Chevrolet Confident Bolt Will Bring EVs To The Masses

Whereas electric vehicles before it have attracted customers through unique and quirky designs, Chevrolet is confident that the Bolt will bring electric vehicles to the masses thanks to its more restrained design and the fact that it just looks like a normal car.

Speaking with Automotive News, Chevrolet revealed that it made the Bolt look and feel like a normal internal combustion engine car to ensure that potential buyers weren’t turned away by any unnecessary quirkiness.

“If you’re going to go to the masses, it can’t be this quirky thing. There are lots of people who like the car not because it’s zero-emissions but because of the way it drives,” Bolt chief engineer Mike Lelli said.

“There was an emphasis in making the car special rather than stand out as weird. We need it to work for more than just the die-hard EV fans.”

When designing and developing the Bolt, Chevrolet had different goals than it did when creating the Volt. Whereas the Volt stands out like a sore thumb in the brand’s line-up and the wider plug-in hybrid market, the Bolt has been better integrated into the brand’s family largely thanks to its more conservative and market-friendly design.

Beyond looking like a modern-day hatchback, the Bolt has cemented its position as the industry’s first affordable EV with a range easily surpassing 200 miles (321 km), giving it a big advantage over the yet-to-be-launched Tesla Model 3.

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  • Nordschleife

    I think the previous Volt stood out like a sore thumb vs. the current Volt.

  • Rolan Volante

    Bringinig EVs to the masses means producing ones with 20k price tag and 1.000 km range per charge. GM is not even close to meeting those criteria. On the other hand, Tesla has tipped the 500 km range already, expected to carry on on that path further pushing towards 750 km in late 2018, early 2019. The only item Tesla has been weak in so far is driving down the price. Hopefully it will make advancements to deliver on that promise too.

  • Bill O

    How can GM dream of “bringing EVs to the masses” if they are unable to make more than a relative handful a year? GM has announced they will build 30K a year and estimates of LG Chem’s excess capacity indicates about the maximum production possible in the next few years is 50K a year.

    That is not a mass produced car, it’s a compliance car.

    Compare that to Tesla who already produce around 80K cars a year and have the battery capacity to build more than 500,000 in less than a year from now. I expect it will be Tesla who will have the first truly mass produced EV in the Model 3. No matter how compelling the Bolt is, GM will be incapable of making enough of them to compete with the Model 3’s volume.

    A 1000Km EV is still a ways into the future. It’s possible to make one, but it would be very expensive and would be mostly battery. The battery tech as well as price and production volume are not up to making such a car in any quantity for the foreseeable future. In 10 years it might be possible.

    Tesla has a good alternative with the supercharger system. I’ve taken one long road trip and a few short ones with my Tesla and the superchargers work out well. I spent a little more time during the day on the road, but arrived at my destination with fewer aches and pains and less fatigued. I did one leg that was just shy of 1000 Km in a day and the only issues was a damaged supercharger.

    1000 Km range would be great, but it isn’t necessary to make EVs viable.

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