Chevrolet went out on a limb back in 2010 when it introduced the 2011 Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle.
Now it’s taking a much riskier step by showing off the upcoming battery-powered Bolt—a pure electric car with a promised 200-mile range.
At first glance, the Bolt looks very similar to BMW’s i3 electric car, though it doesn’t have the BMW’s striking window line and blue accents.
But it’s less like the BMW when you consider its estimated price of $37,500 (before incentives). That's several thousand dollars cheaper than the BMW, for more than twice the electric range.
The price should keep it on par with the Tesla Model 3, which has been promised with a similar driving range and price. The third-generation Tesla isn’t due until the end of the decade.
GM hasn’t disclosed many other technical details about the Bolt, but we do know that it might feature a flat-battery pack stored below the cabin.
That design should allow the flat, flow-through floor featured in the concept. It adds to the overall roominess of the cabin, which Chevy says has been designed to seat four adults comfortably.
As for the driving experience, the main interface with the Bolt is a 10-inch touchscreen located in the center of the dash.
The driver is able to select operating modes designed around preferred driving styles, from daily commuting to weekend cruising. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning.
The Bolt EV is also designed to support DC fast charging, though no quotes on battery capacity or full recharge time were given.
Although the Bolt EV concept on display this week in Detroit features some premium materials such as magnesium and even some carbon fiber in its construction, we expect the production model to miss out on these.
More details on the Bolt electric-car concept should be released in the near future. Stay tuned for more as the Bolt rolls out toward a launch for model year 2018--perhaps under another name.