NEW CHEVY BOLT LEADS THE ELECTRIC CAR MARKET

September 20, 2017

Chevrolet Bolt Car Review

 

The 2017 Chevy Bolt is a game changer. This is an all electric car that gives Tesla a run for its money.

The Bolt's 250 mile range is the main reason. Until now, if you wanted a car with this kind of range you had to line up for a high priced Tesla, and shell out between $70,000 and $100,000. Now the Chevy Bolt is here. It's priced just about in line with conventional gasoline powered vehicles, when you take government purchase incentives into consideration. In Ontario for instance, there are tax credits worth $14,000 on the table for Bolt buyers.

So it has the range, but does it have the performance? The answer is yes. The Bolt has an electric motor that is equivalent to a 200-horsepower gasoline engine. There are some advantages with the electric motor. It accelerates faster. There is virtually no delay or lag when you hit the accelerator. In fact the Bolt will take you from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds. Plus there are no oil changes required with an electric motor.

 

On the downside it takes about 9 hours to charge fully using a level 2 charger.  Where level 3 chargers are available it takes about four hours to reach a full charge. You can charge partially....with a level 3 charger you get about 90 miles on a half hour charge.

The long charge times force you to think about, and plan your trips carefully. More charging stations are being installed every day, but charging is still a big inconvenience compared to a gasoline powered car.

The Bolt is quiet, mostly because there is no rumbling gasoline motor.

 

The styling leaves a little to be desired. It seems car makers feel electric cars must look...nerdy...and the Bolt does have a distinct electric car look. Compared to a Tesla, the Bolt just isn't nearly as sexy, but you won't pay nearly as much either.

 

We drove the Bolt for a week, and took it on some long trips. If you plan ahead you can drive it anywhere but even with the 250 mile range there we were always nervous, wondering if we would really make it to our destination. We always did, and over time you might get used to life with an electric car.

Otherwise it performs like any other car of its size. It's cool little compact car, that is priced like a mid size. You might save money on fuel. It might cost you more in the long run. It will all depend on the cost of electricity versus gasoline where you live. In Ontario there are some public charging stations that allow you charge up completely free...no charge...zero. 

So...is the Bolt worth it? Politics aside, and based strictly on the numbers it looks like an electric car might actually be a truly viable alternative for the very first time in history, and right now in our opinion it is Chevrolet that is leading the electric car market.

 

Rick Walker SST Car Show News.

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