By Steve & Tamami Laser
Chevrolet introduced the production version of its 2017 Bolt EV pure electric vehicle today in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show. If the automaker makes good on its claim of a “200-mile-plus” range at full charge and a cost “of around $30,000 after government incentives,” according to GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, it could help eliminate the “range anxiety” issue common with lower priced EVs.
“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,” said Barra (above). “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.
Chevrolet says as its first ground-up, long-range electric vehicle, Bolt EV offered designers unprecedented freedom, resulting in a vehicle that “crosses boundaries and challenges expectations” in the EV segment.
“We were given a blank canvas – a rare opportunity with a unique platform to recast EV design for customers across the spectrum,” said Stuart Norris, managing director of Design. “The team answered the challenge with a progressive design distinguished by dramatic graphics and exceptional passenger space.”
Bolt EV’s styling centers on its tall cabin that rides above a flat battery pack mounted beneath the floor. A 102.4-inch wheelbase and wide track give it the look of a small crossover. The large windows, plunging beltline and steeply raked windshield contribute to the progressive profile and emphasize the interior’s spaciousness and bright airy feel.
The large greenhouse is said to offer a panoramic view from upright, SUV-like seating positions. The rear-window glass extends all the way to the license plate and integrates with LED taillamps on the liftgate. The automaker says that by integrating the taillamps into the full-width liftgate, the Bolt EV’s architecture enables a wide opening that makes it easier to slide boxes and other items in and out of the vehicle.
LED headlamps wrap around the forward edge of the front fascia. The signature Chevrolet dual-element grille has been reimagined and features a smooth, clean design incorporating graphics with a three-dimensional quality.
“The flat-pack orientation offered the flexibility to make the most of the proportions while creating a clean, sculpted design,” said Norris. “This really opened up the interior and created a fantastic view from every seating position. All of this additional space gave us a lot of opportunities to play with creative design and storage solutions.”
The multipurpose, connected center console features side-by-side cupholders, a wireless charging location and a sliding armrest covering a storage compartment large enough to store a tablet device.
Bolt EV’s connectivity innovations are said to provide smart, personalized solutions for managing the driving experience. For example, in the future, Chevrolet says an accurate driving range projection will be based on the time of day, typography, weather and the owner’s driving habits.
Bluetooth low-energy – designed specifically for Bolt EV to minimize energy draw – seamlessly connects a smart phone to the car while the owner approaches the vehicle.
Many of Bolt EV’s driver-focused technologies are supported by OnStar 4G LTE, which turns the car into a Wi-Fi hotspot, giving owners easier access to apps and services via a high-speed wireless connection.
Other connectivity and infotainment features include: 10.2’’ MyLink color touch-screen display with customizable, widget-based “flip-board style” operation, a rear-facing camera mirror that provides a wide-angle view of the environment behind the vehicle, and Surround Vision that provides a bird’s-eye view of what’s around Bolt EV for improved safety during low-speed driving and when parking.
The All-New MyChevrolet Mobile App combines owner and vehicle information and functions, such as: vehicle charge status, OnStar Map service, with remote start, cabin pre-conditioning, owner’s manual information, and dealer service scheduling.
EV Navigation Mapping includes EV-specific navigation capability that designs routes to maximize range and provide locations of nearby charging station locations if needed.
Gamification is planned for the future. Chevrolet says Bolt EV owners will be able to “compete” by comparing driving styles to determine who is driving most efficiently.
Bolt EV will be built at GM’s Orion (Mich.) Assembly facility, near Detroit.
Product information, specifications, and pricing for U.S. market models is subject to change without notice
News source and photos from Chevrolet and General Motors
Story (commentary) © 2015 CarNichiWa.com