Chevrolet Bolt Ay 2015 NAIAS

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 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)

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 - We Suspect This Will Change Dramatically In The Move From Concept To Production

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.

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.