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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Detroit Auto Show

What Is It?

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is a fully electric hatchback. Despite a similar name, it’s completely separate from Chevrolet’s other plug-in model, the Volt, as it will use an entirely different powertrain and new styling. While the Bolt was revealed in production form last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Chevrolet is announcing additional details at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

The most exciting thing about the Bolt is its range, as Chevrolet says the hatchback can travel an impressive 200 miles on fully electric power alone — a figure that doubles the range of its closest rival, the Nissan Leaf, and encroaches on the Tesla Model S, which offers a 240-mile range. While the Model S starts around $70,000 with shipping, the Bolt will reportedly start at a more reasonable $37,500 or around $30,000 after federal tax rebates.

So what new details have we learned about the Bolt? According to Chevrolet, the compact electric vehicle (EV) will offer a 200-horsepower electric motor and a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery, good for 0-to-60 mile-per-hour sprints in around 7 seconds. Chevrolet has also announced the Bolt will take around 9 hours to charge with an onboard 7.2-kW charger.

On the outside, the Bolt offers a futuristic 5-door hatchback shape, touting a steeply raked windshield and a unique look that’s entirely separate from the Volt’s styling. Inside, the Bolt’s cabin offers a more cutting-edge look than the Volt’s more traditional styling.

How Much?

The Bolt is expected to start around $38,000 before federal tax credits, which will bring the price closer to $30,000.

When Can You Get It?

Late 2016

Add It to Your Shopping List Because …

No electric vehicle has yet been able to do what the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is promising. Not only does it offer a highly usable range of around 200 miles (twice that of its closest competitor), but it does so with an affordable price tag. While we’re impressed with Chevrolet’s plug-in hybrid Volt, we’re truly enamored with the Bolt, as it seems to offer just about everything EV shoppers are interested in, including the right price, the right range and the right unique, futuristic styling.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Chevrolet Volt — If you don’t want to wait until the Bolt comes out at the end of the year, consider a Chevy Volt. While it doesn’t tout the Bolt’s all-electric range, it offers an excellent plug-in hybrid drivetrain and handsome new styling.

2016 Nissan Leaf — Although the Leaf can’t travel as far as the Bolt on a single charge, it still offers an excellent 100-mile range. It’s also more affordable than the Bolt, with a starting price of around $30,000 before tax incentives.

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf — The electric version of Volkswagen’s Golf offers an 83-mile range and sharp handling. The e-Golf is also cheaper than the Bolt, with a starting price of around $29,800 with shipping.

Used Tesla Model S — If you want an excellent electric range and more performance than the Bolt, consider the Model S, which offers nearly 300 miles of range. Prices are steep, though, so you may have to consider a used model.

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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