The purely electric-driven Vauxhall Ampera will be launched into the UK market in 2012 and customers will receive the full GBP5000 subsidy when the electric car is purchased.
Unlike a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, Ampera’s E-REV system uses its battery to provide electric drive for a range of up to 40 miles. When the battery is depleted, a 1.4 litre petrol engine-driven generator cuts in and generates electricity to drive the electric motor, extending the range by up to 300 miles or until the battery is recharged from a mains-electricity charging point.
Importantly, the petrol engine does not drive the wheels, it only helps generate electricity. With the engine/generator operating in the extended range mode, the vehicle emits only 40gm of CO2 per kilometer. With over 70 per cent of European car journeys being within the vehicle’s battery-only driven range, the majority of drivers will generate zero exhaust emissions and use no petrol, but will have the peace of mind that an extended range is available without having to recharge the battery from a mains supply.