A 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV prototype was recently caught testing in the wild, and now the brand has embraced the coverage wholeheartedly by trotting out its own photos and video of early development mules doing their thing at GM’s Milford Proving Ground in Michigan.
But the big news is that some 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV test mules are already exceeding the cars vaunted 200 miles of range, according Josh Tavel, the Bolt EV’s chief engineer.
Chevrolet is currently testing a total of 55 pre-production Bolts, a clear sign GM has full intention of keeping its promise to reveal the production Bolt EV next year. Similarly, over 1,000 engineers have been tasked with fast tracking Bolt development.
The mules are assembled at GM’s Orion plant in MI, and in South Korea, which also hammers together the Spark EV. The usual test procedures are being thrown at the incoming EV, according to GM– comfort, suspension, and the like, as well as EV-specific tests such as range verification and DV fast charging performance.
And, unlike the aforementioned Spark EV, GM is slated to offer the Bolt EV in all 50 states.
It’s a huge undertaking and one that, in our humble opinion, has the potential to swallow up large bites of the EV market, a budding segment occupied by vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S.
While many argue Tesla occupies a different part of the market, it’s worth remembering the Freemont, CA-based manufacturer has plans to offer the Model 3 in the coming years, a vehicle that will undercut the price of the Bolt (around $30,000 after incentives), according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Yet the Model 3 has been reportedly delayed. The Chevrolet Bolt EV program, meanwhile, seems to be fully charged.