In the Rocks-E, Opel lets drivers from the age of 15 take the wheel of all the comforts that you know from a real car. Also to keep the price down. It is less than 8,000 euros.
First home visit to Opel's non-car. non-car. This is extremely important to the people of Rüsselsheim. The smallest vehicle (2.41 meters long) should definitely not come across as a car. But as SUM. What stands for Sustainable Urban Mobility. So a sustainable city car. Sustainable because electric. City car, because it's tiny. Officially, the Rocks-E is actually not a car. But a light motor vehicle that can even be driven in Germany from the age of 15 thanks to the approval in class L6e with the AM driver's license. The Rocks-E still has 4 wheels, headlights, wipers and lots of automotive junk around it. Of course also a front and a rear. At least in theory. In order to keep costs down, Opel relies on a large number of identical parts for the Rocks-E. Front and rear are the same component. You have to get used to that. But if you look at the color of the headlights, you'll quickly find the right side of the non-car. The driver's and passenger's doors are also identical and are therefore hinged in opposite directions. This means that if you want to get in on the driver's side, you have to walk around the door. Not nice. But no drama. Not at all a back burner: the headlights shine with LED technology, and LEDs are also installed in the indicators. bump in parking? Hardly a problem for the Rocks-E. The body parts are made entirely of plastic. The whole car feels a bit like Tupperware. And inside and outside. Can it even go in the dishwasher? Shocked face from the Opel product manager. Of course not. Strictly speaking, the Rocks-E is not even allowed in the car wash. If you want to keep the plastic clean, you have to clean it by hand. And will even find the right cleaning supplies for it on the accessories shelf at Opel. Anyway.
Footwell as storage space
So, open the door. To sit in. Close the door. Nothing rattles. Respect. And in other respects too, at Opel they really went to great lengths to interpret the omission as attractively as possible. The bright yellow details bring a bit of color to the dreary black, the standard glass roof provides plenty of light. So that the driver and front passenger do not get in each other's way in the tightly proportioned interior, the front passenger seat has been pushed back. However, hard plastic is still hard plastic. Because the Rocks-E doesn't have a trunk, a bit of creativity is needed for the luggage. Jackets and other soft stuff fits behind the seats. If you have more to stow away, you will find space in the passenger footwell and even a net to prevent your purchases from flying through the car while you are driving. Where is the passenger then? Better at home.The rest is quickly explained: there is space for your smartphone on the control island next to the steering wheel. Underneath there is a USB port (power for phone or navigation system), the hazard warning light switch, and the controls for ventilation and window defroster. In front of the steering wheel, a simple information display provides information about the speed and charge level of the 5.5 kWh battery. If you want to listen to music, you need a Bluetooth speaker. If ordered from Opel, it fits into the storage compartment in front of the steering wheel. Because the Rocks-E descends from the group brother Citroën AMI One , it also brings its connectivity with it. In other words, the Rocks-E provides its owner with further information via an Opel app.
Airbag and Co. would be too heavy
Of course there is no glove compartment. But there are colored rubber pads that fit on top of the dashboard and offer space for everything that would otherwise disappear in various storage compartments. Are these things at least allowed to go in the dishwasher? No idea. But they feel that way. You also have to rethink the side windows. If you drive into the parking garage with the Rocks-E, you only need half a parking space. But in order to get to the parking card issue, you have to thread your way through the folding window. mirror adjustment? Hand out and bend over. There are no modern safety features that go beyond a seat belt. The L6e regulations limit the weight to 350 kilos. No chance for airbags and co.
Fiddly charging cable
If you want to drive off, you don't have to puzzle for long: D-N-R. Drive, Neutral, Reverse. The selector buttons are to the left of the driver's seat. It couldn't be easier. D extends the mobility horizon by a maximum of 75 kilometers (WLTP). At 45 km/h, the L6e approval puts a stop to it. Theoretically, even more would be possible. But then the approval would have to be changed to L7e. And the 15+ driving benefit would be gone. But let's get to the part that is of particular interest to e-mobility enthusiasts. Of course, DC fast charging would be silly with a 5.5 kWh battery. And they also saved the type 2 connection at Opel. The Rocks-E only charges at the 220V socket and is there again at 100% in 3.5 hours. The required 3 meter long charging cable is always with you and is simply stuffed into a compartment behind the passenger door. Nice idea. But not without pitfalls. The square connector head quickly jams in the storage compartment and then has to be laboriously fumbled out. Dear Opel engineers: We are in favor of a roll-up mechanism like those found in vacuum cleaners! By the way: In order to be able to charge when the door is closed, the cable on the door opener can be routed outside.
Price and start of sales
Opel brings three variants, the Rocks-E, Rocks-E Klub and Rocks-E Tekno. Only the basic model Rocks-E remains below the 8,000 mark at 7,990 euros, the two smarter versions Klub and Tekno are in the price list at 8,790 euros each.Tekno and Klub differ from the basic variant by wheel trims (the basis rolls on black steel rims) and decorative elements in a contrasting color inside and outside. In addition, Tekno and Klub also have a smartphone holder on the center console. The optional accessories are manageable: a Bluetooth hands-free system can be ordered for 109 euros, and the second available extra costs an impressive 330 euros, an adapter for type 2 charging stations on the Rocks-E's Schuko charging plug. This means that you can also refuel at public charging stations.
In addition, Opel wants to offer tailor-made financing, the amount of which has not yet been communicated. Opel literally: "In addition, the financing rate for the City Stromer will be at the monthly level of a ticket for local public transport" - that can mean a wide financial range. There are also various warranty options to choose from, ranging from a two-year warranty (149 euros) to five years /75,000 kilometers for 739 euros. With all the options, a five-year guarantee and the flat-rate delivery charge (330 euros to the dealer, 589 euros to the front door), the Rocks-E buyer for the Tekno and Klub models lands beyond the 10,000-euro mark. Because the Rocks-E is classified as a light vehicle, it is not eligible for the electric car innovation premium. After all: With this classification, no motor vehicle tax is due, the insurance license plate is available including comprehensive insurance for around 100 euros per year and, unlike normal cars, the little one does not have to go to the main inspection regularly.
The small E-Opel can be ordered now, Opel wants to start delivery of the Roks-E Tekno on December 16th. The cheaper basic model and the club should be available from March 31, 2022. Opel is marketing the Rocks-E via an online ordering option, but vehicles will also be available for test drives from brand dealers.
For a non-car, the Rocks-E packs an amazing amount of cars. As a rainproof alternative to mopeds, the small Opel certainly has what it takes to build up a fan base for everything in the big cities. The absence of any comfort definitely has its charms. However, it remains to be seen whether this will actually inspire young automotive talent. The price will probably play the most important role. For the group brother Citroën Ami One almost 7000 euros are due in France.