Opel's first all-electric model, the Corsa-e, was officially unveiled in Frankfurt this week. Due here in March 2020 prices are expected to start from around €25,000 for the base model, a price that will make sense to many buyers.
With impressive technology, smart looks and a new interior, it will also be offered with a choice of a petrol or diesel engine at the end of the year. Outside the look is edgy and radically different to the current Corsa while inside, creature comforts abound including a 10in colour touchscreen with an infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a load of impressive safety stuff including adaptive speed control, lane-keep assist, radar-based emergency braking system, driver drowsiness alert. As part of PSA, the electric Opel shares much with future models such as the Peugeot e-208 and DS 3 Crossback.
The Corsa-e has lots of clever tricks up its sleeve including a quoted range of 330km and three drive modes - Normal, Sport and Eco - and comes with a regenerative braking system. The 50kW battery can be fast charged to up to 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes and is covered by an eight-year warranty.
The German car maker will offer an electric or electrified version of every model in its line-up by 2024. Four electrified models will go on sale by the end of 2020, a Grandland PHEV will be available while the new Mokka X SUV and Vivaro van will feature battery electric versions.
In the meantime, we can expect to see a lot more small electric cars. As the EU continues to impose tougher CO2 emission levels on car markers from next year, the industry must reduce its fleet average to 95 grams per kilometre. As smaller cars are proving the most difficult from which to reduce emissions, an electric option is the only way many of them will survive. So the good news for consumers is that a host of Evs will follow in the footsteps of this new breed of small car.