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Chevrolet reveals more user-influenced Volt features

Current shape: Chevrolet used Volt user behaviour data to develop new features such as a glowing charge socket.

Next-generation Chevrolet Volt design relied heavily on last-gen customer behaviour

Chevrolet logo21 Nov 2014

By DANIEL GARDNER

GENERAL MOTORS has released more details and a glimpse of its forthcoming Volt ahead of the range-extender EV’s world debut at the Detroit motor show in January.

The latest announcement outlines charging and power-use technology, which GM says resulted from a close consideration of existing Volt user's behaviour through data collection.

As reported last month, the same information highlighted how Volt owners use their vehicles, allowing the development of a new more user-friendly drivetrain for the updated plug-in.

The latest developments use the vehicle's GPS to tailor specific charge and power-use settings for each customer, maximising the use of energy while on the road and optimising charging when parked.

Users can specify a “home” location where the Volt switches to pre-determined settings such as charging amps or a charge schedule to make use of cheap rate electricity at night, for example.

Its charging hardware has also been redesigned to incorporate a charge-status light, accompanying alert sounds and an illuminated charging socket.

The extra lighting flashes according to approximate charge level and alerts users if the socket cover has been left open, while socket illumination also assists connection in the dark.

Other customer-influenced features include a new longer charging cord and its own dedicated storage box in the boot.

The newest information was released along with a sneak-peek at the nose of the car, showing a completely new face for the Volt.

Its trademark chevron grille remains but has been shortened and is joined by a larger second aluminium-look panel, while running lights under the new style headlights have shrunk.

The prospects of a Holden badge-wearing version for Australia are still uncertain and Holden senior manager of product communications Kate Lonsdale said the company had “no information to announce regarding Volt.”

The current-shape Volt is a slow seller Down Under with just 101 sold last year and 53 registered to the end of last month.

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