In an interview on Miked Up, Bolt and Volt project manager Darin Gesse talked about the development of the Bolt, how the car was designed and named with the consumer in mind and more.
Photo Credit: © General Motors
Gesse discussed some of the key, exciting features of the Bolt—the 200-mile range, the large LCD feature, and the open design, the name a few—and how they settled on the final product.
According to Gesse, the team looked at the performance of 2010’s Volt and the Spark EV (which had a range of 82 miles), feedback from customers, what their competitors were doing in terms of range and how charging stations were popping up across the country and determined that a 200-mile range was the tipping point for customers that might have “range anxiety.”
A 200-mile range is like “a half tank of gas,” Gesse said, which is the sweet spot where someone wouldn’t normally feel they need to stop and fill up quite yet.
Gesse also said that the interior design of the Bolt, like the spacious back seat area and flat floor with no foot wells, was created with ridesharing in mind. The car was designed so that passengers could easily get in and slide out on either side, and the rear-view camera in the rear-view mirror allows rideshare and taxi drivers to interact with their customers and have an unobstructed view behind that car at the same time.
The large touch screen, Gesse said, “gives you the sense of you’re just interacting with your tablet at a coffee shop,” because of the comfort of the car’s interior.
As for the names, and how similar they are, GM got some dealer feedback—apparently dealers liked the idea of pitching both cars at once when they were unsure if a customer had asked for a “Bolt” or a “Volt.”
Sadly, Gesse refused to discuss alternate names that they had considered, as they may be used for GM’s EVs in the future, which it sounds like there will be plenty of. When it comes to choosing between models, Gesse said “we see our customers saying ‘I want to be efficient’,” and he says Chevrolet wants to provide a whole suite of models that meet that need.
Listen to the full interview here.