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The Holden Volt

Holden Volt

The Holden Volt isn’t a very well-known model neither in the U.S nor Europe but that’s because it is a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Volt, and the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera.

The car is marketed as an electric car but it’s different from most other battery electric cars because it features three motor, a traction motor that is joined by a generator and a 1.4-litre petrol engine. Once the battery power is depleted, the engine will start supplying power to the electric drivetrain, and the car can be recharged just like any other electric car.

The battery design has been recently slightly upgraded so as to extend the driving range for the new model. This however means that the charging time will also increase slightly.

Basically what they did was to tweak the battery cell chemistry a bit and increased the total storage capacity by 0.5kWh, to 16.5 kWh which means that it increases the pure-electric range from 35 to 38 miles. It will also increase the amount of time needed to reach a full charge as well to 4hr 15m, a quarter of an hour longer than the old model.

The upgraded Volt model for 2013 will go on sale in the US in August and will launch in Australia in November, but it has been confirmed that only about one in five of the GM dealerships in Australia will be selling the electric car.

This limited number of dealerships stems from Holden requiring commitments from dealers who want to sell the Volt, commitments such as installing dedicated charging station, investing in new tooling and service training as well as achieving the recognized environmental accreditation.

The people at Holden are serious about lowering their carbon footprint, and as such they require their dealers to attain at least a level two Green Stamp Plus Accreditation through the VACC, focused mainly at environmental management such as the “recycling, efficient energy usage and reduction in use and disposal of toxic chemical”.

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