GM has unveiled the first official images of the Chevrolet Menlo EV, an electric car that is expected to become the utility version of the Bolt EV.
In October 2017, GM outlined its “All-Electric Path to Zero Emissions” and announced a new electric offensive with 20 new all-electric vehicles to launch by 2023.
The automaker also, in particular, promised to launch 2 new electric cars based on the Bolt EV within the next 18 months:
“In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV.”
As we reported earlier this year, it has now been more than 18 months and we have yet to see those new electric vehicles.
GM disagreed with our report and claimed that they already released those two vehicles: the Buick Velite 6 EV and Baojun E200, two China-only vehicles produced by joint-venture partnerships in China.
The problem is that neither of those vehicles has anything to do with the Chevy Bolt EV.
However, we know that GM has been working on a utility version of the Bolt EV, which is likely what GM really had in mind in its 2017 announcement.
They filed for a ‘Bolt EUV’ trademark earlier this year.
Now the company has unveiled images of the Chevrolet Menlo EV, which is expected to be the Chinese version of the Bolt EUV (via CarNewsChina):
The images were released as part of a presentation in China by the SAIC-GM joint venture, which is going to produce the vehicle.
It is reportedly going to have an electric motor with a 174 hp output, a 150 km/h top speed, and the range is not known yet.
The Chevrolet Menlo EV’s dimensions are 4,665mm by 1,813mm and 1,513mm with a 2,660mm wheelbase.
It is expected to launch later this year.
The idea is that SAIC-GM is going to produce a version of the electric car with their own electric powertrain, likely the same as the one in the Buick Velite 6, and GM will produce another version for the North American market with the same powertrain as the Bolt EV.
At least, that would make sense based on the original plans announced 2 years ago before GM tried to convince us that the Buick Velite 6 EV and Baojun E200 were the two Bolt EV-based EVs that they planned to launch. I still can’t believe that they tried that by the way.
If we put that aside, I think that’s an exciting form factor that is likely going to compete with the Kona EV and the Niro EV.
My biggest hope is that GM also updates the Bolt EV powertrain at the same time since it has become outdated since its launch in 2016.
Faster DC fast-charging capability is the most needed upgrade in my opinion.
We should know more about the plans in the next few months.
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