The hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren who orchestrated the world Climate Action Strike when they took to the streets last Friday may well be a force in driving their parents to choose EVs or hybrids.
Save the planet at all costs. Well, that may not be the case in motoring terms. Prices are set to drop as technology progresses
Sales of zero-emission EVs are rising as two of the major hindrances to their popularity – price and range anxiety – are diminishing. No longer does one have to look to the heady prices of premium brands to combine luxury and safety with environmentally friendly low-cost electric propulsion – the future of pollution-free travel is here for not much more than €25,000.
Government plans for 1m EV vehicles on our roads by 2030 may be a pipedream. But they get a boost as the ESB promises more charging points nationally and cars like the Renault Zoe and Opel Corsa-e, in full EV mode, become available for about €25,000. Other manufacturers are rolling out moderately priced models, too. The new Peugeot e-208 will be price competitive and VW’s ID.3 model is promised for under the €30,000 mark next year. These are examples of how the motor industry is taking the challenge head on.
The Corsa-e shares underpinnings with the new Peugeot 208 and boasts a 330km range. When it arrives next April, it will be the first new product produced by Opel since being taken over by the Peugeot-Citroen PSA group. Interestingly there is also a Corsa-e Rallye planned for motor sport enthusiasts.
The new arrival is the first offering in the brand’s race into the hybrid and full EV market place. A plug-in hybrid Grandland X is due to go on sale in February and there will also be electric versions of the Mokka X and the light commercial Vivaro. Opel plans to offer an electrified variant of every model by 2024 with four of those, including the Mokka X and Vivaro, arriving first.
The Corsa-e comes with a 50kw battery that develops 136bhp and is a capable of high-speed charging. It can be fast charged to 80pc in 30 minutes and five hours on a domestic charge point fully loads the battery. There are three drive modes: Normal, Eco and Sport with a claimed 330km range. Switch from Normal to Sport mode and performance increases by 10pc but the range is reduced, depending how heavy you are on the pedal, while Eco mode, suitable for around town driving, will maximise the range.
The Corsa-e offers LED lights, lane assist, traffic sign recognition, blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, rear view camera and parking assist, depending on specification and trim. It will sell for €25,000-€26,000.