General Motors raised more than a few eyebrows when it unveiled the quirky-looking Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle concept last month at the Detroit Auto show. In a world where most “affordable” EVs have a driving range of around 80 to 90 miles before they must be recharged; an EV for the “everyman” that can travel 200 miles on a charge was music to the ears of many people.
Well, GM today committed to the production of the Bolt, although an exact production start date and on-sale date wasn’t provided. The vehicle will be produced at GM’s Orion Assembly facility, which is located just outside of Detroit, Michigan.
“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said GM’s North America President, Alan Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”
The Orion Assembly facility is currently underutilized as it only produces relatively low-volume vehicles like the subcompact Chevrolet Sonic and the compact Buick Verano. But GM is pumping $200 million into the facility to support the production of the Bolt. In addition, another $160 million will be dedicated to retooling the facility and bringing in new equipment.
Even though GM hasn’t provided any confirmation on the launch schedule of the Chevrolet Bolt, company insiders suggest that production could commence late next year with deliveries starting in early 2017. When it does arrive in showrooms, expect the Bolt to carry a base MSRP of $37,500. To get down to the much-ballyhooed $30,000 price, you’ll have to file for a $7,500 federal tax credit. And if you live in a state like Georgia, you may also quality for an additional $5,000 state credit on your tax return.