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GM unveils new Bolt electric vehicle at CES

Early this week, General Motors announced that it is investing $500 million in the ride-hailing company Lyft.

On Wednesday, the company unveiled a new vehicle, tailor-made to fulfilling the ride-hailing mission.

GM Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra needed just a 20-minute keynote address to introduce the new Chevrolet Bolt EV, an electric compact-crossover vehicle with four doors and a range of 200 miles.

In the middle of a high-voltage video projected on a white screen, the Bolt rolled out through a small onstage door to crowd applause. After the presentation, Barra invited the crowd onstage for a close-up look at the car.

Barra said the car would sell for $30,000 with federal incentives.

The company already has distributed its Volt, Spark EV and Malibu Hybrid as part of its alternative-fuels fleet.

The Bolt EV will hold five passengers and has 17 cubic feet of hatchback space. It will charge up to 80 percent in an hour and 100 percent overnight. Its built-in navigation system will create routes that consider charging stations along the way.

Self-sealing Michelin tires will be mounted on the car and the rear armrests will have USB ports for smartphone recharging.

GM was an early adopter to the subscription-based OnStar navigation, diagnostics, hands-free communications system that is now a GM corporate subsidiary. The Bolt will be equipped with the OnStar system.

“We believe the auto industry will change more in the next 10 years than it has in the past 50,” Barra told the crowd of about 1,500 packed into the Westgate Theater.

She said the Bolt’s $30,000 price is below the $33,800 average price of a new vehicle recently announced by Kelley Blue Book.

Production begins on the new model later this year.

The Bolt’s technology will include a new MyChevrolet application that will store and load a motorist’s music pre-sets. The car will synchronize with a motorist’s smartphone settings when seated in the vehicle.

For the competitive motorist, the in-car app will enable fellow Bolt owners to compete head-to-head on operational efficiency, tracking owners’ mileage per charge and other key statistics.

When GM and San Francisco-based Lyft announced their strategic alliance on Monday, they indicated that the car company would work toward autonomous vehicle development.

GM became the immediate preferred provider of short-term-use vehicles to Lyft drivers through rental hubs across the United States. GM and Lyft also will provide each other’s customers with personalized mobility services through their respective channels.

The four-day CES is expected to draw more than 170,000 people to Las Vegas through Saturday. The show is open to technology industry professionals and not to the general public.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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