Sep 12

Opel One Euro Car set to electrify Frankfurt Motor Show

 

Oh to be sixteen again … OK, that’s a debatable statement, but it’s at least certain that when you were that age you never had the possibility of owning anything like Opel’s latest green car targeted at entry level drivers.

The German GM division says the all-electric tandem two-seater One Euro Car it intends to showcase this week will be affordable and ideal for drivers age 16 and up.

In a none-too-modest, but limited-for-hard-facts press release, Opel says the veritable space pod on wheels is “making a strong claim for the title of star-attraction at the 64th Frankfurt International Motor Show.”


Opel’s One Euro Car concept.

What’s more, this is a concept that has “production potential,” Opel says, and “opens a new chapter in electric mobility and extends Opel’s pioneering role in alternative propulsion systems.”

No doubt we’ll find out more after the beginning of the massive auto extravaganza in Opel’s home country. In the mean time, it has described some aspects of the fantastic-looking car’s real-world practicality.

One of these is the car comes with a built-in nanny.

Just as Internet browsing controls can be limited from more racy surfing, Opel’s cooler-than-an-iPod new EV can be dialed back to a max speed of only 28 mph (45 kph) in an effort to keep young Jürgen or Anja from wadding up this fine looking creation – and making it legal where 18 is the minimum age for a full license.

Of course if someone older buys it with his or her own hard-earned Euros, the capability is there for a bit more robust performance without breaking the bank.

Its maximum (un-governed) speed is 75 mph (120 kph), which makes it “motorway capable,” and its range of 62 miles (100 kilometers) will require $1.41 (one Euro – thus the car’s name) worth of electric charge – which ought not take too long to replenish considering European wall sockets deliver 230 volts.


If Luke Skywalker had a first car, it probably looked kind of like this.

It weighs just one-third of a modern small car, Opel says, and its energy requirements are ten times lower.

Opel is notably silent about its safety potential, but with low mass, limited crumple zones, and ability to mix it up with bigger, heavier, faster vehicles, it better have airbags galore, and every other safety enhancing trick possible.

Its size makes it appear much like a modernistic Neighborhood Electric Vehicle capable of venturing outside the neighborhood – after proudly having shed any vestiges of that genre of vehicle’s humble golf cart roots.

Although how far it could go at its max speed remains in question. Perhaps on second thought the little car is better suited to keeping pretty close to home.

At this point more questions surround this potentially image-enhancing runabout than answers.

And while Opel will have more to say this week, it too will be looking for a response.

It has received a lot of pre-orders for the Ampera, has been experimenting with other concepts besides, and this is part of its attempt to probe which of its ideas have a marketable future.

Obviously drivers of all ages could be attracted to this vehicle, and while Opel says it had 16 year olds in mind, if it decides to produce it, kids from 16 to 116 could conceivably sign up.


Note motorcycle tires. Does this thing lean at all when cornering, or does it use the smaller contact patch rubber Os to reduce rolling resistance?

What do you think? Will it make it beyond concept stage? After all it has a lot of the right ingredients – it’s inexpensive, frugal to operate, has novel looks, and is environmentally friendly.

If you are a parent, would you buy this for your child as a first vehicle?

In characteristic PR style, Opel is throwing a fair degree of self-aggrandizing accolades at it, suggesting this “new chapter” has now been opened, but has it?

Really, the way the game works is Opel wants to see what people will embrace. So how about it? Is a great idea? If so, why?

Opel Media

This entry was posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 31


  1. 1
    Raymondjram

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (6:37 am)

    It looks very sleek, but it has no “rear end” protection, so this concept needs to be brought into the real world before it can pass the safety requirements of Europe and America.

    Raymond


  2. 2
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (6:49 am)

    Those rear wheels and axle seem to form a formidable barrier to anyone who rear ends this vehicle. Maybe that’s why they used motorcycle tires, with their large diameter.


  3. 3
    joe

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (7:48 am)

    No way would I would buy one of those thing. I can not find one thing I like about it.


  4. 4
    Tim Hart

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (8:24 am)

    I’ll stick with the Volt!


  5. 5
    James

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (8:28 am)

    meh.


  6. 6
    Loboc

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (8:53 am)

    My kid’s first ‘car’ was an F150. This thing is a hospital bill in progress.


  7. 7
    Tall Pete

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (9:07 am)

    At one point, we will have to consider other means of transportation if we are to seriously make a dent on our oil consumption. Also we, north americans, are not getting any richer these days and we must consider lower priced vehicules to suit our needs.

    I would consider it as a second car for short distances, since it’s a two seater. Better than an NEV. Cheaper than a Volt. No gas to buy. Many upsides in my opinion.

    If it’s inexpensive enough (read : cheaper than a Smart car), it might be a success.


  8. 8
    kdawg

     

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (9:23 am)

    “Opel is notably silent about its safety potential, but with low mass, limited crumple zones, and ability to mix it up with bigger, heavier, faster vehicles, it better have airbags galore, and every other safety enhancing trick possible.”
    ————-

    What are the laws regarding safety in a vehicle like this? People can drive trikes w/out a helmet, so why does this thing legally need air-bags?


  9. 9
    kdawg

     

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (9:26 am)

    I’ll know my interest level when they release the range at 75mph. I say this because from shopping for electric motorcycles, that seems to be the deal-breaker for me. (due to my commute distance and lack of plug at work).


  10. 10
    George S. Bower

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (10:00 am)

    This is the direction GM needs to go!!
    A sporty little electric.
    It would be a winner.


  11. 11
    JDan

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (10:16 am)

    If you would buy your kids a motorcyle, then you would probably buy this for them. It may be slightly less dangerous. My son’s first vehicle is a 2000 GMC Yukon with 4WD! He goes to college in the UP of Michigan. Actually I bet you’d see these in the retirement villages in Florida. Retirees need to strrrretch their dollars. :D


  12. 12
    T 1

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (10:29 am)

    Would take but an instant for aftermkt suppliers to offer a cargo hold behind the passenger compartment.


  13. 13
    Steve

     

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (10:29 am)

    I don’t have much use for something like this.


  14. 14
    Jim I

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (11:13 am)

    Can you imagine this thing in the winter?? That rear end would be one giant ice ball!!!!!

    And how would you get to make out with your girlfriend in that thing???

    These are important considerations……………..

    ;)


  15. 15
    Tall Pete

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (11:28 am)

    Jim I: And how would you get to make out with your girlfriend in that thing???

    When you’re young, you have plenty of imagination and find a way :-) )


  16. 16
    N Riley

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (11:55 am)

    I, for one, don’t see much of a future for this car. Especially in the U.S.


  17. 17
    N Riley

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (11:58 am)

    Anyone following relatively close behind this “car” in wet weather would receive road sludge slung from the rear wheels since there is no protective cover over the back side of the tires. Just not something I expect to see on the highway anytime soon – or really never!


  18. 18
    pjkPA

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (12:03 pm)

    This is what you get when safety, comfort or ride quality is not on the design criteria list.
    Might make a fun amusement park ride though … as long as you don’t go over 28mph.


  19. 19
    kdawg

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (12:04 pm)

    This thing reminds me of the Carver One
    (bankrupt in 2009)

    http://mikecraggs.hubpages.com/hub/Carver-One-Car-Or-Motorcycle

    2981565_f520.jpg


  20. 20
    kdawg

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (12:06 pm)

    There’s also the Nissan Land Glider (it also leans)

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-10370381-48.html

    13-nissan-land-glider-press_610x406.jpg


  21. 21
    Schmeltz

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (12:26 pm)

    I’ve often thought about a car such as the One Euro fitting the bill for a lot of people. It is really the “personal car” concept where you have a 1 or 2 seat EV designed on a encapsulated motorcycle platform. I think there will be a market for this, just not anytime soon. This could succeed in a time say 10 or 15 years in the future when EV’s are more mainstream. People would need to be accustomed to plugging a car in and charging infrastructure would need to be commonplace or at least underway. I think it’s a good and thought provoking idea, but it needs more time to simmer.


  22. 22
    kdawg

     

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (12:47 pm)

    Schmeltz,

    I agree. I think it will remain “niche” (LOL), for some time.


  23. 23
    Rashiid Amul

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (12:56 pm)

    I think it looks cool, but there really isn’t any accounting for taste.


  24. 24
    Mark Z

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (1:05 pm)

    Who’s gonna pay for my pitted and cracked windshield when the rocks fly? I agree with Riley, stay far away from this design.


  25. 25
    kdawg

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    Mark Z: Who’s gonna pay for my pitted and cracked windshield when the rocks fly? I agree with Riley, stay far away from this design.

    It looks the same to me as most motorcycle tires. I’ve never had a problem following a motorcycle. Usually its big trucks, or semi-trucks throwing stuff at me.


  26. 26
    Jim I

     

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (3:25 pm)

    kdawg:
    “Opel is notably silent about its safety potential, but with low mass, limited crumple zones, and ability to mix it up with bigger, heavier, faster vehicles, it better have airbags galore, and every other safety enhancing trick possible.”
    ————-

    What are the laws regarding safety in a vehicle like this?People can drive trikes w/out a helmet, so why does this thing legally need air-bags?

    =============================

    I always thought that if it has four wheels, the occupants are enclosed, and it can go over 25 MPH that it is considered a car. Therefore it must comply with all US safety regulations.

    That is why Aptera and Myers Motors three wheel electrics are exempt. They get registered as motorcycles.

    But I found this on the NHTSA website. Is is not so clear (As Expected). Look at page 6.

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/maninfo/newManf.pdf


  27. 27
    jim1961

     

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (5:34 pm)

    No, I would not buy this car for my 16 year old. I would buy it for me. It has the three things that are most important to me. Low initial cost, low operating cost and low CO2 emissions.


  28. 28
    Gsned57

     

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (7:39 pm)

    I’d buy this for my 7 mile all highway commute. This thing should be able to do 14 miles roundtrip at 70MPH. It would need to be around 10K for me to be interested. This for my commute and a Volttech minivan for the wife/family trips and I’m good to go. First though GM you need to start making minivans again.


  29. 29
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Sep 12th, 2011 (7:53 pm)

    Fleets of Euro Ones might be cheaper than school buses for over 16 year old students. Plus no bus drivers or diesel fuel bills to pay. Two students for each Euro One.


  30. 30
    jeff j

     

    jeff j
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    Sep 13th, 2011 (11:20 am)

    When I turned 16 lived in Kaiserslautern Germany and the first thing I did was go buy a 50cc mopad to cruise around with friends. The Euro look’s a hell of a lot saver and dryer and warmer then the motor scooter I used everyday rain,snow or shine . So yes I would have LOVED the EURO and so would millions of kids I cruised with.


  31. 31
    Jim in PA

     

    Jim in PA
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    Sep 13th, 2011 (3:36 pm)

    Well this is easy. Replace the two rear wheels with one, and you’ve got a street legal 3-wheeled “motorcycle” ready for US highways with no need for bumpers, crumple zones, etc. And being enclosed, this thing is a heck of a lot safer than any normal motorcycle. Go ahead, GM, sell this through Harley/Buell dealerships and see what happens.