Vauxhall, Zipcar ink 6-month deal to include Ampera in car sharing network

Article by Christian A., on May 21, 2012

Vauxhall has entered into a six-month pilot partnership to include its all-new electric Ampera into the fleet of automobile sharing network Zipcar, Inc., which provides self-service pay-as-you-go automobiles. Members of the leading car sharing network in the world can now book a reservation for the Ampera through the Internet or their smart phones, just like what they do when booking one of the 1,700 vehicles across the Capital.

This partnership will be a first in the United Kingdom wherein a car sharing club is offering an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) to its members. The Ampera is recognized as the European Car of the Year for 2012. The Ampera units will be very easy to find on the busy street of the Capital with the vehicle's highly attractive full-body wrap liveries of spots and country meadow, making them movable landmarks of London.

General Manager Mark Walker at Zipcar UK commented that they are "committed to positive change" in their city environments, adding that the pilot partnership "marks a step change in the evolution of electric vehicles in London" as well as "represents a major advance" for the city and its people.

Walker further stated that at any given day, the company's members can now engage in "multiple short trips" with the stored electric battery power alone or in "longer trips" with the electricity provided by the on-board range extender of the Ampera. With this, members do not have to worry about recharging or range, Walker added.

Ampera is a full-speed and full-performance Extended-Range Electric Vehicle. It can travel free of tailpipe emissions for at most 50 miles before switching to a petrol generator, which generates electricity to provide an extended 310 miles on a full tank of petrol. Considering that Zipcar members generally travel less than 35 miles, a large number of trips is anticipated to utilize electric power only.

Opel Ampera is a revolutionary vehicle as it will be Europe’s first emission-free and electrically driven automobile suitable for everyday driving. This five-door car can comfortably accommodate four passengers and offer ample trunk space for luggage. It also boasts an extended range of over 500 km. All these can be attributed to Ampera’s Voltec electric propulsion system, which provides high levels of refinement and lively acceleration.

According to Frank Weber, chief engineer and global vehicle line executive at Opel, driving electrically isn’t just about ecology. It is also about great fun. A silent, instantaneous torque of 370 Nm under your right foot really feels like you’re flying, he adds.

Electricity drives the Ampera's wheels at all speeds and at all times. The car is powered by electricity stored in its cutting-edge, 16-kWh lithium-ion battery for trips of up to 60 km (MVEG) in distance. As it drives on electricity supplied by its lithium-ion battery, the Ampera emits zero CO2. And when the energy of the battery gets depleted, an engine-generator that’s gasoline-fueled/E85-fueled provides the electricity that powers the electric drive unit as it also sustains the battery’s charge. With this mode of operation, the car’s range is extended to 500 km, until its battery can be charged.

You can charge the Ampera’s battery by simply plugging its on-board charge system into a standard household 230v outlet. The Opel Ampera gets rid of "range anxiety" as it gives the driver peace of mind and the confidence that he won’t get stranded anywhere with a depleted battery.

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