It’s essentially Opel’s version of the Citroen Ami – a quirky electric two-seater designed to act as an affordable and safer alternative to a scooter but without the costs of a passenger car.
Just 2.41m long and 1.39m wide, it can be driven by 15-year-olds legally in Germany, since it isn’t classed as a ‘car’ there but as a ‘light motor vehicle’. Opel also says that ‘nearly any driver can afford it’ and that the monthly leasing cost will be similar to the cost of a ticket for public transport.
Underpinned by a small electric motor and 5.5kWh battery, the Rocks-e can travel for 46 miles on electricity, claims Opel, with its 28mph top speed limiting it to urban areas – where it’s intended for. With a turning circle of just 7.2 metres (for context, a Vauxhall Corsa’s is 10.4 metres), it’s ideal for ‘mastering tight corners and fitting in small parking spaces’, says Opel.
It can also be charged using a standard three-pin plug in 3.5 hours, although it can be used at public chargers, too.
To distinguish it from the Citroen Ami, the Rocks-e gets Opel’s new ‘Vizor’ front end and LED headlights. It can fit two adults side by side, while the interior is as minimalist as possible to keep costs down – the screen is your smartphone.
Opel says it’ll be available to order in Germany from the autumn, with additional markets to follow in 2022.
Whether or not it will make its way to the UK as a Vauxhall remains uncertain, although given Citroen’s hesitancy over bringing its Ami to these shores even with a rather positive reception, it unfortunately looks unlikely.
August 25, 2021