200-Mile, $30,000 Electric Chevrolet Bolt To Debut Monday At 2015 NAIAS


Chevrolet Volt EV Concept Debuts

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Debuts

GM Sits On The "Bolt" Name In Recent Filing

GM Sits On The “Bolt” Name In Recent Filing

Back in August 2014, General Motors filed a trademark for the name “Chevrolet Bolt.”

UPDATE:  The Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept has indeed been revealed – all the details, pics, specs and videos can be found here.

Now we’re learning that the Chevy Bolt might well be the 200-mile pure electric car that General Motors officially confirmed 3 months ago.  If true, then we won’t see a 200-mile Chevy Sonic, but rather something similar to it in size, but pure electric and called the Bolt.

*Note: If you seek more details on this 200-mile electric Chevy, then you’ll want to check out the comments on this article (or perhaps below in the comments on this article) titled “REPORT: GM Working With Focus Groups On 200 Mile EV Rollout?” We deleted most of the contents of the article itself upon request, but the comments section contains exclusive information on the 200-mile Chevy EV.

Additionally, the Wall Street Journal and other sources are now reporting that the Chevy Bolt will be unveiled on Monday January 12 at the 2015 NAIAS.

This 200-mile electric car has been in the making for sometime now at General Motors.  In fact, former CEO Dan Akerson confirmed GM’s 200-mile electric car some 2 years ago.

So, it’s a given that this car exists and that it’s been in development for quite awhile, but now it appears that it will finally debut in Detroit on Monday at the 2015 NAIAS?

Here’s what the Wall Street Journal says:

“General Motors Co. plans to launch a $30,000 electric vehicle called the Chevrolet Bolt that would be capable of driving 200 miles on a charge by 2017, according to people familiar with the strategy, a move to gain ground on Tesla Motors Inc.”

“GM will show off a concept version of the Bolt on Monday at the Detroit auto show, eight years after the auto giant disclosed it would re-enter the electric car market with the Chevrolet Volt.”

“The Chevy Bolt, carrying a more capable battery manufactured by South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. , will be aimed squarely at Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3, a $35,000 electric car also slated to debut in 2017. The concept version of the electric car will be a hatchback designed to look more like a so-called crossover vehicle, according to people familiar with the design.”

Original CrossVolt Trademark Filing.  This Filing Was Recently Extended By GM.

Original CrossVolt Trademark Filing. This Filing Was Recently Extended By GM.

Hmm…a hatchback designed to look more like a so-called crossover vehicle? Might that be the CrossVolt then.  It too has been rumored to be ready for debut at the 2015 NAIAS.

It’s believed that General Motors CEO Mary Barra will be the one unveiling the Bolt (CrossVolt?) at the 2015 NAIAS.  The Wall Street Journal states:

“The Bolt represents the biggest risk taken by Chief Executive Mary Barra since taking GM’s helm a year ago. Its development was approved when she was product chief under former CEO Dan Akerson . But U.S. gasoline prices have fallen below $2 a gallon this year, hurting demand for electric cars.”

“For Ms. Barra and other GM engineers, the Bolt’s proposed 200-mile range is critical because it is seen as addressing concerns about range long associated with electric cars, one person involved in the car’s development said. “Two hundred miles is seen as some sort of barrier where the notion of range anxiety goes away,” this person said.”

Update: Here it is - Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept

Update: Here it is – Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept

In terms of sales volume, we expect General Motors to shoot for the moon with its 200-mile electric car and so to does the Wall Street Journal:

“By placing the Bolt in the high-volume Chevrolet line and giving it a name similar to the Volt, executives hope to polish Chevy’s image as a full-line vehicle manufacturer prepared to meet demand, regardless of prices at the pump, according to people familiar with the strategy. GM expects the Bolt to compete globally, including in markets such as China. It is unclear if a car similar to the Bolt would be inserted in the Opel, Cadillac or Buick brands down the road.”

As for competing with the Tesla Model 3, it seems GM is ready to take on Tesla with this 200-mile electric car.  Range is spot on in regards to what we expect of the Model 3 and pricing will easily undercut the Model 3 if the $30,000 rumor is correct.

Update from “sources”:  $30,000 price tag is now considered to be the number after the $7,500 credit is applied

LG Chem is believed to be the battery supplier for the 200-mile electric Chevy:

“LG Chems’s battery improvements to make it possible to for GM to create the low-cost EV include better durability and electrical controls. Also, LG will use more of the available storage capacity in the cell than it does on the Volt.”

“We have progressed far enough that it gives us a high level of confidence that in the 2017 kind of a time frame, there are no show stoppers or gotchas that we don’t know how to get over,” Prabhakar Patil, the chief executive of LG Chem Power Inc., the U.S.-based battery arm of the Korean electronics giant, said in an interview.”

The 2015 NAIAS is shaping up to to a big event for fans of plug-in electric vehicles.  We’ll be on the scene to catch all of the reveals.  Press days start on Monday, so check this space often in the coming days to see how the show develops and to catch the unveilings as they happen.

Editor’s Note:  Don’t forget that we will have all the next generation of Chevrolet Volt news, info and specs you can handle late Sunday/early Monday night from the NAIAS  (look for that at 12:01 AM Jan 12th)

Source: Wall Street Journal

Categories: Chevrolet

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253 Comments on "200-Mile, $30,000 Electric Chevrolet Bolt To Debut Monday At 2015 NAIAS"

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The White Rendering of the fast back would be fine for a 2-seat variant, but tight (Once again) in the back seat for a 4-5 seat variant!

The CrossVolt Rendering is an interesting variation of the HHR Styling, with more glass!

However GM Does it – if they want to go all out in the All EV World, AND Compete with Tesla – they will need to stick their favorite Fast Charger (CCS) out there every 100 – 150 miles apart on the roads and bunches of them in Cities, if they wanted to Really Compete! (Still might not beat the Model 3 – due to the differences of Supercharging, Styling, Performance, etc.)

Really a turn off with comments like yours mister Weekly.

This is a big deal for sure. GM will beat Tesla to market with this car and it won’t just be a sonic.

The words seem to indicate that the batteries may not be in a tunnel like the Volt. This would definitely help make the interior more roomy as one would expect on a cross over vehicle.

Mary Barra will introduce it.


The target is not Tesla or GM, it’s Oil burning cars.

Thank you for saying ;
The target is to have more efficient way to travel and all kind of plug in electric hybrid or not are welcome to replace fuel consuming véhicules.
The most important is to reduce CO2 emissions trying to reduce weather extreme that will cost hundred of billions $ to repair dammages !

Sorry but your comment is quite clueless. First, GM hasn’t said it’s targeting a Tesla. That’s just a media story line created to make a story where there is none. If anything GM is grateful to Tesla for gaining acceptance for it to come out with the Bolt. Mark Reuss has said as much. Second is that it’s clear that GM isn’t targeting a Tesla. Unless you’re a moron, if you’re GM and want to target Tesla the LAST thing you do is make the car a Chevy. You make it a Cadillac and equip it appropriately. If you look at the product, it seems the “target” would be the Nissan Leaf and/or maybe the BMW i3. Look harder and it should be clear that the “target” is the CARB and CAFE mandates. Third, anyone in their right mind would know that Tesla is not going to make and sell a car for $30K. The transaction price for a Model S is nearing $100k, the Model X is more expensive, and there isn’t a lot of cost savings to be gained by making a car smaller. Fourth, there is no Tesla to target. All we have is a statement that… Read more »

DC, It has been in the news for over a year that Tesla always has planned a smaller more affordable car. They have the trade marked name Tesla GEN III.
Elon said it will be shown at the end of 2015 and released in late 2016. The new Gigafactory is to allow that to happen.
I even have a web site about it.


“Elon said it will be shown at the end of 2015 and released in late 2016. The new Gigafactory is to allow that to happen.”

He also said the Model X would be released in mid-2013. We’re still waiting.

Look, I love what Tesla is and wish them all the success in the world. But it’s crazy to take Elon’s future forecasts as if they are a certainty. The model 3 is currently an early phase R&D project. The goal is apparently a 200-mile range EV with a price tag after tax credits in the upper 30s. Will they make it? We don’t know, and neither do they. A few months ago in response to criticism about the neverending delays in the Model X Elon asserted that “People don’t understand how hard it is do deliver a product like this.” Actually, a lot of people do, but clearly Elon and Tesla did not.

The only safe thing to conclude is that Tesla’s long range “roadmap” planning includes a competitor to to LEAF with at least twice the range. With zero specifics.

May you provide some sort of reference for your quote?i
I think you made it up.
The Model X is delayed because of the wild success of Model S . No more urge of cash the Model x was about, and plenty of time to perfect it some more.
Good strategic decision .

You just made a contradictory statement REDLeafBlueLeaf.

Since Elon made the statement “People don’t understand how hard it is do deliver a product like this.” as you noted, how can it be that (your words) “…clearly Elon and Tesla did not.” Understand this???

You should read my comment to DonC as I think you are both totally misconstruing these things.

I believe it was an intended jab at Tesla. Elon Musk doesn’t know how long it takes to deliver a car like this because he himself was so grossly off of his own release date. Read it again and you’ll get it.

I’m sorry, no… Elon Musk was specifically asked if the $35,000 price tag for Tesla Model ☰ was a consideration after Federal Tax Credits and the answer was, “No.”

That is because that program begins to gradually fade away the instant a company has produced 200,000 eligible units for the US Market. If Tesla hasn’t crossed that mark by mid-2017, they’ll certainly cross it by the end of the year. So no one buying the Model ☰ should count on receiving the full $7,500 incentive. It will diminish once per quarter until it goes away completely. Since the Model X will likely be a very good seller on US shores, Tesla Motors will cross that 200,000 unit finish line far quicker than anyone thinks possible.

Of course the Model III will exist. You can say that it will be late, and probably more ecpensive than rhe current price target.

But there is nothing in the history of either Musk or Tesla that suggests that the car will never be released. That’s just a short seller’s fantasy, like the idea that the S was never going to be built.

The III is coming, and will be much cheaper than the S. Cost savings will come from the gigafactory and volume, not just from reduced size.

Sadly, Tesla’s current factory is at about 20% utilization. If they wanted to build a cheap electric car, they have the space. The giga factory will be there undoing, as they have no target audience. The leaf is underselling, the i3 and tesla are rich mans toys. The new Bolt still doesn’t come into a price bracket were rapid acceptance will occur. The world is waiting for a sub $20k electric. With all the headaches for charging, reduced winter range, and general I can’t go see the relatives 1000 miles away on a weekend, there’s a lot to overcome to get a high volume electric out there. Bigger batteries are a good start, but with them comes longer charging times. I for one can’t wait to see how this all pans out.

Well Don, I see your at it again. Your a smart guy, but on the subject of Tesla you tend to lose a lot of your IQ points every time you make a statement like ” something which doesn’t and likely will never exist.”

Really? I guess that GigaFactory that is rapidly rising out of the dirt is for nothing? You and anyone else betting against Tesla have already been and will certainly continue to be very disappointed. Probably the Model 3 will trail this Bolt and it will likewise be more expensive but it will also be a much nicer car.

Look I know you don’t like Elon Musk and that’s ok. What isn’t smart is you let your emotions cloud your thinking and your normally intelligent comments suddenly go off the deep end to much regarding Tesla.

Anyways please don’t take this wrong as its meant to be a constructive criticism.

I think we can all be happy here. A 200 mile EV not from Tesla is serious progress and I’m sure Musk is very happy because his goal all along was to prod the laggard OEMs into doing the heavy lifting of his goal of vehicle electrification.

I like the way you think!

The target market is more likely the Nissan Leaf which is selling briskly, especially in Georgia (highest volume selling Nissan product in Atlanta).
Including other products in that space; the Chevy Spark is already available, but very limited availability.
Others in that market and more product coming available: Mitsubishi I, Kia Soul, BMW i3 (not price point but vehicle type), Ford Focus, new VW all electric, etc. Lots of choices, and all electric

Remember in 2009 the Volt was announced as a series-hybrid oonly with 230 MPG ?

and this?

Shrewd comment. Tesla has accelerated its supercharger plans for 2015, per maps. The northeast is rockin’. They also slowed down the Model X launch, which means Model E can’t be too far along. They could become to a major OEM, what Porsche is to VW, but this game is about to suffer delays less, and less.

..sorry, George. I meant Robert this time. CCS is a very tall order, for the segment Tesla is conquering. If anything, I’d agree that Bolt variants can beat Tesla, but it’s always been about what GM markets, in any space.

Well said George.

I will have to say hats off to GM if this comes to frutrition. All electric 200mi holy grail, a sucsesfull Volt and a Crossover Voltec! At a price point Making them vehicles for the masses.

We would buy a crossover Volt to complement our BEV.

Hi George, Sorry – not much I can do about my 6’3″ Tall Frame – it is what it is, and the Volt does not work for tall people in the back seat, that is just how it was shaped. It is a 4-Door Vehicle, and I test all such vehicles as to fit for myself – first in the drivers seat, and then – for space behind the seat as set for me up front! If it was a 4-seat, 2 Door, Vehicle, my references might be the same, but with less critical terms, since I don’t consider 2 door vehicles the same as I do 4 door vehicles. I know it was designed for the Aero benefits, but I also know that there is a flat spot back at the lip at the back of the hatch/trunk lid, and the flat length of it could be moved to the roof line to get more headroom farther back, and bring the taper tight to the lip of the truck at the very back. The Target figure of the ‘200 mile range’ for a BEV is precisely the figures first mentioned by Tesla some time ago for their ‘Third Generation’… Read more »

Alas. I wish the car was real; but, I must confess I floated that as an idea on a post. Even made up the name “Bolt.”cause I thought if I were an engineer working for GM, that’s what I would call it.

Actually, I greatly hope it was a premonition of the truth…Sorry, if I caused a problem, it was meant to be humor.

Could this possibly be the start of auto makers making 200+ mile range BEV’s instead of the pathetic industry standard of <100? Let's hope so. Now id rapid charging comes with the package, yahoo!

2015 or 2017?

Debut in 2015. Go on sale in 2017.

Wake me up when they do it. They need batteries for the volume. None of their suppliers have the capability for volume. Tesla is ahead of them in that area. Not only that but the location in Nevada is the best in the world since Tesla will produce all its power needed from mostly the sun. There is no place like it in either North America Europe or Asia. There is no space available in say Japan or Korea. It makes me question why Panasonic did not do it on its isles? Simply because it will cost too much to power this huge factory. In the case of Tesla it is Solar thus almost free. And one more thing, the size of the Giga factory seems to me too big for just half a million cars a year! I think Tesla is trying to hide that. I suspect if Tesla sells 500 000 cars a year the demand will be very high. Thus this battery factory should coup with that huge demand. I would say that they can make batteries for 5 million cars a year. It is just too big for just half a million cars. What do you… Read more »

Wake you up?

GM will beat Tesla to market with this you watch. Boy I get sick of all the GM bashing.

They can make a few cars I am sure but where will they get the batteries from for the volume? This is a subtle point that not many can spot. Scan the world and tell me who makes batteries with this needed volume?

There is a lot more than Panasonic and LG in this game.
I think that the shortage of batteries as a pretext is largely exagerated, for established carmakers.

The opposite is true. It is largely under estimated.

It sounds as though your knowledge of the EV battery supply market comes solely from Elon Musk’s mouth. Not a reliable source.

LG Chem still has a large battery factory in Michigan that is at 40% to 50% capacity. What LG Chem could do is buy up more land or buy another factory in Michigan and easily enlarge their operation by a factor of ten in a short time if they need to.

As for the Tesla Gigia Factory I think the model X and Model S are going to devour all of it’s capacity for the next five to ten years.

We believe the Tesla Model 3 will go on sale in the U.S. closer to 2019 or so. We don’t buy into Tesla’s 2017 goal. LG Chem has tons of cell capacity and is quickly adding more with plants in China and elsewhere. LG Chem has no issues on the supply side.

Who are we here?

The editors of InsideEVs.

Based on past performance, I was thinking the III would come out in 2018 but 2019 is quite possible. Elon delivers the goods but he delivers them late.

I view this 200 mile EV announcement by GM like hitting Tesla upside the head with a cinder block of reality. The reasoning is that GM is going from the looks of it going to have a new 200 mass built EV at the 2015 auto show. While Tesla has been trying to keep up the hype but always pushing the apple away from the reindeer’s noise at the last monument.

I’m so glad GM wracked Tesla over the head with there 200 mile EV Cinder Block.

Not to mention it’s a $30,000 EV so it’s real.

It is precisely because of this attitude that I recommend Tesla Motors not reveal the Model ☰ until after the Model X is on the market, in the hands of owners, and selling faster than anyone imagines possible. Just for the sake of making doubters shut up. If they show Model ☰ in January 2016… Accept Signature Reservations beginning in June/July 2016… Allow General Reservations in January 2017… Open the Design Studio in April 2017… And start making deliveries in June/July 2017 quite a lot of Naysayers will be enjoying a healthy feast of crow a l’orange.

The “editorial we”.

@ Eric Loveday: are you sure LG Chem has no issues on the supply side? For the sort of production runs that makes $35K pricing possible Tesla needs to singlehandedly double the world’s Li-ion cell production.

Is LG’s cost structure so much different that it can offer similar battery cost without the benefits of the sort scale economics Tesla seems to be needing? And how could LG Chem offer batteries for the hundreds of thousands of cars the market would demand at an $30K price level without building adding another 30% increase to total world cell production it self?

and others… there is a most active and opened market to new ways of recharging.
Do not reduce this market to LG and Panasonic.

I appreciate there is lots of battery makers out there. Yet Tesla reportedly needs to double the total global battery production to get the numbers needed for Model 3.

Don’t forget to make an $30K/200 mile EV happen for reasons of scale economics one needs to do production runs that are an order of magnitude higher from what we have seen so far and each vehicle needs to be fitted with a battery twice the size from what is currently customary.

Tesla decided too cut costs by making their own batteries. This doesn’t mean that there is not enough supply from other vendors. Also by controling his chain, tesla avoid any shortage like the one they encountered with panasonic last year.
Tesla aim big, very big.

Actually, the fact that Gigafactory doubles global Li-ion output sort of suggests that the production capacity for very large production runs (hundreds of thousands)doesn’t actually exist yet.

If we assume it takes very large production runs to make an $30K price target feasible one does need to wonder where GM will get its batteries.


You are right Chris. Now if Tesla uses 85kwh to move the Model S 270+ miles this means that it (The Model S) uses about 62kwh to go 200 miles. For the Bolt I will assume that it needs half that amount of that energy. So this is 31kwh. We all know that if the price of the kwh is $100 it is going to be no contest between the electric car and the ICE. So even at $100 per kwh that is more than $30k. And remember that $100 is at cell level not pack level. So this is an irrefutable proof that GM is not telling the truth.

The bad news: it takes at least a 50KWh battery to get an EPA rated 200 miles. The good news: with $100/KWh cell cost the cell cost of that battery would of course actually only be $5K.

I am sorry I added an extra zero!


> The Model S uses about 62kwh to go 200 miles. For the Bolt I will assume that it needs half that amount of that energy. So this is 31kWh.

Your math is way off. Leaf goes 80 miles with 24kWh. 7kWh extra is not going to move the Bolt 120 more miles, no matter how light it is.

Exactly right. The most efficient EVs in actual use are the Illuminati Seven at 145 Wh/mi, and the Edison2 EV at 138 Wh/mi on the EPA combined test. Both are much lighter, and more aero than any production EV is ever likely to be, let alone a mini-SUV!

I think 250WH for 1 mile is about right (in 70 degree weather on flat ground). So to go 200 miles you are going to need 50kWh usable energy. GM coddles their batteries, so they could decide to use a 70kWh capacity battery. As far as costs go… my guess is as good as anyone’s.

30 kwh at 100$/kWh = 3000$. This is possible. You are wrong, GM is right.

But 30 kWh isn’t 200 miles of range on this planet for any normal street legal four or five passenger car. It’s about 120 miles on a good day. 200 miles EPA requires at least 45 kWh and probably more like 50, on a car 80% the size of a Model S.

As the European OEMs go along, they will say things like “200 miles”, but watch these storage specs, to bring their exagetation and NEDC ratings back to reality.

I expect that GM will be reluctant to go with even a 40 kWh battery pack, with ~35 kWh rating, and ~31 kWh available for actual use.

It is important to note that cost per kWh projections are for the build cost to the manufacturer, not the retail amount. JB Straubel of Tesla Motors has said that the battery pack represents 25% of the retail cost.

So, with that in mind… If you are able to reach $100 per kWh, a 60 kWh battery pack would cost $6,000 and the complete vehicle would cost less than $25,000. A bit less than your $30,000 estimate.

I seriously doubt that GM will be able to acquire battery packs at such a low rate per kWh.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and beliefs but events don’t agree with yours. Tesla has been capitol constrained in the past but will have a lot of that capitol sunk into the Supercharger network, sales/service facilities, and the Gigafactory by 2017. They will be looking for a return on those investments which requires the introduction of the Model 3. Late 2017 is the convergent point of all of their efforts. They were able to design the Model S and its platform on a shoestring budget and not a lot of time in car development terms. They also had to developing a production line for it. All of those were firsts for Tesla.

It’s pretty apparent they are scaling their operation significantly beyond the constraints of Model X and S markets.

Agree (no model 3 till 2019).

Tesla will deliver Model 3 early. Perhaps in mid 2016. That is because Tesla loses in every month several hundreds of millions of dollars in forever lost revenue if they decide to delay Model 3. Two year delay for Model 3 would cost for Tesla some 10 to 20 billion dollars.

Typically companies must calculate hard if they can improve the profitability of company by delaying highly anticipated product. Sometimes it pays well, such as delaying Model X, Tesla has improved their profitability, but to delay Model 3, it is just unthinkable.

Only thing how it would be possible that it would make sense to delay Model 3 is that they cannot get Gigafactory online on schedule. And therefore selling Model 3 would hurt Model S and X sales because there is a shortage of batteries.

I wil bet you a beer that they hit 2017 for the M3. 🙂

As far as cell capacity, the original WSJ article mentions pouch cells from the LG Chem plant in Holland. They note capacity for 60K packs for the Volt, 20K packs for the Bolt of somewhere in-between for a mix of the two.

LG may have the capacity to build about 20k BEV packs annually (assuming they make zero Volts), but that’s only with the current LMO/NMC hybrid chemistry in the Volt. For the 200 mile EV, the issue is that their high density NMC chemistry does not exist yet! They are planning release in the 2017 time frame, and that’s far from guaranteed. Remember that Nissan was supposed to debut their own high density NMC chemistry by this year, but even they are hitting hick-ups (no definite time frame yet).

While for Tesla, they are just using a slightly tweaked version of the Panasonic NCA chemistry they have been using for years, just in a slightly larger cell format (they might even go with a industry standard 26650).

LG Chem is building new factories? Sure. But how many of those factories will be dedicated to building EV batteries? Doesn’t LG Chem supply batteries for cell phones, laptops, and other portable devices… perhaps even electric shavers? Let’s remember that Tesla’s GigaFactory is intended to supply a volume of (kWh of) battery cells equal to the entire current international output of -all- li-ion battery makers put together! Is LG Chem (or any other battery maker) gonna do that? Do you seriously think they are willing to invest the money necessary to do that within the next few years? It’s easy to say LG Chem, or Samsung, or any other large battery supplier -can- ramp up production quickly; that it only takes a couple of years to build a large factory and get its production up to speed. The question isn’t whether they -can-. The question is whether or not they will invest billions of dollars in making batteries just for EVs. And especially whether or not they’re willing to do that only a couple of years after there was a glut of li-ion batteries on the internation market precisely because the li-ion battery industry had ramped up production a lot… Read more »

It takes only one firm contract from one big car maker… Who tells us it’s not already done deal?

Cool. Will you and the rest of your ‘We’ do me a favor then? Don’t reserve your Model ☰ until 2019. That should make it that much more likely for the rest of us to get ours that much sooner. Thanks!

2017? Why not 2015? Gm has 100 times Tesla’s ressources.

I’m sure GM could produce a million Bolts on their side. The issues is brining the battery costs down, that’s not possible before 2017-2020 according to all battery suppliers.

There’s a reason Tesla and all others haven’t introduced a long-range EV at below $40-50k yet. Battery pricing and/or range must come down further with new chemistries. This doesn’t happen overnight.

Nine women cant make a baby in one month. Engineering takes time. Adding more bodies to a problem does not speed things up after a certain point. It can actually make things worse as management layers are added.

This is why Tesla’s lack of scale is not as big a disadvantage as people think.

I will believe it when the production begins. False promises are routine with GM.
IMO it is still only a reaction to Tesla, no genuine efforts toward climat changes. If the petro-automobile cartel can get rid of this “mosquito” before 2017, we will never see Bolts on the road.

The Volt/Ampera was a very genuine effort by the GM management that committed to it and the engineers that designed it. Subsequent efforts have been less than stellar but the market could have responded better as well.

Maybe they can use some of the spare capacity that never materialized for the Volt, as its sales disappointed over the last 2-3 years.

If need be, they could buy batteries from Panasonic. After all, they have capacity for almost 200,000 cars per year from their Japanese factory, but Tesla is only consuming something like 35,000 cars per year, perhaps 50,000 – 60,000 this year.

All kidding aside, why don’t you call up GM and point out that they won’t have batteries to make their car? They clearly hadn’t thought of picking up the phone to the battery vendors themselves, so they will thank you for your insights into this. They never check on these things when they develop a car. They just show the car and then they figure out whether someone might supply the components in a year or so.

Note that this article basically only talks about the rumor of a prototype. The question remains if and when GM can actually deliver on these rumors.

Takes a very big battery factory to produce the batteries for hundreds of thousands of 200 mile EVs.

Initial first year sales of 50,000 would be good. I think they can ramp up with demand.

Demand would be *a lot* higher than that and GM will need serious production numbers to get cost down to a $30K price target.

GM has 99 factories around the world and sold 9 700 000 cars in 2013. It would be very easy to sell 100 000 Bolts next year.

Except if the production capacity for a 100,000 50KWh batteries doesn’t exist yet.


The LG Chem Michigan Factory has the ability to make a 100,000 battery packs a year. Most of the factory was not used for the Chevy volt. So it’s not out of the question. Also LG has more car makers it needs to make batteries for then Tesla so it’s not out question they could get enough cells to build 30,000 of these 200 mile range EV’s with in a year or two.

In the WSJ article, it directly references the existing LG Chem plant in Michigan as the source for both Bolt and Volt cells.

“The pack for GM’s new vehicle could be built in LG Chem’s Holland, Mich., plant, where the Volt batteries currently are made by the same supplier. That plant would have a capacity to build about 60,000 Volt battery packs, or 20,000 of the larger packs for a new EV, or a mixture of the two.”

So roughly a Bolt has 3x the battery size of a Volt and if they make 45,000 Volts, they can only make 5,000 Bolts.

How about expanding that factory or adding other factories?

Both GM and LG are big companies, they have billions to invest if so needed by rising demand.

If interest is that huge, they have 2.5 years to invest in additional plants until 2017….or upgrade exisiting ones.

Sure… but that’s not the plan until they actually announce the plan, then commit the money, and actually do it.

So at the moment, we’re looking at likely 5,000 or so, maybe up to 10,000 Bolts.

BTW, the existing LG Chem plant isn’t up to nameplate capacity yet, so they have expansion to do just to get to this level.

I think the point is making these batteries isn’t mining gold. Too many people judge crazy lead times.

Anton Wahlman said:

Panasonic… they have capacity for almost 200,000 cars per year from their Japanese factory, but Tesla is only consuming something like 35,000 cars per year, perhaps 50,000 – 60,000 this year.”

Still trying to flog your short-seller Tesla stock position, Anton?

Here’s the truth: Tesla Motors has kept pressuring Panasonic to increase battery cell supply; Panasonic has re-opened mothballed factories in an attempt to keep up with demand. But even still, Tesla publicly engaged in talks with other battery makers (Samsung?) because Panasonic hasn’t been able to ramp up production fast enough.

If Panasonic (or any other battery maker) could supply enough batteries for high volume production of EVs, then Tesla Motors wouldn’t be spending billions of dollars to build a high production capactiy battery “GigaFactory”.

My alternate take: battery capacity would exist if battery suppliers believed Tesla’s demand forecasts. Because they don’t, they won’t commit to expansion investments, and so Tesla had to pay for the expansion itself. Thus the Gigafactory. Existing automakers have much more credibility and money than Tesla and it is easier for them to get production commitments, especially given the modest volumes they are shooting for.

LG Chem has a huge battery factory in Holland, Michigan that is only partly used right now for Volt and Focus EV batteries.

Do they have as much sun there as Tesla has?

GM can raise money a lot faster then Tesla can. LG also has far more funds in terms of building battery factories then Tesla does.

LG Chem also started construction last year of a factory that could built a 100,000 electric car packs in China.

GM can’t issue bonds (convertibles) at .25%, for 5 years. Their last trip to the market was around 4X that, or at ~2%. Convertibles work when buyers think the stock might shoot up. GM doesn’t have access to this form of capital, like Tesla does. Not at Tesla’s low rate. There isn’t as much their price will rise.

..and we’re talking about billions with these transactions.

..isn’t as much belief their price will rise.

Could GM come up with the money to ramp up production of a compelling, 200+ mile BEV faster than Tesla Motors? Certainly. GM, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan… any large legacy auto maker could. The pertinent question here isn’t so whether they -can-; the pertinent question is whether they -want- to. In every disruptive tech revolution, the legacy tech makers -always- have a lot more money to spend on capital investment in the early stages of the revolution than the young upstart companies. Yet it’s always the young upstart companies that lead the way, and it’s always some of the old, established companies that can’t keep up, so go out of business as the tech revolution is completed. Think it will be any different this time, with Tesla vs GM? Personally, I don’t. GM has no motive to produce a compelling BEV and sell it in large numbers, because the biggest competitor for that wouldn’t be Tesla’s cars. The biggest competitor would be GM’s own gas guzzler cars. * * * * * Ocean Railroader said: “LG Chem also started construction last year of a factory that could built a 100,000 electric car packs in China.” Counting battery production by packs… Read more »
Well said, Alaa. Articles about EVs often breathlessly hype how the latest future model that thus and such auto maker is going to make will compete with either the Model S or the Model ≡. In fact, you can see articles at other websites breathlessly proclaiming the Bolt will compete with the Model S, which is rather silly. A compact $30k car does -not- compete with a large luxury $70k car! But we’ll know that an auto maker is actually serious about competing with the Tesla ≡ if and when they demonstrate they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is, and build a factory or factories to output of battery cells to match or exceed the planned output of Tesla’s GigaFactory. Nissan found, with its Leaf, that it needed to build its own battery cell factories to adequately supply its EVs. Tesla has found the same thing; Panasonic has not been willing to ramp up its output fast enough for Tesla Motors to expand its production as fast as it wants to. The GigaFactory is intended to solve that problem, and you will note that Panasonic shows great reluctance to committing the amount of capital that Tesla Motors… Read more »
@lensman I think EVs will take off very quickly together with solar. I am Swedish and Egyptian. I see things from two different cultures. Back in the late 80s early 90s no one predicted or expected mobile telephony to take over land lines. I think the same will happen with EVs and solar. The trick is the batteries. Tesla saw that and there will be a need for many giga factories. The edge that Tesla has is the location. Free sun and close to the critical mass of workers. Here in Egypt we have a lot of sun but hardly ready for a battery factory. As for the water that we have a lot of it from the Nile Tesla has it under the ground, and with the power of the sun they can extract it easily. Will it take 20 years I do not think so. I am working on changing my car to electric with a Siemens ac motor. That will take months from me. I know myself, but as soon as the batteries get cheaper and lighter etc. I will replace them. All in all I calculated that it might cost $15k. Some times I say to… Read more »

Lensman, RE: Tesla MS / Bolt, you may be right, but only time will tell how many Tesla sales could leave because of the gulf of plug-in products that don’t yet exist. Would an Impala with 30kwh lose a model S sale? None of us yet know.

Tesla has already stated that about 30% of battery production will be for grid storage (Solar City).

Wow. Going on sale in 2017. GM clearly has gone the ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’ route with their plans, while in contrast, Tesla talks big about Model X and Model 3 yet wastes time focused on perfecting their falcon doors…. how did improving third-row access ever become such a high priority?

Tesla can’t afford to chase windmills if they want to compete with the big boys like GM.

Model S sells so much that Tesla decided to perfect the Model X. it has nothing to do with the doors.
How can you imagine for one second that a +2 years delay (and potential hundreds of millions in loss) can be caused only by doors?!?

The reality is that the wild success of model S was unexpected, and the Model X was meant to attack the lucrative SUV market to complement the sales of model S and bring much more cash for Tesla’s master plan of producing an affordable EV for the masses.

With the large success and revenues from Model S they can expand the Super-Charger network, open sales in other countries, roll out Model SD, and take their time to develop a better model X to be an even bigger hit than Model S.

Right, and if you consider that sandwiched in between the S and the X is the Model D, a fabulous car that is significant improvement over, what is considered by many the best mass produced car ever made, then you must ways cut Tesla some slack.
Musk and company want to make great innovative vehicles, not some of the mass produced junk that has been the norm from American automakers,who only now are starting to try and get their acts together.
GM: An aged octopus with some withered, diseased tentacles, and a few sound ones, spitting ink and scaring the local fauna.
Sure it’s dangerous but it’s sedentary and inept, and as a company, criminal.
Still if they make a decent ev then great, gf them. I hope the Bolt is a success and I hope GM will change their ways.

>Sure it’s dangerous but it’s sedentary and inept, and as a company, criminal.

Now _that_ is what I call GM bashing.

Good Job! 🙂


yes they are a rogue, you won’t know since you weren’t in the cobalt when all of a sudden everything shutdown and locked up the steering, air bags and turned off headlights while the car was going at 70 in the middle of night.

…with 15 other keys, a llighter and a rabbit’s foot hanging from the chain.

What’s the difference between a Model X and an AWD Model S?

Yeah mainly the doors, but that cannot possibly be the cause of the delays.

I’m sure it was that third row seat. Everyone knows that adding a third row is like rocket science. That’s why it has never been done before. And let’s not forget the trailer hitch. It can take years to perfect one of those! Plus adding an extra inch of ground clearance … OMG!


“rocket science” Funny, Musk just happens to be a brilliant rocket scientist.

Actually Elon is just self-learned rocket scientist. We do not actually know what is Elon’s role on engineering side of SpaceX. We know that he has considerable knowhow and he has read a lot of books on rocket science. But significantly more we just do not know.

But anyway. The biggest obstacle with Model X has been that X would have cannibalized Tesla Model S sales, because Tesla is anyway production limited and they cannot meet even Model S demand and they are slowly improving their production gross margins. Having two production limited models simultaneusly on sale would have been made things just worse from gross margin point of view and Tesla’s profitability would have been very discouragingly negative. This on the other hand would make the capital for large investments, such as Gigafactory, more expensive.

I would not characterize it that way. There will be no cannibalization of sales among Tesla Motors products at all. Neither of the Model X of the Model S, nor of the Model ☰ over Generation II vehicles. No. The Model X will sell more than the Model S simply because US Citizens are insane for SUVs. For most top-of-the-line SUVs in the market segment outsell their sedan counterparts by a 3:1 ratio. The Model X is going to be enormously popular, but Model S sales will not go down as a result of its joining the lineup.

Why has the Model X been delayed for two years? Well, in part, Tesla is -always- late on starting deliveries of a new model. (Other auto makers often have delays, too.) But aside from that… It’s hard to tell, because of course Tesla isn’t going to tell us exactly why. That would be giving their competitors too good a look at their marketing strategy. As has been said, it’s unlikely that the “falcon wing” doors have actually caused a two-year delay; surely Telsa would have given up and used regular doors (or suicide doors) instead, rather than delay things for that long. The two reasons I have seen suggested which make sense to me are: 1. Tesla Motors has been, and continues to be, production constrained by battery supply. (Note their well-publicized increase in factory capacity last year happened not long after a Tesla spokesman said “We’re no longer constrained by battery supply”. But since they’ve increased capacity, probably that’s a bottleneck again.) 2. The Model S has sold better than expected; so much better that Tesla has no reason to switch any of the limited production capacity of their factory to a new model while the current one is… Read more »


And to add that. The biggest explanatory reason why Model X is delayed, that having two models simultaneusly on production would have made Tesla’s gross margins of car sales worse. Tesla is already struggling with Model S gross margins. Therefore having Model X early would have just pushed the profitability of Tesla seriously on negative side. This would have influenced the stock value and hence would have made capital for large investments more expensive.

I think that this is the explanatory reason why Tesla chose to delay Model X. There were just too big risks and Tesla of course knew that they can only sell fixed amount of cars as it takes time for Panasonic to scale up the battery production capacity.

Lensman: “If we start making the X, we’ll have to start a whole new cycle of buying more machinery for the production line, as well as tweaking and fixing problems which crop up… all of which will cut into our overall profit margin.”

* * * *

What a way to insult those faithful to Tesla and all the promises they heard; believers who reached into their savings and forked over serious $$$ to Tesla.

You make it sound as if Tesla is run by a bunch of amateurs, and Elon Musk is a second coming of Rev. Jim Jones.

At some point, Tesla will have to sh!t or get off the pot. Are they, or are they not setting up the production line for the Model X? According to another poster here (Lustucc) Tesla has been underway setting up the Model X assembly line since August.

The reality is, it’s all a fantasy with Tesla until it becomes reality, if it ever will.

Let me help you: “Tesla will NEVER be profitable”…. “Elon Musk is an idiot”…. “Tesla will fail before they ever get the first production roadster on the road” … “Tesla will fail before the Model S ever enters production”… “Nobody wants an electric car, there’s zero demand for them”…. “Electric cars just move the pollution from the tailpipe to the smokestack”… “Even if they make a production electric car, it will never have the performance of an ICE car”… “They are only suitable for neighborhhod vehicles at slow speeds”… “there’s never going to be an infrastructure to support electric cars”… “the Grid will fail if we convert to electric cars”…. “Electric cars will always be too high priced and owning one will be a more expensive proposition than an ICE car”… “The battery pack will never last, they cost too much and they will not work in cold winter weather”… “They will fail at Tesla because they are NOT big Detroit OEM experts”… “They don’t know ANYTHING about sustained production of automobiles” …. “Tesla will NEVER achieve 20,000 cars built in a year… “Hydrogen will be an instantly available fuel infrastructure from clean 100% renewable resources for affordable FCEV’s that… Read more »

Correctomundo! I would also point out that Tesla Motors would like very much to increase range for the Model X by:

1) Eliminating exterior rearview mirrors in favor of using cameras instead…

2) Allowing the purchase of a higher capacity battery pack at 115, 120, or 135 kWh to more adequately enable a towing option.

Each requires time. Review and approval of the mirrors/cameras… Testing, research, and development of battery packs with newer battery cells that have higher density.

The delays have everything to do with the doors. Why is that? For starters, the middle of the roof is not a beefy, structurally rigid place to anchor down doors like these. The show car’s roof looks pretty thin and the hinges look pretty meager – it looks pretty clear they’ve had to go back to the drawing board to beef things up and come up with something that will work reliably, not change the look and not intrude upon passenger headroom.

And then there is getting the double-hinged doors to properly align when closed so that water leaks, wind noise, and rattles do not happen.

All for what? To refine third row access? Whoop-de-doooo!

So you pretent that the solidity of the roof and the precision of the design are the reasons for a 2 years delay and the potential loss of huge capital? for the most technologically advanced and dynamic team of engineers who designed the best car ever from the ground up in record time?

Yes. The falcon doors. By far the most unique aspect of the X compared to the S. There is nothing like them in mass produced production automobiles. Isn’t it ridiculous that those great engineers you mentioned have to spend their valuable time and effort on creating …. a new kind of back door? LOL

A cost/benefit failure they are. Meanwhile, thousands of people who’ve laid down serious cash deposits wait… and wait… and wait.

“By far the most unique aspect of the X compared to the S”

Let me just hint you that Musk implement around 20 improvements directly on the assembly line each week for the Model S.

So the Model X final design will certainly be light years ahead of these so “complicated” falcon doors.
remember that Musk is a perfectionnist and have claimed to make the best car in the world with Model S… and delivered… only 8 month late the best car in the world…

There is also nothing like the model S in the world of automobile.
And all the + 23 000 people who reserved Model X will be largely rewarded for their patience.

Let’s hope so. It’s one problem to design the doors; it’s another problem to automate their assembly on a production line with consistent top-shelf quality. Put the two problems together and there you have what’s primarily behind the delays.

Nope, as I explained, the doors are a very light issue compared to the overall state of the art surprises that awaits us, and Tesla has already two experience of tehnologicaly advanced robotised assembly line. And the assembly line of the X is already under construction and testing since august.

You obviously are not an engineer

I’d guess, based on the volt, and the suggested “we’ve been working on it for 4 years” 2019, at the earliest.

They could do the two options ,one bolt all electric and the actual model with extended range,so they Would compete with the leaf and tesla.
Like bwm deos with the i3

It’s not much of a technology leap to toss in a gasoline engine to power a car!!! We already have that.

+1 Thank You for posting!

Well, I haven’t heard anything so far regarding some kind of a (secret) GM charging station network for enabling Chevrolet Bolt customers to do long distance driving in North America (US + Canada), let alone that it would be free for them to charge there?


how do you sell Volts when Bolts are coming?

hope they can make the range and price figures stick. Had difficulty with that in the Volt roll out and it was part of the skeptical eye rolling for electric cars. If the winter range is 150, I think that is still plenty good for a sweet spot. Other care makers will have to answer – many of our
Korean friends.
prices should come down even more as these techs get more shake and bake like ICEs. Wish it was not so far off – that seems a bit bogus huh?

Yes, how do you sell Volts when Bolts are coming…Voltec really is the bridge technology to span the time frame until an affordable long range BEV becomes feasible.

The fact that a next gen Volt is in the works indicates that GM isn’t quite as close to bringing an affordable long range BEV to the market as the hype suggests.

“feasible”?!? A mass marketed EV1 Ni-MH (125 miles range) would have done the trick 15 years ago!
Don’t you know that GM and the other ICE car makers protect their lucrative markets and their big brother big Oil?

Seriously, the GM EV1? I guess you think everything in “Who Killed the Electric Car?” was actually true. Even if the 125 miles you claim was the average real-world driving range– and it wasn’t; even for the 2nd generation NiMH battery pack, it was more like 70-90 miles when it was new, obviously decreasing with age– GM couldn’t possibly have afforded to sell the car at a price that 99% of buyers would have been willing to pay. Nor do most car buyers want a cramped two-seater that has most of what should be luggage space taken up by the battery pack. Sure, there were (and still are) a group of loyal, outspoken EV1 leasers who would have loved to buy the car at the price GM would have sold it for, had it been for sale. The same thing more recently for the RAV4 EV, which -is- sold rather than just leased. But in both cases, it was/is a “test market” car sold far below the price that would reflect the true cost of manufacture. We EV enthusiasts should stick to actual facts. Let’s leave the tactics of citing outlier figures and ignoring “inconvenient” facts to the EV bashers.… Read more »

The EV1 had a retail price tag of $44000 (-$9000 incentives)

And for the RAV4 and the Altra those were only conversion from ICE cars with not much more costs.

And yet, you describe what ressemble a lot like the Roadster, and a car that people got arrested in their protests to keep them and offered to pay a good price to GM.
When in the car history did a car company took back more than a thousand perfectly working cars and cruched them?

The EV1 had no retail price. It was lease only.

I posted links with facts to help you reconsider your opinion (maybe). They are slow to appear…

Here is what seems to be a serious thorough test drive.
His conclusion after 2 days tests.

“Based on my experiences the last few days, I foresee typical driving ranges with an NiMH EV1 like this:

Freeway commuting with minimal stop and go: 130-150 miles per charge

City driving mixed with freeway (including “performance demonstrations”): 100-130 miles per charge

Worst case – hard use including driving in the hills: 75-100 miles per charge”

And in the late ’90s at some point, competition *really* mattered.

Toyota RAV4-EV (120 miles) and Nissan Altra (R’Nessa) EV (120-140 miles)

Sorry the posts with links do not pass through.

Maybe you could reconsider your opinion about the “genuine” efforts of at least those three big car makers…

Maybe this way :


It is my whole answer with the links.

Did GM license the CG Dog for vehicle mascot, yet? 😉

Also, Tata Motors already has a vehicle named “Bolt”…

+1 for the dog
And interesting fact about Tata. Did GM secretly purchase the name rights from them ? It who had it first ?

Wondering if GM cross licensed the name and is going to shove batteries in it, for sale in the US to reduce cost. It is a small crossover form factor… *shrugs*


If that is it…I’ll take a Tesla 🙂

Well, AFAIK the Tata isn’t sold in the US, but Yamaha already has a cruiser motorcycles named Bolt.

I think that Tata (and BYD) only does fleet sales in the US currently. So, private businesses and government organizations have access to their products here. Their vehicles are typically not deployed on public roads, but used in closed facilities such as docks and airports. Some of their buses may be used by local municipalities though.

The current Sonic platform is an older one, but it is 6″ shorter than the current Volt platform, which is going away when the 2016MY Volt arrives later this year. So the new Sonic sized BEV will probably not be on the current Gamma II platform, so there is no way to say how big it will be. My money is on the wheelbase going from the Gamma II’s 99.4″ to somewhere around 102″. The Volts current 105.7″ wheelbase with the Delta II platform will probably be a thing of the past soon. The D2UX platform looks to be significantly longer. Guess we will know Monday morning.

I just realized that the Gamma II isn’t as old as I thought it was. It debuted just 5 years ago. I wonder if the Bolt will ride on it or on an electric intent platform…

Bad move. Length is the way to go. It gives you more room for zero additional drag. There is a reason plane s are all shaped like long tubes with wings.

Eric thanks
Surprised this is not front page news!
Eric I would be curious on your take of the assertion that this risky given current low gas prices?

Typical WSJ sloppy reporting in my opinion : ” low gas prices have hurt EV sales” ???
Don’t think so, record number of tesla and leafs sold
Yes the volt sales are down but it is EREV. WSJ does not get it
Low gas prices boost SUV and pickup trucks and hurt Corolla and Prius sales.
Pure EV sales are not dependent on gas prices. Motivation is to get OFF oil, not use less.

WSJ is thoroughly anti-EV biased in their stories. They cherry pick facts, combine the worst features of different cars to make points, and other nice touches. I wrote them about a EV dis piece that had about 5 such distortions in it, which they declined to publish (they have published other letters of mine). I am a regular WSJ reader, but EVs are one of their major blind spots.

The bolt rendering looks hideous. DOA.

Cross bolt rendering has potential if it’s big enough to be close to a midsize.

I’d be amazed and very impressed if GM did a 200 mile BEV. If a crossover, GM could do very well.

The “Bolt” in the article’s image, feels a lot like a Honda CR-Z clone, to me.

And that wasn’t a big seller… Making an electric version, might not help.

The CR-Z just didn’t have performance to go with its looks, nor fuel economy to go with its hybrid status, which made it pretty much a two-time loser.
A Bolt, with 200 miles of range and halfway decent performance could do just fine.

looks like it has terrible visibility to me.

At the risk of stepping into a GM-related war of words here, I would say:

1. I really, REALLY hope they can announce a $30k/200 mile EV, simply because of the ripple effect it would have on competitors, most notably Nissan and the next gen Leaf.

2. I’m not thrilled about a 2017 ship date, but having to hurry up and wait for technology is a major theme in my life, so I’m (more or less) used to it.

3. I’m not assuming the Bolt or anything else beyond the Volt 2.0 will be announced by GM in Detroit, or that any ship date for the Bolt, if one is announced, will be met. I’ve reached the point where I trust car companies about such things roughly as far as I can throw one of their vehicles. Doesn’t matter if it’s GM, Nissan, Tesla, etc.

4. Next week is gonna be a blast.

+1 on all points.

I welcome all new EV’s for the simple fact that none will satisfy everybody. Some people won’t buy GM due to a grudge, Nissan because it’s not a US company, or Tesla because they’re not union. I won’t buy Kia because of the extremely poor quality of a Rio I once owned. I think it’s a little overblown, because the high conquest rates or whatever it’s called for all EV’s prove that they have the ability to make people forget past brand loyalties. I think the majority of readers on this site would prefer a Model S but realistically it comes down to price and availability of the next reasonably affordable long range EV to hit the market.

I would actually prefer a BMW i3 rex over a Model S.

Wow. Since price is not a consideration, the only thing the i3 has over the Model S a smaller, easier to park size.

I much prefer the Chevy Volt over the i3 REX. The Chevy has a much more useful range extender.


You don’t know whether the $30K is with or without the tax credit. You also don’t know how real the base price is. So don’t get too excited by any number you see at this point.

Major car companies do not miss shipping deadlines by any significant amount of time.

Oh, we know…. The Chevrolet website specifies the approximate $30,000 price as being ‘After federal tax incentives’ on the page that introduces the BOLT:


What? *checks to make sure it is not April 1st*

A calendar?

It would be great if GM were to offer a 200 mile BEV. Some nagging questions remain however.

If it takes very large production runs to meet a $30K price target for a 200 mile EV where will all the (big) batteries come from?

If a $30K/200 mile BEV would pretty much kill demand for EREVs, why is GM offering a second gen Volt?

If a 200 mile BEV needs high power charging stations to support it why was Ford, not GM the only participant in the CCS standard that wanted 150KW charger output?

It would definitely appear that GM has never actually planned for a short term production of the 200 mile BEV it’s hyping now.

The volt production is half of Leaf (source: this website). I think the answer is that GM already has assumed that Volt will die in the long run. Notice their total lack of push for a volt with longer range (they will do it, but they are more concerned with touting the Wifi on the car).

wi fi is free, if you have a smart phone and have some data to spare from your plan. That’s why the techie response to GM and Audi offering wi fi has been a major “wha??”

This post was sent from a 2003 Chevy, with cell phone hotspot (also nothing $$ extra on your monthly cell bill, unlike the OnStar wi fi subscription). If you have a “dumb” phone, go nuts, get GM’s wi fi and enjoy video streaming if you have to.

Scott, you need to define “long run”. Are we talking 50 years? There are a lot of people that will not buy a BEV. These aren’t “ludites”, but people very familiar with the technology that do not want to rely on a BEV. They want the range extender. I think the range extender (in various forms) will be with us for some time. Heck, plug-ins haven’t even reached 1% of the market in the US.

As far as Wifi goes, connectivity FTW. A car’s 4G cell service with powered antenna is better than a cell phone’s. Especially if you have a car-full of people/kids all streaming different content.

Absolutely. The plug-in hybrid will be much more popular in the hinterlands for a long time.

The only problem with the Volt is that GM has never advertised it effectively.


I don’t think GM, or almost any other automaker, will sell EVs in volume until the production price is on parity or better with ICEs.

Corporations don’t sell a less profitable product over a more profitable product. Unless it’s mandated by law because of the unpaid externalities of the more profitable product.

Agreed. But that won’t stop us from enjoying the benefits of their loss in the meantime.

Great story…Our insurance man does all his driving in and around his little town. The other day he needed to drive to the “big city.” He realized he hadn’t filled the tank on his Volt in 4 months. At the gas station, he couldn’t remember where the gas cap was, and had to get out and look, and turn the car around! 🙂

Traditional automobile manufacturers will wait until it is much more profitable to truly offer battery electric vehicles in a wide fashion. They rely upon the notion that vehicles that are out of warranty will require replacement parts over the course of their useful lifetime. Those parts cost more to the consumer at retail than to the manufacturer at the time the vehicle is assembled. That is a new revenue stream. So if electric cars are built properly, there are fewer parts to wear and replace. Thus you need to have an even lower manufacturing expense to achieve the same aggregate profit margin over the fifteen to twenty years beyond the initial production run of four or five years.

“….“The Bolt represents the biggest risk taken by Chief Executive Mary Barra since taking GM’s helm a year ago….”

Not so much of a risk… What with London implementing ‘0 polution’ rulings as well as Paris, and some Chinese cities mandating 20% of car sales to be electrics, it looks like a pretty sure bet to me…..

China is going to be where the cars are substantially sold, as is the case now: all the Buicks are designed for the Chinese Market since thats where Buicks are sold, and the leave the crumbs of the Buicks left for the NA market.

Mary seems to have made a very prudent, essentially risk-free gambit.

Perhaps on this vehicle there will be a 6.6 kw dual charger option, to cut the recharge time to under 8 hours.

I can’t believe that some here will not buy a GM EV simply because of the charging speed. I look at it this way: its faster than a BMW burnt out charger.

This makes sense in that GM sells most of it’s vehicles in China and is well aware of the market forces therein.
The government mandated, fueled push for ev’s in China will certainly raise demand, and at the least offer a floor of support for said vehicles. The Bolt even looks somewhat designed to appeal the Oriental buyer.

OT: But I thought it was offensive to refer to people as “oriental”. Only objects should be considered “oriental”.

I don’t object to be called an Occidental. Of course, on here there’s alot of thin skin.

As opposed to “Oriental”. Notice the capital ‘O’

Notice the capital “O”

That’s not what the dictionary says

Impact on Tesla? Perhaps in a couple of decades… Tesla, Panasonic, and its other partners are spending $4-5 billion together to create a supply of lithium ion batteries for Tesla equal to the world’s total lithium ion battery supply last year (vehicles being just a tiny fraction of where that supply was used). That new supply at Tesla’s planned Gigafactory will allow Tesla to make 500K vehicles per year around 2020, or 0.5% of the expected global auto market that year. According to the WSJ, GM has access to a supply of batteries from LG Chem that will allow them to make 20K Bolts… 1/25th of what Tesla is building supply for. Tesla is running to long range EVs at full speed, GM is putting a foot in the water. Perhaps if there’s big demand for the Bolt after it’s out, GM and/or LG Chem will decide to spend $4-5 billion for a Gigafactory of their own, so GM’s long range EVs can take 0.5% of global market share in the mid 2020s when such a plant is fully online… if so, Tesla would only have the other 99.5% of the global market to sell their EVs to.

Or how about GM and LG building smaller, but more plants on a rapid scale until 2020?

Remember that LG supplies or will supply many other OEMS with batteries (Volvo, Renault…).

They aren’t amateurs and have a planning department. If orders pour in, they will expand factory supply as needed.

Because of import taxes, it may make sense to locate plants in all major markets (NA, Asia and Europe…).


whether in one location (as Tesla choose with the Gigafactory) or multiple locations as you are suggesting, building enough plants to double the world’s total lithium ion battery capacity in 2013 is an extraordinary endeavor. yet, even if it were taken on, it would only address 0.5% of the global vehicle market. I think Tesla would do fine “only” having the other 99.5% to sell their vehicles to.

I’ll likely end up buying or leasing a Bolt, simply because I need another car besides my leaf and my bar is pretty low. Its tempered by my confidence that GM can mess up virtually anything they do right and the fact that the only other car I ever bought from them was one of the worst disasters of a car ever sold (the Vega).

What matters primarily is the charging picture. Right now the best hope for a Bolt would be a Chademo to Bolt CCS converter, probably supplied by a third party without an ax to grind. I’ll assume the car needs 8-10 hours on my standard l2 charger. It will be enough to suit my needs but far from ideal.

If GM can physically only make 25,000 due to battery limitations, they aren’t likely to be interested in nationwide chargers that only work on their car (and German EV’s). Currently, their are only 50 or so of these specialty chargers deployed in the USA.

So, they could very wisely join up with either CHAdeMO or Supercharger, both of which are far more widely deployed, but are both growing very fast.

What they most likely will do is exactly what they have done with their Spark EV “compliance car”. First and foremost, any limited production EV will absolutley be sold in CARB-ZEV states to meet GM’s regulatory issues.

CARB-ZEV – California’s ZEV program has now been adopted by the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. These states, known as the “Section 177 states,” have chosen to adopt California’s air quality standards in lieu of federal requirements as authorized under Section 177 of the federal Clean Air Act. Additionally, California’s GHG standards are now federal law. Maine, Washington DC and New Jersey are participating with ZEV initiatives, but are not signatory CARB-ZEV states.

I’d rather have a $35k Tesla then a $30k GM EV. But happy both are putting out EV’s in the near future.

I have the opposite opinion. GM has been making cars for 100+ years. Tesla is still learning how to build cars and how the business works. If both products perform the same, and the price is the same, I’d go for the established company vs. the start-up.

Tesla’s first car is better than every car GM has ever made and that goes for every other car maker as well

absolutely comical and astounding


LOL @ the absolutes. Unfortunately you live in a subjective world. The Model S has many flaws and the compromise of refueling time. Not to forget a 6-figure price tag.

I will cross-shop the Model 3, but I’m guessing the only thing I will like better about it than GM’s EV is the SC network. I’m not going to pay too much of a premium for that network.. maybe $4K.

Access to the Superchargers would push me toward the Tesla.

Ahh, GM has brought it. A crossover based on the forthcoming sonic platform will finally give a practical EV to the masses. Purists, here is your car. Commuters, here is your car. City dwellers, here is your car.


Now just follow it up w/a nationwide CCS charging network. Don’t rely on governments, just make it happen.

+10 !
they definitely have the means, only if they truly wanted

Lets hope so. also hope they actually try to sell the thing…if they really make it. I hope they do.

I just noticed the side view mirrors. Excellent! I bet they have a camera like most modern vehicles, but build a slim mirror design to pass regulation. I like it!

This Bolt is fantastic! About a year ago, I became aware of the Chevy Tru 140S concept, which was designed around the Cruze platform, but with a sportier look. I commented on the Volt users forum that I hoped they used this body design for the second generation Volt, and got it to market by the time the lease expires on my 2014 Volt. The Bolt pictured here looks identical to the Tru 140S. Not that I think they were listening to me (who does?), but WOO HOO! I think this is a gorgeous car!!

I love my Volt, but I do want something sportier. And, having driven the Volt for 15 months now, I realize I don’t need a range extender. A 200 mile pure EV would be more than sufficient for me. I may have to extend my lease for a year or two, but with luck I will be able to choose between this lovely Bolt and the Mini Superleggera Vision as my next car.

All I can say is that I sure hope this is the new EV from Chevy.

By the way, here’ a link to the Tru 140s concept: http://www.autoblog.com/2012/01/09/chevrolet-tru-140s-concept-is-the-meaner-cruze/

I hate to throw water on your enthusiasm but the renderings in the article are just pictures of the concept car you mention run through photoshop by kdawg. As mentioned in the text, the Bolt will be a CUV-style hatch.

The pictures in the article really ought to be more clearly labeled.

Yes, I realized that shortly after I posted my comments. Damn. I can only hope that the speculation that it will be a CUV-style car is wrong. We’ll know on Monday.

Regardless of the exterior design, which I don’t think will resemble the rendering by kdawg, the Bolt will be front wheel drive, will use a single reduction gear, and will be a complete torque monster.

That is my wishful thinking since I love the Tru140S concept so much. I’m glad the Volt Gen2 picked up some of its cues.

Sidenote: we are feeling the crippling weight of non-disclosures/embargos from Detroit this year…this is the longest weekend before a show ever. Hard to sit down and write about some new widgie-woo, new wiper blade feature or EV sales in Zambia right now, lol

Plug-ins are going to be such an exciting space in a couple years. We have waited a long, long time.

Awesome! I will be staying up for the 12:01 AM release.

I also decided to punt the sales predictions until after NAISAS. I really want to hear the Volt 2.0 details before writing down my thoughts.

GM has a couple embargo’d pieces in regards to the 2nd gen. The first lifts at 12:01 am (eastern) Monday…or Sunday night if you will.

The other is for 9am Monday – which doesn’t make a lot of sense (at least to myself) as their live presser in Detroit is at 7:35am -8:00am – which one assumes would divulge the bulk of that news.

Just have to wait and see, (=

A few things are certain. The Spark EV was a test fleet for the 200 mile EV powertrain. It will now be replaced. GM and LG have also been operating a Cruze EV fleet for years in Korea. These fleets allowed the engineering for the 200 mile EV to be a quality vehicle and not a hastily released beta vehicle.

Game of perception. For all those “who killed the electric car” types. GM has brought forward the practical, everyman EV. Time to give GM credit.

Is it ok if I wait until they actually deliver a car?

Don’t be a party-pooper. Have faith in an American company for a change. The old GM is gone, replaced by a different ethic.

Can you give us a teaser, like what companies have the non-disclosures/embargos?

I assume most embargos will be lifted on Jan 12 and Jan 13?

Everything show specific is lifted on the 13th

12:01AM ET? CT?


Cool Jay, will be refreshing the site every 5 seconds:-)

Two things to follow:

1) Tesla’s share value on Monday: many investors assume part of its share price is due to speculation that the Model III would be the 1st mass produced 200-miler.

2) Future battery technology announcement: either manufacturing tech has had a breakthrough or there is a totally new battery chemistry involved.

These sure are exciting times!

They should seriously call it the EV1.

The EV2 rather

has a range of 200 miles before it’s first recall!!

How many recalls did the Volt have? Exactly. Now go get some much needed troll sleep.

“But U.S. gasoline prices have fallen below $2 a gallon this year, hurting demand for electric cars.”

That statement by the WSJ is demonstrably incorrect. Demand for hybrids is down, but not pure EVs.

U of MI has a stat, to track the damage of gas prices on efficient cars as a group. It is the averages sales weighted mpg of cars sold, monthly:


I don’t see a bed of roses for EV’s, in 2015.

I can see it now! The new Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle at participating dealers only in CA and OR. Pure electric fun for those two states only!!!

Yeah. I havee a sneaking suspicion as well that it will be a compliance car only.

I have an opposite take – GM’s going to go whole hog out on EV/EREVs starting this year. My reasoning – I suspect they’ve cut a bigtime deal with LG promising volume in return for rock bottom costs. GM’s take on potential demand is positive enough for them to take the gamble. 2015 is going to be an exciting year where things accelerate – the door is now kicked open and away we go!

I don’t get the logic at all. If its just a compliance car, why give it premium range?

If GM is not going to follow the “hydrogen herd”, then they will have to sell this car in the following states starting in 2018 (hydrogen is exempt and will be sold in California only):

CARB-ZEV – California’s ZEV program has now been adopted by the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. These states, known as the “Section 177 states,” have chosen to adopt California’s air quality standards in lieu of federal requirements as authorized under Section 177 of the federal Clean Air Act. Additionally, California’s GHG standards are now federal law. Maine, Washington DC and New Jersey are participating with ZEV initiatives, but are not signatory CARB-ZEV states.

Range is nice, but I dont want a car smaller than the Volt. I certainly don’t want a $30k Sonic. The lease is up on my Volt in a year, and I’m still unsure what we would replace it with. If used Tesla’s drop below $50k, then I’d much prefer a used Model S to a new Volt.

The sonic is bigger than the Volt, IMO. Maybe you are thinking of the Spark. Personally, I don’t want a car as big as the Model S or want to pay $50K. I’m assuming the Model 3 will be smaller and cheaper. It will be fun to cross shop if that comes to pass.

Well the wheel-base not so much, but the hatch area is taller.

The Spark is an A-class size, and the Volt is a C-class car. I think the Sonic is a B-class.


1.) I think GM can pull off a 200mile EV better than Tesla

2.) Tesla holds the cards for a nationwide fast-charge network. (this is important to me)

Conclusion: It will be an interesting battle between the Model 3 and the GM car (if this is real).

You think wrong.

GM doesn’t have a car that comes anywhere close to the Model S, not in their entire car production history.

How the hell do you think GM could possibly make a better car? ROFL

GM’s entire history?

Not even the pre-war Packards and the Cadillac V-16’s?


He’s talking about the Model 3, not S. And the Model 3 will be subject to the same cost reduction techniques used by others in order to get to the price point, so it’s a valid comparison.

But the important unanswered question would be whether GM intends to produce the 200 mile BEV in volume and make it widely available, like the Volt, or if it will be in limited or compliance volume like the Spark.

Clearly this announcement is designed to show that Tesla doesn’t have an exclusive lock on affordable 200 mile BEV technology, and from that perspective it will be a success. But if it is not widely available in volume in 2017, then it is just as much vapourware as the Spark EV is to the 250 million Americans that are not able to buy one today.

+1. This is so much more about will, than talent.

RE: talent. Nobody knows where LG Chem vs. Tesla are, or will be, with $$/kwh. Too many posts in this thread presume too much.

Putting value in a cheaper car is where the competition gets fierce.

It is awesome that we can start having the debate of which maker can make a better 200 mile EV.

That said, I think Tesla will win on vehicle features, performance and style (my taste). GM will definitely win on price and probably reliability. The one place Tesla has a huge lead is EV UI and software (and of course SuperCharging).

You could almost replace the vehicles with 3 series and Camaro and come up with the similar conclusions.

Having the choices is what will grow the market.

Would be a great day, and the end of Mirai! In your face Toyota!

So we can shelve the 2016 Volt and go straight to the enthusiast BOLT

Yes ?

Nope. Still two different applications, though they just got a lot closer. Also 2016 Volt available at latest mid-year 2015 if not sooner. Bolt two years away minimum. So great to see the first wave of gen 2 EVs breaking. Good times.


Chevy Bolt MIGHT MIGHT MIGHT well be the 200-mile pure electric car that General Motors officially confirmed Ahhhhhhhhhhh PATHETIC

Bla bla bla bla GM

GM bashing

EV1 Story is back!!!!!!!!!!! Again

Go Tesla

My biggest worry re: the Bolt is the dealer network. Those guys have really done a lot to hurt the Volt, as some won’t handle it at all, and others only do so in a token way. If GM can somehow spark some enthusiasm among the dealers for an EV, then watch out — we’re off to the races.

Looks as cool as the early Volt renderings. Too bad the production version won’t look as sweet.

It will be a crossover. Won’t look like this. That is a concept car from a few years back.

If it’s based on the upcoming Sonic, I wonder if there would be a hatch & sedan model.

Most likely a hatch model based upon the Focus group reports. I don’t imagine there will be variants until this car is proven in the market.

Perhaps something like this

That seems consistent with the description the person who saw the preview months back gave.

I thought that was a preview for the Gen2 Volt only, not a 200 mile BEV.

Or maybe a 200 mile gen2 volt. Ok, ok, I’m dreaming.

Mr. Weekley said: “It is a 4-Door Vehicle, and I test all such vehicles as to fit for myself – first in the drivers seat, and then – for space behind the seat as set for me up front!”

Don’t know aabout you Mr. Weekley, but I make a point of NEVER driving from the back seat. Give me a break. I sincerely doubt your daily drive requireS transporting more than two 6+ ft. Passengers. If so then buy something else, otherwise just STFU. Just sayin’.

Terrible logo. Looks like “8OLT”.

The Bolt would be priced in the $30,000 to $35,000 range after incentives, including a $7,500 federal tax credit, sources say, confirming details first reported Friday night by the Wall Street Journal.


Guess the Bolt is no longer a $30k EV…looking like more than $40k now.

I figured they wouldn’t price the BEV, especially if it is a small crossover, at $30K when the new Volt will probably also be priced around the same.

They probably want to differentiate between the two with a $7,500 price gap in order to justify the EREV Volt having a smaller battery. They could justify the premium of the BEV Bolt because it has more passenger/cargo volume and a more expensive battery.

Hopefully GM gets the Bolt out the door for sale a few years before the Model 3 comes along. I’m sure GM is also hoping that the Model 3 in the end will come in at a $5,000 price premium over the Bolt.

A 200 mile version of the Volt would be great.

But I think Bolt is just a concept name.

A 200 mile Volt should be something like e-Volt or Volt EV.

I maintain what I said several months ago, which is that there will also be two variants of the Volt released tomorrow.

The Volt is selling in barely enough volume to justify one iteration of the product. I don’t see two products coming out of the same pipeline anytime soon.

I recall Akerson saying that the 200 mile EV would have a generator that could run on different fuels.

Jay is poised like a spider monkey ready to pounce on the keyboard at 12:01am.

Ok, I admit, I laughed at that…but only because its true.

Actually all this pre-show Volt news is diverting the InsideEVs team from their training regime (physical exercises, cardio, Swedish massages, protein bars) needed to prepare them for the rigors of attending the NAIAS show….

Wheaties for breakfast, guys….!

In my opinion the test of whether GM is serious about a 200-mile EV is whether they are also willing to invest 10-20 million dollars in a fast charge network spaced judiciously throughout the country’s Interstate highway system and major population centers.

I am not sure about the full cost of a 480 volt DC charger, but if they could be installed for $25,000 each, then GM could build a nationwide system of 500 chargers for $12.5 million. That’s not a huge investment for a new car. Even at $50,000 each, it could still be done for $25 million.

This is what makes Tesla stand apart. It is not just that they sell EV with a longer range than other manufacturers. It is also that they support these cars with the Supercharger network.

If GM does this, then I’m in. If they don’t, then I’ll probably wait for the Model 3 Tesla.

BTW, I am also surprised that there has been very little discussion of the battery breakthrough that LG Chem must have achieved to be able to offer a 50-60 kWh battery for a $35,000 car.

One more point. Another critical factor that fast chargers bring to the table in large population centers is that it solves the problem of people live in apartments and can’t do home charging. If all you have to do is drive a short distance once a week for a 40-minute 150-mile range electric fill up, then you don’t need home charging.

In fact, this is the only major drawback I see to the new Volt, which does not support (stupidly, I think) fast charging. There are tens of millions of apartment dwellers that are thus eliminated as potential Volt customers.

So, presuming the picture in this article is actually a “Bolt” and not a “Volt” as the caption reads, that demonstrates the name is too close to the Volt to ever be used in a real production model.