1 Oct 2012
Holden’s first range-extender electric car, the Volt, arrived in late 2012 charged with changing the way Australians drive, along with perceptions of the Red Lion brand in Australia.
Based on GM’s Delta II platform that produced the Holden Cruze and Opel Astra, the Volt was a small car with big ambitions.
It could run on electric power alone for up to 80km and used a 1.4-litre petrol engine to generate electricity when the batteries ran out, providing a total range of up to 600km and removing the ‘range anxiety’ associated with conventional EVs.
At launch, the Volt cost just under $60,000, which made it more expensive than some of its eco-friendly rivals such as the Nissan Leaf, but the Holden was well specified for the price and buyers were rewarded with standard features including leather heated seats, keyless entry and start, sat-nav, rear-view camera, audio system with DVD, voice recognition, and iPod and Bluetooth phone connectivity.
Other high-tech safety features included lane-departure warning, tyre-pressure readings, eight airbags and a “pedestrian-friendly alert” that beeps to warn walkers of the approach of the super-quiet Volt.
The Volt was strictly a four-seater due to the placement of the battery and was awarded a five-star safety rating from ANCAP.
It also scored five stars for efficiency with an official fuel economy figure of just 1.2L/100km on the combined test cycle, making it the most fuel-efficient petrol-electric car on the Australian market at the time of its release.
Recharging time was listed as 10 hours using a standard 10-amp home power outlet and just four hours with a 15-amp unit.
When it was new