GM has high hopes for the hatchback EV, which is expected to offer a 200-mile range for a price of $30,000 (about £20,000). But it won't be made in right-hand drive and subsequently won't be sold in the UK.
Chevrolet said the car - first revealed in the concept form at the Detroit motor show at the start of 2015 and subsequently confirmed for production - represents its "vision for an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle" and is an indication that it is committed to electrification as a power source for cars.
The Bolt's lithium ion battery pack provides a claimed range of 200 miles in optimum conditions. The car will be built at the GM Orion Assembly facility in Michigan, USA. The 197bhp, 266lb ft Bolt is also good for a sub seven second 0-60 time, claims Chevrolet.
Allied with the projected cost, it could make electric vehicles more attractive to consumers. General Motors boss Mary Barra said the Bolt was "an electric vehicle for everyone" and believed it would "raise the bar for EVs".
She added that it builds on lessons learned from Chevrolet's existing Spark EV and Volt plug-in hybrid. "This is not a science experiment; it's an EV for the real world, designed for everyday drivers," she said. "It shows our expertise in this area and will be sold in all 50 states of the US and in selected markets around the world."
The four-seat Bolt, built on Chevrolet's first EV-specific architecture since the EV1, has minimal front and rear overhangs to maximise interior space. Lightweight materials, including aluminium, magnesium, carbonfibre and woven mesh, have been incorporated into the design to drive down the kerb weight. The crossover also features active aero devices such as vented rear fenders.
The concept version of the Bolt EV has operating modes configured for different driving styles, such as daily commuting or weekend cruising. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging – with a nine-hour full charge time quoted. A shorter charging cycle of half an hour provides ninety miles of range.
The concept features a 10.0in touchscreen on the dashboard. It can be paired with a smartphone with the concept Bolt EV Connect app, which is designed to allow a smartphone to perform as the key fob, allow drivers to offer and accept ride sharing and park the car autonomously.