"We see the Bolt EV as more than just a car," General Motors CEO Mary Barra said when unveiling the all-electric Chevy Bolt at the CES technology fair in 2016. "It is an upgradeable platform for new technologies" and would help GM launch "everything from car-sharing apps to new ownership models and, one day, self-driving cars."
At the time, many interpreted Barra's comments as the customary hyperbole that accompanies the debut of a new vehicle.
But GM has managed to back up the big talk sooner than many expected. It's now operating in all of those spaces and more using the Bolt EV.
Simply put, the Bolt EV is the symbol of General Motors' future. It is the start of a new journey for the 110-year-old automaker, which plans to launch at least 20 new all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles globally by 2023 as part of a two-pronged approach to a zero-emissions, autonomous future.
"It's helped us to see what is possible from full battery electric vehicles," Pam Fletcher, vice president of global EV programs, recently told reporters at GM's Technical Center in Warren, Mich.
Those lessons, she said, have allowed the notoriously slow-to-adapt automaker to move faster than ever. GM has already developed a next-generation EV propulsion system, battery pack and platform for its second generation of EVs.