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Thursday, 30 August 2012 08:28

Holden Volt vaults to 5 star safety rating Featured

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Not a pure electric vehicle, yet not a hybrid, the Holden Volt is looking like it will shake up the languishing Australian automobile industry.


One six hour charge will give you 80 kilometres of emission free (apart from that used to generate the electricity initially) travel, enough for most city bound commuters each day.  If needed however the new Holden Volt can extend its range by using petroleum in the normal manner,  or assisted by recharging the 16.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The Volt is due for release this coming November, and is indicative of the kind of changes required in the Australian automotive manufacturing industry.  The good news seems that beyond all the cool green technology, the Volt has been designed for Australian conditions (that is, long distance driving) and is proving to be packed with many other innovative safety features.

“As more electric vehicles enter the market, no doubt consumers are interested to learn of any additional safety concerns regarding these vehicles when involved in a crash,” said ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh.

“Battery-powered vehicles present a different challenge to manufacturers when incorporating crash protection into their designs however the crash protection provided by the Volt is on par with our traditionally-powered models,” he commented.

Mr McIntosh also remarked, “In addition to the Volt being one of the safest choices for consumers, it also has an innovative range-extending petrol generator making it an attractive green vehicle for non-urban areas.”

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New active advanced safety features including Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert will be offered for the first time in a Holden, making Volt one of the safest vehicles on the road.

Volt’s Lane Departure Warning helps to modify collision risks that may arise when drivers stray over lane markings unintentionally, or depart a lane without signalling first. The system uses a windscreen-mounted digital camera that looks for lane markings to provide lane departure alerts over a certain speed.

The Forward Collision Alert system uses the same windscreen-mounted camera for lane departure warning to detect slow or stationary traffic in front of the vehicle.  The system looks for vehicles ahead and warns drivers if they are following another vehicle too closely.

Volt’s safety is further enhanced with the inclusion of eight airbags, a rear view camera, front and rear parking sensors, electric park brake and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) incorporating Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution and traction control.

Holden’s Manager for Vehicle Structure & Safety Integration, Steve Curtis said Volt’s list of standard features was anything but standard.

“With a simple one model line-up, we've packed everything into this vehicle so that its list of standard features is what you would expect to find in a top of the range premium vehicle,” Curtis said.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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