In a society that is more and more focused on electric cars, it’s time to remember who were the pioneers of electric driving. Vauxhall is celebrating the 10th birthday of its first electric car with a range extender, the Ampera, which made its world premier at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, and jump started Vauxhall’s commitment to electric vehicles.
The Vauxhall Ampera was the first electric car with an extended range from a European manufacturer, and established Vauxhall as a pioneer in electric mobility. The Ampera has since been followed by a fleet of award-winning electric Vauxhall’s including the all-new Corsa-e, Mokka-e, Vivaro-e and Combo-e. Vauxhall committed to offering an electrified variant across its entire model line-up by 2024 and introducing eight electrified models by the end of 2021.
The Ampera was Europe’s first electric vehicle to enable “go anywhere at any time” mobility. When it went on sale at the end of 2011, the Ampera founded a completely new vehicle segment in the European automobile market.
Even before the Ampera went on sale, it received more than 5,000 pre-orders from potential customers across Europe. A year later it was named the “2012 European Car of the Year” alongside its Chevrolet Volt sister car. The Ampera also won the 13th International Monte Carlo Rally for electric cars and alternative propulsion systems. The winning Ampera was driven by French rally legend, Bernard Darniche and Joseph Lambert, three more finished among the top ten.
The Ampera confirmed Vauxhall as an innovation-leader and immediately became Europe’s best-selling electric car in 2012, with 6,631 units and roughly a 21% share of the European electric passenger car segment.
Combining a 16kWh lithium-ion battery and a 111kW (150PS) electric motor with a highly efficient 1.4-litre petrol engine as a range extender, the Ampera had a total range of more than 350 miles.
The advanced powertrain ensured the Ampera’s front wheels were electrically driven at all times, with an electric range of up to 50 miles, with additional range provided through the 1.4-litre petrol range extender. The electric range was enough to cover most daily commutes and with CO2 emissions of just 27g/km ensure the Ampera remains exempt from current congestion and emissions charges. With up to 370Nm of torque, the Ampera accelerated from 0-62mph in under nine seconds.