2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Long-Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Long-Term Road Test

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for February 2018

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV accumulated only 774 fresh miles this month, which brings it up to 14,563 miles in all. Sure, February is a short month, but more nefarious forces were at work. Our trusty Bolt let us down and spent a full week at a local dealer going nowhere while it awaited a brand-new replacement battery pack.

Full details will come in a stand-alone writeup that will appear soon, including how we learned this was a known issue supposedly confined to early Bolts that had long since been discovered and resolved in production.

But this knowledge did not impress Kurt, the person who was driving when the Bolt abruptly toggled from 60 miles remaining to reduced power mode while in the leftmost HOV lane on a crowded freeway. As power ebbed away, he somehow steered it across lanes and onto the shoulder of a long exit ramp. Still, something like this leaves a bad taste in your mouth as you sit waiting for a tow truck for 90 minutes for no understandable reason.

Unlike January, there were no long trips out of town. Kurt's pre-problem drive was typical of this month's miles. It was all local go-to-work driving.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for January 2018

by Calvin Kim, Road Test Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt  EV

Where Did We Drive It?
In contrast to a quiet December, the first month of 2018 brought a lot of action to our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. With all of our drivers back in the office after some much-needed R&R, our Bolt stayed out of the garage and on the roads — a lot. In fact, nearly all of the 1,393 miles accrued during January were on nothing but Los Angeles' finest traffic-clogged roads.

Thanks to its HOV sticker, the Bolt was an easy choice for drivers needing to get across town in less than two hours. And although it's a compact, the fold-down seats proved invaluable when we needed to haul some gear around or go on a long shopping run.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for December 2017

by Calvin Kim, Road Test Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
The end of November through December is typically sporadic for our long-term fleet. Depending on who gets what cars, some will plow through 2,000 miles on cross-country visits. Others, not so much. Our trusty 2017 Chevrolet Bolt fell into the latter category because the few Edmundites (including me) who got the keys to our EV hatchback opted for staycations with family.

In this case, that meant about 540 miles of nothing but stop-and-go city driving, which, incidentally, this little electric car enjoys. While it's beneficial that more drivers are experiencing the Bolt, the true win is that more drivers are able to properly operate the controls and understand what the comprehensive dash is indicating.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for September 2017

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
We didn't quite add 1,000 miles to our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV this month, but we got close. Most of the mileage came from commuting, and because our Bolt EV has HOV lane access stickers, it's a favorite with those of us who have a particularly long drive to the office.

A couple of short weekend excursions were mixed in here and there because our Bolt can use DC fast charging equipment, but no one has thus far embarked on any kind of extended road trip. I'm willing to bet that situation will change fairly soon.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for August 2017

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing Operations

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
August was another low-mileage month for our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, but it was not without some drama. We spent the past four weeks using the Chevy to get to and from the office and as a city runabout. Never far from a charging station, the range envelope was not really pushed. Despite the lack of miles, there was still some excitement.

The Bolt spent a portion of the month out of commission with a flat tire. More precisely, flat tires. It went to three different tire shops and rode on the back of a flatbed tow truck. And it sent us on a seemingly wild goose chase in search of a replacement tire. In the end, the experience served as a frustrating reminder of what it's like to own a car without a spare tire.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for July 2017

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
I guess this was one of those months for our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. No, nothing bad happened to our little red runabout, but it didn't really rack up that many miles. When it wasn't parked, it stayed local and low-key. It's still a congested city/snarled freeway traffic favorite, and instead of complaints, the logbook filled up with ways Chevrolet could make the Bolt even better now that the Model 3 is in production.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for May 2017

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for April 2017

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
Given the range of our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, "where we drove it" usually pans out to "around town." We haven't yet taken the Bolt on an extensive road trip because, well, that's not quite the car's forte. But with some judicious planning, maybe we can make a Bay Area run. With a well-timed stop to top up, Vegas shouldn't be a problem either.

But even our "around town" driving tallies up plenty of miles on the Bolt and also underscores the utility of an EV with 250-ish miles of range. Vehicle Testing Assistant Mike Massey drove it from Los Angeles' northern valley hinterlands to the middle of coastal Orange County and back on little more than half the Bolt's range and a brief charge on a 240-volt "pump" during dinner. Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds drove it around the Inland Empire, stopping to charge up at the BMW Training Center (note the irony of a Chevy topping up in the home of the i3).

In all, we put about 1,350 miles on the Bolt in April, a good month for any car in our fleet, regardless of powertrain. We recorded our best range so far — 248.6 miles — early in the month, backed by a 240.2-mile run a couple of weeks later.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for March 2017

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
After just a few weeks in the fleet, our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Bolt has become a staff favorite. It's an excellent city car with above-average range (as far as compact electric cars go) and the carpool stickers make it extremely useful in traffic-plagued Southern California.

Here's what our editors had to say while driving it during the month of March.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for February 2017

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
The answer to this question is not self-evident when it comes to the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. You can't assume it's simply "to work and back" or "to dinner and a movie" like it might be for other $40,000 electric vehicles. As we've seen with the two Teslas we've owned, 200-plus miles of range is a difference that really makes a difference. You can actually go somewhere in a Bolt.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Introduction

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on February 6, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Last year at CES, General Motors debuted the production version of its Chevrolet Bolt EV with a large sign that read "200-Mile Range, Around $30,000." Two bold claims at a time when the only way to get an electric vehicle with that much range was to spend more than double that on a Tesla. GM said the Bolt would deliver on a promise of "a long-range electric vehicle attainable by the masses."

Here we are a year later and the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is now a reality. Critically for GM, the Bolt arrived about a calendar year before we expect to see the Tesla Model 3, which also promises to be an affordable long-range EV.

Not only did the Bolt arrive on time, it came with an EPA-verified range of 238 miles. That's more than double what most of the EVs on the market currently offer, which makes it far more attractive to average car buyers.

With that in mind, we added our name to a few of the waiting lists at nearby dealers. As soon as one became available, we took the plunge and scored one of the most talked-about EVs of the year for our long-term fleet.

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