CARS.COM — GM made good on last year's promise of a 200-mile electric car with the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. The automaker says the production version of the all-electric hatchback will go more than 200 miles on a single battery charge.
The Bolt's profile — short overhangs and an aggressively climbing beltline — stays true to the Bolt EV Concept shown a year ago, but the face gets larger headlights and dedicated upper and lower grille cutouts. Fans of the concept will probably be most disappointed with the production Bolt's rear, which slaps large, albeit interesting, taillights below a rakish rear window and big C-pillars. The Bolt EV Concept had smaller taillights and a squared-out window. The production car could be harder to see out of.
Not to worry: GM says the rearview mirror has a camera overlay, like the one in Cadillac's new XT5 SUV, that shows what's behind you without roof pillars, head restraints or passengers blocking the view. Other tech includes a 10.2-inch dashboard touch-screen with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, a navigation system with range-maximizing routes and a unique Bluetooth system that GM says uses less energy.
The five-seat interior looks efficiently packaged, with no front or rear center humps to crowd knee or foot space. Up front, the sprawling dashboard features a lot of overlapping materials, including textured panels that recall the BMW i3's odd Kenaf-fiber panels.
The Bolt's battery pack sits underneath the floor, and GM claims 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. That's similar to a Honda Fit. GM didn't share any details on the battery pack itself, but 200 miles of range is a big breakthrough if the automaker can deliver on the Bolt's promised starting price — around $30,000 after a $7,500 federal tax credit, as stated in early 2015. Save for a couple pricey Tesla models, the EPA-estimated electric range for today's EVs generally falls below 100 miles, and even the Nissan Leaf's recently beefed-up range of 107 miles is paltry by Bolt standards.
A GM spokeswoman did not respond to our request for pricing or other details, but CEO Mary Barra said in a statement that the car would be "attainable by the masses."
We'll likely know before year's end. The Bolt goes into production at the end of 2016 and should hit dealerships in the months thereafter.