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GM releases the Chevy Bolt EV online design studio, cheapest long-range EV ownership yet


As GM is starting to deliver the first Chevy Bolt EV shipments to select dealers in California, the company also launched its online design studio for potential customers to “build their own” Bolt EV. It’s our best look yet at all the options and pricing of GM’s first long-range all-electric vehicle.

It’s all fairly basic stuff. GM offers 7 color options, including 3 premium colors for $400 extra. They are almost all the same colors offered for the Chevrolet Sonic, which is built on the same assembly line as the Bolt EV – though the company added two new colors, Cajun Red Tintcoat and Orange Burst Metallic.

The interior offers a lot fewer options with only ‘Dark Galvanized/­Sky Cool Gray, Deluxe cloth seat trim’ for the standard ‘LT’ trim and two options if you start with the ‘Premium’ trim, which starts at $41,780 instead of $37,495.

It’s the only way to get the ‘Dark Galvanized Gray, Perforated leather-appointed seat trim’:

As for the non-aesthetic options, the most important one, which really should be standard in our opinion, is the DC Fast-Charging Capability. It costs $750.

There have been rumors recently that it could have a capacity of up to 80 kW, but a GM spokesperson recently reaffirmed that the option is capped at 50 kW, or about 90 miles in a half hour of charging.

GM doesn’t offer a 240-volt charging solution to order directly with the car, but it does offer the option of a 120V additional portable charging cord for $535, which is really the price of a 240-volt charger. Buyers will be better served to buy something like the Aerovironment Turbocord which does both 120/240 Charging (**currently$499-$599) or any of thesebolt-ev-configurator-2

You can go to GM’s Chevrolet website to play with the options and figure out the pricing. Depending on how you play your cards with the EV incentives (again the vehicle is currently only available in California and Oregon), you can get the price down to ~$600 monthly payments for financing and under ~$300 for a lease.

In those markets, GM really managed to lower the entry price of electric vehicle ownership without compromise on range. Now they just need to work on availability and get the vehicle out of the “compliance” segment and into the hands of more consumers.

They also need to work on higher capacity fast-charging. 50 kW for a 2017 model is very low considering Tesla has been at 120 kW since 2013 and other automakers are already announcing charging networks with a capacity of 350 kW.

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