Vauxhall Ampera's electric maiden voyage
* First UK trip covers 175 miles * Potential range of 350 miles * but will electric car grants go ahead?...
The Vauxhall Ampera electric car has completed its maiden UK voyage from Luton to the company's factory at Ellesmere Port, Merseyside.
Vauxhall says production versions of the car would be able to turn around and make it back to Luton, thanks to its total range of 350 miles. Around 40 miles are possible using battery power alone, while the remaining 310 miles would be completed using electricity generated by a small petrol engine.
The company is hopeful that the car, which will go on sale in early 2012, will be built at Ellesmere Port, although a final decision has yet to be taken.
Uncertainty after the Budget
With big cuts to come in transport funding, it's still unclear whether the proposed grants for electric cars worth up to 5000 will definitely go ahead next year as planned.
While the coalition Government has made commitments to recharging points and backing electric cars, there's been no confirmation that the grants will survive the Chancellor's axe.
Insiders at the Department for Transport have indicated that the grants will survive, and that they'll be in place in 2011, but the final confirmation might have to wait until after the Government's comprehensive spending review in October.
See the Ampera on whatcar.com
We're driving the Ampera soon, so look out for our first drive report and a video of the car in action.