The EV world has been looking forward to the launch of the next-generation Volt at next week’s Detroit auto show, but the latest news promises to make the Volt a sideshow.
According to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal and Detroit News, GM plans to launch a new EV called the Chevrolet Bolt, with a range of over 200 miles and a price tag of $30,000, to hit the market by 2017 (just in time to scoop Tesla’s Model 3).
Rumors of the Bolt’s coming have been accumulating for some time. In 2013, GM formed a task force to study Tesla. Since then, a couple of execs have said that the company was working on a 200-mile EV. Last July, South Korean battery firm LG Chem said that it planned to supply an unnamed major automaker with batteries for such a car. And over the past few months, GM has announced over half a billion bucks worth of new investment at various manufacturing facilities, including $65 million for lithium-ion battery production and research.
A concept version of the Bolt will be revealed on at the show on Monday, the sources say. It’s supposed to be a 5-door hatchback with a crossover look. Another source who saw the GM display being set up told Green Car Reports that the new star seems to be shaped a bit like a BMW i3.
GM CEO Mary Barra said this week that the company isn’t going to play the game of chasing low gas prices. “Over the long term, it doesn’t change our strategy at all. We’ve been working for several years now to make our vehicles from that perspective very efficient; have several new powertrains either out or on their way that are going to be industry-leading from a fuel-efficiency perspective,” Barra said. “We are 100 percent committed to driving efficiency across the portfolio. All segments will to do that. So it doesn’t change it.”
Source: Green Car Reports, Wall Street Journal, Detroit News