GM to unveil Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept at 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Article by Christian A., on January 12, 2015

General Motors will unveil at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show an electric car concept that would preview an EV that would challenge Tesla Motor’s offerings with its 200-miles range, a source privy with the matter told Automotive News.

GM is planning to launch a production version of the Chevrolet Bolt concept by 2017. The carmaker will also unveil its redesigned Volt plug-in hybrid at the Detroit auto show. It registered for the Chevrolet Bolt trademark in August 2014.

According to the source, the Bolt bears a hatchback body style and is larger than the Bolt. It will have starting price of between $30,000 and $35,000, which means a buyer could purchase it under $30,000 once a federal tax credit is counted.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Bolt would feature "more capable" batteries from LG Chem, which also supplies battery cells installed in the Volt. With it price range and launch timing, the production version of the Bolt would go head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3, which would be tagged at around $35,000 when launched in 2017.

In October, GM global product chief Mark Reuss divulged that Chevrolet was planning to add an EV to its lineup to join the Volt and the Spark EV minicar. He recently indicated GM's continued commitment to EV in an interview with Automotive News, saying that the carmaker will follow up its EV offerings to avoid making the same mistake again.

The new Chevrolet Bolt EV concept leverages the capabilities of the Volt and Spark EV to offer long-range electric performance in the United States and several markets around the world.

With the new Bolt EV, drivers could choose from several operating modes built around preferred driving styles like every day rides and spirited weekend drives. These available modes deliver by adjusting accelerator pedal mapping, suspension tuning and vehicle ride height. Interestingly, the new Bolt EV concept could support DC fast charging.

Barra remarked that thanks to huge advancements in technologies, Chevrolet was able to make it easier and more affordable for its customers to integrate an all-electric vehicle in their daily lives. She added that the Bolt EV concept is a demonstration of GM’s commitment to electrification and the capabilities of its advanced EV technology.

In terms of crossover aesthetics, the new Chevrolet Bolt EV concept is considerably handsome. Thanks to its distinct proportion that features practically no front and rear overhangs, the Bolt EV concept could optimize interior space to comfortably accommodate four occupants. It employs lightweight materials -- aluminum, carbon fiber, magnesium and woven mesh – helping save weight and helping maximize range. The new Bolt EV also comes with aerodynamic aids like vented rear fenders.

Ed Welburn, vice president at GM Global Design, remarked that the new Chevrolet Bolt EV blends form and function, with no compromises in terms of aesthetics. He added that several elements help increase the range of the Bolt EV concept, resulting to a distinct, sleek and efficient proportion.

Chevrolet was able to enhance the airy interior ambience of the Bolt EV through extensive use of glass and a full-length, frosted glass roof with distinct design elements. Its lean, sporty stance is made possible by a high beltline sweep upward with the D-pillar and ends at the integrated roof spoiler. The distinct looks of the concept is also made possible by an advanced nano-composite rear hatch and wraparound rear window.

The new Bolt EV makes use of LED (light-emitting diode) headlamp and rear lights, as accommodated behind jewel-like faceted lenses.

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