UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Business Minister test drives Vauxhall’s new electric car

News   •   Dec 02, 2009 11:47 GMT

Business Minister Ian Lucas had a taste of the future of motoring in the UK when he was one of the first people to get the chance to drive GM’s new electric car today (1 December).

Driving the Ampera around GM’s testing facilities at Millbrook, Ian Lucas got a chance to experience the motoring power that the next generation of electric vehicles is delivering.

The Ampera’s electric battery can keep going for 300 miles with the aid of a small petrol engine after the first 40 miles of pure electrical range. The car is expected to be available in the UK in 2012 and the Government remains keen to secure its production at the Ellesmere Port plant in Merseyside.

The Minister was given a tour of the extensive facilities offered by Millbrook and used by companies all over the world. These range from testing vehicles on different types of handling circuits, carrying out crash tests and rating vehicle CO2 emissions to simulating the road conditions to test military vehicles.

Business Minister Ian Lucas said: “Driving the new electric Ampera was a great experience, and one I hope will soon become a part of every day life for consumers in the UK not just a test track moment. Despite the challenges the auto sector in currently experiencing, investment in new low carbon products like the Ampera is vital to compete for future consumer demands.

“I was very impressed by the range of highly skilled work carried out at Millbrook. Today’s event at Millbrook, with its great facilities and the new electric Ampera demonstrates what we want to see more of in the UK auto sector - low carbon manufacturing and highly skilled jobs.”

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

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