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Jul 2, 2012

The Holden Volt; Australia’s own coal fired car.

Government Motors Holden (GMH) have been working feverishly since last year towards bringing Australians their own coal fired electric car, the Holden Volt. Now it is about to hit the road:

… The dealers, like the other 45 appointed across the nation, have had to meet new environmental standards as the car company promotes the new model to "green"-thinking motorists. The Volt model is due on sale within months at a price yet to be announced although appointed dealers have started to place orders with Holden for stock.

Holden executive director of sales, marketing and after-sales, John Elsworth, said each dealer appointed had committed to achieve environmental accreditation as well as invest in new tooling and infrastructure for servicing Volts.

The Volt dealers must achieve an Australian automotive industry "level 2 Green Stamp Plus Accreditation". "Accreditation assures customers that the dealer takes its environmental responsibility seriously," Mr Elsworth said. Environmental management practices include recycling, efficient energy use and reducing the use and disposal of toxic chemicals.

"Each dealer will also install a dedicated Volt charging station and invest in new tooling and training to ensure the highest standards of service for owners of Holden's first electric car," Mr Elsworth said.
The price range for the car has not been fixed, but suggestions are in the region of fifty to seventy thousand dollars. It is not mentioned whether or not the US taxpayer is providing subsidies for the units sold here or whether the rednecks outside DC will draw the line on this. With our government heavily in thrall to Big Eco though, perhaps our taxpayers will be generous enough to help those poorer inner city trendies who struggle to buy a $70,000 car.

The Motor Report has pointed out that the Volt offers a choice to ecologically driven consumers of avoiding gasoline consumption by using coal fired electricity in the battery, or using gasoline to charge it up on the run. They also deal with the issue of fires:
While the Volt has been on the US market as the Chevrolet Volt for some time now, GM has taken heat in recent weeks for issues with the Volt's battery that have seen the system catch fire in a small number of on-road accidents. The carmaker has quickly jumped on the issue however, with GM global product development chief Mary Barra promising a quick solution.

"We are looking to say, 'Are there some design changes we can make, something even more robust in this location or that location or with this component,'" Ms Barra told Reuters this week. "If we have to do something, we will.” "The one thing you don't want to do is jump to conclusions," she added.
While we allow language experts to assess what this statement actually means, RWL recommends that you stick to your old reliable Canyonero for the time being.

Currently the only GMH vehicle being recalled owing to fire hazard in Australia is the Cruze. The Volt, having not been released yet has no record of catching fire here.

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