General Motors has followed an aggressive schedule for the launch of its 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car.
After unveiling the production version of the 200-mile electric car at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show back in January, GM said the Bolt EV would begin rolling off assembly lines before the end of the year.
The Bolt EV has been in pilot production since at least March, and it may not be long before full-scale production starts.
GM will begin production of the new Chevy electric car in October, according to a report in Automotive News (subscription required).
That start date, which has been cited in the past by other publications, would put the Bolt EV launch well ahead of the Tesla Model 3, let alone the second-generation Nissan Leaf.
Tesla has said it does not plan to start Model 3 production until the second half of next year, and Nissan isn’t expected to launch the next Leaf until the 2018 model year.
The first-year annual production target for the Bolt EV is around 25,000 cars, which could include exports to China, Automotive News reports.
It is rumoured that GM may reserve some of the first production cars for Lyft drivers, as part of the carmaker’s expanding partnership with the ride-sharing company.
Those cars would be leased or rented to drivers, while regular buyers will pay a base price of $37,500 for the Bolt EV.
Whether they are leased to ride-share drivers or made available to buyers, the first cars will likely go to California, which currently accounts for about 40 per cent of U.S. electric-car sales.
The effective price drops to $30,000 once the $7,500 Federal tax credit for electric cars is factored in.
The Bolt EV was unveiled as a concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, and introduced in production guise just one year later at the same show.
The unusually short development cycle was made possible in part by a far-reaching partnership with LG Chem.
In addition to providing battery cells, the Korean electronics company designed numerous components including most of the powertrain, as well as the infotainment system.