By Mike Torpey on 2010-06-16 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Ampera revs up for
landmark road trip
A VAUXHALL Ampera E-REV aims to set a landmark in British automotive history next Tuesday (June 22) when it embarks on the longest single journey by an electric car in this country.
The 170-mile trip, between the company's plants at Luton and Ellesmere Port, is aimed at marking the start of Ampera's assault on the UK car market ahead of its launch early next year.
The prototype E-REV, which stands for Extended Range Electric Vehicle, will be driven by a selection of Vauxhall drivers.
Vauxhall chief Duncan Aldred, who will drive the first leg, said: "It's quite poignant that Luton, our home for the last 105 years, should mark the starting point of not just this historic journey, but also the future of E-REV vehicles in the UK.
"In the last century, Vauxhall has pioneered innovation and technology for mainstream car buyers, and this commitment will continue with the Ampera. We're truly energising the future for British motorists."
With a range of 350 miles, the Ampera will be using under half its available power as it travels north up the M1 and M6 motorways.
Electricity drives the Ampera's wheels at all times and speeds, and for the first 40 miles of the trip power will be supplied by electricity stored in a lithium-ion battery, meaning the Ampera will emit zero emissions.
When the battery's energy is depleted, a small petrol engine generator provides electricity to power the electric drive unit, boosting range by a further 310 miles.
Once at Ellesmere Port, the Ampera, which is built on the new Astra platform, will complete its journey at the end of the new Astra's production line
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