When the Chevy Bolt EV concept was unveiled in Detroit last month, we had concerns about whether or not GM would actually be able to make their dream a reality, but prior to the unveil of the facelifted Equinox in Chicago today, the automaker confirmed that the Bolt will eventually strike.
There is still no word on when the new electric offering will first hit the road, but with a production model now officially confirmed, we have to say that we’re thoroughly impressed—at least for now.
We definitely did not expect this news to arrive so soon after the initial debut, and for that reason we have to tip our hat to Chevy. But before we apologize for ever doubting the automaker, we want to know if GM will be able to make good on their promise of a 200-mile driving range and $30,000 price tag.
If the Bolt concept and its superior set of capabilities was nothing more than “a vision” back in January, chances are that the engineers at the company are still scratching their heads as to how they will be able to achieve the Tesla-like numbers while also balancing a budget.
No matter how they plan to pull it off though, GM knows that they must act quickly if they hope to achieve the success that they are envisioning. It’s likely why they are getting the wheels turning so soon after the debut of the conceptual design.
According to GM North America President Alan Batey, the decision to expand the Chevy EV line beyond the soon-to-be-drastically-outdated Spark was no question at all.
“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”
We have to agree with him, and we understand the need to move with haste, but we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again. An affordable, consumer-grade EV based on the Bolt concept has “potential” to do great things, but if the production model is rushed and falls short of expectations in terms of mileage or price, the GM dream could quickly become a nightmare.
Rumor has it that production could begin as soon as next year with the product being released as a 2017 model, but take that with a grain of salt. We’ll have the official word from GM as soon as they figure out exactly how they will pull this one off.