Tricky price for new Trixx

1 May, 2009 6:24pm Dan Strong

Vauxhall weaves magic on electric city car, but powerplant alone will cost up to £8,000!

As small as a Smart, but twice as clever… These are the shots that prove Vauxhall has a few Trixx up its sleeve for city-car drivers.

Inspired by the clever Trixx concept(first seen in 2004), this all-new electric machine forms part of Vauxhall’s plan to be a low-carbon car maker by 2012.

Described as a 3-plus-1 seater, the model is aimed at the Toyota iQ. However, at the very heart of this car’s appeal is its electric powertrain.

To help speed the model’s journey from show stand to street, Auto Express has also learned that the electric motor and battery will be derived from the hybrid powertrain first developed for the new Ampera.

However to keep weight and emissions to a minimum, the 1.4-litre petrol engine that gives the Ampera its near 300-mile range will not be fitted.

The new Vauxhall is on track to achieve 90 miles between top-ups – making it perfect for city drivers and commuters. One thing that looks much harder to overcome is the price of the technology. Currently, it’s
reckoned that car batteries cost around £500 per KWh. Simple maths suggests this means the power source alone could be £8,000 per car – before costs of the build and development of the body and control systems.

As a result, it is most likely that Vauxhall will have to follow a leasing model for its electric vehicles, like that proposed by rival Renault.

So, while drivers might be able to buy the car, in the short term at least, the battery that powers it will remain the property of Vauxhall.

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not as sporty looking as the concept but still just make the car