Hybrid cars were once seen as non viable but the new Vauxhall Ampera is fast becoming a real contender to become king of the eco car market.

All car manufacturers have now come to appreciate that they need a hybrid car in their range of models. Vauxhall has produced the Ampera which not only has extremely low running costs but also has a longer range than other hybrid models. This is due to the petrol generator. Unlike the first attempts to make hybrids, this one is stylish and sporty with an attractive interior. What’s more it gives a good performance.


This model has the lowest emissions of any diesel or hybrid that is being sold today, meaning there is no road tax or London Congestion charge to pay. A great plus for city dwellers. The battery takes around four hours to become fully charged and the car can run for 50 miles on electricity alone.


An ideal candidate for trips around town with no stops at the petrol station needed. However, if you do have to travel further afield, the fuel economy is still excellent. Its no wonder this was awarded the 2013 Car Buyer Best Hybrid/Electric car award.


The electric motor in the Ampera gets it power from a 16kWh ion battery. It has 150 bhp and is fast when you press the accelerator as the electric power is instantly delivered to the engine. The feature that makes this car different is the petrol generator which sends power to the engine when the battery has run out of juice.

The Ampera has a top speed of 100mph and will achieve 0 to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds. This is fast for a hybrid. It handles well with very little roll in the body and is best suited to steady cruising.


It is strange to sit in a car and hear no engine noise at all. The Ampera’s electric motor is eerily quiet and you only become aware of any sound when the petrol generator kicks in. But, this sound does not intrude even on the motorway. This makes the Ampera one of the quietest cars around. All very relaxing.

The power system in electric cars is simpler than that of conventional models making them more reliable. Lithium/ion batteries are meant to last the lifetime of the vehicle and to allay any concerns that buyers may have, Vauxhall has given an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty for the battery. The list price for the Ampera is high but with extremely low running costs, Vauxhall is expecting its innovative hybrid to sell well.


This stylish hybrid has futuristic looks and a set of car mats that will help to keep the interior of the vehicle in the best condition possible is definitely a great addition. Looking after the resale value of the Ampera is also important. For those really keen to drive eco friendy cars, there will always be a better more efficent model after a few years, and so being able to sell on this car is important.

Keeping an up to date service record and looking after the interior are both very important ways to hold onto as much of the original value as possible,

Article courtesy of My Car Mats. Follow them on Twitter @MyCarMats.