This story about the Opel Ampera-e was first published on Gas2.
A German film crew from automobil, a television show that runs on the VOX channel, wanted to find out how far they could drive in a stock Opel Ampera-E — known to people in North America as the Chevy Bolt — on a single battery charge. So they got their hands on one, charged it up, and set off in hot pursuit of the world record for hypermiling the all-electric car.
Their route took them from Görlitz, Germany, to Aachen, a drive that normally takes about 6 hours and 45 minutes by car. When they were done, they had driven a total of 754.9 kilometers before running out of battery power, which works out to 469 miles. This is from a car with an EPA estimated range of 238 miles.
How do you get nearly double the certified range from an electric car? It’s not easy. According to an Opel press release, drivers Albert Königshausen and Alexander Bloch didn’t just blast down the Autobahn on their journey. Oh, no. They patiently plodded along at speeds of between 25 and 30 miles per hour and took full advantage of the car’s regenerative braking whenever possible. In all, it took 25 hours and 30 minutes to complete the journey, with the drivers taking turns behind the wheel to relieve the tension in their tortured muscles from sitting in a fixed position for long periods of time.
The distance between the two cities is 750 kilometers, but the intrepid duo failed to complete their journey due to an unexpected 20 kilometer detour they encountered along the way. Still, they proved that applying efficient driving techniques can significantly improve the potential range of an electric car, especially if you enjoy driving at 25 miles per hour.
The Opel Ampera-e shares all its basic technical details with the Chevy Bolt. It has the same 204 horsepower motor that puts out 265 ft-lb of instantly available torque. It gets to 60 mph from a dead stop in about 7 seconds, which is quite a respectable time for a car designed primarily for daily use carrying people and things from here to there.