One of the most prominent talking points I’ve heard around the automotive water cooler lately is that car companies should outsource more. That may seem like an odd suggestion at first — carmakers have obviously leaned on outside components to build their vehicles for decades — but the industry is still littered with clunky infotainment suites, slow electronics, and other sources of frustration. In many of these cases, deferring to the experts instead of offering shoddy in-house products is actually a pretty good idea.
And in building the new Chevrolet Bolt EV, General Motors will do just that. The brand announced a “strategic partnership” with LG Electronics today, under which the multinational tech firm will supply the Bolt’s electric motor (built from a GM design), DC/AC power inverter, on-board charger, battery cells, battery pack, instrument cluster, infotainment system, and a bevy of other converters and modules. According to Chevrolet’s press release, LG has invested more than $250 million in a manufacturing facility in Incheon, Korea to build the EV’s parts.
“Chevrolet needs to be disruptive in order to maintain our leadership position in electrification,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s Executive Vice President. “By taking the best of our in-house engineering prowess established with the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, and combining the experience of the LG Group, we’re able to transform the concept of the industry’s first long-range, affordable EV into reality.”
An on-sale date for the Bolt has yet to be confirmed, but the car will go into production at GM’s Orion Township assembly plant in Michigan in late 2016. When it eventually does roll into showrooms, the EV will cost around $30,000 after a $7,500 federal tax credit, and will travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, locking horns with the upcoming Tesla Model 3.