After General Motors recently reiterated its commitment to electrification (30 new EVs by 2025), it today revealed two new electric cars; the Bolt and Bolt EUV.
The Bolt isn’t a new model for the car-maker. As one of the cheapest EVs offered in the US, it’s an often forgotten option against the backdrop of Teslas, Hyundais and the like. The new model is not all new, but rather represents a significant update on the diminutive hatch.
The Bolt EUV, meanwhile, is a SUV-ified version of the Bolt hatch — featuring taller ride-height, a slightly different face, and more cladding. It’s also bigger and more practical than its hatch namesake. It’s 160mm longer overall, and 74mm longer in the wheelbase. This allows for more rear leg-room.
Let’s look at the vitals. Each model packs a 65.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack paired to an electric motor producing 150kW of power and 360Nm of torque. The engine is front-mounted, sending its thrust to the front wheels.
Range is estimated at 416km per charge for the Bolt, and 402km per charge for the slightly larger Bolt EUV. Each model gets an 11kW DC charging capability, allowing them to be injected with over 150km worth of juice in just 30 minutes. A home-installed 240V plug will charge each car to full in around seven hours, with standard plugs taking much longer.
What’s just as important is price, and Chevrolet clearly knows this. It’s carved a US$5,500 chunk off the Bolt’s sticker price, making it US$31,995 ($44,382), with the Bolt EUV priced from US$33,995 ($47,156). The latter has a special US$43,495 Launch Edition model with unique badging, different wheels, a panoramic sunroof, added cabin lighting, and more.
One of the more interesting features Chevrolet has packed into the Bolt is GM’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system. Recognised as one of the best systems in class, it allows for over 300,000km of ‘hands off’ driving on US and Canadian roads. This is the first time it’s been fitted to a Chevrolet, or indeed any electric car.
While it’s unlikely to be a starter for the New Zealand market, Chevrolet’s role in Australasia is still a much debated topic. It’s widely tipped that the firm could re-enter the market in a larger capacity than merely in the form of right-hook Corvettes and Silverados. If so, a sub-$50k electric Bolt could be an EV game changer.