If you say Opel, you mean Kadett and its successor Astra. The models were the best-selling cars in the Netherlands for decades and the cork on which the brand floated in our country. A lot has changed since then, not least due to the rise of electric models. The fact that there is now also an electric version of the Astra shows that electric driving is gradually becoming the norm.
Many brands come up with a separate label for their electric models, such as ID for Volkswagen or IONIQ for Hyundai. Many electric cars are therefore completely new models, underlining that this is new technology.
Yet there is visible change, with brands ‘simply’ introducing electric versions of well-known models or using an established model name. Think of the electric Peugeot 208 or Renault’s Mégane, which is now also electric. The message is that electric cars are just as normal as fuel cars.
This development also started at Opel. For example, the brand already has electric versions of the Corsa, Mokka and Zafira in its range. Here comes the one presented last week Electric abstract now at.
This course of action is quite logical, because Opel only wants to sell fully electric models in 2028. With this, the brand is preparing for the fact that all new cars sold in the EU must be emission-free from 2035.
Electricity’s share of total sales is on the rise
Of course, the share of all-electric cars in total sales doesn’t (yet) show that these models are now the norm. In October, electric cars had a 22% share.
In November the sale toppers BMW, Porsche SKODA, Subaru and Volvo, on the other hand, are all fully electric. At Mercedes-Benz, the electric EQ versions of the GLA, GLB, GLC, E, S and V-Classes were also invariably more popular than the fuel-powered versions. Total sales were also supported by electric models from Audi, Dacia, Fiat, Kia, Hyundai, Peugeot and Renault.
In the first ten months of this year, the share of all-electric cars in the Netherlands was 20.9%. If plug-in hybrid models are added, the share of plug-in cars is 32.7%.
‘Astra as cornerstone of the Dutch car company’
The fact that the Astra now also gets an all-electric version in addition to the fuel versions and a plug-in hybrid version is perhaps one of the clearest examples of this change. It is a traditional sedan in the so-called C-segment, the pond in which most buyers have long been fishing.
“Just like models like the Golf, the Opel Astra has been the cornerstone of the Dutch automotive company for many years,” says Lars Krijgsman of the magazine AutoWeek. According to him, it is not inconceivable that the Astra, if valued competitively, could be successful again.
“The combination of an electric car with a more affordable price and a model name like Astra that is closed to the core of Dutch cars undoubtedly ensures further integration of the electric car in our country,” says Krijgsman, who does not expect miracles from feeling and nostalgia. “Opel will have to offer a nice all-round package and good prices to make the Netherlands an Astra country again.”
Hole in the market
Volkswagen has meanwhile hinted that the next generation of the Golf could also be fully electric, while Peugeot will already launch an electric version of the 308 in 2023. As crazy as it sounds, these cars, together with the Opel Astra, fill a gap in the market.
“I see a clear need for smaller models as the market expands, also because manufacturers are now often focusing on higher segments with more expensive models due to supply chain issues. There is more leeway on that “says Rico Luman, senior transport, logistics and automotive economist at ING.
According to Luman, more models with a “normal” price point are needed for the flow of the market. “These are often ordinary company leased cars. But they can be interesting for private individuals, whether or not in combination with a private lease. Business drivers are the main buyers of new cars and are also the ones driving electrification the most. private electric fleet is lagging behind and cars on average are getting older. There is still a lot of market potential here.”
More than 400 kilometers of autonomy
Finally, about the same Opel Astra Electric. The car shares its technology with the Peugeot e-308. This means that there is a 54 kWh battery pack in the ground, of which 51 kWh is usable. This brings the Astra to 416 kilometers according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Fast charging is possible up to 100 kW, so that the car is filled up to 80 percent again in around thirty minutes. The electric motor delivers 156 hp and the electric Astra reaches a top speed of up to 170 kilometers per hour. You can order from spring 2023.
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