It’s called the Bolt and it will boast 200 miles of electric range along with a solid entry price of $30,000. Two sources familiar with the manufacturer’s plans have stated that General Motors wants the upcoming vehicle to compete against Tesla, which is quite a lofty goal.
But given the fact that Tesla’s Model S costs more than $70,000 while offering a drive range of only 265 miles, it seems to be entirely doable. GM executives hope that the 200-mile range should be enough for drivers to overcome what they call “range anxiety” – the fear of running out of power before recharging.
The unveiled Bolt is an orange five-door “greenhouse” with a glass roof and thin D-pillar. At the front it has a slim grille that flows directly into its narrow LED headlights, which sit above a high fascia with little ahead of its front axle.
“Form and function have never meshed so well together,” said General Motors’ design vice president Ed Welburn. “No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet.”
Inside, the Bolt is very similar to the other Chevrolet compacts, featuring the MyLink touchscreen and a lonesome instrument cluster in the half-empty dash. The vehicle also boasts a display over the steering column that’s more similar to the one on the Volt as opposed to the Sonic.
Admittedly, with gas prices at their lowest in the last 10 years, it may not be the most ideal time to introduce the Bolt, but a GM representative says that delivering the vehicle now shows the company’s commitment to electric vehicles since gas prices will undoubtedly rise again.
The Bolt will be sold across the entirety of the United States and probably across most provinces in Canada.
“The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity,” Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said. “Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers.”
The rumours of a new electric Chevrolet surfaced back in 2013 at an event in Warren, when GM executive Doug Parker told reporters that GM is developing an electric car that would cost $30,000 and get 200 miles on one charge. Since then, various hints and rumours have more or less confirmed Parker’s initial statement, and today we can finally see it for ourselves.
The Detroit Auto Show will open its doors to the public on January 14 and wrap up on January 25.