Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chevy Bolt, Volt and Goat

Actually, I'm kidding on the last one, Goat or GTO died with Pontiac which is sad.  The future for Chevy however is pretty electric.  Very Electric and all electric with the recently revealed Chevrolet Bolt.  The car Elon Musk said no manufacture could build, well Chevy just did it.  A purpose built from the ground up all electric car, the Bolt concept was revealed at this years NAIAS in Detroit.
The Chevrolet Bolt due to launch next year is GM's latest iteration of the electric car.  Recall they did the EV-1 sold through Saturn dealerships some 20 years ago then killed it as there was really no demand for electric cars then.  Flash forward to now and CA mandate for zero emissions auto and there's an artificial demand for electric cars and they are heavily subsidized with Federal and State incentives to the tune of nearly 10K depending on your income bracket.  That's not chump change and with a moderately priced car like the Bolt it suddenly becomes very affordable.

What we do know about the bolt is that it is a tall EV to maximize interior room.  It will use GM's newest Lithium ion batteries and capable of being fast charged.  Range is preliminarily estimated at 200 miles which makes this very practical for everything but extended road Vegas runs with this baby unless you have access to a fast charger at the half way point.  Still 200 miles is nothing to sneeze at and pretty much what one gets around town in a compact gasser.  Nice job if the numbers pull through.

Speaking of numbers officially Chevy says the price will be about $30,000 for a nicely equipped Bolt.  Off the record I over heard in the potty at NAIAS some GM Execs talking about how they were being pressed hard by another publication for a hard price.  They acknowledged full sticker price will be closer to 40K and with Federal and local incentives the price would be down around the 30K.  Makes sense, why the guess is incentive amounts will vary and are in question with the 2016 elections. No official on sale date was give for the car.

At the end of the day the Bolt is a nice dart tossed at Elon Musk and his "I build the cars no one else dares to".  (Several such darts were tossed at Tesla/Musk at NAIAS but I digress and giving the devil his due he's the first to really build a EV that people want and respect as a real car not a novelty).

Chevy didn't stop with the Bolt, they also have revealed the next generation Chevy Volt.   This car gets a host of feature updates as well as technology and complete redesign on the outside.

The Volt for 2016 maintains its profile but all the hard edges and creases are massaged into gentle curves and swoops.  It looks much more aerodynamic and mainstream.

Under the hood it has a newer battery pack, again using their newest battery technology.  This combined with a new gas engine for range extending improves performance, mileage and can travel up to 50 miles in all electric mode.  Price also is lower than the first generation Volt which adds up to a much more affordable gas/electric hybrid.

UPDATE 8/6/2015 General Motors Executive Chief Engineer Electrified Vehicles Pamela Fletcher announces the second-generation Chevrolet Volt delivers 53 miles of pure EV range, based on EPA testing, Tuesday, August 4, 2015 during her 'Advanced Powertrain Forum:  Developing Powertrain Diversity' presentation at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan..

More pics from NAIAS and the Chevy Bolt/Volt can be found in my flickr album.