Something amazing will soon be streaking through the streets of DFW. In a flash of automotive genius, Chevy has recently unveiled its new eco-conscious compact concept, the all-electric Bolt. Currently, Bolt is available in California, Oregon and Michigan, but is expected to become accessible throughout the rest of the United States as early as mid-2017.
Touted as a crossover, the Bolt is GM’s first mass-marketed electric vehicle, and is available in the EV and Premier models (both hatchbacks). It is a purely electric vehicle, meaning, unlike hybrids, the Bolt runs on a floor-mounted rechargeable battery pack which powers its 200 horsepower electric motor and requires absolutely no gasoline. Now, 200 horses isn’t the most impressive display of performance, but it definitely uses all 200hp to its advantage, allowing the Bolt to go from 0 to 60 in a scant 6.5 seconds.*
No gas means no need to stop and refuel, just recharge. Direct-current Combined Charging System ports have been springing up in most metropolitan cities throughout the United States in the last several years. In fact, according to the publication Car and Driver, there are 1,061 CCS stations in the U.S. as of September 1, 2016.** So, juicing the battery and getting on your way has become a much easier process, allowing for 238 miles of continuous driving with a single full charge.
Not too surprisingly, it’s not just consumers that are seeing the appeal in Bolt’s earth-friendly and cost-effective benefits. Industry insiders have begun to take notice themselves. As of the writing of this article, the Chevrolet Bolt has already garnered massive acclaim, winning Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” as well as the Los Angeles Auto Show’s “Green Car of the Year” awards. And, most recently, it was named the “North American Car of the Year” at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.***
As if this wasn’t enough, GM is looking to push the envelope of invention even further. They have chosen the Chevy Bolt to represent their company in its endeavors to create an autonomous automobile. You read that right, a car with the technology to drive itself. For GM, this has been a dream in the making.
In January of 2016, GM invested $500 million in the ride-share company Lyft. In March, GM purchased Cruise Automation, a technology start-up focused on advancing the field of autonomous innovation. Within two months, Cruise Automation was enthusiastically testing its self-driving technology on the Bolt. GM hopes that by doing this it will create wide-sweeping changes in how we approach ride-sharing, freight delivery, even alternate modes of public transport. They truly believe that this technology could be, as stated by GM’s executive chief engineer of autonomous technology Pam Fletcher, “a big part of a transformation of transportation and mobility.”