In today’s market, you can’t find an all-electric vehicle with a range of 200 miles in the $30,000 price range (after government tax incentives). Sure, Tesla offers vehicles as capable, but they’re priced beyond the budgets of most car buyers. And the BMW i3 offers an electric range of 150 miles, with an optional gas range extender providing support just in case. Still, that’s at least a $41,000 proposition. Then there are cars like the Chevrolet Spark EV and Nissan Leaf, which come in at a lower price point but offer far lower range capability. Enter the Chevrolet Bolt Concept.
Shown this morning at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, the Chevrolet Bolt Concept seems to be a glimpse into Chevrolet’s not-too-distant future. Sure, Chevrolet is playing it off as a concept for now, and the car, at least in its current state, will unlikely be its final form, but you can expect an electric car from Chevrolet with a range of 200 miles to reach the market soon. Possibly as soon as 2017.
This is based on a steady stream of quotes from General Motors executives dating as far back as 2013, indicating that Chevrolet will indeed offer an electric car with a 200-mile range with a moderately-affordable price tag. Is $30,000 too much? The Average Transaction Price (ATP) for an automobile in America in 2014 was $37,000. That amount will probably climb slightly in 2015.
In concept form, the Chevrolet Bolt features extensive use of lightweight materials, including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and even woven mesh to help keep its undisclosed curb weight down, all in the name of a higher driving range. The range is also assisted by small aerodynamic features such as vented rear fenders. Inside, the little electric car retains an airy cabin feel thanks to extensive use of glass, utilized on the roof and on the wraparound rear window.
The Chevrolet Bolt also features its own app that allows the owner’s smartphone to operate as a key fob, manage ride-sharing, and initiate the conceptual park-and-retrieve technology. The latter turns the Bolt into its own valet, parking itself while the driver is dropped off at the entrance to the mall, for example. The information can also be displayed on the Bolt’s 10-inch capacitive touch screen. And that’s not all, as the Chevrolet Bolt Concept was also designed with DC fast charging in mind.