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The battle of the batteries begins

Chevrolet has announced a generous battery warranty for its new Volt electric vehicle, describing it as "the most comprehensive of any electric vehicle."

Chevrolet Volt owners will be covered by a 100,000-mile (160,000 km), eight-year warranty, far more than the Tesla Roadster, the only commercially-available electric vehicle currently on the market.

The Tesla Roadster's battery is covered by the 36,000-mile (58,000 km) three-year warranty on the vehicle.

Nissan has not confirmed warranty details for the battery in its LEAF EV, but says that it expects it to last ten years.

Mitsubishi offers a reported 93,600-mile (150, 600 km) warranty on its early i-MiEVs, although full details have not been confirmed.

The battery in the hybrid Toyota Prius is also covered by a 100,000-mile (160,000 km), eight-year warranty.

Chevrolet's owner General Motors says that the warranty will be transferable at no extra cost should Volt owners decide they wish to sell their vehicles.

With battery technology one of the key concerns surrounding the introduction of electric vehicles, Chevrolet's move is clearly designed to help ease the fears of potential buyers that batteries could wear quickly with long-term use, a phenomenon that most consumers associate with electronic items such as smartphones or laptops.

The automaker is at pains to point out that it has completed over 4 million hours of testing of batteries over the past three years, covering more than a million miles using the lithium-ion packs.