DETROIT -- General Motors today revealed the concept Bolt electric vehicle, a hatchback with a 200-mile range that is headed for production as GM seeks to cement its leadership position in vehicles with plugs.
A source with knowledge of the company's plans said it will arrive sometime in 2017.
GM executives said they envision a price of around $30,000 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. They stopped just short of officially confirming production plans for the boxy car.
"Trust me, this is no stripped-down science experiment," GM CEO Mary Barra told reporters after the unveiling.
GM product chief Mark Reuss went a step further, saying: "Look for it here over the next year or year-and-a-half."
The Bolt would be the third EV or plug-in hybrid in Chevy's lineup, joining the second-generation Volt -- also unveiled today -- and the Spark EV, which has a range of about 80 miles and is sold only in California and Oregon.
Barra said the Bolt could be sold in all 50 states and globally should GM move ahead with production.
"For most people, this will be their everyday driver," she said.
The car has practically no overhang, which allowed designers to maximize interior space for four occupants. The interior is airy, with a flat floor and wraparound rear window and full-length, frosted-glass roof to maximize daylight.
“No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet,” GM global design chief Ed Welburn said in a statement.
Barra said the use of lightweight materials, such as aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber, helped reduce mass.
A person familiar with the car's development said it will be built as a variant of the subcompact platform that will underpin the next-generation Chevy Sonic, which is scheduled for a U.S. debut sometime in 2017.
The Bolt will allow drivers to select operating modes to tailor their driving experience, such as daily commuting or "spirited weekend cruising," GM said in a statement. The modes adjust the throttle, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning.
Reuss said GM hasn't decided whether the Bolt would eventually displace the Spark EV in Chevy’s lineup.
"There will be an overlap there. I'm not sure it will replace it, because I think we've got a great car with the Spark [EV]," Reuss said, adding that its minicar body style differs from the Bolt.