Feeds

back to article Vauxhall Ampera hybrid e-car

Only the most ardent electric-vehicle advocate would argue that the current state of battery technology and absence of recharging infrastructure isn’t an impediment to the widespread adoption of the e-car. On paper, the new Vauxhall Ampera – the European version of the Chevrolet Volt – has the perfect answer to this problem: it …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

FAIL

Not impressed

So the Kia Rio 1.1TD does more than 80mpg for less than half the price of this car and with similar emissions - not withstanding pollution from the battery pack system itself.

In a nutshell, from where I live I cannot do a return journey via battery alone to Cardiff, never mind Bristol and over the life of the vehicle I'll spend more on fuel than with the Kia.

Until we are able to see electric powered cars that can transverse a minimum of 100 miles before charging/ swapping to a conventional engine - what exactly is the point?

12
10

This post has been deleted by its author

Meh

Re: Not impressed

8s?

is that quick now?

Is it possible that people aren't trying to race you?

0
3
Pint

Re: Not impressed

just an FYI and my google fu might be weak.

Rio 1.1 top speed 106mph

Ampera top speed 100mph.

I think id rather take a few year old big smelly diesel thanks :P

1
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not impressed

yeah too busy saving fuel.

yes I know I'm impatient.

and I can't be bothered to justify it here, better things to do.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge

Re: Not impressed

"Until we are able to see electric powered cars that can transverse a minimum of 100 miles before charging/ swapping to a conventional engine"

That would be next month when Tesla will start delivering their model S.

Although you can still complain about it being too expensive.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Not impressed

"Is it possible that people aren't trying to race you?"

Your daily commute includes the Nurburgring?

5
0
Pirate

Re: Not impressed

Can one article on e-cars PLEASE tell me how much it costs to charge this thing?

I have yet to read one article what doesnt conveniently leave this out. Leccy is not Free.

Quoting MPG based on petrol is all well and good, but if you tell me that charging everynight adds £200 to my electricity bill each month, then the whole thing kinda goes up in smoke. (as the batteries most likely will after the first tip you have in the car!! )

9
1

Re: Not impressed

The point is... this car isn't for you. There are alot of people out there who drive < 35 miles each day. They may never have to visit a petrol station again. If it doesn't work for you, that's fine, but you alone are not the market.

9
3
Bronze badge
Boffin

do the math

electricity prices vary by location, but this is not hard to figure out if you know the capacity of the battery bank.

There's a 16kwh battery in this care, meaning you need to put 16 kilowatt hours into it to fill it up. Chargers are fairly efficient, let's say 85%. So, at my local cost of $.09 per kwh...

16 * .09 / .85 = $1.69

Another quick calculation - gas is running about $4.00 per gallon right now. So, that $1.69 would buy me about .4 gallons of gas. My current car gets 52 miles per gallon (I have a long commute and bought a prius, sue me), so I'd get about 21 miles on that amount of gas. The blurb says 35 to 60 miles on a charge, so this is a pretty good deal.

I can only go about a mile and a half in EV mode (and the gas engine kicks in at 25mph), but I do use it in the neighborhood, and being that quiet is really cool. A car that mostly ran electric, but had gas backup like this, is about as good as it gets right now.

6
1
Bronze badge

Re: Not impressed

If you do drive less than 35 miles each day, there's not a lot of point spending an extra £17,000 ish to gain a bit of extra fuel economy.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: do the math

and in English: I pay 6p per kWh over night on economy 7, a full charge (if you drive less you use less) would be about 14kWh = 84 pence, If that would get you 40 miles then it is 2.1Pence per mile.

With Petrol at £1.40 litre you would need to be achieving better than 303mpg(uk) to be better-off on petrol.

With a standard Tariff you could be paying up to 15p per kWh which would give you 5.25pence per mile, and your break even with petrol would be by achieving 121mpg(uk).

For our US cousins our fuel price converts to $8.30 per gallon(US).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not impressed

Extra £17,000 over what?

Seems there are 567 Cars between £35k and £50k.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not impressed

Electric is about less pollution in towns and cities plus less noise pollution. A diesel pumps out toxic soot.

0
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not impressed

Add up all the VAT and tax on petrol/diesel vs electricity. Not to mention you can install solar panels to help with electricity costs.

Not to mention these things output so little CO2 that the VED is low or free. No congestion charge either.

0
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not impressed

"Not to mention you can install solar panels to help with electricity costs."

Which would generate electricty during the day while your car is outside your work place and therefore can't be plugged into the free solar electric.

I'm not anti solar panels, I have a 4kw system myself, just pointing out where you went wrong with the comment.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

The raw materials used to make this car far outweigh any Eco advantage. At this price it will only be cash rich celebs that will buy it in an attempt to prove they care for the environment.

Just like the Prius, it's a car for smug self centred upstarts who like to lecture others on how to save the world. Sadly it still need fossil fuels and nuclear produced energy to charge it.

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not impressed

No doubt your solar panels were subsidised by the tax payer and you had enough ready cash to pay for them.

0
1
FAIL

Re: Not impressed

and if you do drive less than 35 miles a day WTF is the point of lugging round and internal combustion engine and a completely separate drive train?

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Not impressed

@Seanie Ryan: Another thing that should be included on any car review are the servicing costs. For the warranty services you should be able to quote a figure (which can be shopped around on). Also when do the batteries need replacing and at what cost as this (to me) is part of the fuel cost as it occurs way before an engine needs replacing?

Let us not even get started on how electric cars that need mains charging are a ridiculous proposition in the UK with the power infrastructure over the next, say, 10 years. I'm not talking power outlets and their availability, I'm talking availability of electricity.

1
0

Re: do the math

There are a couple of things wrong with your figures. First, the battery is 16kWh but the car never fully charges it nor does it let it run completely flat so the maximum used from the battery is about 10kWh. Secondly you forgot to allow for losses in the charging circuitry so from a 230V socket you can actually expect to use about 12.5kWh to charge (and another kWh or so if you only have 110V).

However, ballpark your figures are about correct. In the UK people probably pay between about 5p and 14p per kWh for electricity giving 60p-£1.75 per charge which assuming a charge is about equivalent to 1 gallon of fuel compares favourably to the £6.50/gallon we pay.

0
0
Ru
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Not impressed

The 45mpg of the Ampera is indeed a bit disappointing. By the sounds of things, they've tried to be a bit too clever with the drive train (its a bit Prius-esque, and that's not brilliant, efficiency wise), which in turn means that they couldn't manage a purely electric drive system with a fuel-driven generator keeping it topped up.

It isn't at all clear to me why they chose petrol instead of diesel, too. Maybe its a sporty car image thing, or maybe they don't like diesel cars over the atlantic? Oh well, maybe the next model will be better.

But as for you '100 miles on battery' thing... it is possible that a purely electric drive train with a combustion engine generator could be more efficient than a plain old combustion. Roll on a commercial Bladon turbine driven IEP, eh?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not impressed

"No doubt your solar panels were subsidised by the tax payer and you had enough ready cash to pay for them."

Sigh, here we go. No, you have it wrong. Solar panels are subsidised not from tax, it's a £15 increase on everyones yearly electric bill, yes a large portion will have jobs and pay tax and therefore be 'tax payers' but some will be on benefits or ultra rich tax dodgers, but they will also have to pay the electric bill.

"enough ready cash" - Loan for a new car or buy a 2nd hand car and use a loan for an investment instead?

0
0
Silver badge

Just wondering ...

"I can’t really say the same about the touch-sensitive buttons on the centre console though.

They apparently use less electrical power than standard switches .."

As far as I know, 'standard switches' use zero power and have done for many years. Perhaps Vauxhall didn't explain it properly.

24
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Just wondering ...

Yes in the off state, but in the on state they usually short to ground via a relay and resistor, constantly draining power, also they cannot be automatically reset or changed state.

Perhaps real Push to contact buttons would be best.

Anyway we wont have to wait long for James May to do a review in driving gloves..

3
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: James May

...And? Since when does anyone with a brain listen to what the pillocks on TG have to say?

4
11
Anonymous Coward

Re: James May

I think the point was that he's the only twat who'd do a review in driving gloves, (which may not work the touch controls) unless you can think of anyone else?

1
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: James May

"I think the point was that he's the only twat who'd do a review in driving gloves, (which may not work the touch controls) unless you can think of anyone else?"

Abu Hamza?

8
0
Silver badge

No.

Too complex, too heavy, too expensive. and too slow to charge.

6
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: No.

Too Complex = lifetime Warranty.

Too Heavy = 1715kg verses diesel focus 1630kg (ford figure here)

Too Expensive = Petrol @£1.42 Litre, Electricity at 6p/kWh (eco 7 overnight)

Too Slow to Charge = 4 hrs on 16amp. 6hrs on 10Amp (mains plug). Just how long do you sleep/work for?

4
5
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: No.

> Petrol @£1.42 Litre, Electricity at 6p/kWh (eco 7 overnight)

That's a short-term gain. Half the price of petrol is tax/duty, if everyone drove things like this the government would have to find some way to recover the lost income. You'll still end up paying it.

If you want to do an accurate comparison, take the cost of petrol before tax and compare it with the cost of electricity before tax, The numbers look much less interesting.

8
1
Bronze badge

Re: No.

On the other hand, if everyone drives things like these, a lot of money won't be sent overseas to pay for oil, said money will be spent here increasing income from other taxes.

5
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: No.

There's also the fact that vast amounts of the population do not have off road parking and easy power access to charge these cars. If street chargers are aver installed you can bet they will cost much more that domestic rates (with or without TAX).

And the big issue being that our eletricity grid is due to start failing in about 5-10 years anyway, due to all the power plants that are reaching end of life.

5
0
Silver badge

Re: No.

even so, £1k per year in fuel isnt too unreasonable. so even in the vauxhall was giving fuel for free it would still be more expensive than the competition.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: No.

Presumably this would get charged up over night, you know, the time of the day when our power grid is overflowing with excess capacity. You may even get into the situation where there are docking points along a typical residential street with free or subsidized electricity between the hours of 1 AM and 6 AM.

Our excess overnight capacity will increase even more if we continue to splurge all our money on things like windfarms, which produce leccy whenever the wind blows.

1
2
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: No.

@fandom "if everyone drives things like these, a lot of money won't be sent overseas to pay for oil"

Quite right. It will be sent overseas to pay for natural gas, instead. Did you think electricity comes from nowhere?

5
0
Bronze badge

Re: No.

Of course not, it comes from the huge shale gas reserves the UK has.

But even if you'd rather leave fracking to the merkins, natural gas is dirty cheap nowadays.

0
1
Meh

Nah

It's far too expensive, the dash is UGLY and the Electric only range is still very very small

On the plus side it is by far the best looking of the breed on the oustide, most EV only cars (as opposed to conversions of IC models) are just plain hideous.

I guess the clever tricks with the engineering, add to the cost, only time to allow the technology to mature will bring the prices down and ranges up, but they still have a long way to go till they replace pure IC driven machines

1
1

Re: Nah

he Electric only range is still very very small

Yes but it's a step in the right direction, at least it can take me to work and then defiantly return me using petrol.

Versus the Nissan Leaf which may or may not complete both journeys depending on traffic, weather, time of year etc etc.

1
0
Unhappy

Ripoff price?

The price of Volt/Ampera in US (after $7.5K tax rebate) is $32.000, in UK it is $50.000 (after £5000 e-car grant)! 60% mor for the same car?!?!?

Why? Because GM can! In US, they calculated the payback time for the hybrid (compared to standard GM Cruze) is 14 years.

With much higher fuel prices in UK, they can mark up the price 60% and the payback period is still about the same...

That £12,000 premium over a diesel Focus gets you enough diesel for about 90.000 miles!

And even if Volt was only driven in the e-mode for 90k miles, it would consume about 25MWh of leccy, costing about £2-3k. Not to mention the petrol price in a more realistic scenario, where you do not drive the 90k miles on electricity alone...

If the Ampera cost the same as in US ( about £20K), they'd quickly outsell all other car models combined!

Similar calculation is also true for Renault Zoe - marketed as costing EUR 15k on the continent (after 5k rebate), but they fail to mention the battery lease price of EUR 10k over 10 year period (+ leccy cost)...

Total cost, again, is higher than a comparable diesel Clio IV will be.

I'd been dreaming of owning an e-car for more than 10 years, but not at that clearly ripoff prices, thank you manufacturers!

16
1
Silver badge

Re: Ripoff price?

Yup, ripoff, nothing else to it.

Taking the US price, converting and still adding 20% for VAT ends up being 24k.

So that should be 24k after the subsidy, yet it's nowhere near? Not seeing where the extra cost has gone.. A bit of plastic changed up front?

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Ripoff price?

Erm..

US retail is $40,000

Convert to GBP = 25,486.77 GBP

+ 20% tax = £30584.12

So where did you get your figures from?

The Chevrolet Volt is UK retail at £30k the Ampera is £32k but includes lifetime Warranty and different design elements.

1
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Ripoff price?

Who gets the government's £5K?

I STRONGLY suspect the makers of e-cars add 5K to the price so that they are getting the discount, not you.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Ripoff price? @Robert E A Harvey

I agree. But what would stop the manufactures pumping the price up? How could you get the money to the customer without it being nicked by the vehicle seller? The incentive still encourages the manufacturer to make and sell more electric cars its now in their interest so it still works as an incentive.

0
0
Thumb Down

Electricity is free now?

Here's the other thing … after you have calculated how many mpg it does, how about calculating how much it costs to charge the thing up with electrons?

Add to that the cost of the car (*HOW* much?), and that's an awful lot of very short journeys you'd have to do to justify buying one of these. Sounds like you'd be better off with one of the 80mpg diesels, or even a Prius or similar hybrid that simply saves energy from regenerative braking …

(Also - a 1.4L Otto-cycle engine? Why not Atkinson-cycle - too hard for the Chevy engineers?)

3
4
Thumb Up

Re: Electricity is free now?

It costs between 25p and £1 a day to charge a fully electric car (so expect this to be at the cheaper end) http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/news/releases/2010/october/electric-vehicles/

The average commute in the UK is under 10 miles, so for many people, that's a lot of short trips right there.

3
3

Re: Electricity is free now?

I'm with Jack on this.

My daily commute is 17 miles each way. So the battery is just about the right size to get me to work and back without burning more than a few drops of petrol.

If it costs even £1 a day to fill up the battery overnight, thats still only £5 a week, and i currently pay five times that to get to work and back in a pokey little renault clio diesel.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Electricity is free now?

Depends what figures you feed it, but I reckon you'd be about a thousand pounds a year better off with a new diesel clio.

(fuel cost per week * weeks per year * years ownership) + price of car

1
0

Re: Electricity is free now?

I'm not an environmental nut job, but if i were, i might want to raise the question over use of only diesel which we know will run out eventually vs use of electricity which we know we could, if we wanted to, generate infinitely.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.