Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Preview
By Jeff Youngs,
- Electric car priced at $30,000
- Driving range of 200 miles
- DC Fast Charge capability
- 4-passenger capacity
- Different driving modes for different driving situations
With the Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept, which General Motors introduced at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the automaker signals its intent to develop an affordable electric vehicle with significant driving range.
"The Bolt EV Concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers."
According to GM, the goal is to develop a vehicle like the Chevy Bolt EV that is priced around $30,000 and can travel 200 miles on a single battery charge.
Starting with a clean-sheet design, Chevrolet has placed the Bolt EV's wheels close to the corners of the vehicle, and elevates the cabin above the electric drivetrain in order to provide as much interior space in as small a vehicle footprint as is possible.
Aerodynamics plays a key role in maximizing the Bolt EV Concept's theoretical driving range, and the car features vented rear fenders in order to better smooth air flow at the rear of the vehicle.
For the Bolt EV concept vehicle, Chevrolet employs carbon fiber, aluminum, magnesium, and woven mesh to reduce vehicle weight, strengthen the structure, and maximize driving range. For the Bolt EV to become a $30,000 reality, the price of such materials will need to fall.
Equipped with 4-passenger capacity, the Chevrolet Bolt EV features a dual-cockpit dashboard design with frosted and translucent surfaces that flow into the front door panels.
Occupants sit in seats on aluminum pedestals mounted to a flat cabin floor. The goal is to deliver a floating effect for the seating, and the center console is suspended between the front seats for the same reason.
Designers also used generous amounts of glass to provide what Chevrolet characterizes as an open and airy cabin. A full-length, frosted glass roof is said to make the interior feel even more expansive.
Under the Hood
Chevrolet did not divulge details associated with the Bolt EV Concept's electric drivetrain, other than to explain that the different driving modes adjust the vehicle's accelerator pedal mapping, ride height, and suspension tuning to different types of driving. Standard DC Fast Charger compatibility ensures quick re-charging times when using the right equipment.
Equipped with a 10-in. capacitive-touch infotainment system, the Bolt EV Concept features an EV Connect smartphone app that allows the smartphone to serve as the vehicle's key fob in addition to remotely managing various aspects of the vehicle's charging, heating, and ventilation systems.
Chevrolet has also designed the Bolt EV for compatibility with ride-sharing services. Using the EV Connect app, aspects of ride-share programs can be managed right from the smartphone's screen, including vehicle access and starting, vehicle location, payment processing, and more.
The Bolt EV Concept also has an automatic park-and-retrieval system that works similar to technology that Audi has pioneered and continues to develop. Working similar to a valet service, this autonomous driving system parks the Bolt in an empty space after you've exited near the entrance of a mall or restaurant. When the Bolt EV's driver is ready to head home, he or she uses the EV Connect app to summon the vehicle, which will autonomously return to pick up the driver.
- Highlights From the 2015 Detroit Auto Show
- Chevrolet Car, Truck & SUV Quality, Dependability & Performance Ratings
- 2015 Chevrolet Cars Buyer's Guide