More unofficial rumblings regarding Chevy Bolt production trickled out this week, and if they are as represented, they would fit with previous indicators that Chevrolet’s 200-mile range EV could be in dealer showrooms by end of 2016 or early 2017.
In several postings made yesterday to the Chevy Volt Owners Facebook page, two people with possible knowledge of the Bolt production schedule indicated preparation for the Bolt’s assembly line may have already commenced at General Motors’ Orion facility near Detroit.
One of the members posted that they were “programming robots for the Chevy Bolt,” subsequently adding that he was “working on production sub-assemblies for the body of the car.” A final comment left by the poster exclaimed that there was a “big rush on parts!”
Another member of the group chimed in later, stating he had “just installed the hood and liftgate in Orion for the Bolt,” and that they “already have all our robots programmed for the closures.” The second member added that “full production is a little ways off.”
These Facebook postings must be taken with a grain of salt, and not clear is the posters’ actual degree of knowledge of GM’s ultimate plans for the Bolt. Nor of course is GM officially confirming any of this.
In any case, the social media hubbub over what may mean building a batch of Bolts to start proof testing of the assembly, supply line, and the cars themselves prior to actual deliveries would fit with the way GM normally prepares its products.
And, it would be right on time with more-certain expectations set. GM has said Bolt production will begin in 2016, but it has yet to officially announce details regarding the exact production start date, or when the first Bolts might be delivered to customers.
Early this month another for-what-it’s worth hint was issued about that question by another Facebook post. This one came from someone higher up – Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North America.
Reuss answered EV advocate Chelsea Sexton coyly neither confirming nor denying first customers will have the Bolt by Dec. 5, in time for the 20th anniversary of the GM EV1. His answer was interpreted as a yes by Sexton and others, but she said also we shall see.
While there is still much mystery surrounding the Bolt, it looks sure that it will be the first mass-produced 200-mile all-electric vehicle priced under $40,000 brought to market, beating out competition such as the Tesla Model 3 and the second-generation Nissan Leaf.
How much of the mystery may be resolved when the Bolt EV is officially unveiled in two weeks at CES in Las Vegas remains to be seen, but certain is GM is working on a hastened schedule for its benchmark setting mass-market EV.