Automotive

Chevy sheds new light on Bolt's performance at NAIAS

Chevy sheds new light on Bolt'...
The Chevy Bolt at Chevrolet's NAIAS press conference in Detroit
The Chevy Bolt at Chevrolet's NAIAS press conference in Detroit
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The car uses one motor to produce 200 hp, for a sub-7-second sprint to 60 mph
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The car uses one motor to produce 200 hp, for a sub-7-second sprint to 60 mph
The battery pack runs from the front footwell to the back of the rear seats
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The battery pack runs from the front footwell to the back of the rear seats
The Bolt has been designed for everyday use, which means the battery pack is slim and low in the chassis to free up space
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The Bolt has been designed for everyday use, which means the battery pack is slim and low in the chassis to free up space
The battery pack has a high nickel content for good thermal management
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The battery pack has a high nickel content for good thermal management
The Chevy Bolt debuted at CES in Las Vegas
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The Chevy Bolt debuted at CES in Las Vegas
The Chevy Bolt debuted at CES in Las Vegas
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The Chevy Bolt debuted at CES in Las Vegas
The Chevy Bolt debuted at CES in Las Vegas
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The Chevy Bolt debuted at CES in Las Vegas
The Chevy Bolt debuted at CES in Las Vegas
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The Chevy Bolt debuted at CES in Las Vegas
The Chevy Bolt at Chevrolet's NAIAS press conference in Detroit
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The Chevy Bolt at Chevrolet's NAIAS press conference in Detroit
The Chevy Bolt at Chevrolet's NAIAS press conference in Detroit
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The Chevy Bolt at Chevrolet's NAIAS press conference in Detroit
The Chevy Bolt at Chevrolet's NAIAS press conference in Detroit
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The Chevy Bolt at Chevrolet's NAIAS press conference in Detroit
View gallery - 11 images

Chevrolet has revealed more details about the production Bolt EV at the Detroit Auto Show, having whipped the covers off the car in Las Vegas last week. As well as talking about range and cost, GM CEO Mary Barra and Executive Vice President of Global Product Development Mark Reuss used NAIAS to shed light on the Bolt's slimline battery, power output and punchy performance.

Just like most production EVs, the Bolt uses a single, high-output motor to make progress. With 150 kW (200 hp) and 360 Nm of torque, Chevy's EV is good for a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) sprint of under seven seconds, putting it in the same sort of territory as hot hatches like the RenaultSport Clio and VW Polo GTi.

The motor draws its power from a 60 kWh battery pack, made up of 288 lithium-ion cells measuring up at 100 mm (3.9 in) high and 338 mm (13.1 in) wide, spanning the whole floor, from the front footwell to the back of the rear seats. Chevy has used a nickel-rich chemistry in the car's lithium-ion battery in an attempt to cut down on cooling hardware and to make sure the Bolt delivers peak performance regardless of the climate it's in.

The car uses one motor to produce 200 hp, for a sub-7-second sprint to 60 mph
The car uses one motor to produce 200 hp, for a sub-7-second sprint to 60 mph

One of our overriding memories from time spent in the Telsa Model S is the power of its regenerative braking system. Because the car harvests energy so aggressively when you lift off the accelerator, driving the big sedan almost becomes a one-pedal deal – something Chevrolet has aimed for with the Bolt, which it claims can come to full standstill without having drivers touch the brakes.

Don't worry if you're particularly attached to your brake pedal, because the Bolt can also be operated in "low" regen mode, which means the left pedal isn't left feeling all lonely.

The battery pack runs from the front footwell to the back of the rear seats
The battery pack runs from the front footwell to the back of the rear seats

We learned about how long it takes to charge the Bolt on regular power at CES, but we now know there are other options for buyers anxious about not being able to quickly top up. If owners are willing to stump for the optional DC fast-charger, they can expect to gain 90 miles (145 km) of range in just half an hour.

The Bolt should retail for around US$30,000, although Chevrolet points out that price includes a federal tax credit of $7,500. In other words, this is a US$38,000 car that gets significantly cheaper when government rebates kick in.

Stay tuned for all the action from Detroit, where Gizmag is on the ground covering all the action.

Source: Chevrolet

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15 comments
15 comments
ArtistDe
The tax crédit is only good if you make enough to be taxed.
VadimR
ArtistDe, good point. And those that don't make enough can't afford a $38k car in the first place, but rather drive used cars. I don't understand why my money goes to the wealthy folks that can afford the expensive cars in the first place. Once again, the rich taking advantage of the shrinking middle class.
gizmowiz
It should be a rebate and automatic full $7500 so that poor people get the same rebate as rich people. It's simply not fair to index it so the more you make the more you get back. That's completely wrong--typical of Republicans!
Rot
Those who argue against government subsidies for cars like this are right... to a point. The economically efficient solution is a carbon tax which would let the costs of different fueling options reflect actual economic costs. Because politicians can't do the right thing, we're stuck with second best approaches. Which is why we have weird subsidies that may, in fact, further distort income inequality. That said, doing something to limit global warming is better than doing nothing at all because the ideal solution is out of reach.
David A Galler
The government subsidy is actually suppressive toward progress in any technology.Capturing the subsidy becomes senior to any kind of product improvement.
kmccune
Sounds like we are getting there ,if the quality is good enough .I for one , am tired of oil changes ,transmission fluid changes ,buying tune up parts and exhaust systems and brakes - in other words ,even though ,I am not a GM fan ,I believe ,I am ready for a car like this . Kevin
Len Simpson
Why do EV's have to be funky-looking ?
S Michael
$30,000 obviously a car for the masses... LOL. Let's see, I can buy a gas car, used or otherwise, get better mileage. As far as no oil changes, no transmission oil changes, tune-up etc. You will still have such cost. You don't really think the auto dealers are going to give up that golden egg.. do you...
Daishi
Batteries are/were still pretty expensive meaning EV's are still pretty expensive. So the government allows buyers to get a tax credit in exchange for helping to subsidize an expensive technology until it's more affordable for everyone else.
Only a couple years ago they were $500/kWh, I think more recently they are starting to hit $250/kWh and GM announced their costs are an industry leading $145/kWh but that is only for the cell cost and not the entire pack. At $500/kWh the pack alone in the Bolt would have cost $30,000. Even if you use $145/kWh it's still $8,700.
In general people who don't make enough money to pay taxes aren't buying cars like the Model S or even the Bolt but I am glad to see the people that can as early adopters of EV.
Eventually EV's will probably be cheaper to own (and perhaps even manufacture) that ICE vehicles and the subsidy will no longer be needed. Personally I think after the $7500 subsidy expires there should be a smaller $3,000 one for a while before it goes away entirely.
This is the closest we have ever been from being able to move away from fossil fuel vehicles by far. I would prefer if the industry didn't pull the rug out from under the subsidy EV's require just yet.
On the other side of that price the companies involved are generally not yet making a profit on electric vehicles partially because of early R&D costs and low sales volumes.
The ultra low gas prices are great for consumers but a setback for EV's because it's a natural subsidy for efficient vehicles. EV's become financially viable pretty soon at $4/gal but much later at $2/gal and the subsidy should probably help carry the torch until that gap is bridged where EV's match or pass gas cars in lower total cost of ownership. From that point forward the market will take care of it.