Oh to be sixteen again ... OK, that’s a debatable statement, but it’s at least certain that when you were that age you never had the possibility of owning anything like Opel’s latest green car targeted at entry level drivers.

The German GM division says the all-electric tandem two-seater One Euro Car it intends to showcase this week will be affordable and ideal for drivers age 16 and up.

In a none-too-modest, but limited-for-hard-facts press release, Opel says the veritable space pod on wheels is “making a strong claim for the title of star-attraction at the 64th Frankfurt International Motor Show.”


Opel's One Euro Car concept.

What’s more, this is a concept that has “production potential,” Opel says, and “opens a new chapter in electric mobility and extends Opel’s pioneering role in alternative propulsion systems.”

No doubt we’ll find out more after the beginning of the massive auto extravaganza in Opel’s home country. In the mean time, it has described some aspects of the fantastic-looking car’s real-world practicality.

One of these is the car comes with a built-in nanny.

Just as Internet browsing controls can be limited from more racy surfing, Opel’s cooler-than-an-iPod new EV can be dialed back to a max speed of only 28 mph (45 kph) in an effort to keep young Jürgen or Anja from wadding up this fine looking creation – and making it legal where 18 is the minimum age for a full license.

Of course if someone older buys it with his or her own hard-earned Euros, the capability is there for a bit more robust performance without breaking the bank.

Its maximum (un-governed) speed is 75 mph (120 kph), which makes it “motorway capable,” and its range of 62 miles (100 kilometers) will require $1.41 (one Euro – thus the car's name) worth of electric charge – which ought not take too long to replenish considering European wall sockets deliver 230 volts.


If Luke Skywalker had a first car, it probably looked kind of like this.

It weighs just one-third of a modern small car, Opel says, and its energy requirements are ten times lower.

Opel is notably silent about its safety potential, but with low mass, limited crumple zones, and ability to mix it up with bigger, heavier, faster vehicles, it better have airbags galore, and every other safety enhancing trick possible.

Its size makes it appear much like a modernistic Neighborhood Electric Vehicle capable of venturing outside the neighborhood – after proudly having shed any vestiges of that genre of vehicle’s humble golf cart roots.

Although how far it could go at its max speed remains in question. Perhaps on second thought the little car is better suited to keeping pretty close to home.

At this point more questions surround this potentially image-enhancing runabout than answers.

And while Opel will have more to say this week, it too will be looking for a response.

It has received a lot of pre-orders for the Ampera, has been experimenting with other concepts besides, and this is part of its attempt to probe which of its ideas have a marketable future.

Obviously drivers of all ages could be attracted to this vehicle, and while Opel says it had 16 year olds in mind, if it decides to produce it, kids from 16 to 116 could conceivably sign up.


Note motorcycle tires. Does this thing lean at all when cornering, or does it use the smaller contact patch rubber Os to reduce rolling resistance?

What do you think? Will it make it beyond concept stage? After all it has a lot of the right ingredients – it’s inexpensive, frugal to operate, has novel looks, and is environmentally friendly.

If you are a parent, would you buy this for your child as a first vehicle?

In characteristic PR style, Opel is throwing a fair degree of self-aggrandizing accolades at it, suggesting this “new chapter” has now been opened, but has it?

Really, the way the game works is Opel wants to see what people will embrace. So how about it? Is a great idea? If so, why?

Opel Media