Chevrolet Bolt Debut – $30,000*, 200 Miles Range, 2016 Arrival Confirmed- Photos, Specs, Videos

JAN 7 2016 BY JAY COLE 226

Chevrolet Bolt Debuts At CES

Chevrolet Bolt Debuts At CES

The "Big Three" Confirmed

The “Big Three” Confirmed

The Chevrolet Bolt debuted Wednesday from CES in Las Vegas, and GM wasn’t shy about getting all the major talking points out of the way.

*- 200 miles range
*- priced from/slightly below $30,000
*- available in late 2016

“Building on the electrification expertise established by the Volt, the Bolt EV is a game-changing, long-range electric vehicle. Not only will it deliver more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range, it will break the affordability barrier with a price below $30,000 after full Federal tax credits.”

(Full live Chevy Bolt reveal/debut streaming footage can be found at bottom of article, as well as GM’s press blast)

Chevrolet Bolt - Fast Charging (Which As One Would Expect, Is Standard On The 200 Mile EV)

Chevrolet Bolt – Fast Charging (Which As One Would Expect, Is Standard On The 200 Mile EV)

Chevy Bolt Shows Off Its "Bigger Than An i3" Cargo Area

Chevy Bolt Shows Off Its “Bigger Than An i3” Cargo Area

What else do you need to know?  Ok there is more than a few things we would still like to suss out that went unanswered today.

Like the exact pricing structure; what do you get for the base $30k?  What are the trim level options and pricing?

Then there is some details to be learned on the technical side; what is the exact EPA rated range?  How large is the battery in kWh?  Specific charging speeds and times? etc., etc.

The majority of those “unanswered questions” and more will be known shortly, GM apparently is looking to keep some powder dry for the big NAIAS show on its home turf in Detroit next week.

Everybody Always Wants To See The Rear Seats When It Comes To GM Plug-Ins

Everybody Always Wants To See The Rear Seats When It Comes To GM Plug-Ins

But here is some of the new things we did learn (in and around the presentation):

Chevrolet Bolt Interior

Chevrolet Bolt Interior (click to enlarge)

*- 9 hours for a L2 charge/25 miles regained per hour (via 32A)
*- 0 to 60 mph in under 7 seconds
*- 0 to 30 mph in under 3 seconds
*- smart range estimating using driving history of the car, weather, time of day, terrain – navigation to assist in enhancing range routes and to show local charging station inside that range
*- 10.2″ MyLink screen, with wide-angle rear camera viewing and surround/bird’s eye viewing
*- 4G LTE and wifi hotspot
*- normal array of apps – time of day charging, state of charge, environment preconditioning, etc.
*- “gamification” of conservative EV driving
*- SUV-like seating (which we assume is a nice way of saying the battery is in the floor)
*- 102.4″ wheelbase
*- 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space (which GM points out is 1.8 cu ft larger than the BMW i3)

GM CEO Mary Berra With Chevy Bolt On Stage

GM CEO Mary Barra With Chevy Bolt On Stage

GM CEO Mary Barra made the presentation, and seemed pleased with the final product:

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

Chevrolet Bolt Debut At CES

Chevrolet Bolt Debut At CES

Chevrolet Bolt EV Gallery:


Is there more information we missed?  Probably…but you can check it all out (and more) at Chevy’s newly minted micro-site dedicated to the Bolt EV here.

Video Below: GM’s Pam Fletcher On The Chevrolet Bolt

Video Below: Some pretty unexciting B-Roll

Full GM Press Blast below:

chevrolet bolt logo badging2017 CHEVROLET BOLT EV SETS BENCHMARK FOR EV DESIGN

Chevrolet Bolt Debut At CES (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Chevrolet Bolt Debut At CES (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

LAS VEGAS – As Chevrolet’s first ground-up, long-range electric vehicle, the 2017 Bolt EV offered designers unprecedented freedom, resulting in a vehicle that crosses boundaries and challenges expectations in the electric vehicle (EV) segment.

“We were given a blank canvas – a rare opportunity with a unique platform to recast EV design for customers across the spectrum,” said Stuart Norris, managing director of Design. “The team answered the challenge with a progressive design distinguished by dramatic graphics and exceptional passenger space.”

The Bolt EV’s styling centers on its unique proportion, which is driven by a flat battery pack mounted beneath the interior floor. A 102.4-inch wheelbase and wide track give it a solid stance and the look of a small crossover. A short front overhang indicates that driving power comes from next-generation technology.

Chevrolet Bolt Debut At CES

Chevrolet Bolt Debut At CES

The large windows, plunging beltline and steeply raked windshield contribute to the progressive profile and emphasize the interior’s spaciousness and bright airy feel.

The large greenhouse offers a panoramic view from upright, SUV-like seating positions. The rear-window glass extends all the way to the license plate and integrates with LED taillamps on the liftgate. By integrating the taillamps into the full-width liftgate, the Bolt EV’s architecture enables a wide opening that makes it easier to slide boxes and other items in and out of the vehicle.

LED headlamps wrap around the forward edge of the front fascia, creating an aggressive character. The signature Chevrolet dual-element grille has been reimagined and features a smooth, clean and integrated design incorporating graphics with depth and a three-dimensional quality. It is offered with two signature colors, harmonized with the exterior color choices.

Friendly Dash

Friendly Dash

Functional, spacious interior
Due to the packaging of the battery pack, the Bolt EV interior offers seating for five passengers and 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat.

“The flat-pack orientation offered the flexibility to make the most of the proportions while creating a clean, sculpted design,” said Norris. “This really opened up the interior and created a fantastic view from every seating position. All of this additional space gave us a lot of opportunities to play with creative design and storage solutions.”

Chevy Bolt Infotainment System

Chevy Bolt Infotainment System

A “floating” instrument panel, for example, features a 10.2-inch-diagonal capacitive-touch control screen which creates a horizontal feel to the interior. Maximizing knee room and cross-vehicle spaciousness.

Additionally, a multipurpose, connected center console features side-by-side cupholders, a wireless charging location and a sliding armrest covering a storage compartment large enough to store a tablet device.

In the rear, the Bolt EV’s 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space is more than offered in the Honda Fit (16.6 cubic feet) and the BMW i3 (15.1 cubic feet).

Chevrolet Bolt Rear/Around View Camera

Chevrolet Bolt Rear/Around View Camera

Artful engineering solutions complement the practical use of space, with features such as thin-frame seats that enhance rear-seat roominess. The seats also incorporate the side air bag modules as design elements.

EV Performance Feedback

EV Performance Feedback

The interior is offered in a fresh, bright color palette that emphasizes the open passenger environment – with signature-color Electrification blue ambient lighting emanating from beneath metallic white decorative trim.

“The Bolt EV’s design elements are designed for everyday life and the space inside accommodates it all, whether you and your friends go shopping for the day or take off for the weekend,” said Norris. “Inside and out, this game-changing vehicle makes a dramatic statement with a distinctive identity that can only be a Chevy and challenges expectations for what an affordable EV can offer.”

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV goes into production in late 2016.

Videos (below): Live Bolt EV reveal from GM (via Facebook stream), and from audience (thanks to Ambulator)

We’re coming to you live from CES 2016! Join us right now and connect with the latest news on the all-electric 2017 Bolt EV in real time.

Posted by Chevrolet on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Categories: Chevrolet, Videos

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226 Comments on "Chevrolet Bolt Debut – $30,000*, 200 Miles Range, 2016 Arrival Confirmed- Photos, Specs, Videos"

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Oh, lookie there… They blacked out those fugly fake metalic grills.

That helped a lot. Thumbs up GM!

Press release: “The signature Chevrolet dual-element grille has been reimagined and features a smooth, clean and integrated design incorporating graphics with depth and a three-dimensional quality. It is offered with two signature colors, harmonized with the exterior color choices.”

The red one still has the silver grills…

The black now unifies lines that wrap around the entire design, and match that black derivative i3 cut-in on the back sides of the vehicle.

It’s much better looking than an earlier prototype, where the front black lines where the side view mirrors grow out from, didn’t meet up all the way to the front of the car. Now that they do, the blacked out front panels ties them together in a more harmonious and intentional looking way. The subtle texture gives just enough variation that they don’t look like simple cut outs. All good things.

Black “nosecone” for me, is the best choice for this car, because they use blacked out areas all around in the styling. Volt-esq Metallic panels just do not work.

No. No Tesla-esque nosecones. I hope the Model 3 dumps the nosecone like the Model X did.

I strongly believe it will. When my tesla was in for service, a CService rep implied that the Model S will undergo a front fascia redesign similar to the Model X.

Shut up and take my money. I need one of these like yesterday.

Yeah, What Matt said.

Finally. We are moving into the age of EVs that can replace gas cars.

This is an exciting time, indeed.

It really is. I had an argument with a guy who claimed “But there is still nothing on the horizon that signals even the beginning of the end of the oil age.”

I think Tesla, this Bolt, the Volt, etc. are evidence “on the horizon that signals … the beginning of the end of the oil age.”

Any word on planned production numbers?

If the Bolt is $30,000 (with incentives), but only makes a few hundred per month it will have to deal with many angry drivers.

The target sales number that has been floating around is 30k per year, so 2500 / mo or so.

Pretty solid, but demand should be at least double that if all Chevy dealers stock them.

Your last sentence is what worries me most…

In other words “Sorry, we won’t profit enough from them, therefore we’ll show you this Cruz over here instead.”

Jedi Mind Tricks…

Nope, more like : Sorry, we make a good profit now because a BEV is so simple… even more with massive production, but absent long term repairs, maintenance and early replacements will cost us our business of ICE cars, so let me show you this Cruze…

Also, a lot of the money for each car, goes back directly to LG, for their significant contribution to this vehicle’s construction.

Still, this vehicle is so much better than the SparkEV, which was a compliance test vehicle. After all these years, the Bolt is a worthy successor to the EV1.

GM now needs to internalize LG’s tech and expand it to other models, take on building fast DC charging infrastructure, improve motor performance (AWD?) and begin their own gigafactory.

GM should make a CCS to ChaDeMo adapter, which will help with their electric vehicle adoption.

A lot of the LG tech is already internalized since they are building it from GM’s design. I say let them keep building it, and GM keep designing it.

The fact that GM has apparently farmed out the entire EV powertrain to LG Chem is a pretty strong sign that they have no plans to make them in large numbers. It’s also a sign that GM has not yet really committed to building BEVs. Rumor has it that GM plans to make about 30,000 of these per year. For an EV that’s a pretty good rate; it’s equivalent to North American (only) sales of the Leaf last year, and appreciably more than GM ever sold of the Volt, at least in the North America market. But I don’t think it’s realistic to think they’ll ramp up production much beyond that. Even if they wanted to, which is doubtful given that GM doesn’t make as much profit off a BEV as off a typical gasmobile, they are production constrained by how many batteries LG Chem can supply. The Bolt looks like a compelling EV. But let’s not delude ourselves into thinking this is a sign that GM has really committed to the EV revolution. Like producing the Volt but then not putting it in any other car*, it’s just a half-way measure. *Or more precisely, not any other car that… Read more »

Seems reasonable.

I think 30K is what the market will want for 2017. As market demand changes, you will see more offerings from all car-makers, not just GM. The good news GM has all the pieces in place. One direction i would like to see them go, along w/many others is a Voltec SUV. Voltec did make it into a midsize with the Malibu Hybrid. Missing the plug though.

kdawg said:

“I think 30K is what the market will want for 2017. As market demand changes, you will see more offerings from all car-makers, not just GM.”


I had a “Wait, what??” moment when perusing the latest InsideEVs Monthly Plug-in Sales Scorecard: The BMW X5 xDrive40e, a plug-in hybrid SUV, sold 607 units in December, putting it well ahead of mere compliance car numbers. I hadn’t realized there was any SUV or CUV plug-in EV on sale in this country, other than the well-advertised Tesla Model X.

Will the BMW X5 plug-in continue to sell in such large numbers in the coming year, or was that December sales figure just an end-of-year promotion anomaly? We’ll have to wait and see. But on that note: GO BMW!

P.S. — Thanks for the correction re the Malibu Hybrid, kdawg.

GM wouldn’t have worked so hard to produce a revolutionary car on such an incredibly short time frame unless they expected big things. However, in the first year it pays to plan conservatively.

“ELR overpriced, compliance car”.

Why should I even type anything, this is just drivel.

I paid $4,000 US more for my new ELR in 2015 than I did for my New VOlt in 2011.

It goes at least 7 miles further under easy driving on battery than my VOlt ever did.

Everyone and I mean EVERYONE who comes across the car LOVES it, even the US Border Inspector.

Elsewhere, you keep saying it is the ‘intelligent conclusion’ or you alude to it or someother drivel that over 200 miles won’t happen, and should get 140 miles only or other nonsense. You must have failed multiplication in the second grade of elementary school, or else you just cannot compare and contrast.

I think the extended charger discussion seems to indicate it is AT LEAST 7,000 watts.

GM CLAIMS it will only take 9 hours to charge it, at whatever capacity the charger is. That is 63,000 watt hours assuming the smallest charger, and around 56 kwh assuming a plain old battery, with 7,000 wh of charging losses.

That battery is only slightly smaller than the 60 kwh model S, which got EPA 208 miles, and is a MUCH HEAVIER CAR.

Excellent. When can I order one?

Thanks for looking that up. A little tighter than a LEAF, bu doable with the food flat seats.

Rear passenger space seems to be great though. Awesome for extra adult passengers and car seats.

I think Bolt just ended my thoughts of a possible Volt 2.0 lease.

Me to. I am thinking about waiting one more year and going with the Bolt. Gives me the strength to go one more winter with my Leaf.

I don`t live in the trunk.


Perhaps, but if you can fit all the essentials in…

I think it was clear that the Bolt was going to be smaller than the Leaf, so less cargo space is to be expected. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if GM managed to make the seating as roomy as this article claims. It’s not just how much space you have, but how well you utilize it. A smaller car, all things being equal, will also be a more energy-efficient car. It’s notable that the Leaf uses just as many kWh per mile as the Model S, when tested on the same EPA driving cycle. Hopefully the Bolt will do better, altho we can’t expect it to do as well as the BMW i3 because it doesn’t have the i3’s light composite body. I expect the Bolt to be very popular, altho I doubt it’s actually going to have 200 EPA rated miles. Note the advertising copy says “more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range”; GM is not even claiming it will actually get 200 miles of EPA rated range. It will be interesting to see how well GM matches production to demand for this car. If I’m right, at an estimated 30,000 per year it will sell… Read more »

On the other hand, the more Bolts that GM sells, the lower its CAFE figure will be. Therefore, the more gas guzzling SUVs and trucks it can sell and still hit fuel efficiency standards as these get tougher in future years. The gas guzzlers will be highly profitable, while larger number of Bolts will lower per unit production costs, and amortize the development cost over more units, so even if not profitable, the loss per Bolt is minimized. And all while GM gets a green halo by selling so many emission free vehicles!

I think GM could logically want to make and sell lots of Bolts, and buyers want to buy tons, although a good number of buyers may be cannibalized from those who might otherwise have bought a Leaf or other current EV.

Doesn’t answer all the questions (e.g., dealer willingness to sell), but potentially makes for a rosier scenario.

That’s the Whole IDEA!…..


I grok what you’re saying. 🙂

Speaking as an EV enthusiast, you present a very attractive scenario, not to mention a reasonable one. I wish I could believe it’s true.

But I think GM will make more profit by simply putting more fuel-efficient engines into their gasmobiles, and making them all microhybrids or even mild hybrids.

Of course, again this is just my opinion; we’ll have to wait to see how the EV revolution unfolds. Exciting times for fans of electric cars!

Where the Bolt will help GM more is with CARB mandates for zero-emission vehicles. Since several U.S. States are now CARB States, not just California, this will become more important going forward. I wonder if even more States will adopt the CARB standards?

Still can’t accept the 200 mile range, eh? My $1,000 paypal wager is still valid. Put your money where you mouth is.

I gave you a civil response, Bro1999.

Repetition of that looks like you’re attempting to browbeat me into not expressing my own opinion. Ain’t gonna happen, bro’.

You’re entitled to your opinion… and I’m entitled to mine.

If I remember well after the 2nd gen Volt annoucement last year GM estimated the car to have 50 miles of electric range and the EPA was rated it at 53 miles… But seeing your other comments I guess you’re not a believer so let’s talk about that when the EPA/Consumer reports and others rates this car 😉

Pushmi-Pullyu: “I expect the Bolt to be very popular, altho I doubt it’s actually going to have 200 EPA rated miles.”
You still believe that even after all the comments from GM? Even the video of Pam Fletcher saying they are very bullish on the range being over 200 miles?

kdawg, I understand that you’re an advocate for GM, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But just because GM has an entire Greek chorus parroting the official company line about “more than 200 miles” of range for the Bolt does not increase the odds of it being true, not any more than if it had been said only once. The only thing repetition proves is that GM is good at keeping the troops in line. To be honest, I am rather boggled at the sudden disappearance of all those people who said, shortly after LG Chem started talking about what they called a “200 mile battery”, that it would more likely be a 150-or-so mile battery. The economics of the situation have not changed just because GM has a bunch of people saying “more than 200 miles”. Just because you can point to one single instance of GM being conservative with a pre-production estimate of plug-in EV range — with the Volt 2.0 — does not in any way change the fact that it’s overwhelmingly the industry norm for EV makers to exaggerate EV range during pre-production. And yeah, that includes GM. Now, can we move along to discussing something… Read more »

GM estimated over 80 miles for SparkEV, turned out to be EPA 82, tested by some as far more (see previous insideevs article). I actually got 85 miles of freeway driving with 9 miles remaining for a theoretical range of 94 miles.

Whether GM will continue to announce conservative figures for their EV, we’ll see. But if the past is any indication, I think Bolt will easily exceed 200 miles range per charge.

Huh? Of course it increases the odds of it being true.

What does GM gain by telling everyone that it’s over 200 miles and then failing on that promise? Their reputation is tarnished, the car becomes a disappointment later on, and most of the previews/reviews near the car’s release talk about GM falling short of its goal in range.

On top of that, 200 miles is such a great talking point in selling the car that it makes no sense to engineer a bit less. Either do a short range like the LEAF or do 200+. Makes no sense to anything in the middle except as an option.

“GM has a strong disincentive to produce compelling EVs in large numbers, because that would eat into their own sales of their more profitable gasmobiles.”

Until the day that any automaker offers a car like this for $20k, in which case it’s game over gas, and anyone *not* offering a similarly competitive product is going to, um, die.

Which kind of begs the question, why *did* GM make this car in the first place, at the price point that it’s being offered, at the time that they’re doing it?

Oh yeah, so that they’re at the front of that race when that day *does* come.

BraveLilToaster said: “Which kind of begs the question, why *did* GM make this car in the first place, at the price point that it’s being offered, at the time that they’re doing it? “Oh yeah, so that they’re at the front of that race when that day *does* come.” That’s my reading, too. Well, not that GM is at the front of the race; they aren’t challenging Tesla for that. But with Voltec and now the Bolt, GM is making sure it doesn’t fall far behind. GM doesn’t want to be caught like Kodak during the digital camera revolution, or even like Blackberry when the iPhone was introduced. They want to at least have a foot in the door with the new tech, and they don’t want to be left behind as the tech advances, so when the time comes that EV sales really take off, GM won’t be caught flat-footed and find that — like Kodak — they can’t catch up in producing products using the new tech, no matter how hard they try. It’s frustrating from the viewpoint of an EV enthusiast like me to see the legacy auto makers drag their feet at embracing EVs. But I… Read more »

According to the Bolt website video, the Bolt has 56.6 cuft of max cargo space with the seats folded down.

I always lusted after the Fit, but by the time I bought a car I wanted electric. The Bolt is gorgeous, and what I really want.

Unfortunately, it’s too early for me to buy a new car.

Clean up your car and see what kind of resale value it has…

I feel your pain. I’ll test drive a Bolt and probably would love to buy one, but could never make an economic case. We have a year old Ford Fusion Energi which we love, despite the low AER and that footlocker sized battery in the trunk. The majority of the miles go on the Energi. Meanwhile, we have two reliable 10+ year old SUVs that are used mostly around town and when we want AWD. They get 12 MPG in town, a bit more on the highway. Ugh. But, since these two vehicles only had a total of 3500 miles put on them last year, I spent only $600 in gas for them. I’m hoping maybe in five years I could make a case for an SUV EV. Sigh.

Did I really hear 0-80% charge in an HOUR ? Isn’t that too slow?

I think the time listed is due to the current CCS chargers topping out at 50kwh charge rates, when the CSS standard gets updated I would expect a bit faster DCQC rate.

That is what today’s 50kW (max) standard DC fast chargers can do. No surprise here. If they test it out for 100kW DCFC it would be faster. However, they would have to have a port that can handle 200A DC instead of the standard 125A of today.

Yes hat is correct. keep in mind that this car is probably going to have a say 60 KWH battery so even at 50 KW its gonna take time to recharge.

Did CES kill this site today?

You mean the white out? No, I think someone edited the page wrong….

“you have told me nothing…. you know nothing!”

Torn Curtain (sorry, could not find a clip)

I think based on the 32 amp charging for level 2 and 9 hours of charging means we are going to see at minimum a 55kw battery and likely somewhere around 60 with 54ish usable.

We need more of this type of discussion. What is the size of the battery? That is what matters. It would be great to see a 60kWh pack on it but somehow I get the feeling that it is going to be a small pack on a small car to get the “200” mile range.

Were is ’32-amp’ shown? On the Bolt site, it says 25-miles range per hour of charging with the optional 240v EVSE. My Volt did 10-miles. So, 2.5x faster. This means a charger ~ 8kw vs 3.3kw. At least significantly above 6.6kw.

Well the most you can continuously load a 40A circuit is 32A. If your math says 8KW then 32A at 240V is 7.7KW pretty close.

Well Inside EVS at first said 6.6kw charger, then later article said ‘at least 6.6’ , whereas my source says it will be a 7.2 kw unit, which at 240 volts, wouldonly require a 30 amp Chinese Bosch EVSE, as shown in thefirst photo, (mislabeled ‘fast’).

The car is so efficient that 7200 watts for an hour should push it 25 miles.

I predict the battery pack capacity will be somewhat smaller than you think. Even if I’m wrong about the Bolt having a range closer to 160 miles than 200, LG Chem has said its new battery cells can be used with a deeper DoD (Depth of Discharge), which means a smaller battery pack can deliver the same number of miles.

I’m guessing it will have a pack size of around 45-50 kWh.

Any info on the warranty of the pack?

Probably the standard 8 year/100k mile warranty.

Good job GM. I want one.

This car makes me think GM really wants to change to a good company that creates innovative and gas free cars. Unlike VW that committed massive emmisions fraud and pretends they have seen the light with big EV vaporware press releases .

If you come to the valley (Silcon valley) you will rapidly realize that the EV revolution, be it slow, is not going away. My wife tells me when we got a Leaf, she barely saw any others. Now if you step off a curb anywhere, you might get run over by one.

Being a two EV family we get lots of questions about the cars. The most common reaction is people are surprised to find the cars can go as far as they can, or can be charged at home, or can be charged relatively quickly.

This to me implies that that, while peoples mistaken impressions of EVs (generally fed by idiots in the press) are falling, while the performance of the cars is rising. When those two lines cross over, watch out.

Cool, thanks for sharing. Also people are too lazy, or too busy to research. But the upside is once people finally realize the enormous benefits of an ev its like the whole herd is switching over to evs. A herd mentality thing.

It also helps that EV drivers in California get HOV lane access. Having worked in Silicon Valley last year, I immediately see the benefit.

Yes, and congestion pricing. Multiplicity of benefits certainly increases the reasons to buy one.

That’s what I have always said. EVs aren’t just greener, they are a all around better technology than ICE. Not now, but in the near future. The bolt might be a very important car as a taxi, as it will really change people’s perceptions.

Yea, Like the Idiot Reporter Yrs Ago That Purposely Drained The Battery On The Model S to Sabotage it..LITTLE DID THE GOOF KNOW , ALL THE WHILE HE WAS BEING TRACKED …Elon should have sued them…

How fast DC charging if I take it on a 410 mile trip ? Don’t want a 9 hour stop in the middle 🙂

You can stop at one of those CCS stations for an hour to have lunch and restroom breaks.

No need for 9 hour stops.

If that doesn’t work for you, you can buy a Volt instead.

Like it, but I thought the Tesla dig was lame.


Yeah…For anyone who doubted that GM fast tracked Bolt to punch Tesla …and I was one who publically shunned that thought due to Model 3 debuting as a sedan, and Bolt being a crossover….It appears I was mistaken.

For GM to bash Tesla in their reveal speech was a low blow.

All I can say now is, “Game On!”

They also digged against the i3 cargo space. It’s clear someone has a bloody nose to take a swing at multiple competitors for no relevant reason. This satisfied me on some levels, that they are having to react to their own reticence (Remember the EV-1). I am very, very excited to see General Motors release this Bolt vehicle. I will, however, never buy one for the simple reason that I’m a Tesla owner already. That doesn’t mean I won’t steer just about everyone who stalks me in a darkened parking ramp to talk to me about my car, to options. The Bolt, i3, and Leaf are top on my list to talk about. Until March. And then, well, when the #1 selling EV in the US gets its kid sister Model III… I’ll be saying stuff like: “Yeah, the Volt is a great Plug-in Hybrid, it’s been around for years, owners I know are great folks. What? No, you’re saying it wrong. No, I’m saying it wrong? Oh, they made an all-electric, huh? I’m confused. So what’s it called again? Well why wouldn’t they name that one Volt, and the first one something else? You know, I used to own… Read more »

Are you surprised that GM is saying that its offerings are better than those of its competitors?

It should be a familiar experience, since Elon Musk bashes other companies’ EVs at nearly every chance he gets…

I’m not surprised in the least, per previous comments. I am disappointed, however. Did Volkswagen have a chip on their shoulder? Faraday Future? The only specific dig I heard from Elon Musk was the Audi crossover wasn’t as attractive as the Model X.
Any time your competitors end up talking about you, it’s free press.

What about when Musk called the Volt “compromised”? Or when he called the Leaf’s battery “primitive”?

You might argue that what Musk said is true… but what Barra said – GM has more service centers via its dealership, GM can better take advantage of scale due to its size, and the Bolt is much more affordable than other long range EVs – is also true.

So why is it perfectly OK for Musk to simply tell the truth, but “disappointing” for Barra to do the same (without even mentioning Tesla by name, mind you)?

16.9 cubic feet of cargo space (which GM points out is 1.8 cu ft larger than the BMW i3)

Yeah, but they forgot about the frunk, I think it’s 1.8 cu. ft. 🙂

Great job GM, can’t wait to drive one.

Funny! 🙂

But you would have to “break apart” your stuff to store them in Frunk (which is not water proof) and in the trunk. 😉

True. But i3’s trunk is not weather sealed. In my home in rainy Washington, that would be a nightmare. I still question why BMW did that. Since i3 owners stash their charge cords up there in that small space…I see them in muddy plastic bags! I can’t really call that storage space…

I think Bolt puts i3 into a tailspin unless BMW immediately puts a good deal more battery into it. Bolt is more practical, looks better (more contemporary) and costs $7,000 – $10,000 less – WITH OVER TWICE THE RANGE!

GM flexing it’s muscle here, looks like. Lots to like about the Bolt. Room for improvement could be: AWD option and ditch the CCS in favor of CHAdeMO or Supercharger compatibility…

James, the frunk is fine, I put my washer fluid, my EVSE, tire repair kit, rags, a shovel in there, all things that doesn’t need water proofing. Things that I need to carry anyway and is now out of the way.

As for the rest, yup, the Bolt is a great car, great range at a great price. But as far as interior space, GM use the wrong argument here. They should focus on something else to take a shot at the i3.

I don’t know where they got their numbers for the i3, back seats up it’s 9.8 cu ft and seats downs it’s 38.8 cu ft.

And at least the wheel hub are not protruding in the cabin with the i3.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Bolt is a great car, but they are trying to shoot down the i3 for the wrong reason.

Want one. I cannot believe someone actually is producing a 200mi EV ~$30k by 2017 and not 2020. I know Tesla will do it by late 2017, but kudos GM for doing what the Germans couldn’t.

More like, wouldn’t. The Germans are still heavily invested in fossil fuel drivetrain technologies. VW’s made it clear they’ve not forsaken diesels, despite all that’s currently happening to them. That’s some kind of misplaced tenacity, right there. 😛

GM (USA)and LG (Korea) delivered the beef. The Bolt outshines both Faraday’s ZERO & VW Group’s BUDD-e efforts in the EV space. Consumers and reviewers want to see REAL cars, not rare electric unicorns that will never see mass production or mass adoption.

The fear I have, is that Bolt demand will be higher than LG and GM can meet, to provide enough cells for global demand. If every automaker that does not make their own cells, gets them from LG, where are all the packs going to come from?

A limited or constrained production of the Bolt, would be very disappointing.

Not ‘wouldn’t’. COULDN’T.

German engineering superiority is a myth. Superior engineers do not resort to cheating to comply with emission standards.

Spot on.

Such a pathetic generalisation, as if BMW and Merc were also involved… and as if GM themselves didn’t have a nasty and more deadly scandal on their hands not so long ago and they kept trying to hide it under a rug… not honest at all.

If you think M-B and BMW are so superior, why didn’t M-B develop its own EVs from scratch rather than farming it out to Tesla?

And BMW… the i8 needs to be partially disassembled just to open the hood; and the i3 has multiple issues from failed thinking…. a frunk that is not sealed from dirt and moisture, sudden ‘hit the wall’ deceleration with adaptive cruise control, etc.

Yes, superior German engineering is a myth. Just as is their lofty brand images.

Very true..

I sat in an I8 when I was at McMaster in Hamilton, Ontario last year, and while my roadster is relatively easy to get in and out of, at least for younger people, or the fairly physically fit, the I8 really had no room for either the driver or passenger, and I didn’t even attempt the rear seats, since I assume only the tinyest children can get back there.

I was rather disappointed since the car is alot of CA$H, and its relatively large outside compared to the lack of space for even the front seat people.


The Germans take their time to develop excellent cars. That’s why so many have won the car of the year award and get so many good reviews even from American journalists. But guess what, they’ll have no problem decimating competition such as Ford and GM once the development of their EVs is complete. They just have a different philosophy, quality over speed. The Bolt is a good effort in the right direction, but it’s ugly and the battery is from LG so other car makers will have similar tech from LG/Samsung. Plus what’s the point in 30’000 cars a year? That’s less than the Model S and probably it won’t exist anywhere else but in the US, so overall it’s only big news in America.

C’mon, Rick. Are you saying this with a straight face?

I’m very proud America is now producing the best New Energy automobiles on the planet.

I understand it’s a paradigm shift that’s hard for some to fathom. For decades now, America has gone from a maker nation to a taker nation. I say it’s about time we start taking pride in our leadership role in this space. Finally, we can hold our heads high and point to innovative technology in heavy industry again in other places besides making the world’s best weapons!

I am saying it with a straight face. No trolling or anything, I truly believe it. While people laugh at the German concepts but I see evidence that they are very serious. A lot of the VW group concepts become reality with some modifications. Porsche Mission E, Merc EVA platform, Audi Q6 etron and the latest VW concept: if you consider the important technical bits like the skateboard chassis, dual motor, the intention to use much bigger batteries like 100 kWh and wireless charging shows that they get it. Like I said, they just like to do things properly. As for the American leadership on EVs, maybe it seems like that but don’t forget that Elon is South African, studied in Canada then moved to Cali, same with a lot of people working there I guess so leave nationalistic ideas out of it. Silicon Valey is of course the best at attracting talent, so that’s what the Americans should be proud of. Tesla used Japanese battery tech so there’s that too. Nikola Tesla was born in the Austrian Empire and was originally Serbian. Also, the Germans made EVs way back in the day: Porsche’s first car in early 20th century… Read more »

Rick said:

“As for the American leadership on EVs, maybe it seems like that but don’t forget that Elon is South African, studied in Canada then moved to Cali, same with a lot of people working there I guess…”

Oh, please. AC Propulsion’s tZero was essentially the prototype for Tesla’s first car, the Roadster. That’s an all-American design. Furthermore, Tesla Motors was not founded by Elon Musk, despite his johnny-come-lately claims. It was founded by two Californians, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning.

And in case you don’t know, the modern EV revolution was kicked off by Alan Cocconi’s invention of an improved integrated motor controller (including inverter), which gave AC motors high efficiency and excellent torque across a wide range of running speeds. That’s why nearly every modern EV uses an AC motor rather than a cheaper DC motor. Cocconi received his engineering degree from California Institute of Technology. He was working for GM when he invented the improved AC motor controller, then went on to be co-founder of AC Propulsion.

“…so leave nationalistic ideas out of it.”

Yes, why don’t we do that, and stop pretending that the U.S. does not lead in modern EV design?

Motor controllers are important, but it was LG Chem battery that made 200 mile Bolt possible. Without it, it would be yet another overpriced 100 mile city car.

A “Taker Nation”? LOL, ok Mr. Romney.

This will force the hand of the German and Asian manufacturers, Bolt or i3 or Leaf, when it comes into the showroom its going to be be an easy choice with a comforting 200 mile range.

Nice specs!

I want one too.

Performance is decent. I can use a SS version though. 🙂

It will probably be named the “Lightning Bolt.”


Will it have an option to paint to a giant lighting Bolt on the side? =)

I like the car , but each time I think about owning it I consider the state of sae fast charge rollout.
Few, Far between ,and single point ( prone to be in usable)

Yep–the availability of the Supercharger network will be a key discriminator between the Bolt and the Model 3.

absolutly right. If Tesla 3 get the supercharger option like the S, it will be a hard fight for the Bolt. Exiting time`s will come….

I think price will be a bigger differentiator than SC capability. Nobody can drive component cost down like GM purchasing (notorious within the supply base). Tesla will struggle to create a vehicle that it can sell for ~$30K with the same specs as the Bolt. They just don’t have the same manufacturing and purchasing power of the big OEMs. Tesla will target a more up-scale demographic but I believe GM and Nissan will have the $25K-$35K crowd.

I think you are right on, the smart thing to do for Tesla is come in above GM with a slightly larger more upscale car. Nissan I wonder about, is there room between GM and Tesla? Can they build a direct competitor with 200 mile range for $30K? As for charging if there are lots of cars the CCS chargers will come, it’s the chicken or the egg…

Dave K. said:

“…the smart thing to do for Tesla is come in above GM with a slightly larger more upscale car.”

That’s exactly what Tesla is aiming for, with the Model ≡; a claimed $35k car aimed to compete with the BMW 3-class. A bit more upscale than the claimed $30k Bolt.

EVs have an unfortunate tendency to rise in price as they actually approach production. One thing to watch for is seeing how well (or poorly) GM and Tesla hold the line on their planned prices for these upcoming BEVs.

I think both of you are right about Tesla coming in just over the Bolt in price, but being slightly larger, noticeably sportier and $5k to $7k higher. Tesla may not hit their predicted MSRP, but when the III arrives it will be a great car.

GM’s price estimate should be pretty firm at this point. All contracts have been signed, validation testing is complete or near completion meaning designs are frozen. Barring some unforeseen problem, I think the car will be offered with an opening MSRP around $37K (before rebates). The trick for GM will be to get the price reduced further before the government rebates expire.

This would another big dent in LEAF sales for sure.

Just how many people now are going to rethink about waiting to lease the Bolt rather than the LEAF?

I guess those still “need” an EV soon should keep an eye out for good deals on LEAF.

Let the price war start!

I expect other EV makers to try to milk all they can out of the current crop before the Bolt sinks their ship. Also, since the Bolt supply will probably be far behind demand, the other manufacturers will probably not perceive any pressure for quite a while, so no deals for now. Just call me a pessimist.

True to an extent, but the Osbourne effect will factor in too.

I feel so glad that I waited all this time not buying a low range EV. My Question is could this battery pack fit into one of the older model EV’s like the Chevy Spark or something to give the older ones a upgrade?

No. Battery packs are much too integrated into a production EV to be switched from one to another, especially with a car that is designed as an EV from the ground up, like the Bolt. Everything from the basic shape to the cooling system is integrated into the car.

GM has finally done it! Came out with a $30k car unlike anything else. Many will want it since it seems bigger than a Volt.

Yes this is a form factor that is useful to me and my family of 4. I could actually fit both of my growing boys in the back seat! I also prefer to sit more upright instead of laying down in my car.

The Gen II Volt wheelbase is 106.1″ and I believe the Bolt wheelbase is 102.5″ but the Bolt interior is roomier than the Volt and the back seats look MUCH roomier. Amazing how putting the pack under the cabin and going for a CUV look can improve the passenger cabin.
Flip side of the coin, it does impact negatively on the aero. But I will take that hit and just keep the speed under 65 mph if I am roadtripping longer distances. Most of my miles are at speeds less than 50 mph, so I won’t take much of an efficiency hit due to worse aero.


Last year, Volt sales were heavily impacted by the looming release of the Gen2 Volt. Let’s see how Leaf sales do this year with the Bolt’s headlights glaring down the tunnel…

Lets not the price war until you can actually buy one or lease one.

Anything about Radar Collision Prevention systems?

Yes, check out the bottom of the Bolt page on Chevy’s website. Apparently it has four cameras and other goodies.

If this has thermal management of the battery and Leaf 2.0 doesn’t, I will go with the Bolt. Otherwise, have to see what Nissan is offering. Love my Leaf, but 25% capacity loss in 4.5 years just doesn’t cut it.

If GM were to produce enough Bolts to match demand, and offered it in every country that Nissan offers the Leaf, then I think few indeed would buy a Leaf, even a Leaf 2.0, except for those who just won’t even consider buying a GM-made car.

But it’s almost a lead-pipe certainty that GM will neither ramp up production to match demand, nor will it offer the Bolt in many countries where Nissan offers the Leaf.

Some have suggested the Bolt will be a sort of super-compliance car. That is, like a compliance car, it will be made in only limited numbers, altho 30,000 per year is a heck of a lot more than any mere California compliance car.

I think they’re right. I think GM will deliberately limit production because, I predict, this will be a very popular car, and GM won’t want Bolt sales to cut into sales of its more profitable gasmobiles.

Of course, this is just conjecture, just educated guesses. I’ll be eager to see what GM actually does with production of the Bolt over the next few years.

Specs are great. Finally GM is getting serious about competition from Tesla. Hope GM’s dealers sell well.

Lets see what Tesla has to offer with Model-3. If it uses Aluminum frame, then with the lighter weight that should have a higher range.

Tesla has already said, several times, that it will be using a lot more steel in the body of the Model ≡, to lower costs. I do expect the Model ≡ to have a longer range than the Bolt, but the Model ≡ will cost more, too. It’s not always true that “You get what you pay for”, but my guess is that when comparing the Bolt to the Model ≡, it will apply.

Of course, Tesla says that the Model ≡ will cost less. I agree it will actually cost more.

Even if Tesla throws out a base price of $37,499, by the time you get the same options the Bolt has, it will be $45,000. They will probably de-content the Model 3 more than they have in the past just to get that low price-point.

Sample option pricing for things that should be standard:

Premium lighting = $3000
Hi fidelity sound = $2500
Heated steering wheel = $1000

KDawg, Elon has said repeatedly base price of $35,000 for the Model III. That means it is less expensive than the Bolt. Look for the * on their press releases. Just Read The Instructions.

Ambulator said:

“Of course, Tesla says that the Model ≡ will cost less. I agree it will actually cost more.”

Tesla is touting a $35k base price for the Model ≡; GM is touting $30. We’ll have to wait and see how well they hold the line on these prices; EVs have an unfortunate tendency to creep up in price as they approach production.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Model ≡ creeps up to near $40k base price, but from all reports, Tesla is going to try very hard to keep it at $35k. And I don’t know how determined GM is to hold the line at $30k, but if we’re still nearly a year away from start of actual sales, it’s entirely possible that price will go up somewhat.

Tesla has been touting that price for quite some time now, so I don’t know what you’re basing your comment on.

Pushmi-Pullyu: “I do expect the Model ≡ to have a longer range than the Bolt, but the Model ≡ will cost more, too.”

Did you not mean that?

In any case, by its past history Tesla won’t offer a $35,000 version for a long time, and when it does it won’t have Supercharger access as part of the base price. By the time Tesla offers the low cost version I expect the Bolt will be cheaper.

I’m really excited about this car. My Volt 1.0 was a fine car, but it was always a drag when that motor cranked up. Plus I simply didn’t like the styling. They wisely modeled this after a Honda Fit, which is the car I owned before the Volt, and I dearly loved it except for its gas motor. I was planning on an i3, but this definitely changes my mind.

I think they styled the car to handle the drive-train and packaging while keeping aerodynamics in mind. You know, engineering. I don’t think they looked at old designs from competitors and said “Let’s make our car fit inside that design”.

If we extrapolate from the EV performance feedback display image above, we can get a ballpark figure for total battery kwh.

18.7kwh used for 78.7miles.
18,700wh/78.7m => 230wh/mile
230wh/m * 200miles => 46kwh usable.

If DoD is 85%, then total capacity is about 54kwh.

With a margin for error, we are looking at a 55kwh – 60kwh battery pack.

Actually you can take 18.1 kWh used and divide it by 28% used to find the total usable battery capacity of 64.6 kWh. However, that assumes the car hasn’t been partially recharged “since last full charge.” All of that can ignore DoD. The useable battery capacity may actually be in the low 60’s.

More thoughts here:

I came up with similar numbers below using the bolt page on not the display.

I’ve only had my ’15 leaf for a few months, but I anticipate selling it once I can get a EV with close to 200 mile range for $35k or less after fed credit. Looks like that may be late this year.

The trick is going to be deciding if it’s worth waiting for the model 3. I’d prefer the 3 if it is close in price for the supercharger network alone.

The real question there is, how long will you be waiting? The Model X was years late. I hope the Model 3 doesn’t follow suit. Heck, they still have to finish the gigafactory. I want to check out and possibly buy a Model 3 as much as everyone else here, but I have to be realistic. Tesla typically fails on schedules. They also typically fail on price projections, but I think they will try much harder on the Model 3 to hit the target. Listening to JB talk, it’s almost as if the price point is non-negotiable this time.

The Gigafactory is looking pretty good, Tesla showed off some marketing photos of it, and a buddy of mine drove by it over the holidays. I hope Inside EVs has an update for us by the end of the month.

I also think Tesla will have a tough time meeting it’s timeline.

I’d like to be near the 200 mile range asap as there are trips I would like to do fairly regularly that my leaf cannot do now, but 150+ would make possible.

If I had to put a number on it, 6-8 months after the Bolt for the model 3 or I’ll likely go with a Bolt.

kdawg said:

“…how long will you be waiting? The Model X was years late. I hope the Model 3 doesn’t follow suit. Heck, they still have to finish the gigafactory.”

I have little hope that we’ll see any actual deliveries of the Model ≡ in 2017, because Tesla is chronically late in getting their cars into production. But there almost certainly won’t be any delay due to waiting on Gigafactory 1. That project is, according to all reports, actually ahead of schedule, and should be making both battery cells and packs in quantity this year.

Gigafactory 1’s output should certainly be able to grow fast enough to stay ahead of Model ≡ production at least until 2021. Beyond that… well, it depends on whether or not demand is as high as Tesla plans for.

Much as I’d like to see Tesla Motors grow to the size of at least Ford, if not General Motors, odds are that other major auto makers will start making and selling compelling EVs in quantity before that happens, and create sufficient competition to put a substantial brake on Tesla’s ongoing exponential growth.

Yep. I’d buy one.

The Bolt page on says that to get a full charge you can charge at an average of 25 miles of range an hour for nine hours. Nine hours X twenty-five miles per hour = 225 miles. Not saying this will be the number but I’m thinking it will be near that.

The page also says you can do this if you use a 32A charger and 240v. So 7.7 kW charging. Over nine hours that’s 69.3 kWh. If we assume the charging efficiency is 80% and the Bolt uses 80% of the battery the total pack size is 69.3 kWh and the usable capacity is roughly 55.4 kWh. If you assume 6.6 kW charging then you get 59.4 kWh of total capacity and 47.5 kWh of usable capacity.

Just a guess.

I think you are pretty close.

Looking at the Gen II Volt EPA it gets 3.7 miles/KWh. The Bolt EV looks to be taller and just as wide as a Gen II Volt but powertrain and aerodynamics are likely slightly better. So the Bolt EV likely has a similar efficiency.

That would put the usable battery pack at ~54KWh (200miles/3.7miles/KWh). And with 80 to 85% of the pack usable that puts the battery size at 65 to 70KWh’s. So the 7.7Kw L2 AC charge rate number makes a lot of sense.

DonC said:

“The Bolt page on says that to get a full charge you can charge at an average of 25 miles of range an hour for nine hours. Nine hours X twenty-five miles per hour = 225 miles.”

That “25 miles per hour of charge” figure almost certainly cites the maximum charge rate that you get when the pack is near empty. After a pack is charged to about 60% capacity, the charging efficiency slows, and charge rates may also slow.

So what that figure really says is we can be pretty sure the real-world range of the
Bolt is somewhat less than 225 miles, which should surprise no one.

What are you referring to with taper starting at 60%?? My Leaf doesn’t exhibit that behaviour on L2 charger until well into the 90% range. (I’ve recorded charging profiles with LeafSpy…)

Thank you for the correction. I based my assertion on what happens when Supercharging a Model S; I didn’t realize charging at a lower rate enabled charging to 90% before taper happens.

But I think y’all need to step back and consider that the Tesla Model S60 is a much larger and heavier car than the Bolt, with a 60 kWh battery pack and an EPA rated range of 208 miles. The various assertions here that the Bolt will have a 60 or even 70 (!) kWh capacity battery pack are wholly unrealistic… unless you actually think the Bolt will be that much less efficient in its use of energy than the Model S! Tesla has superior EV tech, yes; but I don’t think it’s that superior!

We can be pretty sure the Bolt will have a battery pack of significantly less than 60 kWh.

” After a pack is charged to about 60% capacity, the charging efficiency slows, and charge rates may also slow.”

That is only true if you are talking about charging rate at high C level or close to 90% capacity.

Even at 7kW, a 50kWh pack is only charging at 0.14 C rate, which is almost “trickle charging” level. You won’t experience “tapering” effect until you are 90% or higher which is effectively in the last 30 minutes or so…

The guy is totally clueless, is not conversant with much related to either cars, electricity, batteries, or air conditioning, but yet insists on schooling everyone on how much he knows, when it is obvious he’s never charged a battery before, on even knows what parts are in a basic car or their function. He then insists he’s right taking up around 70 posts out of 200 – man, what is all his bandwidth of drivel costing the advertisers here?

SparkEV charge tapers to 9kW at 99% (45kW to 80%) using DCFC, and no taper using L2. There is no fast charge capble EV that tapers below 6.6kW at 60%.

The charge taper PuPu is describing is what happens to Tesla with supercharging, not L2. But with SparkEV despite its tiny battery, close to 50kW is maintained to 80%. I suspect Bolt will do better.

I think the Prius and Leaf just got dusted.

“Smart range estimation” has my attention.

I believe Tesla does this, but my 12 Leaf definitely didn’t. The guess-o-meter was a bad joke. Nissan had all the inputs needed to improve its range estimates, but didn’t use them.

If the Bolt lives up to its promise, it could be my first GM purchase.

Then again, we’ll see what the Model 3 looks like in March. If it’s not too exotic, it will make the Bolt look dorky.

The Supercharger is a big advantage for Tesla. Beyond that, the probable differences are:

The Bolt will let you use the break pedal for regeneration, the Tesla won’t.

The Bolt will be front wheel drive. The Tesla will be rear wheel drive, with all wheel drive optional.

Tesla will have autopilot available, the Bolt won’t.

Again, I’m not certain about these points, but I think this is the way the probabilities lie.

The Bolt will have regen paddles, the Model 3 won’t

The Bolt will have low-power bluetooth recognition. The Model 3 won’t.

The Bolt will have 3000 dealers nationwide that can service it. The Model 3 won’t.

The interior on the Bolt is refined (and has cup-holders). What we have seen from Tesla so far is spartan interiors.

Does Tesla have surround vision?

I’ll be shopping both a Tesla Model 3 and a Chevrolet Bolt in ~2018 or 2019 (if the Tesla is here). So besides the supercharging network, these are some of the things I’m weighing, along with the prices.

I think I will wait until the vehicles come out to compare them. Still it is fun to speculate. I think the Model III will be a better car but cost more.

Thanks, Jay, for going to Vegas and getting us all hopped up, Bolt style.
I can’t wait for this to show up in the NW outback.
I’m ready for a 200 mile BEV that’s not Tesla.

Also, some sage advice between writing articles while at the 21 tables:
Always double down on twelve and always split tens.
Every time dammit…
Baileys and Jameson please.
The drinks at this table are on me.

In case anyone doesn’t know, that is terrible advice.

Terrible advice.
Unbelievable to watch.
A trainwreck at the 21 tables.

I really like the ‘idea’ of the Bolt, but it’s design is not something I would buy or drive.

I want 200+ EV miles, and $30k, but don’t want it to look like an sub-compact economy car that cost $15k.

Not sure why GM is putting this tech in a sub-compact, instead of a compact. Unless they wanted to ensure lower sales volume and push consumers to the Volt.

It may technically be correct to describe the Bolt as a “sub-compact” due to the snub nose and the chopped-off rear, but I get the impression that the cabin space is as roomy as a typical compact… or maybe even slightly larger.

I’d suggest you try sitting in one, or giving it a test drive, before you dismiss the Bolt as a “sub-compact”.

I’ve seen a couple drive reviews that say the inside is just slightly smaller than a Chevy Trax. I’ve also seen the cargo numbers listed and total interior space is bigger than an I3 which I’ve sat in and the I3 has a pretty good sized interior, very comfortable for adults in all seats. Properly designed electric cars are usually pretty deceptive about interior space when looking from the outside.

Looking forward to the Tesla Model 3 more than ever now.

I see the upcoming Model 3 to be a replacement for my 3-Series performance sedan. 200+ EV miles and $35k.

I expect it to look like a smaller Model S.

Sporty, fun to drive, with a design that looks like it cost $35k, and access to the Superchargers if I ever wanted to take a longer road trip in an EV.

Seriously, the ELR at $49k would have done so much better if it had the 200+ mile pack of the Bolt.

A 200+ mile $49k ATS would have done even better.

But instead we get premium tech in a sub-compact that would be $15k if it had a gasoline engine.

Bloggin said:

“I expect… the upcoming Model 3… to look like a smaller Model S.”

I don’t expect a car that is half the price of a Model S to look anything like it.

My guess is the Tesla Model ≡ will look a lot like the BMW i3 and the Bolt. Similar engineering and cost constraints will likely lead to similar shapes.

But we’ll have to wait until March to see who is right.

3 serie look and Bolt is world appart, so it will definitively be close to a Model S than a Bolt or i3.
Actually the real question is the lenght. A 3 series is about 4,6 m but that would be only 10% less than the 5 m of the Model S, although the 20 % smaller would mean 4 m which is way to short to have a 3 serie look. Perhaps it is 20 % less in weight and not lenght. That is really the big standing question we will soon know the answer to.

The Tesla Model ≡ is said to made to compete in the same class as the BMW 3-series, but that doesn’t mean it will be designed to look like a gasmobile. I certainly hope that Tesla will design the Model ≡ to take advantage of the freedom that a skateboard platform BEV provides… and not try to shoehorn the Model ≡ into the shape of a gasmobile just to make it look “stylish”! Early “horseless carriages” looked exactly like what that label implies: A carriage or buggy that had lost its horse. But as motorcars evolved, they took on a distinctive look. No doubt people used to riding in buggies or horse-drawn carriages thought the looks were odd, but everybody soon got used to them. Just as today, people think the BMW i3 looks odd, but soon people will get used to that design for a BEV. For example, there is no good reason to put a long nose on a BEV that has its battery pack under the floor. Yeah, the long nose does help give the Model S a stylish look, and it’s great that the frunk has lots of storage space. But when Tesla designs a smaller… Read more »
Bloggin said: “But instead we get premium tech in a sub-compact that would be $15k if it had a gasoline engine.” People were posting the same complaint about the Volt, when it was new. “The Volt is built off the same platform as the cheap Cruze, and if you took out the EV powertrain and replaced it with a Cruze drivetrain, the car wouldn’t be worth any more than a Cruze.” Unfortunately, I actually believed there was some truth to that cabbage. But it fails a reality check rather badly: Does the Volt have the same cheap, bare-bones infotainment system as the Cruze? Are the interior fabrics and fittings as cheap? Is the instrument panel of the Volt mostly low-tech analog dials, as it is on the Cruze? How about the comfort and luxury touches, both standard equipment and options; are they as limited as in the Cruze? No, no, no, and no. The Bolt is built on the same “platform” (whatever that means) as the cheap Sonic. But that does not, repeat not, mean the quality is comparable. I haven’t yet seen any side-by-side comparison of the Bolt to the Sonic, but I am already pretty sure than when… Read more »
Think of ‘cheap’ as in not premium. At $37k it’s more expensive than a 3-Series sedan at $33k. My point is that the $37k vehicle at a premium price, should look premium. Because the consumer is still spending the same premium dollars. It really does not cost much more to design a more premium looking exterior than one less premium. Bolt’s interior is well done. But it is just GM’s design ‘theme’ that has the Bolt less than premium looking. Many will admit the new Volt exterior is less than premium looking than the previous generation. The new Malibu has the same ‘undervalued’ look, especially at the front. But I am sure many early adopters who don’t much are what it looks like, just that it offers 200 miles of electric range, will buy/lease it. Willing to sacrifice design for function. Which is why I am waiting for Tesla to offer up the Model 3, as an electric alternative to the 3-Series. If we remember, Tesla initially offered the larger Model S with a 40kWh pack for $59k back in 2013. With many advancements in battery tech since then, it’s understandable how a smaller sedan with an updated version of… Read more »

The smaller the car the smaller the battery and the greater proportion of the battery cost that is covered by the incentives. The bigger the car the bigger the price difference between the equivalent electric and gas versions.

For a California resident the Bolt will cost $27,500 so should one expect a bigger $33,000 BMW 3 series “quality” car?

Bloggin, thanks for your thoughtful remarks.

I do have one quibble:

“Tesla is already talking 500+ mile packs for Model S in a year or so.”

That’s a bad meme, one that needs to have a stake driven thru its heart. This is a very badly misquoted passing remark from Elon Musk. It was a response to a reporter’s question about the achievements of people setting distance records for various EVs. Elon’s remark had nothing to do with Tesla’s plans for bigger battery packs. He merely said he expected a record-setter to reach the 500 mile mark in a Model S within a year or so.

I think what Elon actually said about increasing range and battery capacity is that he expects to see about a 5% increase every year or two.

Bloggin wrote:

“But instead we get premium tech in a sub-compact that would be $15k if it had a gasoline engine”

Facts: Bolt’s wheel base is 3 inches longer than Sonic according to the press release above.

Facts: According to GM, the Bolt has larger passenger volume than Nissan LEAF which is a midsize car.

Nice design, this will be a popular car. Still a little gaudy, but not as bad as the Gen#1 Volt or i3 (ack). People will buy it when they don’t want to wait for a Model 3. Too bad Chevy are only making a few. I read 20,000/year somewhere, but if the latest figure is 30,000/year, fine. I’m sure they’ll ramp up production as fast as they can. People won’t like that their car loan payments are for $37,500+delivery+tax (what’s that… $41,000?) and they don’t get the tax credit until the following April. Perhaps dealers will fudge the numbers and “loan” customers the tax credit, in return for some sort of extra profit on the back end. Dealers will be anxious to show that the Bolt isn’t more expensive than the Model 3 (which it is). Tesla Model S’s average 275-330Wh/mile depending on the variation and drivers’ driving styles. Let’s assume this car does 250Wh/mile, same as the current Leaf. It’s bigger/heavier than the Leaf… but newer tech, so gets the same mileage. If you drove 200 miles at 250Wh/mile you would use 50kWh. Assuming a 10% buffer for whatever reason it needs a buffer (driver mistakes… computer systems etc.),… Read more »


“not as bad as Gen 1 Volt”

What are you smoking? The Volt looks 100000x better than this thing.

Looks are subjective. I happen to like the look of the Bolt over the Volt, mainly because I like the look of real hatchbacks, and not hatchback wannabe coupes like the Volt. I don’t like coupes.

“Home charging at 7-8 kw is going to hurt them.”

Huh? Unless you are a travelling salesman, this adds over 200 miles in 9 hours.

So this is ‘only’ good enough for those very few people who drive UNDER 73,000 miles per year.
Most people sleep. Most VOlt owners take 8 – 10 hours to recharge the small battery.

This however, only takes 9 hours to replenish over 200 miles. For $30k.

That’s not good enough? How much do you drive?

Will people now be prepared to forgive GM for killing the EV1?

Still too soon.

I will forgive them if they make this car in large numbers to meet the demand.

The EV1 killed itself. It wasn’t good enough for the time and way too expensive to manufacture.

This is true. Only idjuts believe everything they hear in a documentary. Truth be told every single EV-1 was destined for the crusher the day it was built. It was an engineering exercise with a defined life-span (although extended a couple of times)
The people at WKTEC didn’t really get any straight answers from GM so they extrapolated they who, whats, wheres, when, and whys.I worked at Saturn then and it was common knowledge. But someone forgo to tell Chelsea who was basically just a Cali lease marketing rep with a pen and lease agreements so… why would they.
I’m not saying GM handled the whole public relations aspect of what was done but do you have ANY idea how many cars are crushed annually by the large OEMs? See these 2 IV’r BOLTS being shown at CES. THEY WILL BE CRUSHED!! LOL

Oh my god, a balanced view on the EV-1! Just how did you get in here?

EV1 was a failure, both as a viable money maker, and as a PR campaign. The only value it had to GM was that it enabled them to sell their more profitable vehicles. Once that compliance restriction was removed, the car no longer had a practical purpose at GM. GM has no sins to atone for that, except to shareholders. Everyone knew it was a lease-only vehicle with no option to buy at the end of the lease. That was in the contract. GM fulfilled their end of the lease, they ended the EV1 program because it wasn’t viable, and they recycled the car when it was done with the lease. Forget the emotion behind crushing an EV or pulling the car from their lineup. Crushing is the first step to recycling a car, and cars that don’t sell (or aren’t a good enough halo / compliance product to enable to sale of other more profitable cars) get removed. You could make the argument that not continuing the EV1 program put them in a bad position when it came to Japanese hybrids like the Prius, but can you honestly think GM could have put out a superior product to the… Read more »
kubel said: “The only value it [the EV1] had to GM was that it enabled them to sell their more profitable vehicles. Once that compliance restriction was removed, the car no longer had a practical purpose at GM.” Your summary of the life and death of GM’s EV1 is mostly correct, but the cause-and-effect between GM’s development of prototype EVs, and California’s zero-emission mandate, is more complex than you’ve indicated. GM started developing what eventually lead to the production of the EV1 with the Sunraycer, a prototype EV which competed in the 1987 World Solar Challenge, a trans-Australia race for solar vehicles. That was followed in 1990 by the Impact, a ground-breaking prototype EV which included the revolutionary AC integrated motor controller (including inverter) invented by Alan Cocconi; a motor controller which is used in virtually every modern production EV. If what the Wikipedia “General Motors EV1” article says is correct, then it was only after GM announced it would put the Impact into production that California politicians got overexcited and decided the time was right to impose a zero-emission mandate on all auto makers selling cars in California. This lead to GM abruptly ending the EV1 program, and infamously… Read more »

Everything about this is great except the Dorky non appealing body.

Why not a nice sleek sedan?

You know… something that is ACTUALLY APPEALING! SOMETHING WITH STYLE! smh

It’s terrible that in the Ford Model T, they put the engine inside a metal box on the front of the buggy, and they used a wheel to steer it.

Why didn’t they keep the engine mounted over the back axle, as with earlier horseless carriages? And why didn’t they keep the steering tiller? You know… something that is actually appealing! Something with style!


Many a fine and stylish Electric Brougham, used Tiller Steering. 😉

Any mentioning of the Opel/European version?

What will be the name of the Chevrolet Bolt in Europe?

How about:

Opel Electra

Name it the Chevrolet Bolt.

Use it to establish the Chevrolet name as the cutting edge car company that it is. It will be a raging success in the northern European countries with their generous tax breaks.

It will also boost Bolt production numbers to the benefit of lower per unit costs, yet NOT contributing to the 200k break off point for the USA tax credit.

Chevrolet removed itself from the german (and european?) market last year. I dont think they will come back next year.

Brand it LG, that will be closer to the truth and will greatly increase the vehicle’s image. Chevrolet doesn’t have a good image especially in the small cars and Opel is long not seen as German quality anymore, although since the VW scandal, that could now become a bonus.

Price is way too inflated, the realistic is around 23k for this kind of offering. Drive down the price and then ship it to Europe. France is poised to launch a 10k EV and Bolt stands no chance against it with such price tag. Bring down the price.

There is no 10K, 200 mile range car, that does not look like a plasti-formed Velomobile with batteries stuffed in it…

If you do the entire life cycle cost this car is the cheapest thing you can buy, purchase price + maintenance + fuel for 250K miles. The problem is 90% is what you pay first and most people think short term.

LOL said:

“France is poised to launch a 10k EV…”

Are you talking about this?

Somehow I doubt GM is much worried about competition from some politician’s idea for a future car. That’s not even vaporware yet.

BMW i3 sales will be dead in some months, also when they come with a 30 kWh battery and the 90 AH cells. Nissan should offer 40 kWh and 60 kWh for next Leaf, otherwise sales would also be down. And they should show next Leaf end of 2016, else most will jump of to GM in US.

You have to figure BMW and Nissan are both working on longer range vehicles, but since they have vehicles on the market already, they know they can’t talk about them without killing sales of the existing models. Since the Bolt is new, GM doesn’t have to worry about this and they can show and announce their new BEV about a year early. It will probably kill some sales of other manufacturer’s BEV offerings during 2016 when GM has nothing like the i3 or Leaf to offer.

But now they have nothing to lose, if they don’t quickly show longer range cars all their customers will switch.

GM doesn’t plan to start selling the Bolt until the end of the year. What’s the rush?

If I recall correctly, InsideEVs’ editor Jay Cole has said the rule of thumb is for auto makers to wait until about 3 months before a car goes on sale to announce the next generation of a vehicle, to avoid killing sales of current models.

Plenty of time between now and the end of the year for BMW and Nissan to show their own nominally “200 mile” BEVs. In fact, it’s not impossible that one of GM’s competitors might start selling theirs before the Bolt!

It’s also not impossible for you to put your money where you mouth is and back up your “160-170 mile range” claim you keep spouting.

But we both know neither is happening. 🙂

Okay, “bro”, but let’s make it a real bet. Not the piffling $1000 you suggested. Man up for a $1,000,000. Or even $10 million, if you prefer.

No one should forget what GM (and Chevron) did with the EV1 and the nickel metal hydride battery. With malice of forethought, they set EV development back about 15 years. Only a fool would buy an vehicle from GM.

I have the same concerns about buying from GM. I am also not crazy about the styling of the Bolt. But I suspect that it is well made and I will probably get one when my Leaf lease is up. I just hope I can get one for under $35,000 because that is the limit in Washington state for sales tax exemption.

McKemie said:

“No one should forget what GM (and Chevron) did with the EV1 and the nickel metal hydride battery. With malice of forethought, they set EV development back about 15 years. Only a fool would buy an vehicle from GM.”

This conspiracy theory where Chevron supposedly blocked any EV maker from using NiMH batteries didn’t at all stop Nissan from using them in the Prius, nor Honda from using them in the 2000 Insight. In fact, it didn’t stop GM from using them in the 2nd generation EV1.

Even if there was any truth to that conspiracy theory, why blame GM for Chevron’s alleged actions?

“… Chevron supposedly blocked any EV maker from using NiMH batteries didn’t at all stop Nissan from using them in the Prius…”

Yeah, but Toyota might have. 🙂

I think there was a limit on the size of battery that Chevron would authorize, and that made NiMH unavailable for EVs. Maybe if you offered enough money you could have gone around that, but nobody did.

I don’t particularly fault GM, though.

Ambulator said:

“I think there was a limit on the size of battery that Chevron would authorize, and that made NiMH unavailable for EVs.”

Hmmm, okay, I take back my skeptical remarks on this subject. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, this thing about Chevron trying (altho obviously not fully succeeding) to block use of large-format NiMH batteries is true:

Odd that there is no mention of the use of NiMH batteries in the 1999-2006 Honda Insight, though.

P.S.– Yeah, okay; Toyota, not Nissan, makes the Prius. D’oh! :-/

It is not a “conspiracy theory”. It is a well documented fact. The licensing agreement did not allow the batteries to be used in any plug-in vehicles. They could (and were) be used in regular (non-plug-in) hybrids like the Ford Escape HEV. But I could not buy new batteries for my Chevy S10 EV. Chevron was OK with HEVs that used gas (albeit less gas) but they were not OK with a BEV that used no gas at all. This is not tin-foil hat stuff, it is just common sense from the perspective of a gas company that happens to own a battery patent (that GM sold to them when they crushed the EV1).

All that said, I still think the Bolt is a car that I would consider and I would not hold any of these past actions (by previous CEOs) against GM team of today. If they make a good BEV and it is the car you want, then buy (or lease) it!

I despise marketing-speak.

So many superfluous words that have absolutely no real meaning.

Just give me a half an hour with some of the engineers, and I’ll know everything I need to know about this vehicle.

I don’t care about the view from all seats, just one.

Shut up and take my money

Thanks, GM. This is the first time I would even consider driving something with a bow tie.

I wonder why they call it the “Bolt EV” and not just the “Bolt”… the Volt doesn’t have “EREV” on its badge
Will there be an ICE version of the Bolt so they need to differentiate it? I hope not

It’s because Volt and Bolt sound alike, so they are calling it “Bolt EV”. They also overly emphasize the B in their marketing material (where spoken). It’s funny to hear.

I think the Bolt is going to destroy Chevy Volt Sales.

“I think the Bolt is going to destroy Nissan Leaf/BMW i3 sales.”


I was about to say I think Bro is absolutely right until I realized that I am thinking about getting a Bolt when my Volt lease ends.

But I do think there will be fewer people going from looking at a Volt to buying/leasing a Bolt than there will be people going from Leaf/i3 to Bolt. The Bolt is going to destroy the Leaf unless Nissan does something by the beginning of next year. The i3 has the BMW mystique going for it so it may not get hit as hard.

Its to distinguish it from the Bolt REX…

If the EPA agrees that this car (Chevy Bolt) gets 200 miles (or more) per charge, I would be very interested in buying it.

I can’t wait for this EV to show up at the local car dealers so I can take it on a Joy Ride.

It’s one thing to get a new type of car, it’s another thing getting service and parts in an affordable and timely manner. What is the cost of ownership and what if you break down?

With an estimated range of 200 miles, this car doesn’t replace the family SUV for trips, sports families, or those needing serious cargo space. These are for around the town drivers. To replace my 450 hp Vette, I’d have to buy a sports Tesla n

If the Bolt is built as good as the Volt … it will be very dangerous for me to test drive one… I may have to buy one.

Projected New Car Benchmarks:

2016 – 200 Mile / 60 KWh
2019 – 250 Mile / 80 KWh
2022 – 300 Mile / 100 KWh

All at a nominal $37 K before tax credits.

To reach the 300 mile/100 Kwh promised land there has to be demand and sales for the 200 mile BEV today.

I agree. The Bolt really needs to break through the 2 ~ 3 K / Mo. U.S. Sales Ceiling for a given BEV, and show that there is real mainstream demand for such offerings.