Vauxhall Ampera or Opel Ampera, I was waiting for this car for quite long time. I know, I do sound a bit funny, why I should wait a Vauxhall/Opel? Actually, Ampera is the electric car of the Vauxhall/Opel, that’s right they made an electric car that looks like a proper car and with an on-board generator.
You might be thinking there are plenty of electric cars why Ampera is different. Most of the electric cars do not have an on-board generator to charge the batteries, but Ampera does have one. And do not confuse with hybrid technology. In hybrid technology, petrol engine is also connected to wheels but with Ampera, the petrol engine is not connected to wheels and is only designed to charge the batteries when they are out of charge.
The most fundamental problem of electric cars is the charging for long journeys and with the Ampera, you don’t have to worry about this. You can drive as much as you want, until your tank is empty. Or you can charge the Ampera with any electric socket, board computer shows you the estimated charging time.
Today I had opportunity to drive the Ampera with pure electricity. And it was a bit different than the normal driving experience. First of all, when you start the engine there are no engine noise at all. Ampera is more silent than many laptops!
Driving the Ampera is no different from an automatic car, just move the gear lever into Drive position and depress the throttle. As soon as you depress the throttle, you will feel the torque instantly. The electric motors have an advantage, they can deliver their maximum torque instantly. Ampera accelerates much better than many other cars, consumption is nearly to nothing. Interior comfort is much better than any other Vauxhall/Opel vehicle, sorry to say this. And Ampera features two screens, one for instrument panel and one for navigation. And both them offers very clear image, this is really important with screens.
Honestly, I was expecting a dull driving experience with a senseless steering wheel but it was totally the opposite. I had so much fun! Even though, I don’t like to drive car. Ampera is the future, until we have the hydrogen cars. You experience the electric power without worrying about the battery, this is what customers want!
However, there is a minor problem. Button on the central console are touch sensitive and it makes your life very hard while driving. With touch sensitive button, there are feedback from the button and you cannot be sure whether you pressed it or not. And also, accidental touch is unavoidable.
In general, I couldn’t find anything really annoying with Ampera. If I had the money, I would definitely ordered one today. It is fun, it very economical, it looks very good and it does offer a better experience than any other Vauxhall/Opel. You might be thinking, what about Fisker Karma? Fisker Karma is a luxury electric car with on-board generator and yes it does look better than Ampera and at them same time, more expensive.
Ampera is powered by a 73 PS electric motor, fuel is electric but you need to fill up petrol for generator. Fuel consumption is 1.3 lt/km (217.3 mpg) for extra-urban, 0.9 lt/km (315.9 mpg) for urban and 1.2 lt/km (235.4 mpg) for combined. And CO2 emission is only 27 gr/km.
Ampera Electron features;
Driver’s and front passenger’s airbags
Front seat side-impact airbags
Full-size curtain airbags
Driver’s and front passenger’s knee airbags
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with traction control and Emergency Brake Assist
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
CD/MP3 CD player with stereo radio
DAB digital radio
USB connection with iPod control
Hands-free mobile phone system with Bluetooth®
Multi-function trip computer
Electronic Climate Control (ECC)
Automatic lighting control
LED daytime running lights
Electric parking brake
Electrically operated front and rear windows
Electrically adjustable/heated door mirrors
17-inch five-Y-spoke alloy wheels with aero covers
Remote control security alarm
Leather seat facings with electrically heated front seats
Leather-covered steering wheel
Front and rear parking distance sensors
Rear view camera
Sat nav/DVD player
Sat nav system with voice activation
‘Pseudo 3D’ street level mapping for 20 European countries
Audio/video DVD player
Hard Drive Device (HDD) with 30GB music file capacity
Bose® ‘Energy Efficient Series’ sound system with six high-performance speakers and single subwoofer