February 28th, 2013 § Comments Off on #vauxhall #ampera #electricVehicle #review – Finally had a Test Drive of this “legendary” #ev. My Thoughts on it… § permalink
One Upon Time, i got hands on Ampera built by Vauxhall, Parented by General Motors (GM). In Essence, the Vold by Chrysler. Its the same thing. Parented by GM. same parents, same roots. Somewhat different designs (i prefer Volt Aesthetics)
Moving swiftly on. I will go through this bullet point listed. One event to the next, whatever made me “make the note” as i was testing the vehicle.
I have a feeling this may make its way into the “Fleet”, at my work, but read on…
It was the Ampera Electron (Top Trim. 35k). Big Beast. Nice cosy seats. Big Boot. All very noticeable right away.
Car tends to make good use of the electric charge first before 1.4L (43mpg avg) engine/generator purrs into life. As it should be. Thus all commuting (my journey) to-fro work – some near 30 miles a day is well accomodated. I found that despite the “full charge” delivering 29 miles (hopefully based on profiling) in real life – i DID have full climate control on and heating conveniently switched on as well. It Was 3c outside there
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February 25th, 2013 § Comments Off on #new #Ampera #ev #electricCar #ElectricVehicle for a test drive – let’s see what fuss is about….! § permalink
February 20th, 2013 § Comments Off on Repost: ‘I’ve saved £2,000 in less than a year with my electric car:’ Is it worth ditching the petrol pump for a plug socket? § permalink
David Peilow used to spend £15 to £18 a day on his 60-mile commute from Winchester to Portsmouth.
But the satellite systems engineer reckons he’s slashed £2,000 off his petrol costs in the past eight months. And it’s all down to changing his vehicle to an electric car.
Despite shelling out £34,000 on the top of the range plug-in hybrid Vauxhall Ampera, he is confident it will pay for itself over time.
David Peilow: Says he has slashed £2,000 from his fuel bill by switching from an Audi A3 to a Vauxhall Ampera
David, 35, says: ##Q##It’s a fantastic car. I used to have an Audi A3 1.8, which would have cost more than £2,400 in petrol to cover the same distance – my commute includes plenty of stop-start motorway traffic.
##Q##I’ve used around £400 in electricity and petrol, so that’s a saving of £2,000 already. And that’s before considering the free road tax and insurance – about half my previous cost.##Q##
He’s also seen an impressive average of 249.3 miles per gallon.
A Vauxhall Ampera starts at £34,995, but buyers can get a £5,000 grant towards this from the Government##Q##s plug-in scheme.
David is one of a steadily growing group of electric vehicle (EV) drivers and enthusiasts in the UK. And while many motorists have concerns about the limited mileage on a single charge (the Ampera is 25-50 miles, by comparison the 100 per cent electric Nissan Leaf is around 100 miles), hybrids have a reserve petrol tank.
NISSAN LEAF & RENAULT TWIZY
In December, This is Money compared running costs of the Renault Twizy and the Nissan Leaf.
Using a Twizy to drive 130 miles a week would cost roughly £3 per week – or £156 a year – based on three charges a week and domestic electricity at 14p/kwh unit.
It costs £2.03 to charge the Leaf from flat to full, taking eight hours. Charging it overnight is popular, as night-time energy tariffs tend to be cheaper – and it also has a much further range than both the Twizy and the Ampera.
Charging the Leaf to drive 130 miles a week would cost an average of £5 – or £260 a year.
David charges his Electron model at home overnight and also at work using standard 13 Amp sockets and the cable supplied with the car.
##Q##As my garage was already equipped with a socket there was nothing to do, although I fitted a separate meter for measuring costs,##Q## he explains.
##Q##Getting a socket at work was relatively easy and I’ve never been refused a charge when I’ve stayed at hotels or visited suppliers, etc.##Q##
Meanwhile, schemes are emerging around the UK to encourage electric car use.
One new initiative offers homeowners in London free installation of an EV charging point at their property. Homeowners can then charge a fee to EV owners to rent a space on their driveway – plus a bit extra to plug in their vehicles.
The project, which aims to install 200 charging points worth £1,500, is being run by Source London (Transport for London) and the website Parkatmyhouse.com, which lists homeowners willing to rent out private space on driveways and in garages.
Energy company SSE, the Government’s Plugged in Places initiative, and charge point manufacturer Chargemaster are also involved.
EV owners can book spaces online in advance through Parkatmyhouse rather than turning up at public charge points and hoping one will be free.
Free charging point: Andrew Crossman has recently had an EV point installed to his driveway in East London
So far around 37 charge points (which provide faster charging than standard sockets) have been installed, with 17 waiting to be installed at spaces listed on parkatmyhouse.
The charging points add to the 800 already in public places in the capital, while there are plans to roll out similar schemes elsewhere.
Seven places have been earmarked for Plugged In Places funding, and Parkatmyhouse is in talks with Source East, which covers the East of England, including Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex plus Peterborough, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, Thurrock and Southend.
Andrew Crossman, 68, received his free charging point installation at his home in east London a few weeks ago.
He says: ##Q##In ten or 20 years electric cars will be the norm, it’s a rapidly moving technology.
I’ve thought about getting an electric car in the future, so this scheme is great. It should also be useful for other motorists who own an electric vehicle and need somewhere to park.##Q##
Andrew has been a parkatmyhouse member for about four years and rents spaces at £7 a day for a minimum of a week. Some of his customers work at nearby Whips Cross Hospital, while others use his garage for storing vehicles.
He doesn’t plan to charge extra to use the EV point but believes it will make his parking spaces more attractive to parkatmyhouse users.
Meanwhile, British Gas runs a scheme for installing EV charging circuits in homes for £375 and offers faster charging units. It’s also teamed up with POLAR – a division of Chargemaster – to install points for free in certain parts of the country. Plus it offers an off-peak saver tariff designed for EV users to charge cars at a cheaper rate, giving 20 hours of off-peak rate per day.
Slashed costs: David Foley drives 55 miles each way in his Ampera
David Foley, 43, works as an in-house solicitor for British Gas, and recently became an electric car convert. He says he chose an Ampera as his company car last July without even seeing one ‘in the flesh’ because of the potential financial savings.
##Q##I drive 55 miles each way from my home near Oxford to work in Staines,##Q## says David, who also uses the car for short journeys at weekends, including transporting his children.
##Q##I used to drive a Mercedes that cost £100 a week in fuel, now I spend about £25-£30 a week. I charge the car up at work and home. I haven’t noticed any change in my electricity bill – but my petrol bill has disintegrated.##Q##
February 1st, 2013 § Comments Off on Thought it was enough speculating and talking nonsense, booked my test drive for Ampera #Electric #Hybrid – for few days § permalink
Indeed, we are all aware of plugin hybrids which are -P-REV E-REV, plugin typical car with Electric Battery as “range extender and city drive economy”, VS Electric Car (drive terrain) first, WITH an “engine” in a form of some small 1.4L generator, as that “range extender“.
We have tried and Tested DS5 Citroen Top End Premium Hybrid. Nice. Some Snags, but Nice.
We have also gone away with Honda CR-Z, and that certainly a plenty oomph for the #Hybrid GT
Both have main conventional engine and drive setup, with electrical so called “backup”, some can even offer more miles than others, but both share #hybrid notion which saves both on emission, consumption, and cost of driving around.
Finally, its time to talk about the likes of Volt and Ampera. Lets be honest, its the same car all in all with a different badge each time, thanks to their common daddy General Motors at home.
However Chevrolet Volt appears to deliver more Electric Miles than Ampera, and certainly looks more prettier too.
Despite being extremely desperate to get hands on V60 Volvo Hybrid, which honestly amazes me with 1L of diesel for 60 miles driving consumption in the eco mode and 31miles in pure electric mode, we admit, for 42K (with UK Grant) – it is simply of our reach (for the common man).
Ampera however, thanks to Vauxhall dealerships left right and centre, is more common-found, and thats what we are going for.
It is time: Watch this space for Ampera Personal Review coming this February…
January 15th, 2013 § Comments Off on Plugins Electric Range: 15miles for 2013 #Prius and #Ampera, vs 30+ miles for #Volt and #V60 #Hybrid #Volvo. § permalink
Hybrid EV Range Stats to date:
Electric Only Range in plugins hybrids and hybrids
DS5 – EV range 5 miles
Prius (2011 and older) 1-2 miles
V60 Volvo hybrid – 35 miles range
Prius Plugin model 012 – 15 miles
Ampera 012 – 45 miles
Ampera 2013 – 15 miles
Volt 2013 – 35 miles
— that##Q##s all for now – to be updated —
January 15th, 2013 § Comments Off on Bad news for plug-ins: Ampera to cut battery pack range vs US Sister Volt spec, instead going for sales and smaller economy: 15 miles ev mode in 2013 release § permalink
Following stuttering sales in Europe, GM is planning a smaller battery pack and a shorter electric-only range for the next-generation Vauxhall Ampera.
Costing £28,995 after the Government’s £5000 EV grant, Vauxhall is currently losing money on every Ampera it sells, but will look to reverse that trend when a new model arrives in three to four-years##Q## time.
“The Ampera has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any car, but it’s simply too expensive,” Steve Girsky, Vice Chairman of GM and interim president of GM Europe, admitted. “If you want to make money it’s not about the cleverest technology, but who can deliver fuel economy at a lower cost.”
Currently the Ampera is capable of travelling up to 50 miles on battery power, which is key to its 235.4mpg fuel economy. But the battery pack alone costs more than £12,000 to produce.
“In the coming years I don’t think you will need 100km [62 miles] of electric range,” revealed Thomas Sedran, GM’s Vice President of Strategy and Operations. “Around 30 to 50km [18 to 30 miles] should be enough to get you in and out of town and after that you still have the range-extender engine to help.”
December 5th, 2012 § Comments Off on Vauxhall Ampera #EV Hybrid (range extender) EV average ~ 158mpg in town § permalink
New independent fuel tests by Which? show that Vauxhall##Q##s new Ampera ##Q##range extender##Q## electric car is very efficient in urban use – but not so good on longer runs.
If the Ampera is used for short-distance journeys, such as commuting, shopping and school runs, it could be very cheap to fuel.
Ampera offers 46-mile range
Vauxhall’s new Ampera electric car has averaged the equivalent of 158mpg in the urban fuel test cycle in independent testing by Which? That’s impressive, but still far off the official EC urban fuel claim of 313.9mpg.
The Ampera works like a regular electric car in that it can be recharged using a domestic electricity supply – a process that takes 4.5 hours – and can then travel up to 46 miles on this charge. At the end of this, its on-board petrol engine starts up to retain charge in the batteries.
- Electric-only mode lasts 46 miles
- Consumption very dependent on journey use
How much electric power or fuel the Ampera uses depends very much on how the car is driven. Essentially it could work well if you use the car predominantly for short journeys, but Which? tests show that a conventional diesel will cost less to fuel in everyday use.
The cost of fully recharging the Ampera is around £1.77 at domestic rates, and a full charge of electricity will take you around 46 miles if the car is driven gently. That cost is about 25% that of fuelling a similar-sized Vauxhall Insignia diesel to do the same 46-mile journey, and equates to 158mpg.
We also tested the Ampera over the first 62 miles of a combined fuel cycle, starting with full battery power, so that it used both electric and petrol power. For the first 46 miles, the Ampera used 12.2kWh of electric power, while for the following 16 miles it used 1.4 litres (0.3 gallons) of unleaded fuel. A conventional car would have to average 103.8mpg to match this.
However, when driving with the battery depleted and the petrol engine running much more, fuel consumption rises dramatically. In this scenario, we measured the equivalent of 70.6mpg in urban use, 51.4mpg extra-urban and 43.5mpg motorway in our tests. The overall tested average is 51.4mpg – worse than many diesel-engined large cars, and way off the official EC figure of 235.4mpg.
Ampera##Q##s real-world CO2 emissions
For short distances, and in electric-only mode, the Ampera emits zero CO2 from its tailpipe. Official EC tests give the Ampera a remarkably low overall CO2 emissions figure of 27g/km. However, according to Which? tests with the car in combined electric/petrol mode (driving 62 miles starting with a full battery), the Ampera actually emits 95g/km of CO2, based on CO2 emitted by electricity generation in the national grid, as well as the car##Q##s own exhaust gases. This figure will be even higher when the car is used regularly for longer distances, when the petrol engine is used more.
Vauxhall##Q##s Ampera is on sale now, priced from £29,999 including the government##Q##s £5,000 electric car discount, with deliveries beginning in May 2012.
How we test fuel consumption
We test fuel economy under strict laboratory conditions, using realistic test cycles to reveal the facts behind the figures.
Unlike the official EC mpg test, we measure economy with both a hot and a cold engine – and include a motorway test cycle. And, when testing electric or part-electric cars like this, we also factor in the CO2 output of the national grid (not just the tailpipe emissions). That##Q##s why our mpg and CO2 results often differ from the figures you see in glossy car ads.