2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for May 2017
by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
I don't think a lot of us editors knew what to make of the Chevy Bolt EV when it first entered the fleet. Our experiences with compact EVs had been limited to cars such as the BMW i3, Fiat 500e and the Nissan Leaf, all of which have a usable range of around 100 miles or less. When you've got a fleet of "normal" cars, it's understandable the Bolt saw relatively few takers early on.
After a few months, and more than a few 200-plus-mile tanks of electrons, word has spread and more of our staff members are starting to take the plunge into the electrified waters. Yeah, bad choice of words there.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We put about 1,000 miles on our Bolt EV in May and had a good number of drivers exceeding 100 miles on a charge. I should note that out of courtesy, we try to plug the Bolt in when the remaining range drops to around 100 miles.
For the month, we averaged nearly 113 miles between plug-ins with the DTE (distance to empty) showing about 110 miles before it was hooked up to a charger. The longest drive for the month saw 227.7 miles. Our best range, so far, is 248.6 miles.
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Left the office with 189 miles of range. Made it home — 60 miles away — with 183 miles remaining. Drove it in L with max regen, no air-conditioning. And granted, it was two hours of freeway travel with plenty of long spells crawling at 15-20 mph. At one point, the meter was predicting 205 miles of range. Good testament to the Bolt's slick powers of regeneration." — Dan Frio, automotive editor
"The 2017 Bolt has 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats in place. This isn't much and widthwise roughly translates to about four grocery bags placed side by side plus a backpack. For reference, the 2016 Volkswagen eGolf has about 22.8 cubic feet of space, though you'd have to sacrifice 155 miles of range. Since I'm not really going to take a major road trip with this car, I'd prefer the range over the cargo capacity." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"After spending a weekend driving around and hardly ever using the brakes (thanks, regen!), I'd wager you might be able to get 100K miles out of these brake pads." — Kurt Niebuhr, photo editor
"The Bolt's fantastic range is its best feature. The slick rearview mirror is its second best. No auto-dimming here: Flip up the mirror to dim those headlights behind you and instead you get the rearview camera feed. It's full-time, too, not just for night. Cool that this tech has filtered down from Cadillac to the pint-size Bolt. One advantage is that your rear view isn't obscured by headrests, passenger heads or cargo. Another is that it gives you a wider view of the road. This last part also takes some getting used, though. I enjoyed driving around and trying out the display, but found that the angle and depth distorted my sense of space around the car. Definitely feels like the future — much like the rest of this car — but will take a little getting used to." — Dan Frio