General Motors executives say the new Chevrolet Bolt electric car was designed so it can handle a future filled with cameras, sensors and supercomputers on the way toward autonomous driving.
“It is an upgradable platform for new technology,” CEO Mary Barra said Wednesday as she introduced the car’s production version, which boasts a 200-mile battery range, at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The five-passenger Bolt, priced at about $37,500 excluding a $7,500 federal tax credit, has a 10.2-inch touchscreen and can be recharged to 80 percent of its battery capacity in an hour on a 240-volt charger, she said. It will go on sale late this year as a 2017 model.
The Bolt should help GM in its alliance to provide cars and eventually self-driving vehicles to ridesharing service Lyft. The company announced a $500 million investment in Lyft on Monday.
GM said the Bolt’s higher driving range, which competes with upstart Tesla Motors at a lower price, should draw buyers even with low gas prices. Research has shown that limited range is a big barrier to many drivers, the company said. “This takes that excuse away,” said GM product development chief Mark Reuss.