By Carl Hudson
Holden is aiming to be the first to bring the electric car to the masses in Australia.
Holden are introducing the revolutionary Holden Volt in 2012...
Holden revealed a left-hand-drive version of the Volt to its employees in a special event at its Melbourne headquarters in November,2011.
Holden director of electrical engineering Paul Gibson said the left-hand-drive Volt has been adapted for Holden’s engineering team for initial vehicle evaluation studies, and has so far embarked on drives around Sydney and Canberra.
The engineering department will use these validation exercises to ensure the electrical infrastructure around the country supports the Volt and that the recharging process is as seamless as possible for customers,” Mr Gibson said.
The Holden Volt will be a localised version of Chevrolet Volt, which has been on sale in the US for almost a year.
The Holden Volt is a hybrid electric car, so if you choose you can run it purely on electricity you have the battery system and for longer trips or similar situations you have the backup system. This hybrid system is called Range Extending or EREV (extended range electric vehicle) and means you will never be caught short due to low battery, the fuel system will allow you drive for a few hundred more kilometres. It's not a hybrid in the true sense of the word, even though it uses two powerplants. The lithium ion battery pack will propel the Holden Volt some 60km on electric power alone, before a 63kW, 1.4-litre petrol engine kicks in to charge the batteries, not propel the car.
|In the US, the Volt has an official combined (electric and range-extended) range of 610km, although according to Holden, some Volt owners in the US have travelled up to 2300km before needed to refuel the petrol engine.
||Holden says a single charge of the Volt's long-life lithium-ion battery system will allow most of you to make you daily commutes using only the battery system.
The standard 240V Volt charging kit allows you to plug into your everyday Australian power socket and fully charge your vehicle in around 6-8 hours (overnight).
It can also be charged by the on-board generator, which is powered by the 60kW 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.
The power is channelled through to the Volt’s 111kW/368Nm electric motor, which drives the front wheels.
Running Cost: The Holden Volt requires less than 6 hours charge time based on GM Holden electrical engineering testing. Based on a 10A 240 Volt power source. Cost of charge ($2.50) based on peak price of Origin Enegry, Victorian December 2011.
The Volt has zero tailpipe emissions when driving which means more green points for the environment that we live in.
While the Holden Volt uses standard anti-lock disc brakes, it also incorporates regenerative braking, a system that captures some of that energy usually lost during braking and converts it to electricty and returns it to the battery, again helping to extend the range of the vehicle.
|AMERICAN television host and car nut Jay Leno is said to have travelled 10,000 miles (16,000km) purely on electricity in his range-extender Chevrolet Volt since taking delivery of it in December as one of the earliest customers to receive a production car.
The TV star’s Volt is said to still have the original tank of petrol delivered with the car, which he uses to commute daily to the Los Angeles TV studio to record The Tonight Show, as well as running various personal errands.
Chevrolet claims Mr Leno, who owns a vast garage of supercars and collectible vehicles, is one of a growing number of plug-in Volt owners in the US who have racked up five-figure mileages under electric power, priding themselves on sticking to electric drive in their travels rather than push the limits until the petrol engine kicks in to generate more electricity.
In the US, a Chevrolet survey of Volt early adopters found they fill up with petrol once a month on average, travelling more than 900 miles (1450km) between service station visits.
The Holden vault has an advanced dashboard including two high resolution LCD screens providing real-time information on energy use and power flow. There is also a 7 inch colour touch screen to the left that can display efficiency information based on your individual driving style.
Because the Holden Volt doesn't have a traditional transmission it's low-end torque is fully utilised to the tyres on the ground. This is what makes and electric car feel so powerful and exhilarating whilst running so quietly. This gives the Volt both performance and efficiency.
|VOLT NAMED CAR OF THE YEAR
Ahead of its Australian launch as the Holden Volt in 2012, the Chevrolet Volt has been named 2011 Car of the Year by esteemed US motoring publications Motor Trend and AUTOMOBILE.
Holden’s Energy and Environment Director Richard Marshall said the accolades reinforced that Volt would have a significant impact when launched in Australia.
“We committed in 2008 to bring Volt to Australia, recognising then, that this vehicle represented game-changing technology for the auto industry,” Mr 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.”
GM also calculates that charging the vehicle at night through a standard power outlet will use less electricity annually than an average household refrigerator.
“These two internationally significant awards further highlight the benefits of Volt and we’re excited to be working on the up-coming Australian launch of this important vehicle.”
Wind tunnel testing in design has afforded the Holden Volt external features in the styling of the mirrors, closed grill, rocker panels and the rear spoiler. The aerodynamics lead to yet more efficiency from the vehicle with an extremely low co-efficiency of drag.
The revolutionary Holden Volt is part of the 'Ecoline' Family of vehicles. These are Holden's most efficient lines of cars. The Holden Volt will lead this next generation of efficient vehicles.
Holden will reveal pricing on the Holden Volt closer to the release, however some speculative suggestions expect the price to range between $40,000 to $60,000 AUD.