The all-new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt introduces a fresh, purpose-built platform that tucks its batteries neatly below the flat floor surface. GM boasts that the Bolt will have more than a 200-mile range and cost around $30,000, after government incentives.

Where most small electrics have delivered less than a 100-mile real-world range, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt stands out with its promise to travel distances more like a Tesla Model S—a large, luxury electric car that costs about three times as much. Using a DC fast charger, the battery can reach 80 percent of capacity in 60 minutes. Put another way, it can gain 90 miles of range in 30 minutes. The battery pack was developed with LG Chem with a cost of $145 per kilowatt hour.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt driving

We drove the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt briefly in Las Vegas at CES 2016. (See video above.) Our initial impressions are that the Bolt is responsive with engaging steering, making it relatively fun to drive. Aiding that impression, the Bolt has 200 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque, enabling it to run 0-60 mph in 7 seconds.

This is the first GM application of what could be called “one-pedal driving.” The prototype we drove had two efficiency modes. With the first, a pull lever on the left side of the steering wheel (like a paddle shifter and similar to the Volt) operates the regenerative braking and can bring the car to a stop. In the other mode, shift to "L" and the car will engage regenerative braking with pedal off—like the BMW i3—bringing the car to a stop. You can conceivably drive the car all day without using the brake pedal. Instead of wasting energy as heat through the brakes, you can charge the batteries for later use.

The roomy interior houses a new infotainment system with low-energy Bluetooth that can recognize the driver’s phone before entering the car, accelerating the pairing. Like other recent GM models, the Bolt can serve as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, with a data plan. 

The navigation factors EV considerations, with routes configured to maximize range and the ability to find local charge stations. Through the MyChevrolet smartphone app, the driver can check charge status, remote start, peruse the owner’s manual, and schedule service.

Most advanced safety features will be standard when the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt begins production in late 2016. One clever element: The rearview mirror is a monitor. By using a camera, there is a clear, unobstructed view (no headrests or pillars in the way).