The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid manufactured by General Motors, also marketed in rebadged variants as the Holden Volt in Australia and New Zealand, and with a different fascia as the Vauxhall Ampera in the United Kingdom and as the Opel Ampera in the remainder of Europe.
Sales of the 2011 Volt began in the United States in mid-December 2010, followed by various European countries and other international markets in 2011. Global combined Volt/Ampera family sales totaled about 134,500 unit by the end of December 2016. The U.S. is the leading market, with 113,489 Volts delivered, followed by Canada with 8,884 Volts sold through November 2016. Just over 10,000 Opel/Vauxhall Ampera cars had been sold in Europe as of June 2016, with the Netherlands leading the European region, with almost 5,000 Amperas and over 1,000 Volts registered. The Volt/Ampera family of vehicles is the world's all-time best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle as of December 2016.
The Volt operates as a pure battery electric vehicle until its battery capacity drops to a predetermined threshold from full charge. From there its internal combustion engine powers an electric generator to extend the vehicle's range as needed. When the engine is running it may be periodically mechanically linked (by a clutch) to a planetary gear set, and hence the output drive axle, to improve energy efficiency. The Volt's regenerative braking also contributes to the on-board electricity generation. Under the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cycle, the 2013/15 model year Volt all-electric range is 38mi (61km), with a combined electric mode/gasoline-only rating of 62mpg‑US (3.8L/100km; 74mpg‑imp) equivalent (MPG-equivalent).
The second generation Volt improved battery system and drivetrain increased the all-electric range to 53 miles (85km), its EPA rated fuel economy in charge-sustaining mode to 42mpg‑US (5.6L/100km; 50mpg‑imp), and the combined city/highway fuel economy in all-electric mode to 106 MPG-e, up from 98 MPG-e. Deliveries to retail customers in the U.S. and Canada began in October 2015 as a 2016 model year.
The Volt has won several awards, including the 2009 Green Car Vision Award, 2011 Green Car of the Year, 2011 North American Car of the Year, 2011 World Green Car, 2012 European Car of the Year, and 2016 Green Car of the Year. Controversies regarding the Volt include the extent to which the U.S. federal government may have participated in the Volt’s development, which continued through General Motors' 2009 government-led bankruptcy, and concerns about the battery pack fire risk following a crash test that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performed on a Volt in 2011. At the completion of its investigation NHTSA concluded that no discernible defect trend exists.