The new Ampera-e electric car will be evaluated in the UK by Vauxhall with the possibility of right-hand-drive models being produced in a future generation.
Due to be sold by Vauxhall’s sister company, Opel, from 2017 with left-hand-drive, the Ampera-e has a class-leading pure electrical range that can exceed 250 miles without recharging. However, even taking into account the real world impact of driving style, road and weather conditions, the car can still achieve a range of over 185 miles under average, every day conditions.
“Vauxhall is committed to having a future EV presence in its range,” said Rory Harvey, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “The technology which underpins the new Ampera-e is of great interest to us, and we will be evaluating left-hand-drive cars from next spring and demonstrating them to clients. The fact that Ampera-e is not an eco-luxury or second car for customers broadens its appeal greatly, but it’s obviously vital that the car we sell in our market is right-hand-drive, and that won’t be available in the current generation.”
The class-leading range of 250 miles of the Ampera-e – which beats the maximum 186-mile NEDC range of its closest competitor, the BMW i3, fitted with its optional, large 33kWh battery – is not the only feature which will be part of Vauxhall’s appraisal. Clever integration of the ten battery modules means that the 4.17 metre-long car can accommodate five people, yet still offers a 381-litre boot. The battery package is located in the underbody and is tailored to the contours of the vehicle, with no space wasted. The battery, developed in cooperation with LG Chem, comprises 288 lithium-ion cells and has a capacity of 60 kWh.