In a recent media briefing at GM’s Alternative Energy Center, GM executives say the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle will exceed the company’s original range estimate of 200 miles. This is an important announcement in light of Tesla’s Model 3 unveiling that touts 215 miles range.
Official numbers aren’t due for a number of months once the Bolt has completed EPA certification, but hitting a distance of 210, 220 miles is key because GM says the market research shows that around 70% of all automotive buyers would consider an EV as their primary vehicle with that sort of capability – and at an affordable price.
The Nissan Leaf is due for a revamp in 2017, and will likely have a similar range and price-point; it will have to if Nissan wants to maintain it’s lead in the EV market.
GM engineers say that starting from the ground up building the Bolt EV represents a revolutionary leap in EV technology. Everything from the 200-hp electric drive motor to the optimized battery pack is designed for the Bolt. For example, due to the size and weight of the battery pack, Chevrolet made the batter pack part of the structural integrity of the vehicle, and that actually increased structural rigidity by 20%. Coupled with a low center of gravity, the Bolt is a “fun car to drive” in the words of Tim Grewe, general director of electrification.