PARIS 2010: Bright future for Ampera
'The Ampera has got a lot of traction,' he said. 'The more I think about this car, the more I believe it will be the answer to green mobility issues.'
While full electric vehicles are growing in popularity, with an increasing number of mainstream manufacturers ready to launch models, Mr Aldred believes there are still many concerns for customers.
'There needs to be a big investment in charging stations for batteries. It's all very well saying they can be charged at home, but many people living in cities live in flats or apartments – you are not going to have charging leads hanging out of windows.'
With the Ampera, a small 1.4-litre petrol engine takes over the running of the electric motor when the battery runs out of charge. 'This means drivers do not have the "range anxiety" associated with pure electric vehicles. An Ampera has a range of hundreds and hundreds of miles.'
He also plans to keep the Ampera affordable. The car is due for launch in Europe in 2013 and Mr Aldred said: 'We think we have got the pricing right, particularly with Government grants available for buying environmentally-friendly vehicles.
'Pricing may still be in issue elsewhere in Europe because some other countries – Germany for example – have not said what support they will provide.
'But we see the Ampera as a long-term investment. It will not be overpriced to become some sort of cash cow. Overtime, as volume builds, prices will come down as they do with all technologies.'