Opel has more than doubled its Ampera fleet customer base in the space of just six months, from around 700 in March to almost 2,000 in October across Europe. This is an increase of more than 180 percent. In Germany, the Ampera’s fleet customer base increased dramatically by more than 50 percent, while in the Netherlands it even grew by 200 percent. The figures include a number of companies that have ordered up to 20 Ampera vehicles. Opel has also noticed an increasing trend that more and more fleet customers include the revolutionary electric vehicle in their company car policies, so that they sit alongside conventional diesel or gasoline powered vehicles as fully usable electric alternatives.
“Not only is the Ampera Europe’s best selling passenger electric vehicle. We now have proof that it is attracting a rapidly growing number of fleet customers,” says Opel Vice President Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alfred Rieck. “We are confident that this development will continue because fleet customers understand that the Ampera is one of the very few electric vehicles that is truly suitable for everyday use. Additionally, it is has significantly lower operating costs than equivalent internal combustion engine cars.”
In contrast to many of its rivals, the Ampera is a range-extending vehicle. This is extremely important for fleet customers such as Trigion, the subsidiary of the Western European facilities company, Facilicom. Trigion provides security services including video camera monitoring, static guards and mobile patrols.
“Trigion Security is one of the first companies in the Netherlands who deployed the Ampera. We are attracted to its very low fuel consumption,” says Martine Geurts, Vice-President and Director of Facilicom Service Group. “The Ampera is currently being piloted at our Trigion subsidiary and this pilot is being rolled out across the whole group as the next logical step.”
Facilicom is not alone in this view. In early November the Ampera was honoured as Green Vehicle of the Year in the United Kingdom by fleet decision-makers at the prestigious 2012 Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO) Awards. The awards, which are voted for online exclusively by the ACFO membership, are highly-prized because unlike many other awards they reflect the day-to-day operational experience and expertise of fleet decision-makers. This prize is the latest in a long line of over 50 accolades for the ground-breaking Ampera, which include the current European Car of the Year 2012.
A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor of the Ampera. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, distances of between 40 and 80 kilometers can be covered in the purely battery-operated mode, free of emissions. In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, power is then seamlessly supplied to the electric drive unit from a generator driven by a 1.4-liter, 63 kW/86 hp gasoline engine. Extended-range mode enables a total driving range of more than 500 kilometers without refueling.