91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

GM's long-range Bolt could "disrupt" the industry

Paige Pfleger
Michigan Radio

A month after showing the Bolt as a concept at the North American International Auto Show, General Motors has announced it will produce the electric car at its Orion Township plant.

The Bolt promises a range of 200 miles -- more than twice that of other non-luxury, mass produced electric cars on the market.  The car will sell for about $30,000, with a federal tax credit.  That's roughly the same as the average price for a new vehicle.

"It's uncharted territory," says Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific. "Nobody's offered that range at that price. They're looking to go in and disrupt the market. They want to be a leader in electric vehicles, bringing them to the masses."

Sullivan says the Bolt will share many components with the Sonic, which is also built at the Orion Township facility, so it makes sense to produce the car there.

He says GM is initially planning to build 30,000 Bolts globally, and that the automaker isn't betting on making money on the car at first.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the Bolt will have the longest range of any electric car. However, the Tesla Model S has a longer range. The story has been updated to qualify that the Bolt will have the longest range of mass produced, non-luxury priced vehicles.

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.