Electric Vauxhall Corsa-e priced from £270 per month

Order books for the electric Vauxhall Corsa-e have opened, with prices starting from £26,490

Order books for the new, all-electric Vauxhall Corsa-e have opened, with a monthly finance offer of £270 and a starting price of £26,490.

The company says it will give customers a deposit contribution of £2,615 as part of its personal contract purchase deal, with an interest rate of 5.1% APR and an annual driving limit of 10,000 miles.

Meanwhile, the full on-the-road figure includes the Government's plug-in car grant of £3,500: in SE Nav trim, the Corsa-e sports a pre-discount price of £29,990.

The price is higher than expected, however the first 500 customers to place an order will at least benefit from a free home charging kit when taking delivery of the Corsa-e in 2020.

Vauxhall is asking for deposits of £500, which are fully refundable at purchase. The car's 50kWh battery comes with a warranty guaranteeing that it maintains 70% of its capacity for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

The Corsa-e has a quoted range of 205 miles, however, Vauxhall claims this will be “extendable by 40%” in Eco mode, suggesting a maximum theoretical range of around 287 miles.

The company also claims a 0-80% rapid-charge time of just 30 minutes, but hasn’t yet specified the charging rate required.

The Corsa-e’s electric motor generates 134bhp and 260Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-62mph figure of 8.1 seconds. 0-31mph should take 3.1 seconds.

As well as Eco mode, the Corsa-e gets Normal and Sport modes. The latter improves the performance and responsiveness of the car, with a range loss in the region of 10%.

Images reveal that the Corsa-e will look very much like the petrol version of the car, with a wide stance, short overhangs and the trademark Vauxhall 'blade'.

The brand says the Corsa-e will be a sportier offering than its key rivals, notably its own sister cars; the new Peugeot e-208 and the more expensive DS 3 Crossback E-Tense.

The Corsa-e is compatible with Type 2 and CCS ports, with the charging socket located at the rear of the car, where the fuel filler cap is on a petrol model.

Inside, buyers will find a seven or 10-inch infotainment touchscreen depending on trim, angled towards the driver for easy use on the move. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are compatible as standard, featuring voice control functions.

LED headlights, alloy wheels and sat nav will also be standard features.

A smartphone can also be used to unlock the e-Corsa, with vehicle data displayed in an app. Various driver assistance systems are promised, too: traffic-sign recognition, speed-limit display, lane-keeping assistance, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, parking assistance and drowsiness detection are all options.

The Corsa heralds a fresh design focus and a new electrified era for the company, with the Corsa-e being the first car to really take on the Renault ZOE, which currently holds sway as the most affordable way into an electric compact family hatchback.

Ultimately, Vauxhall’s aim is to maintain the Corsa’s appeal as an affordable, practical compact hatchback, whether in electric or petrol form.

Vauxhall Corsa-e: high-performance VXR version possible

While the regular version of the Corsa-e is set to arrive in 2019, 2021 could see the debut of a hot, high-performance VXR version of the Corsa-e. Speaking to our sister brand Auto Express, the CEO of Opel/Vauxhall Michael Lohscheller said: “You can be sure that we will have some positive surprises in terms of having emotion as one brand pillar of Vauxhall.

“I think the electrification point is important; most people think electrification is for green reasons, for CO2, etc. It’s not only that – it’s also fun. I think that’s what we’re thinking of and how we might bring that to more people – but it’s just in the thinking at the moment.

“We’re thinking about how we can bring electrification to a new level in terms of sportiness. This emotional aspect of electrification is important, so it's not years away.”

Vauxhall is set to have four electrified models on sale by the end of 2020. There'll be a Vauxhall Grandland X PHEV arriving in late 2019, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa-e in early 2020. After that comes a Vauxhall Vivaro electric van, called the Vivaro-e, and finally an electric version of the next-generation Vauxhall Mokka X.