Opel has presented the first battery-electric version of its compact Astra model – as a five-door and in parallel also as an estate. With the battery-electric version, the Astra range is now complete. The biggest surprise is probably the model name Astra Electric instead of Astra-e, because both design and technology are already largely known.
It was almost clear that there would be no surprises in the design. After all, Generation 6 of the Opel compact model, which was presented in September 2021, not only wears the new brand design of the Rüsselsheim company, but Opel has also hardly adapted the design of the electric versions of the previous electric models. Thus, an independent design would have made little sense – the black ‘Opel Vizor’ at the front is supposed to characterise the brand, besides, the parent company Stellantis is known for its identical parts strategy. A separate front section for the Astra Electric does not fit into the strategy for several reasons.
The same applies to the drive technology: Opel uses the same technology for the Astra Electric and Astra Sports Tourer Electric that is already known from the corresponding Peugeot sister models 308 and 308 SW. For the electric motor, Stellantis switches from the 100 kW drive previously supplied by Vitesco Technologies to a 115 kW unit from its own joint venture with Nidec. The e-motor, which is built in Trémery, France, offers 270 Nm of maximum torque and enables a top speed of 170 km/h. The energy is stored in a new 54-kW power unit.
The energy is stored in a new 54 kWh battery with 51 kWh usable capacity. The battery is now based on NMC811 cells and, depending on equipment, should enable a WLTP range of up to 416 kilometres, according to Opel. In the Corsa-e, Mokka-e and Zafira-e, Opel had still been working with the previous battery generation, which came to 50 kWh gross and around 45 kWh net.
Opel states the standard consumption of the Astra Electric in the press release at 12.7 kWh/100km, which is a very good value on paper. The previous Stellantis models with the 100 kW drive have not exactly stood out in tests for their efficiency – rather the opposite. With the Astra Electric, it remains to be seen whether the switch to the Nidec engine is worthwhile in terms of consumption (and thus practical range). Opel confidently states that the Astra Electric with its consumption is “not only the perfect efficient companion in everyday life”, but as a “five-door as well as an estate Sports Tourer, it is also an ideal motorhome” that saves time on longer journeys.
A three-phase onboard charger with 11 kW is installed ex-works. At a public 100 kW charging station, the vehicle can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes, Opel says. At the time, Peugeot had quoted a charging time of less than 25 minutes for the electric 308, but only for the window from 20 to 80 per cent.
Since the battery is placed in the underbody, the space in the interior and charging compartment remain the same. According to Opel, the Astra Sports Tourer Electric has between 516 and 1,533 litres of space – the same as the internal combustion vehicles or the plug-in hybrids already available.
Opel is not yet giving any details on the prices of the Astra Electric, which should be available to order from spring 2023. The sixth-generation Astra plug-in hybrid will cost at least 35,800 euros, while the Sports Tourer station wagon will start at 36,900 euros as a PHEV.
“With the new battery-electric version of the five-door and estate, customers will in future be able to drive locally emission-free in an all-round way that is suitable for everyday use, comfortable and, above all, fun to drive. This is what we understand by meaningful ‘greenovation’ of mobility,” says Opel CEO Florian Huettl. “At the same time, we are continuing to press ahead with our electric offensive. The new Opel Astra Electric is an important milestone on our way to becoming an all-electric brand in Europe.”
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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