Today, if you want to travel 300 miles in one sitting while using very little crude oil, you could buy a £29,000 Vauxhall Ampera – or you could choose a BMW 320d, a preferable car in almost every objective and dynamic respect.

But the Ampera represents something that will stand it and its forthcoming peers, of which there will be many, in very good stead. An electric car liberated from the curse of range anxiety. Well done GM.

Steve Cropley Autocar

Steve Cropley

There's an awful lot to like about the Ampera, including the absence of range anxiety

What's also impressive is the attitude it takes to reducing waste. Decelerative energy is recuperated for power. Power from the plug is generally cleaner than that produced on board and, even if you must create it on board, the Ampera is relatively efficient.

Choosing an Ampera over mainstream alternatives is still a leap of faith, but the gap is closing. Until a revolution in battery technology arrives, its abilities give the electric vehicle a use beyond urban, second-car duties.

As an electric car that can work as an only car, the Ampera probably has no peers. True, the highly impressive BMW i3 is, in many ways, a superior piece of engineering, but it lacks the Ampera’s carrying capacity and impressive pump-to-pump range when using the petrol tank as the primary fuel source.

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