Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Electric cars—the new Chevy Bolt

With the arrival of the new Chevy Bolt, GM's eco-cred just goes up a significant notch.  While we still await Tesla's new "mid-priced" arrival, the Bolt looks to be a serious player.  Cars are nasty-difficult to build so it is important that someone who has been building cars for over a century is employing their resources and expertise has come forward with a new model—complete with all the required safety features and a nation-wide network of sales and service.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the mini-SUV look but I don't sell cars so what do I know?  But then, when it comes to electric vehicles, nobody really knows how to sell them.  But my guess is that with a few more attractive examples like this one, the era of the electric cars looks to be right around the corner.

Chevrolet Bolt

Entering production in late 2016, the Bolt targets the upcoming Tesla Model 3 and hopes to boost Chevy’s eco cred. Powertrain specs are vague this far from production, but expect the Bolt to pack a compact electric motor, a direct-drive gearbox, and offer range of more than 200 miles. The Bolt’s edgy styling and 16.9 cu ft of cargo space should satisfy buyers on both aesthetic and practicality fronts; the Bolt will have a net price of around $30,000 after tax credits. Official Photos and Info – 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV,  View Features and Specs,  Official Chevy site

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: GM's $30K Electric Is Almost Here!

The affordable-EV market needed a new savior, so here it is.


In a couple of years, Chevrolet may well be chopping big dollars off the sticker of its new Bolt EV and sweetening lease deals like so much Southern iced tea. It probably will have to, in order to move sufficient quantities of a nonpremium compact electric hatchback in order to satisfy both CAFE requirements and zero-emissions mandates. But that time isn’t today. For now, you can purchase a Bolt for a little more than $37,000 before a $7500 federal tax credit—General Motors hasn’t released exact pricing—which will make it one of the priciest small EVs this side of the BMW i3.

But no EV at or near this price can match the Bolt’s 200-plus-mile range, which is nearly double that of the longest-legged Nissan Leaf, with its EPA-estimated 107 miles per charge. The Leaf’s figure had been the best in the sub-Tesla all-electric segment, where the Leaf is not coincidentally the top-selling model. The Bolt’s impressive range combined with a production-start date of later this year—which places it about a year ahead of the still-unseen Tesla Model 3—may put General Motors at the top of the class. Unlike GM’s solid first effort, the EV1, and its current Spark EV (which is sold only in California, Oregon, and Maryland), the Bolt eventually will be offered nationwide. Proof: At the Consumer Electronics Show reveal in Las Vegas, CEO Mary Barra said Bolt customers would never need to travel out of state to buy or service their cars. Gee, we wonder which automaker she’s taking a poke at with that remark?

Barra also didn’t mention any of the Bolt’s powertrain specs, which remain as tightly wrapped as the flat LG lithium-ion battery pack is under the car’s floor. We do know the Bolt has a 102.4-inch wheelbase, which is three inches longer than that of the Sonic and 8.9 inches longer than the Spark EV’s. The cargo space behind the rear seats is 16.9 cubic feet. As far as specs, that’s all we’ve got for now, folks. But we’ll be driving it soon, so stay tuned for more.

Elsewhere, the requisite touchscreens and big digital displays are here, including the trick rearview mirror borrowed from the 2016 Cadillac CT6, which at the flip of a switch can overlay an HD view from the backup camera across its surface. Between that, the 360-degree cameras, and the wee footprint of this car, you have no excuse for hitting anything while reversing in a Bolt. When facing forward, driver and passenger can gaze into a 10.2-inch touchscreen with a redesigned Chevrolet MyLink interface that separates information into flipboard-style tiles. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will be available, too, as will a navigation system that can route you to nearby charging stations and attempt to maximize total range. Also, like the Nissan Leaf, GM is installing an onboard game that logs how efficiently you drive and compares your score with those of other Bolt owners. Maybe you’ll win! (Hey, it’s a lot less sad than off-track simulcast betting.)

Among the Volt’s other features are LED headlamps and taillamps, blue LED ambient lighting, wireless phone charging, and a central covered storage bin that can swallow a tablet. Early adopters will want to see their Chevy dealer later this year. Or wait a year or two and save big. It’s clear the affordable-EV market is about to get much more interesting. more
Rank In Electric Vehicles

Future: Chevrolet Bolt $37,500

1. Chevrolet Spark EV $25,995 - $26,385

2. Volkswagen e-Golf $29,815 - $36,415

3. Ford Focus Electric $30,045

4. Kia Soul EV $32,775 - $36,775

5. Nissan Leaf $29,860 - $37,640

6. Fiat 500E $32,795

7. Smart Fortwo Electric Drive $25,750


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