It's common practice in the industry for automakers to base multiple different models on the same basic platform or architecture.

This allows them to amortize the development costs of new platforms across a wider range of products.

It also means that two seemingly dissimilar models—such as a sedan and a utility vehicle—can share significant DNA.

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But could General Motors employ that practice with its 238-mile, $37,495 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car?

Judging from comments made by GM CEO Mary Barra during last month's Detroit Auto Show, the answer seems to be "yes."

"The Bolt is our platform that we're going to continue on and have a huge range of vehicles," Barra said during an interview with CNET's Roadshow in Detroit.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Barra did not offer specifics, but any attempt to base multiple models off the Bolt platform would be an evolution in strategy for GM, or indeed for any established automaker.

Since the debut of modern electric cars just over six years ago, the main focus has been getting established automakers to introduce at least one electric car of some kind.

Most of the plug-in hybrid models on the market, for instance, are adaptations of existing hybrid or conventional gasoline models.

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