By Stewart Smith on 2011-01-18 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
GENERAL Motors is currently planning to build 15,000 extended-range Ampera electric cars for the first 12 months of sales in Europe, due to start in November and the company predicts that most will come to the UK wearing the Vauxhall badge.
Nick Reilly, president of GM Europe, said the company is confident it will sell every Ampera it can make.
"What we don't know is the size of the market and we won't know that for two to three years," said Reilly.
What is known is that when the Ampera does come to Europe it will have an additional "hold" mode that the current Chevrolet Volt doesn't have in the US
It's a feature that allows the driver to hold the charge of the battery by using the range-extending petrol engine until he or she wants to switch to pure EV power - inside the London congestion zone for example.
"It's a feature I wish we could have here," said Tony Posawatz, vehicle line director for Chevrolet Volt in America.
He has been driving a prototype fitted with the ‘hold' button and says he is 'knocked out' by its potential.
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