Today ahead of the Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet confirmed it will produce the Chevrolet Bolt EV at the Orion Assembly facility in Michigan.
The all-electric car is estimated by GM’s own globally oriented internal testing protocols to offer more than 200 miles range and its price is to net out after federal subsidies to around $30,000. State subsidies if available would bring the bottom line lower.
Estimated production dates published this week based on anonymous supplier info is not being confirmed by Chevrolet. The automaker says it will announce production and other details later, and is not confirming any reported timeline of 2016 or a 2017 as some publications have reported based on insider reports.
However, a hint was offered by GM North America President Alan Batey the company is striking while the iron is hot.
“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”
Chevrolet’s official news today is otherwise essentially just that the car is coming, it will be developed as a 50-state car in the U.S. and for global markets including Korea, China, and perhaps elsewhere. No news was given by General Motors of any Opel variant which also has been rumored by anonymous reports.
From its inception, the Bolt was built to put it into production relatively quickly, said Chevrolet representative Annalisa Bluhm in a phone interview. The concept’s exterior design and performance capabilities are close to what a production Bolt would be.
But unstated are many details. It’s been reported LG Chem battery cells would be used, but Bluhm could not confirm this. Inside the car, details will need to change, although the flat floor we see in photos is something that should stay in production, though Bluhm officially could not confirm that.
The Bolt concept car also features future tech such as next-gen MyLink and auto park and retrieve tech that would not make it to a production Bolt. This is autonomous tech that lets the parked car drive to you, and accounts for the idea it would be an urban vehicle and such functionality would be appreciated one day.
It is however a safe assumption that the flat floor will remain which means a variation of a low center of gravity in-floor flat pack such as Tesla and Nissan’s Leaf and the i3 use. It was actually General Motors which showed the world this in-floor design last decade with its hydrogen prototypes ahead of either of these EV automakers.
The extended-range Volt by contrast uses a big T-pack which dominates the centerline of the car. The Bolt is more progressive in this respect and its design would allow flexibility in seating for this and future EVs.
As for the all-important performance, no acceleration figures or even details on the drivetrain such as motor, drive unit or other critical details have been made official.
Some have conjectured much would be transferred over from the over-powered Spark EV sold in California, Oregon, and soon Maryland, but this was not confirmed.
The advertised range of over 200 miles accounts for GM’s anticipation of catering to a global market. GM knows how the U.S. EPA tests but GM’s estimated rating is not solely trying to estimate what the EPA will eventually pin on the car.
GM tests efficiency and range with consideration for all markets. What this will mean for real-world driving is not specific, but “200” means 200 ought to be reasonable.
This of course depends on how one drives the car, and factors such as temperature – cold saps any battery’s range.
The car is designed also to accept DC fast charging.
There has been talk of the car’s name being changed but Chevrolet at this point has announced only the “Bolt” is the name of the EV due to be built.