Is the Buick Velite 7 the Chevrolet Bolt EUV that GM keeps talking about?
Thursday, the Buck Velite 7 debuted. The what? Don't worry about remembering its name. It's not coming to America - at least with that moniker.
It's not uncommon for automakers to have vehicles that are region-specific. Some cater to the exact needs of an industry or lifestyle, or take into account safety regulations (or lack thereof). The Velite 7 has been developed specifically for the Chinese market, which represents 80 percent of the Buick brand's sales.
GM has announced that the model will offer an electric range of up to 500 kilometers under New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) conditions on a full charge.
Underpinning the Velite 7 is the same architecture as the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is sold in the U.S. - the BEV2 platform. General Motors has alluded to the fact that the platform will be used to expand models in the U.S. in the near term before giving way to the company's new BEV3 design.
The BEV3 platform features the Ultium battery technology GM recently debuted. The new Ultium batteries feature large-format, pouch-style cells that can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This arrangement option allows engineers to stack the cells in a way that makes sense for the vehicle and customer, on a global scale.
The energy options for the batteries range from 50 to 200 kWh, which can result in a GM-estimated range of up to 400 miles on a full charge. The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt, the automaker's only electric vehicle currently sold in the U.S., has a 259-mile all-electric range.
Electric vehicles that are propelled by the batteries are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. The batteries in the truck platform will consist of 800-volt battery packs and 350 kWh fast-charging capability.
Buick uses the Velite sub-brand to designate its electric vehicle line. GM sells the Chevrolet Volt, which has been discontinued in the U.S. as the Buick Velite 5.
Is the Buick Velite 7 the Chevrolet Bolt EUV (electric utility vehicle) that GM keeps talking about? Yes and no. It's likely that with a few design tweaks, this is basically the Bolt EUV that will make its way to the U.S. The Bolt EUV is due to debut in mid-2021 (possibly at next year's North American International Auto Show) as a 2022 model.