The Opel Astra will be made available without a combustion engine for the first time in its 32-year history as part of Stellantis’ onslaught on electric vehicles in Europe. The electric compact car, which shares mechanical similarities with the Peugeot E-308 unveiled in September, will also be available in hatchback and waggon body styles. The EVs resemble their gasoline and diesel counterparts almost identically because they are built on a platform designed for ICE-powered vehicles.
Although Porsche would beg to differ because the Taycan Cross/Sport Turismo models are also long-roof EVs, the folks from Rüsselsheim claim that the Astra Sports Tourer Electric is the first zero-emission waggon from a German manufacturer. The silent Astra has a single electric motor and only front-wheel drive, similar to the Peugeot E-308. It produces the same 156 horsepower (115 kilowatts), but the torque is surprisingly higher at 270 Nm, up 10 Newton-meters (7 pound-feet).
The electric Astra has a range of 416 kilometres (258 miles) on a full charge, compared to the E-308’s rating of 400 kilometres (248.5 miles) using the same WLTP cycle. This is another difference in Opel’s favor. The 54-kWh battery pack, which has a 51-kWh usable capacity, is shared by the two models. When charging from a 100 kW DC station, it takes the battery about 30 minutes to reach 80% of its capacity.
Opel points out that while “many other electric cars” have a top speed capped at either 150 km/h (93 mph) or 160 km/h (99 mph), its Astra EV duo maxes out at 170 km/h (106 mph). In terms of practicality, the wagon can swallow 516 liters behind the rear seats and 1,553 liters once you fold them. As expected, the volume is considerably down compared to the ICE-powered (608 liters and 1,634 liters, respectively).
The all-electric Astra, which goes on sale in the spring of 2019, is a complement to the top-of-the-line GSe version, a plug-in hybrid vehicle with 225 horsepower (165 kW) and 360 Nm (265 lb-ft). Both body types are available for the Grand Sport Electric, and equivalent models of the Peugeot 308 can be equipped with a PHEV system as well.
Stellantis is essentially heralding the beginning of the end for its ICEs in Europe where all of its numerous brands will only sell electric cars by 2030 due to the abundance of new EVs on the horizon.