General Motors CEO Mary Barra has officially confirmed the resurrection of the Chevrolet Bolt EV in a conference call.
Initially declared dead in preparation for retooling the factory to manufacture electric pickups, the Bolt is not only alive but gearing up for a more electrifying comeback! Barra unveiled that the forthcoming second-generation Bolt will harness the advanced Ultium battery technology by General Motors.
The Bolt’s Rejuvenation
Contrary to the previous speculation of the Bolt’s demise after 2023, Barra’s announcement ensures the persistence of the Chevrolet Bolt nameplate, at least for the time being.
With the Orion Assembly plant transitioning to electric trucks, the Bolt is poised to receive a second lease of life. Chevrolet vows to infuse the electric hatchback with cutting-edge technology and an impressive electric range, all within an affordable package for consumers.
The Bolt Trajectory
The current Bolt, introduced in 2017, operates on the BEV2 platform, a collaborative effort with LG. However, the forthcoming Bolt will ride on the advanced Ultium platform, a joint venture of GM and LG Energy Solution.
Despite being one of the most budget-friendly EVs, the Bolt witnessed a surge in sales, reaching its pinnacle in 2022 with 38,120 units finding new homes. The year 2023 continues the upward trajectory, with 33k+ Bolts delivered in the first half of the year. There’s demand for the vehicle, that’s for sure!
The Road Ahead
Already featured in vehicles like the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV, the Ultium platform promises a swift return of the Bolt to the market, and even though no date has been mentioned yet, the resurrection is anticipated for the 2025 model year.
While the announcement focused on the Bolt, it remains to be seen if its slightly larger sibling, the Bolt EUV, will also make a comeback. Given the market’s increasing preference for crossovers, the Bolt EUV might well accompany its hatchback counterpart. As GM pivots toward electrification, the Bolt’s revival stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to a sustainable and innovative automotive future.
The electric vehicle (EV) market is driven by automakers’ desire to promote EV adoption and consumers’ concerns about range limitations. Ford has recently filed a patent application for a unique solution. It’s a backup battery pack that can be mounted on the vehicle’s roof. This patent aims to alleviate range anxiety and charging issues associated with EVs, particularly during long trips. The patent suggests that these battery packs could be rented or leased before off-roading adventures, among other possibilities.
While Ford’s patent is intriguing, several questions arise. Firstly, how does Ford plan to reinforce the roof to support the weight of the battery pack? Merely using a roof rack may not be sufficient. Additionally, how will the battery pack be mounted and removed? EV battery packs can weigh thousands of pounds, so it is crucial to ensure a safe and practical method for installation and removal. The patent suggests the battery is removable, indicating that this roof-mounted pack may not have the same capacity as the large packs used in standard EVs. Therefore, it may weigh a couple of hundred pounds, meaning lifting a battery pack onto the roof will likely require assistance.
Potential Impact and Considerations
If the assumption is accurate, this external battery pack patent hints at a product similar to a reserve tank in a gas-powered vehicle. However, the additional weight and negative impact on aerodynamics could potentially reduce the EV’s range, especially at high speeds. Yet, in low-speed scenarios like off-road environments, the roof-mounted battery pack could provide the extra power needed to return to the trailhead. Adding solar panels to the pack could further enhance its functionality by allowing slow self-replenishment. This invention is not likely to become a reality shortly. Instead, it appears to be a placeholder for a time when Ford develops the appropriate electric off-road vehicle to utilize it effectively.