TechCrunch enjoyed a recent opportunity to check out the all-new Chevrolet Bolt EV, and talked to some of the engineers and designers behind the car's production.
The reps from Chevrolet told TC that Chevy's electric vehicles are selling better than Tesla in Canada. This includes the Chevrolet Bolt and the Chevrolet Volt. A spokesperson for the company said:
“We are the leader in the electrification of vehicles.”
While most feel that Tesla is the true leader, GM is the only major automaker with an affordable, long-range electric vehicle. Also, the Volt is arguably the best option out there for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and its sales figures are proof.
TC loved the car's 238-mile range, noting that it exceeds that of Tesla's base Model S (both of which have 60 kWh battery packs). Of course, Tesla has models that have larger batteries and considerably more range, but the point is that even the base vehicle is more than twice as expensive as the Chevrolet Bolt.
TC spoke with Mike Lelli, the Chief Engineer for the Bolt. He pointed out the balance of light materials, with those that maintain structural integrity and strength. Lelli also pointed out the low center of gravity created by the Bolt's battery placement, as well as the low-load flat cargo floor. TC also learned that the motor basically has only one gear. TC concluded:
"The Bolt EV does feel like a vehicle capable of leading the industry."
However, time will be the true test, once the Bolt becomes widely available, and other automakers' competition hits roadways.