Chevrolet Bolt EV: The Future of Personal Transportation

A long-range EV that costs about the same as the average new car

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Model years: 2017–2019    

Vehicle layout: Subcompact 4-door hatchback, electric motor (200 hp), 1-speed automatic, FWD 

MSRP, range (before incentives): $37,500 (base), $44,300 (well equipped)

MPGe, city/ hwy/combined: 128/110/119

Full recharge time: 9.5 hours (240 volts)

Crash-test ratings: NHTSA: 5 stars overall. IIHS: good (all ratings)

Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles    

Spare tire: None (self-sealing tires) 

Final assembly: United States 

Range: 238 miles    

Chevrolet Bolt

Introduced as a 2017 model, the Chevrolet Bolt was revolutionary, the first truly affordable EV with an EPA-estimated driving range of more than 200 miles. And although it’s no longer the only game in town—the Hyundai Kona EV and Kia Niro EV both claim similar ranges—the Bolt is still a strong contender in the reasonably-priced EV arena, a small sedan that can carry four people in relative comfort.

The Bolt’s exterior is appealing in a nondescript sort of way. The interior has a stylish, high-tech appearance, with environmentally friendly-looking recycled material on the dash and the vehicle’s displays. But there are also some hard, cheap-looking plastics on top of the door panels and the dash. The rear seat back is upright, but there’s still adequate headroom and good legroom. Cargo space is 57 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded down.

The powertrain—a 200-hp electric motor and 60-kWh battery pack—is responsive, and the Bolt accelerates quickly and smoothly, getting to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The steering response and effort are good, the handling is somewhat sporty, and the body structure is solid, like that of a larger car. What’s more, the Bolt is really quiet, and it’s not just the absence of engine noise. Chevy has also taken pains to eliminate road and tire noise. 

Downsides? The Bolt is a bit pricey, although federal and state incentives can lower the final purchase price. Also, some important advanced safety features, such as forward-collision warning and forward automatic emergency braking, are available only as extra-cost options. The Bolt received no significant changes for 2019.

Photos courtesy of Chevrolet

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