LOS ANGELES, January 6, 2016 – The problem with most electric vehicles (EVs) is they are expensive and impractical. At CES 2016 – Chevrolet broke the EV mold by unleashing its affordable (under $30K), long-range (200 miles!), totally connected 2017 Chevy Bolt.
So why is The Bolt going to change everything?
GM’s now Chairman and CEO Mary Barra officially launched The Bolt by wowing the connected car crowd with the big news: The Bolt goes 200+ miles on a full charge.
That’s one big promise from GM. Most EVs are lucky if they go half that far on a full charge with most hitting only between 50-80 miles on average.
In the fall, Chevy announced its engineers were able to boost the the now award-winning 2016 Volt by 40 percent. Now even its own Bolt blows that stat out of proverbially stormy EV waters.
“The Bolt EV is capable of using the latest mobile app technology to enable car sharing, advanced GPS routing and gamification, all designed to enhance the ownership experience now and into the future,” says Barra.
It seems GM chose CES to launches is new Bolt because of the vehicle’s many connectivity technologies. Barra said a lot of this new tech was the result of suggestions from Chevy’s Volt owners.
Chevy says its latest connectivity innovations simplify the EV ownership and driving experiences. For example, The Bolt has more accurate driving range projections, so claims Chevy, that is “based on the time of day, typography, weather and the owner’s driving habits.”
As an EV enthusiast and professional #green #car #auto road test reviewer, I can attest to the need for more accurate range readings in EVs. Range can fluctuate drastically when driving an EV, especially when it comes to hills and weather.
Fortunately, The Bolt’s exterior is not as wacky as BMW’s high tech and way weird i3. This design junkie isn’t super impressed with the snub nose, but Chevy’s exterior engineers did a good job trying to incorporate styling that wasn’t so over-the-top futuristic that very few would want to roll around in the thing. Nope. The Bolt’s exterior design isn’t super exciting, but it certainly looks like any other hot hatch on the roads today.
Looking at the interior, I come to the same conclusion. Chevy’s interior designers could have gone way overboard with the future theme, yet chose to rein it in. While the interior does shout futurist a bit too much, it does have just enough classicism to appeal to most drivers. The giant touchscreen jutting out from the central console does pop right out at the driver and seems to make The Bolt experience super techy.
Other Bolt tech made just for EVs includes “Bluetooth low-energy,” which “minimizes energy draw” when the owner approaches the vehicle and “seamlessly connects” your smartphone to your car.
GM uses its new OnStar 4G LTE onboard wireless to turn every Bolt into its own WiFi hotspot. Just some of the features available to Bolt buyers because of this collaboration between car and the internet of things includes:
- The aforementioned mind-boggling-large 10.2-inch MyLink color touch-screen display
- Rear facing wide-angle camera
- Surround vision for “bird’s eye view” all around the car for low-speed driving and parking
- MyChevrolet mobile app that features vehicle charge status, OnStar map service, remote start, cabin pre-conditioning, owner’s manual information and dealer service scheduling
- EV-specific navigation capabilities designs routes to maximize range and provide charging station data
2017 Chevy Bolt EV video footage:
What truly makes The Bolt different from say – Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul EV, Ford Focus Electric, BMW i3, VW e-Golf and even Tesla – is three things: range, price and availability as it can be found in all 50 states!
Plus, The Bolt was equipped with a “direct current” DC fast charger for super quick charging.
So how did GM engineers do it? How’d they double the range on the new Bolt? Barra says they leveraged the battery technology that’s already found in their Volt and Spark EV products. Somehow, some way, they were able to get a whopping 200 miles of all-electric driving fun out of this cute CUV.
Barra also proudly announced the new Bolt will be built at GM’s Orion assembly plant. Located 30 miles north of Detroit, this manufacturing facility is the first for GM to receive the “clean corporate citizen” designation by the state of Michigan and is powered by gas from two nearby landfills.
The Bolt may be the electric car for which you’ve been waiting. Why buy a new car and give your money to the violent, polluting petro dollar when you can have a healthy-for-you-and-the-planet zero emissions Bolt? The road to transportation change has now be made ever more simple and available to the masses.
For more information on Bolt, visit www.chevrolet.com