With Jab At Tesla, GM Amps Up Chevy Bolt Promotion, Testing – Forbes
“Chevrolet Chevrolet is bringing electric vehicles to the masses,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday, while releasing a new video this week showing a prototype of the Bolt being tested at the company’s Proving Grounds in Milford, MI. GM already has a bevy of Bolt prototypes up and running, according to a report at SlashGear, which cites a “50-something” number. Meanwhile, GM CEO Marry Barra went beyond the EV for the “masses” statement and said that the Bolt isn’t just for the “elite,” when introducing the 2016 Chevy Cruze on Wednesday, an obvious reference to the Model S from Tesla Motors Tesla Motors. Currently, the lowest-priced Tesla on the market with a 200-plus-mile range is the $75,000 Model S 70D, with a range of 240 miles. (Tesla plans to bring out the $35,000 — before incentives — Model 3 in 2017.)
Chevy unveiled the Bolt (that’s “Bolt” with a “B,” not to be confused with the existing plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt) concept at the Detroit Auto Show back in January, vowing a 200-mile range and a price tag of $30,000 after incentives. The Bolt is expected to be released commercially sometime in 2016. Chevrolet’s only current all-electric offering is the Spark EV with a range of 80 miles. With federal and state incentives, the Spark EV can be had for well under $20,000. But unlike the Bolt — which will be sold in all 50 states — the Spark is only sold in a handful of states, including California and Maryland.
Pam Fletcher, the chief executive engineer for electric vehicles at General Motors, also emphasized on Wednesday that GM’s electrification technology and manufacturing is U.S.-based. “Chevrolet’s electrification technology is very much grounded here in the U.S.,” Fletcher said in a video posted on GM’s site. She mentioned that the battery packs and electric drive units for the Volt are manufactured in Michigan and the electric motors are made in the U.S. “It’s a really a terrific story for technology and manufacturing and electrification in this country,” she said.
All-new mystery vehicle “unlike any” to date: The Bolt will be assembled at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in Michigan where the company is making a sizable investment to support the launch of another “all-new” vehicle.
“General Motors will invest $245 million and add 300 new jobs at its Orion Assembly plant to support launching an all-new vehicle program unlike any in the plant’s 32-year history,” GM said in a statement. “Orion Assembly is a breeding ground for manufacturing innovation,” said Cathy Clegg, GM North America vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Relations, in a statement. “The plant is up to the challenge of building this brand-new product, something it’s never seen before,” she said. There are few clues so far on what that vehicle is.