General Motors is getting serious about electric cars.
The automaker revealed Tuesday that it is partnering closely with LG to produce an electric motor, batteries, and other components for its new Chevrolet Bolt EV, which will travel more than 200 miles on a single charge and go into production during late 2016.
GM currently only offers one other all-electric car, the Spark EV, and it only has a range of about 80 miles on a single charge.
The company first unveiled the Bolt EV in January as a concept car. In February, GM said it would actually make the vehicle at its Orion assembly plant in Michigan.
The Bolt EV’s range and expected price tag of about $US30,000 puts it in direct competition with Tesla’s upcoming Model 3, which will be the company’s first mass market car. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said earlier this year the Model 3 would cost roughly $US35,000, and go into production in two years. The Model 3 is expected to have a range similar to the Tesla Model S, which is about 250 miles.
Musk said Tesla cannot begin producing its more affordable electric vehicle until its giant Nevada-based battery factory, called the Gigafactory, begins production in 2017.
With the Chevy Bolt EV slated to go into production during the second half of next year, GM could very well beat Tesla to the punch.
While Tesla gets most of the glory for sparking the revolution of plug-in premium electric cars, GM was actually a pioneer of the technology in the 1990s. But the automaker got out of the electric car business because it wasn’t very profitable.
GM is looking to get back into the business in a big way though with its new EV Bolt.
According to GM’s website, the Bolt EV will also boast some semi-autonomous features, including automatic park-and-retrieval technology. Owners will be able to exit the vehicle and use the Bolt EV app to tell the car to park itself and to retrieve the car for pick-up.
The Bolt EV will also be able to charge 80% of its battery in 45 minutes, according to the company.
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