For drivers living in all-weather climates, snow-covered streets and icy roads are just part of daily life. But there are parts of the world where winters are particularly ruthless, like in some parts of Europe. In Estonia, for instance, temperatures fall so low that parts of the Baltic Sea freeze to a point that allows driving for up to 50 days of the year. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Opel used the frozen Baltic Sea to demonstrate the Ampera‘s winter capabilities, so it took a few Opel Amperas and drove them to (literally) the middle of nowhere.
Thanks to the Voltec powertrain’s constant battery temperature control system, even the coldest temperatures known to mankind aren’t a problem for the Ampera — Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle, as the car was driven across ice crossings with an ice cover of roughly 25 cm (almost 10 inches). Coincidentally, the thickness of the ice allows drivers to reach islands without using a ferry. The Ampera’s ability to run in pure electric mode at temperatures lower than negative 10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) is unique to electric vehicles, and when temperatures drop lower, the Ampera’s gasoline-powered range-extender comes into play.
To prepare for the cold weather, the Ampera preheats the battery during charging, thereby preserving the battery’s capacity (since the vehicle doesn’t have to use battery power to heat its battery). And as one would expect from a world-class vehicle, standard auxiliary heating warms the cabin — ensuring passenger comfort while freeing the driver from the often-burdensome task of scraping ice off the car.
And since the Ampera is, for all intents and purposes, a twin to the Chevy Volt, the same cold weather attributes apply to the Bow Tie-badged extended-range electric vehicle.
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