General Motors, the largest US automaker, has unveiled its plans to join the electric car race – unveiling during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January the Chevrolet Bolt concept.
Now, Reuters has found from a couple of supplier sources that it also plans to begin series production of the model from October 2016, building the all-new $30,000 electric car at an underused small-car plant north of Detroit. The car’s unveiling brought serious hype around the automaker’s green plans – with the concept joining the second-generation of the Volt plug-in hybrid. Unfortunately for the eco-conscious, the people with knowledge of the matter said the company has a modest production yield for the model – around 25,000-30,000 units annually. That would be consistent with the trend for alternatively powered cars, which have failed to gain significant ground in recent years.
In 2014, GM sold just 18,800 Chevrolet Volt hybrid cars, even as the plug-in model – with a price of around $35,000, also has a small gasoline engine that can increase operating range when the battery is depleted. The new Bolt, a full electric, would reach the market during the first part of 2017 and come with a range of around 200 miles on a full battery. The model could also land exactly in the nick of time to compete with another affordable electric car – Tesla’s Model 3, also planned for a 2017 release – and with the world’s best-selling electric model, the Nissan Leaf. The latter had deliveries of little over 30,000 units in 2014.