Holden Volt

Price: TBA CO2: 0g/km

Element - - Transport -

Things are off to a slightly dodgy start for the car that will be launched as a Holden in 2012. A Chevro­let Volt caught fire in Amer­ica this month, three weeks af­ter the ve­hi­cle was crash tested. Gen­eral Mo­tors in­sists that the car is safe, say­ing tech­ni­cians failed to de-power the car’s lithium-ion bat­ter­ies (an es­tab­lished safety pro­to­col for elec­tric ve­hi­cles af­ter a crash) – coolant leaked onto them, crys­tallised and even­tu­ally sparked. As­sum­ing this is­sue gets sorted, the Volt looks like a po­ten­tial game-changer. It’s es­sen­tially a plug-in hy­brid that can run as a zero-emis­sions elec­tric car for up to 80km – and then a long way be­yond, as a small-ca­pac­ity com­bus­tion en­gine can be fired up to act as a gen­er­a­tor. A sim­ple-yet-clever idea that max­imises the ben­e­fits of bat­tery power with­out suf­fer­ing the com­pro­mise of se­verely re­duced range.

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