First Opel Ampera-e Deliveries Set For Spring 2017

General Motors’ Opel brand has started Ampera-e sales in Norway and projects first deliveries in that country by the upcoming spring.

Norway was chosen as first recipient for the rebadged Chevy Bolt EV with 500 kilometers range on the European NEDC cycle (Bolt rated 238 miles under U.S. EPA) as it’s by far the most EV-focused market.

Opel says quantities will be initially limited, and next countries to get the Ampera-e are Germany, Netherlands, France and Switzerland.

These are being given priority based on infrastructure, policies, and otherwise having have “shown the greatest ambition to populate their streets with electrically-powered vehicles.

Opel pins the slow start on the Michigan-based plant which is to exclusively build them for export.

“The availability of the Ampera-e will be limited due to a slow ramp-up of production at the Orion plant in Michigan,” said Peter Christian Küspert, Opel group vice president of sales & aftersales. “Therefore, we made a decision to go with a staggered introduction plan going first with the countries that already have some form of EV infrastructure in place or countries that have shown ambition to become EV leaders. This has created the pecking order Norway, Germany, Netherlands, France and Switzerland. However, we are flexible here and will be able to add countries or change the order at short notice if somebody becomes so attractive because of changed policies for example.”

GM is reportedly building 100 per day, and has only started a slow rollout in California and Oregon. Since November it may have produced north of 2,000 units, and U.S. Bolt retail sales are projected by analyst Alan Baum at only 23,000 or so for 2017.

A Cruise Automation autonomous Bolt EV in Scottsdale, Ariz.

A GM Cruise LLC autonomous Bolt EV in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Other cars are expected to go to GM’s autonomous drive endeavors, but somehow the numbers don’t seem to add up between potential produced, and talk of limited availability.

A query to a Chevrolet media rep received answers to basic questions, but this topic of a production/availability discrepancy received no answer. It could be there is a large number of them sitting in QA, for a time. GM is known to do such things with new models, and did that with the Volt in 2010.

In any case, Norway ought to be excited to get them, as it’s just purchased its 100,000th EV, and market share could go as high as 25-30 percent in parts of the country of 5.1 million.

Norway’s 100,000th EV Constitutes 10-Percent Of The World’s Total

Policies there include zero sales taxes on EVs, exemption from VAT on purchase and leasing, low annual road tax, no charges on toll roads and ferries, free municipal parking, access to bus lanes and 50 percent reduced company car tax.

As Bolt volumes ramp up, the Bolt is only expected to help Norway in its desire for EVs.

“Our goal is to have enough capacity by 2018 so that we can offer decent volumes in most European countries,” said Küspert. “Our current plan has the Ampera-e being sold by e‑agents selected from the Opel dealer network in all markets, except Norway where it will be sold throughout the entire Opel dealer network as the Ampera-e will soon be Opel’s bestseller there.”

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