GM reveals eight-year warranty for E-REVs

General Motors, owners of both brands, has confirmed the Chevrolet Volt come with an eight year or 100,000 mile warranty on the battery in the US, sparking rumours a similar warranty will be offered with the Vauxhall Ampera.

The Vauxhall Ampera will be sold in Europe in 2011 and right-hand drive versions will arrive in the UK in 2012. Unlike conventional electric cars, the Ampera boasts a small petrol engine to power the electric motor when the all-electric power runs out.

Vauxhall has labelled the Ampera as the ‘world’s first extended range electric vehicle (E-REV)’ but there have been concerns about the high costs of a replacement battery, essentially rendering the car worthless once the battery needs replacing.

General Motors believes an eight year warranty – three more than the usual warranty offered by the manufacturer for its cars – will alleviate fears over the expensive technology.

The warranty will cover 161 engine components including the battery pack and charger. So far the cost of a replacement battery has not been revealed.

The battery can be warmed and cooled with no damage to the range of the vehicle and has been tested over four million miles by General Motors.

The Ampera will be capable of travelling 40 miles on purely electric power before a small 1.4-litre engine switches on to power a generator, which in turn provides electric power to the front wheels.

The T-shaped battery is expected to shrink in future versions to allow for a fifth seat to be fitted in the Vauxhall Ampera.

General Motors hasn’t confirmed if a similar warranty will be used for the Vauxhall Ampera, but it is expected to be a similar length when it goes on sale in Europe.

The Chevrolet Volt is currently made in the US, but the UK is one of the favourites to be chosen as the home of the Vauxhall Ampera.