Opel/Vauxhall has stopped development of a planned electric version of its new Adam minicar, citing high costs.
The project had progressed to the development of a working car using the technology from the forthcoming Chevrolet Spark EV minicar.
"It was a business decision," Opel's chief engineer for the Adam, Dieter Metz, said. "We could not charge the customer the price needed to make it work on the cost side."
Opel's head of sales and marketing, Alfred Rieck, said sales of electric vehicles are slow because customers are not willing to pay higher prices for EV technology.
"If you look at the technology that's available on the market today, it's very expensive," he said. "You end up with a certain price of the car and consumers are not interested in it."
He said only increased sales would drive down prices of EVs.
Metz's comments confirmed an Automotive News Europe report last year that said the project would be canceled. Company documents seen by ANE at the time said an electric version of the Adam would require "excessively high" additional investments.
Opel currently sells the Ampera plug-in hybrid, a sister model to the Chevrolet Volt. These cars run on electric power but have a small gasoline engine to feed additional power to the electric motor when the batteries are depleted.
Chevrolet plans to launch a Spark EV in the United States and other unspecified global markets starting in 2013.
Opel will begin sales of the Adam in January with prices starting at 11,500 euros in Germany. The car is aimed as a competitor minicars such as the Fiat 500 and Mini.
The Adam will initially be offered with 1.2-liter and 1.4-liter gasoline engines. A version with a 1.0-liter turbocharged engine will go on sale during 2013 with CO2 emissions below 100 grams per kilometer.