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Steane Klose | Aug 20, 2008

It is well known that GM has been toiling for some time on its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt. The struggling giant automaker has more than a little hinged on the Volt gaining widespread acceptance, and sales success. With this in mind, GM can be expected to be working hard to ensure the Volt gains traction both at home and in export markets.

New information indicates that the production Volt will see duty in Europe, badged as an Opel, and will be the basis for similar plug-in style models for the local market there. No confirmation on whether Asian, South American or African markets will receive the Volt, but we already know that Holden is interested.

While GM may be pushing hard for Volt success, there are still some things that need to be considered. At present the Volt is only capable of traveling approximately 65kms before requiring a charge, which can come from a wall socket or assisted by the small petrol engine. While GM says this is the average distance traveled by an American each day, only time will tell if the range is accurate and if it will be sufficient.

Furthermore, questions remain over the battery - but information here is a little hard to come by. Only two suppliers remain in the running for the supply contract, one South Korean and the other American, with GM set to make a final decision by the end of this year.

In the end, it will all come down to market acceptance; something GM knows all too well. With Toyota claiming it will have a direct competitor with superior pricing and similar performance around the same time, think 2010, GM has reason to work hard.

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