You’ve heard the news: Chevy adapted the Bolt EV with 259 afar of range. I admired the aboriginal Bolt EV so abundant I busy the aboriginal one so I could get my calmly on it in aboriginal 2017 and accept been active it for about 3 years on and off. My wife and I currently breach time amid the Bolt and our Tesla Archetypal 3. So I was aflame to see what Chevy had done in the time aback and wow…
…they’ve absolutely not done that much. The banderole affection is the 10% continued ambit of the LG array pack.
“The Bolt EV set the criterion for long-range, affordable electric vehicles, and we’re aflame to accession the bar by alms about 10 percent added EPA-estimated ambit for the 2020 archetypal year,” said Tim Grewe, administrator of Global Array Cell Engineering and Strategy. “At Chevrolet we’re consistently alert to chump acknowledgment and we heard the admiration for added range. The aggregation formed agilely to acquisition means to advance array energy, giving barter the aplomb to go added than the added mile.”
While the Bolt charging accouterments is the aforementioned as the aboriginal car’s, Chevy is able to accumulate charging at the max bulk longer, alike accomplished 50% of ambit we would after acquisition out.
In accession to this, algid charging is now faster. That lets you put 100 afar of charging ambit on aural 30 minutes, a 10-mile improvement. This seems like the advance is about all on LG’s ancillary of the ball.
We got a contiguous attending at the new beef and, with the barring of the blooming instead of chicken band they were the exact aforementioned admeasurement and a negligible bit heavier.
That is negated by backpack efficiencies. GM didn’t say it but I’m appealing abiding this was all on LG’s ancillary aback all of the added LG-celled EVs are accepting agnate updates.
As for Chevy improvements, there was a cavity put on the array allegation anchorage I begin out aftermost year but it was new to me. Also, the rearview and parking/driver-assist cameras were upgraded with a college affection HD camera and some new card options.
There is a new AVAS arrangement for alerting pedestrians to hushed EVs which has a new complete and advanced and aback speakers. Finally, the artificial barbecue on the advanced now has some 3D bumps on it while beforehand the bumps were simulated. And obviously, there’s that Oasis Blue (and accustomed burnt orange) blush that you’ll see affluence of in the arcade below.
Chevrolet was nice abundant to fly us out to the West Coast and put us up in admirable hotels in Tacoma and Portland for this drive and the accomplished acquaintance was actual nice and agilely informative. Our drive larboard the Tacoma auberge at about 7:30 am and I partnered with EV Journalist and acquaintance Tom Moloughney for the drive.
The big botheration was that it was about 32 degrees F (0 C) at the time of abandonment and these cars weren’t or weren’t able to be preconditioned. I’ve abstruse to calmly do this on my home Bolt every day from October to April in New York. It requires about 15 account while acquainted in and warms the array with the charger instead of adored array range. The algid array showed aloof beneath 200 afar of ambit (instead of the advertised 259 miles). Perhaps Chevy was assuming us how heating the array was now quicker and added efficient?
Nope! For the aboriginal leg of our trip, we averaged about 2 afar per kWh which is beneath than bisected of what I apprehend on my accepted Bolt EV alike during the winter, so continued as I arrangement the battery. That put us way beneath the bulk of ambit we would charge for the 200-mile trip. We additionally acrimonious the car to about 70 degrees, collection in “Low” or regen brakes approach and didn’t do any crazy driving. In fact, we were in cartage on a artery which I about go over my Bolt’s range.
Luckily, GM had a accident plan for such a botheration and could appearance off the Bolt’s best fast charging at an Electrify America forth the way. After accomplishing some hypermiling – not article you appetite to accept appear on a cruise area the alone big affection accession is added ambit – we formed into an Electrify America on “low range”. Chevy calmly stops cogent you how abundant ambit you accept at about 14 afar so you absolutely accept no abstraction aback you are activity to run out. I had never been this low in 3 years with my own Bolt so I assumption this is what ambit all-overs is all about?
Every added Bolt on our drive bare a charging stop so our car wasn’t a fluke. Additionally, a few writers I talked to who rode the day afore which was warmer didn’t charge the charging stop – so it charge accept been the algid and abridgement of preconditioning.
We did acquaintance faster charging at the Electrify America which did about stop charging already as you can see in the video above. 3/4 stalls at the Kelso Washington base were alive and we were able to see charging as aerial as 54kW and abiding that charging to over 50% which does verify GM’s claims of faster and colder charging improvements.
I’m apologetic but I accept to accumulate it absolute here. Chevy has been abundantly black in demography acknowledgment from the aboriginal Bolt and convalescent the vehicle. The #1 complaint from 2017 and apparently easiest to fix: the crabbed bench support. The new Bolt feels about absolutely like abundance alike admitting bashful bench added improvements were allegedly fabricated in 2018. The #2 botheration is apparently fast charging aiguille bulk which I anticipate Chevy could accept addressed in a baby accouterments update. Aloof accepting to 80kW like the Kia Niro/Soul and Hyundai Kona would accept sufficed aloof from a specs area standpoint.
Chevy showed us a -to-be annoy advance which would accept been my #3 complaint but it was still in the undrivable ancestor date and didn’t attending like it would be advancing any time soon. So auto and tires are the same.
My cardinal 4 advance would accept been the banker acquaintance and I’ll get to that a little after but GM gave itself aerial marks there.
As the journalists were shuttled aback from the drive, a cardinal of theories for the abridgement of improvements were proffered, none of which we’ve been able to verify. One is that Pam Fletcher, the Bolt’s aboriginal baton was confused off the activity and aback afresh a skeleton aggregation has been advancement it while the new “A team” works on GM’s abutting set of electric vehicles. Again, I can’t verify this but it would accomplish sense. Chevy was declared to accept 2 new EVs by this point so article is absolutely up.
It is still adverse that GM’s now alone electric agent is stagnating so significantly, decidedly aback others like VW and Hyundai are apparently starting to access up. I was afresh abashed to apprehend that important Chevy Bolt advisers didn’t buy the Bolt for themselves because they weren’t adequate with the charging bearings (a echo of what I heard in 2016). My gosh you are GM! Put some charging stations 200 afar alfresco of Detroit so your advisers can appointment their accompany and families in an EV. You could breach the amount with Ford and FCA if it is too expensive. This isn’t rocket science!
For the record, GM did say that they had a affiliation columnist absolution accompanying to charging basement that may buck bake-apple at an undetermined time in the future. Suggestion: Accomplish every one of your dealers accumulate accessible a 55kW charging base 24 hours a day at break-even prices. See that banker adjustment map above? Would be nice to accept that additionally be a charging network.
It aloof doesn’t feel like GM is demography EVs seriously. CEO Mary Barra, who aback it comes bottomward to it bears albatross for this, says she drives a Suburban so that’s not helpful. I absolutely achievement addition can accomplishment GM’s attempts at an EV.
And that’s the best adverse part. The Bolt appropriately won the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year accolade and added accolades. It was such a abundant car that I not alone bought one but never accept regretted my decision. In fact, about the exact car that I accept now with 21 added afar of ambit is still a abundant car.
Even with about no assignment aback 2016, GM’s Bolt is still one of the best EVs out there. As my charter expires, I’m still tempted to re-up with a 2020 or aloof buy out the old one. The Bolt is cool quick off the band with bags of torque. It’s a small, adventurous alfresco amalgamation that owners adulation to drive. I anticipate GM gave up on calling it a “micro crossover” and absolutely should alpha business it as a “hot hatch”. I absolutely adulation the car and accept throughout my 3 years with it.
Sure the autogenous doesn’t accord to the car’s $38,000 afore abbreviating incentives (now $1,875 Federal, expires at the end of March 2020). By the way, with GM’s workers currently on strike, it isn’t assertive if the 2020 Bolt will be accessible for that March 2020 Fed Tax expiring deadline.
Maybe addition GM cast like Buick or Cadillac would be bigger at autogenous design. Or maybe GM should accompany aback Saturn as an EV alone brand?
The botheration is that aback I go into my Chevrolet banker (Curry in NY if anyone cares) to analyze about renewing my lease, the salespeople appear at me with crazy new deals on adventurous SUVs or added nonsense. Aback I ask about the new Bolt, they aloof accord impaired stares and point me to the guy in the aback closet who is actuality on every added Wednesday who knows about the Bolt. There are aught Bolts arresting on the lot. Again, annihilation has afflicted aback 2017.
As for what’s to come, Chevy larboard us with this slide: