The Vauxhall Ampera Plug-In Hybrid, Fully Charged Test Drive (Video)
Image credit: Fully Charged
Brian has already test driven the Chevy Volt for TreeHugger, and he liked what he saw. Now comedy legend and EV evangelist Robert Llewellyn has taken a spin in its subtly different European counterpart, the Vauxhall Ampera. (Vauxhall is the UK brand name for Opel.)
Was he similarly impressed?
It's no secret that Robert Llewellyn—whose Fully Charged show has brought us interviews with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, and an exploration of solar-powered car charging in rainy England—is both a believer in electric vehicles, and an advocate for abandoning fossil fuels. So it's little surprise that he is a fan of the Ampera.
But nevertheless, it's good to see him taking this European-build and designed cousin of the Volt (top be made available in early 2012) out on the road, and finding the driving experience to be smooth, enjoyable and hassle free. In the debate that the Ampera launch has generated, Llewellyn has gone on record as saying that the car is not for him—he doesn't want to have anything to do with gasoline ever again. But it is the potential for the Ampera/Volt to let skeptical or fearful drivers dip their toes into the water of EV ownership that Llewellyn says may be the car's most lasting legacy.
Once drivers realize that they do 99% of their driving in electric only mode, it's not such a stretch to imagine their next vehicle as electric only.
More on the Vauxhall Ampera/Chevy Volt
Chevy Volt/Vauxhall Ampera Launch Sparks (Civil!) Debate in the UK
The Chevy Volt's European Cousin: The Opel Ampera
The Chevy Volt: TreeHugger Test Drive