Vauxhall Ampera is named Best Green Car in the UK

Judges at the What Car? magazine awards decided the Vauxhall Ampera was the best green car in the UK after it also topped the alternative-fuel car award.

The Ampera uses a new take on the hybrid system to power the car and reduce the amount of fuel needed.

Like a plug-in hybrid car, the Vauxhall Ampera can be powered solely via an electric motor drawing power from a battery pack.

The full electric range is 40 miles an hour, after which a small petrol engine kicks in to recharge the battery while the car is driving and extend the range to 350 miles.

This means the car can either be recharged or filled up with petrol to give more flexibility and range than an electric car.

It also delivers low CO2 emissions than most four-door hybrid cars at just 40g/km. Fuel economy is expected to be even more impressive with an unofficial figure of 175mpg predicted by Vauxhall.

“The Ampera takes Vauxhall into a new era,” said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s Managing Director. “It can genuinely be considered a car that can perform a full range of family duties, with its four-seats and five-door body. Yet its 100mph performance and brisk acceleration mean that it can hold its own in the cut and thrust of everyday motoring, unlike many EVs currently on sale.”

Vauxhall Ampera prices are set at £28,995 after the government’s £5,000 plug-in car grant is taking it into account.

Only one trim level will be offered with the Ampera, but the price reflects the high levels of equipment and upmarket material (such as leather seat upholstery) used in the eco-friendly hatchback.

The first Vauxhall Ampera models will arrive in the UK in spring 2012 and Vauxhall expects to sell around 3,000 a year.