At a plant in the northern suburbs of Detroit — a factory that nearly shut down when GM entered bankruptcy six years ago — the automaker has begun to ramp up production of the new Chevrolet Bolt EV. Bolt has already won a string of high-profile awards, including Motor Trend Car of the Year. But the real test will begin in the coming days, when the first retail customer is handed the keys.
Think of it as battery-car 2.0. At an EPA-estimated 238 miles per charge, the Chevy hatchback will deliver almost three times the range of most first-generation battery-electric vehicles. But at a starting MSRP of just $37,495 — or less than $30,000 after applying $7,500 in federal tax credits — the Bolt is less than half the price of the current mileage champ, the Tesla Model S.