New Chevy Bolt a Leap Forward in Affordable Clean Driving

September 13, 2016 | 3:07 pm
David Reichmuth
Senior Engineer, Clean Transportation Program

General Motors just released the EPA fuel economy data for their upcoming Chevrolet Bolt. The battery-electric car will get an estimated 238 miles per charge, considerably more than many expected and also greater than Tesla’s estimates for their future Model 3 sedan.

One of the lowest emission vehicles ever

While the range announcement will get the most attention, GM also announced that the Bolt will be one of the most efficient electric vehicles (EV) on the market, bested only by the BMW i3. Based on UCS’s most recent analysis of the emissions from electric vehicles, driving the Bolt in California will result in total global warming emissions equal to a (theoretical) 104 mpg gasoline car. In the Northwest, the emissions will be even lower at equal to an 111mpg gasoline car, while Upstate New York comes in at over 160 mpg. Curious about your region? Use our calculator to find the emissions from the Bolt or many other electric cars.

A potential milestone from an EV leader

The 4-door hatchback Bolt is slated to go on sale (in limited markets initially) as early as the end of 2016 and the base model is expected to retail for less than $30,000, after the $7,500 federal tax credit. When it does hit the market, it will be the first electric car to have over 200 miles range with an affordable price tag. Not coincidentally, the Bolt is produced by General Motors, one four companies UCS found to be an EV leader in the US in a recent UCS report. One reason GM is beating the competition to market with the Bolt is that it has the experience of building and selling more plug-in EVs in the US than any other carmaker. If the Bolt sells well, it will be an important milestone for clean transportation in the US. It will also hopefully be a wake-up call for the automakers that are lagging behind in making EVs.

Preproduction Chevy Bolt on display in 2015

Preproduction Chevy Bolt on display in 2015