GM starts producing 200-mile electric Chevrolet Bolt

November 5, 2016 by Tom Krisher
A battery is lifted into place for installation in the Chevrolet Bolt EV at the General Motors Orion Assembly plant Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Orion Township, Mich. The Chevrolet Bolt can go more than 200 miles on battery power and will cost less than the average new vehicle in the U.S. But it's unclear whether the car can do much to shift America from gasoline to electricity in an era of $2 prices at the pump. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

It can go more than 200 miles on battery power and it costs less than the average new vehicle in the U.S. But in an era of $2 per gallon gasoline, the Chevrolet Bolt probably won't do a whole lot to shift America from gasoline to electricity.

General Motors has started making Bolt hatchbacks on a slow assembly line at a factory in Orion Township, Michigan, north of Detroit.

The cars, starting at $37,495 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, will go on sale in California and Oregon before the end of the year, and will spread to the rest of the country next year. The average sales price of a new vehicle in the U.S. is about $34,000, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Analysts say the Bolt's 238-mile range on a single charge, plus a net price of around $30,000, should make it an attractive alternative to cars with internal-combustion engines. While they expect the Bolt to incrementally add to the number of electric cars now on the road, they don't expect a seismic shift to electricity yet.

The Bolt's range more than covers the average daily round-trip commute of about 40 miles in the U.S., and that should give comfort to those who fear running out of power, said Stephanie Brinley, an auto industry analyst for IHS Markit. But there's always the late night at work and the early meeting the next morning without enough charging time, or the night you forget to plug the car in. Those are tough adjustments for Americans, she said.

"We're trained to believe that wherever we go, we get can get the fuel that we need. With electricity you need to plan that out a little bit more," Brinley said.

IHS predicts that GM will sell just under 30,000 Bolts in the first year, which won't add much to the roughly 235,000 electrics now on U.S. roads. Brinley says there will be small growth as more companies such as Tesla Motors roll out affordable electric vehicles with range over 200 miles. Last year about 100,000 EVs were sold in the U.S., and IHS predicts 300,000 annual sales by 2020 and 400,000 by 2025.

Yves Dontigny, plant launch manager at the General Motors Orion Assembly plant, points out a feature on the drive train before its installation into the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Orion Township, Mich. The Chevrolet Bolt can go more than 200 miles on battery power and will cost less than the average new vehicle in the U.S. But it's unclear whether the car can do much to shift America from gasoline to electricity in an era of $2 prices at the pump. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Still, Chevrolet believes the Bolt is a game-changer. "It becomes just a mainstream vehicle choice," said Darin Gesse, the Bolt's product manager.

GM, he said, set out to make the range about equal to a half-tank of fuel in a gas-powered car. With a half-tank of gas, most people don't worry that they have to refuel for a while and are comfortable driving, he said.

In a quick drive Friday on roads near GM's technical center north of Detroit, the car accelerated quickly when compared to a gas car. GM says it goes from zero to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds, which is faster than many muscle cars from the '70s and '80s. The handling was tight with very little body roll, yet the ride was smooth and quiet.

GM beat rival Tesla to market with a long-range affordable electric car by at least a year. Tesla plans to start delivering its 200-mile, $35,000 (before tax credits) Model 3 in the second half of next year, and it had 373,000 deposits as of May.

The carmaker hasn't revealed exactly when the first customer will get a Bolt. Chevrolet didn't take advance reservations but says there's been strong interest at its dealerships.

Not all of GM's 3,000 dealers nationwide will be certified to sell and service the Bolt, although the company isn't sure how many yet. Around 2,000 can service the Bolt's plug-in cousin, the Volt.

GM says that should be a big advantage over Tesla, which doesn't have service centers in every state.

Explore further: GM's electric Chevy Bolt to go 238 miles per charge

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MR166
1 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2016
"GM says it goes from zero to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds, which is faster than many muscle cars from the '70s and '80s"

74 thru the 80 muscle cars were in name only due to emission controls. Thus this is a misleading statement.
gkam
2.5 / 5 (8) Nov 05, 2016
You can probably buy one outfitted with noise, smoke, and acceleration limits so you feel like you are driving a car with an ICE.

Steelwolf
Nov 05, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Shootist
1 / 5 (7) Nov 05, 2016
. But it's unclear whether the car can do much to shift America from gasoline to electricity in an era of $2 prices at the pump.


Have you kissed a fracker today? He's the reason we don't have to waste energy, petroleum and rare earths manufacturing and transporting batteries.
gkam
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 05, 2016
The current glut of petroleum will not save the industry from progress in cleaner fuels.
24volts
5 / 5 (7) Nov 05, 2016
I think it sounds like a great little city car and would handle all my transportation needs easily. I really wish one of the companies would come out with a small pickup truck or a small cargo van with a range like that.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (5) Nov 05, 2016
You can probably buy one outfitted with noise, smoke, and acceleration limits so you feel like you are driving a car with an ICE.


The Pathological Liar remembers his decades of burning more than 400 dollars a month in gasoline...oh wait...it wasn't you...it was your wife.
retrosurf
5 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2016
6.5 seconds is indeed comparable to what a muscle car could do, and faster than some.

1966-1970 Oldsmobile Toronado, 455 cubic inch engine: 0-60 in 7.5 seconds
1967 Pontiac GTO, 400 CI engine: 5 seconds
1966 Ford Mustang, 350 CI engine: 6.6 seconds
1970 Chevelle SS, 454 CI engine: 6 seconds

The 0 to 60 metric is unfairly tilted toward electric cars, though.
With modern intelligent control you can push an electric motor as hard as it can be safely pushed (without slagging the windings), and locked rotor torque (and current) is amazing. The modern Teslas, of course, are the car to beat, with 0-60 in as little as 2.5 seconds.
physdotorg
1 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2016
For a physics site, you are certainly bad at arithmetic. Something that will happen in the second half of next year, compared to something that will happen at the end of this year, is six months at minimum. It's a year at maximum, not at minimum.
Nik_2213
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2016
$2 / gallon gasoline ? Offer them to UK market-- We've £1.1 / litre ~ $5/gal thanks to a thrift-inducing tax regime...

FWIW, a 200 mile range makes for a neat 'city car' or 'shopping trolley'. But, given the recharge time, I'd be *much* happier with a 'hybrid' you could top-off in two minutes...
gkam
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 05, 2016
You may be surprised how much you can use a pure EV.
Eikka
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 06, 2016
"We're trained to believe that wherever we go, we get can get the fuel that we need.


Anything less is a step back.

The modern Teslas, of course, are the car to beat, with 0-60 in as little as 2.5 seconds.


That's a pure gimmick. The top acceleration is limited by the battery, and the battery cannot output the full power if it isn't full because the voltage drops with the state of charge. If you drive the car 50 miles to the track, whoops, it doesn't do 2.5 seconds anymore.

You may be surprised how much you can use a pure EV.


Perhaps as a pensioner with no hurry and nowhere in particular to be.
gkam
2 / 5 (8) Nov 06, 2016
"If you drive the car 50 miles to the track, whoops, it doesn't do 2.5 seconds anymore."
-----------------
Pure hopeful supposition based on prejudice.

You too will drive an EV, "Eikka".

Think of me when you love it.
max_bean
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 06, 2016
The battery is 60kWH and has 238 miles of range. That's 4 miles per kWH, or at 15 cents per kWH that is 53 miles of range for $2. Many people pay even less for electricity so even at $2 per gallon, the electric car is still a lot lower cost.

That range is similar to gas cars so I don't see how they can still claim range is an issue, most people could go several days without charging. Rapid charging at commercial chargers is also available and yes it's a little slower than a gas pump, but they can add 100 miles of range or more in 30 minutes, so it's not that bad. For most people, never having to go to a gas station is a big plus.

Electricity is available everywhere, it's not like you need to find a hydrogen station.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 06, 2016
Max, ours comes from the PV panels on our roof. They power the house and car, as well. We had to buy last years model to afford it, but are saving lots of money from household power and twice as much with the car.

We pay 10 cents/kWh at night when we charge. Our PV produces high-value power at peak, which we gladly trade for much cheaper power we use at night. We also pay a ridiculous distribution charge, which is phony, because my power goes straight to my neighbors, not using the distribution system back of the transformer.

By using the grid, we do not need batteries, and the power company gets cheap peak power right where it is needed. It is essentially banked. Many folk cannot understand this - I guess their education does not enable it.

Once you get an EV, you will never go back to the ICE. Ours has saved four oil changes with filter, and 600 gallons of gas so far this year.

BTW, one of my friends just got a Tesla as a company car. In Alabama.
max_bean
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2016
Here in San Francisco, the special EV owner rate is 18 cents/kWH but gas is higher than $2 also. With roof top solar it basically runs the meter backwards, the power company has to pay full retail price back to the owner. Solar cost total to finance is equivalent to about 12 cents/KWHr installed (33 miles of bolt range for $1)
gkam
1.5 / 5 (6) Nov 06, 2016
What EV rate is that? I am on EV-A, which I was just told went from ten to eleven cents from 23:00 to 07:00.

I have to do a rate review since I added the PV. But I do not get money for my production, I just trade my high-value peak power for what I use, as the meter backs up. No money back.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 06, 2016
max, my system was never designed to produce excessive power, and in fact was supposed to only produce 90% of power for the house. So far, it has produced all the power for house and the car.

There are many ways to do it. We bought ours outright. My daughter has many more PV panels, and the EV is on order, but they only get a few cents/kWh produced over what they use.
Nik_2213
4 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2016
Sure, you can top-up in 30 mins, but what if the stands are taken ? Takes three (3) minutes to top up tank at any gas pump at any gas station...

Hence, hybrid...
max_bean
1 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2016
gkam, that 18 cent rate was off a flyer pg&e recently sent me. It was for off-peak, but they have several different options. I think it's new, they had a 12 cent pilot program limited to 60,000 people and a limited time, but that might be over.

Nik, And, what if there is a line for the gas pump? Most of the time people charge at home and leave with a full charge and never need public chargers. But, for long trips they do work fine. Tesla has all their cars and superchargers online. They have an app that checks to make sure the supercharger is working AND available before you head out to a supercharger. There are lots of blogs from Tesla owners driving coast to coast without a problem, most people need a break after 3 or 4 hours of driving anyway. Tesla is also starting the first trials of their battery swap stations - faster than a gas station - it may be an option in a few years but so far people are pretty happy with the superchargers even if they are a little slower.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Nov 06, 2016
Max, ours comes from the PV panels on our roof. They power the house and car, as well
The lies of psychopaths can get pretty elaborate and convoluted.

George kamburoff sent people here pics of his PV in response to skepticism. These pics turned out to be of somebody else's house. Ira checked the DMV for evidence that he owned an EV and found none.

WHY would someone make up lies like this? Because he gets a thrill from deceiving people. You could argue that george likes to pretend he's an expert but as a psychopath his primary motivation is tricking people to prove his superiority.

"The World has only one problem, Psychopaths. There are two basic types of Psychopaths, Social and Anti-Social. The essential feature of Psychopaths is a Pervasive, Obssesive- Compulsive desire to force their delusions on others."
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Nov 06, 2016
Get over it, "otto". Your fixation on me is not healthy. Yes, I made you look like a fool when I proved who I am and what I have done, in contrast to you three cowardly snipers.

Yeah, I have an EV, no matter what otto the ignorant wants to believe. And a PV system to power it, using the grid as a bank. These are concepts not in the little minds of those who cower at home instead of having a real life.

Come on out, "otto", admit who you are and start taking responsibility for your words. You can do it.

No, . . I guess you are incapable, . . . too scared.

Pathetic.
rrrander
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2016
$7200 subsidized by the declining middle class so latte-sipping urban envirocreeps can convince themselves they're environmentalists.
h20dr
5 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2016
if you are like me and relish your independence, take trips to far-flung outposts, camping adventures to remote forests and deserts, EV's have a long way to go.
If your a city person and or can afford two different vehicles this might make sense.
The day they come out with a affordable full on electric rugged full size pick up that has a 500 mile range will be the day I get really excited.
I highly doubt that will happen in the next 20 years and by then I will probably be dead or at the point I couldnt use it anyway.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Nov 07, 2016
EVs are not the answer to every need. But for most driving, they are not just good, but excellent.

Poor rrander is so captured by his hate for liberals and progress, he cannot see it. I'll bet he drives a polluter.

We have saved 600 gallons of gasoline in the last eleven months. No oil changes with leaks and filters, no tune-ups, essentially no maintenance, and we "fill up" at home. The power comes from our PV on the roof of the house, and they power the household, as well. We put the overage into the grid, and get credit for those kWh, which we take out at night and bank for Winter.
enteroctopus
1 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2016
EV's will need a universalized, modular battery that can be swapped out at a "charging station" for this technology to finally take off. I consider it similar to a beer keg, as I am a proud connoisseur of beer and dispense that way at home. It's cheaper and tastes better!

With that type of concept I own the beer, not the keg. When I run out I take the cylinder back to the store and "swap it out" for a new one. Assuming I have a full one on hand (and always do) the process takes seconds.

We need a generic, probably cylindrical battery which can power any make or model that can be changed out on the road anywhere. Range would then cease to be an issue. I've read articles suggesting retrofitting aircraft technology (like missile loading a fighter plane) to this purpose. Just make a cylinder the size of a common missile! Employ existing hardware, or even obsolete military gear (say from Vietnam).
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2016

We have saved 600 gallons of gasoline in the last eleven months. No oil changes with leaks and filters, no tune-ups, essentially no maintenance, and we "fill up" at home. The power comes from our PV on the roof of the house, and they power the household, as well. We put the overage into the grid, and get credit for those kWh, which we take out at night and bank for Winter
Pretty respectable performance for PV and EV that you just made up isn't it?
rrrander
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2016
6.5 seconds is indeed comparable to what a muscle car could do, and faster than some.

1966-1970 Oldsmobile Toronado, 455 cubic inch engine: 0-60 in 7.5 seconds
1967 Pontiac GTO, 400 CI engine: 5 seconds
1966 Ford Mustang, 350 CI engine: 6.6 seconds
1970 Chevelle SS, 454 CI engine: 6 seconds

The 0 to 60 metric is unfairly tilted toward electric cars, though.
With modern intelligent control you can push an electric motor as hard as it can be safely pushed (without slagging the windings), and locked rotor torque (and current) is amazing. The modern Teslas, of course, are the car to beat, with 0-60 in as little as 2.5 seconds.


1968 Hemi Dart. 1/4 mile in 9.7 seconds. Beat that, Tesla.
1965 Hemi Coronet. 1/4 mile in 10.2 seconds.
1965 Thunderbolt Ford. 1/4 mile in 10.5 seconds.

All naturally aspirated.
tekram
not rated yet Nov 12, 2016
"..1968 Hemi Dart. 1/4 mile in 9.7 seconds. Beat that, Tesla."
That is not a production cars.

More typical:
1968 Dodge Dart GTS (CL)
340ci/275hp, 3spd auto, 3.23, 0-60 - 6.3, 1/4 mile - 14.68 @ 96.2mph

2015 Tesla Model S P90D 'Ludicrous Speed' Upgrade Compare Car 0-60 mph 2.6 | Quarter mile 10.9
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2016
2015 Tesla Model S P90D 'Ludicrous Speed' Upgrade Compare Car 0-60 mph 2.6 | Quarter mile 10.9


Again, the ludicurous mode only works if the battery is topped up.

It's basically a $10,000 software upgrade to the car that allows it to bypass safety limits in order to draw as much current out of the batteries as they possibly can give. The mode is not available if the battery isn't nearly full, because the battery voltage may sag low enough to destroy the cells under the heavy load, and because the battery cannot give the advertized amount of power, therefore acceleration, unless it is full.

When the battery drains, its voltage drops and the maximum power output is proportional to the square of the voltage, so the top acceleration of the vehicle vanishes very quickly. 10% down in voltage is 20% down in power, and it takes 25% longer to accelerate.

When the battery is half full (82% voltage) the P90D has lost 32% of power and the 0-60 time grows to about 4 seconds.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2016
"So what?" you might ask. The point is that the "ludicurous mode" is like an one-shot bottle of nitrous in relation to all the other sports cars.

If you allow that, you're not making a honest comparison. The top acceleration of Teslas is a gimmick and borderline false advertising.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2016
https://www.bloom...e-enough

Some 126 owners of the Tesla Model S sedan's P85D performance version are seeking unspecified reimbursements after the model only reached 469 horsepower instead of a pledged 700 hp, said Kaspar N. Thommessen, an attorney at Wikborg Rein law firm representing the plaintiffs.


Tesla's lawyers are appealing to the fact that the car -can- put out 700 HP as advertised - under the specific conditions when the ludicurous mode can be and is turned on.

But if you drive the car till the battery is half empty and put it on a dynamometer to see what it actually makes, it does 469 HP. Exactly in line with the fact that the battery is limiting the power output: 700 HP -32% = 470 HP

So Tesla got caught with yet more hyperbole. The performance of the car changes with the state of charge in the battery, and all the figures they've sold them on are merely "up to".

gkam
1 / 5 (6) Nov 13, 2016
So don't buy one. What a phony gripe.

How many "Eikkas" are on the roads?
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2016
So don't buy one. What a phony gripe.


What a phony car, and what a phony company.

Tesla and Elon Musk in particular is full of hyperbole and false promises to sell the overvalued stock of the company and bait for new investment capital. Everything they do is promising the moon and giving you a wheel of cheese and a flashlight to play with.

The build quality of the cars is sub-average according to Consumer Reports, the claimed range of the batteries is over-optimistic, the performance of the vehicles is exaggerated, the battery systems are less than safe, the "autopilot" is nothing but a glorified lane assist, and the promises of new models at lower prices vanish in the wind as soon as the production starts.

Musk is simply telling lies and covering them up with new false promises when the previous ones turn out to be just so much hot air, but he's got a reality distortion field stronger than Steve Jobs.

Caveat emptor.
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2016
How many "Eikkas" are on the roads?


Many. Most people don't like it when companies sell them stuff with all sorts of gotcha's in the small print. That's what consumer protection laws are made for.

You're crying foul when traditional car manufacturers claim their car gets 50 MPG when in reality it only gets 41 MPG, or when they put cheat devices in engines, and you'll grumble about corrupt evil capitalists - but when your own favorite company cheats we find you minimizing and excusing and apologizing for the same sort of behaviour, calling the complaints "phony".

That's called double standards.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Nov 13, 2016
"You're crying foul when traditional car manufacturers claim their car gets 50 MPG when in reality it only gets 41 MPG,"
-------------------------------

No, that guy was Eikka. I said nothing about it at all.

And I am not apologizing about anything. I did the right thing in paying for a system to produce my own clean power and energy. What have you done besides try to disparage anyone who tries to make a difference?
Estevan57
4 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2016
Everything they do is promising the moon and giving you a wheel of cheese and a flashlight to play with.


Thank you so much for that, Eikka, but maybe it should be Mars instead. : )
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Nov 14, 2016
When Eikka finally gets his EV, he will be quiet about it.

I do not expect it to be soon. Not with his attitude.

But the 200-mile EV will start to take over for local trips and commutes. There is simply no real contest between the two, no matter how others may feel about that progress politically. Many of you got caught in the trap of conservatism, and now realize it. How do you back out without losing "face"?
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2016
And I am not apologizing about anything. I did the right thing in paying for a system to produce my own clean power and energy. What have you done besides try to disparage anyone who tries to make a difference?
And it's good to keep in mind that if george kamburoff paid for anything he used his wife's money to do it because how much money can one save losing 12-14 jobs over the course of a career, and then being a maytag repairman consultant for 10 years? While stoned out of his mind mind you-

We must put georges planet-saving intentions in the proper perspective.

But since georges whole EV/PV story is a complete fabrication we can assume that his use of her money actually entailed runs to CVS to buy adult diapers and tampons. And rolling papers. That sort of thing.
gkam
Nov 14, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Estevan57
4 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2016
Such language, Gkam. You disgrace yourself and your fellow veterans.. Reported.

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