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by David Zalstein

The Holden Volt has joined the Victorian Government’s Electric Vehicle Trial, supplying recharge data collected from its internal fleet of extended-range electric vehicles ahead of the Volt reaching dealerships later this year.

Holden announced the partnership that will see a fleet of eight Volts driven by Holden employees for 12 weeks become part of the EV initiative that intends to aid the transition toward electric vehicles and includes more than 60 organisations, 60 vehicles and 200 charging locations.

The fleet will be made up of four of the first right-hand-drive Volts to reach Australian shores and four left-hand-drive vehicles that Holden has been using as its demonstration and engineering fleet since the car’s arrived in December 2011.

Holden’s Director of Energy and Environment Richard Marshall said, “By getting involved in the Victorian Electric Vehicle Trial we hope to develop a better understanding of how people drive and recharge vehicles in Australia.” Holden says it will also be conducting consumer education activities throughout the trial in an effort to promote the benefits and understanding of EVs.

The Cruze-sized Holden Volt is referred to by parent-company General Motors as the world’s first Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) as the Volt differs from other battery electric vehicles by employing a 1.4-litre petrol engine to power its electric drivetrain once the lithium-ion battery pack has reached a minimum level of charge. Holden says the Volt has an electric-only range of up to 80km but a combined range with the petrol engine of more than 600km.

The Holden Volt is due to go on sale in Australia in the last quarter of 2012 with a likely starting price of around $60,000.




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