2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Big Promises

Brian Moody

I don't like jumping on any kind of bandwagon. I don't know why, but there's just something disconcerting about the high-fivers and fist-bumpers who yell "Roll Tide" but can't find Tuscaloosa on a map. Equally concerning are fanboys who automatically queue up overnight for anything with an Apple logo on it. It's a part of American society that I don't trust -- somehow, it all seems fake. I think it's because I simply cannot go along with the crowd unless I see a good, solid reason. It's like my body physically resists. As a result, I'm often skeptical about big, new product claims and can usually spot right away a person who is angling only for their own personal benefit. You know who you are ... and so do I.

2016 Detroit Auto Show
So imagine my skepticism at a major auto show -- a world filled with great intentions, rosy predictions and hard promises. After all, this is an entire ecosystem filled with people who get paid good money to angle, convince and cajole every day -- and some are quite good at it.

Whenever a new car or truck is introduced, say the 2017 GMC Acadia, new Chrysler Pacifica or reworked Honda Ridgeline pickup, inevitably there are buzzwords, talking points and catchphrases that advertisers, marketers and public relations folks spend plenty of time and money perfecting.

Chevrolet Bolt Generates Buzz
At the recent 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, one car generating lots of buzz was the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. Well, it wasn't literally buzzing, but it was attracting a lot of attention. It's an all-electric vehicle (EV) designed to go about 200 miles on a single charge and will cost approximately $30,000 after federal tax credits (assuming you qualify). That's roughly the same price as a Nissan Leaf or an all-electric Ford Focus.

Here are just a few of the buzzwords I noticed surrounding the new Bolt. Chevy officials say they've finally "cracked the code" on a long-range EV battery, and the car will "revolutionize mobility" as an "electric vehicle for the masses."

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