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Today has been very exciting for Sally and me. This afternoon we drove from our home in Saltash, Cornwall, to Exeter, to take delivery of our new Vauxhall Ampera.

When we first arrived at the dealer we could see our shiney grey Ampera on their forecourt and we parked up nearby. As we walked by it on the way into the dealer I couldn't help but stop and have a good look round in anticipation. To my horror, whilst inspecting the rear end I noticed a scratch, or I should really scratches, on the tailgate paintwork. It looked as if it might be more than just superficial. Oh dear. The salesman saw us inspecting the care carefully and came out to see what we were looking at and he was surprised too. He said it was probably just superficial and said that cars come across from the USA and nearly always have surface scratches that the dealer needs to buff out. He said not to worry... it will be sorted.

While out there he took us through the walkaround and pre-delivery explanations and while doing that we noticed what looked like a long scratch or mark on the plastic inside of the door. These sections often get scuffs from feet as you get in and out so again, I wasn't too concerned but it would be nice to start off with an unmarked car from new. Again, he seemed unconcerned and said it will be sorted.

We finished the walkaround and off he went to get things sorted while Sal and I went into the showroom to get a coffee.

He returned and we went through the paperwork. All fine.

Returned to the car and sure enough... very close inspection from all 3 of us satisfied us that it was now all sorted and there was no sign of either marks.

We then sat on the forecourt for a good 10 minutes while we discovered how to operate the SatNav and climate control. Sally was to drive home and I was computer operator... errm... sorry, passenger!

The drive home was to be 48 miles and the car was reportedly fully charged and with 170 miles of petrol. However, the range estimate for EV mode showed just 37 miles. I was hoping we would get all the way home without using any petrol at all but I think in hindsight that was optomistic for our first trip. Nevertheless, I thought we would get most of the way but we only made about 38 miles. Was it fully charged? Perhaps not but the A38 from Exeter to Saltash is hilly in places so perhaps it wasn't too bad.

Overall, the car covered the 48 miles using just 0.22 gallons of petrol! The car showed a petrol use of 225mpg! Not at all bad for a 48 mile trip. I couldn't help but imagine if that was my daily commute and what it would save in petrol use not to mention running costs.

When we got home the first thing we did was put it on charge using our 16A home charging station. It charged for 3 hours before I had to use it again to go to the gym. That added a further few miles and it is now plugged in waiting for the timer to start charging tonight on Economy 7 off-peak.

Overall, todays economy has been 243mpg! 12.7kWh of electricity costing about £1.50 for the electricity and about £1.35 for petrol so in total, about 55 miles for £2.85! That is about 50% of what it might cost in a good petrol car.

Now I think that is a pretty good start... don't you?

There have been a few little niggles with the software but how much is just our unfamiliarity I can't say so before I put them down in writing I am waiting a while to see if it is me or the car. Other than that we are just ecstatic with our new car :D :D :D


20120514_153001-1 by Paul Churchley, on Flickr


20120514_170718-6 by Paul Churchley, on Flickr


20120514_204141-8 by Paul Churchley, on Flickr
 

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Hi Paul,
New would be pleased with your car, it looks good. :)
Glad that they were able to sort out the scratches as the last thing you want is resprays on a new car.
The computer controls do take a while to learn in what to press to do what you want and to remember them, it does get easier quickly, the heating being a fine example not just 2 controls heat and air you get on a conventional car. I set it on auto at the required temperature and left it to do everything which it does very well but if you want better economy then you can manually adjust all the controls.
Have you managed to set the car up for Economy 7 charging? After 2 weeks I have managed setting the finishing charge times until the last screen, it will not alter the start time from 12am to 1am finishing at 8am. I have cheated the system by putting the clock back 1 hour (GMT) so the car thinks it is midnight together with a 7am departure time to get 7 hours charging not 8 hours it wants to give me finishing at 8am. The clocks fine for the winter, perhaps it's the lousy winter weather we are having making the car think it is winter. :lol: Have spoken to Trevor at Vauxhall and he will get back to me. Have you had this problem? I would appreciate any advice you have on this, as I have spent many hours trying without success. :?
Enjoy your new car and its' economy. :mrgreen:
 

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Hi Paul C

Congratulations on getting yours and look forward to hearing how you get on. Having the leaf you are far more setup for charging than most of us!

Being super-sad I had read the downloaded owners manual several times before I got the car, so much of it was as I expected. I don't feel the cold much, so I have been using none or very little climate to improve my EV range and RE mpg.

Regards

Paul R
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all your words of encouragement. We are all pretty much in the same boat with the Ampera. Sure, I have experience with the Leaf and so I am more familiar with charging but that isn't going to help much with anything else. Sally and I both thoroughly enjoy the learning process and love digging out the the manual (we too are sic and read the online version before getting the car!).

I have sorted out the Economy 7 timing. I will do a separate post so it appears more obviously on the forum.
 
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