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2015 North American International Auto Show

 

 

2015 NAIAS: Chevrolet Bolt EV to compete head-to-head with Tesla Model 3

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Chevrolet Bolt, yes it's with a "b," rolled into Detroit's Cobo Center.

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

|

DETROIT -- When I first saw the front page of the Detroit Free Press, I thought there was a spelling error. The article said that Chevrolet was going to reveal the Bolt at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). I said, "Isn't that supposed to be the Volt with a V?' But they were correct.

Chevrolet was the first of the manufacturer press conferences on Monday, Jan. 12. The Detroit-based automaker showed off the Chevrolet Bolt EV concept along with the much-anticipated 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. The Bolt is a pure electric vehicle offering a range of 200 miles. It will compete directly with Tesla's upcoming Model 3, which is expected to have a similar price of about $35,000 before incentives.

"The Bolt EV is a concept for our next-generation dedicated electric vehicle," said Stuart Norris, director of advanced design at GM Korea. "It's a real focus on delivering on the core of the Chevrolet brand. It's making the aspirational attainable. It delivers an amount of range that is useable for most customers. We've already made a commitment to delivering a 200-mile range vehicle in the 2017 time frame. This is a vision model of what that car might look like. We don't make $100,000 cars, we make $30,000 cars. Being able to bring that amount of electric to the masses is a real game changer in terms of EV."

The Bolt or a vehicle similar to it will be sold in all 50 states and many global markets within two years from now. It will be designed to accommodate DC fast charging. One cool feature is the park-and-retrieval technology, which allows the driver to exit the vehicle and tell it where to park and then return the vehicle to the owner's location when prompted to.

"We've got this very short overhang, very short hood, quite dramatic forward windshield, the glass is quite upright so it delivers a great interior package," Norris added. "It's got a really strong stance on the road. It's got some beautiful detailing in the head lamps and tail lamps. We've got very thin seats that kind of float on that flat floor. We've got a floating, horizontal instrument panel, with a big open footwell, very open and spacious and a very fresh use of interior materials and colors."

Tesla had a booth at the NAIAS, but it did not show off any future products. Instead, the California-based automaker showed off several versions of its Model S roadster. Elon Musk was one of the keynote speakers at the 2015 Automotive News World Congress. He was asked if he's worried about the Bolt EV.

“I don't see it as a competitive threat just because I think all cars will go electric," Musk answered. "If you define a set of cars that are electric, then sure it's a competitor. That's not what we see. There are 100 million new cars and trucks made every year. What does it matter if someone makes a few hundred thousand additional electric cars. It's not going to effect us really."

Chevrolet also showed off its next-generation 2016 Volt plug-in vehicle. It looks completely different from the current Volt on the market today. The new Volt weighs less, comes with a new electric and gasoline power unit and seats an additional passenger in the rear. In addition, it comes with a longer battery range of 50 miles compared with 40 miles on the current model. It runs on regular unleaded gasoline instead of premium. Look for this new Volt to hit dealers this summer. Pricing has not yet been announced at this time.

These two cars will allow Chevrolet to remain a leader in the electric vehicle segment.

Click here for more information about the Chevrolet Bolt EV concept.

Related Stories: Buick introduces its first convertible in 25 years -- the Cascada at the 2015 NAIAS; Evolving luxury vehicle market discussed at 27th SAA Auto Outlook Conference; GM CEO Mary Barra; Ryan Hunter-Reay wrap up 2015 Automotive News World Congress; 2016 Ford GT Conquers North American International Auto Show; Elon Musk encourages other automakers to join the electric vehicle revolution; 2017 F-150 Raptor is Ford's toughest, smartest and most capable truck ever; 2015 NAIAS: Honda FCV (fuel cell vehicle) concept becomes a five-seater; MINI shows off its Superleggera Vision concept at 2015 NAIAS

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Auto Express

The $35,000 Tesla Model 3 will be the automaker's cheapest car.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The cabin’s airy, high-tech environment is reinforced with lightweight, slim-architecture seats mounted on exposed aluminum pedestals that create a floating effect.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The minimalist center console “floats,” too, suspended from the front seats.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Bolt EV concept’s airy interior ambience is enhanced with bold use of glass all around – as well as a full-length, frosted glass roof with unique, faceted design elements.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

It comes with park-and-retrieval technology, which enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt EV concept to park itself

 

 

This page was last updated on Sun, February 1, 2015 11:47 PM

 

 

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