All-electric Chevrolet Bolt strikes home at CES 2016

Published: 08 January 2016

► Electric Chevrolet Bolt revealed at CES 2016
► Nine-hour charge time and 200-mile range
► Set to cost around $30,000 (£20,500)

The new Chevrolet Bolt, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show, is a compact electric car that’s designed to bring EV motoring to the masses.

Key to its appeal is a claimed range of 200 miles, which should allow most to go about their business without being crippled by range anxiety. It also offers seating for five, reputedly decent performance and a list price of around $30,000 (£20,500), making it a more viable option than many an alternative.

Motive power comes for the Bolt comes from a single electric motor, which drives the front wheels, and a large, flat battery pack mounted in the floor. Adjustable regenerative braking is standard, while the 0-60mph sprint should be dispatched in around 7.0sec.

Chevrolet claims – presumably in the best of conditions – that the Bolt can travel some 200 miles on a full charge, making it easy to undertake longer trips or go without charging. A Nissan Leaf, for example, will travel about 100 miles before silently coming to a halt.

It’ll reputedly take nine hours to fully charge the Bolt from a 240-volt home charging point, granting around 25 miles of range for every hour it’s plugged in, but fast-charging solutions may be offered. Few other technical details have been made available, however, as the car’s still some way from going on sale.

What other features does it have?

The prominent one is a 10.2in colour touchscreen display, which can be customised to show your most regularly accessed features. You also get a smart-looking digital instrument cluster and a rear-view camera as standard, while options include a surround-view system and a wi-fi hotspot.

There’s also a host of connectivity and app-based features, including cabin preheating, as you might expect. Chevrolet’s also going to launch a leaderboard that’ll show the most efficient Bolt drivers, which might instil a degree of competitive light-footedness.

It should prove a pretty practical choice, too. Outside of having a decent range, it’s got five seats, a flat floor, split-folding rear seats and an optional hidden storage compartment.

Will we get it in the UK?

Chevrolet UK ceased all new UK sales on 31 December 2015, so you won’t be seeing the Bolt locally any time soon. You can still buy a Corvette or Camaro, though, so it’s not all bad.

When the Bolt goes on sale in the US, however, it’s expected to cost around $38,000 before incentives, after which it’ll set you back some $30,000. That’s £20,500. In America, that’ll put it straight into contention with the likes of the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which will cost a similar amount and also aims to deliver a 200-mile range.

At the moment, for those in America, that means the Bolt cost about $10,000 (£6800) more than a Nissan Leaf. That’s a hefty chunk of change, but the Chevrolet offers a claimed range that’s almost 100 miles greater than the Nissan’s. In either case, the Bolt’s less expensive than the all-electric BMW i3, which costs around $4000 (£2700) more.

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car