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Green Focus: Long Range Electric Car - Holden Volt

A new car to hit the streets late 2012 is the Holden Volt; it has been classed as a long range electric car. The Volt has a petrol engine as well as an electric motor however is not used in the conventional way. The petrol engine is there to charge the battery pack however when the car is driving at high speeds or it has a heavy load, the generator will also provide additional drive through the gears. The system is similar to the KERS system that propel Formula 1 cars. The battery is a 111kW which has a 368Nm high-torque electric motor driving the wheels. The battery is lithium-ion and the petrol engine has a 1.4 litre 63kw capacity. The Volt is the same kind of size as the Holden Cruz byu way of sepcifications. There is only room enough for four people as the battery runs through the tunnel and under the rear seats. As for the range of the car, unlike other electric cars, this has an unlimited range just like any other car. This is because the car is able to recharge its own battery using the petrol engine. If you do wish to charge the battery while the car is at home, all you have do is plug it into a conventional power point. This way the battery should be recharged in four to six hours. How much would this cost? Around $2.50. If the car is always charged, the Volt will be able to work in full-electric mode continuously if used for shorter trips and the petrol engine would never be needed. However every 48 days the engine will come to life so that it can lubricate itself. The only limitation the vehicle has is that the petrol tank holds 36 litres of fuel. But you should be able to do 500km before the vehicle needs to be recharged or refuelled. Even then you do not have to find somewhere to recharge the battery, you just have to find a petrol station so you can refuel the vehicle. The Volt has three different driving modes. Normal, Sport and for steep uphill driving, the mountain mode. All it takes to start this car is a press of a button while the foot is on the brake pedal. The interior of the Volt has two 7 inch screens. One of these screens is right in front of the driver. This screen shows the range, speed, the charge in the battery and other driving information. The other screen is above the centre console. This screen is for the GPS, audio and other system information. If car rental companies in Sydney and other major cities start to move their fleets to vehicles which are all electric or like the Volt then this would reduce their carbon footprint as well as helping to reduce their maintenance costs for their fleets and the need to refuel their vehicles. This would also reduce the cost for car rental in sydney.