By on January 10, 2015

2011-chevrolet-volt-mpv5-concept-unveiled-at-2010-beijing-motor-show_100310933_h-550x366

TTAC was the first to report on a new 200-mile EV being developed by GM, based on the Chevrolet Sonic. This low volume model, said to be a compliance car, is getting closer to reality, with the Wall Street Journal  reporting that a concept version will debut at Monday’s Detroit Auto Show – though according to the WSJ, plans have changed.

The model will apparently be dubbed the Chevrolet Bolt, and be designed as a competitor to Tesla’s upcoming volume EV. The Bolt will apparently not be an “economy car” per the WSJ, but a crossover-like vehicle big enough to carry a family of four, but smaller than a Model S. The battery will still be built at the LG Chem plant as previously reported. A crossover-style Volt has previously been shown, but this would be a pure EV vehicle. Mules based on the Orlando have been spotted testing, giving further weight to the rumors.

While there’s no word on whether the vehicle will still be made in the United States, doing so would allow GM to claim regulatory credits for building such a vehicle in a domestic plant, something that will help them offset vast sales of trucks and SUVs.

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76 Comments on “New 200-Mile Chevrolet Bolt CUV To Debut At NAIAS...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Ok, they’ve piqued my curiosity. Will be watching for more data.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Likewise. As an EV fan and the proud father of two, this might be a winner.

      I liked the Volt a lot, but it was painfully obvious that it wasn’t a family car when I drove it. I liked the Leaf a lot too, but range < 150 miles means that the rest of the household fleet has to be be able to compnsate.

      Anyway, compliance car or not, I'm interested.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Ok, I’m picking up on more data and I won’t deny the concept will be a good one as far as it goes; definitely better than the Leaf in at least two areas (interior space and range) but likely to still fall behind Tesla’s model III considering the projected market date is the same as the Model III but suggests half the Model III’s range.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    A true 200 mile electric vehicle that (a) is reliable, (b) has a HVAC system effective enough to battle southern heat & polar vortex cold, (c) can accommodate 4 or more adults simultaneously, (d) can be fully recharged in 5 or fewer hours on a 220 outlet, (e) has a battery pack that lasts for at least 10 years, with replacement guaranteed at no cost if not, (f) can keep up with city AND highway traffic, (g) has a reasonably comfortable ride & good reliability, and (h) costs 30k or less…

    …I’ll just say it…

    …could be a “game changer.”

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I think Caddy will be coming out with a car that will fulfill your EV dreams;)

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I fear Johan Zohan de Nysschen would insist that it would have to cost more than a Tesla S, because…

        …well, because that’s how he thinks.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          No, no, his Cadillac variant will have to cost twice as much as a Tesla, he would be ok if this one was as expensive as a Tesla.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          By the way, I think the Leaf outsold every Cadillac model in December except for the SRX. I need to double check the number, but in a rush.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The escalade, which is now all over $100k outsold the leaf as well.
            Kinda surprising it was by only 322 units, Ive seen maybe 10 leafs and escalades are around every corner.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Actually you said in the month of December in which case the Escalade outsold the leaf by 638 units, still much less than one would imagine.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            I got my numbers from Nissan and GM:

            Leaf: 3,102

            Escalade: 2,281
            Escalade ESV: 1,459

            I was going by line items on the sheet. Anyway, except for maybe the ATS (base ATS is $4k less than a Leaf SL), which is close to the ATS price range, I realize it’s an imperfect comparison.

            I was just trying to apply a bit of scale to Cadillac’s numbers. Just to show their sales in comparison to an oddball niche vehicle that has a lot going against it lately. It’s a foot race where you’re being beaten by a guy with two broken legs and on crutches.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      …also must come in wagon configuration, with a diesel option, and offering several shades of brown to choose from.

    • 0 avatar

      I with you, it could be a game changer, I hope it is.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        If GM doesn’t change them game this way, Tesla will.

        Either way, I’m itching to give my money to someone for a plugin daily driver for the home->preschool->work->preschool->home circuit!

        This in the kind of machine that will get me off of the used car wagon. And off of the oil roller coaster ride!

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed, But if it is a compliance car as they indicate here, it’ll change nothing. Why even bother making it so good if the intention is low volume sales??

  • avatar

    I like the look of it-

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Looks like they electrified an HHR.

    It would likely be around $50k. If this thing is legit, the main attraction for the Volt becomes price (and looks).

    But with Tesla leading in the looks, performance, and range categories, the ‘Bolt’ is definitely playing catch up in a developing market.

    Should be interesting.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “allow GM to claim regulatory credits for building such a vehicle in a domestic plant, something that will help them offset vast sales of trucks and SUVs” + [which fuel its business]

  • avatar
    nickoo

    If they can give it decent performance, 0-60 in 7 or less, and get it to 40,000 or less pre-rebates, this could be a big deal for Chevy. It will be interesting to see if they capture model S buyers or Nissan leaf buyers as this will be in between the two.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Unfortunately, it’s going to have the oddball SAE DC charging plug instead of CHAdeMO. Almost no SAE chargers, but plenty of CHAdeMO. I’d stay away from an SAE equipped car unless someone produces an adapter.

  • avatar
    shaker

    If GM EV’s are going to remain in the “compliance car” arena, then I’ll be looking hard at the next-gen Leaf.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      As a current Leaf driver, so would I.

      But Nissan is dragging their feet, and Leaf 2.0 won’t be available until a year or two after my current lease is up in September. There is a wide range of vehicles I’m considering that don’t include Nissan.

  • avatar
    gt

    Bolt? Seriously? Ok, then how about:

    Colt: the car for young people who would rather be riding a horse.
    (though Mitsubishi might have something to say about it.
    Dolt: for people who aren’t terribly bright.
    (You know, almost all of us according to Johnathan Gruber.)
    Jolt: for those who need a little excitement in their life.
    Kolt: to avoid any Mitsubishi/Dodge entanglements.
    Molt: in anticipation of the paint peeling.
    Solt: bought by earthy types with accents (oh yaa, real solt of the earth!)
    Wolt: better than a Volt.
    Yolt: the penultimate EV for those who have almost arrived.
    Zolt: the top of the line, this will of course be a new Cadillac.

  • avatar
    kovakp

    If they also offered a decent ICE-only 4-cyl. option I’d be interested in this HR-V competitor. If it’s a Sonic at heart that’s mighty good.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    test post

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    Last 3 times I commented nothing happens, but test post appears. Spam filter?

    Went to “contact” to report problems and get error message to “contact admin by another method”

    Has TTAC been taken over by bots?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’m not sure there’s any rhyme or reason to what goes through and what doesn’t. Since my posts tend to be long-winded, I usually copy them down on a .txt file first before posting them here, just so I have them if they get eaten.

      • 0 avatar
        thx_zetec

        length does seem to matter – “test post” always goes through.

        I too copy my post first, but does not help. Re-sending yields same result and spam filter likely has check for repetition. Also tried editing and resending.

        THe only thing way I’ve gotten through is by cutting length ~4X. My post are not super-long, maybe e 10 sentences, but that seems too long. That said looking at comments I do see a few long posts that have “made it past the goalie”

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    range is one problem, but long re-charge is 2nd big problem with EV. For commuter car like leaf overnight charge might be OK, but for family hauler this would make cross country trip impractical even with the hyped “super charger”

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Why do all of these discussions break down to ‘well I can’t drive it to X!’ even though X is maybe done once a year at most. If you’re seeking 40K into a car you can rent a Suburban for a week to take wherever you want.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I don’t mean to kick your puppy, but for this kind of money I can buy a vehicle that I can drive anywhere I want anytime I want, tow a small boat if I want, go camping in the mountains if I want, then stop at Home Depot and pick up everything I need to build that shed I want and have it still be reasonably economical to drive back and forth to work every day. People would be crazy not to buy one, oh wait, they’re not crazy, they’re CUVs and people are buying them like crazy

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    wow – that one went through – go figure. Is there character limit?

  • avatar

    It’s called the Bolt. It’s descended from the Volt. It will be bought by dolts who don’t understand that more than half of America’s electricity comes from coal. LOL.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Driving an EV is comparable to driving a Prius as far as carbon emissions go on the coal-heavy areas (like Houston). Regions with more NG, nuclear, hydro, and wind/solar do much better.

      Except that the EV has better torque, is agnostic about its fuel source (can ru on anything from nuclear to solar), costs less for fuel, can be refueled at home, and disconnects one’s preschool dropoff ritual from the geopolitical struggles of the US in the Middle East.

      EVs may or may not be suitable for your circumstances, or you may not care about these issues. But “dolt” isn’t the label I’d choose for those who find these arguments to have resonance.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        So your saying that a Prius can generate electricity with it’s ICE burning gas with the same efficiency(pollution wise) as the grid using coal. I suggest you re-think that.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          In case we want to use facts, coal is 39% of electricity generation, and falling fast.

          Given the speed with which pricing for solar cells is falling, and the abundance of natural gas from fracking, coal is essentially becoming an export product for the US.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          @Carlson Fan:

          I must not have been clear enough in my explanation, so I’ll clarify.

          The Prius isn’t beitg used to generate electricity. Electric plants are much better at that. What the Prius is doing is turning hydrocarbons in to motion, and the battery+motors are just there to keep the engine running in its sweet spots, make up for a torqueless engine, and recover braking energy. Turns out that this works surprisingly well, and the Prius has roughly the same carbon emissions as an electrical plant + grid + EV in coal-heavy Houston, when turning hydrocarbons in to motion.

          If you hook my Prius’s 220VDC HV electrical system up to an inverter, it’s going to be more expensive and have higher emissions than grid power for the same number of KWH. But that’s not the question. The question is well to wheels emissions in a transportation application.

          In a well to wheels transportation application, the worst case (upper limit) in terms of carbon emissions is a wash between the Prius and a similarly sized EV. There’s no physical lower limit on emissions for EVs (but there are plenty of economic reasons).

          And, of course, EV emissions are NIMBY and handled by professional power plant operators.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I know this segment could use a car like this, so I’ll wait to see what actually come to the market.

    I can’t stop thinking about this conversation….”what car do you drive?”, “a bolt,”, “a what?”

  • avatar
    shaker

    But EV buyers will push for more renewable energy sources – the “chicken/egg” scenario.

    Regenerative braking is the EV’s strong suit – with supercapacitors on the horizon, EV’s will become even more efficient in stop-and-go traffic.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      EVs are already super efficient in stop n go traffic. That is where they shine and where your average ICE falls on its face

    • 0 avatar
      thx_zetec

      I’m sure that EV buyers will ask for more renewable power, and I’m sure they will want someone else to pay for the extra cost. Not sure how much will be available, vast majority still from fossil power.

      California brags about renewable energy, but they have very high electricity cost and they import 30% of their power. With their un-dependable wind and solar they need plenty of fossil backup, esp from other states.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    At $30k, and fulfilling most or all of Deadbeat’s requirements, Chevy could sell a ton of these things.

    But I suspect this vehicle will cost them upwards of $60k, to produce, so they are likely to sell EXACTLY as many as needed to comply with the Republik of California regulations.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Tesla claims they’re going to sell a 200 mile EV somewhere in the $30k’s. That price is based on the economies of scale that the Tesla Gigafactory is supposed to create, though.

      I’m not sure how GM plans to address that problem — maybe they won’t? Or maybe they’ll buy batteries from the gigafactory once it comes on line?

  • avatar
    church

    1) Why EV design has redundant radiator grill?
    2) If there is no common combustion engine, why design still has that front bonnet and hasn’t been made more streamlined for less air resistance/longer range/compact size/more inner capacity?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The car in the picture is a Voltec plugin hybrid concept based on the ICE-powered Chevy Orlando MPV, so the proportions aren’t optimized for EV requirements.

      EVs use radiators for the following things:
      A) Cooling the inverter
      B) Cooling the motor
      C) Cooling tho battery pack (except for the Leaf, which has an air cooled battery).
      D) Air conditioner / heater/ heat pump for HVAC system

      That said, the radiator should be much smaller than they are on an ICE car.

      P.S. Hybrids and plugin hybrids can have a surprising number of independent coolant loops. EVs are much simpler.

      • 0 avatar
        church

        Hybrids – yes. Yet why even classic hybrid prius design looks closer for purpose then this E-only V? Next product of Chevy will be what? Big SUV or EV pickup truck with classic design cues/high ground clearance .. and used mostly for city driving? :)

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      In addition to what Luke pointed out, people seem to “need” a grille for comfort-food reasons, regardless of the car’s actual need for a grille.

      Maybe when Google comes out with their driver-less car then the design paradigm can change.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I hope they’re smart enough to make the back seat accommodate three across, even if it’s just for kids.

    • 0 avatar
      clivesl

      I think even the new Volt has room for three kids in the back. Didn’t they take out that hump?

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        If you watched the teaser video showing the paddle shifter adjustable regenerative braking you’ll notice they had the back seat covered with a blanket. The “T” battery design hasn’t changed in the Gen 2 so the question becomes did they manage to put a thin seat over the top of it this time. I suspect they did. It will be a bench seat but will still have the battery pack in the way where your legs/feet would go.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Hopefully the “Bolt” can do three carseats in the 2nd row. That’s more important than seating three adults back there in a family runabout.

          The Volt only has two reclining seats in the second row. It didn’t seem like a big deal before I had kids, and I could make it work if I had to…. But I have kids now, and this kind of thing is a big deal when the car to beat is the paid-off Prius in my driveway.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Please note that while “compliance cars” can get away as money losers for now, by 2025 the OEMs can’t afford to lose money on them–as the “demand” is going to multiply nearly 9x with the addition of 9 more states having the same 15% ‘compliance’ laws on the books.

  • avatar
    readallover

    They made the Captiva out of the old Saturn. This time it is a Bolt out of the failed Orlando.

  • avatar

    I’m left wondering where this whole “-olt” naming series in going to lead.

    Volt, Bolt, Jolt, Dolt… then what? Revolt?

  • avatar
    Quentin

    What makes this different from the barely sellable RAV4 EV? The potential of not being California only appears to be the only difference. Judging by the fact that the RAV4 EV used Tesla powertrain and batteries and was still a major money loser, I have my doubts that this will be very cheap if it has a 200mi range.

    • 0 avatar
      slow_poke

      didn’t GM used to claim that the Volt was going to be a 200mile EV at one point as well… all i remember is that they made claims that were ludicrous and then ended up w/ hybrid. i don’t believe them at all. AT ALL.

      the $60k cost sounds more reasonable. We’ve got a Leaf, which i love, but its tiny, was ~30k and has effectively a 60-70mi range. not worth it for $60k.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I read this elsewhere. Apparently “Bolt” is a delusional cartoon dog:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolt_%28character%29

  • avatar
    celebrity208

    Will the voice of the Nav system be John Travolta?

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