Holden-built Chevrolet Bolt EV concept unveiled
Chevrolet revealed the Bolt EV concept overnight at the Detroit Motor Show which was built in GM Australia’s advanced design studio in Port Melbourne.
THE CHEVROLET BOLT EV concept was a collaboration between GM Korea and GM North America, with GM Australia responsible for the construction of the show car, as Australia is one of only two design centres within GM capable of producing one-off concepts.
Richard Ferlazzo, GM Australia Design Director, said the Chevrolet Bolt EV signalled a significant commitment to electrification by the brand but also demonstrated GM’s commitment to the Australian Design Centre.
“Bolt EV clearly reflects GM’s collaborative approach to global design programs. Our design centre is no longer focused on cars only driven on Australian roads,” Mr Ferlazzo said.
“We are a global design centre and as such we have the talent and capability to lead, collaborate and support global programs for international markets such as this.
“The products revealed at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit clearly demonstrate our role within GM Design today and showcases the breath of talent we have here in Australia, enabling us to work on different vehicles for different brands in different countries.
“We have a strong, hard-earned reputation as a mature and highly experienced design centre and it’s fantastic to see the result of the team’s hard work on a global stage such as Detroit.”
So, what is the Bolt EV concept? Borrowing from the Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV is a compact crossover designed to offer a glimpse of where GM wants to take the electrification and connectivity of its cars. For instance, the Bolt EV, via the Bolt EV Connect app, allows: a smartphone to perform as the key fob; allows ride-sharing management, including reservations, vehicle location, digital key, and even payment processing via the smartphone; as well as incorporate the concept automatic park-and-retrieval technology, which enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt EV concept to park itself – and when errands are completed, the Bolt EV concept can be summoned to return to the owner’s location. A large, color 10-inch-diagonal capacitive-touch screen, with interface features, complements the concept Bolt EV Connect app. It even allows the projection of all the application and other smartphone data onto the screen.
According to Chevrolet, the Bolt EV concept allows drivers to select two different driving modes around their preferred driving style, from daily commuting to “spirited weekend cruising”. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging.
“No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM global design.
Inside, the Bolt EV concept gets a light and airy interior via a full-length glass roof. Being an electric vehicle meant there’s no need to accommodate a bulky engine, and so there’s more interior space than you’d expect from a compact SUV. A flat, flow-through floor adds to the roominess. Slim line seats and a centre console that seems to be floating adds an even greater sense of space inside the Bolt EV.
“The Bolt EV’s interior is intended as a sanctuary, with materials and technologies that reinforce the airy ambience and contribute to the vehicle’s overall efficiency,” Welburn said.