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GM announces the Chevy Bolt, an "affordable" longer range electric car

General Motors officials introduced a concept car, the Chevy Bolt, today at the North American International Auto Show. The car company claims the all-electric car has a range of up to 200 miles on one charge and will be affordable to the typical consumer. The company puts the price of the Bolt at $30,000 including a federal tax credit.

If it’s released, the Bolt would compete with the electric car-maker Tesla. Tesla’s Model S has a range of 265 miles on one charge, but the car’s price tag is out of reach for many consumers with a base price of nearly $70,000.

GM CEO Mary Barra calls the Bolt a “game changer.”

From a GM press release:

“The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. “Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers.”

Tesla plans to release a more affordable, long-range electric car as well.

According to the LA Times, the Tesla Model 3 is supposed to cost half as much as the Model S:

Tesla has garnered headlines with the promise of its Model 3 … but that vehicle may be years away. "The affordable-yet-functional electric car has yet to materialize, remaining an automotive unicorn," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelly Blue Book.

In its press release, GM didn’t name a release date for the Bolt. The LA Times reports a 2017 planned release date.

Updated Volt

GM says the 2015 Chevy Volt will be released later this year.
Credit Mark Brush
GM says the 2015 Chevy Volt will be released later this year.

In the meantime, GM released its second generation Chevy Volt today at the auto show.

The second generation Volt will have a range of about 50 miles on a single charge - up from the current 35. The car has a gas engine that will kick in once the batteries have been depleted. GM says the fuel economy when running on that generator will be better, too - about 41 miles per gallon, up from 37.

GM says today’s Volt owners do more than 80% of their driving without using any gas.

GM plans to release it in the second half of 2015.

The new Volt, like the current Volt, will mostly be made in Michigan.

From GM:

GM is investing $435 million in the production of the next-generation Chevrolet Volt at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and at the Brownstown, (Mich.) Battery Assembly Plant, where its lithium-ion battery pack is produced. The new drive unit will be manufactured at GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Mich., and the 1.5L engine will be manufactured at GM’s Toluca, Mexico engine plant for the first year of production, then shift to the Flint, Mich. engine plant.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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