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EREV as a company vehicle

Discussion in 'Hybrid Vauxhall / Opel Vehicles (Ampera) owners forum' started by Voltec, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. Voltec

    Voltec Member

    Messages:
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    Drives:
    Ampera Electron
    The new year and the sub-zero temperatures have had an impact on the Amperas performance. Yesterday was an all time low for me as following a 17+kwhrs charge I only managed to get close to 35miles from the battery performance and had to burn fossil fuel over half a gallon to go to the office and back. The performance showed that I still had an mpg for the trip of around 90 but its one of the worst performances I have seen from the vehicle since using it now over 2 years.

    Part of the above is due to the minus 5 degrees temperature at 5.15am in the morning and yes I did pre-heat the car before entry. I also had another issue for the first time, my new parking spot at the office is fully exposed to the elements ( where as I used to enjoy a partial shelter at the old office for the first year and three quarters ), when I returned to my vehicle for the journey home last night the inside of the glass and not the outside had a thin layer of ice formed upon it. I actually had to scrape the inside of the glass and there was no ice on the outside which I found very strange as I have not seen that effect before! this meant I had to run the blowers and get the engine on-line from the start to attempt to clear the screen fully, it did clear and made the top of the dashboard wet so I don't really know why this occurred. I am wondering when the temperature is near zero and the car is outside exposed if I need to start using the engine on the remote to pre-heat the car for five minutes when its in the car-park before I set off.....I am going to see how it behaves today, as I parked up there was no internal condensation present I could see.

    With the poor performance from the battery in the cold and down to the mid thirties I am wondering how newer vehicles like the PHEV Mitsubishi perform in the cold? they I am told have a 25-30mile all battery range and I wonder if this drops to 15-20 in the cold which is not very attractive as I am going to be considering what to replace the Ampera with later this year and there is still no word upon the Ampera -2 coming to europe ( new VOLT ) so its very unlikely this will be an option
     
  2. derkins

    derkins Dammit...driving the world's most boring car VxON Club Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Dundee...Scotchland
    Drives:
    Lexus GS450H (Hybrid LOL)
    As a fellow 'hybrid' owner I read your mpg figures with drop-jawed admiration.

    OK, different end of the spectrum as I get about 26mpg round town and once got an amazing 44mpg!

    (3.5 V6 petrol with a big 'leccy motor for good measure)
     
  3. Voltec

    Voltec Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    10
    Drives:
    Ampera Electron
    Thanks Derkins, that's a big petrol lump you are driving so you are probably doing well with your figures also!

    Today in the same temperatures my inner car screen did not freeze so I really don't understand why it froze the day before, I also managed to get better range closer to 38miles on battery only and the only change was a quick preheat in the carpark before leaving work.
     
  4. Voltec

    Voltec Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    10
    Drives:
    Ampera Electron
    The winter has definitely led to the Ampera struggling to get close to 45miles on a full charge, I am consistently getting to the office and three quarters back before having to use petrol. My overall since new mpg has dropped to 108mpg which is probably due to the winter months taking its toll. This summer I need to look at a new vehicle to replace the Ampera in October, currently there are no Ampera "like" vehicles I can see on the market which appeal, it really is a unique beast and I think Ampera II ( Chevy Volt II ) would have been a no questions choice for me but simply wont happen.
     
  5. Voltec

    Voltec Member

    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    10
    Drives:
    Ampera Electron
    The other day I forgot to charge the Ampera for my commute to work, going there and back up and down the hills the generator returned close to 50mpg with a 2-3 degree temperature outside. So in total I used just a smidge over a gallon of fuel which was gutting to have to use so much fuel but does show the Ampera in cold weather can return a reasonable figure for mpg if driven steadily.
     
  6. Voltec

    Voltec Member

    Messages:
    109
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    10
    Drives:
    Ampera Electron
    Nothing much to report as the Ampera is still running well and has not yet let me down in the near 3 years of ownership.

    I have still been experimenting with my commute to the office and back and how to work with the Ampera for the best economy, previously I had used the petrol generator to climb the worst hills and to operate in the colder mornings to help save my battery for later in the journey but this does not seem to be the best method.

    For the last couple of weeks I have used only the battery from the start and up all the hills to the office, with the colder temperatures ( a few degrees ) I was still seeing around 42 miles covered and touching fuel for the return leg around half way back.

    But recently the warmer temperatures ( +12 degrees at 5am ) has enabled me to get 49 miles from the Ampera with the petrol kicking in on the final quarter of the Journey, this equates to around 0.14 to 0.16 of a gallon used. I can imagine in the summer this may get a little better, but it will be my last summer with the Ampera before it goes back under its contract.

    Still very happy with the choice, it is comfortable, silent, has a good turn of speed when needed, good EV range especially compared to the modern day offerings which seem to be tax lowering efforts rather than plug-ins to give you a real EV benefit and its been reliable, great ability to remotely heat up in the heart of winter so I have never had to scrape much!,

    The Negatives are : Sticking charge flap periodically , crappy luggage compartment cover, sat-nav for programing outward journeys , condensation in the lights , tyre rubber that appears perished on the side walls but still has good tread depth at 34k miles, creaking gear selector ( fixed with WD )........
     
  7. Voltec

    Voltec Member

    Messages:
    109
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    Drives:
    Ampera Electron
    Last weekend I organised a test drive of the Outlander PHEV plug-in, my vehicle is due to be replaced in October so the Ampera will go and I need to figure out what vehicle comes next. As the Chevy Volt-II wont reach the UK shores I cannot go with a new Ampera-II as it wont exist.

    The PHEV is a large vehicle by comparison with the Ampera and totally different, the interior cabin is less plastic and more up-market in feel, however the main display panel and touch screen is not as clear in my opinion. Having a full charge from the garage the PHEV showed 290 fuel range and only 22 miles battery range! I have read 33miles but this was a demonstrator with just under 2k miles on it so maybe its been abused a little and the battery is predicting driving habits.

    The charge lasted for 23miles but this was in terrible weather with heavy rain and up and down some steep country hills to be fair. The car then reported around 33mpg on petrol mode. The PHEV was charged at my house overnight and it took 12.2KW/HRS to fully charge from empty so its got a smaller capacity than the Ampera because that normally reports between 15-17kw/hrs on average. I took the PHEV on my well practiced work route and used the regeneration paddles on the steering wheel to avoid using the foot brake and to see if this helped with the range. Giving the same speeds and driving style as I employ on the Ampera it covered 25.5miles and was short of my office by one mile on this first drive. There are various screens to monitor your performance on the PHEV and I managed three green leaves out of five and dropped it back to the dealership with a reported 117.7mpg fuel average ( I figure in total it used a gallon in my test ). The mpg reality seemed to be 34mpg approx for this country driving.

    In summary however I did like the driving position, the interior and practicality of the vehicle, I think it will go further on battery than the Mercedes and the BMW plug-ins which are considerations. It is a big departure from the economy I have become accustomed with the Ampera and would in calculations double by costs to work and back in terms of my fuel contributions but this may be a compromise I will have to consider when choosing a replacement
     
  8. Kripot

    Kripot New Member

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    Hi Ice Coffee,

    thanks for the feedback sir, my issue is trying to mount a 3rd party full HD camera which is good resolution at 1920x1080 pixels. It is already cabled to another camera for the front at the full 1920x1080 pixels and the playback can be seen on my I-phone via wi-fi or by downloading etc. As this is a company vehicle I cannot modify and remove the existing reverse camera as you suggest, also even if I did upgrade the reverse camera to full HD it would be wasted on the low resolution display inside the Ampera as it doesn't have the resolution and really is only good with low res pal video from DVD's etc.
     

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