LAS VEGAS - Chevrolet used the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week to show off its latest gee-whiz gadget, the 2017 Bolt electric vehicle.
Not to be confused with the Chevrolet Volt, which is a gasoline/electric hybrid, the Bolt is an all-electric upright hatchback that promises a range of more than 200 miles on a full charge.
That range is a key feature of the little car since most other modern electric cars in the same price range are doing good to get more than 100 miles on a single charge.
Speaking of price, the official price tag has not yet been announced, but it’s expected to be in the $30,000 range after incentives.
Chevrolet showed off a concept version of the Bolt at last year’s North American International Auto Show. However, the final production car lost many of the concept’s quirky styling cues, like the squinting headlights and wrap-around rear glass.
Connectivity will be a key part of Bolt ownership, according to General Motors. “The Bolt EV is capable of using the latest mobile app technology to enable car sharing, advanced GPS routing and gamification, all designed to enhance the ownership experience now and into the future,” GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra said.
Right away, a Chevrolet app will help owners with things like battery information, climate control pre-conditioning and OnStar Map services.
Enhancements to the apps would take advantage of data like time of day, typography, weather and personal driving habits to help owners get the most range out of their cars.
"I have no doubt the auto industry will change more in the next five to 10 years than it has in the last 50." - GM CEO Mary Barra at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show
Farther in the future, Chevrolet suggested an app could even let Bolt owners compete to see who is driving most efficiently.
On the inside, designers wanted to emphasize the space generated by the car’s high windows and relatively wide track. They say the light color schemes help to give the car an open and airy feel.
Up front, the Bolt features a 10.2-inch touchscreen nestled in the dashboard and another screen for the instrument cluster. The center console includes two cup holders, a wireless charging spot and a sliding armrest that conceals a large storage compartment.
The batteries powering the car are stored in flat array in the floor, which helps to keep interior space as conventional as possible.
Chevrolet expects production of the Bolt to begin in late 2016.
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