No longer a concept car

It’s official: GM’s 200-mile, $30K electric Bolt car will be produced

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Last month GM showed off an electric concept car called the Bolt, which was widely seen as a competitive shot at Tesla’s planned lower cost Model 3 car. Now on Thursday, ahead of the Chicago Auto Show, GM announced that the Bolt, indeed, will go into production.

[company]GM[/company] says the car will be built at the company’s Orion Assembly facility near Detroit, and GM will spend an initial $200 million to get the car into production, including $160 million for tooling and equipment, and $40 million for new dies.

The electric Bolt concept car from GM.
The electric Bolt car from GM.

GM says the Bolt will “leverage” the battery tech used in the Volt, but if the range is supposed to be 200 miles on all-electric then the Bolt will have to use more advanced battery technology than the Volt. Quartz reported previously that LG Chem will supply the 200-mile battery for the Bolt.

GM has long had the idea to build this lower cost, longer range electric car, and the company has been shooting for a launch in 2017, potentially as a 2018 model. But the release on Thursday didn’t detail any type of timeline for the production Bolt.

GM's 2016 Chevy Volt
GM’s 2016 Chevy Volt

While GM’s Volt has been one of the best-selling electric cars out there, its sales numbers for 2014 were slower than in previous years, and in 2014 GM sold 18,805 Volts (down from 23,094 in 2013). The lower Volt sales last year were partly due to everyone waiting for GM’s 2016 Volt, which also launched at the Detroit Auto Show last month. The 2016 Volt has a 50-mile battery range before it kicks into gas mode.

GM has had some fits and starts getting this Bolt concept car together. The company previously was working with startup Envia Systems on a 200-mile range battery, but that deal collapsed after the technology didn’t end up working as promised.

7 Responses to “It’s official: GM’s 200-mile, $30K electric Bolt car will be produced”

  1. Rann Xeroxx

    The range on these things is getting closer to optimal but the price is still too high. They really have to get them close to the cost of the same optioned and styled internal combustion engine car to make them really viable.

    • Not quite, when one can save a couple thousand per year in fuel costs, but depends on the price of gas of course.

      If gas prices go back up, one can even break even before paying off a car loan.

  2. skepticOfCars

    It’s official? Really?
    It’s a vapor product. Anyone can say this kind of stuff – In fact, I’m going to use 250 million to my electric car into production and mine will have 250 mile range. You should see my concept car – it works just as well as GM’s concept car.
    Also, my imaginary electric car will charge at any of the 1000’s of imaginary charging stations I’m also building. So, don’t buy that GM car! mine is much better and it’ll be available 3 months before the GM car is.

  3. GM has already blown a 10 year headstart in EVs once. It’ll be interesting to watch what happens when the competition is right at their heels, or maybe just ahead of them. $30K Chevy through the dealer network or $29K Tesla direct from the factory? Who ya gonna call?

    • exhibit44

      They Chevy consumer is not as accustomed to car-purchase as software-license. Of course, all cars are data-intensive, but American car owners like something tangible and do not trust big brother to always be on their side. They should emphasize economy and de-emphasize the tech.

    • Almost 20 years ago the former CEO and Chairman of General Motors Robert C. Stempel retired to run Energy Conversion Devices Inc. which had invented the real deal used as a loaner to the Solectria Sunrise-a four door full size car which set the world record for distance without needing a charge. GM never used it in their EV-1 then sold rights to Texaco which was then bought by Chevron. A couple years ago rights were sold for 58 million to German BASF which has never licensed it’s production even to German Mercedes! I personally checked out the Solectria Sunrise in Lowell, Mass a,most 20 years ago. Range for that battery was over 350 miles without recharging. It was better than the nickel hydride battery Toyota used in the Prius which they developed independently although they were sued by Chevron and it’s still in the courts. I cannot fathom what is in the minds of GM’s executives or “owners” that they squelched manufacture of a technology on purpose then now announce they will build an electric car. I suppose they will claim BASF holds the patent and production rights so they cannot use it when they had it two decades ago??? BASF refused to allow Mercedes to use it in a hybrid! It’s criminal that this happened but perhaps BASF, GM, Ford, etc. were heavily tied to Nazi Germany and have an agenda we don’t know about? I worked for GM down in Brazil in the late 80’s and know some things about them unfortunately. Many good people at GM but there seems to have been an agenda higher than even their former CEO and Chairman knew about and look at what happened when they declared “Bankruptcy” demanding billions from US taxpayers? Well, I certainly hope Bob Lutz etc. have changed their attitude and a new GM exists because they shot themselves in the foot long ago.