CHICAGO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - General Motors Co said Thursday it will build the Chevrolet Bolt electric car at an assembly plant near Detroit, where it will invest $200 million for the project.
The compact Bolt, shown as a concept vehicle at the Detroit auto show last month, is designed to have a range of 200 miles, and will cost about $30,000 apiece after tax breaks.
GM’s announcement confirms a report last week by Reuters that the Bolt would be produced at the under-used Orion assembly plant in Michigan.
The only electric car currently available with a 200-mile range is the Tesla Model S, which starts at $71,070 before tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs).
With a target price near $30,000, the Bolt would compete with electric cars such as the Nissan Motor Co Leaf, which has a range of less than 100 miles, and the similarly priced Tesla Inc Model 3, planned to debut in 2017.
“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” GM North America President Alan Batey said in prepared remarks at the Chicago auto show.
Supplier sources told Reuters that Bolt production will start in October 2016 and sales would likely begin in early 2017.
Batey did not specify when production or sales would start but said: “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”
Batey said GM would invest $160 million for new tooling and equipment in the Orion assembly plant and $40 million for dies in the Pontiac Metal Center to build the Bolt.
The Orion plant currently builds the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano and is operating well below capacity as small-car sales dwindle. (Reporting by Rick Popely in Chicago; Editing by Bernadette Baum)