By on June 21, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

It was my shooter, Myle, who picked up the Chevrolet Bolt press car we had for the week. I was too busy getting my ass massaged in a Lincoln Continental in the meantime. Besides, Myle owns a house, and I live in a crummy apartment, so it made more sense for him to park his all-electric Bolt EV at the house for charging.

It turned out to be a very bad idea, as he lives in the middle of a cornfield in Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec. His house was built over 60 years ago, so his electrical system couldn’t keep up with the modern tech this electric car is fitted with. “Dude, it takes 20 hours to charge, how the hell will I get to work tomorrow?” he barked at me angrily over the phone. Meanwhile, I was enjoying the overabundance of freedom provided by my V6-powered, gasoline-fed, American luxury barge.

Welcome to the realities of electric propulsion in its early years.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Range!

Thankfully, one thing the Chevrolet Bolt has a lot of is battery range. A full charge will get you 238 miles of combined driving go-juice, which handily trumps a Nissan Leaf (107 miles) or Kia Soul EV (93 miles). So, our friend Myle did have some charge left to deliver the car to Montreal’s South Shore area, where I dealt with the charging issues myself for the sake of this review.

As a matter of fact, when it comes to range, the Bolt knocks at the door of the pricier Tesla Model S 75, but at a more attainable selling price ($45,045 CAD or $37,495 USD before incentives), making it officially the best electric car value on the market at the moment.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

But the Bolt is an altogether different car than Elon Musk’s swoopy, quasi-luxury sedan contraption, which was obviously designed exclusively for the 1 percent. Chevrolet wanted to build an electric people’s car, and felt it was best to cram its latest EV technology into a subcompact, five-door body in the vein of a Spark. The result? A tiny car that looks sort of dorky with its upright demeanor, vertically challenged windshield and stuffed-in rear-end that resembles a vehicle that’s been solidly rear-ended by a semi-truck. Can someone tell me why EVs (except for Tesla models) need to look so weird all the time?

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Trying to Fit In

Looks aside, the Bolt’s hatchback configuration makes it a practical little package. Rear seat room, though very upright, is ample for tall adults such as myself, and there’s sufficient clearance behind the front seatbacks for long-legged human beings. The cargo hold is rather deep, giving way to a respectable 17 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold those rear seats — yes, they will fold flat like in a normal, gasoline-powered hatchback — and the Bolt EV opens up to swallow 57 cubic feet of goods. That’s more volume than you’ll find in a Volkswagen Golf.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

There’s no denying the fact that the Chevrolet Bolt EV goes out of its way to be a normal car. Except for a funky, plastic-intensive interior that looks absolutely ridiculous and a posh infotainment system that adds a full array of gimmicky range, charging, and driving habit information — which is easy to use and operates flawlessly — this is essentially the same subcompact, gas-sipping hatch you presumably drove in college. There’s even an actual hood up front, in which resides the Bolt’s tightly packed propulsion system.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

That motor is a permanent-magnet synchronous AC unit, powered by a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that’s conveniently stored underneath the center of the car’s floor. However, the only number you need to know relate to power: 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. Those are Golf GTI-rivaling figures. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is rated at 6.5 seconds, so the Bolt is a quick car. If you can believe it, it’s just 0.2 seconds slower off the line than a Ford Focus ST hot hatchback. Hot damn!

Sure, the Bolt looks kind of weird, and it’s not all that pretty, but at least it can hustle.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Behind the wheel, the Bolt proved surprisingly entertaining to drive. Electric cars never disappoint in the way they instantaneously deliver power, but that performance tends to fade quickly once the car is on the move. The Bolt, on the other hand, actually delivers real performance all of the time. Punch the accelerator from a standstill, and those front wheels, overwhelmed by the massive surge of torque suddenly imposed on them, will emit a loud chirp. Once wheelspin is quelled, the Bolt pulls hard and smooth, emitting a traditional vacuum-cleaner-like electric whirr all the way.

From a rolling start, there’s a tiny delay before the electric mill spins itself into full swing and launches an addictive shove to the chest.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Handling is also a surprise. What a fun little car to throw into a hard turn. Fine, it leans more towards comfort, rather than imposing hot-hatchback, ribcage-destroying lateral G’s to the driver, and the car’s rather hefty 3,569 lb curb weight — caused by the weight of the batteries sitting underneath your ass — does cause some weight transfer body roll. But the ride is smooth; the suspension’s damping is well-tuned, ideal for Montréal’s legendary pothole-infested streets, and there’s a playfulness that comes through the Bolt’s tidy steering, quick turn-in, and overall light and nimble feel that can’t be ignored.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Typical EV off-throttle battery regeneration is also standard in the Bolt. Shift the gear lever to the L position, and that electric motor will generate 0.3 G of regenerative braking the moment you lift your right foot. Pull a little paddle located on the left side of the steering wheel and that resistance is considerably increased. You can basically drive the car without touching the brakes, and there’s definitely a lot of fun to have from bringing a car to a complete stop by merely pulling on a trigger with with your left index.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Oh Yeah, You Need To Charge It

Finally, it’s time to address the elephant in the room: the need to connect an electric car to some form of electrical source, ensuring it will start in the event your pregnant wife suddenly goes into labor. As far as absolute automotive freedom goes, this remains my single main gripe with electric cars. For the moment, at least, owning an EV requires some thinking, preparation, and a bit of time to spare — something most consumers don’t have, or aren’t willing to give to their automobile. We’re still in the prehistoric age as far as electric propulsion goes.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

To feed the Bolt, Chevrolet doesn’t have an established supercharger network like Tesla’s, meaning charging options are limited to your own home or public charging stations. Opting for a home-integrated fast-charging station means paying up front for it, though your government will likely reimburse a good part of it.

In my case, thanks to the province of Québec’s government-funded Circuit Électrique network of stations, I had a fair number of them at my disposal — especially around a large urban center like Montréal. So, unlike my trusty photographer companion who lives in the boonies and needed to take a day off at work to get his Bolt up and running, I could rely on more sustainable charging solutions. Or could I?

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

The thing is, even if you juice up your Bolt with a public charger, you’ll still have to wait a whopping 9.5 hours to get it fully topped up. That’s the equivalent of a full shift at your day job, and a few beers with the colleagues after work. And there’s only so much grocery shopping you can do in one day. Alternatively, you could connect your Bolt to a 400-volt fast-charging station. This will fill your battery with fresh electrons up to halfway mark in only 30 minutes, but finding such stations proved to be quite the adventure, especially through this city’s infamous traffic gridlock. And once I finally got there, sweating from the stress that I would run out of range, those popular charge ports were often taken by fellow EV enthusiasts.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

At the end of the day, there’s no denying that the Chevrolet Bolt represents great progress, an engineering feat if you will, and a step in the right direction as far as sustainable transportation goes. And as an actual automobile, it works for the average buyer’s daily duties and family life without imposing too much compromise.

But there’s a caveat I can’t seem to get my head around: the entry-level LT model sells for roughly the same price after destination ($37,495 USD and $44,795 CAD before government incentives) as a Ford Mustang GT with a 5.0-liter V8 under its hood. Between you and me, while we know which one of these cars is the smarter buy, be honest: which one do you desire most?

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Truth be told, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is a great electric car — a green, smart, inevitable choice for our planet, and arguably the best EV currently available. My only gripes with it, and a lot of electric cars at the moment, is that it’s still not exactly cheap, looks sort of weird and the time required to charge it —  as well as the lack of available infrastructure — doesn’t yet make the car truly easy to live with. We’re getting there, but there’s still a long way to go before EVs deliver the automotive freedom gasoline-powered cars provided for so long.

[Images: Myle Rockens/Appearance]

William Clavey is an automotive journalist from Montréal, Québec, Canada. He runs claveyscorner.com

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130 Comments on “2017 Chevrolet Bolt Premier Review – Aspiring to Normal Car Status...”


  • avatar
    bunkie

    Life is full of choices.

    What’s great is that we now have more options than ever. The fundamental problem with the argument about electric cars is that naysayers tend to think that they will not be successful until they work exactly like gas-powered cars.

    Yes, these are niche-market vehicles. But that niche is getting bigger every day as both advances in range and increasing charging options become available. The electric car is here to stay and, I predict, once the hassle/advantage curves meet for any given purchaser, the electric car will win out.

    • 0 avatar
      Heino

      Should do well. I was amazed at the number of Nissan Leafs’ (Leaves?) in Montreal. Quebec must have generous incentives.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      bunkie – your belief that EVs are here to stay must also mean you believe EV subsidies are here to stay. When subsidies were withdrawn in Denmark EV sales fell 80%, so they are still a product that requires substantial assistance to compensate buyers for EV shortcomings.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        That drop sounds horrible. But when you look at the circumstances, you see that it’s just typical alarmist crap.

        1) Denmark announces end of tax reductions in 2016.
        2) EV sales more than double since buyers want to avoid the tax increase
        3) Pent-up demand, having been satisfied by the huge run-up in sales, results in large numeric sales drop from previous year.

        Let’s see the result after a few years.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      +1

      I’d personally prefer half the EV range, with the space freed up going to a small, efficient 60-100 hp gas engine, and a 10 gallon tank; since those times I need more than 100mile range, I also need more than 200 (I use cars either to pick people up at the airport, or to drive to Montana or thereabouts….). But, of course, that would be a different niche again; more Volt than Bolt.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      The biggest failing in this review is that the drivers were either inner-city or outer-boony residents. The Bolt’s most logical market – and where most Americans live – is the suburbs. Single family homes, commercial malls and office parks where the range and rechargeability of the Bolt make perfect sense. Too bad neither Myle nor william could recognize, let alone appreciate that fact.

      • 0 avatar
        Damski

        Bam, nail on the head. It is about the suburbs! Families with multiple cars so thy have a gas vehicle for longer road trips and who ever commutes drives the EV and gets to park in the garage at night to change up. No need for superchargers, especially with EV’s that can go 200+ miles, most don’t need more than that Monday through Friday. And don’t forget the best part: low maintenance! No oil or sparkplugs to change, far less moving parts to wear out! This is the future and not just to save the world, people will find it to be very convienent to have a full tank of electrons every morning and not have to stop at the gas station, ever!

  • avatar
    deanst

    Governments really need to step up and build a charging network. Add one cent to the gas tax for a year and build a decent charging network with the proceeds. Let private firms bid on the buildout, with those willing to construct with the lowest subsidy winning the business.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Governments really need to step up and build a charging network.”

      get out of here with your “socialist” nonsense.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      So gasoline users not only should pay the taxes that pay for roads, public transit, and bike trails, but should also pay for charging networks so that wealthy subsidized EV buyers have greater recharging convenience? How about 10 cents per KWh tax on all public chargers so that EV owners can pay for their own infrastructure for once?

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Considering that gas taxes don’t come close to covering the externalities inherent in gasoline-powered vehicles, gasoline users aren’t even paying for their own costs, much less EV buyers’.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          Actually, fuel taxes of about 50 cents per gallon do pay for the externalities, which is about the typical tax level in the US. The question is what is done with the money?

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            I’m not super pro-EV, but gasoline taxes are not covering the externalities – case in point our bridges and roads are falling apart and there is no appetite to increase motor fuel taxes to properly invest in our infrastructure.

            There must be something bigger at play because every politician in the US since Bush has talked about making big infrastructure investments to our crumbling highway and bridge network, and nothing…..ever…….gets…..done.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yeah, but are gas tax revenues earmarked, or do they just go into the general fund? if the latter, LOL.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          So if gas taxes don’t cover the costs now, surely adding EV charging stations with what is currently taken in by the gas tax will work. And then somehow the gas tax that isn’t sufficient now as you say, is supposed to pay for all road works while EV drivers pay for none? On top of charging stations? LOL your argument shoots itself in the foot about a half dozen times, guys.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d rather pay for charging stations than bike trails. Look at NYC…they re striped the Avenues, and put in a hard barrier for bike users. Now, 1/4 the road has an occasional passing bicycle (in good weather) and the rest is one long traffic jam. Electric charging, especially in NYC, would do wonders.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      So they could, in true government style, spend a few hundred billion; just in time to realize Toyota was right all along. And then, “Governments really need to step up and build a hydrogen network” …………..

      Government never stepped up to build a gas station network. Yet that network kind of works OK enough for most people. And, I’m pretty certain that in the countries where the government did build the gas station network, nothing at all works particularly well.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        there’s a difference between building up infrastructure from nothing, and replacing one with another. it’s much more difficult and takes longer to do things when you have to actually care about what’s already there.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Stuki’s right, but then again, I don’t see any reason why the government couldn’t provide tax incentives for public chargers financed by private capital.

        But as more electric cars are sold, look for the utility companies to provide this service more widely. They get paid when people use electricity, after all.

      • 0 avatar
        stevelovescars

        LOL, “government never stepped up to build a gas station network.” Laughing some more at the naivete of this comment. The oil industry is likely the most highly subsidized business in the history of the U.S.

        The government also stepped up and built the entire network of roads and highways… pipelines… funded wars to keep their raw supplies cheap and their profits high… and we all pay for the damage done by fossil fuel consumption.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love the sound of a great internal combustion engine and I have three cars for my household of one driver. I am far from innocent in this fight, but I’m not pretending it is either cost-free or sustainable.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          How’s that koolaid taste?

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          And the government still didn’t step up to build the gas station network…..

          Just as they didn’t step up to build the network of bicycle stores, despite building roads for them to ride on, an any “subsidies” that may have gone to the oil companies pumping the raw material the inner tubes and chain oil are made from…..

          And yet, we have both gas stations that somehow seem to work and, in some parts, even bicycle stores. Stange, that, isn’t it?

          For a more apples to apples comparison, governments are at least as heavily involved with electricity producing utility companies, as they are in the oil business.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        In as much I love the idea of hydrogen fuel cells, the reality is I wouldn’t trust the 98% of folks with an actual hydrogen refueling procedure. Not to mention that deriving that hydrogen will be energy negative compared to just plugging your car into the grid at night. Or using gasoline/ethanol to refuel your car.

    • 0 avatar
      mchan1

      “Governments really need to step up and build a charging network.”

      STOP!

      NO Government should get involved as it’s the Consumers who want EV vehicles so let the automakers and consumers PAY for it themselves!

      NO other taxpayers should have Their hard earned Tax Dollars be syphoned off to pay for recharging stations which They will NOT use unless they buy an EV vehicle which most won’t!

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      https://www.treehugger.com/cars/led-streetlamp-conversions-enable-electric-car-charging-too.html

      This makes a lot of sense to me.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    some of these complaints are a bit ridiculous.

    “plastic-intensive interior”

    what did people expect? That battery costs a lot of money. Is GM obligated to lose a certain amount of money on each Bolt before people will be happy? This isn’t Tesla, where St. Elon can say “oh we’ll start making money Real Soon Now I promise!” and jiggle his keys with SpaceX to distract investors.

    and I don’t get the kvetching about the exterior. it looks like pretty much any small/B-segment CUV, just with a shorter hood due to not having to fit an ICE and ancillaries under there.

    The biggest gripe I have is that the author- like so, SO many EV detractors- insists on approaching EV charging like getting gas in an ICE car. Some people stubbornly seem to think “my daddy filled up his car at the gas station, his daddy filled up his car at the gas station, and by cracky that’s what I’m gonna do!”

    one of the huge benefits of an EV is that you can “refuel” it while it’s otherwise idle. Overnight at home being the main one. And as more and more retail outlets, employers, and other companies install them, you can “refuel” while the car is sitting in a parking lot doing nothing. I’m pretty sure none of you have a gas pump at home.

    and if you live in a situation where you can’t charge at home, *don’t buy an EV.* Don’t be one of those nattering nabobs (I could name a few here) who insist that if something doesn’t work for them, it can’t work for anybody.

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      Sounds more like he has to bitch about since it’s a Chevy.
      I don’t find the looks any different than a Fit, Spark Versa. Worse thing is the Author is a Quebecois, and Quebec is the land of small hatchbacks. He should be used to seeing small hatches like this, just as I am.

      And anyone looking to buy one of these at that price will have the means to install a home charger.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        IMHO Chevy’s current design language of more than this model, is very nice.
        This car looks great. I can only wish my 2016 Prius had even half the slick pleasing design language. To my mind Bolt says:” I’m smooth, integrated, tasteful, restrained.” My Pruis yells (in Japanese, of course) “I’m a futuristic imaginary spaceship”

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      I’m an EV owner (Nissan Leaf), and I disagree with much of what you’ve written.

      EVs must be compared to gas vehicles because that is their competition. It’s certainly fair game to complain that the interior sucks relative to an equivalently priced gas car.

      And it’s fair game to complain about the long charge times. Yes, if you can always plan ahead you can probably make a longer-range EV work reasonably well. But don’t assume that you can charge while idle. I’m at work for 8 hours, and my EV isn’t charging because it’s in a parking lot without power outlets.

      If I find suddenly that I need to attend a meeting downtown, I’ll have to drive home, switch to a car that uses gas, and use that to get to my meeting.

      Can I do that? Of course. But it’s certainly not convenient, and it’s worth noting that inconvenience when reviewing an EV.

      I’ve decided that, for me, the 80 mile range of my Leaf is “good enough”, largely because my typical usage is about 40 miles per day and I got the Leaf, very nicely equipped and low mileage, for $12,000.

      But if I’m looking at paying $40K for an EV, I’m sure as heck going to be concerned about poor interior quality and the inability to charge quickly and easily. Because the other use of my $40K is for a car that has a very nice interior and can refuel in 5 minutes.

      • 0 avatar
        mchan1

        No!

        YOU CHOSE to buy an EV vehicle not everyone else so LIVE with your actions and its consequences which includes paying for its maintenance!

        “EVs must be compared to gas vehicles because that is their competition.”

        That’s because there’s not many EVs around primarily due to high prices.
        EVs are more similar to Hybrids than gas powered vehicles so the comparison is Not the same.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    I see a nice used low mileage Bolt potentially in my future for around 20K

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I’m thinking similarly (even though the console hits my knee; I could just saw off the d’ned thing). It would be a good excuse to get a tankless gas water heater, and repurpose the 220v circuit for the charger.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        What console hitting your knee? Doesn’t the Bolt have a big-ass empty space between the infotainment screen and the crap/cup holder area? I suppose you might hit your knee on whatever you stashed in said crapholder (a purse, a laptop bag, a severed limb, the usual).

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That would be in about a year and a half.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Yeah, who wants a CHEVY! Might as well be a NASCAR edition, eh? Leaf is 999x better and Tesla will force GM to close its doors forever the night the first 3 leaves the factory. Yay Hollywood fantasies! Praise be to King Gore and Lord Elon.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    SORT OF dorky looking? SORT OF? Yeah, okay.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    As long as they continue to benefit from mandates and tax money, they will continue to occupy a niche. With federal and state cash transfer payments, car pool lane exemptions, charging station payments or mandates, fleet mileage mandates, and carbon credit transfer payments for some manufacturers, they can find a market. Without them, they will go back to being a curiosity. I am looking to lease a 2018 Leaf before the sweet gravy train stops.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This is a good review. And the picture quality is definitely a step up from what we’re used to here.

    And, yeah, I’d look at one if I had a place to charge it.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    One nit – the Bolt is much bigger than a Spark.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yeah, it only *looks* like a subcompact, but it’s at least as big as a new Prius. All those batteries require a pretty good-sized floorpan.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      From what I’ve read, it’s pretty close to a Fit in size – but it’s much quicker and doesn’t drone on the highway, so there’s that.

      Also:

      http://www.autoblog.com/2017/06/20/video-chevy-bolt-crash-test-iihs-top-safety-pick/

  • avatar
    RHD

    Technological advances are re-inventing the way we do things in shorter and shorter cycles. MIT has created a liquid “fuel” for electric cars, with charged particles suspended in an electrolyte. It’s possible that as soon as Tesla gets its mega battery factory up and running, a better way of refilling electric cars will be coming in to the market.
    When you can stop in at ARCO or Chevron, pay twenty bucks and spend five minutes for your next 300+ miles of range, electric cars will become much more popular, and the resale value of current technology vehicles will drop almost like used VCRs.

  • avatar
    hamish42

    I live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Of a population of around 5 million, figures show that about 60%, or 3 million, live in high rise apartments. If you have a parking space in the sub-basement(no sure thing)it will barely fit a Yaris and has no power outlet. Given that many of these buildings have 400 tenant units or more (they’re huge) can somebody explain how these 3 million people are supposed to drive charge-it cars?

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    This article utterly failed to convince me that the range of the Bolt is an issue.

    Your shooter lives 60km (40 miles) from Montreal, so he could drive back and fourth three times on a single charge. In other words, even a slow wall plug should be fine.

    Then you complain about a 9.5 hour charge time at a public station, again putting aside that you didn’t actually need it, because the car wasn’t out of battery when you rolled in.

    The fundamental difference with an EV is that you tend to keep it topped up, unlike a gas powered car which you drive until its empty. The extra time spent plugging it in and unplugging (a few seconds a day) is made up for through not visiting a gas station every week.

  • avatar
    FOG

    I have gone from “No Way it can Work for me” to “I don’t want to spend that much money for a vehicle that small”. I also fear it will not fair well in Michigan winters. At the right price point and assurance of snow safety, I will consider it.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      …At the right price point…

      The favorite words of the automotive commentariat.

      Oh if it someone would just build an AWD, diesel, manual, wagon, in brown, with luxury interior but no nanny devices, gets 60 MPG city, 0-60 in under 5 seconds, the quarter-mile in the 12s, can park in a compact spot, but haul my mountain bike, two-man kayak, 3 St. Bernards, girlfriend, and two kids, all inside, and out handle a Porsche 911, I would buy it. If it had the right price point. Ideally, that right price point is found on a one-year-old CPO used model, that’s new, straight from the factory, $9999, with $2000 rebate and -1.5% finance rate.

      But even then I won’t buy it, because I’m not in the market for a vehicle like that this year.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        and my parents wouldn’t co-sign for the loan.

      • 0 avatar
        FOG

        APaGttH: Congratulations, this has to be one of the best examples of stupidity I have seen in quite some time. You did not hit a single thought that crossed my mind. I can’t even imagine a simple enough response that you would understand.

        Don’t worry, you make up for your ignorance with hyperbole and verbosity.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          My, someone gets easily butthurt. Do you want some ointment with that?

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ APaGttH….To be honest, I thought your comment was quite witty. ; )

          • 0 avatar
            FOG

            APAGtth, invest in a remedial reading class and lose the high opinion of yourself and the misguided feeling that you can hurt others with your rhetoric. I am not butthurt by comments made without any evidence of original thought or actually reading to understand.

            Admit it. You tried to be clever before understanding what you read. It’s okay you have mikey and n_tesla to make you feel relevant.

      • 0 avatar
        n_tesla

        That would be close for me, except I need it to off road like my Wrangler and tow like a Super Duty pickup for my 33′ Bertram. Oh and the charger should be installed for free at my Mom’s house.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      What exactly are your concerns about its winter competence? It’s a fairly hefty, decently balanced (most of the weight is spread out and down low) FWD car – it should be effectively similar to a FWD Trax/Equinox, albeit with a bunch more torque. As long as you’re one of the winter tire faithful, I don’t see a problem that you wouldn’t hold against most conventional cars.

      • 0 avatar
        FOG

        I live on roads that don’t get plowed for days. You mention the Equinox. I have one and there are times is just can’t plow its way through the drifts because it sits too low. A neighbor has a Volt that cannot make it up the hill to get out of the neighborhood.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          Then you need a truck or something. The minimum ground clearance on the Bolt 0.9 inches less than the 2018 Terrain. The first gen Volt was much lower to the ground than the Bolt (3.5″ vs 6.0″).

          The Bolt may not work for you, but anything with less than 7 inches in minimum ground clearance doesn’t work for you either. I live in Metro Detroit, and my C-Max (5.5″ min ground clearance) has made it to work everyday since I purchased it five years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            FOG

            I do have a truck, and a Jeep, and a 16 year old who started driving this winter. She gets the Jeep because she can’t handle the low clearance of the Equinox. I can’t lease a Bolt for anywhere near what I can an Equinox.

            I have been trying to say that it isn’t the car for me at this time. A couple years from now, I may get one for the daily commute and to save miles on my 4 x 4 Truck for pulling stuff and getting things done on my dad’s farm.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Equinox leases are CHEAP. You have to really want a Bolt to get one right now. I love the Bolt, but even I think it is too expensive. You can lease a Silverado V6 around here for $120/month with $1000 down. Ain’t no one buying a Bolt when a Silverado is leasing that cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      How about:

      You’re asking if you can skin a moose with a Swiss Army Knife…

  • avatar
    vvk

    Having covered 9k miles in my two month old Model S, I will tell you that I absolutely HATE driving my other ICE car. Despite the fact that the other car is VASTLY superior in terms of performance, driver engagement, steering, braking, handling, ride, seat comfort, HVAC performance, interior quietness, headlight performance, wiper effectiveness, convenience and even the fit in my garage. In terms of price, the Model S is about the same price as my ICE sedan. I may or may not get the $7500 tax credit next spring.

    I could go into many reasons as to why I greatly prefer to drive the EV vs the ICE car. However, this article focuses on the single issue of refueling inconvenience is order to discredit the Bolt. I will focus on the same issue.

    I absolutely despise having to look for fuel for my gas powered car. I hate it. I don’t want to use caps but imagine the word hate repeated 100 times in caps, that’s how much I hate it. I live in a suburban setting where there are few gas stations nearby. All of which close between 7-8pm. I have a busy schedule. By the time I have time to refuel the ICE car, the local gas stations have closed for the day. I have to drive 15-20 minutes just to have the privilege to spend $50 on gas. I seldom have time to stop at a gas station during the day.

    Contrast this with the extreme convenience of simply plugging your car in at the end of the day! Talk about FREEDOM! The car is ALWAYS READY! Always full. Never a low fuel light. I come home, I plug the car in. I never have to think or worry about it. It is always ready in the morning, fully charged! It is so amazingly liberating! No matter how much I drive during the day, the car is always full in the morning! Can you imagine how amazing this is?

    I have had hundreds of strangers ask me about how many miles my car can drive between charges. Invariably, they say that it is not enough and it takes too long to recharge. They do not understand! I ask them: do you drive more than that in a SINGLE DAY?! Everybody is taken aback by this question. Because what people do not realize is that the 238 miles Bolt provides (or 60% of that on a really cold day) is the range you have for a single day. Once you come home, you plug in and it is fully charged again by next morning and you have another 238 miles to play with within a SINGLE DAY. This is way more than enough range for the vast majority of people. To the point where it does not enter your mind at all.

    Yes, this only works if you have a garage with a L2 charger in it. Plenty of people live in this kind of housing. It is trivial to install this and the cost is often subsidised by the government or the electric company.

    I cannot wait to get a second EV so that I don’t have the range anxiety of an ICE vehicle anymore. That anxiety is very real. My wife just called me to say that the low fuel light in the ICE car is on again. I hate it!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” I live in a suburban setting where there are few gas stations nearby. All of which close between 7-8pm.”

      that’s… really strange.

    • 0 avatar
      Scott_314

      I like the passion in your post.

      I think that auto journalists are chain smoking bottom feeders addicted to lottery tickets, so need to visit a gas station a couple times a day anyways. Plus, at the trailer park they need to run an extension cord from the bathroom plug through the window to the car outside, and the wife forgets to plug it back in after using the cattle-grade hair trimmer. So that’s even less convenient.

      :)

      Not that there’s anything wrong with trailer parks, good people, and more fun than most suburbs!

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      I half agree. My garage contains a Nissan Leaf, a Ford Focus RS, and a BMW 4-series GC.

      Objectively the Ford and BMW are “more fun” cars. But, even though I’m no greenie, I use the Leaf for probably 80% of my driving. I too hate going to gas stations. In Oregon we’re required to pay someone else to pump the gas, so it takes about 2x as long as in a state where you can pump your own gas. And the cost, assuming I charge at home, is about 1/4 of what it costs to drive my other cars.

      That said, looking at your average daily usage is the wrong way to look at this. You need to look at the standard deviation. If my average daily usage is 50 miles (probably accurate) you might think that a Leaf with an 80 mile range is sufficient. But in reality half the time my usage is 30 miles and half the time it’s 70 miles. Suddenly 80 miles of range is pushing it, especially if, as you note, it’s a cold day and your range drops 30%. Or you have to drive up a hill.

      238 miles range (maybe 160 in the winter) goes a long way to addressing that. But it /still/ needs to be a second car, with a gas car as a backup. And that’s what people can’t get past. And rightfully so. An EV is still a *huge* compromise, given that the typical day /is not/ the average day.

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        Having driven the Model S 3200 miles on a road trip to Florida, I will tell you that the ICE range anxiety extends to long trips, too. It is so amazing to know exactly where to stop to refuel, to know it will be in a nice area with nice hotels, restaurants and stores nearby, with a clean bathroom and no smells of spilled gasoline and diesel. When I drive an ICE car on long trips, I often find myself afraid I will run out of fuel! Because in rural areas the gas stations are often far apart and closed at night. Sometimes I exit the highway and have to drive for miles looking for an open gas station at 2 am, worriying that I will run out of gas with kids in the car. Often times these kinds of places have no cell phone signal, either. It is so amazing not to have to worry about that. Just drive to the next supercharger, stretch your legs, take a bathroom break and you are back on the road. Fantastic!

        • 0 avatar

          “When I drive an ICE car on long trips, I often find myself afraid I will run out of fuel! ”

          What other things make you afraid?

          “Because in rural areas the gas stations are often far apart and closed at night.”

          I doubt there are any interstate highways in the US where you have to travel more than three exits to find an open gas station. I do a lot of my highway driving overnight and I’ve never run out of gas on the highway.

          “Sometimes I exit the highway and have to drive for miles looking for an open gas station at 2 am, worriying that I will run out of gas with kids in the car.”

          I’m 62, a grandparent now, and I’ve driven many tens of thousands of highway miles with my kids in the car. The only time I’ve ever had an issue finding gasoline on an interstate was once, in the mountains of West Virginia, literally in the middle of the night. I think we ended up driving about 4 miles off of the interstate.

          ” Often times these kinds of places have no cell phone signal, either.”

          My mother likes to joke how my father, who was a Brooklyn boy, would come home and say, “Pauline, we’re going to New York,” and then they’d pack us up in the back seat and go.

          Some of this was before the Interstate Highway system was completed, when you had to go to NYC via either Canada or a complicated route including toll roads in Pennsylvania.

          Just how ever did my parents manage to get us to New York safely without a cell phone?

          “It is so amazing not to have to worry about that.”

          You must live a blessed life if that’s what you have to worry about.

        • 0 avatar
          baggins

          this is a patently absurd post

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “When I drive an ICE car on long trips, I often find myself afraid I will run out of fuel!”
          That is odd. I have travelled in some remote areas and the only time I worried about running out of fuel was when riding a dirt bike with a 12 litre fuel tank.

      • 0 avatar
        Riggald

        A typical day is, by definition, a modal average day.

        It’s not a mean average day.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      This is why some people don’t care for EV drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      kwong

      My wife also loathes filling up her ICE car. It takes her about 5 minutes to detour off the freeway, 10 minutes to fill up, and 5 minutes to hop back onto the freeway. Furthermore, she doesn’t like getting her hands dirty, doesn’t feel particularly safe at gas stations (she had two classmates who were assaulted…granted it’s LA), and she once had a faulty fuel nozzle that doused fuel all over the place.

      I originally bought an off-lease Fiat 500e with the intention of using it for local driving for myself, but my wife hijacked the car and drives about 100 miles a day in it. She’s able to driving in the HOV lanes, bypass tolls, and charge for free at her office 45 miles away. We have “free” charging at home as well with our TOU rate plan and PV array. While we are net 10kWh daily users, our electric bill is only $10 in fees & taxes but we get about $90 credit each month. We’ll eat into the credit when we either get a second EV, add radiant heated floors, and/or have my in-laws move in with us.

      I really think EVs and renewable energy is the future, but I will always want access to an ICE. Currently we have a Duramax truck, old TDI, Rx400h, and 500e.

    • 0 avatar
      packardhell1

      “Because what people do not realize is that the 238 miles Bolt provides (or 60% of that on a really cold day) is the range you have for a single day.”

      Pardon my ignorance, but does time also drain an EV on an otherwise mild day if it is just sitting in a garage with nothing powered up? For instance, I drive 9.4 miles each day round-trip between home and work. Let’s call it 10 miles per day. If I drove this car only to work and back home (during mild temps and driving conservatively), it seems like one charge could last the entire work month (assuming weeks are only Monday – Friday). Would I lose any charge over that month period with the car sitting idle?

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        But why not plug it in?

        Yes, there is so called vampire drain that reduces your range. Depending on the car, it may be as much as a few miles per day. Also, on cold days you will want to warm up the car and vice versa on cold days — this will also reduce your range. It is better to do it while the car is plugged in and uses “shore power.”

        • 0 avatar
          packardhell1

          I guess I’m stuck with the old-school thinking of battery memory, or more frequent charging would lessen the life of the battery. But, vvk, that makes sense! Thank you for the info!!!

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “memory effect” was only ever an issue on an early design of nickel-cadmium cells. It’s not a problem for lithium chemistries.

          • 0 avatar
            Master Baiter

            “I guess I’m stuck with the old-school thinking of battery memory, or more frequent charging would lessen the life of the battery.”

            Side reactions in LiIon cells that degrade the cell accelerate with voltage, so topping off your EV every day will lessen the battery life as compared to discharging lower before recharging. An EV pack will last the longest if you can keep charge between 20% and 80%.

    • 0 avatar

      ” I live in a suburban setting where there are few gas stations nearby. All of which close between 7-8pm. I have a busy schedule. By the time I have time to refuel the ICE car, the local gas stations have closed for the day. I have to drive 15-20 minutes just to have the privilege to spend $50 on gas. I seldom have time to stop at a gas station during the day.”

      At first I thought this was a parody but I think you’re serious. In which “suburban setting” do “all” gas stations close by 8 PM?

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Yeah this makes NO sense. I understand the fear of pulling into gas stations late at night in some areas, but I’d say 8 out 10 stations I visit are open 24/7 – they rarely close, especially if you pay-at-the-pump via credit card. So where does this guy live? Next he will tell us he can’t find a McDonalds or a Starbucks!

        • 0 avatar
          Damski

          I was thinking the same thing until I realized, as someone else mentioned, some states such as New Jersey and Oregon Dont let you pump your own gas, so no pay with card at midnight if there isn’t an employee there to pump for you.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “Despite the fact that the other car is VASTLY superior in terms of performance, driver engagement, steering, braking, handling, ride, seat comfort, HVAC performance, interior quietness, headlight performance, wiper effectiveness, convenience and even the fit in my garage.”

      Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Model S.

      So you can avoid gas stations. Big deal. That’s not a problem for most folks.
      .
      .

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I bought a battery powered lawn mower last year. I was amazed at how light and easy it was to maneuver compared to my previous gasoline powered mowers. I didn’t smell like partially burned hydrocarbons when I was done, I just smelled like cut grass. It actually made me want to mow the lawn, not something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teen paid to do it for the widows in my steel town neighborhood.

      Since this, I’ve come think about my daily driving habits. I love my minivan, but at 4000 lbs and 19 MPG city, my 12 mile commute (daily) seems a little rich. I think I could live with an electric car, even here in Western Michigan, where it gets very cold in the winter time. I can buy a Fiat 500E imported from California here. It would be a near-perfect commuter for my life right now.

      Worst case scenario, I get a Volt and not have to worry about range anxiety, at least as much as the average Cruze driver. But, it would be a used Volt, as I don’t have the scratch for a new one. On the plus side, they’re relatively inexpensive.

      If the conditions were right, the Bolt would be great for the vast majority of my driving. The right size, the right form factor, just not the right price right now, I’m afraid.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        I purchased a battery powered lawn mower for our quarter acre lot when we first moved in to a brand new home. After the first year, even with two batteries, the mower just couldn’t keep up with the thick bermuda grass I have. I use it a few times in the spring and fall to mow, and my gas honda takes over summer duties.

        Now, my battery powered blower and trimmer are just fantastic.

  • avatar
    kwong

    One issue I take with the article is the inference that it takes a long time to charge the car. The article states it takes 9 hours of charging, but this assumes the battery is completely empty. Furthermore, it sounds like the Bolt is being penalized for having a larger battery capacity. If you compare the 9 hours of charging to full the Bolt takes to the 4 hours of charging to full our 500e, or Leaf would take, you’d say the latter might be better.

    A better way of stating the charging time would be kWh/h or range miles per hour. In the case of our 500e it’s 6.6kWh/h or 26.4 range miles per hour. We drive our 500e about 100 miles a day and rarely need more than 2.5 hours of charge time per session. EVs aren’t for everyone and I probably wouldn’t own one if I didn’t have rooftop solar, free charging at work, or the fact that I’ve got a Duramax, TDI, and hybrid CUV to drive for longer distances.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    So basically what we have here is a car that has the size and performance of a Golf 1.8T, but with the equivalent of 5 gallon gas tank, cheaper interior, and about an 80% higher price. Yes the Bolt is no doubt smoother and quieter, and the electric juice is a lot cheaper and possibly cleaner than gasoline, but the payback on the higher price with fuel savings is way beyond the possible life of the vehicle. And then we get to resale value – this thing will be worth 12 grand in 3 years – and only then will it start to make economic sense, but only to the second owner.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      If economics was the sole reason to purchase a car, then a Golf 1.8T makes no sense if a $9k Mirage will do.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        I believe the Mirage is smaller and considerably slower than the Golf or Bolt, although the interior quality might be more similar to the Bolt than the Golf. I also suspect that the Mitsubishi brand is considerably less prestigious than either Chevy or VW.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “A tiny car that looks sort of dorky with its upright demeanor, vertically challenged windshield and stuffed-in rear-end…Can someone tell me why EVs (except for Tesla models) need to look so weird all the time?”

    “…the Bolt’s hatchback configuration makes it a practical little package. Rear seat room, though very upright, is ample for tall adults such as myself…The cargo hold is rather deep, giving way to a respectable 17 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold those rear seats…and the Bolt EV opens up to swallow 57 cubic feet of goods. That’s more volume than you’ll find in a Volkswagen Golf.”

    These two quotes are in direct sequence in the article and the second is the answer the first was looking for. It looks “dorky” because it is a small car with a ton of interior room. Besides, the looks aren’t an EV thing–the Fit, Versa, Soul, Fiesta have similar odd proportions and have been around for years.

  • avatar
    ajla

    It’s a step forward.

    The ICE future is going to be filled by 1.3L twin-charged plastic-cladded hatches with 3-stage CVTs and undefeatable stop/start and 20-inch wheels.

    I’d take an EV over that.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Frankly, this looks like a fantastic little vehicle. Practical, nimble, and quick. 0-60 in 6.5 seconds from this little econo-egg? That’s brilliant. It’s more of a sleeper car than a pale blue 2GR Camry because some people know that a big sedan can be fast but no one would expect it from a vehicle of the Bolt’s proportions. Pricing without the subsidized tax credit is the primary hurdle here.

    I think the author fully misses who this car would appeal to simply because it isn’t him or his hyperbolic friend. Lots of us live in houses with up-to-date electrical systems and garages, and commute a round trip distance well within the 240 mile range. Overnight charging would be not-a-problem. A lot of us also have families and therefore a second ICE vehicle to cart the gang around. This is a commuter, not household’s sole transportation. Single guy living in an apartment with few charging options? Yep, not for you and never was intended to be, just as a 3-row crossover isn’t for you.

    Kudos to Chevy, so far this appears to be an excellent vehicle.

  • avatar
    roverv8i

    Thanks for the multiple people who pointed out the fallacy of a “slow” charge being an issue. It’s no different than your phone, laptop etc. You charge it any convenient chance you get. You don’t wait for 50 miles after the low fuel light comes on. All this points out is people’s ingrained mentality that comes from not wanted to take the time to stop at the gas station. Dare I say they are just lazy and don’t want to take those few extra seconds to plug it in because they are not capable of realizing the total time spent would be far less than the gas station stops.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed. One reason to have a 238-mile EV is so the battery doesn’t have to be deep-cycled so often.

      If someone’s EV requires a 238-mile fillup every day, they:
      a. Shouldn’t drive an EV.
      b. Need a different job.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Slightly off topic, but I hit 49k miles on my Leaf and I was able to get 10.8 miles on my 12th bar at 61 degrees and half 38-40 mph and half at 55 this morning. It’s still hanging in there. Next week will be another test with a 100 mile in one day trip.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    Nice photography!

  • avatar

    200-hp, 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and fun to drive?

    I just may have to check this out!

  • avatar
    Dan

    Even GM can’t be unaware that ain’t nobody paying 500 bucks a month to be seen in a hatchback.
    Yet they wrapped this honestly impressive technical achievement in clown car sheet metal anyway.

    This could have looked like a Renegade just as easily. It doesn’t.

    Therefore it must be a money losing compliance car that they don’t want to sell.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Interesting point about the effect and intent of the styling. If they had given it the looks of a subcompact CUV that automakers are running around like lunatics to release nowadays, I wonder what the effect on sales would be.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      Some hard-core Jeep types have called the Renegade a “clown car”, too.

  • avatar
    Jason801

    “…yes, they will fold flat like in a normal, gasoline-powered hatchback.”

    Man, I wish! In the majority of hatchbacks, fold flat = “kind of flat, meaning angled”, or “the seat-backs are flat, but on a different plane than the floor of the hatch floor”.

    I walked away from three hatchbacks after I had the sales guy fold down the rear seats. If it’s not this, then I’m out: ____________

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    US federal gas taxes are 18.4 cents per gallon. That hasn’t been increased since 1993, and inflation has reduced the value of that tax by 40%. No wonder you guys can’t fix your roads.

    I have no problem with government subsidies for charging networks. They are infrastructure, and there is a chicken-and-egg problem with relying on consumers to fund them. As others have pointed out, the oil industry got more than its share of corporate welfare.

    A bigger problem is the massive subsidies for these cars. In Ontario, a Bolt buyer will receive a $14k (CAD) government rebate. (How does that Mustang look now?)

    While this level of subsidy is what it takes to make electric vehicles price-competitive, the cost to taxpayers far outweighs the environmental benefit. Typically of Ontario government spending, it is also completely unsustainable–especially if, as desired, electric vehicle sales increase.

    Frankly I would buy one of these in a heartbeat, but my lease is up in July and there’s a 5 month waiting list.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Here’s a setting where ev’s make perfect sense. An island where you can only drive so far. I was just there and the number of Nissan Leaf’s gliding around is amazing. There is also a very high population of all sorts of Prius. The island is claiming the highest concentration of ev’s in the country.
    https://www.google.ca/amp/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4150568

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      A 74 sq.mile island 17 miles long and 9 miles wide. Why even own a car?

      I wonder how many gallons of fuel that are consumed by the ferry that takes you there?

      And what about the hydrocarbons burned to power the power plant.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        Lou-BC:
        “A 74 sq.mile island 17 miles long and 9 miles wide. Why even own a car?

        I wonder how many gallons of fuel that are consumed by the ferry that takes you there?

        And what about the hydrocarbons burned to power the power plant.”

        I’ll start with your last quip first. Given that it sounds like you live in the same province as the island, I find it surprising you seem to be unaware that almost all electric power in BC is hydro. Yes hydro has downsides, but it’s still considered sustainable. The island is serviced with underwater power cables.

        The ferry that took me there is actually a new one that burns natural gas and has an efficient electric final drive. My bicycle added little need to displace water.

        I’d be impressed if you’re happy to walk 9 miles each way to buy groceries. The island has a basic transit system. And there are little signs all over the place that say: “Car Stop”. These signs denote places where it is officially sanctioned to hitch rides or pick up people going your way. Presently the RCMP are trying to defeat this practice.

        So the islanders are making commendable efforts to lower their transportation carbon impact. Your response to the popularity of ev’s on the island comes across as a need to be contrarian.

        All that said, I find that most of the islanders drive everywhere to do everything. Traffic on every island road seems continuous. Which seems hypocritical relative to the degree to which they bask in an image of an advanced culture with low carbon impact. I bet they use more fuel per capita than city people.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @brandloyalty –
          I wasn’t aware of any BC ferries powered by natural gas. As you have pointed out, a new ferry. They must have been put in service after I had traveled that part of the province last summer. The ferries I sailed on were definitely diesel. A quick google search says that they are dual fuel i.e. natural gas or diesel.

          The majority of smaller islands in BC tend to be powered by diesel or natural gas powered generation plants. I made the assumption that Salt Spring Island was one of them. I don’t care for the lower mainland or the more populated places on Vancouver Island. I’m more comfortable dodging loaded logging trucks on a one lane “radio controlled” forestry road than dodging cars on any congested lower mainland road.

          I’m well aware of BC’s hydro-electric generation capabilities. I was born around the time WAC Bennett Dam was built. I went into the town site of Mackenzie BC with my dad even before the town was actually built and incorporated. He was working there.
          My dad spent many years building new roads and infrastructure that was flooded by the Williston Reservoir. Last fall I traveled the valley that will be flooded by Site C. It is beautiful country and I never seen that many deer in all of my life. Deer in the fields outnumbered cattle. We may need that “clean” power but I don’t like what will be lost by generating it.

          There has been considerable debate in the Peace region over site C. It is rather easy to tout the advantages of hydro-electric power when the dams aren’t in your back yard.

          I have nothing against battery powered vehicles or hybrids but as you said in your closing comment, “Which seems hypocritical relative to the degree to which they bask in an image of an advanced culture with low carbon impact.”

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            Glad we agree on so much. BC Ferries has started converting all their older ships to run on natural gas.

            The cars I have owned over the years have seen their most enjoyable use on the BC logging roads. The current awd Escape Hybrid actually does pretty well climbing the abandoned roads up the mountains, summer or winter.

            Site C will be an economic disaster on top of destroying critically needed choice farmland. We don’t need the power, and if we did it could be better met with efficiency gains, solar and wind. BC is perfectly positioned to use the existing dams to smooth out variable sustainable sources. Hopefully the incoming government will kill it.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            And a little hybrid anecdote from my Salt Spring trip. I got talking with a couple in an Escape Hybrid almost identical to mine. Turned out they had been shopping for a used Escape, and it didn’t matter to them that the one they liked the most happened to be a hybrid. (Only 3% of the 2005-12 Escapes were hybrids.) They said they would never consider buying a non-hybrid or ev now. Blown away by the mileage and reliability.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    ” Chevrolet wanted to build an electric people’s car”

    GM brings you the Boltswagon.

  • avatar

    GM won’t even sell 10,000 Bolts this year. It is the flop of 2017.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      From what I can find, 4384 were sold through April. CA and OR had December 2016 delivery. MA, MD, & VA received deliveries in February along with CA & OR. NY & NJ added in March. WA in April. (source: cleantechnica.com)

      As they become more prevalent around the country, I really struggle to see how your prognostication comes true.

  • avatar
    n_tesla

    Very excited to see the level of knowledge and interest about EVs by non EV owners here has increased dramatically. Our household has 2 Volts, 2 Subarus and a Corvette. The Volts have a GM claim of 35 miles range. However in warm weather with AC we get hit 40s and sometimes low 50s. In near 0 it drops to 28. Heating puts a big hit on range. But that range is available every morning. We never use public charging because it has it’s onboard gas charger and full time EVs need it more than we do. With that there’s no range anxiety and my daughter’s Volt has a 145MPG record for the life of the car. Mine is at 86MPG. I treat it like a regular car and drive from Boston to NYC for work 1-2 times per month. I recommend you test drive an EV. You’ll find some aspects you like.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Now if Tesla fans would just become more knowledgeable about cars in general instead of taking St. Elon’s tweets as gospel, they might not be as forgiving of their poor quality.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        One of the reasons I’m looking at the Mission E is to hopefully get better quality, but who knows. I don’t exactly trust Porsche quality either. I’m tolerating the Interior by Revell on my Leaf, so a Tesla would be a step up. My son’s iA interior is a step up from Nissan. To be honest, I’d still put up with quality issues on the Tesla – if there were no alternatives. Nothing to do with Elon. To me, the performance of the car outweighs most of the quality issues. There was one with me in traffic this morning moving along with me at about 55 or 60. He hit the throttle and it looked like he was being launched out of a cannon. No sound.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I would like to address the charging situation of the bolt that was mentioned in the article. Unlike Tesla, a Chevrolet store exists in **ALMOST** every small and certainly large town in America. If you own a Bolt, and are in a serious charging pickle, drive to the closest Chevrolet store and plug it in!
    Most have the rapid charger set up. If they insist, which they won’t but if they did, test drive a Silverado. This activity should take about a half hour with the usual walk around, let me photo copy your license etc. Give them a fake # and off you go.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    This is actually the kind of car I SHOULD be driving as my primary.

    My commute to/from work is 25 miles, round trip, and I have a garage with power outlets. I also have a landlord who is amenable to improvements of his property. Our typical long trip is 120 miles to visit the in-laws and if the Bolt wouldn’t make it due to charge status, taking Amtrak is actually not a bad choice.

    Even if I didn’t install a rapid-charger I’d bet my wife and I would have a hard time depleting the battery assuming we plugged it in every night.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      I don’t know about other hybrids, but the Escape hybrid can do this. Plug into the 110v outlet and the engine will cycle on and off as needed to keep the hybrid battery charged. It is only 150 watts, but enough for lights or cordless power tool chargers at remote worksites.

  • avatar
    furiouschads

    Volt can also serve as backup power supply when the lines go down. Bolt can do this too but doesn’t have its own bulit in generator

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      I don’t know about other hybrids, but the Escape hybrid can do this. Plug into the 110v outlet and the engine will cycle on and off as needed to keep the hybrid battery charged. It is only 150 watts, but enough for lights or cordless power tool chargers at remote worksites.

  • avatar
    tonyvancity

    ”($37,495 USD and $44,795 CAD before government incentives) as a Ford Mustang GT with a 5.0-liter V8 under its hood. Between you and me, while we know which one of these cars is the smarter buy, be honest: which one do you desire most?”….well…i too live in Canada (Vancouver, BC..pop. 2.5 Million metro)and i really like this Bolt but it is very expensive to purchase . Here, the local govt hybrid rebate incentive on a plug in hybrid is maximum $5,000. The msrp here in my city is starting from $43,095 MSRP (LT) to $48,095 MSRP (premier). But i will say that it might still be a good purchase after incentive and haggling because my city has the highest gasoline pump prices in north america. According to GAS.BUDDIES.COM , current regular gas per Liter here is $1.28 per liter…yesterday it was at or near $1.36 per liter regular gas. Gas prices jump up and down like crazy and we also pay a ten cents per liter transit tax automatically regardless of world gas prices. It has gotten close to $1.50 reg. per liter in the past here. Maybe in a few years, depending on my employment and financial situation, i might buy a Chev Bolt if closer to the magic $30,000 price point, but for now it is to rich for my means.


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