Two of the biggest obstacles to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) have been their prohibitively high prices and limited ranges. Chevrolet's new Bolt EV concept seeks to tackle both of these factors. It is designed to go 200 miles (322 km) per charge and cost from around US$30,000.
Chevrolet says it has used the knowledge gained from its Volt and Spark EVs to produce the Bolt. "We have made tremendous strides in technologies that make it easier and more affordable for Chevrolet customers to integrate an all-electric vehicle in their daily lives," said General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
Amongst the technologies present in the car is the ability to change driving mode depending on the environment in which it is being used. Available modes are tailored towards daily commuting and "spirited weekend cruising," as well as other situations. Selecting different modes changes aspects of the car's setup, such as accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt is also said to support DC fast charging and has LED headlights and taillights.
The Bolt's weight has been kept to a minimum by using lightweight materials, including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh. This helps to increase the vehicle's range. Chevrolet says the car has been designed in such a way as to minimize any overhang at both the front and the rear, maximizing interior space. A large glass roof and large expanses of glass right around the vehicle, meanwhile, allows plenty of light in and increases visibility.
A variety of technologies are used inside the Bolt aimed at improving the driving experience. A 10-in touchscreen on the dashboard provides vehicle information, whilst the Bolt EV Connect app allows a user's smartphone to be used as a key fob and for ride-sharing management. The app also allows users to exit the vehicle and instruct it to park itself, before summoning it back to their location at a later time.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV concept is currently on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. There is no word on commercial availability.
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