ChevroletGeneral Motors just beat Tesla to the punch.
On Wednesday, the company unveiled the pre-production model of its first affordable, long-range car called the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
The company also confirmed that the vehicle would become available before the end of 2016, beating Tesla's launch of the Model 3, which is slated to go into production in 2016.
The Bolt will cost around $30,000 after tax incentives, and boasts a range of more than 200 miles on a single charge. While that’s impressive in itself, the vehicle also has a number of other impressive features that make that much more appealing.
We had a chance to test drive the Bolt EV at CES and we took Stuart Norris, the Bolt’s head designer, along for the ride. Norris walked us through some of the car’s best tech and design features.
There's a 10.2-inch touchscreen display infotainment center and an 8-inch display in the driver's console.
Cadie Thompson/Tech Insider
The main display, which is customizable, serves as the control center for most functions inside the vehicle. “We really want the driver to live in this screen, so they’ve always got a little bit of the information that they want to have," Norris said.
The car also has wireless charging in the console.
There's also two USB ports in the console so you can plug in your smartphone to connect to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The car is always connected via low-energy bluetooth, allowing the driver to be connected with the car via the app at all times.
Chevrolet's mobile app lets drivers check on the vehicle's charge, remotely start their car, and pre-condition the cabin, among other things. The car's key fob also uses Bluetooth for keyless entry and ignition.
The Bolt features five cameras: one on the front, one on each side mirror, a 360 camera, and a regular back-up camera.
While charging, the car gains about 25 miles in range every hour. The car can fully charge in nine hours with a 240-volt unit.
The lane keep assist feature will help drivers avoid accidents.
This feature monitors where the car is positioned relative to the lines on the road so that if the car is drifting, it will steer the car back into its proper lane. "Even at quite a simple level we are beginning to bring some of these autonomous features into vehicles like the Bolt," Norris said.
The seats are very thin, helping the car to feel more spacious on the inside.
"Typically these seats would be made of foam," Norris said. "But this is a hard plastic part with a thin layer of foam on top of it, which has enabled us to get to this really thin seat construction, which makes the car feel lean and kind of efficient. It helps the rear end feel more spacious," Norris said.
Five people can comfortably fit in the car. When the back seats are pushed forward, there's almost 57 cubic feet of cargo space.