200-mile Chevy Bolt and 2nd-Gen Chevy Volt revealed at NAIAU

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NAIAS 2015 NextGenVolt-2

Tesla might have to keep its head up for Chevrolet, after the company unveiled their new electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).  At the show in Detroit, Michigan, Chevrolet also took  time to introduce a second generation Chevy Volt, with better range and economy

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While Tesla is currently offering a 200-plus mile ride, Chevy is counter is 200 miles even and a better price tag — between $30,000 and $35000.  While it might look road ready, the Chevy bolt is still a concept to be shown off, meaning the price and range might be optimistic.  Most Electric Vehicle (EVs) can go 75-80 miles per charge, such as the Nissan Leaf.  200-miles or more would go a long way to convince consumers that EVs can go the distance.

The Second Gen Chevy Volt is most definitely coming to market this time; most likely late 2015, and is offering a more modest look to it.  It gets 50 miles per charge on electric , and can go north of 40 on a Hybrid engine.  The price is rumoured to start around the low $30’s.  At that price and range, it might be a strong competitor to the Toyota Prius.  However, with a new Prius arriving later in 2015, will the Volt still hold up?

Can we get 200 miles per charge without be priced like a Tesla?

The big questions on many minds is still the price: can GM make an EV that can run 200 miles per charge and keep the price under $50,000.  Tesla’s Model S can make that range, but starts at $80,000.

The Bolt was shown off in Detroit, sporting a vibrant orange, while the Volt in electric Blue.

The Bolt was a five-door vehicle, and even had a glass roof.  That may become a sun or moon roof come production, or even a solar roof in order to maintain a charge.  It came equipped with LED headlights, and GM’s MyLink interface instead of any fancy touch-board.

There was no shipping date, but many expect the concept to make it to market soon; most concept models are full of funny swooping angles, but the Bolt looks like a regular car.

NAIAS 2015 2016-chevrolet-volt-

The Second Generation Volt comes modestly priced

The new Chevy Volt is set to launch as a 2016 model.  GM engineers said the new Volt should address any complaints consumers had about range, which is now up to 50 miles on a charge.  The price is expected to remain the same, in the mid-$30,000.

In 2010, Chevy launched the Volt as a breakthrough in the industry, and five years later the Volt is showing signs of being long in the tooth: the battery can only last for 35 miles on a charge, and feel cramped.

Chevy Volt Engine NAIAS 2015

The new Volt has a 192-cell/18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery and a 111-kW drive unit.  Chevy claims efficiency is up 12% and the weight of the power train is down by 100lbs.  It goes 0 – 60 in 8.4 seconds.

GM had hoped for sales around 40,000 annually, but they peaked at 23,000 in 2012 and hit 19000 last year.  However, the Volt has a strong, loyal fan-base, much like the Prius, so Chevy can expect strong initial sales.

NAIAS Chevy Bolt

Tesla wasn’t going to sit by the sidelines while Chevy stole their 200-mile thunder.  The company released a brief statement

[…”Tesla is always supportive of other manufacturers who bring compelling electric vehicles to the market…We applaud Chevrolet for introducing the Bolt and are excited to learn more about the product.”…]

The Volt might actually help Tesla, as more automakers producing EV’s and pushing for fuelling stations, research dollars and EV credits will push the industry forward.

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