The Chevrolet Bolt will cost economically at about $30,000 and can travel 200 miles distance when fully charged. The Bolt concept was introduced in Detroit auto show last month. The electric model is then put into production as consumer demand. Likely in late 2016, the Chevy Bolt goes into production and it’s estimated to be the first electric battery car that can reach 200 miles at affordable price. The new batteries that make this distance that is developed by the GM and Korean partner LG Chem. Those batteries offer lower cost and provide electric cars more range. The new batteries are used by the GM and make it as the first automaker to use to market.
It seems the Chevrolet Bolt will unlikely attract Americans to electric vehicles in large numbers. The GM plans to manufacture up to 30,000 Bolts a year. This represents the last sales volumes of the Chevrolet Volt, which make sale about 18,000 last year in the U.S. But just five years from now, Tesla is targeting to make 500,000 annual sales in 2020. The Bolt is planned to go into production just 20 months from now earlier than expected or possibly as a 2017 model on October 2016. It will be manufactured in Michigan at the Orion Township assembly plant the same site with the manufacturing of the Chevy Sonic subcompact. Those two will use the same Gamma architecture underpinnings but the Sonic will carry a conventional gasoline engine while the Bolt will get a flat battery pack underneath the floor.
The only pure electric car with such distance range right now is the Tesla Motors Model S sedan to compete the Chevrolet Bolt. But the Model S is a big, strong luxury sedan besides to being an electric vehicle with better range with higher cost at $70,000 for starting price while the well-equipped model can reach six figures. Option for electric car right now that cost around $30,000 is limited. Nissan’s Leaf starts at just over $29,000 that makes it affordable. But it rates just 84 miles for EPA-rated range when fully charged. But there will be the next-generation Nissan Leaf with much greater range than the existing model arriving in about 2017.
An electric version of Ford Focus comes at a similar price in limited numbers with even less remarkable 76 miles EPA fuel economy. Other competitor for Chevrolet Bolt is an electric version of Chevrolet Spark minicar. But GM’s only serious rival to the Chevy Volt is the Leaf as it is the best-seller by far although it is not functionally a pure electric car but instead a plug-in hybrid.