GM to Invest $200M in Chevy Bolt Detroit Production

Feb 13, 2015 08:31 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

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General Motors has officially confirmed that it will build the Chevrolet Bolt electric car at an assembly plant near Detroit. The automaker will invest approximately $200 million for the project, according to Reuters.

The compact Bolt, which was on hand as a concept car at the Detroit Auto Show in January, was created to have a range of 200 miles. The only electric vehicles (EVs) currently available for sale with a 200-mile range is the Tesla Model S.

The Bolt will sell for almost $30,000 after tax breaks, where as the Model S sells for a base price of $71,070 before tax credits for EVs.

Due to its base price, the Bolt will be expected to compete for sales against similar cars like the Nissan Leaf, which has a range of less than 100 miles.

Chevy's new Bolt will be available for around the same amount as Tesla's Model 3, which is expected to be available by 2017.

"The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it," said GM North America President Alan Batey in a prepared statement during the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The factory that will be used for the Bolt currently makes the Chevy Sonic and the Buick Vernao, though it has been operating at below capacity lately. Small-car sales have plummeted due to lower gas prices experienced in the U.S.

Bolt production is expected to start in October 2016 and sales will likely begin the following year.

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

GM's set a production target of 25,000 to 30,000 for the Bolt, as it will invest $160 million for new tooling and equipment at the Orion plant and $40 million for dies in the Pontiac Metal Center to build the Bolt

In 2014, GM sold 18,800 Chevy Volt hybrid electric vehicles, which sells for $35,000, according to Reuters.

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