GM confirms it will build Chevy Bolt electric car with 200-mile range

The rumored long-range Chevy Bolt was confirmed at the Chicago Auto Show Thursday. GM did not confirm when production would start or when the new Chevy Bolt would be released, however. 

Tony Ding/AP/File
The Chevrolet Bolt EV electric concept vehicle is driven onto the stage at a presentation during the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit. GM confirmed reports that The Bolt will go into production Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015.

Six days ago, Reuters broke the story that GM would indeed build and sell the Chevrolet Bolt electric car, but that production would start late next year--not in 2017 as previously expected.

This morning, the company's North America President, Alan Batey, officially confirmed at the Chicago Auto Show that the vehicle will be built at GM's Orion Assembly plant, just 30 miles north of Detroit.

Batey did not, however, confirm a date.

In the coy words of the announcement, "Start of production and additional details will be announced later."

Unveiled last month at the Detroit Auto Show, the Chevy Bolt Concept is a battery-electric car with a range of 200 miles, said GM CEO Mary Barra, that is to cost $37,500 before incentives.

Interestingly, GM's press release refers to the car as a "pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept"--perhaps indicating that a name change is in the offing.

“We are moving quickly," Batey said, "because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”

But, he said, “The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it."

The production version of the Bolt concept will be offered in all 50 states, GM said, designed to offer "more than an estimated 200 miles of range" at a post-incentive price of "around $30,000."

Chevrolet Bolt EV concept, 2015 Detroit Auto Show

It has been designed to support DC fast charging, using the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) protocol backed by every German and North American carmaker, except Tesla.

The Orion plant is to receive $160 million of upgrades to its tooling and equipment; the Pontiac Metal Center will also receive $40 million in new dies, presumably for the electric car's unique body stampings.

MORE: Chevrolet Bolt Concept: 200-Mile, $37,500 Electric Car Concept (Live Video & Photos)

The production Bolt will be one of a new group of mass-priced battery-electric cars with ranges of 120 to 200 miles that will arrive starting in 2017.

They include the next generation of Nissan Leaf, expected to offer multiple battery options with ranges from today's 84 miles through to a top range of 120 to 150 miles.

The Tesla Model 3, at a projected price of $35,000, is also targeted for a 200-mile range, though whether it arrives in 2017 as announced remains unclear.

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