General Motors is no stranger to electric vehicles, having given America one of the first somewhat “modern” entries into the sector with the GM EV1 (later called the Saturn EV1). We won’t get into the politics that resulted in the untimely death of that vehicle, but GM has had greater success with its first generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and looks to advance the case with the second generation model.
But what about the folks that want a true electric vehicle that has no reliance on gasoline engines? GM gave us the unloved Spark EV, but there’s definitely a market out there for an EV that can travel more than 82 miles per charge. That’s where the Chevrolet Bolt comes into play. The Chevy Bolt will have a driving range of 200 miles per charge, and will have a base price of $37,500 before tax credits (the most popular credit will no doubt be the federal one which rings in at $7,500). Some states throw in their own credits, which can sweeten the deal with another $5,000 discount.
We’re learning quite a bit more about the Bolt today from GM, along with with its extensive partnership with LG Electronics. LG isn’t just building the lithium-ion battery pack, which is one of the most important parts of an EV, but also the electric drive motor (although it was designed by GM), the onboard charger and the power inverter module and the accessory power module. But that’s not all, LG has also taken charge of important interaction points for the driver including the instrument cluster and the infotainment center.
"Being selected as GM's EV technology partner positions LG as a key player in next-generation vehicular technologies," said Woo-jong Lee, CEO of the LG Electronics Vehicle Components Company. "The opportunity to work with GM on such game-changing technology is indicative of exactly the type of contributions that traditional tech companies can make in the automotive space."
The Bolt is a somewhat frumpy looking econobox that is sure to attract a lot of attention from the “green” public due to its $30,000 pricing (after credits). But given the attractive designs that Tesla has put out with the Roadster, Model S and Model X, the EV to watch in this space will be the Model III, which is due around the same time as the Bolt. Tesla CEO Elon Musk promises the the vehicle will have a base price of $35,000 before tax credits and will have a driving range of greater than 200 miles.