The Chevy Bolt employs a styling in line with the marque’s lineup of crossovers and small cars—rather than the futuristic look used by well-known small EVs, like the BMW i3 and Nissan LEAF. The Bolt has a raked window, aggressive front fascia and low-profile tires.
The Bolt's 150-kW electric motor will produce 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque to the front axle. That output is enough for the Bolt to go from zero to 60 mph in less than seven seconds.
The Bolt will carry a 60-kWh battery pack—providing more than 200 miles on a single charge. The company’s official statement explained that it will “leverage” battery technology used in the Chevy Volt and Spark EV.
The use of lightweight materials was an important point during the company’s unveiling of the Bolt in January 2015.
Given the need for a large battery pack—to provide 200 miles of range—charging speeds will be important. GM is committed to the SAE Combo Cord protocol, which accommodates the standard J1772 connector as well as a special DC fast charging coupler.
With a 240-volt supply, drivers can add about 25 miles of driving range in one hour at the plug. Using its Quick Charging port, Bolt drivers can add about 90 miles of range in 30 minutes.
The Chevy Bolt is a hatchback. It is promised as a compact car with the interior space of a mid-size vehicle. When the rear seats are folded down, the interior cargo space is 55 cubic feet of cargo space. With the seats up, you get just under 17 cubic feet in back—in addition to 94.4 cubic feet of passenger volume and seating for five passengers.
In terms of infotainment, the Bolt is expected offer personalized settings and pairing for up to 10 devices, Wi-Fi connectivity for up to seven devices, cabin pre-conditioning, EV-specific routing for the navigation, and the MyChevrolet App to check in on the car’s status, such as charge level and estimated range. GM’s OnStar system will be the primary communications platform.
Safety testing for the Bolt is not expected until soon before release of the car in late 2016 or early 2017.
TThe Bolt is expected to offered at a starting price of $37,500, and will eligible for a $7,500 tax credit to yield a net price tag of $30,000 (before local incentives). There will be some options available with the Bolt, but many of the connectivity and active safety features will be available in the base trim.
One potential competitor for the Bolt would be the Tesla Model 3, which is expected to arrive in late 2017. Tesla promises a car with a similar price and range numbers, although in the form a luxury vehicle.
Car and Driver magazine reported that for Tesla to deliver such a car means that it’s “banking on both the Gig factory battery plant and Model X production to run perfectly on schedule.”
“Tesla is trying to beat everybody to the market with an affordable all-electric vehicle with 200 miles of range,” said James Bell, head of consumer affairs for General Motors, in a video from Detroit. “Guess what? Chevrolet just knocked on their door, and knocked it down. Now the Bolt’s here, and you’ll have it available in showrooms for about $30,000 next year.”
The Bolt will be sold by Chevrolet dealerships in all 50 states.