General Motors’ European division is thinking of adding a switch for the Opel Ampera that would enable the driver to control how the drivetrain performs. The Opel Ampera is the European version of the Chevrolet Volt, which uses an electric motor along with a gasoline engine to supply power to both the battery and electric motor.
In long distance travels on the highway, the driver can manually switch the car into “charge mode” so that the gasoline-powered engine is continuously charged the battery system while providing power to the electric motor at the same time. And when the driver reaches a destination such as a city, the car could be put back into its normal battery-first mode.
The technology is still in speculation based on statements made by GM’s Lars Peter Thiesen, who is managing the operation of the Opel Ampera. There is no word that such a switch would be implemented in the U.S., but it would be a welcome addition.