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back to article Vauxhall prices up Ampera e-car for Blighty

CES 2012 Week Vauxhall has priced up the Ampera, the e-car it'll be putting in showrooms later this year. The Ampera will set punters back £29,995, though that's after knocking off the government's £5000 e-car grant contribution. The car is the European version of the Chevrolet Volt already on sale in States. Vauxhall Ampera …

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I would love to know the estimated cost of replacing the battery and their life expectancy.

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Anonymous Coward

estimated life and cost

The battery is under warranty for 8 years 100,000 mile and will b at 80% or more at this point. (ie 40 mile electric not 50) the petrol range is unaffected, as is usability. the expected life of the vehicle is 16 years where the battery could be as low as 60% ie 30 mile electric max range. as with a 16 year old Petrol car its no longer viable at that point to change the engine, in this case the same applies to the battery. However the scrap value of the vehicle is a lot higher due to the battery recyclablity. (the same chemicals are there at the end of life as when it was new!)

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THIRTY GRAND?!!!! Couple of years back I sold my pristine Lamborghini Countach for £42K. Now I've gone green with a Toyota iQ2 that cost me £10K with an annual fuel bill of £600, thanks to the 60mpg frugality. I'm willing to bet this thing's battery costs more than my iQ2. It makes no financial sense at all. Is it even any greener than the little Toyota? Where are the figures?

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Missing some detail...

Range ? Charge time ? Effective MPG ?

Range of colours ?

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Cashing in

So it's £35k here before subsidy. The US pre-subsidy price is $40k, or £26k. What do we get for the extra £9k, or are GM just cashing in?

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HMRC

Most US prices are quoted exclusive of local sales taxes, and there's import tax to consider too. At least some of that difference will be our 20% VAT (which is included in El Reg's quoted prices).

Course thats not to say there isnt an element of GM cashing in...

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Holmes

Simples

Look it's pretty simple come up with a car that'll carry 4, manage 75 miles at 70mph in all weathers even with the heater / ac on, prove that it'll be cheaper to run over 3-5yr than an equivalent petrol/diesel and people will buy them. I'll buy one to commute in no problem. If it's REALLY cheap to run I'll even buy it if it's as ugly as sin or impractical like the Renault with no doors.

But don't turn up with a far arsed Insignia that'll cost more to run over 5yr than a V6 petrol and expect me to do cartwheels!

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FAIL

Oh dear

The warranty doesn't cover the most important part?

35 grand? What's the point..

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Unhappy

e-car grant

I have no objections to the e-car grant being used to bring the price of cars like the Ampera or Nissan Leaf down to around the price of an equivalent conventional car.

But I object to using tax money to reduce the price from mind-bogglingly ridiculous to unbelievably ridiculous. This is using ordinary tax payers, most of whom couldn't afford the Ampera, to subsidise those who could probably afford the unsubsidised price, anyway.

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This is an interesting comment. I will ponder it and try to find out if it holds water.

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e-car grant

Don't worry about it, it's only 10 grand in the grand scale of things it's not alot of money for the country to loose.

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ERV's are conceptually cool, but..

this one isn't quite there yet. The idea was that you'd have about 130horses of electric car, but the engine would only serve as a power supply to recharge the batteries if you wanted to do a long trip. So wouldn't have to stop and wait 15 hours to recharge.

This is great IMO as it's the best of both worlds.

What I don't get is that they put in a 1.4 4-cylinder petrol engine to use as the battery charger. Seems excessive and adds a lot of weight.

Hopefully it'll do reasonably well though for them to bring out an improved design, would certainly consider one then.

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Anonymous Coward

because if you want to do 70mph (or 80mph) down the motorway for 6 hrs it NEEDS the full 70hp of the 1.4 (running at optimum efficiency) the 1.4 is only a very light engine in comparison to a 2.0 or 3.2 that you might find in a car of this size elsewhere (its a heavy car with both power plants ) and petrol alu blocks are loads lighter than iron diesel engines!

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How fscking heavy _is_ it? My Fiesta, even with four adults and a full boot doesn't need anything like the full power of its little 1.25 engine to maintain 80MPH

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true but if you need a 52Kw generator to keep the batteries topped up there are smaller (diesel) low RPM engines that could deliver this amount of power with a lower ltr/hour consumption.

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Anonymous Coward

are there?

really go look. you'll be surprised. Diesel requires big iron block not a light alu block so they are way heavier and take longer to get upto temp and efficiency, they are also no good under variable load. most mobile gensets are petrol. Only the BIG heavy duty gens are diesel.

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Anonymous Coward

So many questions... but missing what's really happening.

Yes the warranty covers the battery its an 8 year 100000 mile warranty. So what happens when the battery diminishes to 80% of its useful charge after 8 years? well you get 40 miles electric (instead of 50) then the petrol kicks in... Nothing to get all het up about.

So what's really wrong here? The Price.

It was advertised pre launch as £33995 before grant £28995 including grant, (expect £1000 for sat nav) so all in under 30k. Now it's just a shade under 40k all in pre grant and £34995 after grant.. wow its gone up £5k overnight.

So what is happeing? Well Vauxhall decided there customers don't need a £5k persuasion so they'll keep it all for themselves by adding £5k to the price.

Meanwhile the Volt (same car different Grill/Bumper) is still listing all-in at £28995 including the infortainment and sat nav. (http://www.chevrolet.co.uk/cars/volt/#bodycopy-3)

"Chevrolet has welcomed the UK Government's commitment to a £5,000 grant for customers buying plug-in electric cars." Where as Vauxhall believe the grant is for manufacturers...

Vauxhall have denied (https://twitter.com/#!/SP_66/status/156885278429151233) they are cashing in, but so far are yet to offer a price guarantee to prospective customers. If only they knew that Actions speak louder than words. Offer a guarantee that the price will not drop once the grant is abolished (or refund the difference) and we will believe you are not cashing in! until then I've signed up for a volt.

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Anonymous Coward

114mpg = bollocks

The epa figures rely on starting with a full battery and short trips in California temps. Stick it on a motorway for 100miles at 8C blighty and you're looking at 35-40 per gallon, which is 10-15 less than you'll get from the turbo diesel that cost you half the price.

Again, the 50 mile electric range will be barely half that in blighty.

And really, 40 grand (pre my taxes) for an astra?

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Crivens

My 10 year old 177k miles Honda Civic 1.6 still does close to 40mpg. Anyone got any reasons I need to upgrade?

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If you plan to do exclusively highway driving, then this car isn't for you. And that's perfectly fine, nobody's forcing you to buy one.

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Anonymous Coward

yup that figure is Bollocks The ASA agree that 175mpg is acceptable.

Turns out it is based on Real World figures... Real Research proved that "80% of daily journeys are less than 30 miles." who'd have thought it...

http://www.thechargingpoint.com/news/Vauxhall-cleared-after-Ampera-advert-challenge.html

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Anonymous Coward

So, with the heated seats pumping, listening to your music via the amplified BOSE system off your hard drive and been directed by SatNav you may have enough juice to get to the corner shop and back?

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Anonymous Coward

"you may have enough juice to get to the corner shop and back?"

Only if it's downhill (in both directions !)

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Stop

Wonder why

Wonder why they didn't all it the Volt in Europe.

Seems like a reasonably cool name to me.

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Anonymous Coward

but they did...

http://www.chevrolet.co.uk/cars/volt/

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Stop

Surely..

... Apple own the trademark for Volt, there must be an employee (or ex/dead one) with that name?

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Facepalm

Optional Extras....

Interior trim that doesn't fall off if you touch it too hard and a horn that still works when you turn the lights on.

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MrT
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ON the face of it...

... anyone who looks at this seriously has got to be thinking about the Tesla S, which is only a few grand more, but seats 7 without looking like a bus and (allegedly) goes just about as far on one fill-up. The only thing going for the Ampera/Volt is the ICE range extender and subsequent fast refuel on a long journey, but anyone running one in a way where they regularly drain a tiny tank of petrol along with every recharge will find that they are spending more on fuel than a 'Pure Drive' ICE vehicle...

I asked Opel's R&D about the possibility of a version with 5 seats (having read a mistake printed in one of the earlier Vauxhall magazines that claimed it was 4 or 5 seat, a bit like a Citroen C6 with bench or TGV rear seat options for example). They said there would be a larger follow-on to Ampera, but eventually said it would be a 4-seat coupe. Larger, but not more capacity. They apparently didn't have plans at that point for an MPV like the Zafira (another Astra variant) to electrify a typical short-range school run car like Toyota seem to be able to do with the Prius Verso - something to do with the Volt battery being a big 'T' shape, so robbing the second row of a middle seat and third row of any legroom. I don't need 7 seats, but I need more than 4 for the family. I think product planners are asking too many DINKY's living in the City of London or Beverly Hills what they need, since they've come up with a base design that hampers its use in some of the major variants of the Astra platform.

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