Chevrolet Bolt May Be the EV to Conquer America

Reasonable price, 200-mile range and more kit than KITT.

byDanny Choy| PUBLISHED Jan 7, 2016 6:14 PM
Chevrolet Bolt May Be the EV to Conquer America

While Tesla has established a premium position in the EV market, GM aims to corner the entry level. It unveiled its 2017 Chevrolet Bolt long-range EV at CES 2016 on Jan. 6, following a number of carmakers in causing big product-news waves in Las Vegas. Particularly this year, CES has asserted itself as a popular stage for unveiling carmakers’ latest electric and/or self-driving vehicle offerings.

How affordable is the Bolt, which was previewed in concept form at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show? According to reports, the Bolt could potentially be purchased for less than $30,000, after factoring all government tax credits, when it reaches the market late 2016. Meantime, GM is remaining mum on pricing.

“This isn’t some science project or concept that’s years away,” GM CEO Mary Barra said at CES. “The Bolt EV will be in production this year.”

Full specs on the 2017 Chevy Bolt won’t be known until the Detroit Auto Show next week, but Chevrolet has pledged a driving range of 200 miles on a single charge and respectable, sub-seven-second 0-60 mph acceleration. The Chevy Bolt’s quick-charge system is also expected to provide 80-percent battery capacity in 30 minutes.

Inside, the car will pack an array of infotainment and connectivity features, including a 10.2-inch center console touchscreen and a new Chevrolet MyLink system. Although this feature will not be available at launch, Chevrolet describes a new system that is capable of projecting highly accurate driving range figures by accounting for factors including weather, topography, time of day and the owner's driving habits. The display will indicate routes that maximize range and also show the locations of the nearest charging stations when the Bolt runs low on juice.

The Bolt will also feature Bluetooth, OnStar 4G LTE connectivity that can turn the car into a wifi hotspot, as well as a MyChevrolet app that lets owners check on the Bolt's charge status. The app can also start the Bolt remotely, pre-condition the cabin temperature, view an OnStar map service, schedule dealer service and browse the owner's manual. It’s not brewing your coffee, though.

Unique driver assist systems include a wide-angle rear camera and a Surround Vision system that offers a bird’s eye view of the car to assist low-speed driving and parking. Lastly,  a feature known as "Gamification" enables Bolt owners to compete and compare driving styles and learn who is driving their Bolt more efficiently.

The 2017 Bolt is expected to head into production this year. Stay tuned as we learn more details regarding the latest EV at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.