If a hint means what it appears to, the first 2017 Chevy Bolt EVs could be in customers’ driveways before this time next year.
The revelation came from none other than President of General Motors North America, Mark Reuss in response to a Dec. 5 Facebook post by EV advocate Chelsea Sexton.
Showing a photo of herself 19 years ago in a GM EV1, she teasingly asked Reuss if GM will give cause for celebration with first Bolt deliveries in time to coincide with the EV1’s 20th anniversary.
Reuss’s response was not exactly yes, but it definitely was not no.
“Have you been naughty or nice,” said Reuss along with a Santa image smiley.
Sexton’s tongue-in-cheek response was “Yes,” but she also interpreted Reuss’ reply as meaning a yes to her question, and many others would as well to such an answer.
“I did interpret it as a ‘yes,’” she said, adding “whether or not they note or take advantage of the actual 20th anniversary in their launch activities” is unclear.
“It will be hard for GM to escape that observation, so they might as well,” she observed.
Exactly. GM might as well. But will it?
Officially, Reuss and GM have not announced a specific launch date for the 200-mile estimated range EV to be priced in the mid 30s, and net below $30,000 with federal tax credit.
The EV1 was of course GM’s first EV, and the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car” which featured Sexton and other early electric car protagonists highlighted past GM decisions which it might prefer people forget.
General Motors has since worked to vindicate its commitment to electrification with the Chevy Volt, the very limited-market Spark EV, Cadillac ELR, pending Malibu Hybrid, but the Bolt is one car many are eager to see more of.
It will beat the Tesla Model 3 to market, but what Tesla may show first images of as soon as March this year, and to be priced and spec’d at least similarly, has also aroused much curiosity.
But for now, the Bolt is it, it’s ahead also of the next-gen Nissan Leaf, and with inexpensively sourced LG Chem batteries helping the cause, it will be the cheapest 200-mile (or so) range EV going.
The car, designed secretly at a GM facility in Australia was only shown January this year in Detroit alongside the 2016 Chevy Volt, and it is being fast-tracked into production.
Spy photos have circulated and the official pre-production version’s reveal is scheduled next month at CES in Las Vegas.
Known already was it was to be a 2017 model, so first deliveries by December 2016 would not be out of the question at any rate.
What do you think? Do you see an opportunity for GM here?