GM on Monday unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt, a $30,000 concept car that will probably go on sale in about two years. The range will make it attractive to many buyers who would not consider a fully electric car for fear of running out of juice. The rollout of the orange compact hatchback eclipsed GM’s unveiling of a revamped Chevy Volt at the Detroit auto show.
When the Volt, a plug-in gas-electric hybrid, was introduced as a concept car in 2007, it was touted as an electric vehicle for everyone. It could go 38 miles on battery power, with a gas generator taking over to end worries of being stranded. But its $40,000 price tag hamstrung sales, even with a $7,500 federal tax credit.
Enter the Bolt, a hatchback with a hefty range and SUV-like cargo area and a price that’s about the same as the average selling price of a new vehicle in America. Technically, the Bolt is a concept car, but GM plans to start selling a production version sometime in 2017. That offers a challenge to Silicon Valley’s Tesla Motors Inc., which plans to deliver a mass-market, 200-mile electric car for around $35,000 in the same time frame. Via GM’s new electric could upstage Tesla—and its own Volt