7 killer features in Chevrolet’s new $30,000 electric car

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Chevrolet

General Motors revealed on Tuesday the range of its Chevrolet Bolt EV, its first mass-market, affordable electric car.

In the Bolt, you’ll be able to drive 238 miles per charge. That beats Tesla’s Model 3 range of 215 miles.

GM’s car, which goes into production this year, will beat Tesla’s Model 3 to market too. The Model 3 isn’t set to go into production until late 2017.

The Bolt will cost about $30,000, after a $7,500 federal tax credit, and will have a top speed of 91 mph.

While that’s impressive on its own, the vehicle has a number of other impressive features that make it appealing.

We had a chance to test-drive the Bolt EV at the Consumer Electronic Show in January with Stuart Norris, one of the Bolt’s designers. Norris walked us through some of the car’s best tech and design features.


There’s a 10.2-inch touch-screen display infotainment center and an 8-inch display in the driver’s console.

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Cadie Thompson/Business Insider

The main display, which is customizable, serves as the control center for most functions inside the vehicle. “We really want the driver to live in this screen, so they’ve always got a little bit of the information that they want to have,” Norris said.


The car also has wireless charging in the console.

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Chevrolet

There are two USB ports in the console so you can plug in your smartphone to connect to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.


The car is always connected via low-energy Bluetooth, allowing the driver to be connected to the car via the app at all times.

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Chevrolet

Chevrolet’s mobile app lets drivers check on the vehicle’s charge, remotely start their car, and precondition the cabin, among other things. The car’s key fob also uses Bluetooth for keyless entry and ignition.


The Bolt features five cameras: one on the front, one on each side mirror, a 360 camera, and a regular back-up camera.

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Cadie Thompson/Business Insider

While charging, the car gains about 25 miles in range every hour. The car can fully charge in nine hours with a 240-volt unit.

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Chevrolet

The “lane keep assist” feature will help drivers avoid accidents.

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General Motors

This feature monitors where the car is positioned relative to the lines on the road so that if the car is drifting it will steer the car back into its lane.

“Even at quite a simple level we are beginning to bring some of these autonomous features into vehicles like the Bolt,” Norris said.


The seats are very thin, which helps the car to feel more spacious on the inside.

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Chevrolet

“Typically these seats would be made of foam,” Norris said. “But this is a hard plastic part with a thin layer of foam on top of it, which has enabled us to get to this really thin seat construction, which makes the car feel lean and kind of efficient. It helps the rear end feel more spacious,” Norris said.

Five people can comfortably fit in the car. When the back seats are pushed forward, there’s almost 57 cubic feet of cargo space.