Opel aims to deliver a small, punchy and affordable electric car when it launches a full-electric version of its popular small hatchback in November. The Corsa-e is the brand's first battery-powered vehicle developed since becoming part of the PSA Group two years ago.
Under previous owner General Motors, Opel was an early proponent of electromobility with the Ampera plug-in hybrid, which debuted in 2011, and the full-electric Ampera-e, with its 423-km WLTP-certified range, that arrived six years later. Both Ampera models flopped, however, partly because of their high starting prices.
Opel wants to be more competitive this time with a lower cost of entry -- 29,900 euros -- along with offering numerous related services including charging. The starting price is still more than twice that of the entry gasoline version of the Corsa, which will cost 13,990 euros.
"The know-how we have collected [from launching the Amperas] is a tremendous help now that the whole automotive industry is entering the era of mass electrification due to the CO2 targets set by the European Union," CEO Michael Lohscheller said at the debut of the Corsa-e this summer.
The car starts an electrification offensive at Opel that will include three more battery-driven vehicles by the end of next year, including the Mokka X small crossover. By 2024 all Opel models will offer an electrified version. The Corsa-e's 100 kilowatt (136-hp) powertrain can take the car from 0 to 100 kph in 8.1 seconds, which beats every Volkswagen Polo except the GTi performance version.
Corsa-e owners get access to an app-based digital pass that grants them access to more than 105,000 charging points in Europe. The app offers a trip planner based on the car's residual range plus a listing of the charging prices along the route.
"It is not by accident that that our first model to enter the electrification era is a car from the B [small] segment, the most popular segment in the European market," Lohscheller said.
The Corsa was Opel's best-seller last year, accounting for more than 235,600 unit -- nearly a quarter of the brand's global volume. Altogether, more than 13.6 million have been built since the Corsa arrived in 1982.