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Auto Show:  2015 Detroit Auto Show

Chevrolet Bolt Concept: Detroit Auto Show


author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2015

What Is It?

The Chevrolet Bolt Concept is a futuristic electric vehicle revealed by Chevrolet at this year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Unlike many concept cars, the Bolt seems almost production-ready, which makes sense considering that Chevy has hinted that the car may see production in the next few years.

From the outside, the Bolt looks like a tall, 5-door hatchback with cutting-edge styling. There's a huge, sweeping windshield, a wraparound rear window, narrow headlights and a small grille. Inside, things are a little more futuristic: While there's no center control stack or gauge cluster, some high-tech screens and white interior accents give the car an ultramodern look.

More important, however, is what's under the hood. While Chevrolet has not yet announced exactly what's powering the Bolt Concept, the automaker has said that it will be capable of a stunning 200 miles of pure electric range, which is nearly three times the range of Nissan's popular Leaf EV and closer to the capabilities of Tesla's luxurious Model S sedan. Range is especially important to consider, since Chevrolet says that a production version of this car could cost just $30,000 after tax incentives, a price far closer to the Leaf's base figure than the high-end Tesla's.

Will They Ever Sell It?

Almost certainly. The Chevrolet Volt went from concept car to production reality in about 3-and-a-half years, and we expect that the Bolt will find itself on the same trajectory.

Why It's Important

Right now, it's hard to crack 100 miles of fully electric range without spending big money for a new EV. Two hundred miles is even more challenging, and only the Tesla Model S, with its $71,000 base price, reaches that figure.

The Chevrolet Bolt Concept is important because it's promising 200 miles of range for just $30,000 after tax incentives and rebates, making it the first affordable electric vehicle to offer such an impressive range. For many drivers with long commutes, 200 miles is enough to bring purchasing an electric car from "unlikely" to "possible," and the Bolt could be just the car to help drivers switch their opinions about EV ownership.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Chevrolet Bolt Concept: Detroit Auto Show - Autotrader