SECTOR Executive EV PRICE £29,995 (with £5,000 grant) FUEL 235mpg CO2 27g/km
We’ve driven the Ampera quite a few times already, but amid the hype, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Chevrolet Volt also shares that European Car of the Year accolade.
For fleets looking to source this clever range-extending vehicle, the obvious strategy is to go to Vauxhall with its well-established fleet credentials and vast dealer network.
But Chevrolet is keen for a slice of the action too. Although its annual sales
targets are in the hundreds rather than thousands (Vauxhall getting first dibs on UK-bound production), the Volt is specced more for the retail buyer than the Ampera, is a five door hatch rather than the Vauxhall’s four, and is more American and glitzy in aesthetic, managing director, Mark Terry believes the firm can service a fleet’s needs.
But surely nearly £30,000 for a Chevrolet (after the Government subsidy) is too much money? Well, possibly, but it is a unique, and very capable proposition.
The car has a 1.4-litre petrol engine, but this never directly powers the wheels, instead being used to produce electricity for the electric motor when the stored energy in the battery has been used.
What this means in reality is that you have around 40 miles of stored energy and another 250 miles using this on-board generator (ignore the ludicrous official figures). The clever bit is how strategic you can be, ”holding” your stored energy for areas when it can be used at its most effective and cutting the range extending mode in for energy sapping stretches.
We managed a solid 40 miles on battery, which then settled down to an overall 75mpg average over 100 miles. If a driver’s commute is less than 40 miles, they will hardly use any fuel ever, as long as the car is plugged in at home and work.