Feeds
Vauxhall Ampera

Vauxhall Ampera hybrid e-car

The electric car comes of age?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

E-motion

Once the Ampera is moving, the 30-70mph sprint takes only 9.9s and the 50-70 6.2s. A diesel BMW 3 Series can do better, but they are still not a bad set of numbers. Top speed is electronically limited to 100mph.

Economy is a more tricky thing to quantify with a range extender EV. After all, if you plug it in every night and only drive it for five miles more than the electric-only range each day then you will get hundreds of miles to the gallon.

Vauxhall Ampera

Calculating the dual fuel savings will give you a run for your money

Vauxhall reckons a fully charged battery pack will get you anywhere between 25 and 50 miles down the road. My experience suggests 35 is about the average. Once the battery pack was exhausted and the petrol engine running I got just over 45mpg.

The fuel tank is a relatively small 7.7 gallons but that is good enough to add, in the worse case, another 310 miles to the electric-only range. Of course, the killer feature of the Ampera is that when you get to the end of that 310 miles you only need to find a petrol station and spend five minutes refuelling rather than a 16A 240v socket and three hours.

Vauxhall Ampera

You get a fair amount of roll in the corners

I’ll have to wait until Vauxhall lend me an Ampera for a full week to come up with a substantive set of first-hand figures but, according to the official EU test, the Ampera achieves on average 235.4mpg and emits just 27g/km of CO2. That underlines how hard it is to judge real-world economy for a car like this.

One thing I can tell you from a day behind the wheel is that under most circumstance the petrol engine – when running – is barely audible. That’s a benefit of it working as a generator. Rather than chasing up and down the rev range, it simply spins at a more or less constant rate to the benefit of refinement and economy.

Vauxhall Ampera

The Ampera's nose is more purposeful than the Volt's

If you're running in range extender mode and really put your foot down – for instance, to accelerate hard up a hill from standstill – then the petrol engine does rev higher and becomes more audible, but your foot needs to be buried in the carpet and the hill a steep one.

Thanks to the handy Hold Charge driving mode, you can run the car on juice from the petrol engine even when the battery is full and so keep it topped up until you need it. For instance, when you enter a zero-emission zone at the end of a planned journey.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.