General Motors Co. is planning to launch a new electric car, which is expected to help the Detroit-based multinational automaker gain ground on Tesla Motors’ turf, a report said Friday, adding that the vehicle is likely to the hit the market in 2017.
The new family-sized car, called the “Chevrolet Bolt,” will cost $30,000 and would be capable of driving up to 200 miles on single charge, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. GM is expected to display a concept of the Bolt at the Detroit auto show on Monday. The automaker's move comes eight years after it said it would re-enter the electric car market with the Chevrolet Volt.
The Bolt will directly challenge Tesla’s upcoming Model 3, a new electric car, which is also slated for a 2017 release with a $35,000 price tag. The Bolt, carrying an enhanced battery manufactured by South Korea’s LG Chem, is also said to be capable of driving four times farther than a Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid on a single charge, the Journal reported.
Tesla has also reportedly said that its forthcoming Model 3 will drive about 200 miles on a single charge.
The Bolt, aimed at addressing growing consumer demand for electric cars, is expected to be launched in global markets, including China. The vehicle is also considered to be the biggest move by GM CEO Mary Barra since she took office a year ago. The car’s development was approved when she served as the product chief under her predecessor Dan Akerson.
In November, Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, also said that the company was planning to mass-produce affordable electric vehicles.
Fields had said last year that producing an electric car is “consistent with the product philosophy” of Ford. He also stated, at the time, that the company can build a larger, fully electric sedan, to compete with Tesla's Model S, ValueWalk reported.