General Motors today unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt EV concept, an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle constructed in GM Australia’s advanced design studio in Port Melbourne.
Collaborating with GM Korea and GM North America, GM Australia Design contributed to the development of the Chevrolet concept and was responsible for the construction of the functional show car, being one of only two design centres within GM with this capability.
The Bolt EV concept melds the proportions and functionality of a compact crossover with Chevrolet’s electrification prowess, established by Volt and Spark EV.
Drivers will be able to select operating modes designed around preferred driving styles such as daily commuting and spirited weekend cruising, for uncompromising electric driving. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging.
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.”
The Bolt EV concept pushes the envelope for crossover aesthetics. Its unique proportion, with practically no front or rear overhang, makes the most of interior space and was designed to create a roomy environment for four that feels expansive.
Lightweight materials, including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and even woven mesh, complement the design, while driving down the curb weight to help maximize range. Aero-optimizing features such as vented rear fenders also help contribute to range.
Ed Welburn, Vice President GM Global Design, said form and function have never meshed so well together.
“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,” Mr Welburn said.
The Bolt EV concept’s airy interior ambience is enhanced with bold use of glass all around – as well as a full-length, glass roof with unique, faceted design elements. A high beltline sweeps upward with the D-pillar, culminating in an integrated roof spoiler, for a lean, athletic stance.
An advanced nano-composite rear hatch and wraparound rear window give the Bolt EV concept a distinctive appearance and flood the interior with more natural light.
High-intensity, efficient light-emitting diode (LED) headlamp and taillamp elements are housed behind jewel-like faceted lenses in which translucent elements illuminate evenly to create the signature lighting effect.
Inside, the Bolt EV has a large feel reinforced by generous headroom and legroom dimensions. A flat, flow-through floor adds to the roominess, while a contemporary, light colour scheme adds to the feeling of an open, airy cabin and conveys warmth.
The cabin’s airy, high-tech environment is reinforced with lightweight, slim-architecture seats mounted on exposed aluminium pedestals that create a floating effect. The minimalist centre console “floats” suspended from the front seats.
“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,” Mr Welburn said.
“It also incorporates technology in a subtler and intuitive manner, for a more soothing driving experience – particularly in busy, urban environments.”
Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior layout incorporates easy-to-use technology designed to make the driving experience easier and more enjoyable. It wraps into the door panels and features a frosted and translucent appearance – and a subtle glow at night.
The concept’s technological intuitiveness can be accessed via a smartphone with the concept Bolt EV Connect app, which is designed to:
- Allow a smartphone to perform as the key fob
- Allow ride-sharing management, including reservations, vehicle location, digital key and even payment processing via the smartphone
- 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.