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Mike Stevens | Mar 2, 2009

Holden took advantage of the spotlight during its presentation at the Melbourne International Motor Show, revealing the first images of the Volt as it is likely to appear when it hits Aussie roads.

Essentially a rebadged, right-hand-drive version of the now well-known Chevy Volt, the Holden Volt will offer the same 64 kilometre range as its US sibling, before a small petrol motor will kick in to give it additional range.

Holden Volt

GM Holden Chairman and Managing director Mark Reuss said that since announcing the Volt would launch in Australia in 2012, the company had been overcome by public interest.

“We think Volt has the potential to change the game in Australian motoring,” Mr Reuss said.

“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,” he said.

GM estimates that the Volt will save motorists up to 1892 litres of fuel each year compared to similar sized petrol vehicles.

Holden Volt

In news that might quiet a few detractors of the electric vehicle movement, GM also calculates that charging the Volt at night through a standard power outlet will use less electricity annually than an average household refrigerator.

Volt is planned for manufacture at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and is scheduled for launch in the US in late 2010. The right-hand-drive version will launch later.

Click through the press release link for more information on how the Volt works.

Volt – How The Technology Works

Volt is an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV). In a significant advance from conventional hybrids , it uses electricity to move its wheels at all times and speeds.

For trips of up to 64 kilometres, Volt is powered solely by the electricity stored in its battery without using petrol or producing exhaust pipe emissions.

When the battery’s energy is depleted, a small petrol-powered engine generates electric power for the vehicle to travel hundreds of additional kilometres .

Advanced technology enables the vehicle’s battery to be charged in less than three hours on a standard 240v power outlet. Charge times are reduced if the battery has not been fully depleted.

GM estimates that compared to petrol-powered vehicles that average 7.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, Volt will save motorists up to 1892 litres of fuel a year.

Volt – Vehicle Details

The design of the Volt production car has evolved from an original concept that was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

General Motors created an energy efficient design for the production vehicle, resulting in one of the most aerodynamic cars in the company’s history.

Many of the design cues from the concept car have been carried over in the production Volt, including the closed front grille, athletic stance and rear design graphics.

Inside, Volt will offer the space, comfort, convenience and safety features that customers expect in a four-passenger sedan.

Volt – Battery Details

GM will establish the first lithium-ion battery pack manufacturing facility operated by a major automaker in the United States to produce the Volt's battery pack system.

It consists of lithium-ion cells that are grouped into modules, along with other key battery components.

The plant will be located in Michigan, subject to negotiations with state and local government authorities. Facility preparation will begin in early 2009, with production tooling to be installed mid-year and output starting in 2010.

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