Currently reading: Vauxhall’s budget Ampera
Vauxhall will launch an entry-level version of the new Vauxhall Ampera range-extender electric car

Vauxhall will launch an entry-level version of the new Vauxhall Ampera range-extender electric car this summer, which will cost £29,995. The price includes the £5000 Government’s ‘Plug-In’ grant, which has been extended to 2015.

The as-yet unnamed entry-level model will join the Ampera Positiv and Electron models, which go on sale in on 1 May.

The Positiv, which will cost £32,250 including the grant, gets leather trim, climate control, keyless entry, a seven-inch touch-screen, heated seats, parking camera and DAB. The range-topping Electron version costs £33,995 and adds a seven-inch navigation touch-screen, a 30GB hard drive, DVD player and low-energy Bose sound system on top of the Positiv specification.

The car’s 16kWh battery pack has an eight years and 100,000 mile transferrable warranty. To extend its life, the battery is never charged beyond 85 per cent of its capacity or de-charged below 22 per cent of its capacity. It is expected to still be 70 per cent efficient after eight year’s usage.

Vauxhall is also offering a ‘British Gas Home Charging Solution’ package which, for £799, will see Ampera owners get a home electric inspection and installation of a dedicated charging point. The wall-mounted charger allows the Ampera to draw 16 amps of charge, which will re-fresh the car’s battery in just four hours, instead of the usual six hours taken when using an ordinary wall socket.

The company expects to sell 2500-3000 Amperas in 2012 and around 5000 in 2013. A total of 24 Vauxhall dealers have been appointed to handle sales of the car as well as a number of accredited ‘High Voltage’ technicians. Ampera buyers who are not close to one of the specialist dealers will get a pick and collection service and a courtesy car.

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toptidy 27 March 2012

Re: Vauxhall’s budget Ampera

Well if the target market turns out to be Italian taxi drivers, maybe Firenze(a) would be more suitable.

Alternatively get it placed in a detective series set in Bermuda or have a tie-up with a certain ice cream maunfuacturer and call it a Magnum.

But really why does the EV have to be a seperate model? We have petrol Insignias, Astras, etc. as well as diesel ones, couldn't this just be an electric one?

In the same way we have the Pious but why wasn't it always just a hybrid Auris?

In Oz they have a hybrid Camry, they did not have to invent another ugly model with a stupid name and it at least looks much better for that.

disco.stu 27 March 2012

Re: Vauxhall’s budget Ampera

Maxycat wrote:
On what do they base their projected sales figures on of 5,000 for the UK of Ampera models in 2013 when they could only manage to sell 8,000 Volt's throughout the far larger US market in 2011?

I'd base it on petrol prices and average distance travelled between recharging opportunities. US figures are unlikely to be a good guide to the potential success of this vehicle in the UK.

I think Vauxhall are doing a reasonable job within the major parameter they can't control (the car's inevitably high purchase price). Collection and delivery for service might be normal for premium brands, but not something you normally get from a volume dealership. And the deal with British Gas is good for both parties as well as offering reduced price home infrastructure to the customer. Smart.

If you are city dweller who is not a car enthusiast and doesn't do a lot of mileage, and are buying this car for what it represents rather than just hard-headed economics, then you will probably be quite pleased with what Vauxhall is offering. They are not looking for massive sales, it's one step at a time and it will be a hard sell for most people. But for some it will be ideal.

mrcliodCi 26 March 2012

Re: Vauxhall’s budget Ampera

Give it a new name like Viva, Victor or Ventora.