When Chevrolet debuted the Bolt at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and claimed that it could be ready for production by 2017, no one really took the automaker seriously. Chevy has largely stayed out of the pure-EV segment – the closest is the Volt and it is a range-extended EV – so to just dive in feet first with a wild hatchback like the Bolt seemed rather unlikely. Now, a report from Reuters claims that this timeline wasn’t so farfetched after all.
The report quotes two suppliers who said that GM will indeed manufacture the Bolt EV, and it will start production in October 2016. According to the report, Chevrolet will use an “underused small-car plant” located just north of Detroit to handle assembling all U.S.-bound Bolts. The report goes on to confirm that GM is expecting the Bolt EV to sell relatively well, and it is planning to manufacture 25,000 to 30,000 examples per year.
According to GM, the Chevrolet Bolt EV will be priced around $30,000, which would put it in the low $20,000 range after government tax credits, and it will deliver up to 200 miles of EV range. This all falls right in line with Tesla’s upcoming entry-level car, the Model III, showing that Chevy has just about had it with Tesla getting all the EV news. Then again, the Model III seems as if it is on the back burner for now, as Tesla hurries to get the delayed Model X SUV to the public.
With its production just a little over a year away, we should see a ready-for-production version make its debut later in 2015 or possibly in early-2016. Until then, I am sure we’ll come across tons of rumors and reports on the upcoming EV hatchback that we will pass on to you.