Here’s the latest information on the upcoming 2021 Chevy Bolt EUV, GM’s new compact crossover SUV electric vehicle expected for next summer.
Chevrolet has teased us with a few detail images of their upcoming Bolt EUV, an electrically-propelled compact sport utility vehicle. However, we can get a much better sense of what the new electric SUV will be like from a GM EV model already on sale overseas. More on that in a bit.
For the company that’s created some of the most evocative and memorable model names ever, it’s a little surprising that they’d stick such a prosaic label on a vehicle so crucial to the company’s survival. The EUV, if you haven’t already figured it out, most likely stands for Electric Utility Vehicle, which sounds a bit like what mail carriers might drive on their rounds.
Despite the unimaginative name, the Bolt EUV looks like it will shake up the EV market. Here’s what GM has shared so far about the Bolt EUV:
The first heavily-camouflaged Bolt EUV prototypes appeared on the streets around Detroit in the spring of 2019, leading to much speculation about what GM had in mind. Their intentions were made clear this past August when Chevrolet released a silhouette image of the Bolt EUV along with a production date of summer 2021.
As a five-door compact crossover, it should hit the sweet spot of the market where both young and old car shoppers equally show interest. A signal that GM recognizes the broad market potential of the Bolt EUV is the installation of a more traditional dashboard and interior than is currently in use in the Bolt hatchback.
To provide additional space for passengers and cargo, expect the Bolt EUV to grow about eight inches from the Bolt hatchback. Dimensions have not yet been released, though its overseas counterpart provides a solid clue.
We expect the same propulsion unit from the Bolt to power the Bolt EUV: a 66-kWh lithium-ion battery pack powering a front-mounted permanent magnet electric motor rated at 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Word on the street is we’ll expect a driving range of around 250-260 miles or about equal to the standard Tesla Model 3.
Expect a more informed EV driving experience, as a GM teaser video promised “more EV insight,” with a Power Flow screen providing information on regenerative braking and battery charge level. A decided improvement over the Bolt hatchback.
One feature expected to be unique to the EUV in the Bolt lineup is the availability of GM’s Super Cruise driver assistance system, currently optional on select Cadillac models. Classified as a Level 2 autonomous system, Super Cruise can control the vehicle on limited-access highways while the driver’s hands are off the steering wheel (though eyes must remain on the road).
A quick look at what GM’s Buick division has to offer in China (Buick is a more prominent player in China than it is in the US) provides some useful insight. Built on the same GM BEV2 (Battery Electric Vehicle 2) platform as the Bolt, and soon to be shared with the Bolt EUV, the 2021 Buick Velite 7 gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect from the upcoming Chevy compact electric SUV.
Don’t expect too strong of an exterior resemblance though, as the Velite 7 is styled for the Chinese market (the only market in which it’s sold). Instead, expect the Bolt EUV to share a commonality in styling with the newly-introduced Chevy Blazer (which, in turn, features a design language best exemplified by the Chevrolet Camaro).
And while rumors put the expected range of the Bolt at around 260 miles, the Velite 7 comes in at 500 kilometers or about 300 miles. However, its range is calculated under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) testing protocol. While there is no official conversion to US EPA, rough estimates put a 500 km NEDC range to around 267 miles – pretty much right back where we started.
The Velite 7 launched earlier this year and can give us a good idea of what to expect for the dimensions of the Bolt EUV. The Buick comes in at 167.8 inches long and 69.6 inches wide with a 63.7-inch roof height and a wheelbase of 105.3 inches. For comparison, the Velite 7 is a little shorter and narrower than the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer, but on a slightly longer wheelbase.
By the way, the Buick Velite 7 electric compact crossover sells in China for around $26,000. We’ll have to see where the MSRP comes in for Bolt EUV when we get more details, but it should come in somewhat close to that price. Expect long lines at your local Chevy dealer when the Chevrolet Bolt EUV finally hits the market.