WASHINGTON - General Motors' (IW 500/5) Chevrolet division announced Thursday it would take into production the all-electric Bolt that it introduced in January as a concept car.
Taking on popular, but more expensive long-range electrics like the Tesla and BMW's i3, GM North America President Alan Batey said the company is moving to production quickly "because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles."
"The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it," said Batey.
As unveiled at the Detroit auto show last month, the Bolt is a hatchback-looking "small crossover" that lowers the price of entry to a full-range electric to as low as $30,000 (once various tax breaks that some states give buyers are counted).
That would put it as a direct competitor to the electric sedan being developed by Tesla in the same price range. Tesla's current electric car, the luxury Model S, starts at around $70,000.
Chevrolet says the new car will be able to go 200 miles (320 kilometers) on a charge, five times farther than its five-year-old Volt plug-in electric.
The new car will be built at General Motors' Orion Assembly facility near Detroit, and is expected to hit the market in 2017.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015