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PHOTO CAPTION: Opel/Vauxhall Astra.

GM Reveals Vauxhall Electric Car

March debut for the European version of Volt extended-range electric vehicle, which could be built in Britain.

Published: 29-Jan-2009

Vauxhall has revealed the first image of its version of the electrically-powered Chevrolet Volt, which will be shown at the Geneva motor show in March.

Known as the Ampera, the five-seat, four-door hatchback will go on sale in 2011 in right-hand-drive form shortly after the Opel - also part of General Motors - version appears in Europe. The car is based on the Vauxhall Astra, with a 400lb, T-shaped lithium-ion battery positioned under the body floor.

After Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed the desire to make Britain a centre of excellence for electric-car manufacturing, the Ampera is the subject of great interest from the British Government, which is said to be keen that it will be built at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory, which already produces the Astra and Astravan. The first versions of the vehicle, however, will be produced in Michigan, America, but talks are said to be on-going about possible UK manufacture.

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