Diamond Extras

Vauxhall Ampera

Cost: £29,995 (Inc £5,000 Government incentive)
CO2 emissions: 27g/km
Fuel efficiency: 235mpg
Road Tax-exempt: Yes

The Ampera is Vauxhall's first electric car and has already scooped up a number of awards including What Car? Green Car of the Year. But unlike any other hybrid on the market the electric motor doesn't power the wheels it is instead used to charge the battery, which in turn powers the wheels.

The family saloon has a lithium-ion battery which when depleted to a designated level will trigger the petrol engine to start up and power the generator. This in turn supplies the battery with electricity so it can continue to drive the wheels.

Running solely on electricity Which? found the Ampera has a range of around 46 miles. But with the combustion engine running in tandem with the battery the range was found to be equal to a petrol car. The battery takes about four hours to return to full charge.

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