Chevrolet’s Bolt EV is a little electric car that’s a big deal. While sized similarly to the Nissan Leaf hatchback or the Ford Focus Electric, the Bolt stands apart by virtue of its range. It can go not 200 or 300 kilometres per charge – but a whopping 383! Only the Tesla Model S and X offer greater driving range, but unlike the Teslas, the Bolt has a down-to-earth selling price of just over $40,000 before tax credits.
What gives the Bolt its range is a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which can be recharged in as little as 12 hours by a 7.2 kWh on-board charger. The Bolt can also be recharged on a standard household outlet, but it’ll take about a day. For those who need a lot of juice in a hurry, there’s also a DC fast charger that ingests electrons at a rate of 50 kWh, allowing about 150 km of range in about a half hour of charging. The Bolt’s electric motor produces 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, which is considerably more than its competitors and allows it to accelerate to 100 km/h in as little as seven seconds.
Matching the powertrain’s sophistication is a cabin that’s futuristic indeed; the large 10.2-inch touchscreen display and 8.0-inch instrument cluster use high-res TFT displays, and offer the latest in tech gadgetry including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G-LTE connectivity via OnStar. While the materials aren’t anything to write home about, the Bolt pulls some details including its electronic shifter and available rear camera mirror from higher-end products.
Chevy pitches the Bolt as a crossover despite its lack of all-wheel drive. A high seating point provides a good view of the road ahead, as well as easy ingress and egress. With 478 L of cargo space with the rear seats upright and 1,603 L with the rear seats folded, the Bolt offers comparable cargo space to a small hatchback.
The Bolt EV is available in two trims: LT and Premier.
Standard equipment on the LT includes 17-inch alloy wheels, self-sealing tires, automatic HID headlamps with LED daytime running lights, LED brake lights, power heated mirrors, a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with MyLink mobile device connectivity, in-car wi-fi with 4G-LTE, reverse camera, USB ports, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, automatic climate control, tilt and telescoping steering column, 8.0-inch TFT instrument cluster, proximity key with push-button start, remote start, and six-way manual front seats with cloth upholstery.
The Premier adds body colour exterior mirrors with LED turn signals, bright finish alloy wheels, chrome-accented door handles, roof rails, ambient interior lighting, rear camera mirror system, rear armrest, heated front seats, heated rear seats, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, 360-degree parking camera, blind-zone monitoring system, and lane-charge alert.
Pricing for the Bolt EV starts at $42,795 for the LT and $47,795 for the Premier before tax credits.