BREAKING: GM Unveils 200-Mile, $30,000 Chevy Bolt All-Electric Car at 2015 NAIAS

GM has set its sights firmly on Tesla’s territory by unveiling a 200 mile battery electric car called the ‘Bolt’ at the North American International Show in Detroit today starting at around $30,000.

While specifications for the Bolt were leaked earlier this week GM have now confirmed at a glitzy and impressive announcement.

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle. Front ¾ in city scape. Bolt EV Concept builds upon Chevy’s experience gained from both the Volt and Spark EV to make an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle to market. The Bolt EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of Chevrolet customers around the globe with more than 200 miles of range and a price tag around $30,000.

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle. Front ¾ in city scape. Bolt EV Concept builds upon Chevy’s experience gained from both the Volt and Spark EV to make an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle to market. The Bolt EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of Chevrolet customers around the globe with more than 200 miles of range and a price tag around $30,000.

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, said: “The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity. Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers.”

And the Bolt won’t just be a compliance car, promises GM. It will go on sale in all 50 states making it GM’s first modern fully-electric car to go on sale country-wide. The Spark EV, GM’s only other all-electric car, is on sale in just two states.

As with other electric cars, drivers will be able to change their driving mode to a style that suits them or how much range they want to eek out of the car. However, the Bolt will not only change the accelerator mapping but also “vehicle ride height and suspension tuning”.

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle interior. Unique crossover proportions provide a calm, welcoming interior blending technology and efficiency with a roomy, airy feel. Glass roof, thin seat design, aluminum seat structure, flow-through flat floor, anodized orange accents and 10 inch capacitive touch screen.

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle interior. Unique crossover proportions provide a calm, welcoming interior blending technology and efficiency with a roomy, airy feel. Glass roof, thin seat design, aluminum seat structure, flow-through flat floor, anodized orange accents and 10 inch capacitive touch screen.

The Chevrolet Bolt is a compact five-door hatchback, similar in shape to the BMW i3, with little front and back overhang to maximise the room inside the car.

Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design, said: “Form and function have never meshed so well together. No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet.”

The 200 mile range places the car firmly in Tesla’s ‘long range EV’ territory and blows Nissan’s ‘double range’ LEAF out of the water.

In fact, a 200 mile range would give the Bolt more all-electric range than the BMW i3REx gets on its battery and petrol motor combined!

Thanks to our friends at GreenCarReports, we’ve even got video of the unveil:

GM haven’t skimped on the technology either. Again, possibly going for Tesla’s crown, the Bolt, through the Connect phone App, will be able to park itself once the driver has left the car and return to the owner’s location all by itself.

And then there’s the advertising, which as many in the plug-in world noted this weekend, could already have a pre-made mascot:

Bolt is an amazing dog. Could he be the new ad campaign for the Chevy Bolt? (Image: Disney)

Bolt is an amazing dog. Could he be the new ad campaign for the Chevy Bolt? (Image: Disney Pixar)

While it wasn’t confirmed by GM in their announcement the leaked information stated that the Bolt will be released as a 2017 model year car, meaning it could be on sale as soon as late-2016. Details such as battery size and how the range was calculated haven’t been announced either, so our guess is as good as yours at this point.

The name ‘Bolt’ has come under a fire for being a tad unimaginative and conjuring up the wrong images, but if the Bolt could be made to be quick enough off the line, advertising campaigns with the slogan of ‘a Bolt of lightning’ do spring to mind.

Owning the show?

With the Bolt announcement and the specifications for the 2016 Volt have been released it could be said that right now GM is ruling the autoshow – at least when it comes to alternatively fuelled vehicles.

We’ll be keeping an eye on what happens at the motor show all through today and will bring you more news as soon as it has been announced and digested.

Does this mark a turning point for GM? Would you consider buying the Bolt ? Or does the EV1 still haunt GM’s reputation? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Ad van der Meer

    Promisses, promisses. Let’s see the real deal in 2017.nnIt looks like a Ford C-Max, but I am not sure it’s the same size.nn0-80% fast charge in 45 minutes would hint to a 30 kWh battery.

    • Ad van der Meer

      My math is off. It’s 47 kWh, which would make more sense.

  • David Peilow

    What, no rapid charge?nnAlso, looks a lot like a Renault Scenic to me.

    • Ad van der Meer

      According to the Chevy website 45 min 0-80%.

      • Matt Beard

        Except that the vehicle shown only had one charge port, and we have seen that contains a type-1 connector. Can’t rapid charge through that!

        • Ad van der Meer

          Maybe CCS is optional…

          • Matt Beard

            But surely they have only made one car so far!

          • CDspeed

            We are looking at a concept so it’ll be some time before we see the production version.

          • Joe

            Let’s not forget the first Volt concept vehicle; it barely resembles the production Volt at all. I expect the actual production model to be significantly smaller with smaller wheels and a much busier interior.

  • BenBrownEA

    IF the Bolt and GM actually delivers the goods on time (or a tad bit earlier) perhaps this might be the third car to add to an informal neighborhood car shaing program after the Leaf (2013) i-miev (2015)… The Bolt would be a shockingly good step up in an affordable range. It might even cause my autoworker family members to believe in American automakers again. nnn I DO wonder, how much of this was inspired by the release of Tesla’s patents??? I also wonder how quickly will automakers forget they ever made electrics if Tesla sells to another car dealer three years hence? (According to one video, electric vehicles were once 40% of the market and we aren’t even close yet.)

  • Michael Thwaite

    Show me the finished product and you have a winner.

    • CDspeed

      Another EV for the Thwaite fleet : )

      • Michael Thwaite

        Don’t tell BMW but it’d be a no-brainer to swap the i3 for this.

        • CDspeed

          Well it looks bigger, and with 200 miles of range it beats everything electric except Tesla.

          • Michael Thwaite

            Plus, and, let’s not be delicate, Volt’s appear reliable, i3’s are not.

          • CDspeed

            I haven’t had any problems with my i3.

          • Michael Thwaite

            Ah, I have a long list of issues; charger problems, cruise cuts out violently, auto-park has history of damaging wheels, range is poor, region braking cuts out when cornering, squeaky steering wheel, speedometer over-reads, HVAC issues, weird noises from the tires/wheels, remote app doesn’t work, and a whole bunch of other niggles.

          • CDspeed

            I have had the app freeze issue, but a call to the genius hotline fixed it, they can reset it, though it does freeze periodically. Range wise I’ve been getting 85 to 95 miles on a single charge, and according to the app I have been able to hit 100% efficiency.

          • Michael Thwaite

            Ok, so, you’re just showing off there! 100%!nnnI called the ‘i-Concierge’ They said they’d help but I heard nothing – crickets. I’m assuming that they don’t know how to fix it – they had this issue before with the ActiveE program, I think it’s all too much for them to cope with.

          • CDspeed

            Calling them geniuses seems to be a bit of sarcasm on BMW’s part : ) The day I first hit 100% I drove 77 miles, and had 16 miles left when I got home. It’s not hard to hit 100%, in residential and high traffic areas I stay in Eco Pro, in clear fast paced traffic I use Comfort mode for more responsive performance. And it doesn’t snow in my state, so I never have to drastically change my climate control, I’ve not yet tried the preconditioning feature either.

          • Dennis Pascual

            Interesting about the auto park. We thought it was a fluke with e Solar Orange Euro Spec that my wife was test driving when we were considering the car…

        • vdiv

          This is at least 2 years away and BMW is unlikely to stand still. What I am afraid is that while the car makers are working on putting longer range “affordable” EVs on the market this announcement will suppress the sales of the current sub 100-mile EVs.

  • vdiv

    Mark is back! 🙂 With a Bolt! :)nnI was sitting here last night thinking, it is funny the lenghts at which GM will continue to go in order to kill the Volt. If they release it soon this may be the most acceptable way.

  • CDspeed

    It looks really good, though I did slap myself on the forehead at first “another hatchback”, but I like a good practical hatch, and it could be a hit. Though I think we can be sure that the Model 3 won’t have a problem.nnP.S. Good to see you back Mark! The man in the banna jumper has returned!! ; )

  • RalphEaton2011

    Neat. Where does it make its pollution?

  • Dennis Pascual

    Well, I think I can take a little credit/blame for some of these specs. I participated in an auto marketing survey that had a mock up that looked very much like the Bolt a few years ago (when I was primarily driving the ActiveE). nnLooks like a good replacement for the i3… Let’s see how they handle quick/supercharging… Is CCS still the preferred method for GM?

  • tech01xpert

    I don’t see how this car hits 200 miles of EPA range. Will some journalist please ask the real questions? How much battery capacity? What efficiency? 200 miles of range in what scenario? Get them to promise that the window sticker will say 200 miles given EPA range standards. What DC fast charge port and what charge rate? There’s a lot in that concept car shown that won’t make it to production, so what parts are likely to be dropped?

  • Mark Benjamin David

    hmmm, Tesla’s Roadster upgrade announcement was quote: “a very clever publicity stunt”, and this concept car gets so much more credit??nnnLet’s keep in mind that this is a CONCEPT car, not a revealing of a production model.nnnGM has been known to make promises at the concept level and not come through with them.nnnTesla, on the other hand, always comes through on something they announce. You need to give them more credit.nnn–we know nothing about any battery manufacturing (by GM) or a battery manufacturer that will be making the batteries for this supposed 200-mile range car. How can they offer it for less than the PHEV “volt” when there is no indication of anything like the Tesla gigafactory to make the batteries for this supposed full production model car that will supposedly be available about the same time as the Tesla 3 that will be what GM claims the Bolt (hahaha, sorry, can’t help it) will be?nnnWhile I will admit I do kind of like the looks of the concept car, it is a concept, and not setting any hopes that this will actually end up looking like this and actually having 200 mile range, and actually cost $30K, and will it have level 3 charging?nnnWith GM concept is typically fantasy-seduction over reality.

    • Mark Benjamin David

      (oh, I see now this article is not by Nikki…the quote is from Nikki in top paragraph.)

    • NotRappaport

      “–we know nothing about any battery manufacturing (by GM) or a battery nmanufacturer that will be making the batteries for this supposed n200-mile range car.”nnNonsense. Even before today’s announcement, it was widely reported that the batteries for the Bolt will be made by EV battery giant LG Chem, which makes the Volt’s batteries at its factory in Holland, Michigan.

  • Stephen Noctor

    If it’s for real I’ll buy it!

  • Howie Bolt

    Howie Bolt,s gettin a VOLT….Love it

  • tammons

    Well, 200 mile range is deceptive. As the car ages, + 3 years it losses 20% of capacity so adjust that down to 160 miles. In the winter it will have about 60% of that, 96 miles. Imagine yourself caught in a traffic jam, spending an hour or more in traffic, still using a battery for cabin heat while traveling only a few miles, (in Pittsburgh a common occurance) subtract 30 miles per stalled hour in traffic and range is down to 36 miles assuming an hour long stall during each way commute in a Pittsburgh winter. My 200 mile electric is down to 36 miles range. You object, you say that I should be able to charge my car on each leg of my 16 mile commute. Fat chance. Instead my 200 mile electric car yields me 36 miles of effective range on a cold winter’s day for fighting through a for a 32 mile commute. Not enough to relieve my range anxiety. Until electronic car batteries get better, much better with say twice the range of this. “200 mile range” Bolt electric, all electric cars are joke. The consuming public knows it. Apparently auto executives don’t. I speak as an embittered and regretful Volt owner. It’s gas tank is the only thing that has pulled me through.nnnn

    • tech01xpert

      All electric cars are a joke?nnnYou know that now all electric cars have the same battery chemistry or thermal management, right? While GM hasn’t shown us anything, your calculations do not apply to all electric vehicles, or pretty much any electric vehicle sold today.nnnFor example, a Model S is likely to lose about 3-5% in 3 years (normal US annual mileage), while commuting at less than 0 degrees C is more likely to have 20% impact at long distances. So a Model S 60 kWh vehicle with 208 EPA range has a normal highway range of about 170 miles driven at fast highway speeds. So that’s 130 miles of total range. Assume a comfort zone of 20%, that’s still 104 miles with no anxiety whatsoever.nnnWe don’t know about GM’s batteries in the Bolt, but Nissan’s batteries actually have far less degradation in cold environments. We have yet to see how effective the newer generation Leaf batteries deal with hot climates.

  • dm33

    Ev1 shadow looms, and nasty people at GM-volt. You’re either with us or you’re against us. nnBut if GM actually produces a car with this range in this price range, I’ll definitely consider it.

  • Mark Benjamin David

    one more thing, I just don’t see how GM can suddenly surpass the Nissan Leaf, nor compete with Tesla, here’s why: Nissan is actually selling the current Leaf in all 50 states…GM’s only BEV, the Spark EV, is only a limited production compliance car. Tesla is building a gigafactory with panasonic so they can build their Model 3 in much higher production numbers than the Model S (& X).nnnSo, while: n–Nissan has the ability to go to the next level and double battery capacity;nn–Tesla is actually taking action, building a battery production plant for their model 3;n–GM blows smoke, puts up a shell prototype for people to gawk at, with nothing to back that up with, except previous smoke blowing.nnnTHIS is a publicity stunt.

    • Mark Benjamin David

      and PROTOTYPE is cleverly left out of all headlines and marketing I have seen for the PROTOTYPE Chevy Bolt.

  • jessica Feinleib

    My Volt lease is up in 2.5y and I would love to get the Bolt. Tesla can not afford any more delays!! With the Mitsubishi PHEV Outlander and the Town and Country PHEV due this Fall the X will be late to the party. Now the Tesla 3 may miss the boat with the Bolt to compete with it.