The Chevy Bolt is the first EV, offered by a big auto manufacturer that is affordable in price and reasonable in range. These two conditions are very crucial to pave the way of EV’s to be sold in large numbers. And GM apparently has achieved this.
The timing of the Bolt’s launch at the end of 2016 was also crucial. Prior to launch of Tesla Model 3 GM demonstrated the strength of a big manufacturer against Tesla, the poster child of EV’s. Tesla has a long way to go to become a large-scale producer of cars and Model 3 will be a real and tough test for this.
The Bolt is a functional, user friendly car, before it moves at all. It may be defined even as a sub-compact SUV with a very usable space for passenger and cargo. Unlike some other vehicles that are electrified afterwards, the Bolt is designed from the beginning as an EV. The battery pack is under the floor, thus making an excellent weight distribution and low centre of gravity. And it offers a deep luggage that is not filled with battery.
Bolt’s electric engine delivers 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, it accelerates to 100 km/h in 7 seconds. With instantly available torque, as you would expect fro man EV, it offers a significant amount of driving pleasure. Add to this a range of 320 kilometers, this car is quite practical for daily use. Moreover, it allows for energy regeneration while braking and it makes more sense especially when you drive in the city. I read in some forums that courageous drivers without range anxiety tested the limits of the car and claim the the actual range may reach 400 kilometers.
With a standard 120-volt outlet, at your home you need a 12-hour charge to get a range of 76 kilometers. It means that range will be a constraint if you rely only on your home outlet while driving the car to its limits every day.
If you install a 240-volt charger at your home, your can fully charge the battery in less than 10 hours and can enjoy the full range practically everyday. And this is a very reasonable investment when you drive an EV.
And in a super-fast charging station, it is possible to fully charge the battery in about one hour.
The sales performance of the Bolt will be very indicative about the short-term success of EV’s. In Ontario you can receive up to 13K as provincial and federal incentive and this makes the Bolt highly affordable.
The final decision to buy and EV depends on individual needs for every driver and family how and when to amortize the price difference with a gasoline car. (See the specs below).
No matter what calculations you have, once you drive the Bolt, the driving pleasure remains the same.
Type of vehicle: Compact-size hatchback
Engine: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery propulsion (60 kWh), Electric drive unit
Transmission: 1-speed, automatic
Price (base/as tested): $47,795 / $51,530 (before incentives)
Destination charge: CAD 1,600
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (Le/100 km): city; 1.8 liter equivalent, highway, 2.1 liter equivalent (17.6 kWh/100 km)
Driver confidence package: $575 (low-speed forward automatic braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, following sitance indicator, front pedestrian braking, intellibeam auto high beam control)
Infotainment package: $565 (Bose Premium six-speaker system, wireless charging device, USB-charging only ports for rear passengers)
Arttic Blue Metallic: $495
Total Price as Tested: $51,130
Article: Varol McKars
Pictures: Varol McKars, Basak McKars
Test vehicle was provided by Chevrolet Canada (via BHG Media Fleet)
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