CONCEPT CARS 2015: The Tesla-Hunting Chevy Bolt

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Electric car viability is all about range – the farther it goes, the more people will consider it. If electric cars can credibility encapsulate a day in a buyer’s life, then we’ll see more of them. The Bolt, with its goal of a 200-mile range for $30K, would be among the first electric cars to be filling many more driveways.

Tesla is occupying the 200-mile range space now with its Model S, which ranges from 208 to 265 mile ranges, as measured by the EPA. But the Model S’s price range of $70K – 105K reserves it for the few.

The next frontier is the $30K market, which Tesla is aiming to breach with a smaller Model 3, possibly for 2017. That’s about the same timeframe GM has floated for the Bolt, and so it seems both companies have a target on the same market. Both are claiming to be at or below $30K once the incentives are subtracted.


To lock horns with the chic and stylish California upstart, GM will have to sharpen its design pen, and the Bolt shown at the 2015 North American International Auto Show was a good start.  The Chevrolet identity is unmistakable, and despite its tall and skinny tires, it maintains a broad-shouldered look. Very American.


Side contours are bold and tailored.


One unexpected aspect is the glassiness. Check out that clear rear hatch, right about down to the bumper.


The hatch joins the deep side windows in providing a refreshing change from the blind-spotted bunker we see in most production hatchbacks these days. More of this kind of visibility, please!


The interior continues the electricity-equals-white treatment of the current Volt, but with lines that are much simpler and more flowing lines.


The center screen mock-up maps a history of your charge levels…


…as well as the usual energy usage graphics.


It’ll be interesting to see if this “floating” console makes it to production.


This whole electric-car market will get interesting in the next few years. By 2020, electric cars may be a lot more common than they are today, and the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 are literally leading the charge.

Here’s an animation of a future day in the life of a Bolt.

Tell us in the comments: would you buy the Bolt?