Meanwhile, Chevrolet dealers have more unsold Bolts than they know what to do with.Opel has asked its Norwegian dealers to stop selling the battery-powered Ampera-e, which is essentially a badge-engineered Chevrolet Bolt. There's no issue with the car, and the decision wasn't made in response to a stop-sale order from government officials. The Peugeot-owned brand simply can't keep up with demand."We recommend our dealers not to sign more contracts, but rather put buyers who want one on a waiting list. For those who book a car now, we will talk about delivery no earlier than 2019," an Opel spokesperson told Norwegian website Tek.
The spokesperson explained Opel received roughly 4,000 Ampera-e orders from Norwegian customers since the car went on sale, but it has only delivered about 1,000 cars so far. He added the company took more orders since the number 4,000 was released to the media.
Demand from Norwegian drivers is causing shortages elsewhere in Europe.
"Even in August, all of the cars that were produced went right to Norway. Only a few have been delivered to the other countries that have opened the order book for the Ampera-e, which are Switzerland, Netherlands, and Germany," the spokesperson explained.
In contrast, Chevrolet dealers in the United States have more Bolts than they know what to do with. There are so many unsold vehicles on dealer lots that General Motors extended the planned shutdown at the Michigan factory that builds the EV.
Opel's Norwegian division expects the Ampera-e floodgates will gradually open next year and in 2019. Some dealers have tried importing Bolts from the U.S., but they've found the charging system is fundamentally different and expensive to modify.
Photos by Ronan Glon.