A second generation Vauxhall Ampera will go on sale in 2015, costing significantly less than the current model and featuring a more radical design.
The first generation car is on sale now, with deliveries due to begin next year. It costs £28,995 after the government’s £5000 grant. However, current estimates suggest that its battery pack accounts for around £7000 of that cost, and that improved technology will halve that price by 2015.
Further significant steps in reducing the cost is expected to come from economies of scale as customer demand picks up, and more localised production.
“We have an education job to do on the technology in the Vauxhall Ampera, but that will come in time,” said Opel CEO Nick Reilly.
“We hope that this first car will establish itself as a market leader, and we’ll be able to capitalise on that with a cheaper, more expressively designed second generation model.”
Reilly also revealed that the Ampera's powertrain is scalable to fit other models, prompting speculation that a whole range of Ampera models could be launched.
Insiders say the design of the first-gen Ampera is deliberately conservative as it had to be restyled from the Chevrolet Volt on which it is based in a relatively small amount of time following GM’s bankruptcy.
However, the next version of the car will take styling cues from the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Concept shown at this year’s Geneva motor show, ensuring that it has a more familiar Vauxhall family look and an image that reflects its cutting edge technology.