While most electric cars are being targeted at people who live in towns and cities because of their limited range on a full charge, Chevrolet UK will be taking a completely different approach with the VOLT .
The company’s local managing director, Mark Terry, believes it opens up electric mobility to buyers in rural communities because it has a range-extender in the form of a 1.4-litre petrol engine which acts as a generator when the charge in the battery is exhausted.
As a result it can cover up to 50 miles on battery power – most drivers will manage something in the mid-30s – and more than 300 miles on electricity generated by the petrol engine.
“In rural areas petrol is more expensive than in cities, fuel stations are further apart and people have to travel longer distances to shopping centres or places of entertainment, but everybody has electricity at home,” said Terry. “The Volt allows people to cut their running costs by using electricity to drive the car, safe in the knowledge that they have the range-extender as back-up.”
The first Chevrolet dealer in the country to sign up for the Volt was in Cambridge, a city surrounded by rural areas. Currently the only other UK Volt dealer is in Wimbledon, although more will be added during the course of this year.
“Our problem at the moment is supply,” said Terry. “The first boat to dock had 24 cars on board and the second had 11, which is way short of what we asked for but every country in the world is clamouring for more cars than the factory can supply.”