Aug 01

Holden ads create anticipation for long-range electric Volt

 

The long-range electric Holden Volt will be priced at $59,990 AUD when launched later this year, and Australia specific ads have begun to get the word out.

The evocative commercials for the electric car do not mention petrol anywhere, but perhaps people will see the third video posted below to get the rest of the story.


A Holden Volt drives through Holden Headquarters. (Australia)

Holden’s second ad below also emphasizes the word “change” which for Holden, the greener image definitely is.

What the long-range electric Holden is not, is inexpensive. It costs $8,490 AUD more than the not-as-long-range electric $51,500 Nissan Leaf, and converted to U.S. dollars, the Volt costs around $63,073. And while we’re mentioning the beginnings of a mainstream EV market, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is priced at $48,000 AUD.

 

These electric cars are not eligible for government incentives, and consumers will have to pay a carbon tax.

Why no incentives? At the beginning of 2011 the Australian government canceled a Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme and diverted around $430 million AUD to repair infrastructure following 2010 flooding in Brisbane and Queensland. So far nothing has replaced the funding.

As for why Australians pay more for their cars, carsguide.com says there are a host of reasons – and maybe our Australian friends can chime in and add to the reasons, if we miss some.

 

First off, they are taxed more, including import taxes and a goods and services tax. Taxes on more expensive luxury cars can be especially grievous, and apply only to cars, not other luxury items like yachts, jewelery or electronics. A Porsche Carerra S for example has more than $100,000 AUD in luxury taxes added into the sticker.

Secondly, Australia is a relatively small market, buying about one million vehicles per year compared to around 12.75 million in the U.S. So, they don’t get anything like the volume discount Americans do.

But on top of this, Australia is geographically very large and reportedly needs levels of personnel and nationwide support and service on par with the U.S.

And for what it’s worth, Australians earn more on average than their American counterparts. In 2010 average yearly earnings were $56,950 compared to $46,326 in the U.S.

 

How the emerging electric vehicle market will do remains to be seen. Holden will have 49 dealers for the country of about 23 million people.

Given that it’s sparsely populated, the range extender should help sales against pure EVs for GM’s international car imported from Detroit.

And beyond that, the commercials stir the soul, don’t you think?

autoevolution

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 36


  1. 1
    xiaowei1

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (7:14 am)

    As an Australian, here is my take on it all:
    Hooray, we are getting the volt by the end of the year… but it’s a mixed kettle of fish, the price is $59,990 and we have not talked about on road costs yet. I have spoken to a dealer already and there is rumour that will include the on-road costs, but he was not sure on this.

    The high price is related to shipping, import duties, various taxes, and no-doubt some gouging.
    1) The leaf is $8,450 cheaper compared to the volt in Australia but in the US it’s about its $6,715 cheaper – noting the leaf also has shipping costs; Shipping from OZ to us starts at about $3,000. So there is almost $5,000 unexplained dollars in difference.
    2) Factor in the difference in the Australian dollar, and you have $3,000 more dollars of unexplained costs.
    3) I don’t think economies of scale are the real issue – for the most part, the parts for the US are the same parts for Australia. Those parts that are not would relate to right hand side steering which are made for the EU anyway.
    4) Whilst we have a smaller market, in Brisbane for example there are 2 dealers which will have the Volt, which service 2.1 million people (not including those that may come into the city area to get one)
    5) We only have one model on offer which will be a fully loaded version. Though there is no on-star costs related to the vehicle as we don’t have on-star in Australia (So this should also be taken off the price). My understanding is the leaf is fully loaded too, so it should be comparable.

    My take on this is there are profits to be had. I don’t doubt its more expensive here in OZ due to issues outside of GM’s control, but I also see some hefty unexplained dollars in there.

    What really annoys me is we have carbon tax but no electric car incentives (NONE). this carbon tax will generate 17 billion in revenue – 1/2 seems to be going to people in the form of cheques to counter act increases in power bills, and the other half is going into a big unexplained sink hole… I have no idea where it is being spent.

    I would probably be one of the first to buy one, but I have also heard the rumours of a 2L Atkinson engine being designed for the 2014 model which will bring higher fuel economy and some major additions/changes. 5 seats? More range? Improved centre console design? Who knows… As 2013 models will ship latter than they do in the US (by about 4-5 months I imagine), and there will be fairly long waiting list, I might as well wait.

    If this can be cleared up (i.e. denial of intention to modify the generator), I will be putting in an order ASAP.


  2. 2
    Loboc

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (7:50 am)

    All my knowledge about Australia is from Croc Dundee movies, so, not much. ;)

    Good to see Volt getting more markets. Love the videos.


  3. 3
    Duncan

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (8:17 am)

    xiaowei1,

    I think a larger engine is unlikely in 2014. They might possibly use a smaller but more efficient engine and save some weight.

    You can wait if you want, but there’s always going to be some other new feature just over the horizon. Also, the main new features of the 2013 US Volt are Hold mode, and increasing the battery to 10.8kWh usable capacity but my 2012 UK Volt has both of those and as I suspect so does the Holden Volt: it looks like the US leads everyone else at the start of the US production cycle but six months later they may lag slightly as new features come out for the other countries first.


  4. 4
    kdawg

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (8:27 am)

    “The long-range electric Holden Volt will be priced at $59,990 AUD….. and converted to U.S. dollars, the Volt costs around $63,073.”
    ——————

    This is with an American dollar worth less than an Australian dollar. Could you imagine if the Volt was made in Detroit and sold in Australia years ago when the USD vs. AUD was 2:1?


  5. 5
    Roy_H

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (8:30 am)

    I do like the commercials, should be run here.


  6. 6
    Bruce McMillan

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (8:44 am)

    xiaowei1,

    According to Andrea Mathews (Social Media & Digital Communications Manager at Holden. Launch PR for Holden Volt. Tweets are my own. Melbourne, Victoria )

    @supercujo Of course! #Volt drives will begin in the next few weeks (our cars are on a boat right now)
    Jul 17

    http://www.twylah.com/andreamatthews/topics/volt


  7. 7
    mitch

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (8:50 am)

    Love the commercials….they should use them here. Very well done.


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    Xiaowei1

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (8:51 am)

    Bruce McMillan: xiaowei1, According to Andrea Mathews (Social Media & Digital Communications Manager at Holden. Launch PR for Holden Volt. Tweets are my own. Melbourne, Victoria ) @supercujo Of course! #Volt drives will begin in the next few weeks (our cars are on a boat right now)Jul 17http://www.twylah.com/andreamatthews/topics/volt

    I thought they were coming at the end of the year. Do they mean test vehicles or vehicles for sale? If they are for sale, my dealer has some explaining to do…


  9. 9
    xiaowei1

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (8:54 am)

    Duncan,

    I’m a big believer in – get it now, so you can enjoy it now. If you wait, of course technology will improve. My only hesitation is this is 60k in cost and I don’t want to buy it now only to find it very dated a year later. Either way, I am sure i would love this car…


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    kdawg

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (8:56 am)

    “And for what it’s worth, Australians earn more on average than their American counterparts. In 2010 average yearly earnings were $56,950 compared to $46,326 in the U.S.”
    ——————
    I was in Australia for a few weeks in 2004; Sydney, Cairns, and Melbourne. From what I remember, everything was more expensive than in the US. A candy bar, a beer, etc.. all cost more (yes after the conversion to USD). I am from the Midwest, but I’m comparing to typical big city prices NY/Chicago/etc. Generally there is no tipping for service in Australia, but we tipped 15%~20% anyway, as this is what we are used to. But w/out adding in the tipping cost, stuff just seemed to cost more.


  11. 11
    Tim Hart

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (9:36 am)

    The last ad explaining how the Volt works is the best I’ve seen. GM should use it for the American audience.


  12. 12
    kdawg

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (9:44 am)

    xiaowei1,

    What are electricity rates and fuel prices in Australia right now (in USD & volumes)?


  13. 13
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (9:47 am)

    xiaowei1,

    Nice to see you still are enthusiastic about the Volt! Hope you are able to purchase after all. Do you guys have the lease option?? I was never a lease proponent but I did lease my Volt and think it is a good way to go in light of the somewhat higher cost of this vehicle.

    I am with the others here that say these commercials are pretty good. (Although the last one still has that “It’s more car than electric” in it which I am not fond of).


  14. 14
    flmark

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (10:57 am)

    Volts on the way to Austrailia.
    Our own raymondjram must be really getting annoyed in Puerto Rico- US Territory. PR is a much shorter boat trip than Austrailia.
    I know it seems cliched, but sometimes the phrase ‘last person on earth’ hits too close to home.
    Hang in there Ray. Just a few more months?


  15. 15
    mws1047

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (11:03 am)

    In Australia the Volt is quite well priced, compared with competing alternatives for the target market segment. From Carsales.com.au Lexus CT200 $44-58k drive away, Audi A4 4cyl $54-66k, BMW125i $46-68k, Prius ITech $48-52k, all AUD. We could all choose $15k cars for transportation, but we don’t because of lifestyle choices.

    The Holden Volt is configured standard with all the premium Chev Volt options less a little given no OnStar in Australia and a few other oddities. Probably the Chev equivalent price is around $44k US.

    By law the advertised price must be the drive away price. So far Holden is stating the $59,990 figure, but we will wait and see as this seems an eye pleasing figure for a purpose.

    Hypothetically I would lay odds that Holden and Holden dealers will not be making money on the Volt. There is not an existing market for a vehicle with this level of fuel efficiency (hybrid’s sell very poorly in Australia) and very few people understand let alone appreciate what the driving experience is with this power train architecture. The value proposition is the result from changing the market perception of the Holden brand to generate additional sales in the mainstream new generation high tech products in the Holden portfolio. You can’t beat the Chinese in the medium to long term on low cost vehicles. Hopefully, along the way more buyers choose the Australia built Cruze and Commodore than would otherwise be the case.

    Noting the advertising messaging of ‘change’ and ‘the things you can do with electric’ I’d be amazed if Holden produces a battery electric Commodore variant along the lines that EV Engineering are demonstrating. I’d like to be proven wrong as I think there is a use case for this large vehicle fast charge and battery swap architecture with city taxis fleets, and other fleet vehicles, and dare I say Chev Caprice PPVs.

    Additional to the US Volt costings, the Holden Volt pricing will need to accommodate:
    • Small batch production of a unique configuration that is right hand drive and Australian Design Rule compliant (ADR). The closest variant will probably be the UK Chev Volt, but it’s still different. From GMs point of view, this is an additional model variant – it has additional design and production costs that have to be amortised over a small production volume.
    • FEX risk/hedging insurance. Currently $1.04 US to $1 AUD, but it was $0.98 a few weeks ago and $1.08 a few months ago.
    • There are no import taxes owing to the Free Trade Agreement between the US and Australia
    • Shipping costs US to Aust
    • ADR certification and compliance costs (the government does impound and physically cheque sample shipments)
    • Training costs specific to electric vehicles and the Volt for emergency response organisations.
    • Costs associated with quite a number of pre-release Volts which are running around readying the market and participating in ‘trials’
    • Inventory costs for spares in country that duplicate US holdings to provide customer satisfactory lead times (FedEx or other supply chain performance from California noted though)
    • Disproportionately high dealer sales and service training, and special to type equipment fit out for what will probably be low volume sales (one reason why diesel cars have taken so long to penetrate the Australian market).
    • Sales will probably be modest in the Australian market, hence time to sell from arrival in country will drive up storage and floor plan financing costs.
    • Advertising costs per car sold will be very high, although it’s probable that Holden brand advertising budgets are topping up the very many ads on TV
    • Goods and Services tax at 10%
    • Luxury car tax does not apply as the Volt comes under the fuel-efficient car limit currently set at about $75k
    • registration and compulsory insurance (~$600)

    So to my mind the price difference is quite explainable, even if we don’t like paying it.

    The big difference from a buyers perspective between the US and Australia are the incentives and the cost of money. Those Ally Finance deals seem extraordinary from this far away. Does the US Treasury send newly printed money (from quantitative easing) directly to Ally so that people can buy Volts to keep American workers employed so they can become consumers and pay their mortgages? How can Ally raise money to sell at 0.9%? Someone has to pay in the end.

    As for incentives to displace oil consumption in transportation, there is no popular groundswell of opinion for this. There is certainly no political debate for this nor is it likely leading up to the Federal election due in the later part of next year.

    Australians being massively energy independent (albeit mostly carbon intensive) have no anxiety on this matter, even though we are net oil import dependant. Also we do not connect our government’s foreign policy with oil and wars and are not openly trying to avoid importing oil from people who have connections with people who don’t like us.

    Apart from being a distraction from the main game about winning the next election, this sort of direct policy would be seen as spending taxpayer money and be yet another ‘green’ waste of money for rorting. Australian grid electricity is very carbon intensive (far more than the US), and hence incentives for BEV has no sustainability rationale. Also the government has zero political capital left to do much that is courageous.

    Buyers already have the choice of oil independence and lower operating cost by buying LPG fuelled vehicles (large cars from Ford and Holden) or retrofitting for LPG with a government incentive (introduced when oil costs last peaked). Australia has nationwide LPG infrastructure for cars. Nearly all taxis’ are LPG fuelled. Incidentally, sales are slow on these vehicles whereas the overall market is hitting near records.
    However, we do subsidise the Australian car manufacturing industry to the economic benefit of $1b per year (about 200,000 vehicles manufactured here last year). Unfortunately, that does not help the Volt nor other BEVs. The taxpayer is already handing over lots of money and this is already a hot political issue.

    The recent introduction of carbon tax/pricing carbon in electricity production but not oil use is upsetting me as well – a very half pregnant solution, but the whole carbon pricing scheme will be ineffective and inefficient.


  16. 16
    Raymondjram

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (11:35 am)

    flmark:
    Volts on the way to Austrailia.
    Our own raymondjram must be really getting annoyed in Puerto Rico- US Territory.PR is a much shorter boat trip than Austrailia.
    I know it seems cliched, but sometimes the phrase ‘last person on earth’ hits too close to home.
    Hang in there Ray.Just a few more months?

    I am hanging there, not annoyed but with plenty of VES! My GM dealer mentioned October, so it is only 61 more days. I wish to see the 2013 Volt up close and take a test drive before buying one.

    Congratulations to the Australians for getting their Holden Volts (I love the “lion” logo)!

    Raymond

    P.S. My post name “raymondjram” is a combination of my first name (Raymond) my middle initial (J for Joseph) and the first three letters of my last name (Ramirez). I use it to differentiate from another “Raymond” here and the thousands others on the World Wide Web. My family calls me “Ray” but that nickname is too common.


  17. 17
    Raymondjram

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (12:00 pm)

    mws1047:

    The big difference from a buyers perspective between the US and Australia are the incentives and the cost of money.Those Ally Finance deals seem extraordinary from this far away.Does the US Treasury send newly printed money(from quantitative easing) directly to Ally so that people can buy Volts to keep American workers employed so they can become consumers and pay their mortgages?How can Ally raise money to sell at 0.9%?Someone has to pay in the end.

    I like your posts, but I am an Ally client since October 1984 when they were GMAC (General Motors Acceptance Corporation – look up their history at http://www.ally.com/about/ally-story/), and I don’t believe that Ally is getting any new money from the U.S. Treasury Department since they broke off from General Motors during the GM bankruptcy and became a full bank, so they are using their own funds.

    Ally has many ads about their banking (one has a guy being asked to hold a case with $100,000 in cash on the street), but their CD program is lacking “interest” (only up to 1.02%) while I am getting 2% locally with access to my money through ATM machines at any hour. I also believe that Ally has improved their technology and customer support to work with much less banking overhead, so they can offer auto loans with little or no interest (I have zero interest for my 2009 Equinox) and pay them using the 48 billion dollar funds from their banking and CD accounts.

    Ally works well for me as I pay them with electronic transfers and never worry about sending any checks. I know Ally will be financing my Chevy Volt when I get one. Ask Ally if they can finance the Holden Volts in Australia. I hope Ally works for you, too!

    Raymond


  18. 18
    mws1047

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (12:22 pm)

    ‘Why no incentives? At the beginning of 2011 the Australian government canceled a Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme and diverted around $430 million AUD to …’

    Perhaps more correctly, Green Car Innovation Fund rather than Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme. Note this is payable as grants to Australian companies, rather than rebates to customers for their purchases. The Aust Government was ridiculed for even thinking of cash for clunkers type rebates.

    ‘On 24 April 2009 the Australian government opened the Green Car Innovation Fund(GCIF) for applications.

    The GCIF provides assistance to Australian companies for projects that enhance the research and development and commercialisation of Australian technologies that significantly reduce fuel consumption and/or greenhouse gas emissions of passenger motor vehicles.

    Grants are provided at a ratio of $1 of government funding for every $3, of eligible expenditure, contributed by the grantee.’

    http://www.ausindustry.gov.au/programs/manufacturing/gcif/Pages/default.aspx

    This innovation fund whilst it was in place had mixed receptions. Holden used it to introduce local production of the Cruze and Ford used it to slightly update the Falcon engine. EV Engineering used it to develop the electric Commodore proof of concept. Some considered it to be just good old fashioned car industry intervention for what private enterprise could not justify. Apart from EV Engineering, I can’t think of any unique technology that was developed that has changed our lives. Another example of poor policy


  19. 19
    Jeff Cobb

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (2:15 pm)

    mws1047: Perhaps more correctly, Green Car Innovation Fund rather than Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme.

    http://www.alp.org.au/agenda/more—policies/cleaner-car-rebate/

    We did not make up the term. It has been used by others.

    “Policy Update

    The Government has decided not to proceed with the Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme, saving $429.7 million which will be redirected to help rebuild flood affected regions across Australia. The Government is undertaking a range of other initiatives to ensure that the Australian transport sector is well positioned to transition to a low carbon future. … ”

    http://www.autoevolution.com/news/australia-s-cleaner-car-rebate-subsidy-risks-flowing-offshore-26112.html

    “Australia’s Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme is more likely to benefit from imports over locally manufactured cars. Unfortunately, the Federal Government is unable to prevent most of its $430 million AUD subsidy from flowing offshore.”

    Mixed reception –

    http://www.privatefleet.com.au/links-and-resources/auto-news/cash-for-clunkers/

    ###

    I think the confusion arose with two autoblog green reports where both terms were used interchangeably –

    http://green.autoblog.com/2012/06/19/nissan-leaf-goes-on-sale-in-australia-for-a-cool-52-000/

    ” In January 2011, the Australian government cancelled the Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme, saying it would instead use …”

    http://green.autoblog.com/2011/02/11/automakers-urge-australian-government-to-reinstate-green-car-inn/

    “Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the closure of the $506-million Green Car Innovation Fund (GCIF). The cancellation was part of Australia’s numerous measures enacted to support the rebuilding of infrastructure damaged by the series of catastrophic floods that hit Queensland beginning in December of 2010. … “


  20. 20
    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (2:41 pm)

    mws1047: In Australia the Volt is quite well priced, compared with competing alternatives for the target market segment. From Carsales.com.au Lexus CT200 $44-58k drive away, Audi A4 4cyl $54-66k, BMW125i $46-68k, Prius ITech $48-52k, all AUD. We could all choose $15k cars for transportation, but we don’t because of lifestyle choices.

    #15

    Well that says it all IMHO. +1

    And it’s just as valid here.


  21. 21
    kdawg

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (2:52 pm)

    Got a new question today about my Volt:

    “So did you buy spare battery when you got the car? GM was selling extra batteries for these.”

    LOL
    (it’s going to take some time to dispel all the rumors, and it will be one person at a time)


  22. 22
    Bob D.

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (3:01 pm)

    The spots are terrific. Aspirational and beautifully written, art directed and shot.


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    volt11

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (4:39 pm)

    The fact that it costs so much more there than the Leaf is highly suspicious. Sure Japan is closer to Australia than the U.S., but I doubt that accounts for much of the greater markup.


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    kdawg

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (4:54 pm)

    George S. Bower: (Although the last one still has that “It’s more car than electric” in it which I am not fond of).

    I thought they might go with “Volt! Australian for car.”
    :)


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    JeffNY

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (5:58 pm)

    I don’t understand, how many more miles do get on electric with the “long-range electric Holden Volt” than with the “regular” Holden Volt??? The article never says!!

    EDIT: I must have misunderstood, it seems the “long-range electric Holden Volt” is the same car as the “regular” Holden Volt??


  26. 26
    Jeff Cobb

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (6:14 pm)

    JeffNY:
    I don’t understand, how many more miles do get on electric with the “long-range electric Holden Volt” than with the “regular” Holden Volt??? The article never says!!

    EDIT: I must have misunderstood, it seems the “long-range electric Holden Volt” is the same car as the “regular” Holden Volt??

    You are correct! Most GM-Volt readers understand this description is a marketing take-off on the “extended-range” electric Chevrolet Volt.

    Merely calling it “long-range” without further clarification in the article was to highlight the culturally novel name difference of the same car.

    There is but one 16.5-kwh LG Chem T-shaped battery pack supplied for these 2013 model year cars – up from 16-kwh from 2011, 2012, and that goes also for those badged as Vauxhall and Opel Amperas, and European Chevy Volts as well.


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (7:31 pm)

    mitch,

    GM must be afraid we’d want to buy too many of them if they ran those commercials here.


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (8:05 pm)

    kdawg: I thought they might go with “Volt! Australian for car.”

    You’re a funny guy.


  29. 29
    mws1047

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (9:57 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: re Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme.

    I stand corrected by the detail of your research.

    I live here and follow this stuff very closely in the public and politics space. I never thought this policy was anything more than a joke of a bubble thought election promise never progressed, let alone ‘cancelled’.

    That Senator Carr in your references (then Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) spoke as though the policy commitment was real, the reality was he was just following the party line made by his Prime Minister in the irrational heat of the moment election time a few months earlier. Everyone could read between the lines on this policy bubble thought that lasted not much more than a few months.

    In the official Government web site for official industry programs, AusIndustry, there is no reference at all to such a scheme ever existing.
    http://www.ausindustry.gov.au/search/results.aspx?k=%22Australia's%20Cleaner%20Car%20Rebate%20Scheme%22

    Nevertheless, I confused the two initiatives, one a real industry program championed by Senator Kim Carr and partly executed and was terminated, and one just a party policy commitment never implemented in government.

    We live and learn every day. Thanks


  30. 30
    America1st

     

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (10:30 pm)

    Very stylish commercial. Speaks toward game changer. The picture though, 4 large sized Aussie old timers doesn’t work. They look sardined in there. This is for a young couple with maybe a new child or two. Not the SUV types like the PIC shows.


  31. 31
    Mike-o-Matic

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    Aug 1st, 2012 (10:53 pm)

    The explanatory video indicates 600 km range in CS mode. That’s about 373 miles, and considerably greater than the American Chevrolet Volt, which is usually cited at 300 to 330 — depending where you read it.

    So… Did the Holden Volt get a slightly larger gas tank than the Chevrolet Volt’s 9.3 gallon tank?


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    Aug 1st, 2012 (11:39 pm)

    kdawg:
    xiaowei1,

    What are electricity rates and fuel prices in Australia right now (in USD & volumes)?

    Perhaps I can advise what my in Australia energy rates are.

    Electricity
    AGL recently advised their revised energy plan. As a general rule industry wide retail electricity prices are increasing by between 15-18% this year. 10% is generally attributed to recently introduced nationwide carbon pricing for some emitters. 1% is attributed to the effects of renewable energy targets (20% by 2020 which we are looking to exceed owing to reduced demand and high adoption of home solar), and the remainder mostly because of catch-up infrastructure investment (some of which is the result of power lines causing some of the rampant and tragic fires of a few years ago).

    Wholesale electricity pricing into the grid has been reducing owing to reduced demand, but retail pricing is increasing for the reasons above.

    Here is my electricity pricing if I go with the AGL plan. The peak pricing increased 16% for this year, and off peak increased 23%. Low cost brown coal base load power for off peak is not giving us much love at the moment.

    Peak (first 11.2 kWh/day) 25.9 US c/kWh
    Peak (after first 11.2 kWh/day) 26.9 US c/kWh
    Off Peak / Controlled load 17.4 US c/kWh

    Transport fuel
    I live in Melbourne which is a fairly competitive market compared with country prices. We are also in a slump in fuel pricing, perhaps in part by the increasing foreign exchange rate that is also killing much of our manufacturing industry. We have paid about 30% higher in the past. 98/100 octane is often about 20% higher than ‘unleaded’

    unleaded (typically 91 – 93) $5.31 USD/US gallon
    premium (typically 95) $5.71 USD/US gallon
    98 $-
    100 $-
    Diesel $5.51 USD/US gallon

    ltr to US gallon: 0.264172
    Exchange rate AUD to USD: 1:04

    - Malcolm


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    Aug 2nd, 2012 (1:20 am)

    Mike-o-Matic: The explanatory video indicates 600 km range in CS mode. That’s about 373 miles, and considerably greater than the American Chevrolet Volt, which is usually cited at 300 to 330 — depending where you read it.
    So… Did the Holden Volt get a slightly larger gas tank than the Chevrolet Volt’s 9.3 gallon tank?

    In document ’2013_Volt_special_update_trifold.pdf’ Chevrolet claims 344 miles for extended range, so the difference in what officially can be claimed is a little closer.

    The Holden Volt has the same sized fuel tank as the US Volt with 35.2 ltr capacity.

    An explanation of the different ranges is probably the different drive test cycles between the US, Europe and Australia as per Andrea Matthews (Social Media & Digital Communications Manager at GM Holden) comments in a number of articles when Holden announced the Volt’s pricing.

    “Holden spokeswoman Andrea Matthews says it is all down to how each region measures all-electric range.
    ‘‘The ADR [Australian Design Rules] testing is different to anywhere else,’’ she says. ‘‘That’s why you get these differences between countries.’’

    The same applies to charge sustain range.

    On Holdenhq.com.au I was a bit cheeky wondering why on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1vAMtX4oa8 Dion Shultz was explaining to Andrea Matthews the need to do an energy/fuel consumption road test from Melbourne to Canberra for what must be the most simulated, instrumented and tested car in history.

    Perhaps they thought the ADR range might cause a bit of discussion when compared with overseas certifications. A 640 km trip from Melbourne to Canberra without refuelling makes a point for our politicians and other Australians.

    Given that many people on this blog site comment that they get better than the US certified charge sustain fuel consumption rate, confirming the long range capabilities is important. This is especially so if that’s one of your marketing messages (and messaged slightly differently from US marketing).

    - Malcolm


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    Aug 2nd, 2012 (6:22 am)

    kdawg,

    Gas is about $1.30 at the moment, it went over $1.40 a week back but has dipped down again. We pay about $0.22 for electricity where I live. It really depends on the supplier though. We picked our supplier because we get just over $.50 per each Kw we put back into the system from our 3.2kw solar system.


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    Aug 2nd, 2012 (6:46 am)

    George S. Bower: xiaowei1, Nice to see you still are enthusiastic about the Volt! Hope you are able to purchase after all. Do you guys have the lease option?? I was never a lease proponent but I did lease my Volt and think it is a good way to go in light of the somewhat higher cost of this vehicle.I am with the others here that say these commercials are pretty good. (Although the last one still has that “It’s more car than electric” in it which I am not fond of).

    I have not heard of the lease option yet, only the sales price along with a few brochures being sent to me by my local dealer.

    If the Volt really is $59,950 drive away, I’m still very keen.


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    Aug 2nd, 2012 (8:42 am)

    mws1047,

    xiaowei1,

    Interesting. So I let’s see how the operating costs compare in Australia.

    I’m going to go with 12,000 miles/year, comparing to a 25mpg car.
    Using gasoline your cost would be (12,000/25) * 5.31 = $2,549 USD
    In the Volt (10Kwh * 0.22* 365days) = $803

    Compared to my personal rates, your electricity is about 2.5 times the cost of mine, while your gasoline is about 1.5 times the cost of mine. So not quite as good savings, but still quite impressive. Should try plugging those values into the Kipplinger Calculator to see a 5 year cost comparison.