Alternative energy expo comes to Wellington

AMY JACKMAN
Last updated 14:03 21/11/2012
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AMY JACKMAN

Charged to go: The dashboard of the new Holden Volt electric vehicle.

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AMY JACKMAN
Easy on wallet: Holden says the petrol cost for the 635km drive to Auckland is about $92 for a normal car compared to $13 in the Volt.
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I had a Top Gear experience this week when I tested the Volt, Holden's new electric car.

There are only about 60 electric cars registered in New Zealand, so the drive was quite a novelty.

Though there was no fancy camera work, trips to exotic locations or exploding caravans, I managed to get the feel of the car's new electric technology and fancy gadgets.

Alongside its battery-powered motor, the Volt has a 1.4 litre petrol-powered generator that kicks in to charge the battery if needed, therefore giving the car a longer range.

When the car uses the generator, which is hardly ever, it uses only one litre of petrol per 100km.

The petrol cost for the 635km drive to Auckland is about $92 for a normal car compared to $13 in the Volt.

The Volt has some good gadgets as well, including a DVD player, GPS, iPod connection and a really loud sound system.

Perhaps that's to make up for the fact that the car doesn't make any other noise.

The Volt will feature at the Smart Energy Expo at Wellington Town Hall on November 23 and 24 from 10am till 5pm.

The Expo is billed as a chance for people to find solutions to being caught in the pincer movement of rising power bills and increasing petrol prices. It will showcase the latest in electric vehicles, home generation using solar power and other technologies and smart grid technology.

Exhibitors from New Zealand, Australia and Germany are participating.

What: EnaSolar Smart Energy Expo

When:  Friday 23 and Saturday 24 November, 10am to 5pm each day

Where:  Wellington Town Hall Auditorium,  109 Wakefield St   

Cost:  $10 at the door. For more information on the expo visit www.seanz.org.nz/smart-energy-expo

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