Chevrolet is getting ready to launch the all-new Bolt electric car this fall, going on sale very soon. And leading up to this, they’ve announced full specs including its 238 mile range.
Chevrolet’s new dedicated electric car is the first from a major automotive brand to crack the 200 mile range barrier previously only crossed by expensive exotics like Tesla. But here, instead of an expensive luxury car, the Bolt will start at about $30,000 after federal tax incentives.
While its styling isn’t breaking any barriers, it’s size is about the same as a Kia Soul with its 101-inch wheelbase and length of 164-inches. It’s tallish at about 63-inches to accommodate its large battery pack under the floor.
There, the 238 mile range comes by way of a huge 60 kWh 288 cell lithium-ion L-shaped battery pack that can be charged with a 110v wall outlet, a Level 2 240v charger, or a DC fast charger.
The first benefit of the packaging of the battery under the floor is a lower center of gravity much like the Tesla Model S enjoys. The second is that interior space and storage remains just as commodious and versatile as any other five door hatch.
The rear cargo area has under deck storage and the ability to fold rear seats down for larger items. Rear passengers have a seat high enough to be comfortable and leg room comparable to mid-size sedans and crossovers.
From behind the wheel, Chevrolet Volt drivers will recognize a similar layout of dual screens for all things including the center instrument cluster and the large 10.2 inch multi-purpose screen of the center stack controls.
Steering wheel paddle shifters and the console shifter will allow drivers to use a regen on demand feature, along with the gas pedal to leverage regenerative braking more than ever. In the top setting, lifting the accelerator will actually engage regen braking strong enough to stop the car gradually, charging the battery as you go.
While the starting price will be attractive, you will be able to option the Bolt well up into the 40,000 range with upgrades and technologies both of infotainment as well as driver assistance features like the new camera based rear view mirror first seen in Cadillac models.
And the Chevrolet Bolt promises to be fun to drive, with 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque from its permanent magnet electric motor and single speed gear unit. With a curb weight of 3580 pounds and a promised 0-60 time of under 7 seconds, it won’t feel dead on arrival like most hybrids on the market.
In fact those power numbers put it right in line with the Volkswagen GTI, but alas the GTI is about 500 pounds lighter. Yes this is a far fetched comparison, but its a hell of a lot closer to a GTI than a Prius is.
The 2017 Bolt will have a starting MSRP below $37,500 before the $7,500 federal tax credit. This means effective price is just under $30,000. It’s even lower than that if you combine a state tax credit that might be available to you.
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt arrives in dealerships in California and other EV friendly states later this year and will propagate to all fifty states in the coming year or two. It will be built in Orion Township, Michigan.