By on January 12, 2015

Chevrolet-Bolt-Concept-10

For those saddened that the second-gen Chevrolet Volt looks more like a regular car than it did in its first incarnation, the Bolt EV is the next best thing in quirky green vehicle looks [Live photos now available – CA].

The $30,000 EV crossover concept boasts a range of 200 miles, though no specific powertrain was mentioned during the unveiling. DC fast-charging is supported.

Meanwhile, drivers can select from a range of modes based on their situation, whether its the long slog to the office park, or a weekend on the backroads. The modes adjust ride height, accelerator pedal mapping and suspension.

The design itself eliminates front and rear overhangs, which in turn makes for a spacious environment inside. Aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh knock the Bolt EV’s weight down to ensure its 200-mile range is achievable, with aero aids also contributing to the concept’s range.

The Bolt EV also has a smartphone app, dubbed Bolt EV Connect. Functions include the use of your smartphone as a key fob, ride-sharing management, and automatic park-and-retrieval, which allows the Bolt EV to park itself, then return to the driver autonomously.

Date of arrival for a production version of the Bolt EV may be as early as 2017, a year after the similarly priced Tesla Model 3 is expected to hit showrooms.

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56 Comments on “NAIAS 2015: Chevrolet Bolt EV Debuts...”


  • avatar
    geozinger

    Well, there’s the minivan-like EV I’ve been expecting from GM. It looks pretty neat in these photos. This wouldn’t be bad as an ICE powered car, too. Let’s see how many of the features shown here make it to production, though…

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    This 200 mile range thing isn’t going to turn into the 230 mpg debacle that the Volt had during introductions, is it?

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Volt 2 suggests GM learned a lot of lessons. Lutz’ departure also allows engineering to do their jobs right.

      I figure the EPA will get 200 miles. Most drivers won’t but the range will be good enough, approximately double the current Leaf. Still not enough for interstate travel but great for a commuter.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        On reflection, there is one thing that bothers me… the price. I expect that “$30,000” means MSRP. However…

        “Aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh knock the Bolt EV’s weight down to ensure its 200-mile range is achievable,”

        That’s a lot of fancy materials for $30K. I hope they’re not talking about $30K after tax credits. That should be another lesson they learned from Volt 1.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Why?

          Tesla and Nissan do the exact same funny math? Why would you market yourself at a disadvantage to your competitors positioning?

        • 0 avatar
          Land Ark

          As geozinger alluded, I suspect a lot of the Aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh will quietly turn into plastic.

          My main concern is where is this 200 mile battery coming from? Does it already exist or is it still in development? Is it a GM battery?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “My main concern is where is this 200 mile battery coming from? Does it already exist or is it still in development? Is it a GM battery?”

            Supposedly GM is in partnership with LG for the batteries. We’ll just have to wait and see.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            “Where is this 200 mile battery coming from?”

            My guess: it’s the same battery tech as in the new Volt, maybe 50% bigger (so around 25kW/h). Losing the Volt’s gas engine saves a lot of weight, plus this thing looks like it is built on a smaller platform (shared with the Spark?).

          • 0 avatar

            @Heavy Handle. 25kWh will not carry a car 200 miles. The LEAF is 24kWh and it doesn’t have a gas backup engine weighing it down either.

            You have to be looking towards 50kWh and beyond to achieve that kind of range.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        By doubling the Leaf’s range, as an Urban/Suburban car this would actually come in quite well. I live in such a suburban environment where my average drive comes too close to the Leaf’s limits for comfort, which leaves only the Tesla as a viable EV for my needs. This “Bolt” would eliminate my Range Anxiety as far as that goes.

      • 0 avatar

        Most EV drivers are able to exceed the EPA range by 10% easily enough. So expect real world to be a minimum of 200 miles if that is the final EPA rating.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Or not, if the mistakes by the EPA on both the Ford C-max and 2.7L F-150 are an example.

          • 0 avatar
            mik101

            You mean the mistakes both Ford and Hyundai made that the EPA didn’t catch because they allow manufacturers to do their own testing?

          • 0 avatar

            I’ve always found my gas cars reasonably close to the EPA estimates, sure they screw up once in a while, but don’t we all. As mik101 said some manufacturers can be ‘creative’ when self estimating on behalf of the EPA.

            The EPA estimates are much more realistic than European or Japanese range estimates for the LEAF. Of the rating bodies, I use their numbers as my point of reference.

  • avatar

    It sure looks like a winner, and I hope that it is, but I still have to wonder how GM will screw it up.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    I would buy this just for the beltline. Hope this starts a trend of cars having actual windows instead of gunslits.

  • avatar
    JTH

    A lot of work going into keeping the weight down, which is great. So why make the entire roof out of glass? That’s got to be very heavy.

  • avatar
    vvk

    I heard it is $38k, not $30k because they quote assuming the $7500 federal rebate. Really, it is likely over $40k if you include sales tax in many states.

    But most people will probably lease anyway…

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’m not too sure about the name. Is GM also planning on releasing cars named Nut and Washer?

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Looks good due to proper wheel gap… Nothing make a car look cheaper than 6″ of wheel to fender gap…

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like it.

    The concept interior needs to calm down.

    Less Scion iQ on the nose would be nice, too.

  • avatar

    Looks like it could compete with the BMW i3, but it’s much better looking. Now if GM can keep the price down and the range up…

  • avatar
    celebrity208

    Please lose those horrible Volt Mk1 reminiscent capacitive touch buttons.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I like it except the front end. The front end needs to tone it down a bit. Also, the center console is um, strange to say the least.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    (Walks in excited about xB1 replacement)
    (Finds dumb name and no range extender)
    (Walks out)

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “Date of arrival for a production version of the Bolt EV may be as early as 2017, a year after the similarly priced Tesla Model 3 is expected to hit showrooms.”

    Same year, not year after, according to Tesla’s latest reports.

    • 0 avatar
      celebrity208

      Tesla also doesn’t have a good track record of keeping launch dates.

      [http://www.google.com/url?url=https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/tesla-model-x-delayed-q3-2015-d-models-high-demand]

  • avatar
    jfbramfeld

    Apparently, they haven’t finalized the size yet.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The interior looks somewhat reminiscent of the BMW i3 and you have to admit that it feels very roomy in the i3 without that huge center console squeezing you down into such a narrow well for your feet and legs. This thing could be quite surprising across the board if they keep it essentially as we see it here. But then, so far GM hasn’t been noted for leaving good things alone in their efforts to make them ‘better’.

  • avatar
    kovakp

    “The modes adjust ride height, accelerator pedal mapping and suspension.”

    I *want* this! But not in an EV.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I’m begging the manufacturers to stop with the upswept belt line. Every hatchback looks the same now. This Bolt looks way too similar to Fords B-Max and C-Max

  • avatar

    Wonder if GM will engineer a CHAdeMo adapter like Tesla did to enable their drivers to take advantage of the existing infrastructure. If they do it will sell like gangbusters in LEAF strongholds.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I like it. By 2017, an available 200 mile range will probably be the norm.

    For my next EV the DC fast charging network size will be a major factor in my decision. Second, “autopilot” features like hands-off feet-off stop and go traffic capability would be high on the list as well. Autonomous parking won’t be there and I wouldn’t trust it anyway if it was. Just get me through stop-and-go traffic.

    For range, I usually like to have the cars estimated range at any one moment to be twice as far as I need to go. If I fall under that range, I find a charger.

    Two hundred mile range will get me anywhere I need to go staying within that rule like Boston area to White River Junction Vt non-stop – even skipping the Hooksett NH Supercharger. Usually, any further than that and I take a plane.

    Right now, I’d probably go with either a Model 3, next generation Leaf (if the CHAdeMO network keeps growing), or maybe a Model S if I can deal with the fact it’s width will be tougher to deal with in some parking garages I use. If they produce this car, it’s a possibility, but it uses the SAE DC charging standard which at the current time is pretty scarce. That could change, so we’ll wait and see.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    Great looking vehicle, only, I wonder what it would look like if the trailing edge of the head lamp actually connect at the leading edge of the side glass.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I just hope the “real” is almost as good as the “ideal” represented by this concept.

    The “Bolt” name is kind of silly – Chevy should try a little harder.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      While the “Bolt” name may sound silly, it does fit the electrical theme for that family of cars: Volt and Bolt. I would expect a third model in the EV family to have a similar name, but for the life of me I can’t think of another electrical term that rhymes. Jolt? That could suggest the wrong connotations, but at least it works.

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