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Opel Ampera tested on the frozen Baltic Sea

 Opel Ampera tested on the frozen Baltic Sea
Opel Ampera at frozen Baltic Sea

'Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle'

Opel asked several journalists to take the Opel Ampera for a drive on the frozen Baltic Sea to test the car's capabilities during winter.

"Europe's best-selling electric vehicle" travelled on several stretches of up to 10 km long where the thickness of the ice was at least 25 cm. Opel says the car is capable of running solely on electric power at temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). At temperatures below that figure, the range-extending gasoline engine kicks in to support the electric motor.

The Ampera's battery is preheated while charging during cold weather in order to provide full power capabilities, while the standard auxiliary heating is responsible for warming the interior cabin. During these tests, the fleet of Opel Amperas was able to cover hundreds of kilometers without any problems to report.

As a reminder, the Opel Ampera has a total output of 150 hp (111 kW) and can be driven in electric mode between 25 and 50 miles (40 and 80 km). When the 1.4-liter gasoline engine works, range is extended to 310 miles (500 km). The conventional engine takes care of powering the electric motor and recharging the 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Opel says the Ampera consumes only 1.2 liters / 100 km (196 mpg US or 235 mpg UK), with CO2 emissions of just 27 g/km. It needs less than ten seconds from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) and can achieve a top speed of 99 mph (161 km/h).

Source: Opel

Rüsselsheim. Snow-covered streets and icy roads are not uncommon in some European countries right now. In Estonia temperatures fall so low that parts of the Baltic Sea can be driven over on up to 50 days a year. This is unique in Europe. Opel now used the frozen Baltic Sea to prove the Ampera’s everyday suitability with a number of teams of journalists. The vehicles covered hundreds of kilometers without a hitch – impressive proof of the Ampera’s winter capabilities. Thanks to the constant battery temperature control system, even freezing temperatures are not a problem for Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle.

From ice cover thickness of at least 25 centimeters cars can drive over the so-called ice crossings and so reach islands without having to use a ferry. On a number of stretches up to ten kilometers long, the Ampera proved that electric mobility isn’t stopped by cold. The car can run on pure battery-electric propulsion at temperatures down to minus ten degrees. When temperatures are even lower, the range-extending gasoline engine supports the electric motor. In cold weather, the battery is preheated during charging to provide a full power capability. This preserves it during starting and benefits the battery’s capacity. Standard auxiliary heating warms the cabin, ensuring additional comfort and sparing the driver the tedious task of scraping ice off the car.

The Ampera is electrically driven at all times. A unique 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds an advanced, 111 kW/150 hp electric drive unit to deliver between 40 and 80 km of pure electric operation with zero emissions – depending on terrain, driving technique and temperature – when fully charged. According to the official R(EC) 715/2007 regulation for measuring fuel consumption and CO2  emissions, the Ampera consumes 1.2 l/100 km fuel and emits 27 g/km CO2. Instant torque of 370 Nm enables zero to 100 km/h acceleration in under ten seconds and a top speed of 161 km/h. The Ampera offers a unique driving experience in battery operation, delivering nearly silent electric drive and a highly refined NVH performance even in extended-range drive mode.

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