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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Demonstrates GM Leadership in Affordable Electric Cars

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Demonstrates GM Leadership in Affordable Electric Cars

By Christian Wardlaw, January 06, 2016

Electrifying the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, General Motors kicked off 2016 with more than just a flash of brilliance, officially unwrapping the new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV and demonstrating industry leadership in affordable electric vehicles.

Different in concept from the Chevrolet Volt, which is an electric car with a range-extending gasoline generator that can be driven from coast to coast without needing a battery recharge, the new Chevrolet Bolt is what General Motors calls a long-range electric car that can travel 200 miles or more between visits to an electrical outlet. This estimated driving range is double what the Bolt’s competition offers. Better yet, Chevrolet says you can buy this long-range EV for less than $30,000 after taking advantage of the full federal tax credit.

Production of the new electric vehicle starts in late 2016 at a facility near Detroit, and Chevrolet divulged no details about the Bolt EV’s drivetrain in Las Vegas except to say the car uses a flat battery pack located beneath the passenger compartment. Like other electric vehicles, the Bolt will certainly offer maximum torque from the moment the driver steps on the accelerator pedal, and with all of the battery weight snugged down low in the vehicle platform, this new Chevy should feel nimble when taking corners. Until more details surface, though, recharging times remain a mystery.

Form follows function with the Bolt, so the car adopts a tall, 5-passenger multi-purpose vehicle body style that Chevrolet likens to “the look of a small crossover.” Light-emitting Diode (LED) headlights and taillights provide illumination, the latter integrated into a rear liftgate that opens wide to reveal 16.9 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats. Chevrolet says that is more room than you’ll find in a BMW i3 or a Honda Fit.

Five passengers fit inside the Chevy Bolt, sitting on thin-frame seat designs that maximize space. Getting into and out of this tall-riding car should prove easy, and Chevrolet promises all occupants a panoramic view of the car’s surroundings.

Facing a “floating” instrument panel, the driver and front passenger are separated by a center console with cupholders, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and a sliding center armrest that covers a storage bin large enough for a tablet computer. Metallic White interior trim and Electrification Blue ambient cabin lighting give the Bolt a vibrant appearance, day or night. Camera-based rearview mirror technology shows an image rather than a reflection of what’s behind the Bolt in order to provide unobstructed visibility, and a Surround Vision camera view supplies a top-down vantage point for parking and reversing.

Next-generation Chevrolet MyLink infotainment technology will equip the Bolt with a 10.2-in. capacitive-touch display screen, “flipboard-style” operation, new low-energy Bluetooth connection that automatically connects the owner’s smartphone to the car as he or she approaches, and a new MyChevrolet Mobile App that supports ride sharing, charging-station locator service, and gamification so that Bolt owners can compete against one another for efficient driving rewards. Chevrolet also envisions that the Bolt will take owner driving habits, route topography, weather conditions, and the time of day into account when calculating remaining range estimates, helping to resolve the range-anxiety that occasionally affects EV owners.

More details about the game-changing Chevy Bolt EV will be available in the months to come. Based on what we know now, and within the context of affordable electric vehicles, the new Bolt is clearly an industry game-changer.

Additional Research:

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