Opel Welcomes Berlin Support on E-Mobility.

May 4, 2010

  • EU-wide standardizations, coordination “imperative” for advancement of e-mobility
  • Opel Ampera, HydroGen4 lead the way to clean mobility

Berlin/Rüsselsheim. Opel welcomes the German government’s initiative in gathering key stakeholders to discuss how to move the country on the road to clean mobility.

Chief Executive Officer Nick Reilly was among the key stakeholders invited to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel today at a summit organized to jump start the country’s push towards electric mobility. Demonstrating Opel’s leadership role in this area, he arrived at the summit in an Opel Ampera, an electric vehicle with extended range that will be available on the market at the end of 2011.

The summit is important because it begins a dialogue on issues that need to be addressed as electric mobility gains speed. Standardization of certain aspects – ranging from the size and configuration of the plug, to serviceability and safety regulations – not only in Germany but Europe-wide is “imperative,” said Reilly.

Moreover, he welcomed decision-makers’ openness to discuss ways of accelerating the introduction of clean-mobility concepts. Governments can help in a number of ways: Not only encouraging investments from the private sector, but also through establishing an e-mobility infrastructure in line with the governments’ strategic priorities. Reilly reiterated his view that research should be coordinated among universities and companies to avoid costly and unnecessary duplication.

“The automotive industry has been very busy developing a range of technical solutions for e-mobility. As governments support and push this strategic direction, there is a need to kick start the technology in order to quickly generate volume and economies of scale – indispensable for a fast and comprehensive introduction for the benefit of our environment. That could be done through incentivizing the purchase of an electric automobile, for example, or via taxation policies,” he said. “If we are serious about this matter, the new technology needs to be accessible to everyone.”

The Ampera, a four-seater electric hatchback drives around 60 kilometers electrically. When the Ampera’s lithium-ion battery power is low, the car’s on-board gasoline-powered engine begins to generate electricity that propels the wheels for the remainder of the journey. It can drive without interruption for more than 500 km before needing to be plugged into a standard household socket or refill with fuel.

Opel also is an active member of the Clean Energy Partnership in Berlin since 2002. The brand has 10 zero-emission HydroGen4 Fuel Cell Vehicles on city roads, gaining real-world experience from business partners.

Opel aims to be a leader in environmentally sustainable mobility. As such, the brand is committed to a range of technologies that can reduce and ultimately displace oil dependency, minimize CO2 emissions and encourage energy diversity. To that end, the brand is investing one billion euros in innovative technology as it sets in motion a green strategy it calls e-mobility unlimited that will carry Opel forward.

This strategy includes:

  • small battery electric vehicles for people who drive short distances and for cities around the world
  • extended-range electric vehicles for people who want one single car for long as well as short distances
  • in the long-term, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles for driving long distances with zero emissions and no limitation on vehicle size or function