Vauxhall Ampera gets set for police duty

Vauxhall has kitted out the new Ampera for use by the police and says it could be ready to go into service as early as 2015.

Vauxhall designed the police car, based on the all-new extended-range electric Ampera, to show at a police conference this week, but promises the car would be ready for duty if called upon.

Featuring the traditional police livery and the flashing ‘blues and twos’ on the roof, the car also comes with four cameras outside the car designed to automatically recognise number plates and even faces.

Technology inside the car can compare them to the police national database while a screen on the passenger side of the car allows easy access to more information.

Police across the UK use Vauxhall cars in their fleets, including the new Vauxhall Corsa, the British-built Vauxhall Astra and the Vauxhall Insignia.

However, the Vauxhall Ampera would be the first ever Vauxhall police car to use electric power. The unique power setup uses a battery to drive an electric motor.

This can be recharged through a charging socket and allows the car to travel up to 40 miles on purely electric charge.

If criminals think they can outrun the car however, they will be disappointed. When the charge runs low, a petrol engine kicks in, recharging the battery on the move and extending the range to 310 miles.

The new Vauxhall Ampera is set for a 2012 launch in the UK. The first models are available to order now and deliveries will begin in May.

From launch, two trim levels will be available starting from around £32,000. An entry-level, £29,000, model will arrive in UK Vauxhall dealerships later in the year.