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GENEVA SHOW: Vauxhall Ampera revealed

Date: 03 March 2009

Vauxhall has revealed that its 40g/km, 140mpg Ampera hybrid car will go on sale to UK fleets in early 2012.

Vauxhall claims the car - revealed today at the Geneva motor show as a concept carrying Vauxhall's sister brand Opel badging - has a range of 40 miles on all-electric power and up to 300 miles running on combined petrol and electric power.

Unlike rival hybrids, including the new Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, the Ampera's petrol engine does not power the wheels. Instead the small petrol engine is used as a generator to charge the batteries. The batteries in turn power an electric motor, which drives the car's front wheels. Using this set-up means the small petrol engine can be run in a very efficient way, rather than relying on the driver to be efficient.

While Vauxhall is not commenting on fuel figures for the Ampera, it has set a sub-40g/km CO2 target. And given that fuel figures are linked to CO2 emissions, expect the car to be capable of significantly better mpg than existing hybrid cars, which come in around 65mpg.