New models - Holden - Volt
Holden Volt priced at $59,990
Range-extending Holden Volt loaded with gadgets and a sub-$60k sticker price
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3 Jul 2012
HOLDEN has confirmed its Volt range-extender electric vehicle will cost $59,990 plus on-road costs when it launches in Australia in October or November, putting a sizeable gap between it and pure electric cars such as the $51,500 Nissan Leaf and $48,800 Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
Renault’s Fluence ZE is expected to cost around $40,000 and Tesla hopes the strong Australian dollar will enable it to price the larger, posher, seven-seat Model S just $15,000 higher than the Volt when it arrives in about a year.
However, the Volt has a unique range anxiety-busting drivetrain that can boost its 87km electric-only range to more than 600km using a petrol generator, and will come in a single specification packed with safety, entertainment and comfort gadgetry.
Some of the luxuries fitted to the Volt are not even found on Holden’s flagship Caprice limousine – at least in the current generation – such as lane departure warning and forward collision alert, which warns the driver if they get too close to the vehicle in front.
Further driver and safety aids include the full complement of electronic stability and braking systems, automatic projector headlights, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, eight airbags, all-round seatbelt reminders and a driver-activated audible alert for pedestrians when the car is running silently on electricity.
A standard six-speaker Bose premium audio system is claimed to consume 50 per cent less energy than similar systems without compromising sound quality, and comes with a 30GB hard drive for music storage.
Operated through a seven-inch colour touch-screen, the infotainment system includes satellite navigation, DVD player, Bluetooth connectivity and a USB socket for connecting an iPod or MP3 player.
As is the norm for hybrid and electric cars, the Volt’s main screen can be configured to access energy flow and driving efficiency information plus configurable charging options.
A digital instrument panel – another seven-inch screen – provides fuel consumption, electric, petrol and total driving range, feedback on driving habits, a trip computer, tyre pressure monitoring and a speedometer.
Entering and starting the Volt is via proximity key and the four-seat interior is fitted out with two-tone leather upholstery, front seat heaters, climate control, self-dimming mirrors, cruise control and a height and reach adjustable steering wheel.
Holden will offer the Volt in five exterior colours comprising white, black, silver, green and red, and the car will be fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, an integrated rear spoiler, LED daytime running lights and door mirrors with integrated turn indicators.
The Volt will join the list of Holdens available with capped-price servicing, which will cost $185 for each of the first four standard scheduled services within the car’s first three years or 60,000km.
Holden has confirmed the Volt will also come with a transferable eight-year warranty for the battery and electric drivetrain components.
Television advertising for the Volt first aired during prime time shows The Block Finale, New Girl and Downton Abbey on Sunday.
The commercial, entitled Change, signals a new direction for Holden, which ditches the “Go Better” tagline used across the company’s car adverts since 2008.
Holden marketing director Simon Carr said the Volt offered new technology customers might not otherwise associate with the Holden brand.
“What better way to show how Holden is changing than bringing to market a game-changer like the Volt?,” he said.
“In the last year, we’ve been conducting consumer research to better understand what Australians think of Holden. We wanted to understand what came to mind when they thought of our brand.”
Airing TV commercials and revealing pricing and specifications are the latest moves in Holden’s drip-feed launch of the Volt.
The company kicked off proceedings late last year with a media preview of the Volt in Sydney, opened Australia’s first public charging station for Volt users outside its Port Melbourne headquarters in May and announced the 49-strong dealer network in June.
Holden sales, marketing and aftersales executive director John Elsworth recently revealed that the Volt had received interest from company and government fleets including the US embassy, but said he expected private customers to account for 50 per cent of sales.
Mr Elsworth said Volt buyers are likely to be more interested in the Volt’s technology than its environmental credentials, describing them as the kind of early adopters who bought the first Apple iPads.
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