February 11, 2016 / 8:49 AM / in 2 years

GM's Opel to build next generation electric car in 2017

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks during a keynote address at the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2016.Steve Marcus

BOCHUM, Germany (Reuters) - General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra on Thursday said the company's European division Opel would build an affordable five-seater electric car, the Ampera-e, in 2017.

The car shares the same underpinnings as GM's other electric car, the Chevrolet Bolt.

"Like its twin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Ampera-e promises to transform the electric vehicle market in Europe as the first EV that combines long range at an affordable price," Barra told an industry conference.

Barra said the Ampera-e would offer a greater electric range than the vast majority of electric vehicles currently available in Europe, and offer room for five passengers and trunk space comparable to that of a compact car.

General Motors said it would announce further details about Ampera-e’s range and price at a later date. Production is set to start in 2017.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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