Vauxhall showcases Ampera police vehicle packed with high-tech features

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 14, 2012

Vauxhall has won a contest by the Association of Chief Police Officers Intelligent Transport Systems (ACPO ITS) to showcase an electric vehicle that utilizes revolutionary crime-fighting technology, which could be brought into the active Police service by 2015. On January 31, 2012, Vauxhall demonstrated the innovative Ampera in Police livery packed with the latest policing equipment on the Home Office's Centre of Applied Science & Technology (CAST) podium at the Police & Security Conference held in Farnborough.

 The Vauxhall Ampera is on the shortlist for both European Car of the Year and World Car of the Year recognition. It is fitted with a wide array of high-tech kit in order to aid Police officers in fighting crime.

The features include internal camera for facial recognition linked to the Police National Database, four external-mounted cameras for evidence gathering, and a second screen mounted on the passenger sun visor to allow the passenger to access all Police information.

The vehicle also has the standard Ampera display screen refurbished to provide all information presently available to Police officers such as the Automatic Number Plate Recognition.

Moreover, the New Police software that has been loaded with historic data and previous incidents is run through complex algorithms to forecast possible crime hotspots. James Brokenshire, the Under Secretary of State for Crime and Security, was provided with a thorough demonstration of the crime-fighting feature on the Ampera by ACPO ITS Chief Superintendent Jim Hammond.

Vauxhall Special Vehicles Manager Dick Ellam commented that they are "delighted" to have won the ACPO ITS competition and are "excited" to have showcased the "fittingly" innovative Ampera featuring this array of "cutting-edge equipment."

Opel is pretty sure that when released to the market, the new Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid will be Europe’s first emission-free, electric-powered vehicle that could be used in daily trips. Aside from being able to transport its occupants safely and comfortably, the five-door Opel Ampera also provides ample space for their cargo. This is, of course, besides the fact that the new Ampera could drive dynamically without stressing the environment. In short, the new Opel Ampera is a green vehicle that is suitable for everyday driving.

This is thanks to the Voltec electric propulsion system that serves as the core of the five-door Opel Ampera. This Voltec system allows the new Ampera to be deployed using electricity as its main power source to drive its wheels at all times and at all speeds. There is a two-step trick being employed in powering the new Ampera. For the first 60 km (MVEG) – or less depending on driving conditions – the Ampera’s electric motor gets its juice from a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery for a pure zero-emission drive.

Once this battery drains its energy from powering up the Ampera, the motor seamlessly and smoothly shifts its electric source from an engine generator that runs on either gasoline or E85 ethanol fuel blend. Interestingly, this engine generator also supplies power to the battery, thereby recharging it. By shifting its power source to an engine generator, the new Opel Ampera could further increase the distance it could travel by 500 km more.

This means that the new Opel Ampera effectively gets rid of the so-called "range anxiety" with its drivers now not needing to worry about being stranded in the middle of a trip when the battery runs out of power. Moreover, recharging the new Opel Ampera is as easy as plugging its on-board charge system into a standard household 230v outlet.

Hans Demant, GME's vice president of engineering, quipped that the Ampera’s advanced lithium-ion battery system should make the plug-in hybrid appealing to customers. He disclosed that the carmaker’s engineers at its research and development center in Mainz-Kastel, Germany have been extensively testing the battery to ensure its reliability.

Frank Weber, global vehicle line executive and chief engineer, remarked that with the new Opel Ampera, driving electrically is not only about ecology, but also about having great fun – thanks to the instantaneous, silent torque of 370 Newton meters that the vehicle could provide.

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