The upcoming all-electric Chevrolet Bolt has been rated with an electric range of 238 miles by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which would make the vehicle the first sub-$40,000 electric car with more than 200-mile range.

Over the past year, executives and engineers from parent company General Motors have hinted that the range of the Bolt will be significantly higher than 200 miles. The EPA has now finished their calculations, resulting in the electric vehicle to be launched with a range rating of 238 miles.

The electric range, as described by the EPA, is an estimate of the distance that an electric vehicle can travel in combined highway and city driving from a single charge.

Chevrolet believes that it is important for electric vehicles to have a range of more than 200 miles to hasten the widespread adoption of the technology among consumers. To illustrate, regular gasoline-powered cars rarely reach ranges of more than 400 miles on a single full tank, assuming 30 miles per gallon. The average daily distance for American drivers is about 40 miles, so with the 238-mile range of the Bolt, owners will be able to fit at least one full work week from a single charge of the electric vehicle.

In addition to the range, the expected price of the Bolt is also anticipated to play a role in getting consumers interested in electric vehicles.

The final price of the Bolt has not yet been determined, but according to Chevrolet, the electric vehicle will have a price tag of below $37,500 before tax incentives and rebates are applied. With a 60 kWh battery that qualifies the vehicle to the biggest federal tax credit of $7,500, interested customers can acquire a Bolt for about $30,000, which is a price tag that is even lower than the average car price in the United States of $33,000.

"The Bolt EV is a game changer for the electric car segment," said GM North American President Alan Batey, adding that the electric car will be coming to Chevrolet dealerships before the year ends.

The Bolt will challenge the upcoming Model 3 of Tesla Motors in the affordable electric vehicle space, which is the only other electric vehicle that is expected to have a range of more than 200 miles with a 215-mile range. The car will come with the same 60 kWh battery as the Bolt, but with a slightly lower price tag of $35,000 before deductions. However, Chevrolet will have the advantage of launching the Bolt ahead of the Model 3 by about a year.

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