Back in January at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, General Motors unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Car. Offering 200+ miles of claimed range in a compact package, the four-seat hatchback came with a heavy emphasis on tech, as well as on-board applications designed to make it easier for the Bolt EV to be used in car sharing and ride-sharing scenarios.
A month later, GM confirmed the Chevrolet Bolt EV would enter into production early next year at a target price of $35,000 after incentives following extremely positive feedback from electric car fans. Since then, the Detroit automaker has worked hard to keep the Bolt EV in everyone’s minds, sharing everything from sneak-peak videos of early prototypes in testing through to in-the-metal appearances of the Bolt Concept EV at National Drive Electric Week events and press releases detailing how Chevrolet is changing the way it builds cars to ensure the Bolt EV goes on sale in record time.
But at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, GM executive vice president Mark Reuss announced something that will make Bolt EV fans very happy: we’ll get to see the production version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV in just under seven weeks’ time at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That’s according to TheVerge, which reported yesterday that Reuss had promised a 2016 CES debut for the production 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV during a conversation on the first day of the LA Auto Show. Sadly the tech site doesn’t go into any details, presumably because Reuss didn’t give any.
While it’s tough to be sure what to expect from the production 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, GM’s open sharing of video and photographs of camouflaged Chevrolet Bolt EVs taken during testing suggests we’ll see very little difference in exterior design between the concept car and the finished product. Specifications are, at the moment, still quite a closely-guarded secret, but we already know the Bolt EV will come with CCS quick-charging as standard, allowing owners to quickly refuel their car for longer-distance travel at a compatible CCS quick charging station.
As for the power level? While the CCS charging stations in use today tend to max out at 50 kilowatts, the CCS charging standard can currently support up to 150 kilowatts with ease. If we had to guess, we’d suggest the Bolt EV will offer up to 100 kW of quick charging in order to keep the magic 30-minute recharge time that other, shorter-range cars currently manage.
When it comes to interior design of the production Chevrolet Bolt EV, we’re guessing we’ll see a far more practical and perhaps slightly less high-tech interior, perhaps with more conventional seating and interior design than the futuristic white minimalist seats we saw in the Bolt EV concept. Although the interior is likely to be less futuristic however, we’re still expecting a high-level on on-board technology, including the optional 4G wireless Internet already offered on certain Chevrolet and GM vehicles, as well as a high-quality touch-screen centre console and digital dashboard.
If that doesn’t convince you, consider this: in order to be unveiled at CES, the Chevrolet Bolt EV will need a significant degree of technology content, both in terms of passenger and driver information systems as well as in-car systems.
And that makes us wonder if we’ll see some form of basic autonomy too.
Sadly, we’ll have to wait until January to find out for sure.
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