Vauxhall’s electric Corsa

17 March 2020

VAUXHALL has introduced an electric version of its best-selling Corsa hatchback, with prices roughly twice those of conventional petrol versions.

 Costing from £27,165 including the £3,500 taxpayer-funded plug-in grant, there will be another version in a few months that will charge more quickly, with a price tag of £31,515.

Initially the car uses a 7.4kW charging system, which will be joined by the faster 11kW version before the end of the year.

The conventional 1.4-litre petrol Corsa costs about £10,000 less than the battery-powered version but Vauxhall says that the fuel cost savings will be about £65 per month.

The Corsa e also comes with a wall box that creates the capacity of 100kW DC charging, which is faster at just half an hour to 80 per cent of a full charge.

In standard 7.4kW guise it takes seven and a half hours to fully charge, and about half that time in the case of the 11kW vehicle.

In terms of performance the electric motor generates maximum power equivalent to 135bhp with pulling power of 190lbft.

Top speed is 90mph, with acceleration to 60mph in eight seconds and an all-important official driving range of up to 200 miles in laboratory conditions.

Real-world experience suggests that the actual driving range can dip as low as 100 miles, according to ambient temperature, prevailing winds, electrical component usage and how hard the vehicle is driven.

Regenerative braking recovers the energy released under braking and deceleration, with the kinetic energy converted into electrical energy and either used immediately or stored in the battery. 

The Corsa-e has a ten per cent lower centre of gravity than its petrol and diesel equivalents, plus additional body bracing to generate 30 per cent extra body stiffness.

Available in two trim levels of SE Nav and Elite Nav the car comes with automatic climate control, electric parking brake and keyless entry and start.

There is also a seven-inch colour touchscreen and a digital cockpit plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Amazingly, Ford offers no electric rival to the Corsa, which comes in five-door form with an eight-year warranty covering 100,000 miles.

To off-set the higher price of the electric version of the car, Vauxhall has introduced some financial incentives to persuade punters to take the plunge.

Anyone who signs up this month will get the £800 wall box included in the price.

Also included is a six-month subscription to the Polar Plus charging network, which is currently the UK’s largest public charging network. It is £7.85 per month thereafter. Vauxhall Care, which includes three years servicing, two years roadside assistance and one-year MOT, is also included.

The Government has yet to reveal what taxes will be introduced for electric vehicles to recoup the money lost in fuel duty on conventional petrol and diesel models as more motorists are encouraged to switch to electric power.