General Motors’ next battery-electric Chevrolet Bolt has been spotted in the wild.
The American automaker’s first high-volume electric car, introduced in 2016, is getting a refresh for 2022.
It’ll be joined on the front-wheel drive BEV2 electric architecture by a slightly larger crossover version called the Bolt EUV.
Both models will enter production in the middle of next year.
These images, snapped in a New York carpark by CarExpert journalist Derek Fung, offer our best look at the new electric hatchback.
The outgoing model’s front end bore a strong resemblance to the discontinued Cruze and Volt. With those models gone, the Bolt will get a nip-and-tuck that looks to be paying homage to the new Blazer with its split-level front lighting.
The Bolt diverged from its Chevrolet stablemates with its tallboy proportions and its quirky tail light graphics. Looking at the back of this tester, those have been toned considerably down.
As this isn’t a full redesign, the Bolt’s footprint will likely remain unchanged. The current model measures 4166mm long and 1765mm wide on a 2601mm wheelbase.
For context, a 2021 Toyota Corolla hatch measures 4375mm long and 1790mm wide on a 2640mm wheelbase.
The current Bolt uses a 66kWh lithium-ion battery and a single electric motor, producing 149kW of power and 360Nm of torque.
Electric range is an EPA-estimated 416km.
Earlier this year, GM released a teaser of the Bolt and its upcoming EUV cousin. They aren’t the only upcoming EVs from GM’s volume brand, with Chevrolet also planning a large electric pickup truck and an SUV it calls mid-sized but, like a McDonald’s soft drink, would translate to a large here.
The new Chevys are part of a slate of 20 new electric vehicles GM will roll out by 2023. It’s detailed 13 of them so far.
While GM has been teasing its upcoming, upscale EVs like the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, the Bolt remains a crucial part of GM’s goal to sell one million electric vehicles per year in China and the USA by the end of 2025.
Last year in the US, the Bolt was the third best-selling electric vehicle after the Tesla Model 3 and Model X.
It was also the first volume-selling EV from GM. The Chevrolet Spark EV that preceded it was a compliance car and sold only in limited numbers, while the seminal GM EV1 was low volume, only able to be leased, and every example was controversially bought back by the company. Most were crushed.
The first Bolts reached US customers in the last few months of 2016, around six months before the first Tesla Model 3s were delivered. Both have now exceeded the sales cap for electric vehicle tax credits in the US.
The Bolt only undercuts the Model 3 by around US$1370 (A$1939) following Tesla’s price cuts in the US back in May.
GM has subsequently introduced more models on the BEV2 platform for the Chinese market. These include the Chevrolet Menlo crossover, Buick Velite 6 wagon and the Buick Velite 7 crossover.