This Is The Chevrolet Bolt Concept: NAIAS 201510
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.
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I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, without a sufficient Level 3 charging network – they’d better offer an optional range extender.
Drove 1,400 miles in my Sky Red Line last week. Tesla Superchargers dotted the journey – Level 3 chargers did not.
I like the idea that this concept offers, but I have to admit that the skeptic in me is right there with you. We need more infrastructure if they ever want these to be a viable alternative IMO.
Compared to the Spark, it’s a much better looking car.
This vehicle would work for our family as a 2nd vehicle. Still need a large CUV to go cross country on vacations.
The 200 mile range gets me to our vacation home 160 miles away easily and then charge. However it would not make it to my siblings places 240 miles away so the gas power is still needed.
As far as I know there are no superchargers around here and no plans to install as far as I know.
Tell all your family to move closer… problem solved!
Or get a VOLT!!!
Its like saying my family lives in Hawaii and this cant get me there so its no good for anyone else either and everyone should get a Amphibious James Bond car or the new AeroMobile/Terrafugia. But wait… are there any mid-ocean/mid-sky fueling stops along the way?
“And the BMW i3 offers an electric range of 150 miles, with an optional gas range extender providing support just in case.”
Not quite accurate… The BMW i3 BEV has a pure electric range of 81 miles, and then must be recharged. The BMW i3 REX has a shorter pure electric range of 72 miles. Beyond that distance, the BMW i3 REX engages a turbocharged three cylinder engine as a generator to recharge the batteries while en route. Unfortunately, the generator can’t actually charge the batteries quickly enough to keep the car going indefinitely. Thus, the maximum range of 150 miles using that ‘range extender’. Of course, the diminutive 22.1 kWh battery pack and minuscule 1.9 gallon fuel tank are contributors to the short range as well.
The biggest problem with the BMW i3 that you didnt mention is that once the battery is depleted and the range extended kicks in due to a tiny 1.9 Gallon fuel tank you will need to stop every 30-40 miles to refuel and will be driving on reduced power which means you will likely need to get off the highway and take the side streets or have a roadside assistance number on speed dial.
Another less practical solution might be to carry a couple of extra 5 gallon gas tanks in the trunk so you dont have to stop at a gas station every 20 mins.
So… Are there no official specifications for this Chevrolet Bolt concept vehicle at all? Just a ‘200 mile range’ notation, and nothing else? No projections or listed goals for 0-60 MPH, 1/4 mile trap speed, top speed, skid pad rating, cargo space…? I mean, I’m still waiting for the 1988 Pontiac Banshee to arrive.
I like the idea of finally having a Voltec crossover. I’m just not sure that this is exactly what it should look like or that this should be the name. I can’t seem to think of anything better though. The only one I know is that the eventual Buick EV should be called the Electra. 🙂
Just imagine this drivetrain under the Tru 140S concept body. Definitely a tesla killer