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Holden Volt to stay for now

Plugger: GM's Volt will remain under Holden badges in this generation, but the jury is out on a replacement for Australia.

Question mark on next generation Volt in Australia as Holden keeps its options open

19 Jun 2014

HOLDEN is standing by its slow-selling petrol-electric Volt for now, but is yet to decide if the next-generation range-extender hatch will be sold under Holden badges in Australia.

Holden sales and marketing executive director Philip Brook said a lot of work was being done on the next generation Volt within General Motors.

“We just have to evaluate that (development),” he said. “That's still a little bit down the track, and we still have a while to go with the current one.” He added: “For the time being, it (the Volt) is around.”

So far this year, Holden has sold 30 of the range-extender cars out of total Holden sales of more than 44,000 vehicles.

In May, just three Volts found homes in Australia, where it competes in the prestige bracket with a $59,990 price tag.

Rival Nissan has shifted 68 all-electric Leafs in Australia this year, priced a much more affordable $39,990 driveaway.

The issue is further complicated by the absence of government incentives for such “green” cars in this country, compared with the United States and Europe.

More than 60,000 Volts have been sold in the US since it was launched there in late 2010, with 1600 finding homes last month alone.

In America, Volt drivers recently racked up a collective 800 million kilometres, making it one of the most successful electrified cars in history.

It is unclear when a replacement is due, with the best guess being 2016 or 2017 – about five or six years after the original.

The unique nature of the Volt, with its 1.4-litre petrol engine, electric motor and lithium-ion batteries, means that ordinary model development cycle rules are unlikely to reply.

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