Chevrolet's ambition to become "a global brand" does not include selling electric vehicles like the Bolt EV in Australia.
AUSTRALIANS will not be able to buy a Holden Bolt once the city-sized electric vehicle goes on sale in the US as a Chevrolet later this year. The American marque’s stated mission to become a global brand will not extend to selling electric vehicles like the new Bolt EV in Australia.
The Bolt, revealed in production form at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, was the star of Chevrolet's Detroit show stand alongside the 2016 Cruze hatchback. Chevrolet North America boss, Alan Batey, confirmed that the Bolt, which goes on sale in the USA later this year priced around $US30,000 ($AUD43,000), has a range of more than 320 kilometres and can recoup 145 kilometres of range after a 30-minute charge from a DC (direct current) outlet.
Batey said that the Bolt, “Breaks new ground in long range, affordable electric driving,” and will make electric cars easier to live with, “because it won't need to be charged every night”. He said the Bolt crossover is GM’s “first architecture designed specifically for electric vehicles since the EV1”, which was produced in 1996-97. It’s possible that GM will develop other body-styles for the flat floor architecture and its 288-cell battery pack, although Batey’s response when asked was predictably non-committal.
“The beauty that we've got is we have a lot of learnings, because we launched the Volt here in Detroit six years ago, so we've got a lot of learnings. We arguably have the widest range of electrified vehicles: Spark EV, Volt, the Bolt EV, and the Malibu hybrid with 47mpg [5.0L/100km]. Our electrification expertise is deep and we’re always looking to find new ideas.”
When asked about the potential for right-hand drive, Batey was more direct: "At this moment in time we're not making any announcements of where it will go in the anywhere in the world. Initially in the US, and then we'll look at other markets".
According to the UK’s Autocar magazine, right-hand drive is not part of the plan.
Details about the Bolt's measurements have not been released. Chevrolet claims it has the interior size of a D-segment car (Holden Malibu), for the exterior size of a B (Barina Spark). The body is constructed from lightweight materials including carbonfibre, aluminium and magnesium, and utilises active aerodynamics in areas like the rear quarter panels.
General Motor Chairperson Mary Barra (pictured above) says the Bolt crossover is, “an electric vehicle for everyone”, and would “raise the bar for EVs”.