2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for October 2017
by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
When Ferris Bueller said, "Life comes at you fast," he was in no way referring to life on an L.A. freeway. Out here, life comes at you one agonizing foot at a time, but that's when the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV does its best work. And for the month of October, we saw the Bolt do its bestest work ever.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The EPA estimates the Bolt to have a range of 238 miles, and we just tacked on almost an extra 90 miles to that number, setting a new intra-office record of 322 miles on a single charge. That wasn't some downhill both ways nonsense either. This was done on a freeway, in traffic. Consider our expectations thoroughly exceeded.
Anyway, October saw us drop another 1,000 or so miles on the Bolt with the driven range often exceeding 140 miles with over 100 miles remaining in the tank. It would seem that clearing 200 miles on a single charge is only down to a matter of convenience at this point.
Maintenance and Upkeep
"This shifter. ... Why? I've lost track of the number of times I've driven the Bolt and I still flub putting this thing into gear about half the time. Having two separate buttons, one for unlocking operation and one for engaging Park is not clever — it's dumb." — Kurt Niebuhr, photo editor
"There were no loopholes, no deserted roads on the 322-mile charge. That was real life. That was commuting." — Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing
"Once again, I unintentionally pushed our Bolt to its limits. After a couple runs home and back, the range fell to almost nothing. It was hard to tell exactly how low since the range display switches to read 'low' instead of showing an estimate of how miles of juice remain. It also went into reduced power mode in order to further conserve energy. By the time I got that warning I was close to home, so I was able to nurse it around town to drain it down as much as I could.
"When I finally parked it at my home charging station, it had gone 322 miles on a single charge. Not bad for a car rated at 238 miles per charge. Even more impressive was the fact that I didn't really try very hard to get that many miles out of it. I spent plenty of time in traffic, which helped, but there were a few sections that I was moving along at 65-70 mph as well. No matter how you look at it, 322 miles out of a Bolt is pretty impressive." — Ed Hellwig, senior editor