All-electric Ampera

studied by Vauxhall

Opel Ampera-e, front
Opel Ampera-e, front, action
Opel Ampera-e, side
Opel Ampera-e, rear
Opel Ampera-e, battery pack
Opel Ampera-e, cutaway

A NEW Ampera-e electric car, which will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show later this month, is to be appraised 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, the Ampera-e has a claimed pure electrical range that can exceed 250 miles without recharging.

Even taking into account the real world impact of driving style, road and weather conditions, the Astra-sized car can still achieve a range of over 185 miles under average, every day conditions.

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.

The Ampera-e's standing-start and mid-range acceleration figures are on a par with many a sports car. Zero to 30mph takes just 3.2 seconds, while 50-75mph takes just 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed electronically limited to 93mph for the benefit of overall range.

The Ampera-e also has the ability to re-charge its batteries while being driven. To do so, the driver just eases off the accelerator in the normal ‘Drive' mode.

The Ampera-e recuperates automatically in over-run and wins back energy from the electric motor, which doubles as a generator.

Vauxhall sees the car as a possible zero emission successor to the original Ampera range extender plug-in hybrid launched back in 2010.

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