LAS VEGAS — General Motors unveiled the production version of its Chevrolet Bolt electric car, on which the U.S. auto giant is pinning its hopes for the emerging segment, Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The Bolt aims to appeal to consumers looking at a more affordable price tag than the luxury, market-leading Tesla.
“It’s more than a car,” GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra said. “It’s a platform that can be upgraded. Who are our customers? Anyone who wants to save time, money and the environment in a car that is truly fun to drive.”
The Bolt, set to go into production later this year, is designed to travel more than 200 miles between charges. It also features some of the connected technology found on rival vehicles including a Wi-Fi hotspot offering access to apps and services. The price tag is expected to be in the range of $30,000 after government tax incentives, which is less than half the price of the current Tesla models on the market.
“The Bolt EV is truly the first EV that cracks the code of long range and affordable price,” Barra said.
The new GM car will be compatible with various connected platforms such as Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. Bolt will also feature its own dedicated smartphone app, which will manage vehicle information and functions, such as charge status, maintenance and navigation. The app will include a “gamification” feature that allows owners to “compete” by comparing driving styles to determine who is driving most efficiently.
The Bolt also includes a rear camera connected to the interior rear-view mirror, enabling drivers to see behind them even if their view is blocked by passengers.
Barra said the Bolt is the next step for GM toward more autonomous vehicles, and possibly new ownership models such as car sharing, two concepts other auto manufacturers are also eyeing.
“Down the road, the connectivity ... will one day help us offer other technologies and transportation solutions that customers will demand,” she said. “Everything from car-sharing apps to ownership models and automated driving, and one day self-driving cars.”
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016