BREAKING: General Motors Confirms Chevrolet Bolt Production


Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt Ay 2015 NAIAS

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

At a special breakfast ahead of the opening of the media days for the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, General Motors confirmed that the Chevrolet Bolt is indeed production bound and that it will be built in Lake Orion, Michigan, exactly as we had speculated.

InsideEVs was on hand to capture the announcement live in Chicago.

Vice President of General Motors North America Alan Batey made the announcement, confirming that Chevrolet is moving into production a next-generation 200-mile electric car based on the Bolt EV concept that first debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

Furthermore, as we had predicted, the Bolt EV now makes the idea of an affordable 200-mile electric car a reality.

InsideEVs was first to break the news of Bolt EV concept moving into production status, a story that General Motor later asked us to update with a statement saying that General Motors Head of Consumer Affairs, James Bell, had a long day and that GM’s position on the Bolt was that it remained a concept at that time.

On The Scene At The Live Media Announcement (Of Interest: The Bolt is a No Show...As It Is Currently In Toronto At The Canadian International Show - Which We Will Be This Weekend Too)

On The Scene At The Live Media Announcement In Chicago (Of Interest: The Bolt Concept EV is a No Show As It Is Currently In Toronto At The Canadian International Show – Which We Will Be At This Weekend Too)

Well, the constant leaks suggested otherwise and here we are today with these headlines from General Motors’ press release:

Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production

Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan

Alan Batey stated:

“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it. We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”

And there’s this in the press release too, which reconfirms the 200-mile range target (or more!) and the $30,000 price tag:

“Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000.”

Chevrolet Bolt Interior Clearly Isn't At A Production Level

Chevrolet Bolt Interior – We Suspect This Will Change Dramatically In The Move From Concept To Production

Chevrolet Bolt 5 Door

Chevrolet Bolt 5 Door

Heck, even Michigan Governor Rick Snyder chimed in on the Bolt:

“We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility.  Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.”

There’s some investment new for the Lake Orion & Pontiac, Michigan facilities too:

$200-million investment

GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact, and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies.

General Motors is not yet ready to declare a start-of-production date. The automaker says “start of production and additional details will be announced later,” but we assume that previous reports of October 2016 for start of production will pan out to be accurate.  First Bolts will likely be sold as Model Year 2017s.

Expect production volumes to be in the 20,000 to 30,000-unit rate annually once the ramp-up is well underway.  The Bolt EV will share some components (platform) with the Chevrolet Sonic.

Chicago Bolt Announcement...That Only The 2016 Volt Attended (Phote: Mike Anthony/InsideEVs)

Chicago Bolt Announcement…That Only The 2016 Volt Attended (Phote: Mike Anthony/InsideEVs)

Full press release below:

Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production
Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan

CHICAGO – Chevrolet this morning confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept. It will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit.

GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. The Bolt EV concept was introduced last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”

Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000.

The progressively styled concept vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles, such as daily commuting, and it was designed to support DC fast charging.

“We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.”

Start of production and additional details will be announced later.

$200-million investment
GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact, and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies.

“As one of the most environmentally progressive facilities in GM’s global network, Orion Assembly is uniquely suited to build this game-changing electric vehicle,” said Doug Hanly, Orion Assembly and Pontiac Metal Center plant manager. “In partnership with UAW Locals 5960 and 653, we’re committed to building the highest level of quality into it.”

Located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit, Orion Assembly is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, which saves more than 6,300 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually. It is also home to a 350-kilowatt solar array that produces the energy equivalent to power 165 homes and sends enough energy back to the grid to power about 45 homes.

“This is very exciting for our members who were facing the possibility of losing that plant during the auto crisis,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the union’s GM Department. “Our members are also proud to have their plant chosen to produce what is sure to be another popular and dynamic Chevy product rolling off the line at the Orion Assembly Plant.”

Orion Assembly is the first GM facility to receive the Clean Corporate Citizen designation by the State of Michigan, and the Pontiac plant has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry three times.

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295 Comments on "BREAKING: General Motors Confirms Chevrolet Bolt Production"

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If GM pulls this off w/o a string of delays, oops the price is higher than we thought, and well, turns out the range is lower than anticipated bloopers, then this could indeed be disruptive. It will be very interesting to see if a subset of prospective Volt gen 2.0 buyers will “hold off” to see what the Bolt will really be like. Minimally, I’m sure Nissan has got to be thinking “We need to get the next gen Leaf onto a car show stand NOW”. GM has the luxury of not killing an existing EV’s sales with this announcement – Nissan, unfortunately, does not.

What about if Nissan unveils the Infiniti LE?

they kill that concept,bat just to small .next leaf bat for that concept .nobody would pay 50gees for lux car with 24 kilwat batt.

No delay for this kid. 2 yr Volt Gen 2 lease followed potentially by the Bolt.

Go GM.

Not me – I’d rather have the 2016 Volt by a longshot. Not just because of the EREV drivetrain, but because of the bodystyle.

Yep. Gen 2 Volt first then maybe a Bolt. The timing is perfect with a 2 year lease.

Agreed, this could be the biggest game changer, and it takes quite a bit of wind out of the Model 3 sails (and potentially sales).

But not sure it will significantly impact Volt 2 in the short term because the Volt still offers more flexibility and freedom from charging infrastructure that simply doesn’t exist for most North American drivers. The Volt has more mainstream appeal, which is great because it becomes a stepping stone to a future BEV for most drivers.

Don’t get this “look out Tesla Model 3” jargon.

Tesla is about performance. I don’t see Elon making a 9 second, 0-60mph machine, do you?

The marketplace is so green – the options so few, there’s acres and acres of room for each and every new contestant in the EV playing field.

Also, Tesla’s most likely to lead with a sedan and offer a CUV version later.

It’s in GM’s best interest to offer a CUV first. Their first two electrified attempts to sell and not lease-only have had issues with seating enough passengers to appeal to a broader spectrum of buyers.

A CUV allows leeway for GM to use an existing platform ( Sonic V.2 ) with a form-factor large enough to fit bench seats.

BMW has shown with it’s upcoming FWD compacts coming on the scene ( Mini platform ) that you can be very creative when you have a flat floor. The 2 Series Active Tourer looks like a winner. I’m not into paying top-tier money for a FWD compact unless it’s all-electric. That said, look at what BMW is doing in the interior dept.. 3 rows in a compact that is The Return Of The Station Wagon – only done in a manner to where a soccer mom and dad can “save face” by driving what appears to be kind-of an SUV.

All carmakers should take notice. Instead of $40-50,000 for an ICE – it shows that an EV can take this exact theme and run with it to success!

* Scratch that. I mean 2 Series Gran Tourer.

Check this out to see what I mean.

Absolutely right. Plug-in EV sales are still less than 1% of all auto sales. The idea that an car from GM will kill the market for the Tesla Model ≡ is absurd. The potential market for truly compelling EVs at affordable prices is far greater than Tesla could possibly fulfill, at least for the next 10 years or so, even if Tesla can grow its production at 50% per year.

God Lensman.

Don’t you and Lustuuc have a date tonight.
You show up late and try to insert an instilling comment but it doesn’t work.

It’s all anti GM rubbish.

If I wanted to listen to this kind of crapola I’d go to a tea party meeting.

anti Tesla Jargon??

are you kidding me?

You drive a Volt and stick up for it and now you are on the anti GM wagon with Lustuuc and Lensman??

Give me a break.

George – Take a chill pill, brother!

Where in that post of mine – can you read into it, “anti GM jargon” or “anti Tesla jargon”?!!

Pointing out the sheer genius in packaging of the new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is anti GM or anti Tesla?

I am a realist, not a fanboy. I point out that Tesla builds sedans first and that Musk’s priorities include high performance when GM and other BEV companies make 9 second 0-60 cars. Not a cut – just reality, buddy!

Maybe you’re having a bad day? Hope it gets better!~

I’m no fanboy, just a realist. Shots appeared today of a Model X mule with ill-fitting Falcon-Wing doors. I said that was troubling to see. I’m still their biggest fan – but I call it as I see it.

Hope they work it out soon!

George – I would ask you to re-read my posts and tell me where you see anti-anybody “jargon”?

The BMW i3 BEV will also likely feel the pinch on this. I mean, honestly, how does BMW respond – especially this time next year. The current i3 has only been out for a year (and just about 9 months in the U.S.). If, come this time next year, they announce the i3 will get a much bigger battery around the same time as the Bolt launch then they orphan their own existing sales and current owners aren’t likely to be too happy (save those that leased). If they don’t announce something then they are faced with a car that costs about $5k more (before you start piling on options), has VERY similar styling (since the Bolt is a complete ripoff of the i3), but has dramatically less range. Normally, a BMW would be “worth” the price premium, but with EVs, range is still king.

Heck, I even expect (despite it being FWD and likely heavy), the Bolt to at least accelerate well, especially with a big battery pack which allows for harder pull for acceleration.

I think GM is accelerating the “2017” paradigm change, that most of us are expecting in vehicle electrification.

I hope they navigate vehicle charging better than they have, so far. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that BMW and VW are the ones partnering with CharePoint, even if GM will presumably be able to use their CCS. The range dots don’t connect.

Most people will lease the i3 and most of the leases are for 2 years. In fact I don’t know why you would want to purchase with battery technology advancing so quickly.

Sorry, but I simply don’t see the Bolt’s styling as being “a complete ripoff of the i3.” The Bolt lacks the hideous lumpiness of the i3’s front end and that unfortunate dog snout double grill. The Bolt also has 4 real doors and not those odd rear “suicide” doors of the i3’s, which require the front passenger/driver to open theirs for rear passengers to enter/exit.

I also don’t think the Bolt is anywhere near a copy of the i3. For from the lumpy bodywork, the chunky bumpers and clunky lines, the Bolt offers a more flowing and refined look.

If anything, the Bolt is a modern metamorphosis of the Chevy Trax.

Or the design language of the Mercedes A class.

Dr. Miguelito Loveless

Seems to me that Nissan needs to move ahead with a higher battery capacity vehicle before the Bolt debuts or they are hosed. And even if they do, they have only tallked about double the current range, which means 140-150 miles real world. If the Bolt misses by 15% they still wind up with 160 miles which still gives them the edge.

Nissan needs to really pull off a miracle at this point.

“Expect production volumes to be in the 20,000 to 30,000-unit rate annually once the ramp-up is well underway.”

How do they define ramp-up?

Why do I have this feeling that the first 500 will be sent to locations with the least interest in EV’s. Then, when they don’t sell, GM will say “See, we told you there wasn’t any interest.”

I hope I’m wrong, I really do. But I have the feeling that the phrase “2020 Bolt” will be an oxymoron.

Looks like they raised the bar on range and dropped the price Bogey to 30K.

This is great news.

I’ll be really REALLY impressed if they can meet these rosy projections for a MY 2017 Bolt. It just seems like such a huge leap in terms of range and cost from anything else that it smells a little bit like a distraction or puff-up that when all the dust settles, car buyers will be resigned to keep chugging in their ICE (or EREV).

For example, what kind of size battery would we need for that range? Just using the Spark as a baseline, it gets 83 miles on a 19kwh pack. So, to get 200 miles we need a 200/83 * 19 = 46kwh pack (roughly?), and it would weight about 1200 lbs. from the ~ 500lb pack of the Spark now.

And do they have space for it on such a small platform? That might be the biggest hurdle since actually range seems possible and marginal costs for just more cells probably wouldn’t exceed $10k for the entire pack.

Hmm – If they do a decent job on fit and finish, there will be a lot of customers lining up for this one.

What’s the big leap??

All technology is already developed. Spark motor and driveline and battery chemistry is on the table and ready to go.

Turns out the in-house Spark compliance car drivetrain development has been a great learning opportunity for refining a Bolt production drivetrain.

And from what I hear it has been infinitely more reliable than the 3rd party efforts from Ford and FCA. Those guys will definitely be late to the party.

The technology may be there, but the Spark is already $27k. When you take the battery from 19kWh to 46kWh, you add a lot more cost. They have to do that for less than $10,500 to meet their stated price point ($37,500 before rebates).

The Spark chemistry isn’t the one that will be in this car. It’s a next gen LG NMC chemistry that LG is still working on, which they plan to hit production in 2016.

The Spark Chemistry would mean shoving in a pack 2.5x the size of the Spark’s, which is unlikely to fit in such a small car unless they go with a two seater.

The platform is not as small as you think. There should be room for a 50kWh pack.

I doubt the pack will weight 1200 lb. That is more than a Tesla 85kWh pack weighs.

I’m sure GM will use a higher energy density going forward. And I assume liquid cooling for the pack as well.

Dude….it’s much easier to fit a 50 kWh battery pack inside a car today than it was 5 years ago. There’s been significant enhancements in battery energy storage.

Yes, I think something within or close to 45-48 kWh is what we will see in nominally “200 mile” EVs.

Plenty of room for those batteries in a car that is actually designed to be an EV from the ground up, like the Leaf or a Tesla car. But if GM persists in going the cheap route by trying to shoehorn an EV drivetrain and battery pack into an existing gas guzzler, then yes they’ll have problems getting that many kWh of batteries to fit. Since the Bolt is going to be based on the Sonic, we can expect certain problems with an awkward fit.

The Bolt is not based on the Sonic. The Bolt and next-gen Sonic will be built off the next-gen Gamma platform. The next-gen Gamma is not strictly a “gas guzzler” platform. It’s a vehicle platform. No shoehorning required.

Your move Nissan/Tesla….. 🙂

M3 has already went back to a less technically challenging design, to prevent MX-Like delays. 😉

Bad news is, Elon won’t release info on it till M3 is ready for sale. Which makes sense, people will over-speculate on it before it’s released and could bias sales lower before people get to test drive / see it in person. 😛

Yeah, that disappointed me. If Elon had held to his promised 3-series bimmer rival, I’d be like “shut up and take my money.”

Now I’m more like…”Yeah, I’ll just wait a couple years for the car you really wanted to sell.”

Sounds like the same thing Nissan did with the Leaf. Only this will fall flat since people will expect more given the Model S and Model X.

A “less technically challenging design” doesn’t necessarily mean the car won’t still be “compelling.”

What is technically challenging about the design of the 3 Series sedan or coupe?


That is what is coming in 2017.

Later, more technically challenging CUV variant with something like Falcon wing doors will come along.

Personally my ideal car would be a conventional liftback sedan Model 3 P85D.

@Rick and @Robb:

I hope you guys are right. Still, I may wait a couple years anyway, given that the dual motor Model S showed up about 2 years after the Model S launched. Also gives it time for all the annoying bugs to get worked out. Although, to be fair, most of those were software and taken care by over-the-air software updates (love that about Tesla!).

Somehow I don’t see a GM EV made by shoehorning an EV drivetrain and battery pack into a Sonic, one of GM’s cheapest cars, as being a “compelling” EV, nor offering any serious competition to the Tesla Model ≡.

For a truly -compelling- EV, the competition won’t be other EVs. It will be the 99% of the auto market which are gas guzzlers. The idea that the Bolt will seriously impact Model ≡ sales appears to be ignoring reality rather firmly.

The Model 3 is and quite likely will remain a pipedream. Tesla has zero experience making a profitable car selling for less than $60k.

Yeah, so? They had zero experience making a luxury electric vehicle and they hit that one out of the park! The Model 3 will happen, and at cost. The questions in my mind are, when, and how finished will it be?

I have no doubt that, when released, the Model 3 will be superior to the Bolt (even without knowing the car itself, the fact that you get a supercharger network and free over-the-air software updates makes it more compelling). My concern is that their “less technically challenging” statement will translate into the Model 3 NOT having a similar fit and finish to the Model S when launched, much like the fit and finish of the 2011 Leaf was significantly lower than the fit and finish of the 2013 Leaf. Elon had said that he intended Model 3 to have a similar fit and finish, but is he going back on that now?

Then I think you’ve missed the point. If GM can produce a 200 mile, $30K EV, they will have met the sweet spot of the market. Compelling? Not sure if that’s even a meaningful label here. All they need to do is sell something like 50-75K in the first year and it’s an EV home run. If they can deliver on 90 or even 80% of their promise, it will sell well.

Sure, it’s ugly and small but that didn’t stop the LEAF from being successful.

Spurring GM, was already Tesla’s move.

What’s good for the goose…

And R”I”P” Honda and Toyota….

I know, right? 8 years ago, I would have thought it would be GM’s goose that would be cooked by now while Tesla spurs on Toyota and Honda. It’s completely the opposite! And the quality of the Volt (and likely the Bolt as well) is comparable to the alleged quality of Toyota’s and Honda’s!

The quality of my Volt is much higher than that of my Sienna and my Civic Hybrid. The latter of which was so disappointedly bad.

I don’t doubt it, at all. I’ve driven our company Civic Hybrid and found it to be an atrocious car! Never want to drive another one again!

A 200+ mile EV platform offers the flexibility of many different top hats down the road, from the current MPV to a CUV or sedan.

And at 200+ mile range, can replace the daily commuter with out hesitation for many. But there needs to be a ‘conventional’ looking version for those who just want an EV, and don’t want to be a driving advertisement for EVs.

Forget the concept vehicle with the artsy interior…

The real Bolt will look like a chubby Sonic with some instrument panel enhancements (screens). The only practical way to meet the cost targets is to leverage the Sonic platform, which has been designed to support different drive trains from day 1, like the Golf.

The concept vehicle exterior might have some Sonic styling cues in it, but not much more.

Wrong! It will look almost identical to the concept… 😉 – WOT

Hopefully the inside will look different (i.e. seat 5 people)….what say you? =D

I spent quite some time poking around the concept at NAIAS and if you know what to look for it’s VERY obvious that the Bolt (aside from the interior) is a fully-baked product.

It’s very much like a Honda “concept” in that the production car is identical to the concept with some more realistic rims and deletion of the goofy bits.

“it was designed to support DC fast charging.”

I wonder which standard they’ll choose.
It was all fun and games when they were selling 20 BEVs a week with sub-100 mile range. Now its serious. Keep playing standards games with an undeployed network or adopt CHAdeMO/Supercharging?

It will definitely be CCS. GM is partnered with Ford and all the German automakers on the SAE CCS standard.

I hope they have plans to start rolling out a top spec CCS charger then. 100kW for a 50kWh pack is passable for roadtrips. 50kW for a 50kWh pack is not.

Yes, we need 100kW chargers along the expressways. Maybe all the plans to install the 50kW CCS ones will be altered to 100kW since GM appears to be putting the 200mile mass market vehicle pressure on now.

Weird that it was Ford who was pushing for a larger kW DC charger standard. Maybe Ford has something up their sleeve with LG also?

agreed on that. max AC for CCS level 2 is 19 kw. maybe they could offer an extra charger like Tesla as an option in the car. For example stock Bolt comes with 9 kw level 2 and you can upgrade to 2, 9’s for a total of 18 for home charging.

Agreed we need the full 90 kw DC (I think the spec is 90 rather than 100 for CCS)

For AC charging, I don’t care much when you get to ranges around 200 miles. Certainly it wouldn’t be received well with a 3kW charger, but frankly level 1 will be more than enough for most people with a 200 mile range.
If you get 1.5kW from level 1 and you plug in for 8 hours a night, that’s 4.38mWh a year or enough to drive over 16k miles.

I would think that AC 7.2 kW would be a bare minimum, with 9.6 to 19.2 being optimal maxes. Since 7.2 only requires a 40 amp line it is doable for most homes and delivers a useful amount of recharge for occasional midday peak charges to keep the car useful for longer trips where qc is unavailable. For areas with QC 50 to 90kW is great… Even 25kW is ok as they don’t charge the whole time at the max current. They taper down as they go. Precisely why a 25kW CHAdeMO is only 5 or 10 minutes more to 80% than a 40 to 50kW model.

If you meant 4.38MWh a year (4.3 megaWatt-Hours) you have to use the uppercase “M: for “Mega”. The lowercase “m” is for “mili” or thousanths of a Watt-hour. So 4.3 mWh is about the energy of a button cell.

If they want to sell a lot of these, they will need to boost the CCS to 100 kWh to compete with Tesla’s SuperCharger Network, and to make dealing with a big pack on long range trips, livable / practical.

Agreed, but *100kW, not kWh. That’s like talking about a 60 mile speed limit…

They (GM) already said they would NOT. 40 minutes to %80 charge. That’s a 50KW charger.

with 50 kw bat how needs two stop more than once or twice a year .lets faces it anything over 40 kilwat bat would be a game changer.

Very exciting news. Hopefully the production version has a 5th seat in it.

BMW and Volkswagen just announced a partnership with ChargePoint for building DC fast charging stations on the west and east coasts. The press release states they will be either 50 kW or 24 kW.

Assuming the Bolt EV has a 45-50 kWh pack, how long would it take to get an 80% charge on a 50 kW charger? 24 kW? It’s stated in the article that an 80% charge would take 20 min for an i3 @ 50 kW, 30 min @ 24 kW.
Assuming the Bolt EV’s pack is more than double the i3’s, we’re looking at 40-60 minutes for an 80% charge @ 24/50 kW??

There’s definitely something fishy about that PR.
80% of a 22kWh i3 pack is 17.6kWh. At 24kW (even at 100% efficiency) that’s 44 minutes, real world probably a little over 50 minutes.

A 50kWh pack to 80% with a 50kW DC would take about the same. So that would mean stopping about every 2.5 hours for 1 hour to charge. That doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience to me.

Good point. The ramp down rate coming sooner during the charge, is another reason why Tesla’s 85kwh gets chosen over the 60kwh. The aspect having little to do with whether you pull up to a 50kw, or a 135kw charger, is something few appreciate. They will.

From the Bolt website:

Form, meet function.
An advanced lithium-ion battery provides over 200 miles of all-electric range, and with DC fast-charging capability, an 80 percent charge can be achieved in less than 45 minutes.

Yes, but since “80%” is of a much smaller number, I think a virtue will end up being better efficiency. A fast ~35kwh, every ~110 miles, could still test adoption. The beauty of it is “long” for lots of people, is still w/in ~250 miles.

GM is getting themselves into an entirely different marketing game, if they start promising highway range. That’s what a “200 mile” BEV immediately becomes. They can go long of EPA AER, like Tesla does. Will GM be making a XXX miles, at 65mph claim? We’ll see.

You lost me somewhat. I don’t know what they will use as the disclaimer for the 200 mile range, but I hope it’s the EPA rating.

The i3 is listed as 18.8kWh usable, so 80% of that would take 38 minutes to charge at 24kW, assuming no taper (which is realistic at that charge rate for non-Tesla batteries).

But the i3 is meant to be a city car, and i3 REx is there for longer trips. The Bolt needs faster charging. 50kW won’t cut it if they want to compete with Tesla a year later.

To use 200 miles of energy in 2.5 hours, you must be driving at 80 MPH!

Not really. Even if it was really 200 miles, which it won’t be, that 200 miles is based on mixed driving at both high and low speeds. Nearly every long distance drive will be all at high speeds on the highways, where the actual range will be significantly less.

2.5 hours of driving before needing a recharge is rather optimistic, at 65-70 MPH, for a nominally “200 mile” EV. In fact, even at 55 MPH that may not be realistic.

But the problem with limited range gets far more attention than it deserves. Unless you are someone who frequently makes long distance trips, stopping to recharge is something you should only have to do a few times a year. The average driver today will spend significantly more time per year driving to the gas station than BEV drivers will spend time waiting at a roadside charger. (When the EV owner charges at home, he doesn’t have to wait.)

CCS. Absolutely no doubt.

I’m really impressed that GM is doing this. I just hope they have a solid plan for a DC charging network since 200 miles of range by itself is not sufficient to enable road trips. I’m still hoping to get a Tesla Model 3 when the lease is up on our BMW i3. But we will absolutely test drive a Bolt when the time comes. We weren’t planning to get the i3 the last time around, but a test drive changed our minds. So there is at least some chance a Bolt will find a spot in our garage. But no matter what we decide, I’m sure a bunch of people will take one of these home.

Its sufficient for San Fransisco to LA or vicey versa, with one stop at Harris ranch. The 45 minute requirement is not that nice, but fits into a steak time at Harris ranch.

Doing that with a Leaf? Car dolly.

So much for “just a concept”.

This will put Nissan and others into overtime as well to match the car.

I think Ford in particular will be caught with its pants down, especially given Bill Ford’s green talk.

They were a leader in hybrid technology, but their Energi plugins are just a hybrid with an extra battery, and the problem prone FFE BEV was a 3rd party compliance car with few in house learning opportunities. Ford’s NAIAS efforts were all about trucks and high performance ICE cars, so you can see where their mind is focused.

They might just stay low until they are ready, they dropped some hints lately:

I think of the Big Three only FCAU is sopposed to EVs (beyond pure compliance cars such as the Fiat 500 EV).

GM might tip the pendulum for others to join in. I’m pretty sure Ford will follow with similar cars (Ford also asked for better DC charging specs around or above 100 kW, that’s another hint.)

The crit of the FFE is interesting to me. I love my FFE. I have about 5k on it so far with no problems. It is a pleasure to dreve and is in a good looking package -hmm

Agreed. Mine was $18500 after the Tax credit and it’s a great car. I’ve only put 2000 miles on it so far but I plan to drive it for years.

I agree, come on Nissan! Out deliver GM on this one. at least 150+ mile LEAF next year with a higher density battery that can be retrofit to all existing cars like the current $5500 dollar model. (price after core) You will help relations with early buyers and improve the value of the used cars. Then when everyone else is sending out their first tries at the market you have dominated now you will intro the next LEAF. Give it the ability to charge faster than the others with at least 9.6 ac onboard and up to 100kW CHAdeMO port and update the telematics to include remote unlocking of car and charge port lock and the ultimate charger database in carwings (get more sources) Remote viewing of all around cameras and advanced cruise control and emergency braking radar…. show them how it is done! Somebody pass the popcorn 2016 is looking pretty cool for the EVs.

But will you dispense of the popcorn and actually POP for one when the time comes? A key factor here is if we go out and vote with our wallets once they enter the market.

Are you actually sponsoring a Japanese import over an American brand? Are you Japanese?

While they are at it they should include a built in coffee maker, heated massage seats and one or more mexican hookers.

You dreamer you.

Excellent news! Now to see at least a concept of the Leaf2 and the Tesla Model 3/E.

And about that name…

Just to be clear, the press release did not confirm any specs of the production vehicle. All it said was it would be based on the Bolt Concept, and then went on to recap what the Bolt Concept’s specifications were. It’s likely that the Bolt name will be changed, and the range and price may differ slightly by the time development is finished.

I disagree. The press release confirms price and range.

Hey, where are all the posters “from Missouri”?

They are now waiting to pounce when the price comes out at $37,501 or the range is EPA rated at 199.99 miles.

Nissan is -still- advertising the Leaf as a “100 mile EV”. And Tesla says the Model S is a “300 mile EV”. So if the Bolt really does wind up being a nominally 200 mile EV, we can expect the EPA range to be around 150-175 miles.

Except the Volt is advertised as a 38 mile EV range, and many people get over 40.

9, almost 10 months of the year I average around 46 miles of AER, but I rarely get above 65 mph for long.

I am a bit skeptical that they will do it. I guess getting a 45-50kwh pack in that size vehicle is possible, but it is such a break from the current ~80 mile range vehicles now available, seems like they just don’t give a crap about cannibalizing their ICE sales. Or, there will be some huge limit on production so that they can only produce 20,000 of them a year. Nice for those who could get it (especially if gas prices go up again), but not really making a dent as a percentage of overall (15 million/year in the US) vehicle sales.

“seems like they just don’t give a crap about cannibalizing their ICE sales”
Whether GM sells you an ICE or a BEV or a PHEV, it’s better then you buying someone else’s car.

Why don’t you just call his remark stupid?

Cannibalization is something dealers worry about, not manufacturers. They get the bulk of their profits from maintenance.

Hopefully GM figures out how to prevent their dealers from steering people away from EVs. I’m guessing the Volt will help.

Oh, believe me, auto manufacturers -do- worry about cannibalizing sales of their other models. That’s one of the reason nobody except Tesla is offering a truly compelling EV. And it’s why we can be sure that if the Bolt actually does turn out to be a compelling BEV, GM won’t make them in large numbers. Maybe larger numbers than most other plug-in EVs, but certainly not the numbers of one of their best-selling gas guzzler models.

Take off the conspiracy theory hat.

It’s easy to be from Missouri on this one. I agree, Danpatgal.

The 20,000/year number sounds about right. The big fun factor here is if it takes off and they can’t keep them on the dealership floor. Will they then sell it in every state and give it a chance to succeed?

To me, the Volt is the car of today – and 200-400+ mile BEVs are the cars of tomorrow. Tesla is so far ahead with it’s buildout of charging stations.

I’ll bite. They haven’t shown me anything yet.
When they do I will let you know. For now I will just go back being Rip Van Winkle, and nap. Wake me up when something real happens.
Yawn, a real snooze. It seems that GM has learned at least something from Tesla, how to hype/sell something that does not yet exist.

Please ship it with an optional 3-phase TYP2 charger. At least 11kw, better 22kw. For Europe. Even the SMART ED has an optional 22kw AC TYP2 charger. We have in (small) Germany over 4000 !! 22kw AC Chargers. And dont forget the 100kw CCS for REAL fast charging. Single phase charging for that battery size in Europe is a NoGo.

Unless Nissan gets moving, this may well be my first Chevy!

Ghosn is firm on defending the EV title, for example in Detroit back in Jan 2015:

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told reporters today at the Detroit auto show that Nissan is also planning an electric car with similar range as the Bolt concept’s 200 miles.

He said the introduction of the Bolt “was not a surprise.”

“Obviously we will be competing” with electric cars that get 200 miles on a battery charge, he said.

let faces 150 mile ev would be great .i have a leaf and cold weather is a big problem.need at least 40 kilwatt bat to solve the problem with minus 15c temp.
and a colling system for the bat for longer life .

Ok GM, better have at least a dual 3.3 kw charger option or start with 6kw base. Too many people will say it takes to long to charge on a 3.6 kw charger.

They would say “Utilities want us to utilize the entire after midnight period to charge up”. Ok, if the battery is 50 kwh, then a 6, or 6.6 kw charger fits exactly into that game plan, so please at least offer it as an option. That way, bloggers here can stop complaining.

OMG, if they stick a 3.3 L2 charger in there– then it’s pretty clear they don’t want to sell EVs. 😛

I can’t see them shooting both feet off with a decision like that. Mary wants this thing to succeed, and take business away from Tesla. Her push to put this to market, will help keep Elon on schedule.

Go for it, GM! The cycle of competition feeds on itself! 😀

It’s funny you guys think Tesla is challenged by this. They’re seemingly having a heckuva challenge getting those Model X Falcon doors to market. Next for them is a sedan ( not CUV ) with performance surely better than 9 seconds to 60mph. GM is taking a safe route here with a CUV which is perfect strategy to gain a foothold, as Tesla’s M.O. is to start with a sedan and follow with the CUV version. Take a gander at what BMW is doing in the ICE world. They’re heading to our market with the 2 Series Active Tourer. Look inside this little station wagon. 3 row seating in a smaller – tall station wagon. I’m certain they’re going to call it a CUV to lure Americans who are afraid to look like soccer moms. The 3 row seating is possible due to FWD and the Mini platform. I think they’ll have a hot seller there. Sadly, BMW isn’t making a BEV or PHEV version. Since Bolt is nearly a clean slate at this juncture, why not look to that Active Tourer template and make a 3 row, 7 seat capable BEV CUV that will sell in large numbers? Truth… Read more »

* Correction – I mean BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.

Here it is to see what I’m talking about.

Yeah, I’m prett sure they will go with ~7KW. 3.3 is fine for a PHEV but not a pure EV.

Agreed Bill! I think this has to have a 6.6kW base charger, with a reasonably priced quick charge option.

Yeah, Clarkson, you might think my post was kind of a ‘given’ but I don’t know if anyone at GM reads these threads or not, but the General Consensus here is that they want GM to be reasonable. The thing in the back of my mind is that they’d say, HEY, 3300 watts was plenty for the SparkEV and that is a totally electric thing! I say, if they only want to offer one model, make it like 6.2 kw or somewhere between 6 and 7.5, so that people could get maximum usage out of those public EVSE’s (205 volts at 30 amps), or 7.5 kw so people with 32 amp chargers at home will also be happy. I’m just thinking they’d say ‘3300 watts is plenty since we have CCS!!! ‘ which of course doesn’t do anygood around here since we have trouble finding L2 chargers in the ‘wild’ let alone anything better. GM sells, through their agreement with Bosch/SPX, 15, 16, 30, and 32 amp Chinese Bosch, Lear, and those SPX things that catch fire when fully loaded. And Clipper Creek and many others offer even less expensive (and maybe better quality) things in this sizerange. If people… Read more »

I don’t know that it’s a given Bill, but I agree that it really has to have a 6.6kW charger to be practical. So I think we’re in agreement.

Whether or not GM agrees will hopefully become more clear as time goes on.

It still amazes me how people talk about competition between the Bolt and Model 3.

When is the last time someone who wanted to spend $40k on a car, went around to Audi and BMW showrooms, test drove the 3series and the A4, and then decided “naah, I’ll just get a 4-seat Honda Fit for the same price”.

Exactly, what a silly comparison…

“When is the last time someone who wanted to spend $40k on a car, went around to Audi and BMW showrooms, test drove the 3series and the A4, and then decided “naah, I’ll just get a 4-seat Honda Fit for the same price”.”
But a Honda Fit is only $15.5K, not $40K. People compare the Bolt and Model 3 because they are both supposed to be 200 mile BEVs that cost around $35K. How “premium” they are is a subjective statement. I think the interior on my Volt is much more “premium” than a Model S. Just puting in a big touchscreen doesn’t make something premium, in fact, I think it was a mistake. Take it down to a 10″ screen, make comfier seats, improve the dash layout, etc.

I agree “premium” feel is subjective, but size and performance aren’t. The Bolt will be a 4-seat subcompact city car with the performance of a Golf (which is to say, not bad at all). Model 3 will be a 5-seat compact/midsize sedan with the performance of a BMW 3 series, and the cargo space of a CUV.

Being that we have seen the Bolt in the flesh, I find it odd you are predicting it to be something it is not, a sub-compact. And since there isn’t even a line on a piece of paper for the Model 3, you must have a pretty good crystal ball to be telling us what it will be.

The other thing being overlooked here is that there are no options for 200 mile BEV’s right now beyond the Model S.

That lack of availability will make people that normally wouldn’t buy a $60,000 vehicle consider it. Similarly, those people will then look at the Bolt.

There are a subset of consumers that will cross shop them because of this. Their requirement isn’t luxury, it’s EV range, and presently the Model S (and now Bolt) are the only ones touting 3-digit numbers that start with a “2”

Or the option of a used Tesla Roadster. I couldn’t even include the Detroit Electric 150 mile range SP:01 (these names get dumber all the time), a converted Exige basically, but, after talking to the local Lotus dealer, the only car to be legal in the US is Evora, and since the SP:01 will be an Exige, it won’t be sold in the States.

We haven’t seen a production Bolt, but we’ve certainly seen the Sonic, and the Bolt is based on the Sonic. I see the Sonic does seat five, so hopefully the interior of the Bolt will be larger than that of the tiny Volt.

Maybe not a “sub-compact”, but the Sonic is still a small car.

It’s based on the upcoming Sonic.. not the current one. And not really “based” but same platform.

a honda fit is a honda fit, an ugly weird looking vehicle

You have assumed the Model 3 will be a fancy car. We don’t know that yet, and Elon himself has recently said Model 3 will be simple/basic. And it has to be to sell for that price.

For the record, I hope the Model 3 is a fancy car for a reasonable price. But we need to see a bit more first.

Elon’s used the word, “Premium”, to describe the M3. *shrugs* Draw your own conclusions…

Elon said that it wont look like any other car on the road

and there is nothing better than simplicity, ex: model s

Elon is correct. The Model III doesn’t look like any other car on the road because it doesn’t even exist.

GM plans to make the Bolt by shoe-horning an EV drivetrain and comparatively large battery pack into the very cheap Sonic, intending to make a long-range EV as cheaply as possible.

Tesla will make the Model ≡ as a clean-sheet design, intending to make a compelling EV.

Now, GM may well be able to sell all the Bolts it cares to make… which won’t be all that many. Perhaps not much more than the Volt. But the idea that it will actually offer competition to the Model ≡, whenever that actually comes out, is not very credible.

Troll fail.

I agree in general that the press makes too much of competition between vastly different vehicles in the EV space. But that’s what the press does because they know people love to read about conflict and then take sides themselves (like people do here).

On the other hand, if this really does get on the road before the Model 3 it will be valid competition, simply because it will exist while the Model 3 won’t.

Even if all the Bolt does it put some pressure on Tesla to move more quickly with the Model 3 launch, it will be an important vehicle.

The cross-shopping that goes on in ICE cars is a little different that in the EV car market. Typically I am a buyer of German luxury vehicles and when looking for Hybrid/Extended Range BEV I have been shopping i3 and the 2016 Volt, two different cars in terms of class and fit and finish but for my NEEDS the Volt is what my purchase will be. I can buy either in cash but the USE CASE wins here. Between the Bolt and M3, and other EVs, the cross-shopping is heavily influenced by Range and not prestige and other traditional factors. If the Bolt comes to market with the parameters given then I personally would be cross-shopping the two vehicles to replace the 2016 Volt that I will be buying this fall/winter. To say these two don’t compete, based on old market paradigms, is misguided.

You make a good point, but I think it only applies to the limited current audience for EVs. As the market expands, we’ll see more of the traditional segmentation at play.

But even as it is, GM hasn’t made any commitment to a nationwide 100kW+ charging network, or using Tesla’s own network.

Until they do, the Model 3 will be in another class from the Bolt, and this is purely from a utility perspective. Image is another issue entirely.

This shouldn’t surprise you at all. There are many people that consider a Model S simply because it is the only 200+ mile EV available presently. Just because they’re looking at a Model S, doesn’t mean a $60,000 car is their first choice.

This is another GM EV which will really just fail miserably. Just like the Volt, this will be a car for a few EV enthusiasts, that’s it. There is absolutely nothing cool about. It’s not a sporty sedan, it’s not a luxury sedan, it’s not a small or large SUV, it’s not a pick-up truck. It’s a boring looking car (perhaps OK looking for GM standards) How is this a game-changer? It’s a “Look, we beat Tesla” vehicle, but Model 3 will sell 10x better (as long as it looks BMW 3ish). The Leaf or the Volt wouldn’t sell many cars if there was no 7.5K tax write-off. Same story here. Tesla is really the only one doing it right so far. Perhaps Leaf 2 will surprise me.

OR…you could say it is a BMW i3 BEV for $5K less (likely even more oce you start adding options) and 2.5 times the range. As I noted above, it won’t likely be built to the same standards as the BMW, but right now range is king for EVs and the styling is certainly similar (aka a blatant ripoff of the i3 actually).

Yes, I agree here, but still EV enthusiasts only. I am actually a big of of plug-in hybrids. 15-25 kwh battery plus range extender is really all that’s necessary for any car/suv at this point. But they need to be appealing, Bolts and Volts will not take us anywhere…

I’m also a fan of PHEVs (own a Volt), but disagree “Volt’s” won’t get us anywhere. The second gen looks to have mainstream styling (there a billion commentaries comparing its styling to the Civic coupe) and its 50 mile EV range will probably take the overall average EV driving from the current gen’s 60% to over 80% (maybe more like 85%). It takes a lot of battery to close that gap to 100% (law of diminishing returns). Sure, it isn’t Model S sized or a CUV/SUV, but it is reasonably sized and my guess is the next gen will be priced around $32K…putting it under $25k with just the federal rebate. That’s the same price as the Civic Hybrid. Admittedly, many people never look past the sticker…

“but Model 3 will sell 10x better (as long as it looks BMW 3ish)”

God I hope not. I think BMW sedans are some of the most boring cars. They look like they are designed for grandpas. I got excited when Elon said that he was leaning towards something “more radical”. At this point, there isn’t even a line on a piece of paper, so it’s pointless to talk about it.

I think people are setting themselves up for disappointment when the real Model 3 arrives. Its design will be 20% smaller than the S, which will make it a subcompact/compact size with a hatch. So it will not look like a 3 series. In order to hit the mid-$30k price point, it will be fairly bare bones and expect easily 15-30k in options similar to the S.

If BMW’s are boring, then Model S must be boring too, yet it sells really well. BMW 3-series is setting the tone for small luxury sedans, it’s selling well in NA, EUR and China, that’s why Model 3 needs to be and will be positioned against it. While Bolt is kind of positioned against i3 or MB B-class ED, wow, so I guess that’s why they expect sales of 30,000 unit per year.

Yes, the Model S makes me yawn too. It’s not very aggressive and looks like a lot of typical European cars. The interior is very spartan as well.

I really hope the Model 3 looks nothing like the Model, because I do plan to cross-shop in 2018 (if it’s out by then).

I liked the BMW i3 when I drove in it in that it was roomy and had good power under it. But the only thing I didn’t like about it was it’s kind of crappy 80 mile range for a price that double that of the Nissan Leaf. If GM does do something it will be like lighting a fire under all the other car makers rear ends in getting them to get higher range EV’s to market.

Me Personally I think they could have had a 200 mile range EV out four years ago but a lot to of the car makers were unmotivated.

How is it double when a comparable Leaf is $36k and the i3 with similar options is $44k. It is not double the price.

I like the i3 styling very much and consider it unique and an excellent EV. If you say the Bolt is a blatant rip-off of the i3, then your are conceding that the i3 is a rip-off of the Chevy Sonic. The only thing that is a rip-off is the same orange release color which has successfully made shoppers make the comparison. I like the i3 very much but they are apples and oranges. If I had to choose, I would choose the Bolt based on range and price.

There’s been nothing cool about the Toyota Camry for the past ten years, and that hasn’t stopped it from being the #1 selling passenger car in the US…

This will be a game-changer. Good to see that more EV range is becoming a realiry!

This is going to do a lot of damage to the middle east such as Saudi Arabia in that it will got oil demand by a very a large chunk if we ever get three million of these 200 mile EV’s the road. I bet the day after this car comes into production we will see the return of $40 dollar a barrel oil.

And the beginning of the $200 a ton for Coal !

Good stock to get into soon ?

Coal as if now is dying out from a Utility stand point. In that now you can get a 200 watt solar panel for $180 dollars. I’m planning on buying a 5killwatt to 3killwal system for my house as if now due to the falling solar costs.

Also the power companies have been opening up one giant 100 megawatt solar farm after another this year so far.

In Australia the growth of solar has been so monstrous that i caused several coal power plants to shut down due to power costs going into the negative for the power companies.

Still hard to see Solar keeping up with demand for electricity in the short to medium term ?

Since I’m planning on getting some solar panels I like to read a lot of stories on solar. What’s right now holding back solar is more of a case that they can’t build new panels fast enough in the factories. A lot of solar factories are under going enlargements to double production this year.

Um, with Solar PV rapidly getting to the point of becoming the cheapest way to generate electricity I think that market economics will take it from there.

Of course, storage of intermittent electricity of solar will also have to be solved and it will.

Coal, LOL. Apple bought 130MW of solar, for 850 million, yesterday. In one buy, they trumped Walmart’s vast roof-top efforts. When you price it out, it amounts to $.13/kwh power (25 year PPA, from First Solar). Utilities are buying for 5-6 cents.

The coal industry is below 100k employment, nationally. It couldn’t have a bigger target on its head. Totally different story, for natural gas, solar, wind. $200/ton thermal coal isn’t going to happen.

It’s that companies like Apple do that in shockingly computer companies like Google and Apple are gullton’s for power in that they need vast amounts of power for their Server Farms to operate their computer networks.

Check out this article, it has some great projections and understandable graphs ( ) TLDNR; Natural Gas is growing fastest, Renewables are growing, coal and Nuclear are not growing. In fact this article was criticized because it underestimates renewables install growth, does not account for huge PV solar cost reductions or future solar efficiency improvements. (In other words even if you assume no new technologies, Coal and Nuclear are not growing anytime soon.

I think 2015 will be the year people start putting a “face” to what land masses are required to build solar farms, at utility scale.

Nuclear power is disadvantaged in a state CO2 plan, when 94% of its watts won’t be measured if that plan complies with EPA’s proposal. EPA isn’t targeting CO2. They are targeting CO2/KWH. kwh, minus nuclear, is a sure way to accelerate nuclear’s decline.


Nuclear power generates no CO2 at all. It’s the only form of clean power that can provide reliable electricity 24/7.

If people were rational, instead of giving in to public hysteria over “RADIATION!!”, we’d have long since replaced every single coal-fired plant with nuclear power plants.

We would also save a ton on public health expenditures. Coal plant exhaust kills an estimated 15,000 to 30,000 Americans each and every year… obviously worldwide the number is far worse. The worst nuclear power accident hasn’t killed anywhere near that many in -any- year, let alone every one of them!

Nuclear is unique in that no private insurance company will insure any plants. In essence ratepayers and taxpayers de facto insure them, like Tokyo Power and electric is demonstrating. Safety aside, it takes decades not months to build, uses enormous amounts of water, and is much too expensive even without the uninsured clean up costs of any accidents and decommissioning costs as well. Compare to solar wind with EV battery backup and it loses on all points save “base load ‘”

Yeah, there’s not much point in being rational, since the only ‘rational thought’ allowed by the Thought Police here is that it is inconceivable that Chernobyl killed over a million people, or that Fukushima Daiichi is much much worse and is in the process of killing the entire Northern Pacific ocean. Or that 500 USS Ronald Reagan sailors are now seriously ill.

I know, I know, Chernobyl only killed at first 11, then later on, revised to 4300 people. Except the complication there is that of the 400,000 Russian soldiers sent to clean it up, “The Liquidators”, about 40% have already died, the remainder look at 20-30 years older than their chronological age, which is eyebrow raising since they were in their late teens to early 30’s back in 1986. So if you’re in the military your (lack of) numbers don’t count.

You only find out about this by reading Belarus scientific papers, or else watching documentaries that only tangentially mention kids having their teeth and hair fall out, and so many teenagers dying of heart attacks.

I’ve gone over this enough times before, but just nodding my head in agreement.

Bill, I strongly doubt that more than the 500 fatalities occurred. You can find “reliable” cites for just about anything from flying saucers to chupacabras in Mexico, but it doesn’t make it real. Nuclear power has furnished more clean electricity than any other source and fewer people have died from it than coal mining by a huge margin.
Nuclear power is about as safe as power gets.

Ziv, I am basically a serious person, and different people have requested I keep commenting here and for me to give the unvarnished truth as I see it.

I avoid certain topics, mostly, as the French Philosopher Voltaire stated, “If you want to find out who controls you, merely think to whom you are not allowed to speak of” (or words to that effect).

Nuclear power can be relatively safe, (as cigarette smoking is ‘relatively safe’ – you are going to drop dead not today nor tomorrow), but those numbers I’ve quoted are more factual than any numbers that are ‘felt’. The New York State academy of Science staked their reputation on it, but publishing Belarus translations of research papers.

Agree. Nuclear will still play an important part in the future.

100M EVs will use only ~10% of US electricity production. It’ll take at least two decades to get that many EVs on the road, and renewable electricity production is already growing at a far faster rate than necessary to support those EVs.

Coal has no future. Existing plants will linger for a long time, but coal is not going to grow at all beyond 2020 (it’ll probably peak sooner).

Gasoline doesn’t fall from the sky as rain. Yet electrical power does come from the sky, and captured in photovoltaic converters. Gasoline uses more electricity (and coal) to make and sell than the energy it releases (or do you manually pump gas into your car?). BTW, why waste electricity and coal making gasoline? Put that same energy in an EV and save money!

You are not seriously making the argument that the small fraction of $.01 that is used to dispense 300 miles worth of gasoline compares to the waste of getting the same amount of miles into the battery are you? I own 2 ev’s but frankly, my Roadster is much harder to refill than any gasoline car I’ve ever owned. And, the efficiency is poor: In cold weather the thing needs hours of heating to keep the battery warm before it can even begin to think of charging. The Heater size is a constant 1000 watts. Then, to protect me from myself, it won’t let me drive the car unless the charge port is closed. Except I can’t get the cable disconnected since the Non-J1772 connector Musk insisted on using Freezes. I realize I should live in Southern California, but Tesla advertising at the time did say this was an “all weather supercar”. So, Fortunately, the accessory jack is ‘on’ when the charge door is open, so I pull out my 100 watt inverter, my 100 watt metal trouble light, and my bath towel (to keep the heat from the light bulb in), and hopefully warm up the TSL-01 twist lock… Read more »

I wish one of GM’s electric cars would be a roomier compact than the Volt, or even a mid-sized car. Not all of us can fit into a smallish compact back seat like the Volt has, comfortably.
The Sonic has more headroom than the Volt but the legroom is a push, so whether the Bolt will be tighter, similar, or better than the Volt for legroom is still up in the air. But I would be surprised if the subcompact platform Bolt has more legroom than a compact Volt.
I have been a Volt supporter for more than 8 years, but I am tired of seeing my friends and clients shoe-horning themselves into the back seat of my Volt.
The Tesla III is looking intriguing.

My guess is that it will probably “sit” somewhat like the BMW i3, but perhaps tighter still. The Sonic wheelbase is 99.4 inches…the i3 is 101. The more “upright” seating tends to result in more “legroom” simply because your legs hang down more than outward.

Hard to say what the actual wheelbase will be for the Bolt since it will be based on a new version of the Sonic platform and may be longer. You can’t base it on the current Sonic dimensions.

True enough MTN Ranger, but I wouldn’t expect the new Sonic wheelbase to change materially. I had hoped, as an example, the Volt’s wheelbase would change more from gen 1 to gen 2…it grew just 0.4″. The regular Sonic already has the Spark beneath and Cruze above it – it won;t likely encroach too far size wise into either territory.

Keep in mind GM has a penchant for offering multiple wheelbase configurations within any single architecture. e.g. Epsilon II and D2XX 😉 – WOT

I hope so WOT! The Sonic is not a huge car but with a slightly stretched platform and the battery under the cabin it could be a roomy one!

+1 Ziv
I accept they started with these platforms based on cost, though I look forward to the day of a little more head room and more leg room in a rear seat.
Still, there is no taking away from this 200 milestone achievement.

I was thinking it would be cool, if the floor is flat, to put the back seats on rails. The passengers could slide their seats all the way to the rear, or leave room for luggage behind them.

that is a design nightmare: to design the luggage compartment, you need to know where there rear seats will be. that constraint doesn’t exist with respect to the front seats.

Why a design nightmare? Quite a few of the mini-MPVs sold in Europe have rear seats on rails, to trade off rear legroom & luggage space and make best use of constrained space. My car, a Skoda Roomster, which is one of the cheapest in the segment, has a split-into-3 rear seat system called VarioFlex that does all of the following: — Each seat reclines backwards (separately) at several different angles — Each seat moves (separately) forwards & backwards on rails — Each seat folds (separately) flat so it’s the same level as the rear load surface — Each seat folds (separately) once more, against the front seats, for a deeper load space towards the front — Each seat can be (separately) removed from the car completely in about 30sec, no tools required. — If you’re only carrying two passengers in the back, you can remove just the center seat and slide the outer seats towards each other, so you get more elbow room. Luggage capacity with rear seats up is 480 litres (~17cu.ft.), with all rear seats removed 1810 litres (~64cu.ft.) — Not bad for a car just 421cm (166in) long. I’ve made use of virtually all of the… Read more »

so how does that work? when you move the rear seat forward, does that create a gap between the rear shelf and the back of the rear seat? if so, that would be undesirable because then there is the possibility that something could roll from the rear shelf and fall through teh gap and under the rear seat.

I’m thinking the floor will be flat, no shelf. Also make the seats removeble for maximum hauling space.

it sounds to me that you are looking for the Bolt to be designed like a minivan, which the Bolt sort of isn’t. it is an interesting idea, though: the Bolt as a kind of miniature minivan.

If the Bolt is indeed based on the “Sonic platform”, that’s actually the “GM Gamma II” platform, see:
There’s already a mini-MPV (subtype of minivan) based on it, the Chevy Spin, as well as a mini-crossover, the Chevy Trax. The previous version of the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva mini-MPV was based on the previous version of the platform, the Gamma I.

(I’m not surprised if you’ve never heard of the Spin or Trax — the Gamma II and the cars it’s based on were designed by GM Korea, a.k.a. Daewoo, the Korean company that went bankrupt and was bought out by GM in 2001. Most of the models they design never make it to the US, although I’ve read the Trax will be sold there this year).

the differences between categories of cars is often more than marketing; there are often functional differences between cars in different categories. there are functional differences between minivans and cars. for example, minivans tend to have large rear door passageways so that you can remove the rear seats to accommodate more luggage space. it looks to me that it would be a tight fit to remove the rear seats from the Bolt; i would think that you would need to strech the length of the Bolt by more than one foot. another feature about minivans is that they are often used to transport big items, so you want the floor of the luggage area to be relatively level with the bottom of the liftgate to make it easy to load and unload (as you see in the BMW i3). in minivans the seating position is elevated, so that when you remove the seats you have a flat luggage area. this would mean that the height of the Bolt would have to be raised so that you would step up from a sill to get into the seating area. the short of all of this is that a minivan is not a… Read more »

The idea was also regarding leg room. Rear leg rooms seems to be a hot button.

kdawg, if the Bolt battery pack is under the cabin like a Tesla, I could see the cabin having a flat floor all the way back and no rear shelf. That would be pushing the flexibility of the new Gamma platform pretty hard but it is doable, and it would make for a very usable car.

Why no rear shelf? It’s a pretty cheap but useful sheet of plastic, just like on any hatch, whether EV or not.

Goes up when you lift up the cargo door, serves to hide the contents of the cargo compartment from unfriendlies, as well as can be used to put lightweight stuff on. On many MPVs nowadays (including mine) it can be placed at multiple heights.

Incidentally, I think it’s not a coincidence that most EVs are hatchbacks (only one I casn think of offhand that isn’t is the ELR) — it’s a much more space-efficient form factor than a sedan.

when i first mentioned the idea of a “rear shelf” i was thinking of the bottom of the loading area in the luggage compartment, and not a “shelf” that is sometimes used to hide the luggage compartment.

Wave, I was thinking of “shelf” the same way no comment was, as being the raised area above the rear wheels where automakers used to stuff in a spare tire and the PHEV makers stuff in a battery. The more I look at the Bolt, the more I think that it will have battery pack located under the cabin, ala Tesla. So there won’t be a pack intrusion behind the rear seats.
Which also would allow GM to get pretty original in how they use the space behind the seats and how far those seats could be moved back.
That having been said, I hope the Bolt has both a reasonable amount of ground clearance and some sort of ‘armor’ to protect the battery pack. It is wise to learn from the pain others suffer and avoid that pain for oneself.

Yes, there is a gap when the seats are in the forward position. However, there’s a raised lip on the front of the shelf for that purpose, and the shelf material has quite a bit of friction, so it’s never been an issue in the 6.5 years I’ve had the car.

It would be an issue for small, heavyish breakable items if they fell onto the bottom of the cargo space, but it wouldn’t be a good idea to place those kind of items on the shelf in any car — they could roll off the shelf under strong acceleration/breaking and hit a passenger.

(Note items can’t fall from the shelf under the seats since the rears of the seat backs are continuous with the load floor)

when i stated “shelf” i meant what you refer to as a “load floor”. in U.S. cars, the floor in the seating area is lower than the floor in the luggage area. that isn’t true with minivans, but in minivans they raise the floor in the seating area to be level with the load floor. as a result, when you enter a minivan, you have to step up from a sill to enter the seating area.

it sounds like you just have too small of a car for your usage. it is hard to imagine anyone picking up clients in a compact car. the Volt is a compact car, so i don’t think that you can wish it into a larger car; it just sounds like the wrong car for you.

No comment, it is the wrong car for me, but I don’t want a limited utility Leaf or FFElectric, and I cannot rationalize spending the money a Tesla S costs.
I followed the Volt for 6 years before I got mine, and I knew going in that it was too small to be be a good fit for me. But I wanted to drive an electric car.
I love my Volt when it is just me and one client or one friend in it. My 350Z doesn’t get driven often any more, it sits in the drive. But 5 or 6 times a month the Volt disappoints, and it does so in a way that I knew was going to be a problem from the git go. The obvious answer is, sell the 350Z and get a 3-5 year old mid-sized car with the money, but I do love to go fast from time to time.

I really hope they change the name!

Given that the Model 3 wont go into production until H2 2017 (per the call last night), GM can make hay if they manage to get it out the door in early 2017. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get it done.

Agreed, I have mentioned the Bolt to a few people that don’t follow EVs and they confused it with the Volt the entire conversation. The naming would really hurt word of mouth sales for people outside the early adopter group.

You mention the Tesla call last night. It seems like the Bolt announcement has tempered Musk’s desire to create a more exotic Model 3. Sounds like it will be a mini-Model S with no crazy new features to make sure they can stay on schedule and not miss the boat.

I went to a GM seminar with 3 of the top Volt experts, Pam Fletcher, Kevin Kelly and Pablo something to do with battery development.
Pam spent 10 minutes talking about the 2016 Volt having 50 miles of AER, mentioned in passing that the BOLT would have 200, and two tables full of women bloggers were asking me, the “expert” Volt owner, which statement was true. “Would the Volt have 50 miles or 200 miles of AER?”
They were listening closely, they were right up front, but when Pam said Bolt they heard Volt.

How easy it was to guess, that Chevy Bolt will be conversion vehicle from ICE platform. Of course in the eyes of GM, it does not make sense to design electric car from ground to up to be an electric car, because this kind of approach to EV platform would produce _better_ electric car. For example, it does not make sense to produce non-AWD electric cars, because electric 4WD is cheaper than electric 2WD due to better range and more even tyre wear. And of course making compelling electric cars is not in GM’s interests, because they are making their profits by selling ICE cars. And to lesser extent by milking green car subsidies. Yet another car where GM is making an argument to politicians that as Chevy Bolt is ridiculously overpriced, this car cannot live without abundant government subsidies. Therefore Federal Tax Credit must continue! While Tesla of course is making the case that electric cars could sell globally millions _without subsidies_ if they are introduced into luxury car category. Rich people do not care that much how much car costs. They just want _compelling cars_. This is the reason why EV subsidies should be directed into luxury car… Read more »

I personally would get mad if my tax dollars was given to someone to buy a $80,000 dollar car while I’m still working minimum wage with no health benefits or hope for a better life.

I really think if it was me I would cut the the tax credit in half for any car over $40,000. Another thing about tax credits is they cause the car dealers to artificially raise the prices of the cars by a huge margin.

People who work for minimum wage don’t pay any federal taxes except SS. Even then, they’ll get more out than they put in.

If you want to complain about wage equality, fine, but no one is taking $1000 from a poor family to pay for someone elses Tesla. In fact, the tax credit is just that, a credit against taxes the Tesla buyer was going to pay. The government isn’t going to beat the $7.5k out of a homeless person to make up for it.

Tax dollars are use right now to sponsor gasoline and oil production and keep prices low with sunsidies. If the Goverment remove those subsidies, you will be paying double.

Actually, you are incorrect with your “guess”.

The Bolt is based on the next genaration sonic platform which includes EVs from the getgo. It is not a “conversion”

Good clarification Taser.
People get confused by the word platform. Platform doesn’t mean body or frame it just specifies a general size vehicle in terms of wheelbase etc. The Volts belly pan is totally different than the cruze even though they are on the same platform

Taser54 said:

“The Bolt is based on the next genaration sonic platform which includes EVs from the getgo. It is not a ‘conversion'”

So it’s halfway compromise, like the spork, which works well neither as a spoon nor a fork.

Hardly a significant improvement, and again no way to build a compelling EV.

Now that the Model S platform is used for single and dual motor versions of the S, and for the X as well, does that mean it’s also a compromise?

You have this notion that a platform has to be designed exclusively for EV applications, but that’s not correct.

No, Tesla’s platform was designed only for Dual Motor. The fact that there was optional single motor configuration was just that the space reserved for second motor was left empty. Although some of that unused real estate was able to be used as larger frunk.

I’m not sure anybody knows enough to call the Bolt an ICE conversion.

We don’t really know the engineering history in any detail; it’s possible GM planned the platform so it would suit multiple drivetrain types, no less than how VW planned the gen-7 Golf to suit BEV/PHEV/ICE, or Daimler the B-class to suit liquid-ICE/natural-gas/BEV (IIRC they planned it so even a fuel-cell drivetrain would also fit in the “sandwich”).

Companies the size of GM don’t move quickly; BMW can justify the higher cost per car of the i3, due to the ground-up design and weight-saving materials, since they’re a premium brand. I’m not sure the BMW approach would have made sense for GM, given that BEVs are still too new to bet the farm on design-wise (and until there are millions on the roads for over 10 years, they’ll remain too new).
If the Bolt (or a next-gen BEVs from any other vendor) is a hit sales-wise, I expect the vaious manufacturers will be able to justify ground-up platforms.

LOL, let me see if I understand this rant.

GM comes out with an affordable 200 mile EV and you lambaste them.

Tesla keeps delaying and hasn’t even shown us a sketch, and you praise them.

Is today Opposite Day?

Hmmm, I wasn’t aware the Bolt was being sold today. Or even a year-and-a-half from now. Today, and 18 months from today, it will be every bit as easy to buy a Tesla Model ≡ as a Bolt.

You might want to wait until the actual price, actual EV range, actual debut date, and other details of the Bolt are more firmly established before you start crowing.

I’ll take that bet!

Tesla Model S has almost 300 mile range and it sells way better than future Bolt will sell. Especially on non subsidized markets.

It is NOT a “conversion” lol

With the upcoming increased CAFE fuel requirements, it will push automakers of ICE cars to do something to increase their fleet overall MPG. I drive an all electric car and love it – plug it in at night, and it is ready to go in the morning. But – we will have to wait and see what GM ultimately comes up with. Until then it is all speculation.

I just hope they keep that interior. Even the seat brackets are beautiful. Whoever designed that interior, bravo! Gorgeous!

it’s a concept car: you will not see that interior in a production car; no more so than you saw the Converj interior in the ELR.

What are the odds Nissan releases the Gen2 leaf with 48kw battery next spring ?

Nissan Leaf rumors point to a spring 2017 release (near the end of Nissan’s current Power 88 plan).

That puts them in a tough spot. I assume the LEAF and this car will both be 5 passenger hatchbacks. If Nissan comes out after Chevy, they either need to be close in range or significantly cheaper in price.

I’d say very low chances of that happening, 48kW would be a significant reduction in available power compared to the existing Leaf. Acceleration and top speed would be unacceptable.

Mustang, the car was confirmed by the CEO himself.

Given that the LEAF 2 will have a range similar to the GM Bolt, it will likely have a battery pack with a capacity roughly double the current model.

For details, see the link I posted earlier:

“Nissan developing 200-mile electric vehicle”

I think he meant 48 kWh Battery. And the typical 48 kWh Battery can output easily some 200kW of power. Heck even 300-400kW peak power (5-10s) seems doable. 😉

Please all do not confuse tank size (capacity) with hose diameter (power).

The oil era is finally ending and not a moment too soon! With GM finally producing a decent range, practical and economical BEV we will be able to say goodbye to polluting ICE’s and leave those fossils in the ground, where they belong…

I have got to go and find a Sonic so that I can see for myself how this compares in roominess to a Volt. People(some)complain about the Volt’s size. It fits my needs perfectly. In fact, I was truly surprised to see how comfortable it is to ride in one. Regardless of how GM makes the Bolt, with 4 or 4.5 seats(a la Volt II)it is really not going to be situated for 5 people. If Chevy can duplicate the comformable ride of a Volt, and it can get 200 miles AER, I’d be very interested. After 2 years in an I-MiEV, then switching to a Volt, I don’t want to go back to subcompact size unless they make a very solid, comfortable car. No need for a Model S size(3 adults live in my HH, so we are fine on 4 people cars)but I like to have elbow room. As has been noted, the QC network must be addressed, although it is still likely that most people will only need it on an occasional basis. Cannot wait to read Nissan’s comments, as we know they have some ready for us.


Keep in mind that this is supposed to be based on the Peugeot EMP2 / GM Gamma III joint venture platform. The current Sonic is based on the Gamma 2 platform. The EMP2 can be stretched or compact, ride low like a sedan or high like a CUV. Its a very flexible platform which GM plans to use in a ton of different models. Which means it could look like anything.
At the auto show where they debut the Bolt, GM reps said things to the effect of, “this is just one idea of how a 200 mile / $30k BEV from GM could look”.

GM spokesmen in the past have mentioned in passing that future platforms would take electrification of cars into account in some manner. The side photos of the Bolt really look like they intend to put the pack under the cabin because the floorboard of the car is nearly 8″ higher than the bottom of the door. And it looks completely flat. Obviously this is a concept car, but I would guess that they would know if the pack is going in the rear area or if it would be under the car.
It is pretty impressive, if this is true, that the Gamma III platform is that versatile. It also makes me hope that the Bolt will be longer than the current Sonic hatch’s 159″. With a flat cabin floor you could really have a spacious/flexible vehicle.

from the pictures that i have seen, it looks like the area behind the rear seats is the height of the seats and not the height of the floor in the passenger compartment. if the luggage shelf were the same height as the floor in the passenger compartment, i would think that the lift gate would go down a lot lower than it does on the Bolt. i would think that, in the Bolt, the space that would be allocated to a gasoline tank is being used for additional battery storage.

unless you are building a minivan, you typically don’t want the floor height to be the same throughout the car because in a hatchback type design, you get more space by lowering the seat backs (as opposed to removing seats as you would do in a minivan). that means you want the rear shelf to be the height of the seats so that you have a relatively flat compartment when the seat backs are lowered.

There is no Sonic, current or future that will mimic the exterior or interior dimensions of the Bolt.

WOP, that is very true now. But GM has to keep development costs low, so they will reuse pre-designed and production parts from other vehicles in their lineup. I expect some parts of the Chevy Sonic inside the Bolt, even the same seats.

I wonder if instead of people buying a BEV as a second car they might be buying an ICE for a second car for the odd road trip ?

Has the worm turned ?

BEVs are for two-car households (i.e. where both cars would be used regularly): someone like me, who is a one-car household is not going to buy a BEV and keep an ICE in the garage sitting around for backup – someone like me (who is a non-EV enthusiast) would only consider a PHEV. so in a 2-car household, i can easily see getting an ICE/PHEV and a BEV.

I have two vehicles because my and I travel in different directions. I will keep our Equinox for her and buy the Bolt for me.

This is good news, to be sure, but I wouldn’t get too excited until we see, for example, how widely available it will be, despite the 50-state promise. I would not be surprised if the Bolt arrives in the CARB-ZEV states and only in very small numbers for the first 6 to 9 months. I’ll also be watching very closely to see how the dealers react to this product, as a portion of them were not at all thrilled with the Volt and refused to carry it (claiming the cost for service tools and training was too high) or only grudgingly kept a few on the lot and tried to push inquiring customers to other vehicles. GM has got to figure out how to make its dealers more enthusiastic about selling this car. I expect that the shipping car will have quite a few changes, even beyond the interior becoming conventional and that glass roof disappearing. As long as it’s a good design, I don’t care. People keep pointing out that the Bolt puts competitive pressure on Tesla, Nissan, Ford, et al., and I couldn’t agree more strongly. This is the biggest impact of the Bolt, well beyond the EVs… Read more »

you can rest assured that the Bolt will not be available in all 50 states on the first day of sales.

Well, you’ve correctly hit on what is probably the Bolt’s weakest point: The existing dealer network.

But with the Volt it seems there is at least 1 pro Volt dealer in most regions, or often at least a salesman who takes it on to differentiate himself from the others. So there is room for pragmatic optimism.

unfortunately, that is just the way that sales works in general; sales people like to sell that which is familiar to them. but when you think about it, when you are a sales person, sounding authoritative and knowledgeable is one way to offset the uncertainty of the whole sales process. if they end up sounding unsure about the product that increase the likelihood that the customer prospect won’t buy. sounding knowledgeable is an important step in gaining customer trust; you don’t what to have to say: “i don’t know…”.

Lou Grinzo said:

“GM has got to figure out how to make its dealers more enthusiastic about selling this car.”

Or maybe GM should start selling cars directly to customers, rather than continue letting their customers be preyed upon by greedy middlemen. Maybe GM should follow Tesla’s lead with its business model, not just its lead in making EVs.

Why do so many people insist on picking favorites in the EV Manufacturer world?

This is fantastic news, regardless of who the manufacturer is. I, for one, am rooting for all EVs.

The Bolt and future Model 3 real enemies are ICE vehicles, not each other.

That’s a fair point that everyone here should keep in mind.

It is great news that GM is going to go forward with this and confirmed 50 state availability. The thing I don’t get is 20k- 30k annual production.

LEAF sold 30k this year with 80ish mile range and only a few thousand less on the price. Tesla is targeting 350k per year Model 3 by 2020.

Unless GM does a terrible job on the production version of this vehicle, they should be targeting volumes at least three times this level.

They should have left out the planned production level in their comments. It is leaving me with doubt that the Bolt could still just be to meet the 2018 CARB compliance levels.

The FFE is offered “in all 50 states” but the only inventory where they need the credits.

I didn’t see “20k- 30k annual production” in the press release — and it would have been odd, since manufacturer’s don’t usually announce that for any car, except for extremely-limited-production vanity models.

I think this number is just InsideEVs’ estimate based on their GM sources, and makes sense to me for the first year, until battery supply increases (they need batteries for the Volt as well, which I suspect will sell in much higher numbers).

You’re correct. That number doesn’t appear to be officially confirmed by GM yet. And, it was stated as 25-35k per the article below.

“The supplier sources who need significant lead time to prepare for production say they are being told that General Motors expects to sell 25,000-35,000 Bolts per year once production is underway.”

They’re saying 20-30,000 because being sold out at full MSRP with dealers clamoring for more is a helluva lot sexier than building too many and having them pile up on dealer lots (“Can I interest you in one of these ELRs? They’ve been parked over there for 14 months…”).

i think that the previously announced goal of 25k to 35k is realistic. first of all, the Bolt is a competing vehicle to the Leaf, so the idea is for the Bolt to cut into the sales volume of the Leaf. there needs to be a bit more evidence that there actually is a much larger market for a BEV. all the evidence suggests that GM (and others) think that the real market is in PHEVs. the advantage of BEVs is that they appeal to EV enthusiasts and give major automakers a platform to develop technologies that can be later employed in PHEVs.

Josh said:

“The thing I don’t get is 20k- 30k annual production.

LEAF sold 30k this year… Tesla is targeting 350k per year Model 3 by 2020.

GM… should be targeting volumes at least three times this level.”

Yeah, but (a) they don’t want to make EVs in numbers which will seriously cut into their own gas guzzler sales, and (b) there aren’t enough batteries being made to supply GM for making that many 45-48 kWh EVs per year.

Worldwide sales of the Leaf were over 60,000 last year. And Nissan has three factories making batteries for the Leaf. I think GM makes its own batteries for the Volt? Well, they need to build some more battery factories, or else one really really big one, like Tesla’s Gigafactory.

What is Tesla’s sales target of the Model 3 for 2017? Let’s compare apples-to-apples here.

Not excited because the car isn’t a car i’d want to drive.

i want a good looking low super cool sleek car, not a dorky looking thing

Like the Model X LOL??
Now that car is totally frumpy.
Looks like a cross between a prius and a Chrysler mini Van.

Exactly. With the Bolt, GM used the i3 as a model and removed most of the weirdness and shortcomings (half doors).

I have to agree with you there. If the Bolt was patterned after the i3, GM did a much better job with the styling.
MUCH better.

personally i like the Model X more than the Model S. i’ve never been particularly impressed with the design of the Model S.

I saw the Model X in white at CES and it looked better.

I think the black color is what makes it look frumpy…

Now if we could just get GM to swallow its collective Not-Invented-Here pride a bit and partner with Tesla to offer an optional $3,000 upgrade to allow free access to the Tesla Supercharger network, this could REALLY be a game-changer!

But if they go with the SAE “frankenplug”, it’s too-slow deployment and too-slow-to-charge limitations will relegate this to a suburban commuter car.

i bought a Volt because it fit my lifestyle. I never use gas on the road. If the Bolt get close to a minimum 170 miles per charge and comes in under $35,000 nicely equipped, I’m in. I just hope it’s as fun to drive as my Volt.

Same here. With workplace charging, I’m at around 80% EV usage with my Volt. It wouldn’t take much more range for me to be at 100%. In a 2-car household 100 miles range is fine, but if I can get 200 miles of range for about the same money, I’ll take it.

Food for thought: Ditch the crazy concept car seats that support a floating center console and instead, add a modular seat cushion/airbag that would allow 3 across seating in front – like pickup trucks of decades past.

There are few examples of 3-across front seating anymore. Toyota tried it for 2 iterations of Avalon and it succeeded for
the older crowd who remembered 3 across versatility. I still have a pickup truck at home with this capability if I fold up my armrest. It’s an amazing date car – chicks dig it! More importantly though, it would give the Bolt an ability to swap out seating and carry another person. Seemingly, the Bolt’s 4 seats are for show, but even if it seats 5 it will appear limited to many buyers.

I like what BMW is doing with the 2 Series
Active Tourer. If only it wasn’t an ICE.

* I’ve had to go back and correct myself. It’s the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.

Here it is. Check out the seating arrangements. Very creative. It’s what’s possible with a flat floor. My prediction is that BMW will have a sales hit here if they keep the price believable.

This is great news and I’m excited to see the final production car and learn the specs of the Bolt, but I imagine by the time it’s released, some used Tesla Model S 60’s will be priced about the same. Could make for an interesting choice – and it’s good to have options.

As new models of EVs move from concept to prototype to production model, they have an almost invariable habit of having the price go up while the range goes down. And EV makers invariably overstate the range when the car is actually being produced; Nissan still describes the Leaf as a “100 mile” EV.

But even if this car lives up to everything GM claims, which seems rather unlikely, there is no way GM is going to produce it in a volume approaching that of a best-selling gas guzzler. Even if GM wanted to sell EVs in numbers which would cannibalize their own gas guzzler sales, which they don’t, nobody could now, or within the next two years, possibly supply enough batteries for a 200-mile EV to be sold in such large numbers.

So in the unlikely event GM does manage to deliver a nominally 200-mile EV, priced at something close to $30k, don’t expect it to sell more than the Leaf… which had worldwide sales a bit over 60,000 last year.

By comparison, GM’s Chevy Silverado sold 529,755 in the USA alone in 2014.

Quantity doesn’t mean quality. Which is a better meal, two Whoppers or a 8-ounce steak? Both have the same amount of meat, and the Whoppers adds salad and buns.

So a $35,000 BEV will sell in lesser amounts than a $25,000 ICE but in the long run the BEV is a much better buy because it cost lesss to refuel (some can do it for free), and there is much less maintenance (only transmission fluid and coolant changes once every ten years or 95,000 miles in the 2015 Chevy Spark EV). Your biggest cost are tire changes, which every car (EV or ICE) needs.

Only Tesla makes an EV that can be compared to a top quality steak. The Volt, and very probably the Bolt, are or will be (by analogy) the Whopper or Big Mac with a dollop of expensive caviar (the battery pack).

If GM wants to make a “steak” EV, then it needs to start with a better vehicle than the cheap Cruze (Volt) or the even cheaper Sonic (Bolt). That’s not steak, that’s a very cheap hamburger indeed.

Co-father of the Volt, Lutz said in hindsight, “GM started backwards with Volt, should have lead with a pickup truck”. To me that’s not just obvious, but ridiculously obvious. As you say – an ICE company doesn’t want to defeat it’s profit-maker ICE products with superior – yet les profit-making EVs and PHEVs.

VIA trucks are manufactured from completed V-6 fullsized Chevy trucks that are driven less than one hour from GM’s Hermasillo, Mexico truck plant to be converted by VIA into Voltec-esque EREV trucks with 40 miles EV range, and 30mpg afterwards. Sure, they’re $80,000. If GM made a few hundred thousand of them – economies of scale would make it available to the public at around $50,000 or less.

ICE companies will do what they have to do. Don’t expect 100,000 Bolts or Volts to be built each year. My dream is by some strange fluke of nature – Volt v.2 just takes off at the showroom and GM is forced to increase production. The wallet of America speaks!

Yeah, BOb Lutz keeps saying that, but I’d expect him to since he’s a truck tuner now.

You have to walk before you can run and you have to start somewhere; so EV1 then Volt Gen 1 is fine.

Now what I don’t understand Is Discontinuing the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. 2- 80 horsepower motors with 3 planetary gearboxes built into the transmission, and then they discontinued it.

Litterally, they could have taken the 3.3 kw charger from the volt or elr or sparkev, mated it to 48 kwh of battery that they could shoehorn in that huge truck chassis, and INSTANTLY have a 100 mile all electric range Luxury SUV of which they would have had the market solely to themselves for years since there is still nothing like it.

People can complain about the 3300 watt charger later. I’m talking about cornering a segment of the market that would be electric vehicles if they only existed, which they still dont, now that Via has discontinued the Via Presidential before they even started making it, which would have been a similar product.

what is odd is that the Bolt does not show up among the listed cars on display for the chicago auto show.

It isn’t there. It’s at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. I already said that, remember? LOL.

sorry, i’m afraid that i missed that one. it is an odd decision to skip the chicago auto show: chicago is not only the largest auto show, but chicago is a strong market for chevrolet, in general, and for the Volt, in particular.

They wanted to officially confirm that it will be available in Canada. CIAS is the largest show here.

of course, when i think about it, chicago will most likely not be one of the first markets in which the Bolt will be introduced: i would expect the Bolt to first be available in west coast states, texASS and maybe georgia.

GM can confirm 2017 production all they want, until they can show that they can make a 200mi battery pack in a 30k car the Bolt is vaporware. GM or LG Chem still haven’t started a massive battery factory yet so I don’t know how they will beat out Tesla to this “holy grail” battery pack. I doubt Tesla will make the model III by end of ’17 too.

I certainly have no idea exactly what GM is thinking, and I scratch my head at some of their decisions, but I’m pretty open minded when it comes to the BOLT.

Look at it this way: The first really mainstream, attractively priced, 200 miles all on electricity, vehicle ever made.

Its not the prettiest, nor roomiest, but, seeing as this car has NO COMPETITION for quite a while in the future means we will see how many people really want a car like this. I believe it will sell better than people think, as long as GM doesn’t make any catastrophic errors, which, you have to admit, is less likely these days especially when you look at the “GEN 1” Volt (2011-15).

Everyone says it is BUILT so much better than typical Japanese – Fare. When’s the last time you’ve heard that an American product was so much superior?

So the BOLT may do very, very well, and it may be the standard by which all other ‘Me TOO’ 200 mile range attractively priced BEV’s are judged.

Fight is on,
Tesla model 3
BMW i3
and so on,
The winner is ?
Why ?
But Bolt will get a second place !

With 200 miles of range, charging infrastructure only matters to those who are in a single car household. Access to the supercharger network is a non-factor for many EV buyers.

Jeremy, you right, logically, about Superchargers only being of use to a subset of potential BEV buyers. But what Chevy has going against it and Tesla has going for it is the cool factor. Tesla is cool and the perception is that Chevy is not.
There is a huge group of car buyers who WILL NOT buy an American car. Detroit built bad cars for years, and now the perception of poor quality may not be correct, but it is difficult to root out. My Chevy Volt is rock solid and fun to drive, but a lot of people think it is a golf cart. And they will not take the time to ride in one to find out how well built Chevys can be.

“There is a huge group of car buyers who WILL NOT buy an American car.”
But Tesla is an American car?

Anywho perceptions change w/every generation, as misguided as they may be.

Good point, kdawg, perhaps “Big 3” would have been more accurate. And I think Ford is moving past some of the Big 3 stigma, but Chevy stepped on their own… Chevy messed up with the ignition problem and people are going to remember it for at least a couple years. Tesla is an interesting company in a lot of ways. It has a following that is as avid, if not more so, as the Apple community. And a lot of the people that are crazy about Tesla wouldn’t set foot in a Big 3 car. I have been a Volt follower since 2007, and increasingly I am looking at the possibility that I won’t step into a new Volt when my lease ends in 2016. I leased with the assumption/hope that the Gen II Volt would be a bit bigger, and it isn’t. I really never have been the right person for the Volt and now I am wondering just how roomy a II would be if it is 80% of the size of a Tesla S. If it is truly 80% the length and wheelbase of the Tesla S it will be smaller than the Sonic hatch. Here is… Read more »

Of course Ford is now known as the fuel economy fudgers. :p

You just have to wonder what sort of yes-man agreed with their manager when they suggested they pump the mpg figure a bit. What a stupid move.
1 or 2 mpg? Not a problem.
But being forced to drop your combined mpg figure by 5 or even 7 mpg is a flat out lie they were caught in, not a mistaken hp calculation as they claim.

Agreed. There are many people unhappy with GM for a variety of reasons. I can relate, I was one of them for many years. Now I work for GM and own a Volt.

I think one challenge for OEMs is convincing people that they don’t need 300+ miles of range. If you need that kind of range, then maybe an EV isn’t right for you. It’s like complaining that your new Corvette can’t haul a sheet of plywood.

Ziv, I would agree with you, however, things change when there are breakthroughs that occur, and IMO the Bolt is very likely to be that breakthrough GM needs in order for the tables to turn in their favor.

The Bolt represents our future. It’s an unpretentiously intelligent, attractive and efficient design perfectly in line with the realities we all face here on planet earth.

I predict it will find strong appeal among the younger generation whose minds ought to be more open to accepting a GM product than those who still hang on to their visions of the old pre-bankruptcy GM, the company that put out shoddy products and even ‘Killed the Electric Car’.

I hope the Bolt comes out soon and has a reasonable MSRP. I really thought the electrification of American automobiles would be a bit further along by now. I have been following the Volt and the Leaf on GM-Volt dot com for 8 years now, and I thought 2012 or 2013 was going to be the year we started seeing decent sales numbers.

I think that the cost of the battery and the electric intent parts still haven’t dropped enough to make the price premium for going electric down sufficiently to build mainstream appeal.

0.5% of the automotive light duty sales is not a drop in the bucket but it isn’t huge either.

After pouring through all the previous blather, most of which is based on speculation, I was surprised to see that no one is considering the REAL game changer, solid state battery systems. How does 500 miles of range sound folks?

Energy storage development will continue. But seems odd you’re bringing that up while complaining about speculation.

I have gotten to the point where I don’t pay much attention to energy storage devices that aren’t in production. I do watch price trends but not as closely as I used to. Between vapor ware like Eestor and realistic but years out, like Sakti3, I just don’t think we are close to a game changing battery pack.
Even the Giga-factory won’t revolutionize anything, they are going to make an evolutionary change in the price per kWh that will have a huge impact on BEV prices. I think Elon said that it would drop the pack price by 30% which is the same amount of price reduction we have seen in the past 4 years.

Over 250 comments in under 24 hours. I guess this is a hot topic, LOL.

🙂 I thought that must have meant 25 comments and was a glitch in the system.

What are the odds that this level of interest translates into sales? My guess: Not so much unless Bolt is Supercharger compatible (which I don’t think it will be). Oh, and they really have to change the name.

Whether you like the name or not, it seems risky to me to change the name. By the time the car is released, people will have been calling it the Bolt for two years.

Regarding the Supercharger network; again, I don’t think this is a big issue for as many people as you think. 57% of households have two or more cars, ~30% have one car, and <10% have no cars. Of the 30% of single car households, what is the percent that need more than a 100 mile driving radius or 200 mile one-way range?

Since Telsa built out the Supercharger network, they could charge a premium to allow others access to it (heck, they charge their own owners PLENTY). Just because Tesla owners are paying $2000+ for lifetime access, doesn't mean that it makes financial sense to do so. You'd have to use the Supercharger network every day for decades to recoupe $2000.

Yep – keep the name Bolt. Plain and simple. No pretension to it, just like the car itself.

I’d pay $2000 for SC access. Will I ever use $2000 in electricity? Heck no. But it’s an insurance policy and also adds a huge feature to the car. That’s what I’m paying for, not the electricity.

+1 Agree completely!

comments like these are why i don’t consider the GM sales estimates to be pessimistic. the EV enthusiast, at least rhetorically, expresses a willingness to pay premiums to get a BEV: for example, the Bolt will sell at a premium relative to the Volt, in addition, it appears that at least some EV enthusiasts *state* that they would be willing to pay thousands of dollars more to access Tesla superchargers (the nearest of which may be located many miles away).

By my estimates, you’d recoup the cost in less than 3 years.

The $2,000 for the Supercharger access is not invested to recoup cost, it is paid as an added feature to the Tesla car. Do you recoup cost when you put a premium stereo in your car?
With only a 200-mile “GM estimated” range, you will actually only get about 120 to 140 miles before you wish you can access a supercharger. The driving range drops faster in the winter, add in battery degradation over the years along with elevation changes during your drive and you will never even see a 160-mile trip without recharging. I drive a Model S with a 60KWHr battery and I regularly drive from Austin to San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas and I always stop for supercharging. I have a heavy foot, but with supercharging I always have confidence that I will make it without any issue. In short, supercharging goes a long way in owning an EV and nearly eliminating range anxiety.

JeremyK: “You’d have to use the Supercharger network every day for decades to recoupe $2000.”

Not really. If you assume average gas prices of $3.50/gallon, and the fact that you would have to use an ICE for long trips, the Supercharger network would break even for you at less than 20,000 miles vs. an ICE car at 35 MPG. At current gas prices, it’s closer to 30,000 miles to break even.

I know someone who ONLY charges as Superchargers because he lives just a couple of miles from one. He’s had his Model S for about two years, and has long ago ‘broken even’ since gas prices were quite high for most of the last two years.

Yeah if the X starts selling in huge numbers in this year or 2016, I’m wondering how many people who live near the chargers will be hogging all the stalls, and what kind of line will form to use the free electricity?