In the UK, car-sharing firm Zipcar, has announced that it will be introducing ten Vauxhall Amperas at select London locations.
This is essentially a pilot program for the British version of the Chevy Volt that’s designed to test the Ampera’s viability as part of the Zipcar fleet, assessing customer demand, operating costs and emissions reduction.
At present, Zipcar boasts a fleet of 1,700 vehicles in Britain’s capital and by introducing the Amperas, it will allow customers to travel up to 50 miles on pure electric power.
Given that most Zipcar members tend to do multiple short trips that cover distances of 35 miles or less, that’s likely to have an impact on traffic pollution in Greater London. However, thanks to an onboard gasoline generator, the Ampera also gives drivers the flexibility of extending their journeys if need be, up to a distance of 300 miles. As a result range anxiety won’t likely be an issue for most customers.
The pilot program is being initiated from today in five London Boroughs including Westminster in the heart of the capital, plus Camden (North West), Croydon (South East), Islington (North Central) and Wandsworth (South West).
Zipcar UK’s general manager Mark Walker said in a recent statement that the Ampera pilot program is a “step change in the evolution of electric vehicles in London.”
That said, an official statement issued by the company said that a final decision on extending the EV program will only be made once Zipcar has been able to assess demand for the Amperas.