After a long and challenging design process, it looks like General Motors has won the race to be the first to market with an affordable, all-electric vehicle with a range of over 200 miles.
The Chevrolet Bolt, which GM began work on around 2011 according to the Detroit Free Press, has come out on the other end of its strenuous development cycle as a slick looking vehicle that will be ready for sale in 2017, thanks the the guidance of Executive Chief Engineer Pam Fletcher and her hard-working team.
The car sports a panoramic view from upright seats, has a large rear window and LED tail lamps, and its futuristic looking interior features a 10.2-inch touchscreen in the dashboard. The Bolt accelerates 0 to 60 mph in under seven seconds, and will retail for about $30,000 (after tax incentives).
While this is great news for Michigan’s participation in the electric vehicle market, the Bolt will not be without strong competitors. Tesla recently unveiled its much-hyped Model 3, the first mainstream consumer vehicle from the California-based company, which boasts similar specs—215-mile range, 0 to 60 mph in six seconds, and a price of “around $35,000.”
The Bolt’s advantage, however, is that its design team’s hard work ensures it will be first to market, and it will be available nation-wide (Tesla still has barriers to entry in Michigan and other states). Tesla, on the other hand, benefits from a strong brand image and also a growing network of Supercharger stations that offer free fast-charging for its vehicle’s owners.
Hopefully, though, this healthy competition among automakers means the electric vehicle market is in for a jolt.