The electric vehicle wars are about to heat up, and it looks as though the next big fight will be between General Motors and Tesla Motors. Both companies are no stranger to electrified vehicles, but Tesla has by far been the poster child for the EV movement since the introduction of its highly acclaimed Model S.
However, GM is looking to swing the momentum back in its favor with the release of the Chevrolet Bolt, which is already hitting the streets in prototype form. This is actually a pretty quick turnaround for GM, as the concept vehicle was first shown this January at the Detroit Auto Show, which means that development on the EV was well underway at that point.
GM was kind enough to provide two images of camouflaged Bolt EV rolling around its Milford Proving Ground. Although you can’t see much fine detail from the way the vehicle is disguised, the overall shape and “greenhouse” is quite similar to the concept car. GM also put up a video showing Bolt prototypes undergoing rigorous real-world and simulated tests to ensure that most of the “ghosts in the machine” are rounded up before the vehicle ends up in customer garages.
“Chevrolet’s advanced EV technology is designed to simplify the lives of our consumers,” said president of General Motors North America President Alan Batey. “With four new vehicles introduced since January, Chevrolet continues to prove its commitment.”
The Bolt promises a driving range of 200 miles per charge courtesy of its single electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack, and will be priced at approximately $37,500 before a $7,500 federal tax credit and any applicable state credits and rebates. For comparison, the current generation Chevrolet Spark EV has an EPA-rated driving range of just 82 miles per charge and costs $26,820 before federal and state tax credits/rebates are applied.
As for Tesla and its Model III, that vehicle has apparently yet to enter the alpha testing phase, although Tesla is confident that the vehicle will still be revealed to the public in late 2016, while production will commence the following year (the same year as the Bolt enters production).
The Model III will have a price tag of $35,000 before credits/rebates and has a driving range of at least 200 miles (and possibly 250+ miles if comments by Tesla CEO Elon Musk are accurate).