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Chevy Volt MPV5: Electric power to the people carrier

Chevrolet has been busy showing off some new cars at the Beijing auto show, including the Chevy Volt MPV5 -- a multi-purpose people carrier powered by electricity

Rory Reid

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Chevrolet has been busy showing off some new cars at the Beijing auto show, most notably the Chevy Volt MPV5 -- a multi-purpose people carrier powered by electric energy.

Under its skin, the Volt MPV5 is based on the Chevy Volt saloon, which will be known in the UK as the Vauxhall Ampera. It's a so-called range-extended vehicle, driven by an electric motor and a 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a range of up to 32 miles. When the battery is depleted, it can be recharged from a home AC outlet or an onboard 1.4-litre petrol engine that acts exclusively as a generator. Its maximum range is a whopping 299.5 miles.

The MPV5's extra bulk means its electric-only range is actually 8 miles less than the standard Volt saloon, but it is far more practical than its sibling. Ikea fans will be pleased to hear the Volt MPV5 is 181mm longer (4.58m), 73mm wider (1.87m), and 182mm taller than the previously announced model. Boot storage is 864 litres, but increases to 1,764 thanks to the car's 'flip-and-fold' rear seats.

Before you get too excited, it's worth remembering the Volt MPV5 is just a concept at this stage. But based on the fact the Volt saloon is being readied for a 2011 release, we'd bet our houses on this thing coming to market sooner rather than later. Hit the 'Continue' link below to see some more pictures of the Volt MPV5, or watch our video of its Europe-bound sibling.

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The Volt MPV5 is longer, wider and taller than the Volt sedan, meaning it could be better suited to large families.
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It can drive emissions-free for 32 miles, or for up to 299.5 miles with its petrol engine continuously recharging the lithium-ion battery.

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