Kez Casey | Aug 26, 2016

General Motors’ European has launched its great green hope, the 2017 Opel Ampera-e, with the electric hatch to make its debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.

The Ampera-e is little more than a badge-engineered derivative of the Chevrolet Bolt - a small hatch powered by an electric drivetrain that produces 150kW of power and 360Nm of torque - decent outputs for a vehicle of its size.

Opel hasn’t outlined the battery specifics, but the Ampera-e is believed to be identical to the Bolt, with a 60kWh battery pack providing a range of around 320 kilometres between charges.

“The Opel Ampera-e makes electromobility fully feasible for everyday use and ready for the future” said Opel CEO, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann.

“The Ampera-e demonstrates impressively how well sustainability and driving pleasure can form a unity. And with its strong-as-an-ox electric motor, it delivers pure fun-to-drive.”

Unlike the Chevrolet Volt (the previous generation of which was sold as both the Holden Volt and the Opel Ampera) the Ampera-e (as well as the Bolt) do not carry a range-extending petrol engine, with both Chevrolet and Opel yet to reveal expected charging times, or if any fast-charging options will be available.

Other details yet to be clarified include the production location - the Chevrolet Bolt will be assembled in the United States, but GM is remaining tight lipped as to the homeroom for Ampera-e production and whether it will be built alongside the Bolt or assembled in Europe.

No Vauxhall version has yet been announced for the UK either, meaning that at this stage the Ampera-e, like the Volt and Bolt will only be built in left-hand-drive for the time being.

If Vauxhall is able to secure right-hand-drive production, the door opens for Holden to import a version of its own for Australia, however production scheduling means that even if right-hand-drive production gets the green light nothing would arrive before 2018 at the earliest.

Holden has previously commented that it intends to return to the electric/hybrid market at some stage, and thanks to the lower price point of the Bolt/Ampera-e compared to the Volt, the new hatch becomes a front-runner for a Holden badge on its nose.

MORE: Opel | Holden | EV

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