Editor's note: A previous version of this story misstated the price of the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt. The 2019 and 2020 Bolt models are sold at the same base price, including destination fees.
TACOMA, Wash. — With the 2020 Bolt EV, Chevrolet says it has solved the electric vehicle range-price puzzle. But getting everyone who sells the car or may want to drive one to understand it remains a hurdle.
Chevy sees the Bolt as a springboard for General Motors' evolution to an all-electric future, but the brand has learned that it needs to educate dealers and lean on its experts — the engineers — to communicate with customers and enthusiasts.
The 2020 Bolt EV has a range of 259 miles, about 20 miles more than the 2019 version, at a base price of $37,495 including shipping, consistent with the 2019 version.
Offering long range at an affordable price is every EV automaker's goal. Chevy feels it has "cracked the code" with the Bolt, Mike Hayes, the Bolt's marketing manager, said during a media drive of the 2020 model.
In 2016, when the first-generation Bolt launched, "you basically had two ends of the spectrum. You were either long range and expensive or you were low range and affordable," Hayes said. "It was kind of this bimodal scenario where you had this big ocean out there of long range and affordable. Nobody had been able to touch that space."
The key to extended range is a more powerful battery, the company said. The 2020 Bolt has a 66-kWh battery, compared with a 60-kWh battery in previous model years. The battery is the same size as earlier Bolt models but more efficient because of adjustments to its chemistry.
In the first nine months of 2019, Chevy sold 13,111 Bolts, up 11 percent from the same period last year, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
GM has said it would launch 20 new all-electric and fuel cell vehicles globally by 2023.
In March, GM CEO Mary Barra said the company would invest $300 million to build a new fully electric Chevy vehicle at the Bolt plant in Orion Township, Mich., over the next two to three years.
The 2020 Bolt was engineered and designed based on what GM has learned from earlier versions of the Bolt, the former Spark EV and the company's hybrid vehicles.
Chevy officials say EV sales will take off only if there is a commitment at the dealer level.
Of Chevy's nearly 3,000 U.S. dealerships, more than 1,300 are Bolt certified, which means the dealer and the sales team have completed training for selling EVs and installed a 240-volt charger and a fast charger on site.
GM also encourages dealerships to install additional charging stations for public use, and Chevy sends product specialists to dealerships to teach them about the Bolt.
"That's critical for us because that means the dealer is invested and dedicated to this product," Hayes said. "Everything we do is to make sure that this is a consistent experience."
According to a study by Cox Automotive, more than half of consumers who would consider buying an EV said they expect dealers to provide a gasoline vs. EV cost comparison, a tutorial on operating an EV and tips for taking care of an EV. Fewer than half of dealerships offer those services. Nearly half of respondents said they expected a map of charging stations and a charging station installed at their home.