DETROIT -- The Chevrolet Bolt can go from the U.S. Capitol to the Empire State Building on one battery charge.
General Motors today said the EPA-certified range of the Bolt, which is scheduled to arrive at some dealerships by the end of this year, is 238 miles.
That would make it the first electric vehicle to be sold in the U.S. with a range of more than 200 miles and a starting price of less than $40,000.
It beats the 215-mile range that Tesla has promised for the similarly priced Model 3, which is not expected until 2018. It also tops some versions of Tesla’s more costly Model S, which is on sale now.
GM said 238 miles will meet the average consumer’s daily driving needs “with plenty of range to spare.”
“Chevrolet showed the world the production version Bolt EV earlier this year and in a few short months we’ve moved from that vision to a reality,” GM North America President Alan Batey said in a statement. “The Bolt EV is a game changer for the electric car segment and it will start to become available at Chevrolet dealerships later this year.”
GM said the European version of the Bolt, the Opel Ampera-e, will have a range of 249 miles (401 km). The extra 11 miles is due to different testing standards, as the cars have identical propulsion systems, a GM spokesman said.
Under the New European Driving Cycle, the Ampera-e will clear the 400 km barrier without recharging "by a considerable margin," Opel said. By comparison, BMW's i3 has a 300 km range, the Nissan Leaf 250 km, the Renault Zoe 240 km and the VW e-Golf 190 km, it said.
GM will start production of the Bolt at its plant in Orion Township near Detroit at end of this year. The Ampera-e is likely to be built on the same production line, although GM has not confirmed this.
GM hasn’t given an exact price for the Bolt, other than to say it will start at less than $37,500. Most drivers would qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, plus any state credits available to them, taking the price to about $30,000.
It also is unclear where the first Bolts will be offered for sale. GM's statement today said it will arrive at “select Chevrolet dealerships in late 2016.”
Chevrolet’s website says the Bolt’s 60 kWh battery will take about 9 hours to fully charge with a 240-volt charger.
Because Tesla is still more than a year away from selling the Model 3, its estimate for the car’s range is not EPA certified, and CEO Elon Musk described the projection as “minimum numbers.”
The Model S 60, which has the same size battery as the Bolt but costs about $71,000, is certified as having a range of 208 miles.
Doug Jolley of Automotive News Europe contributed to this report.