While it may seem like the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is nearly a 2016 Chevrolet Volt on electrified steroids, both vehicles offer a solution for very different consumers. Chevrolet product manager, Shad Balch, recently spoke with the LA Times about both the Bolt and Volt, and how they accomplish seperate goals in the market.
There’s an obvious one: the 2017 Bolt EV uses no gasoline at all, while the 2016 Volt utilizes a petrol engine as a range extender. “The Volt is for someone who still needs a car with a gasoline engine that can make that long drive,” said Balch. The Bolt EV works for those who aren’t making long-distance drives, but that doesn’t discount the EV’s capabilities, since 80-percent of the charge can be had in a very short time recharge period.
“We’re at about the 100,000 mark for Volts sold and we are the number one best selling plug-in hybrid in the U.S.,” said Balch adding Chevrolet has had top customer satisfaction with the Volt.
As for the 2017 Bolt EV, its arch rival, the Tesla Model 3 was brought up. Still, Chevrolet and General Motors aren’t worried about Mr. Elon Musk and his sedan that is still years away from mass production.
“Every story about the Model 3 includes a mention of the Bolt EV and our target date is ahead of theirs,” said Balch noting pre-production Bolts have already been built. The 2017 Bolt EV will begin production late this year at the Orion assembly in Michigan.
Finally, for curious minds, Chevrolet won’t offer too much variety with the Bolt EV. Balch stated most of the major options such as connectivity and creature comforts will be loaded at base-spec models.
“There will be some options, but the base car will have most of our content and connectivity features, including active safety features,” he remarked. “That will all be standard from the lower trim level.”