What you’re looking at is the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. No, that’s not a misspelling. It’s “b” as in “boy” and the emphasis is on the E and V, as in electric vehicle.
So what should you know? Range is an impressive 200 miles on a single charge, more than double that of the BMW i3. Maybe more. There isn’t a range extender option, which is to say this car will sip no fuel (unlike the BMW i8). Ever.
Price. While still TBD, the Chevy Bolt is expected to cost “about $30,000” (after gov’t incentives). 60 minutes at a fast charge station will net you an 80% charge, though if you want more you’ll have to wait.
Production of the Bolt EV starts this year, with sales expected to commence at the end of the year. I’m still a taken back by that last point; it just seems too good to be true.
And while the story here is the Bolt’s 100% zero gas motor, Chevy is also very proud of its interior space, boasting 16.9 cubic feet of storage behind the front seats. Impressive beyond that is that my 6-foot 2-inch frame can sit entirely upright in the rear seat with head room to give. Shocking when you consider I can’t do that in cars much larger in size (e.g. Audi A7). To that end Chevy says the Bolt’s interior spaces is equivalent to that of a car twice its size.
I drove the Bolt extensively – said no one – at CES Tuesday morning. Climbing aboard the first thing you’ll note is the 10.2-inch infotainment screen. It’s bright, readable in direct sunlight, and is iPhone generation worthy in terms of look. Feel I can’t speak to because I just didn’t have enough time to poke and prod.
Also impressive is the rear view mirror which is in fact a screen that works in tandem with a rear camera to show a realtime unobstructed view behind the car, negating what is often a narrow passage way thanks to safety regulations and head rests.
My test unit is what the car world calls a “mule”. Which is to say it’s a test vehicle and not the final product, hence the ugly lights and the odd interior.
That said, what little I did drive the Bolt EV I did enjoy. It’s got some go, boasting a purported 0-60 in under 7 seconds (that probably means 6.9 seconds in true speak).
The Bolt’s batteries are underneath the floor negating space issues that are found in the Volt, which finds the batteries running through the center of the car. This results, in the Bolt’s case, is a fairly spacious feeling cabin. Moreover, this is Chevy’s shortest overhang car; the front hood is tiny.
Steering feel is as one would expect in a car of this type; it’s numb but easy on the arms. Brake pedal – it’s of the regenerative type – was tough to gauge, though this was a mule and any shortcomings will surely be polished up in the final production model.
Like the Volt and the ELR there are paddle shifters to slow the car. Those comfortable with one pedal driving will enjoy “L” or low mode, which engages the regenerative system as soon as the throttle is lifted. With practice and timing it can bring the car to a complete stop thus increasing efficiency, especially for city driving.
With all of the above in mind, the Bolt EV is not a head turning car. But nor does it need to be. It fits in and looks like an affordable, practical city car.
Apple Car Play, Android Auto and My Link are present. So, no matter what smart device fits your fancy, it’ll work. Chevy put emphasis on this along with the fact that the Bolt EV uses BLE (Bluetooth low energy) to connect with your phone and customize the car to your settings before you step in. You can also unlock the car using an app and track it down in a Walmart parking lot – it’s all OnStar derived tech.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV will go on sale presumably sometime this spring or early summer, with deliveries commencing by the end of the year.
Also why not check out:
- 11 Reasons the Corvette C7 Is a Budget Supercar (list)
- 2014 Chevy’s boast updated MyLink, Smartphone integration
- 2014 Corvette Stingray Announced From Chevrolet (video)
- 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Review
- 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 Gets A Supercharged Engine and at Least 625HP (video)
- 2015 GMC Yukon Denali, Chevy Suburban First Drive and Look (video)
- All New 2020 Corvette Stingray Priced at Just $67,500, Revealed and Video
- Apple Teams Up With Chevy To Integrate Siri Into Their Cars (video)
- Chevy Bolt EV Review
- Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels Edition
- Chevy Spark EV First Drive: the Affordable Electric Car
- Chevy Volt Price Announced
- Chevy Volt Review
- Chevy Volt Uses GPS To Adjust Engine Use
- Hands on With the 2014 Chevy Spark EV (pics)
- Hands on with the Chevy Spark (pics)
- Opel Outs Ampera Hybrid Vehicle, Uses Chevy Volt Engine
- Watch Chevy’s Corvette C7 Tear Up One of the Baddest Parties at Coachella 2014 (video)