The Vauxhall Ampera/Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle has won the European ‘Car of the Year’ award.
Judged for the first time on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, the Ampera/Volt emerged as the joint overall winner in a field of seven finalists.
Initially, 35 recently launched vehicles entered the contest. The selection criteria applied by the judges were based on attributes such as design, comfort, performance and especially innovative technologies as well as efficiency.
The Ampera/Volt is the first electric vehicle in the market that can go anywhere anytime. A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, a distance of between 40 and 80 kilometres can be covered in the purely battery-operated mode, completely free of emissions.
The wheels of the car are always powered electrically. In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, the petrol engine drives a generator that supplies the electric drive unit. The range extender enables an operating radius of 500 kilometres.
The Vauxhall Ampera/Chevrolet Volt scored 330 points against the VW Up! (281) and Ford Focus (256) .
UK order books are now open and the first Amperas will arrive in showrooms on 1 May 2012, starting at £29,995 and rising to £33,995 (both inclusive of the £5,000 government plug-in car grant).
The all-electric Nissan LEAF won the 2011 European Car of the Year Award
• Read our Vauxhall Ampera review