Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Transportation

Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show 426

MikeChino writes Tesla, take cover – General Motors is taking aim at the affordable electric vehicle market with the brand new Chevy Bolt, which was just unveiled at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The all-electric vehicle is able to travel 200 miles on a single charge, and it will cost about $30,000 – which puts it squarely in the ring with the Tesla Model 3. According to the article, "Chevrolet is planning to launch the Bolt EV in 2017, and inside sources say that it will be available in all 50 states."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show

Comments Filter:
  • Bolt or Volt? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by verucabong ( 1008319 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @09:52AM (#48792385)
    Is this to presume that they'll discontinue the Volt? The names are so similar I could see confusion here...
    • nope (Score:5, Informative)

      by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:03AM (#48792441) Journal
      Oddly, the volt is a gas car in that it is a parallel hybrid. The bolt is a true electric car.
      • Re: nope (Score:5, Funny)

        by verucabong ( 1008319 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:04AM (#48792449)
        Ah okay. So maybe the Chevy Dolt is coming too then.
      • Re:nope (Score:5, Informative)

        by AikonMGB ( 1013995 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:32AM (#48792637) Homepage

        Please stop spreading misinformation. There is a driving scenario where a) the vehicle is operating in "charge sustain" mode (i.e. battery is flat, or user has selected "Hold") and b) the vehicle is being operated at relatively high speeds (> ~50 km/hr) with low torque requirements (i.e. roughly constant speed). In this very specific driving scenario, you are correct, there is a mechanical connection between the gas engine and the wheels.

        However, in all other driving conditions, there is no mechanical connection. In stop-and-go traffic around down or on the highway during rush hour, in charge sustain mode, the gas engine will drive a generator motor, the electricity from which feeds the traction motor and the battery -- this is a series hybrid configuration. Under any driving condition while in "charge deplete" mode (i.e. drawing from the battery), the gas engine never turns on, making it operate purely as an EV. An important point to note is that the vehicle is able to achieve is full performance capabilities -- acceleration, top speed, and braking -- under purely electric propulsion without the gas engine ever turning on. This is the distinction that makes it more than just a series+parallel hybrid.

        • s/around down/around town/

          s/achieve is full/achieve its full/

        • This is correct. For most people if you never run out your charge the only time the engine will turn on is as a precaution against stale fuel.

          The Volt is an Extended Range Electric Vehicle. The presence of fuel so it can be used on long trips is great. I took mine on several trips greater than 350 or so miles and being able to refuel on those rare occasions was really helpful.

          Most hybrids like the Prius are just very powered down to get as much as possible out of a gas engine. The Volt is like driving a car

    • It was that or Dolt.

    • Re:Bolt or Volt? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:23AM (#48792581) Homepage
      no, the volt was actually updated today as well - http://www.autoblog.com/2015/0... [autoblog.com]

      they are 2 totally different cars. But the new volt is looking pretty awesome, this bolt kinda looks like a mix between the BMW i3 and the chevy spark
    • Is this to presume that they'll discontinue the Volt? The names are so similar I could see confusion here...

      No they are not discontinuing the Volt [slashgear.com] as they just updated it to have a longer electric-only range (50 miles), 5 seats instead of 4, and improved acceleration and styling.

      Of course the next GM electric vehicle will be the Chevy Jolt probably...

  • Color? (Score:3, Funny)

    by MagickalMyst ( 1003128 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:00AM (#48792425)
    I was totally interested until I saw the color they used for their demo. Eww!

    On a positive note, I suppose gaudy orange could be considered an anti-theft feature.
  • Competition? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:00AM (#48792431)

    According to the article, "Chevrolet is planning to launch the Bolt EV in 2017, and inside sources say that it will be available in all 50 states."

    Yea, they get to sell in all 50 states, but not Tesla. Competition my ass.

  • Bolt (Score:5, Funny)

    by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:04AM (#48792451)

    So will you need a special washer to clean it?

  • Star Bolt? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jamesl ( 106902 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:06AM (#48792461)

    I wonder how Star (Yamaha) motorcycles, maker of the Star Bolt, feel about this.
    http://www.starmotorcycles.com... [starmotorcycles.com]

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:10AM (#48792483) Homepage Journal

    So they're gonna search dict/words for ^.olt$, done and done? That won't get confusing.

    Seriously, bolt and volt are going to be pronounced the same by huge numbers of people. Chevy is pretty much champion of not thinking things through?

  • 200 miles is good for nearly most commuters. However if you are going on a trip you will still need to recharge midway. How long will it take you to charge up?
    For 30k I hope you have a full charge in under 10 minutes

  • Cost? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:18AM (#48792541)

    Tesla would seemingly need the battery cost reductions from their "GigaFactory" to get the cost of their 200-mile electric car down to $35,000, and Chevy is going to sell a 200-mile EV for $30,000 without those cost reductions?

    Something's gotta give to pull that off.

    • Re:Cost? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eth1 ( 94901 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @11:03AM (#48792885)

      Tesla would seemingly need the battery cost reductions from their "GigaFactory" to get the cost of their 200-mile electric car down to $35,000, and Chevy is going to sell a 200-mile EV for $30,000 without those cost reductions?

      Something's gotta give to pull that off.

      Well, no one said they were planning on making a profit selling it. Could be propped up by other sales, just to push competitors out. Or maybe to game the "fleet average" fuel economy numbers.

    • Re:Cost? (Score:5, Informative)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday January 12, 2015 @11:31AM (#48793135) Homepage Journal

      Tesla would seemingly need the battery cost reductions from their "GigaFactory" to get the cost of their 200-mile electric car down to $35,000, and Chevy is going to sell a 200-mile EV for $30,000 without those cost reductions?

      Something's gotta give to pull that off.

      Nissan's 2016 LEAF is going to have a 200+-mile range, and will also be sub-$30K.

      • by crow ( 16139 )

        That's going to kill the resale value of the existing Leafs, so if you want a short-range electric vehicle at a good price, there are going to be some great deals in the next two years.

    • Perhaps they're planning to use Tesla's Gigafactory as a supplier.. From what I hear Tesla plans to sell excess batteries to the open market --not just for their own vehicles. The whole point of the Gigafactory is to drop the worldwide price of Li-On batteries by 30%.

  • Ironically for cars that don't run on gas, this and the Tesla model E are both just vapourware.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:19AM (#48792557) Journal

    ...Molt?

    Thank you, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your servers.

  • which seems poised to place this vehicle in front of more potential customers than the Tesla.

    It's not that NADA is against the idea of the of a Green (ish) vehicle. They just don't care for vehicles being sold outside the "system".

    Great news for domestic consumers. As with the influx of Japanese cars in the first threatening invasion against their U.S. counterparts, this is likely to spur production of more efficient domestic autos.

    • by sshir ( 623215 )
      You are wrong. They don't want electric vehicles. And that simply because there is no money (or much, much less) in post sale maintenance.
    • which seems poised to place this vehicle in front of more potential customers than the Tesla.

      Meh. Tesla sells every single car it makes and has a waitlist backlog months (or years for the M/X) long. That is with NO advertising. Whoopdy do, more eyes.

      Additionally, Tesla has the (current) checkmate of the supercharger network. I know that likely won't be free to the M/3, but I assure you it does a great job of squelching range anxiety... something the other guys remain hobbled by.

      And for the commuters... I welcome *ANY* (safe) electrical vehicle at any price range. We will fix the coal/gas power plants later, and it will be transparent. Lets get these ICE cars out of here. WAAAY too much energy lost in the ICE reaction. Especially for city driving, regenerative braking is a lifesaver... think of not only individual vehicles, but city busses... large vehicles ideally suited for high torque electrical motors, where regenerative braking can recover a lot of that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:52AM (#48792783)

    Has anyone looked at the pictures?
    The one key thing I think Tesla has right, is that the Tesla S looks like a Nice Car. Its styling is very classy and sharp, does not look out of place next to a BMW 7 series or Mercedes. This Bolt looks like a Spark or an economy hatchback, very 'edgy' but clearly it's a 'look at me' car.
    Even the Volt did better in that regard, the Volt looks close to a Cobalt in appearance, so that you don't have to wonder why someone would want to be seen in it.

    Seems the automakers are focusing on gaudy instead of cool.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @10:53AM (#48792797) Homepage Journal

    The Chevy "Oy-GeValt"...

    Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all day.

  • by pr0t0 ( 216378 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @11:02AM (#48792879)

    Given the original Chevy Volt concept looked like this [wikimedia.org] and the production looked like this [wikimedia.org]. I fully expect the Bolt to go from this [vox-cdn.com] to this [balkantravellers.com].

  • Oh good Lord (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2015 @11:04AM (#48792895)

    What does a Tesla have, that *ALL* other electrics don't? Style. The Tesla cars look great, like cars you WANT to drive. The others - Chevy, Ford, Nissan, all scream "Hey I'm a cheap piece of shit with an electric motor!" The other electric manufacturers are all sitting around the boardroom table, scratching their heads in befuddlement as to why their sales numbers aren't through the roof. They are fighting Tesla's direct sales model tooth and nail, all the while people are jumping through hoops to get their butts in the seat of a Model S. Seems they should stop trying to race each other to the bottom, and start by designing a car people might actually want, rather than the car that's cheap to build but looks like ... this.

  • by Clomer ( 644284 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @11:21AM (#48793013)
    I hope that this effort of GM's succeeds at least well enough for them to continue R&D into EV's, but there are 2 significant problems I see that they'll need to overcome:

    First, they'll need a high-speed charging network that will allow for long-distance road trips. Public charging infrastructure is too slow to realistically allow for a trip that is further than what one can do on a single charge. Granted, with 200 miles instead of 40, this is significantly better than what's out there now, it's still not good enough for someone that wants to occasionally take their car on a multi-state road trip. Tesla's supercharger network gives them a competitive advantage, and GM will need something similar. Tesla has said that they are willing to share access, but it has to be on their terms. If GM is willing to buy in on that, we might see a Bolt capable of using Tesla superchargers - this would solve this issue for GM.

    Second, the established dealer network has no interest in selling EV's. Most of their profits come from after-market service, and EV's have (theoretically) significantly less service needs. To this end, the dealers are motivated to push traditional ICE's over EV's in virtually every case. This is the major reason why Tesla does not use the traditional dealership sales model. No car salesman will direct you to a Bolt - you'll only get one if you come in specifically wanting one and push past their sales tactics to get you into something else. Buyers of the Nissan Leaf have reported resistance to and sometimes outright hostility from dealerships over wanting to purchase an EV. Unless GM is somehow able to break the dealership cartel and begin direct sales themselves, this issue won't be overcome anytime soon.

    Another thought: at $30,000, I strongly suspect it is priced as a loss-leader, meaning it is being sold under cost. Tesla needs the economies of scale of their massive battery factory they call their "gigafactory" now under construction in Nevada in order to achieve a $35,000 price point for the Model 3. It seems unlikely to me that GM has managed to bring the cost down so much without a gigafactory of their own. It seems likely to me that the Model 3, at $5000 more expensive, will be superior to the Bolt in virtually every respect (Tesla has repeatedly said that their 200 mile range will be a real-world figure, while the Bolt's 200 mile range will probably be an ideal figure in perfect conditions, though I'd love to be proven wrong about the Bolt).

    All this assumes that GM actually delivers as promised, which is far from guaranteed.

    That said, more competition in the EV space is a good thing, so I hope the Bolt does at least well enough for GM to continue research in the area.
    • Tesla's advantage with their charging network is hardly decisive. GM probably could buy Tesla outright with their coffee and bagel budget. Putting up a network of charging stations would not be a challenge for a company with their resources, even on the heels of a bankruptcy.

      I'd say execution on the concept will be their biggest challenge. As Jeremy Clarkson once said of an American car - "It's just that everything inside looks like it was made by the lowest bidder." He said it about a Chrysler, but it

    • by Rotag_FU ( 2039670 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @12:19PM (#48793493)

      Another thought: at $30,000, I strongly suspect it is priced as a loss-leader, meaning it is being sold under cost. Tesla needs the economies of scale of their massive battery factory they call their "gigafactory" now under construction in Nevada in order to achieve a $35,000 price point for the Model 3. It seems unlikely to me that GM has managed to bring the cost down so much without a gigafactory of their own. It seems likely to me that the Model 3, at $5000 more expensive, will be superior to the Bolt in virtually every respect (Tesla has repeatedly said that their 200 mile range will be a real-world figure, while the Bolt's 200 mile range will probably be an ideal figure in perfect conditions, though I'd love to be proven wrong about the Bolt).

      I won't argue the point that the Tesla 3 is likely to be superior to the Bolt. I really like the Teslas I've seen to date. However, I do question why you find it hard to believe that the $30k target will be such a significant problem for GM? Yes, Tesla hopes to achieve their price range based primarily upon the battery gigafactory, but given their distribution issues in various states and the general scale of their automotive manufacturing capability, they cannot reasonably expect to sell as many vehicles in the near to mid term (next 5 to 10 years) as GM does. GM can use their current scale to achieve cost reductions on the procurement of parts for the entire car, leverage lots of already engineered subsystems, and also are likely to have increased cost reductions in car assembly, rather than pinning the cost reduction primarily upon the batteries. Basically these are two different avenues to get an EV cost down to a "reasonable" level.

      • by wchin ( 6284 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @12:45PM (#48793735)

        GM's Michigan battery plant (joint with LG) that makes the batteries for the Volt and the upcoming Bolt (according to the WSJ) has only the capacity to make batteries for 20,000 Bolts *or* 60,000 Volts, which means the initial production runs of the Bolt is likely significantly lower than 10,000 vehicles per year. If they want to make many more Bolts, they have to build about 5.5-6 gigawatt-hours of production capacity per 100,000 vehicles. Their current plant needs expansion just to hit a little more than 1 gigawatt.

        The Tesla Gigafactory is expected to make 35 gigawatt-hours of cell production and combined with another 15 gigawatt-hours from Panasonic's factories, they represent a doubling of the world's lithium ion production from 2013. Until GM/LG or others announce, finance, and build plants of that size, they won't have the batteries in any large quantity.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2015 @11:23AM (#48793037)

    Tesla got the highest score ever at Consumer Reports. It is a better car the a Porsche Pan Am in every respect. The bitter irony is that GM designed a Tesla like skateboard platform with modular bodies that they shelved because the are run my MBAs trying to squeeze profits by bullshit instead of design.

    -F34nor

  • by SIGBUS ( 8236 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @12:05PM (#48793391) Homepage

    Hopefully, there are enough people who can think beyond the current dip in oil prices to keep interest up in electric cars. Oil just isn't a good long-term solution, and the sooner we can get cars off it the better.

    If they could get the range up to 300+ miles, have a usable quick charge capability, and still keep it affordable, I'd go electric in a heartbeat.

  • by OFnow ( 1098151 ) on Monday January 12, 2015 @01:15PM (#48794105)
    I'll believe Bolt when they start shipping to customers. GM has a long history of not delivering what they promised. Will Bolt be like Fiat 500e, loss leader, hence low volume by plan or ??? Going to be interesting to watch.

Truth is free, but information costs.

Working...