Mark Reuss, GM’s global product development chief, told the press in Detroit last week that Chevrolet will begin selling the Chevy Bolt, an electric car with 200 miles of range, late next year. The car is based on the sub-compact Chevy Sonic and is expected to sell for less than $30,000 after all incentives.
The Bolt marks the beginning of a new partnership between General Motors and Korean supplier LG Corp. In his remarks, Reuss said LG will supply 11 major components for the Bolt, including the electric drive motor, which GM engineers designed, and the car’s power electronics, infotainment system and instrument cluster.
Sourcing most of the Bolt’s major components from one supplier should help GM avoid delays, cost overruns and waste, Reuss said. “When it hits production, the Bolt EV will be the direct result of an entirely different OEM-supplier relationship.”
Today, almost every car company is looking to outside battery suppliers. The technology is just too complex and costly for each company to develop its own batteries. Tesla has formed a close working relationship with Panasonic, which is making a major investment in Tesla GigaFactory battery manufacturing facility outside Reno, Nevada. In the future, no automaker will be able to survive without a major battery partner.