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First look: Holden Volt emerges

It's a Holden: How the new Volt will look with its Holden badges from 2012.

GM Holden reveals what its Volt plug-in hybrid will look like when it arrives 2012

2 Mar 2009

GM HOLDEN used last Friday’s Melbourne International Motor Show to reveal the first images of what its Volt plug-in hybrid will look like when it goes on sale in Australia within three years.

Revealed for the first time in right-hand drive guise and wearing Holden badges front and rear, the Volt has been confirmed to go on sale here as a Holden model in 2012.

Holden says it has been “overwhelmed by public interest” in General Motors’ answer to Toyota’s petrol-electric Prius hybrid, which will go on sale here in third-generation form during the third quarter of this year.

GM Holden chairman and managing director Mark Reuss said Volt had the potential to “change the game in Australian motoring”.

“Since we announced our plans to introduce the Volt to Australia, we have been overwhelmed by public interest in the car and the technology that makes it work,” he said.

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“There is no doubt that Volt’s advanced propulsion systems represent some of the most exciting alternative fuel developments in motoring.

“At Holden, we believe Volt will play an incredibly important role in our efforts to make motoring better for the environment.”

Described by GM as an extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV), the Volt can travel up to 64km on electric power only, before a 1.4-litre petrol engine is employed to recharge its lithium-ion battery pack, allowing hundreds of kilometres of additional travel.

GM says the four-seater Volt’s battery pack can be recharged within three hours via a standard 240-volt household power outlet and claims that recharging the vehicle at night at home will require less electricity annually than an average household fridge.

Based on US research that shows 75 per cent of commuters average less than 64km daily, the Volt will use 1842 litres less fuel than a comparably-sized petrol-powered vehicle that returns fuel consumption of 7.8L/100km.

Left-hand-drive Volt production begins in Detroit in late 2010, with right-hand-drive versions to appear later. GM says it will establish the first lithium-ion battery pack manufacturing facility to be operated by a major car-maker in the US, when it opens its Michigan battery plant next year.

Based on the same Delta II chassis architecture that underpins the next-generation GM Opel/Vauxhall Astra hatch and GM Daewoo’s Cruze sedan, which was revealed in the metal at Melbourne on Friday, the Volt will feature a naturally-aspirated version of the turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that will power the next Astra and Holden’s all-new small car to be built in Australia from late 2010.

Read more:

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