2017 Chevy Bolt: What We Know So Far
Keeping up with the electric car craze, Chevrolet has officially announced plans to produce the car that it had first introduced as a concept vehicle at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
That concept has evolved and GM has officially announced that the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, a battery-powered, all-electric subcompact crossover car will go into production beginning in October of 2016.
Touted as a real game-changer, production for the Bolt now targets Chevrolet dealerships in all 50 states, with a possible and eventual global reach.
GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, made this clear by assuring the media, “Trust me, this is no stripped-down science experiment,” a rap sometimes leveled at concept vehicles that never make it to the showroom.
Not to be confused with the anticipated release of the Chevy Volt 2.0, the brand’s hybrid vehicle, the Bolt is a newcomer to the green stage.
Ahead of Its Time
Granted, you could argue that any electric or hybrid vehicle is ahead of its time, but, in the case of the 2017 Chevy Bolt, it really is ahead of its time, destined for the production line far earlier than initially projected.
Alan Batey, President of General Motors North America, explains, “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles as the first affordable long-range EV in the market.”
Affordability over exclusivity is Chevy’s battle cry when it comes to this all-electric vehicle.
A not-so-subtle jab at Tesla, no doubt, which is also expected to release a similar vehicle, the Tesla Model 3.
Production on the 2017 Chevy Bolt is set to start in October 2016 at Michigan’s Orion Township assembly plant and General Motors has reportedly invested 200 million dollars into its production plans with an estimated 25,000-30,000 cars to be manufactured annually.
“For most people,” Barra said, “this will be their everyday driver.”
And those people will enjoy some options when it comes to selecting driving modes, whether they are commuting or embarking on a more exciting, sporty adventure.
Shifting from one mode to another adjusts the throttle, vehicle ride height, and suspension tuning.
This is guilt-free fun for those consumers who love to have fun behind the wheel, but do not want to do so at the expense of the environment.
The Differences Between the Bolt and Volt 2.0
Given that Chevy will also release the next generation of the Volt, some automotive experts have raised concerns that sales from one might cannibalize sales of the other, therefore not making significant profit for Chevy overall.
But, it’s important to remember that these cars are powered very differently.
The Chevy Volt 2.0 is a five-seater plug-in hybrid, featuring significant improvements over the first generation Volt.
Boasting the best electric range of all plug-in hybrids at 50 miles. Combined electric and gas boosts the range to more than 400 miles.
For fuel economy, the Volt 2.0 gets 41 mpg, making it 12 percent more fuel efficient than the Volt 1.0, in part due to on-demand regenerative braking.
Acceleration from 0-30 mph shows a 19 percent improvement over the first generation.
Although the Bolt and Volt 2.0 might be released within a fairly similar time frame, they both have unique offerings which make them serious competitors, but not against each other.
Instead, both cars will likely give the Nissan Leaf, the BMW i3, Toyota Prius, Ford Energi, and the Tesla Model 3 something to worry about.
In fact, Chevy has decided to sell the 2017 Bolt in all fifty states, which would mean that Chevrolet would be the only auto manufacturer to see a top plug-in hybrid in its class, side-by-side with a completely electric vehicle.
Only a confident car manufacturer would make such a move and Chevy has the chops to do so.
Built on the General Motors’ Gamma architecture, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is expected to offer an impressive range of 200 miles, powered entirely by an electric battery with 55-60 kilowatt hours.
The battery pack will be stored under the floor, out of sight, and is projected to be approximately three times the size of those found in other GM alternative-fuel vehicles.
Though exact specifications have yet to be released, the Chevy Bolt’s body is apparently constructed of aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber.
The beauty of carbon fiber is that it is a lighter material, which reduced the Bolt’s overall mass.
A lighter mass for its all-electric car better supports Chevy’s ambition to achieve improvements in range while maintaining a competitive fuel economy and keeping costs affordable.
Affordable and Accessible
If it stays on course, Chevy will hit both its targets when it comes to affordability and accessibility.
The base price for the 2017 Chevy Bolt is estimated at $37,500.
But, because it is an entirely electric car, it does qualify for the Federal income tax credit of $7,500, which brings the total cost down to an nice, round $30,000.
At this price, the 2017 Chevy Bolt stands to be one of the most affordable, and therefore, accessible, electric cars on the market.
This is impressive when we remember that the Bolt has a significantly larger battery pack than its competitors.
Chevy has managed to keep costs minimal while increasing output, a perfect recipe for customer satisfaction overall.
Though it’s a small car, the four-seater Chevy Bolt is big on fun.
And it looks fresh and feisty.
Take the full-length glass roof and wraparound rear window, a stunning amount of glassy surfaces, giving the Bolt a clean and sleek image.
Connectivity is no problem for the Bolt because this car is its own hotspot, equipped with 4G LTE Wi-Fi and two large LCD screens
Drivers can even operate their smartphones as a key fob, allowing them to lock and unlock the doors.
Another technological edge includes “Automatic Park and Retrieval,” meaning drivers can exit the 2017 Chevy Bolt and the car will essentially park itself.
An impressive and futuristic move, especially when trying to maneuver into a tight city parking spot.
With these new Chevy contributions, now is perhaps the most exciting time in the EV world.
Try out a smaller carbon footprint with an all-electric or hybrid car from any stellar Chevrolet dealerships.