Automotive

Chevy premieres production Bolt with 200 mile range

Chevy premieres production Bol...
Chevy has delivered on its promise for an affordable production EV with the Bolt, launched at CES today
Chevy has delivered on its promise for an affordable production EV with the Bolt, launched at CES today
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The Bolt has been designed to be super-slippery, which means it has a flat underbody and a Prius-style van shape
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The Bolt has been designed to be super-slippery, which means it has a flat underbody and a Prius-style van shape
The Bolt's interior is dominated by a 10.1-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash
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The Bolt's interior is dominated by a 10.1-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both included in GM's infotainment system
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Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both included in GM's infotainment system
The Bolt will take 9 hours to charge from a 240 volt socket
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The Bolt will take 9 hours to charge from a 240 volt socket
Chevy is promising a 200 mile range from the Bolt
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Chevy is promising a 200 mile range from the Bolt
Chevy will offer a smartphone app that checks battery charge, can turn the heater on or even start the car
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Chevy will offer a smartphone app that checks battery charge, can turn the heater on or even start the car
The Bolt has been designed with practicality in mind, which means more bootspace than a Honda hatchback and flat folding seats
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The Bolt has been designed with practicality in mind, which means more bootspace than a Honda hatchback and flat folding seats
The car's GPS system takes into account the location of charge points in its routes so you're never left without charge
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The car's GPS system takes into account the location of charge points in its routes so you're never left without charge
Wireless charging is available for your phone, although it hasn't quite made it to the whole car yet
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Wireless charging is available for your phone, although it hasn't quite made it to the whole car yet
Rear space was a focus for Chevy, which claims there's room for five in the Bolt's cabin
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Rear space was a focus for Chevy, which claims there's room for five in the Bolt's cabin
There are some neat details on the Bolt's design, which make it look more interesting than your average hatchback
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There are some neat details on the Bolt's design, which make it look more interesting than your average hatchback
With a range of 200 miles, we don't expect to see too many Bolt owners fanging their cars in the hills
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With a range of 200 miles, we don't expect to see too many Bolt owners fanging their cars in the hills
Thanks to a rear-view camera, drivers no longer need to look around seats and heads to get a good view of what's behind them
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Thanks to a rear-view camera, drivers no longer need to look around seats and heads to get a good view of what's behind them
Chevy claims 25 miles per hour of charge with the Bolt
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Chevy claims 25 miles per hour of charge with the Bolt
LED headlamp details have carried over from the concept Chevy showed in Detroit twelve months ago
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LED headlamp details have carried over from the concept Chevy showed in Detroit twelve months ago
The grille is filled in for better aerodynamics - after all, there's no engine to cool in there
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The grille is filled in for better aerodynamics - after all, there's no engine to cool in there
Mary Barra was on the ground to launch the Bolt at CES
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Mary Barra was on the ground to launch the Bolt at CES
Chevy has delivered on its promise for an affordable production EV with the Bolt, launched at CES today
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Chevy has delivered on its promise for an affordable production EV with the Bolt, launched at CES today

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.

Thanks to a rear-view camera, drivers no longer need to look around seats and heads to get a good view of what's behind them
Thanks to a rear-view camera, drivers no longer need to look around seats and heads to get a good view of what's behind them

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.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both included in GM's infotainment system
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both included in GM's infotainment system

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.

Chevy claims 25 miles per hour of charge with the Bolt
Chevy claims 25 miles per hour of charge with the Bolt

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.

Source: Chevrolet

18 comments
Milton
so cool. Now I want to see what Nissan's 2017 Leaf specs are gonna be.
Jimjam
Battery auto swapping systems like BetterPlace never took off, I'm guessing because people still want to own all of their car, including the battery. Systems where you swapped out your battery then had it couriered back to you never took off, because you'd have to wait for the courier to arrive. I don't know why they don't make these systems with a smaller second bay that a robot could load a battery into. You pull into the battery station, do a 5 minute fast charge of say 10% on the main internal battery, while having a second battery attached underneath the car. You'd then drop off this second battery at your destination.
gizmowiz
Unfortunately for Colorado neither the Bolt nor the Leaf will be AWD and AWD is not an option either. Worthless.
Daishi
Because the car is projected to have a 200+ mile range I think the 17.1 kWh battery figure above is a misprint or not accurate. The Spark EV is 19 kWh with 82 miles range, the Nissan Leaf is either 24 kWh with 84 mile range or 30 kWh with a 107 mile range. The Volt is a plug in but uses a 18.4 for ~53 miles range. The BMW i3 is 22 kWh with ~100 miles range. To achieve 200 miles on EV the Bolt would have to be closer to at least 40 kWh. At least right now the Bolt looks like a better deal than the Nissan Leaf because the 107 mile leaf is already $34k so spending $4k more for a 200 mile Bolt is probably worth it for a lot of people. GM is also supposed to expand availability of the Volt this year to all 50 states vs the 2016 that I think was only made available in a handful of them. I also saw some stuff estimating GM's battery cost is down to $145/kWh but I don't know how accurate that is. The other figures I have seen floating around are like $250/kWh but it changes fast. I don't know how much each figure is actually measuring in terms of components, packaging, circuitry etc. I think the lower figure is for the cell only but by full battery packs contain more than just the cells.
Gavin Roe
it's a Daewoo rebadged not surprising as will be all the small cars in their range being electric it may even be half reasonable
zr2s10
I would never buy this over the Volt. Similar price for a better looking car with no range anxiety is a no-brainer.
DavidB
The caption to photo #7 mentions "flat-folding rear seats," but they sure don't _look_ flat, which would be a big selling feature, for me. @gizmowiz: "Worthless." For you, but not for everyone. As I recall, Colorado is exactly 2% of the US states and has an even smaller percentage of US drivers—never mind all the other countries where the Bolt might be sold. @zr2s10: "better looking car with no range anxiety is a no-brainer." For you. My EV has only about a 70-mile range at 70MPH, and I've been concerned about running out of power exactly twice in a year and a half. For daily use, that's been plenty, and I've saved about 75% of what I'd have paid to drive my previous car, a MINI Cooper S, the save number of miles. As for looks, that's so obviously a matter of taste that I'm surprised to see it presented as accepted fact. To my eye, the Bolt is "better looking" than several EVs already on the market, especially the even more expensive offering from BMW.
habakak
'...remotely starting the car from their phone...' There is no engine in an EV to 'start'! You can turn the A/C on, or the radio, headlights, fan, etc. But there is no engine to turn on. You get in, release the parking brake, move the shifter to Drive or Reverse, press the accelerator and that's it. Hopefully GM sells tons of these. Just a few years ago we had no viable electric car on the roads (less than 100 Tesla Roadsters were made and sold at a price tag of over $100k so I would not call that viable). Now we have a bunch that are starting to become competitive, affordable and even practical. Good times. Good luck GM!
IvanWashington
I'd like it better if it was 1]cheaper, and 2]not requiring a smart phone service plan.
steveraxx
After owning some BMW's, Porsche and a furr-are-E. This vehicle is more like it! Best of luck on this project GM. You guys make some awesome world beating vehicles.