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New Zealand:The Volt electric car coming to NZ

General Motors are billing the Volt as the future of cars, and their Australasian arm Holden believes there’s a place for the new electric car on New Zealand’s roads.

It has taken more than a year to make it here, and so far there is only one – a lone Volt hoping to plug a gap in New Zealand’s car market. But just what that gap is even Holden isn’t quite sure.

“It’s not an electric car,” says Holden corporate affairs manager Neil Waka. “It’s not a hybrid. It’s sort of in between.”

Unlike General Motors’ first electric effort, the EV-1, which was controversially forced into extinction, the Volt is seen as the future of what was once the world’s biggest car company.

Holden boasts as much computing power as a 747’s flight deck under the Volt’s bonnet, helping create silent and environmentally friendly motoring.

But because of something called “range anxiety”, where quite simply people are scared of running out of electricity, the Volt has not one but three motors – two electric and one good, old-fashioned internal combustion engine.

The petrol engine has been a cause of some controversy, despite what General Motors have said: “the petrol engine actually charges the battery instead of driving the wheels”.

But it is actually possible for the engine to mechanically drive the wheels, which technically makes it just another hybrid. Keep the battery charged though, and you might never need a drop of petrol.

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