Vauxhall have announced that the Ampera which is now on display at the Geneva Motor Show will be in showrooms from 2012.
The Ampera can run on battery power alone for up to 40 miles, the electricity is stored in the 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, and emits zero CO2. When the battery is depleted there is also an on board small petrol powered generator that will power the lithium-ion battery for a range of three hundred miles. It can also be plugged in to a mains socket overnight to charge.
The Ampera is a small family car similar in size to the Insignia. It has five doors, four seats and a luggage capacity of 301 litres. Aerodynamics have played a significant part in the design and lightweight materials have been added in the form of clear polycarbonate covers to the front grille and disc inserts on the 17-inch, five-spoke sport alloy wheels. The rear of the car has a specially designed spoiler. The Ampera is capable of 0-60mph in around nine seconds and top speed is approximately 100mph.
Details have not been confirmed yet of the engine's fuel consumption or emissions but is does seem that this will be a practical and usable electric car.