Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

It was 2 months ago when General Motors made this announcement related to the Chevrolet Bolt:

“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.”

Update (below): GM Clarification

That "more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range" is now "a maximum range of 320 km," or 198.8 miles.

"Lightweight materials – including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh – add to the design while keeping down the curb weight to give the Bolt a maximum range of 320 km."

The latest Bolt EV range announcement comes to us from Shanghai, where General Motors is showing off a bevy of plug in vehicles, including the all-new Cadillac CT6 PHEV.

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UPDATE: We contacted General Motors immediately on the change of wording surrounding the range expectations of the Chevrolet Bolt from China, and they put the focus on a "incorrect" statement on the part of the "team in China".  The press release has now been corrected to reflect GM's earlier assumptions.

"Lightweight materials – including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh – add to the design while keeping down the curb weight to give the Bolt EV a range of more than 320 km (200 miles). "

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You may be thinking that dropping from 200 miles to 198.8 is no big deal.  However, if we examine how it's worded, then there's a significant change.  Maximum range implies ideal circumstances.  For example, the current Nissan LEAF has a maximum range, as stated by Nissan, of "up to 124 miles:"

"CALCULATING YOUR RANGE WITH THE NEW NISSAN LEAF"

"SO HOW FAR CAN I GO? Every full charge will give you a range of up to 124 miles."

Yet the LEAF is rated at 84 miles of range, per the EPA, or 40 miles less than the max.  If we speculate that a similar formula would apply to the Bolt EV, then maybe its EPA-rated range will be more in the 150-160 mile range, or well short of the "GM-estimated 200 miles of range."

Is the 200-mile, affordable electric car not actually reality? Maybe 150 miles at an attractive price is what we should expect.

Here's the press release from General Motors on the Bolt EV in Shanghai:

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept

The Bolt EV concept had its global premiere at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It is a game-changing electric vehicle that signals Chevrolet's commitment to bring electrification to today's consumer with unexpected functionality, technology and crossover proportions.

It features Chevrolet's classic dual-cockpit styling, while uniquely integrating user-friendly technology to offer a worry-free, delightful driving experience. Lightweight materials – including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh – add to the design while keeping down the curb weight to give the Bolt a maximum range of 320 km.

Drivers will be able to select operating modes designed around preferred driving styles such as daily commuting and spirited weekend cruising, for uncompromising electric driving. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging.

The model’s technological intuitiveness can be accessed via a smartphone with the concept Bolt EV Connect app. This is designed to allow a smartphone to perform as the key fob, allow ride-sharing management, and incorporate the concept automatic park-and-retrieval technology to enable the Bolt EV concept to park itself.