Korean battery and EV component supplier LG Electronics is gearing up its assembly line this month to provide components for the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt which is believed due to start regular U.S. production in October.
LG’s move is its part of a contract it announced last month that was signed October 2015 with General Motors stipulating it begin production this month and run for a period of six-years.
Eleven core components are to be built and shipped by Korea’s second-largest electronics company, including motors, inverters and various infotainment systems. These are being built at its “Incheon Campus” west of Seoul opened June 2013, and dedicated to the budding electrified auto industry.
According to The Korea Times, LG – which also supplies the battery cells for the Chevy Volt – is looking at a new era in automotive supply, and views its vehicle components (VC) unit as a potential cash cow, albeit now unprofitable yet growing fast.
“Automakers are very strict in terms of safety and form a long-term relationship, with only a few qualified parts suppliers due to safety concerns,” said an LG Electronics official to The Korea Times. “That’s why it takes more time for us to generate tangible results in the business. We are still in the investment phase.”
Meanwhile General Motors has remained mum from divulging further Bolt details longer than EV watchers had anticipated, and has yet to announce more critical information about its first sub-$40,000, 200–plus-mile range all-electric car.
Following disclosure of partial of specifications, the “compact crossover” is known to have quicker acceleration than a Volt in under 7 seconds via 200-horsepower, 266-pounds-feet torque motor driving the front wheels through its single speed gear reduction transmission.
A speculative report by Car & Driver came out recently saying among other things the aerodynamic profile was not as slippery as low-slung coupes and sedans, as might be expected of a shapely box on wheels.
Headlines panning commentary derived from the Bolt’s cd of 0.312, frontal area of 25.8 square feet, and CdA of 8.05 square feet sprung up in the relatively dry news season giving some reason to criticize GM’s new EV.
To its credit, it is to be a model of space efficiency, highly efficient, and with range somewhere over 200 miles, but to be announced.
The actual production date in U.S. has also not been announced, but a pdf GM released in May this year, then retracted, indicated October was the month, and it has publicly said cars are due for sale by year’s end.
For those of you wishing to glean more, a newly uploaded video from a Detroit-area auto festival Bolt drive record the interaction between a knowledgeable Chevrolet employee and passenger.
The initial model is not to get adaptive cruise control, the infotainment coming from LG has some new innovations not yet shown.
Acceleration is linear up to highway speeds, instead of dropping off above the 30/40 mph mark as is the case with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Spark EV.
A novel feature is ability to use a regen paddle to bring the vehicle to a complete stop without touching the brake pedal, even on a hill grade in “B’ mode with auto-creep disabled.
GM engineers have expressed pride in incorporating lessons learned from the Volt, Spark EV, and other electrified vehicles.
Tesla had its big splash last month with the Gigafactory opening, and soon it will be the Bolt’s turn.
Expect more news relatively soon and a marketing push this fall to drum up excitement for the $37,500 Bolt which could net out with incentives within realm of a Toyota Prius.