With a 200-mile range on a single charge and a price tag of US$30,000 after incentives, analysts say General Motors’ new Chevy Bolt hatchback could be the model that brings electric vehicles into the mainstream when it goes on the market in 2017.
“If the automaker can deliver, the Bolt could transform the prospects for widespread adoption of electric cars,” the Los Angeles Times reported, after GM’s surprise announcement at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday. “A 200-mile EV range at about $30,000 in a crossover body shape is a killer combination,” said John Krafcik, president of auto shopping company TrueCar Inc. and former chief executive of Hyundai Motor America.
While Tesla Motors’ Model S runs 265 miles on a charge, it costs $80,000. Last summer, Tesla hinted that it might release its $30,000 Model E by 2016.
AutoblogGreen Editor-in-Chief Sebastian Blanco critiqued the GM announcement, suggesting the Bolt would most likely begin life as a concept vehicle. “That means the ideas behind the vehicle are perhaps more important than the details. For example, no one is talking about what size battery might appear in a production Bolt.”
Blanco added that federal tax credits—always subject to change, and only applicable to a manufacturer’s first 200,000 vehicles before they start to decline—may not be available to build a large market for the Bolt.