General Motors recently gave us a preview of a new plug-in hybrid vehicle based on the Chevrolet Volt that the company plans to sell in Europe under its Opel division. The car is the new Opel Ampera and it is set to make its world debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show. GM has now released a short video of Frank Weber, the vehicle line executive for the Volt and Ampera, explaining the technology behind the cars’ E-Flex plug-in hybrid system.

This previous official teaser image of the Ampera reveals that the Opel vehicle will be very similar to the Volt plug-in hybrid, with the only glaringly obvious differences between the cars being a new grille and bumper design. Like the Volt, the Ampera will be a four-door hatch with five-seater capacity.

Powering the car will be the new ‘Voltec’ plug-in hybrid system that was showcased recently in the Cadillac Converj Concept at this month’s Detroit Auto Show. Voltec is the latest iteration of GM’s E-Flex plug-in hybrid powertrain and features both a compact internal combustion engine and an electric drive system.

For short trips up to 40 miles, the Ampera will run only on lithium-ion battery power charged via a standard European 230-volt outlet. For longer distances, the car will continue to drive on electricity that is generated by the small internal combustion engine. The Ampera will be well-suited to the daily driving schedule of most European customers. For example, approximately 80% of German drivers travel less than 30 miles daily.

More details, including an expected release date, will be revealed closer to the car’s Geneva reveal this March.

Opel Ampera concept technology explained