Chevrolet provided a vehicle for review purposes.
I have experience driving Hybrids but the Chevrolet Bolt is the first full-electric vehicle I’ve tested out. For someone who’s on the road every day, I was interested to see how this car fit my lifestyle. I love the idea of an EV not emitting any exhaust and only needing to recharge its battery. The Chevy Bolt EV is a subcompact hatchback that fits 5. It’s surprisingly roomy with decent trunk space. I had some design concerns but, overall, the Bolt is a fun car to drive!
One of the major pros for the Chevy Bolt is there are no emission charges. With all of the harm, gas vehicles can cause on the environment, it’s a major plus to be able to lessen our footprint in an EV. It’s a cleaner option! Period. Another pro is charging costs are mere cents compared to gas prices. My total charges were only a few dollars. On a full charge, the range was around 200 miles. That’s somewhat comparable to what a gas vehicle would offer but the range depends on driving style, surface streets, and highway.
The Bolt was super zippy which made for a fun drive throughout Los Angeles. It has great pickup and the Bolt is extremely quiet. So quiet that I would wonder if the car was turned on! But, I do appreciate a quiet drive since driving in the city tends to be too loud.
Now on to charging- This was a challenge for me. I didn’t have the ability to charge it overnight. The car did come equipped with a charger but my parking spot doesn’t have access to an outlet. I used the Charge Point app to locate different stations. Areas like malls and libraries did have free stations. My main issue is the length of time it takes to charge! A full charge could take 10 hours. I just didn’t have that much time to wait. So I found myself charging the car for brief periods almost daily because I wasn’t able to achieve a full charge. I did find a DC Fast Charging system which would have given the car a full charge in about 2 hours. Score! But, the time I went to the location, the station was out of order! So, charging does take planning and I’d be nervous to take this on a spontaneous road trip. I’d definitely have to include charge times and research charge stations along my route.
Another concern is the design of the gear shift. I felt the gear shifter was sensitive to the touch and would up/downshift with little prompting. I tend to like to rest my arm on the armrest and it seemed I was constantly bumping into the gears. Definitely a design flaw in my eyes.
The Premier trim starts at $41,020 which seems pricey but in the long run, owners are definitely saving money. I was impressed by how little charges cost. The car is equipped with a ton of safety features including a 360 view camera. The Bolt is available in two trims: LT and Premier. The Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system is user-friendly, the screen is large and relies on Apple Car Play for GPS. My daughter was extremely interested and the Bolt’s captivating LED car control panel and was intrigued by how the car worked. The Premier included seat warmers for all passengers and the car is equipped with a keyless entry system, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Park Assist.
Overall, I had a pleasant experience with the Bolt. I enjoyed seeing how the car worked and the biggest pro is how environmentally friendly the vehicle is plus it’s a fun, comfortable drive. Even for my 6’ 3” tall husband in the passenger seat along with a rambunctious 11-year old hanging out in the back. An electric vehicle is definitely worth a family conversation. With planning and research, I could alter my lifestyle to fit driving the Bolt. The car does have a higher mileage range compared to other EVs. I did have some anxiety about running out of power! What happens then? But I was extremely conscious about the range of miles and maybe my anxiety would subside after driving the car for a longer period of time.