[THE INVESTOR] GM Korea, the Korean unit of US auto firm General Motors, will launch its first fully electric vehicle Chevrolet Bolt in April, an industry source told The Korea Herald on Thursday, quoting a GM official in Seoul.
The US auto giant unveiled the Bolt EV in Korea for the first time in October, but had not disclosed an exact release date, saying the launch would take place within the first half of 2017. The electric compact car went on sale in December in the US.
The Bolt EV‘s planned launch is expected to boost the Korean auto market where the portion of electric vehicles still remains insignificant. Among the number of newly registers vehicles, the percentage of EVs stood at 0.1 percent last year.
GM Korea’s launch plan appears to have taken into consideration a delayed official launch of Tesla Motors in South Korea. Tesla had said last year it would open its first showroom by the end of 2016, but delayed the plan without making an official statement.
The two US carmakers are expected to take a competitive edge in the market once launched due to their fuel efficiency.
The Bolt EV can drive 383 kilometers on a single charge, outpacing its current rivals, including Hyundai Motor’s Ioniq EV that goes 191 kilometers on a full charge.
GM Korea said no specific date has been set up for the Bolt EV launch.
By Cho Chung-un/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)