The Opel Mokka-e features a 100 kW (136 horsepower) electric motor (combined with a 50-kWh battery) that allows it to reach a peak speed of 150 km/h and a 0-100 km/h under nine seconds.
Life with an electric automobile may be either terrible or wonderful in many ways. It seldom breaks the ground on any midway basis. Such was my recent experience with the Opel Mokka-e, which I had for a week of testing. My first encounter with the Mokka-e was catastrophic, but the rest of my time with it was blissful – or almost so, with a few quibbles.
Following its introduction in Ireland earlier this year, the Opel Mokka-e is, of course, one of the most significant cars Opel will manufacture this year and into the future, alongside the new Corsa.
Opel is currently part of the Stellantis company, which was formed by merging the Fiat Chrysler Group and the PSA organization, which formerly owned Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel.
The Opel Mokka electric car, which is primarily based on French technology (which is somewhat odd for a former German automotive behemoth), is now priced to sell in huge quantities. It has a modern, slightly edgy design, a variety of outré paint colors, a healthy dose of electronics, and cutting-edge electric technology (for however long that remains to be the case).
The future of Opel seems extremely bright with this car – and the Corsa – but although most of my time with the garish (it came with a color scheme dubbed Mamba Green), Mokka was virtually heavenly, my introduction to it wasn't perfect.
The Opel Mokka electric car arrived with just 125km of range, which was completely unavoidable. That seemed reasonable enough to me to make the 121.9-mile journey from Cork city to my West Cork retreat. But, no, it does not.
Despite my best attempts – and I'll confess, I'm still learning the many driving methods necessary for an electric - by the time I arrived in Dunmanway, fear had set in.
Despite having switched off everything – radio, air conditioning, etc. – used all the recharging system had to offer and even freewheeled when the terrain permitted it, only 50 klicks were remaining.
That was not going to do the business, and I would need a charge to get me home. So, of course, we now run into a problem facing all electricians – finding a public charger, most importantly, one which was not already occupied by a) a Nissan Leaf owner, or b), was actually in working order.
I didn't know there was a charge point in Dunmanway, but there is in the car park in Tan Yard Lane. Unfortunately, unlucky for me, it started raining stair rods as I pulled up and I got saturated simply trying to get things up and running.
I dared to step forth an hour and a half later, still steaming softly and with just 50 more klicks added to my range. Finally, I got to the west with 30 kilometers remaining in the tank. All of this was a touch disheartening, and when I put the Mokka into my home charger, I had little affection for the Opel.
I had not enjoyed the drive west in any way since I was so focused on merely finishing the adventure. I didn't have the mental ability to consider handling prowess, grip levels, or even ride comfort.
The week in West Cork allowed me to appreciate the aspects of the Mokka that I had to overlook on the way there, and I was finding the car to be very pleasant to drive, with reasonable handling characteristics, outstanding grip levels, and ride comfort on par with anything in the SUV class.
I was confidently equipped with a full range of 310 km (Opel claims a complete range of 324 km, but this car stayed firmly at 310 and would not go any higher) and received a caning on the way to Cork.
But it is conceivable to wring the Mokka's neck a little, and it will hold its well when put to the test. That being said, it is not an old-school electric in which you experienced light switch acceleration.
Power is supplied smoothly and linearly. If you can adjust your driving style to match that smoothness, you'll be well on your way to maximizing what energy is available to you and getting the most mileage out of the automobile. Unfortunately, I was under time constraints to return the car, so maximizing was not a top concern. In any case, I wasn't in the mood to stay around after the terrifying drive west. So it was door-handle-only back to Cork. From one extreme to the other.
On the other hand, the opposite extreme did not really cast a bright light on the automobile. By Drimoleague, about 100 kilometers of the 310 kilometers in the tank had been used. By Crookstown, there were just 130 kilometers remained.
And when I eventually arrived in Cork to meet up with the people driving it back to Dublin, there were just 98 kilometers left on the clock. As the manufacturer promised, that did not imply a vehicle capable of completing the Dublin-Cork route in a single trip. The guys driving it back to Dublin were anticipating a more extended break at a fast charger somewhere along the way (Fermoy, most likely).
My Mokka experience was both terrible and wonderful, but I believe that as it evolves over the next several years, it will provide less of the former and more of the latter.
It will be fascinating to see if the Peugeot e-2008, which we will be evaluating soon, has the same qualities. Interestingly, neither the Corsa-e nor the Peugeot e-208, which share the same mechanicals, possessed the Mokka's apparent thirst. We'll see what happens. @via Opel.