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Vauxhall Ampera at Paris Show

The latest Vauxhall Ampera development car will be on display at the Paris Motor Show.

Vauxhall says that its Extended-Range Electric Vehicle is on track for 2011 production and launch in early 2012, making it the first extended-range electric vehicle in Europe.

GM has also announced the price for the Volt, the American version of the Ampera. This will be $41,000. Government incentives could reduce this cost by the equivalent of around £5000. Pricing in the UK may be closer to around £30,000, which makes it more expensive than the Nissan LEAF, but it does have the advantage of having a larger range than the LEAF.

Green-Car-Guide sees this technology as being very significant, as it provides all the benefits of an electric car in urban areas, but you can still drive from London to Scotland if required thanks to its on-board petrol engine that acts as generator for the electric motor if the battery runs low on charge.

The Ampera extended-range electric vehicle will be the first emission-free, electrically driven car in the UK suitable for everyday driving. With its unique electric propulsion system providing good acceleration and high levels of refinement, the five-door Ampera seats four passengers, offers a useful boot for their luggage, and features an extended range of around 350 miles – which can obvously be extended again by refuelling with petrol (or charging with electricity).

The Ampera’s wheels are driven by electricity at all times and speeds. For trips up to 40 miles, power is supplied by the electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. While driving on electricity delivered by the battery, the Ampera emits zero CO2.

Vauxhall says that this will be well-suited to the daily driving schedule of most European customers as approximately 80 percent of UK drivers travel less than 40 miles per day.

When the battery’s energy is depleted, a petrol-fuelled engine-generator seamlessly provides electricity to power the electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. This mode of operation extends the total range to approximately 350 miles, until the battery can be recharged (in about three hours at 240v) by plugging the vehicle’s on-board charge system into a standard household outlet. Unlike a conventional battery-electric vehicle, the Ampera eliminates range anxiety. It gives drivers the confidence and peace of mind that a depleted battery will not leave them stranded.

More than 280 lithium-ion cells in the T-shaped battery pack provide ample power. The nearly silent electric drive unit delivers 370Nm of instant torque, the equivalent of 150PS, zero to 60mph acceleration in around nine seconds, and a top speed of 100mph.

The Vauxhall stand at Paris will also have two world premieres, the GTC concept, and the slightly more down-to-earth Astra Sports Tourer.

There will also be the debut of the expanded diesel line-up for the new Meriva compact MPV, along with the new Corsa Start/Stop model.

The Paris Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris takes place from 2-17 October and it claims to be the most visited motor show in the world.

Keywords: Vauxhall Ampera Extended-Range Electric Vehicle, Paris Motor Show