Opel Rocks-e

Autozine – Auto Test: Opel Rocks-e

The cheapest way of electric driving! In short, that’s what Rocks-e has to offer. Opel does this by working smarter and saving wherever possible. For example, Rocks-e has small external dimensions, “small” equipment and therefore a small battery and small electric motor will suffice.

micro car

Actually, Rocks-e is not a car, but an electric-powered microcar. This can also be seen from the exterior dimensions, because with a length of 2 meters 41 and a width of 1 meter 54, the Rocks-e is smaller than the smallest city car. In addition, Opel cleverly saves on construction. For example, the front and back are the same, only the color of the lights is different. Even the doors are the same, with the funny side effect that the driver’s door opens against the direction of travel. The plastic from which Rocks-e is made has a natural gray/blue color, so spraying with the desired color is not required. However, the necessary sticker packs are available to give Rocks-e its own look.

Inside, the sheet metal and steel construction that provides sturdiness is easily visible. The driver’s seat can be adjusted from the steering wheel. With the seats in the rearmost position, the head and legroom is comparable to a fully equipped car. Improved passenger seat and body parts to store more parts. No hood or tailgate. There’s extra legroom for the co-driver, so there’s also room for luggage. In addition, the door pocket is as long as the door itself, which also provides the necessary storage space. Instead of the “engine compartment”, behind the seat is a hole that provides access to the fuse and filler hole for windshield washer fluid.

Opel Rocks-e
Opel Rocks-e

The side windows open and it’s a lot more economical than the standard scissor construction that makes the window fit into the door. Since the dashboard has no air vents, driving with the windows open is a pleasure. However: in bad weather it is possible to rain. Also impractical: depending on the position of the door mirrors, they can be exposed when opening and closing the side windows.

Equipment

The requirements for micro cars are much less than for cars, which is why savings can be made in many ways. For example, Rocks-e has no airbags, no ABS, no anti-skid regulation, or any active or passive safety devices. Apart from that, the equipment is simple, as the demister for the windshield and the small LCD screen on the steering column are the most luxurious features.

“Rocks-e’s main competitor is the mopeds and miniatures from Opel this is superior to”

A holder for the phone, including a USB connection, is optionally available. This allows the driver’s smartphone to function as a navigation system and/or music source (from the speakerphone, since even a bluetooth speaker is absent). Another option is an interior mirror. And despite the fact that it is small and simple, the added value during a test drive is great.

Opel Rocks-e

With this summary, the Rocks-e looks like a very simple car, but therein lies the trick: it’s not a car! The Rocks-e is an alternative to mopeds and in comparison, Rocks-e with its lockable roof and doors is pure luxury on wheels! And compared to a moped, the cabin offers a lot of security.

Electric driving

The most expensive part of an electric car is the battery. Since the Rocks-e is small and intended for city use only, a small and inexpensive battery (6 kWh) will suffice. It sits under the seat and theoretically offers a range of 80 km (70 km during testing). Charging can be done with a cable that can be unrolled like a vacuum cleaner and can be plugged into a regular wall outlet. Charging from 0 to 100% takes 4 hours according to Opel. With an optional adapter, the Rocks-e can also charge at common charging points, but that’s no faster than in a socket.

Opel Rocks-e

Propulsion comes from an unimpressive 8 hp electric motor. However, in practice, this turns out to be more than adequate. Rocks-e comes smoothly and easily in city traffic. During a test drive in the center of Amsterdam, the power is always felt more than enough, even with two people and some luggage. When the power pedal is released, Rocks-e holds something back to restore energy. However, this effect is small, making it impossible to drive with one pedal (as is the case with many electric cars). Braking keeps Rocks-e nice and vibrant and it gives a feeling of safety in heavy traffic.

Handling

To keep the price low, a simple (read: rock-hard) chassis has been chosen. In addition, vehicles of limited length and width are naturally agile and therefore Rocks-e can bounce on poor road surfaces. Therefore, drivers quickly get used to avoiding potholes and unevenness on the road surface.

That’s not a problem, because Rocks-e occupies only half the width of the track and the turning circle is almost small. And in this case, this micro car is even more practical than a car! For example, a truck blocked a road during a test drive, but Rocks-e was the only one to get through. Thanks to the abundance of glass (including the sunroof!), the views are so great that drivers can confidently drive through the toughest traffic.

Opel Rocks-e

Conclusion

What is Opel Rocks-e? From a legal point of view, it’s not a car, but an electric powered microcar. In colloquial terms, this type of vehicle is also known as a “45 km trolley”. And it offers advantages and disadvantages.

Compared to cars, Rocks-e has the disadvantage that its use is limited in cities and minimal comfort and safety. However, compared to cars, the maneuverability is much better and the price is cheaper.

Rocks-e’s main competitor is the moped and by comparison, this miniature from Opel shinesBoth can be ridden by drivers aged 16 and over, but Rocks-e is cleaner, safer and protects passengers from wind and weather. In addition, based on the reactions of outsiders, Rocks-e is in great demand among micro-cars. In this way, Opel Rocks-e contributes to the shift to electric drive.

plus

  • Useful and maneuverable
  • Very affordable to buy and use
  • Cleaner, more comfortable and safer than mopeds

min

  • Rock-hard chassis
  • The rearview mirror must be reset after opening the side window
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