Chevrolet Bolt EV shows GM commitment to electrification

Different driving modes make hatchback an electric car for all reasons

Published: January 18, 2015, 10:25 AM
Updated: November 23, 2021, 11:55 AM

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Following up on its ground-breaking Volt electric sedan, General Motors has unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt — an electric hatchback model it claims shows its commitment to the future of motoring.

Chevrolet calls the Bolt EV its vision of an affordable, long-range electric vehicle, with room for four, a range of over 300 km and a price-tag at the $30,000 level. It has not committed to building the vehicle but given its near-ready presentation and the fact that there are similar vehicles already in the market (most notably Ford’s C-Max and the Toyota Prius V), we wouldn’t discount an announcement soon.

“Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. “The Bolt EV concept demonstrates General Motors’ commitment to electrification and the capabilities of our advanced EV technology.”

Among those advancements is a driver-selectable operating system that allows the Bolt to efficiently adapt to different driving modes, such as daily commuting or weekend cruising. The technology adjusts accelerator pedal mapping, ride height and suspension settings.

The use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fibre help increase driving range, as does aero optimization of the body design.

“No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design.

The overall proportions of the vehicle maximize cabin space, with the biggest benefactors being head and leg room. Airiness is furthered by extensive use of glass, including a full-length sunroof, and the use of light colours. Slim seats and floating storage spaces (in Chevrolet’s signature dual cockpit layout) open up the space a little and further help to reduce weight.

And in keeping with today’s tech advancements, a Smartphone app allows controls over some vehicle functions, including acting as a key-fob, ride-sharing management (for those jurisdictions in which it is allowed and practiced), autonomous operation such as self-parking,