Chevrolet finally revealed the range for its upcoming Chevy Bolt all-electric vehicle on Tuesday. The $37,500 car is set to offer a range of 238 miles per charge, easily beating Tesla’s promised 215-mile range for the upcoming Model 3.
— Chevy Electric (@ChevyElectric) September 13, 2016
The Chevy Bolt and Model 3 are set to compete directly in the budding market for budget-minded electric vehicles. The Bolt starts at 37,500, but it should cost as little as $30,000 after a federal tax credit. The Model 3 is expected to go even lower thanks to a starting price of $35,000 before incentives.
Chevrolet told USA Today that it had to do some special engineering to reach that range. The Chevy Bolt is designed to be as light as possible and the front seats use springs instead of some cushioning to keep the weight down.
“There’s a ton of data that says a 200-mile range is the point at which there’s a big change in the number of people to switch to an electric vehicle,” said chief engineer Josh Tavel. “It’s all about customer convenience.”
The batteries are located under the floor to leave extra room for cargo. The center of gravity is also slightly lower than normal for better handling. Still, the Chevy Bolt is actually more spacious than a standard midsize sedan.
We don’t know exactly when the Bolt will launch. Rumor has it production could kick off in October, suggesting the first cars will roll off the assembly line soon after that.