CHICAGO — A production version of the 2015 Chevrolet Bolt concept that will have a starting price of around $30,000 and a range of about 200 miles is on its way to Chevrolet showrooms, General Motors said on Thursday at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.
GM confirmed production plans for the Bolt, a mega-wattage concept that debuted last month at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
"The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it," said GM North America President Alan Batey in a statement. "We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles."
GM said it will announce the start date of Bolt production and additional details later. The all-new product will be built at General Motors' Orion Assembly facility north of Detroit.
Industry sources say the Bolt could be at Chevrolet dealerships within 18 months as GM leans heavily on its production capabilities and engineering know-how. GM said the production version of the Bolt will leverage the "electrification prowess established by the (Chevrolet) Volt and Spark EV."
GM also noted that the production Bolt will be available "for all 50 states." Some automakers have rolled out EVs and alt-fuel vehicles on a state-by-state basis, with consumers on either coast often getting a first crack at fresh products.
A production version of the Bolt is major news for car shoppers whose current EV choices include vehicles with limited range.
The 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV, for example, has a range of 82 miles, according to the EPA. It has a base price of $27,645, including an $825 destination charge, and before any federal or state incentives.
The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a range of 62 miles, according to the EPA. Mitsubishi has not announced 2016 pricing on the i-MiEV. The 2014 model starts at $23,845, including an $850 destination charge, and before any federal or state incentives.
The 2015 BMW i3 has a range of 81 miles, according to the EPA, but it's a more expensive electric offering. It starts at $43,350, including a $950 destination charge, and before any federal or state incentives.
Electric start-up Tesla Motors does not offer an entry-level EV at this point.
Edmunds says: Affordability and excellent range will be a tantalizing combination for many car shoppers. Look for the production version of the Bolt to be one of the first truly mainstream electric vehicles on the market.