The Holden Volt has been named 2011 Car of the Year by US motoring publications Motor Trend and AUTOMOBILE
The Holden Volt (known as the Chevrolet Volt in the US) will be launched in New Zealand in 2012, and Holden expects it to make a big impact.
“We committed in 2008 to bring Volt to New Zealand, recognising then, that this vehicle represented game-changing technology for the auto industry,” Holden’s Energy and Environment Director Richard Marshall said.
“When it arrives locally, Volt will make driving more economical, better for the environment and will change the way we think about alternative transport solutions.”
The editors of AUTOMOBILE praised Volt, saying it was: “the most sophisticated, most important vehicle on the road today”, while Motor Trend said: “[Volt] is a fully functional, no-compromise compact automobile that offers consumers real benefits in terms of lower running costs.”
As the world’s first electric vehicle with extended range capability, the Volt has a total driving range of about 550km, depending on driving style and conditions.
For the first 40 to 80km, the Volt drives on electric-only power using electricity stored in its 16kWh lithium-ion battery. When the battery runs low, a petrol powered engine/generator operates to extend the driving range more than 480km on a full tank.
GM estimates that compared to similar sized petrol-powered vehicles, Volt will save motorists up to 1892 litres of fuel a year. This is based on US research that identifies 75% of commuters travel an average daily distance of fewer than 64km. GM also calculates that charging the vehicle at night through a standard power outlet will use less electricity annually than an average household refrigerator.