Category Archives: Bolt EV

Analysts Predict Strong Start For Chevrolet Bolt Sales

With Chevrolet preparing for perhaps one of its most important launches ever, the competition between the bow tie brand’s Bolt EV and Tesla’s Model 3 sedan is heating up. This was perhaps most noticeable during the Model 3’s highly anticipated unveiling in March which saw the Silicon Valley based car company garner hundreds of thousands of deposits during the first day. So how important will an edge in this heated battle be for Chevrolet?

Critically important, according to Kelly Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer who predicts that Chevrolet will sell between 30,000 and 80,000 Bolts during its first year on the market. These are ambitious figures for a pure electric vehicle, and the 30,000 unit low end that was forecasted by Brauer is nearly double the low end of other EV offerings currently on the market. The Bolt would also have an advantage in getting out to customers with the model expected to be released in late 2016 before being available nationwide in 2017. The Model 3 in contrast is slated to arrive in late 2017 with the vast majority of early adopters possibly not getting their hands on the car until 2018 and beyond. This late release would give the Bolt an early lead, and also prove to be enticing to fleet managers that want first dibs on a new vehicle for their commercial fleets.

In addition the Bolt could potentially be crowned the king of the EV’s and help score an impressive victory for Detroit while also dealing Tesla a key blow to both its image and prestige among EV buyers. In addition to this image boost, GM can benefit from the improved average fuel economy that the Bolt would provide. This improved figure would allow  the firm to sell more of its profitable pickup trucks and SUVs.

It would be interesting to see what happens if Bolt sales lean towards the higher end of this spectrum especially in regards to the fierce competition between the Bolt and the Model 3. More importantly the battle could turn into a three way affair when Ford’s 200 mile range EV gets involved in the festivities in its own attempt to shake up the EV sales race in Ford’s favor.

Chevrolet Unveils Cruze Hatchback and Chevrolet Bolt EV

Following a slew of teaser images, Chevrolet took the wraps off of a pair of key offerings the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback and the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV with the brand having big plans for both of them. We spent some quality time with each one at the 2016 North American International Auto Show to see how both of them measured up as well as find out whether the duo has what it takes to take the fight to their respective rivals.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback: 

The first thing we did when we first saw the Cruze Hatchback on display was to find out whether a performance oriented model would be offered (an question we promised to ask in our original article about the car.) While Chevrolet representatives were tight lipped on the matter (despite our best efforts) the car does make a compelling case for the addition of such a variant.

The exterior styling of the Cruze Hatchback still looks as good in person as it does in pictures, with the sporty rear fascia treatment being our favorite highlight. It has subtle hints of the Opel Astra in its design, and it makes the Hatchback look fun and practical. TheIMG_0295 front end is largely carried over over unchanged from the sedan, and while it does look a tad awkward, it still retains a subtle hint of sportiness which is a noteworthy improvement over the previous generation Cruze and its rather bland looks.

The interior also retains much of what initially debuted in the sedan, but in our opinion its actually a good thing. The three spoke steering wheel and slick dashboard design help give the cabin a youthful look, while the seats themselves are comfortable, and have a IMG_0298commendable amount of support especially for both the mid and lower back area. Other highlights that caught our attention included the latest iteration of Chevrolet’s Intellilink system as well as the improved use of materials (including the elimination of the weird fabric like material for the dashboard.)

When the hatchback does eventually make its way to dealer lots, it will be offered with the sedan’s 1.4 liter 153 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder engine and a six speed automatic transmission. While this is a commendable combination, imagine what numbers a hot hatchback variant would generate with GM’s familiar 2.0 liter turbocharged LTG four cylinder and a proper six speed manual gearbox.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt: 

The 2017 Bolt on the other hand does not care about 0 to 60 times or the notion of performance, instead, its purpose in life is to bring EV motoring to a broader audience while also beating Tesla and its Model 3 sedan to the punch.

The exterior styling has a youthful look to it and unlike the CES concept which featured a dull grey hue. Chevrolet chose to showcase the car here in Detroit with a slick orange paint IMG_0302job which reminds us of the color that once adorned the Bolt concept car. The styling also has subtle hints of its bigger EV cousin the Volt, and it especially is prevalent in the taillight design which looks great, and further enhances the Bolt’s styling credentials.

The interior of the Bolt also retains the airy spacious feel that defined the concept. Chevrolet representatives did lock the car before we could get inside to take pictures, but take it from us, it looks and feels better in person than it does in pictures. This is especially true of the seats which are reasonably comfortable and look upscale. We are curious to see whether the company will bring special design editions of the Bolt out into the marketplace In an effort to sway buyers away from rivals such as the Kia Soul EV and the Nissan Leaf.

We look forward to seeing how both of these models measure up when they make their respective debuts on dealer lots but if this initial first impression is this good, then it looks like the bowtie brand has a pair of winners on its hands.

Chevrolet Unveils 2017 Bolt EV

Following its unintentional unveiling at the hands of a persistent spy photographer, Chevrolet has formally debuted the production version of the 2017 Bolt at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Nevada signaling its intent to compete with the Tesla Model 3 while also showcasing several new technologies.

When we last saw the Bolt, it was in concept form at the 2015 North American International Auto Show where it shared the stage with the then debuting 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The production version remains very close to that original concept car, but ditches the orange paint for a more conventional shade of grey, while the front fascia benefits from thicker 2017-Chevrolet-BoltEV-014headlight housings and a reworked faux grille assembly. The rear fascia also remains true to what was seen at NAIAS, but the tail lights have been reshaped, and share some of their inspiration with the Volt. The red LED elements in particular have been fully integrated into the full width hatch with the secondary lighting elements located in the rear bumper.

Chevrolet designers wanted to give the Bolt “the look of a small crossover” and this starts with its 102.4 inch wheelbase which is a full two inches more than the equally compact Buick Encore and Chevrolet Trax. This is also evident in the location of the flat battery pack which is mounted beneath the floor, this allows the Bolt to seat up to five passengers and hold 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. This is more than the Honda Fit and the BMW i3 with GM proudly highlighting this fact in its remarks to the assembled crowds at CES. “The flat battery pack really opened up the interior and created a fantastic view from every seating position” stated design managing director Stuart Morris.  “All of this additional space gave us alot of opportunities to play with creative design and storage solutions.”

The interior of the Bolt is highlighted by a ‘floating’ instrument cluster which focuses on the 10.2 inch color touchscreen. A rear mounted camera provides a wide-range view, which is presented on a digital display built into the rear-view mirror, while other cameras provide ‘surround vision’ when parking or driving at low speeds. The interior also retains 2017-Chevrolet-BoltEV-006the airy feel that defined the concept car, but without infringing on ergonomics unlike the i3 and its cabin design. Curiously, Chevrolet engineers chose a unique way to promote efficient driving habits with the use of all new “Gamification” technology.  While details regarding the full potential of this suite of features is sparse, GM did reveal that it would allow Bolt drivers to compete against each other for ranking spots as well as special green driving awards.

Chevrolet also reaffirmed its pledge to deliver at least 200 miles of electric driving range but a formal figure was not revealed during the brand’s press conference. Production is expected to begin before the end of 2016 which could give Chevy a considerable head start against Tesla’s contender the Model 3. The Bolt’s introduction also highlights a broader initiative to increase the amount of EVs available in the marketplace with several automakers planning to add entries over the next two years to take full advantage of declining battery prices. GM revealed that it also intends to outshine the Model 3 when it comes to overall price, with the Bolt starting at $37,000 which is less expensive than may rivals, and would also be less expensive than the Model 3 which would most likely have a slightly higher base price when it eventually arrives on dealer lots.

 

General Motors Unveils 2016 Chevrolet Volt, Previews Future i3 Competitor With Bolt EV Concept.

Following its brief appearance at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, Chevrolet formally took the veil off of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt ,as well as unleashing a surprise in the form of the Bolt EV Concept.

2016 Chevrolet Volt: The exterior styling of the Volt ditches the previous generation’s Prius inspired lines in lieu of a more streamlined look that was crafted as a result of countless hours of wind tunnel testing. The front fascia is more of an evolutionary than revolutionary affair, and features a two piece radiator grille and slightly elongated 2016 Chevrolet Voltheadlights. However, once you go past the B Pillar the styling takes a radical turn towards the revolutionary category thanks to its fastback silhouette, better looking tail lamps, as well as a sculpted trunk lid. The Volt’s basic hatchback layout does remain intact which should please buyers looking for a practical companion that can swallow a copious amount of cargo.

The interior now offers seating for five passengers (up one from before) however with the back seat still somewhat tight, it is best to use that space for small children, adults, or rowdy in laws. The instrument cluster has also received a makeover and has been replaced with an eight inch color screen that can be customized to provide information such as battery life, and other vital information. A second eight inch color2016 Chevrolet Volt screen located on the center stack is in charge of Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system and also displays any image picked up by the rear view backup camera. Overall the interior appears to be much more refined than before and now boasts fewer buttons which should please critics that complained about the ergonomics issues that plagued the previous generation Volt.

Look for the 2016 Chevrolet Volt to go on sale during the second quarter of 2015. General Motors has not revealed whether its Opel European division will get a version for their own lineup. Expect GM to put a considerable amount of thought into that particular decision especially since the first generation Ampera floundered in low sales figures during its time in production.

Bolt EV Concept: Unlike Ford (which managed to keep the Ford GT’s appearance a surprise.) The Bolt EV Concept was perhaps one of the worst kept secrets of the 2015 North IMG_8974American International Auto Show especially since we (along with countless others) managed to catch a glimpse of it earlier in the morning during preparations for Chevrolet’s press conference. Lack of good timing aside, the Bolt EV does preview what a potential i3 or Tesla rival would look like if it were to enter production right now.

The exterior styling of the Bolt is typical of a small economy minded crossover and was designed to achieve a minimum footprint while retaining maximum practicality. While the front fascia does look a bit odd, it does give the Bolt a futuristic look which is accented IMG_9036further by its Volt inspired tail lamps. The airy interior was designed to maximize available interior room while using weight saving techniques to help keep unnecessary pounds off the concept which improves range.

“We have made tremendous strides in technologies that make it easier and more affordable for Chevrolet customers to integrate an all-electric vehicle in their daily lives,” said Barra. “The Bolt EV concept demonstrates General Motors’ commitment to electrification and the capabilities of our advanced EV technology.”

Barra also hinted that the company was serious about bringing a vehicle like the Bolt into formal production revealing “Form and function have never meshed so well together,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. “No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet.”

Stay tuned in the coming months to see what direction GM goes with the Bolt. If it makes it to production, it could be a formidable contender to the similarly sized BMW i3 electric car thanks to a lower base price versus that of the pricier BMW. In the meantime you can check out the gallery below which features both vehicles.