The time has come for one of the USA’s biggest automotive hitters to step over the EV threshold. This new all-electric crusader from the States debuts in time for the 2017 North America International Auto Show. Its identity? The all-new 2017Chevrolet Bolt.
A step into uncharted territory for Chevy it may be; however, with the long serving Nissan leaf and relative new-comer the BMW i3 set to be joined by Tesla’s own Model 3 compact EV within the next year, this Bolt is far from out of the blue.
Boasting a lithium-ion battery-based powertrain, Chevrolet claims its all-new hatchback EV will clock up around 200 miles on one single charge. What’s more, the standard issue 7.2 kW on-board charger will afford you a purported 50 miles worth of juice after two hours at the plug. With the DC Fast Charging facility installed at home, a half-hour charge is good for 90 minutes on the road.
These are impressive and highly competitive stats given the Bolt’s current completion. BMW’s i Wallbox Pro, equipped with a comparable wattage, will charge the i3 up to the 50 miles mark in a similar time, although at full capacity its range falls a good 40 miles short of the Chevy’s estimates for the Bolt.
One of the tricks employed by the white coats at Chevrolet in hitting that fabled 200 mark was to offset the Bolt’s gear configuration, ensuring greater efficiency and performance on the road. The 200bhp electric motor racks up a total of 266 lb/ft instant torque, propelling the Bolt from 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds. Power delivery is controlled by Chevrolet’s first electronic precision shift system. This so-called shift-by-wire arrangement sends electronic signals to the Bolt’s drive unit, precisely channelling the available power and torque based on your selected driving mode and your treatment – careful or otherwise – of the accelerator pedal. Regenerative braking also cuts the unnecessary footwork, enabling the Bolt cruise to a gentle halt without a single touch of the brake pedal at low speeds.
All this tech is neatly packaged into a space-saving layout. Both the compact shift-by-wire components, as well as the lower profile battery design, maximises interior space, leaving plenty of room for such standard infotainment goodies as the 10.2’’ MyLink touch-screen display with its rear view camera and customisable, “flip-board style” operation.
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV will be under production by winter 2016, with European sales expected to kick off early in the new year.