General Motors Co. plans to launch a $30,000 electric vehicle called the Chevrolet Bolt that would be capable of driving 200 miles on a charge by 2017, according to people familiar with the strategy, a move to gain ground on Tesla Motors.
GM will show off a concept version of the Bolt on Monday at the Detroit auto show, eight years after the auto giant disclosed it would re-enter the electric car market with the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt, on sale since late 2010 and redesigned for 2015, is being upgraded to get better capability and sharper design, and has a backup gasoline motor on board in case juice runs out.
The Chevy Bolt, carrying a more capable battery manufactured by South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. , will be aimed squarely at Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3, a $35,000 electric car also slated to debut in 2017. The concept version of the electric car will be a hatchback designed to look more like a so-called crossover vehicle, according to people familiar with the design.
Over Ms. Barra’s first year at GM’s helm, company shares fell 14% while Telsa shares soared 48%. Ms. Barra aims to have up to 500,000 electrified vehicles—including vehicles with partial-electric capabilities—on the road by 2017. In contrast, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he envisions up to 500,000 annual Tesla sales of pure electrics by 2020.