Hoping to make a big mark in the electric car market, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt made a splashy debut at CES 2016 in Las Vegas Wednesday. Chevy used the annual consumer tech show to show off the new model, announcing a late-2016 release date, and specs that position the car as a good combination of price and range, CNET reports.
The Bolt is an all-electric vehicle that promises to deliver 200 miles on a single charge. It's expected to have a starting price just below $30,000, after the $7,500 federal tax rebate that comes with electric vehicles. It's not inexpensive, for sure, but much more moderately priced than the high-end electric cars from Tesla.
"It was less than a year ago that we revealed the Bolt EV concept and promised to deliver a long-range electric vehicle attainable by the masses," GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra said in a press release. "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."
CNET's Tim Stevens took a preproduction model of the car for a test-drive, and reports that he was surprised by "the practicality of the thing."
With a flat battery pack on the floor of the car, like that in the Tesla Model S, the car has a low center of gravity. Stevens says the Bolt has a significant amount of storage, a big plus for a small car. The car also has a new version of MyLink, Chevy's infotainment system that will be compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The car's "trick rear-view mirror" is actually a camera, and there are built-in safety features like collision avoidance.
"Again, Chevrolet isn't giving us a formal price, but if they hit that $30,000 price after tax rebates, that'll be a game-changer for the EV market," Stevens writes. "The Bolt will go into production before the end of the year and will be available nationwide soon thereafter. Given the cost, the range, the tech and the practicality, expect to see a lot of these on the road next year."
The Bolt EV will be built at GM's Orion Assembly facility, near Detroit, according to the release.