GM Unveils European Electric Hatchback Ampera-e, Production To Begin In 2017

Feb 13, 2016 12:46 PM EST | John Nassivera

General Motors announced Thursday that they will begin building an affordable electric car through Opel, its European division, in 2017.

The five-door hatchback, dubbed the Ampera-e, has a very similar appearance to that of the Chevrolet Bolt, GM's other electric car, and it will also be "affordably priced" and have a "longer range than most other electric cars," the Detroit-based automaker said, according to Fortune.

The introduction of the Ampera-e is the latest effort made by GM to increase production for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids despite the greater sales that the company sees with its gas-powered SUVs, trucks and crossovers.

GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said that the Ampera-e will seat five passengers and provide that same amount of trunk space as that of a compact car, Reuters reported.

The Ampera brand name is currently used by Opel to sell European versions of the Chevy Volt, Forbes noted.

While very minimal specifics were provided about the electric hatchback on Thursday, it was revealed to have a flat battery pack mounted underneath the floor. The Chevy Bolt, which will be available in the U.S. by the end of 2016, possesses a 200-mile range and a $30,000 price tag after federal tax credits, which could indicate what kind of range and cost the Ampera-e will have.

GM said it will reveal further details about the Ampera-e at a later date, though it is unclear how long exactly fans and aspiring EV owners will have to wait to receive this information.

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