Chevy Bolt

The Chevy Bolt is the automaker’s all-electric subcompact hatchback model.

It’s only been around for a few years, but this Chevy EV has gained a lot of popularity.

We look back on the history of the Chevrolet Bolt to see what has made it so successful.

Origin of the Chevy Bolt

With a shift to making more environmentally friendly cars, Chevrolet partnered with LG Corporation to make the Bolt model. Production began during November 2016 with a 2017 model.

However, the development of the Bolt started back in 2012 when GM Korea assigned 180 people with the task of creating it. Following that, it wasn’t until the 2015 North American International Auto Show that the first model debuted.

By the time it debuted, the company had tested over fifty Bolt prototypes, all of which were hand-built in Michigan. Once the automaker chose the appropriate version, it was scheduled to be released into all fifty states, plus some global markets as well.

In 2016, the Bolt production model was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. During this event, the GM CEO confirmed that the Bolt would have a 200-mile electric driving range and would cost around $30,000.

chevy bolt display

Production of the Chevy Bolt

The Chevy Bolt began production at the Orion Assembly plant located in Michigan. To make accommodations for this model, the automaker needed to invest in a $160 million plant upgrade. However, in 2016, the manufacturing of the drive unit, battery, and motor occurred in South Korea, at an LG plant.

This Plug-In Electric Vehicle is produced on the same assembly line as the company’s Sonic. Overall, about 90,000 of these two vehicles come off of this assembly line each year. However, despite being a domestic-assembled vehicle, only about twenty percent of it contains parts from the United States.

Chevrolet Bolt Popularity in the United States

In October 2016, the first orders were completed in Oregon and California. By August 2017, the Bolt was available to purchase nationwide. However, the projections for demand didn’t meet what was actually needed, so the production was slower than expected.

During the end of 2017, production ramped up, and the Bolt became one of the most popular electric models in the country. In fact, by October, it had outsold all other electric vehicles, including Tesla.

In 2019, the Bolt US sales totaled over 18,000 units, a number that was down 22% from 2018. During this time, Tesla’s models jumped in popularity, helping them to overtake the Bolt EV.

Bolt Recognition and Awards

From day one, this Chevrolet EV has won numerous awards from top publications. Here are just a few to highlight.

2017

  • Motor Trend Car of the Year
  • North American Car of the Year
  • Automobile Magazine All-Star
  • Time Magazine Best 25 Inventions
  • AutoGuide Reader’s Choice Green Car of the Year
  • Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards Car of the Year
  • Green Car Reports Best Car to Buy
  • Car & Driver’s 10 Best Cars
  • Green Car Journal Green Car of the Year
  • Detroit Free Press Car of the Year

2018

  • Wards 10 Best Engines
  • Consumer Reports Top Ten Picks
  • KBB: Best Resale Value
  • NHTSA Overall 5-Star Safety Rating

2019

  • AutoWeb Buyer’s Choice Award for Best Alternative Fuel Vehicle
  • NHTSA Overall 5-Star Safety Rating

2020

  • NHTSA Overall 5-Star Safety Rating
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick

Current Chevy Bolt Models

The five-passenger Bolt has come a long way in just a few short years. The current 2020 model features an all-electric range of 259 miles, which is slightly increased from the original 238 miles. It also boasts of an EPA fuel economy rating of 119 MPGe. All of this capability comes from the 200-horsepower electric motor that works with a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a single-speed transmission.

Even though it is considered a lower-cost EV, it doesn’t lack any features. Even with the base model, there is a 10.2-inch touch screen and MyLink infotainment system included. Plus, the hatchback features lots of cargo space, with 16.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats and up to 56.6 cubic feet when those seats are folded down.

Is the Bolt EV an electric car you would want to own? Leave a comment telling us your thoughts on this popular model. Then, share this article with your eco-minded friends by clicking your favorite social media platform to the right on desktop or down below if you’re on mobile. Thanks for reading!

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