Fleet News

Our fleet: Vauxhall Ampera Electron - November 2013

Vauxhall

Review

With more than 2,000 miles of electric driving under my belt, I have become adept at one of the key skills needed for emission-free motoring – the regeneration game.

This isn’t a homage to Saturday night game show legend Bruce Forsyth, although it is a good game (good game); it is actually a way to ensure your store of battery power takes you that little bit further.

In the world of Vauxhall Ampera drivers, braking is for losers, literally.

If you have invested precious electrons in powering the Vauxhall’s cleanest car to cruising speed, it is a waste to lose that energy when you brake.

Instead, the Ampera starts scrubbing off speed by using your momentum to power a dynamo that recharges your batteries.

This happens when you take your foot off the accelerator, or when you brake lightly.

When you press harder, the brake pads take over, although you will be wasting energy through clouds of brake dust and heat.

Once you understand the system, it changes your driving style completely.

This careful conservation of power combined with my mileage profile, which is suited to the Ampera’s 30-mile real-world battery range, means that I am currently achieving 164mpg, while the car has a lifetime fuel economy of 177mpg.

Over the past 2,100 miles, I have needed to use the range-extender petrol engine technology on only a few occasions, using about 12 gallons of fuel and, if I play my cards right, my fuel economy will only increase in the coming months.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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