Chevy premieres production Bolt with 200 mile range
Having promised an affordable electric car at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet has used this year's CES to deliver with a production version of the Bolt. With a claimed range of over 200 miles (322 km), the Bolt will slot into Chevrolet's lineup below the hybrid-electric Volt.
Although the big selling point for the Bolt is its US$30K price (after rebates) and range, its designers have worked hard to make sure the car is usable every day. Chevy says that room to seat five people is possible thanks to a 102.4-inch (2.6 m) wheelbase and its van-style roofline. There's also folding seats, and more bootspace than a Honda Fit or BMW i3.
The Bolt's center console is dominated by a 10.2-inch touchscreen which can be used in splitscreen, and Chevrolet has equipped it with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for seamless smartphone interaction.
The integrated navigation system takes into account the location of charge points, so hopefully if you're pushing the range envelope you're not going to be left without a powerpoint to juice up your car again when it's almost flat.
Chevy has taken a leaf out of Volvo and BMW's smartphone-integration book by allowing owners to check the charge status of the battery, as well as turning on the air conditioning and remotely starting the car from their phone.
When you actually get into the car, your smartphone connects through a low-energy Bluetooth system designed to minimize drain on the battery, while there's a 3-month subscription to a data plan for the car's WiFi system included in the purchase price.
Moving away from that center console, the Bolt's interior can be optioned with a rear-view camera in place of a traditional rear mirror, offering up a touch of Le Mans tech to EV buyers. In keeping with this (admittedly tenuous) motorsports connection, the Bolt also has a flat underbody for improved aerodynamics and the range benefits that come with cutting down on resistance from complex engine and exhaust parts under the car.
You may have noticed there's been no mention of a powertrain yet. That's because details are fairly scant at this stage.
We do know it will charge in 9 hours via a 240-volt charging system, and that it should retail for around US$30,000, although Chevrolet points out that price includes a federal tax credit of US$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 latest from CES, where Gizmag is on the ground covering all the action.