Barra Delivers! 2017 Chevrolet BOLT EV – $30k Price and 200+ Mile Range Should Worry i3, Leaf and Prius PHEV

Disbelief?  Awe?  Wonder?

Trying to find the right description to pick my jaw up off my desk.

The new Chevy Bolt EV is almost surreal at its CES reveal this week.  Just a year ago, the Bolt concept wowed Detroit with its big range promises, practical shape and interesting cabin tech.  Few people — this author included — ever expected a production car to be so close on the horizon.

But here it is, folks!  The massive promises from General Motors about their future electric product plans were not just hot air!

The 2017 Bolt EV promises a 200-mile-plus battery range and a price of around $30 grand. These are both slightly soft benchmarks, particularly the price. Before incentives, the Bolt EV is likely to sticker from $35,000 in one or two nearly-loaded trimlines.

The Bolt EV runs a 100-percent electric drivetrain, driving the front wheels and achieving an estimated 10-second sprint to 60-mph and 105-mph estimated top speed.  All with room inside for luggage and five passengers?   A deeply impressive package for gas-free driving.

The cargo room of the Bolt tops both the Honda Fit and BMW i3 with 16.9-cubic-feet behind the second row, more than doubling with the seat folded.  The Bolt will undercut the EV BMW i3 by at least $5k, and the range-extender BMW i3 by at least $10k.

Is there no compromise?  Beyond price and somewhat mellow sprint pace above 30-mph, the big demerit of the Bolt EV appears to be folded seats that do not create a flat load floor. These stick up a few inches above the rear cargo floor due to the battery pack under the rear floor.

But overall?  Incredibly impressive production car from Chevrolet.

The Bolt EV and Volt PHEV share many critical elements under the skin, and will make a nice double-threat for eco shoppers in Chevy showrooms. Need long-range potential?  Volt PHEV with its regen gas engine.  Need more cargo space but mostly a city commuter?  Bolt EV.

This is important: we are seeing no silver bullet in the eco car movement: Nissan may add a range-extender to the next Leaf to broaden its appeal.

Even so, more than doubling the Leaf’s potential range will give the Bolt EV a running start at convincing any doubters. Its friendly entry price should also make an EV something to consider for all Americans — beyond the typical EV hotspots on the Pacific coast.



2017 Chevrolet BOLT EV


Chevrolet Introduces 2017 Bolt EV

First long-range, affordable EV with customer-focused connectivity


LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet is introducing the 2017 Bolt EV at the Consumer Electronics Show, fulfilling its promise to offer a long-range, affordable electric vehicle for the masses.

The Bolt EV, which will go into production by the end of 2016, will offer more than 200 miles of range on a full charge. It also features advanced connectivity technologies designed to enhance and personalize the driving experience.

“It was less than a year ago that we revealed the Bolt EV concept and promised to deliver a long-range electric vehicle attainable by the masses,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said. “The Bolt EV is capable of using the latest mobile app technology to enable car sharing, advanced GPS routing and gamification, all designed to enhance the ownership experience now and into the future.”

Connectivity Simplifies Ownership Experience

The Bolt EV benefits directly from the suggestions and ideas of Volt owners and features technologies that make owning a long-range electric vehicle easy. 

The Bolt EV’s connectivity innovations will provide smart, personalized solutions for managing the driving experience. For example, in the future an accurate driving range projection will be based on the time of day, typography, weather and the owner’s driving habits.

Bluetooth low-energy – designed specifically for the Bolt EV to minimize energy draw – seamlessly connects a smart phone to the car while the owner approaches the vehicle.        

Many of the Bolt EV’s driver-focused technologies are supported by OnStar 4G LTE, which turns the Bolt EV into a Wi-Fi hotspot, giving owners easier access to apps and services via a high-speed wireless connection.

Other connectivity and infotainment features include:

  • 2’’ MyLink color touch-screen display
    • Customizable, widget-based “flip-board style” operation
  • Rear Camera Mirror
    • Rear-facing camera provides a wide-angle view of the environment behind the vehicle.
  • Surround Vision
    • Provides a bird’s-eye view of what’s around the Bolt EV for improved safety during low-speed driving and when parking.
  • All-New MyChevrolet Mobile App: Combines important owner and vehicle information and functions, such as:
    • Vehicle charge status
    • OnStar Map service
    • Remote start
    • Cabin pre-conditioning
    • Owner’s manual information
    • Dealer service scheduling
  • EV Navigation Mapping
    • EV-specific navigation capability that designs routes to maximize range and provide locations of nearby charging station locations if needed.
  • Gamification
    • In the future, Bolt EV owners will be able to “compete” by comparing driving styles to determine who is driving most efficiently.