of the stronger EV markets in Europe. It now turns out that British buyers will be denied the class-leading EV.