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Chevy's all-electric 2017 Bolt spied ahead of January debut

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Autoblog appears to have scored a few spy photos of the upcoming Chevy Bolt, GM's first high-range electric car — a vehicle that promises over 200 miles on a charge for around $30,000. That stands to make it the first practical, affordable EV on the market when it launches in late 2016 after a CES debut this January.

A lot of the concept Bolt's styling carries over, but as Autoblog notes, there's an element of BMW i3 here, too, especially toward the back. Overall, the car falls in line with Chevrolet's current design language, borrowing bits of the Impala, Malibu, and the 2016 Volt that just recently went on sale. The Bolt won't be a particularly large car, but it could still woo a few families thanks to its utilitarian hatchback design (and that 200-mile range is critical if GM hopes to sell this as the only car a family needs).

The Bolt will be trying to steal thunder from the Tesla Model 3 next year, which is expected to be shown in March but won't likely launch in production until 2017 — and, if the Model S and X are any indication, supply could be constrained, particularly in the car's early days. Between the Bolt and the Model 3, automakers appear to be on the cusp of ushering in an era of usable, real-world EVs that normal people can actually afford; they may not have the insane 0-60 times of a Model S P90D, but ubiquity is arguably the EV industry's next major challenge.