General Motors CEO Mary Barra unveiled the 2017 Chevy Bolt at CES this week. It’s Chevrolet’s full-time all-electric vehicle. The new specs are impressive, with the ability to drive up to 200 miles before running out of electrons and needing to be charged.
The Tesla Model S can handle that range, but it starts at $70,000+. The Bolt will cost about $30k after federal incentives.
And for that price, don’t expect it to be stripped of technology. It has a 10.2-inch touch screen display that can show you a plethora of information about the car, show a bright, clear view of what is behind you via the back-up camera, etc. The backup camera is pretty cool, it allows you to also display it on the rear-view mirror in a unique way. When you normally flip the switch on your mirror to night mode, you get a weaker reflection and less glare. In the Bolt, it switches from mirror to LCD screen view of the rear camera, allowing control of glare AND a wider view. The backup camera even has its own washer to keep it clean.
0-60 MPH is a sprightly 7 seconds, it offers a very relaxed ride. It’s not meant to be sporty. With user-selectable regenerative braking, you can drive at slow speeds, completely controlling your car with just the gas pedal. They’ve built upon what they’ve learned from Volt consumers.
Pamela Fletcher, Chief Engineer for Electrified vehicles at GM, says that they have seen the ride sharing economy coming, and that plays into the recent announcement that GM is investing $500,000,000 in ride sharing service Lyft, and that the Bolt has been designed in part with that in mind, with a surprisingly spacious interior for a small car and very easy ingress/egress for multiple people, multiple times per day.
The front of the cabin has a floating infotainment system, with room underneath for storing whatever you normally bring into the car (purse, briefcase, etc.). There’s a nice compartment for your tablet, with a charge port.
This is General Motors first full electric car since the Saturn EV1, sold from 1996-1999.
Editor’s note: Keep in mind that the federal incentives that lower the price of the car also affect its resale value. The Nissan Leaf has a resale value far lower than a comparably priced gas-powered car because of this, and you can expect the same for the Bolt.