The Opel Rocks-e is a tiny urban EV that can be driven from as young as 15 if you are based in Germany.
Based on the Citroen Ami 2-seater, which is designated as a quadricycle thanks to its size/weight and low top speed, the Rocks-e pretty much looks identical and naturally enough, shares its mechanical parts with the Citroen Ami. As a quadricycle, a full driving licence is not required. If it was to ever become available in the UK, then you should be able to drive one from the age of 16 without a full driving licence.
The Rocks-e uses a solitary 5.5kWh 8bhp electric motor at the front axle which will give the little microcar a modest top speed of 28mph (govt stats tell us that inner-city average speeds are as low as 11.4mph it’s worth noting) and a range of around 47 miles on a full charge. Size-wise it’s as small as it looks, being just 2.41 metres long and weighing in at 471kg. While the Ami and the Rocks-e look pretty much identical, the 2-seater Rocks-e claims slightly better aerodynamics than the Citroen Ami thanks to some very subtle design tweaks. These include the fitting of more aerodynamic ‘cross’ wheels and subtly altered front bumper. Though you really must look hard to notice much difference to be honest.
The Opel Rocks-e looks basically the same whether viewed from the front or the rear, and this ubiquitous use of parts should allow the vehicle manufacturing costs to be kept low. Driving the little automobile couldn’t be simpler; choose one of 3 options – park, drive or neutral and you’re off. In fact, I reckon the most technophobic of humans would not be too startled by the interior of the Opel Rocks-e. Three simple buttons allow the driver to choose to operate either the hazard lights, the heated rear windscreen (if you’re not flexible enough to turn round and reach it when stationary), or heating. A phone holder and cup holder complete the picture. As for seating, don’t expect too much on the side of sophistication or support – or width.
The driver door is of the suicide type, while the passenger door opens traditionally with the charging port being rather clumsily hidden within the door jamb. Though with space this compromised, the luxury of choice is naturally limited. With that in mind, it’s worth pointing out that there isn’t much luggage space (no surprise) – a small area behind the driver seat or in the footwell to the left of your passenger’s legs will have to suffice.
In France, the Citroen Ami has already proved to be a bit of a much-loved head turner, designed purely to traverse the cramped roads of a city or town. While owning a Citroen Ami outright will cost you a mere 6,000 euros, you can lease one from as little as 19 euros a month, and this is likely to be the template for the Opel Rocks-e in Germany.
Opel Automobile GmbH is a German automobile manufacturer that produces vehicles for more than 60 countries worldwide. If the name is less familiar in the UK, then that is because in essence, Opel produces vehicles for the UK under its sister-brand name of Vauxhall. While Vauxhall is remaining coy about the possibility of a version of the Opel Rocks-e for the UK, the mini city car will get its German launch sometime in the autumn and will then likely spread to other countries throughout Europe in 2022.
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Image Credit: autoexpress.co.uk
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