What Is It?
Chevy Bolt Concept
What's New About This Model?
The Chevy Bolt concept is an all-new product out of GM that promises 200 miles of all-electric range and a starting price of $30,000. With this range and price, the Bolt could be a real electric solution for people with real commutes, not just those with short city drives.
When Does It Go on Sale?
The Bolt is still a concept at this point. And while its design may seem radical, it features things like door handles and sideview mirrors, which many early concepts lack. Assuming GM has the battery tech handled and sourced to meet costs, this one could be here in 18 months.
How Much Does It Cost?
Chevy is highlighting the fact that this EV will start around $30,000. That's a lofty goal, but GM has the production facilities and engineering know-how to hit that target. Or come very, very close — after federal and state tax credits, that is.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
We've only seen one version of the Chevy Bolt and it is the five-door hatch pictured here. Roughly the size of a Buick Encore, the Bolt should have ample space for five passengers and some gear. Chevy says the Bolt will have selectable driving modes for cruising and sport, LED head- and taillights and a floating center stack with a 10-inch touchscreen.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
No details have been announced on the capacity or drivetrain.
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
Two-hundred miles of range for $30,000.
If you haven't been following the world of EVs lately, this is huge news. Currently you can buy a Nissan Leaf that gets 84 miles of range for somewhere in the mid-to-low $20Ks. A BMW i3 will run nearly double that, and though it's a better driving vehicle with fancier materials, still only goes 81 miles on a charge. The least expensive Tesla, the Model S 60, will go 208 miles, but sets you back $71,070 ($63,570 after all incentives).
If GM can deliver the Bolt quickly, it'll be in a unique position at the top of the EV marketplace from a technology standpoint with no true competitor in sight.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
BMW i3: The BMW i3 manages less than half the distance on pure electrons than the Bolt, and still 50 miles less with the range extender. Still, the i3 has tons of space and an innovative interior, and it makes a special statement with its styling.
Nissan Leaf: The bargain of the EV segment. Only 80 miles of range and not as much space for stuff as anything else here, but with prices starting in the low $20Ks, it can't be ignored.
Tesla Model S 60: Everyone's quick to talk about the hot Model S P85 and its dual motors, but the Model S 60 comes in around $60,000 after incentives, and offers 200 miles of range and the same flexible cargo space as the big Model S. Plus, it's available now.
Should You Wait for It?
If you want an all-electric vehicle with 200 miles of range at an affordable price, you don't have a choice. Tesla has long promised an entry-level vehicle, but with the Model S getting continuous upgrades and the slow release of the Model X SUV, we're not expecting that car for some time. The sooner GM can strike, the better.