Chevy confirms Bolt EV name for new electric car

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. confirmed Wednesday its upcoming pure electric car that will have 200 miles-plus of range and will be sold across the United States will be called the Bolt EV.

“Since unveiling the Bolt EV three months ago, the name has quickly become associated with Chevrolet,” the company said in an emailed statement. “Therefore, we will use the name when the vehicle goes into production. The Bolt EV is a significant statement of Chevrolet’s commitment to electrification and the name suits this game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity.”

The name had drawn some criticism for being too close to the Chevrolet Volt, Chevy’s plug-in electric hybrid.

GM showed the Bolt concept in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and a month later at the Chicago Auto Show confirmed it would build the five-passenger car at GM’s Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township.

Chevrolet spokesman Michael Albano said GM made the final decision to go with the Bolt EV name over the past month or so. Albano, in an email, said the Bolt name was confirmed after checking with customers and dealers who affirmed “our belief that the name is a good fit and the association with Volt was seen as a positive.”

In February, GM North America President Alan Batey told reporters GM was still debating on the name “Bolt” and said the automaker may not make a final decision for a year. He said then that “some people think it’s confusing” and that “it's going to be an interesting decision because honestly right now I could go either way.”

Officials for Chevy and GM have not said when the vehicle will be built, other than it is on a “fast track to production.”

LMC Automotive, an industry forecasting and analysis firm, expects the Bolt would go into production at Orion in late 2016 and would go on sale in 2017, with GM annually producing in the high 20,000 to low 30,000 vehicle range.

The Bolt EV — which will replace the Chevrolet Spark EV and double its range — is expected to cost about $30,000 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.

GM has said it would invest $160 million into Orion for tooling and equipment for a future vehicle. Workers there currently build the small Buick Verano and subcompact Chevrolet Sonic.

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