An electric vehicle with a respectable range
Limited range, high price, long charging times: the weak points of electric vehicles (EVs) are well known. However they’re constantly improving, not least in these areas. And you can’t really say it isn’t pleasant to drive an EV. Quite the contrary, most of the time it’s actually very pleasant. That goes for the Opel Corsa-e too.
Since its maximum torque of 260 Nm is available from the word go, there’s no need to select sport mode (100 kW/136 hp) to feel like an ace at the wheel in traffic. The electric Opel is responsive in normal mode (220 Nm, 109 hp) and even in eco mode (180 Nm, 82 hp) it has enough acceleration to keep up. And in sport mode, the front wheels actually spin on wet surfaces.
But acceleration isn’t the only thing that counts when driving; braking is important too, especially for an EV. When you take your foot off the accelerator, an EV doesn’t just coast along, it harvests energy. During energy recuperation, the motor acts as a generator and recharges the battery. The Corsa-e features two levels of recuperation. At the higher level it feels as though someone’s holding on to the back of the car. But the Corsa-e doesn’t stop, it coasts along like a conventional vehicle with automatic gears, at least as long as the brakes aren’t applied.
Both its chic bodywork and the size of its battery (a determining factor for EVs) make this 4.06 meter long city car an attractive proposition. The 50 kW battery gives it a range of up to 330 kilometers (205 miles) (WLTP). In practice, it’s possible in an urban environment with a temperature of around 20° C that’s comfortable for the battery. For motorway driving or with temperatures below freezing it’s more like 250 à 270 kilometers (155 to 168 miles).
According to the manufacturer the battery can be charged to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes at a rapid-charge station. The Corsa-e can take a maximum DC rate of 100 kW at combined charging system (CCS) charging points. All in all then, the Corsa-e makes a convincing impression, since this electric version imposes hardly any restrictions on the driver. The interior is just as functional as in the petrol or diesel versions of the Corsa. Only the under-floor compartment in the boot is no longer available, since that’s where the battery is. The boot volume is thereby reduced by around 40 liters. Instead of from 309 to 1,081 liters, the Corsa-e can stow just 267 to 1,042 liters, which is probably still enough for most purposes.
As regards space and comfort, there’s no change from the internal combustion versions. The Corsa is a bit cramped inside, especially the rear bench seat. And in view of the low-slung bodywork, the watchword when getting in or out is “mind your head!”
It’s good to see that the Corsa-e hasn’t got rid of all its equipment to bring the purchasing price down. The following items are standard: automatic air conditioning, digital dashboard, multimedia system with 7” colour screen and smartphone portal, advanced driver assistance system (cruise control with speed limiter, lane departure warning, frontal collision warning system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection) and traffic sign recognition.
Image source: Opel
Text source: ADAC/ACL