Chevrolet Bolt Beats Out Tesla Model S To Become Consumer Reports’ Range Champion

5 days ago by Eric Loveday 254

Electric Cars

Chevrolet Bolt

The Chevrolet Bolt has more real-world range than any Tesla model Consumer Reports has ever tested.

Consumer Reports has completed its benchmark testing of the Chevy Bolt and found it to offer more real-world range than any other electric vehicle it’s ever tested.

The Bolt achieved 250 miles on a single charge, in Consumer Reports’ own independent testing (testing methods here). That beats out its EPA-estimated 238 miles of range and in fact put the Bolt ahead of two Teslas previously tested by Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports notes that its rigorous testing methodology often results in vehicles falling short of their official EPA figures. For example, here are the figures from testing the two Teslas:

  • 2016 Tesla Model S 75D, 235 miles achieved vs. 259-mile EPA estimate
  • 2016 Tesla Model X 90D, 230 miles achieved vs. 257-mile EPA estimate

Consumer Reports adds:

“In our electric-vehicle range test, we put the Bolt head to head against our 2016 Tesla Model S 75D. The Tesla ran out of juice at 235 miles, while the Bolt motored on for another 15 miles.”

Of course there are longer range Teslas out there, but that’s not the point. Consumer Reports is attempting to compare the semi-affordable Bolt against the cheapest Tesla it had available for testing purposes. Consumer Reports clearly spells this out by stating the following:

“Tesla has upgraded the Model X 90D to a longer-range 100D. A new Tesla Model S or X 100D would probably beat the Bolt’s range, but you’d have to pay $100,000 or more for one of those cars. CR has not yet tested the range on those versions.”

“And when it comes to price, you could just about buy two Bolt EVs (starting at $37,495, including $875 for the destination fee) for the price of that Tesla Model S 75D (which starts at $75,700, including destination and documentation fees). Both are eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit. Our Bolt Premier cost $43,155 and our Tesla cost $85,670, which includes the cost to upgrade from the 60D to the 75D.”

Additionally, the publication is attempting to point out that the EPA estimate for the Bolt is like on the low side, whereas the estimate for the Tesla was not achievable in testing.

Testing Methodology

Source: Consumer Reports

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254 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt Beats Out Tesla Model S To Become Consumer Reports’ Range Champion"

  1. WadeTyhon says:

    I not only believe it… I think Consumer Reports was driving aggressively to get those numbers! lol

    I get 260-270 miles daily. So this week I started using Hilltop Reserve mode (Charges to about 90%) and I am getting 225-235 miles.

    1. bro1999 says:

      Last time I charged “full” with hill top reserve active (which only charges to ~88%), the GOM stated I had 238 miles of range. I chuckled. 🙂

      1. WadeTyhon says:


        Chevy must have a special piece of software that turns on the Hill Top Reserve when charged before EPA range tests are being conducted. Deceitful! Scandelous!

        1. Stratos says:

          No matter what Chevy accomplishes, you would never give her credit

    2. ClarksonCote says:

      Hilltop reserve mode is a great option to possibly reduce battery degradation, glad you’re experimenting with it.

      In fact, I wish the called it something else. Charging to only 90% has more utility than just a reserve for coming down hills, it can prolong your battery life too. 😉

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        Very true! If I can basically get the EPA range while also prolonging my battery’s life? Why not!

    3. FISHEV says:

      What individuals get is meaningless vs. the controlled testing against standards that Consumer Reports is doing.

      We’ve seen this happen with ICE cars and MPG, some meet their EPA range in real world testing, others do not.

      Tesla is consistently 10% under its EPA range in controlled testing while the Bolt is 10% over its EPA range.

  2. bro1999 says:

    *waiting for obligatory “Consumer Reportz paid off by GM! Bolt sux becuz no Superzchargin!” comments from anti-GM trolls*

    I usually get 260-270 miles of range from a single charge in real world driving. 238 is definitely conservative.

    And hey, that Bolt above looks familiar!

    1. Stimpy says:

      I believe their tests, any why not? They didn’t test the longest range Telsa.

      The data also doesn’t provide any reason to believe that fast chargers still aren’t a MAJOR problem for the Bolt. If I can only go 125 miles from the sparsely positioned DCFC, it’s not a good car for trips, full stop. Someday that won’t be an issue, but *today* DCFC expansion is moving at an absolute snails pace.

      1. Stimpacker says:

        Totally right.
        Without a realistic L3 network, you’re still limited to a 125 mile radius.

        Note “realistic”. A couple of stations by Nuggets/Whole Foods/Savemart aren’t very conducive for long distance driving.

        Throw in a bunch of Leafs and i3’s hogging said in-town chargers courtesy of a free program, you’d be hard pressed to find a spot.

        Oh yea, that network can barely charge at 40kW due to a 100A limit.

        1. Paul Lemieux says:

          Why do you say 125 mile radius? Clearly the Bolt can go 200+ miles before recharging. I’m pretty sure there are DCFC chargers along major interstates within 200 miles of each other.

          1. Devin Serpa says:

            He means 125 away, 135 back home, because of the limited DC charge network for most Americans, aside from the Supercharger Network.

            1. Devin Serpa says:

              125 back home…

          2. James P Heartney says:

            “I’m pretty sure there are DCFC chargers along major interstates within 200 miles of each other.”

            Nope. Between St. Louis and Chicago (300 miles) Plugshare shows only Tesla Superchargers and ChaDaMo (which the Bolt can’t use). St. Louis to Louisville (261 miles) one Tesla Supercharger (and no DCFC in Louisville, either). St. Louis to Indianapolis (245 miles) two Tesla Superchargers only. Etc.

            Could you make the trips? Sure, if you’re willing to spend some hours waiting to top off a little with a pokey Level 2 charger. Yuck.

            1. unlucky says:

              No need to spend hours. Drive 45mph and you might make the 300 in one shot. If you do have to stop, it’ll only be for a half hour at most.

              Over 300 miles, driving at 45 instead of 65mph costs you two hours. But AC charging can only add 50 miles range in two hours (at a 32A/240V charger, you’re only likely to find 32A/208V) so it’s the more time-efficient move.

              For what it matters, Google maps says the distance between the two closest chargers on that route is 265 miles, not 300.

              Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis, 700 Tri-State Tollway, South Holland, IL 60473 to 2496 Troy Rd, Edwardsville, IL 62025

              And that starting charger is only 12 miles outside Chicago. To charge to 100% at that charger wouldn’t be much faster than AC charging to 100% because you’d be only 3kW from full. You’d probably do best to start from Chicago directly and just drive slower. 277 miles to that St. Louis charger from the Sears tower.

              Your best bet might be to find an AC charger on the South Side of Chicago to top up to 100% in half an hour and then drive 55-60 the rest of the way.

              1. unlucky says:

                And the lack of DCFC in Kentucky is both bizarre and really annoying. Kentucky represents a real gap on I-65 (Louisville) and I-75 (Lexington). The gap in the Southern half of Georgia along I-75 is also bizarre.

                1. Robert says:

                  Kentucky is why I have a volt instead of a bolt.

              2. James P Heartney says:

                Right, as I said, you can make the trip, but whatever you do will add hours onto the drive time either because you’re at a slow charger, or you’re doing 45mph. And if you get stuck in traffic on a hot or cold day, there goes your range margin.

                All this could be fixed if there were a good CCS charger in the right spot. Which is why, at the end of the day, Tesla offers a better value proposition with the M3; they tackled the fast charging side first.

                1. ClarksonCote says:

                  I’m not convinced that driving faster and stopping at a Tesla super charger is quicker than driving 45mph.

                  1. Pete says:

                    If you’re not convinced of that, you haven’t done your homework. If it takes two extra hours to get there at 45 MPH, and the supercharger can make more than enough charge to complete the trip in 30 min, you’re still at a 90 minute disadvantage. Plus, on your trip, you probably need to stop for another hour anyway for biological reasons, which is a second bird killed at the supercharger for Tesla.

                2. unlucky says:

                  AC/heating doesn’t use much. If you get in traffic the reduced top speed will more than make up for the amount of time you are stopped. Your range will go way up, not down.

                  Trust me, I’ve been doing this EV thing for years. Congestion raises your range significantly.

              3. cmina says:

                Same with a Model X P90D while driving within the legal limits in Norway.
                Bjorn Nyland’s test on “not so flat” roads yielded 280 mi. The 90D should obviously do better ..

        2. unlucky says:

          Much of that network has a 125A limit. It’s not all 100. Unfortunately, some of it is also 62A limit.

      2. WadeTyhon says:

        Its usefulness depends on where you live and how far you are driving. For a 600 mile road trip, a Tesla or Volt is the way to go. If you drive long distances constantly, the Bolt is not the EV for you.

        I basically never drive that far. Maybe twice a year. Normally our long distance trips are by plane, not car.

        But for our more regular trips to Austin, San Antonio, and Oklahoma? The Bolt can make it in one go without a charge in between. We just recharge at DCFC once we reach our destination.

        1. SparkEV says:

          If one constantly drives long distance, even Tesla isn’t good due to clogging at some (many) spots. Gasser would be better.

          Best would be move or change jobs so you don’t have to drive so much. Over 1 hour of driving (30 minutes each way) a day is way too much.

      3. bro1999 says:

        I covered 916 miles in my 238 mile Bolt over the course of 2 1/2 days. Even using the expensive EVgo fast chargers, my total charging costs were still well below what a 30 mpg gas car would have cost, and even slightly cheaper than a 50 mpg Prius’ fuel costs.

        Was my trip just as fast as a gas car? Nope, but as most of my charging stops aligned with breaks I needed to take (bathroom/food), the drive was actually more relaxing than trips I’ve taken in an ICE.

        1. Brian says:

          Do you have your cost breakdown? I’m curious what you had vs something like a Prius using public charging. I’ve never used pay per KW public charging so this is something I’d like to know!

        2. SparkEV says:

          I don’t know why you keep hiding your blog post as if it’s some big secret. HERE!

        3. Brian says:

          Very nice! (Thanks for the link).

          Just a minor change to your costs, I do think you added in your at home charge cost to have a full car when you left. That’s an important part to include for total travel (Unless you charged right before you arrived home, but in this case not). So I came up with about $37 worth of cost (only count your monthly fee at $4 as it wasn’t the whole month for example, and $7 for the charge you left your home with). Just over $.0404 a mile is very nice especially with 2/3 being publically charged. You actually edged out a Prius for total cost for fuel (only) on this trip ($2.30/gal and 54mpg) – $.0426 a mile (5% less per mile cost on fuel)

          It sure must be nice to have options. ND has nothing for level 3 yet. Hopefully superchargers this fall/winter. I’ve done 800 miles in one day across MN/SD/ND on superchargers and one campground, and that was a pretty long day, so I’m both impressed with your average per mile use, but your average speed across distance is quite a bit lower than a Tesla due to the charge rates mostly (and just a touch from driving slower, but in your case that actually makes sense as I don’t believe you were on any 80mph interstate either!)

          1. Brian says:

            Didn’t add your cost to leave with a full charge I meant!

      4. mx says:

        I’m driving an BMW i3 REX that takes CCS charging, and guess what there are virtually ZERO CCS Fast Chargers anywhere from Philadelphia to Atlantic City.

        So, GM fanboi can cry all he wants, but, TESLA is going to Kill the Industry.

        And the Model 3 now is the Leader of Range per Dollar.

        1. bro1999 says:

          In a Bolt you could probably make that roundtrip Philly-Atlantic City run twice before having to recharge (248 miles total). 🙂

      5. mx says:

        Unethical Consumer Reports.
        They built a Headline to generate Traffic, but the fact remains there’s the Model S 100D, and now the Model 3 extended range that goes 310 miles.

        1. mx says:

          But, what CR needs to really do is Report the SAMPLE SIZE in their reliability data.

        2. Nix says:

          *shrug* If they would have run the test against the 100D, Bolt owners would just point out that they should have run the test with the smaller battery version because it is closer in battery size to the Bolt.

        3. Taser54 says:

          Model 3 not available to test its claimed range. P100D mentioned in article. And it’s $100k

        4. Stratos says:

          We know that, but it costs a lot more

        5. CDAVIS says:

          @mx said: “Unethical Consumer Reports.
          They built a Headline to generate Traffic, but the fact remains there’s the Model S 100D, and now the Model 3 extended range that goes 310 miles…”

          It is stange how CR went about the range comparison…the article conflated the cost vs range issue in a bad way. Should have been either longest range all models/series included (Tesla S100D wins) or lowest $/mile (Chevy Bolt wins).

          1. Brian says:


      6. Digital Jedi says:

        My first thought was with regard to the two vehicles they were comparing. Chevy’s economy EV vs Tesla’s high end sedan. I get that they we trying to make a point about range and pricing, but it seems like the more relevant comparison would be between the Bolt and the Model 3.

    2. Devin Serpa says:

      How do you get such high efficiency?

      1. mx says:

        Drive the speed limits, and find routes that keep your speed down.

        1. SparkEV says:

          What mi/kWh efficiency do you get driving at constant 65 MPH with your Tesla? I highly doubt it’s be anywhere close to 4.2 mi/kWh that Bolt gets.

          1. David Cary says:

            About 3.8 in my 70D. Maybe I’ll try today. I usually run 3.3 but my speed is a lot more than 65. When I slow down, I can easily see 4.0 but I am going lower at 3.8.

            Why should a big performance car on much larger tires for performance be compared to a lower performance car. Oh right – the aero is so much better that at normal highway speeds, the Tesla does better.

            The article doesn’t say but I recall CR tends to put pedal to the metal frequently. It has never been particularly realistic – although nothing ever is. Any word on the constant 65 mph test? I would personally think the results would be different.

            I have a 2 yo 70D. I’ll take any Bolt on a 65 mph challenge.

            1. Doggydogworld says:

              The CR article says their EV range test is mostly a constant 65 mph.

  3. Moon says:

    These numbers by CR are very close to those of tested officialy by South Korean government agency. Their testing results are mostly stricter than EPA numbers. (more reallistic?)

    Bolt EV – 383km (same as EPA)
    Ioniq Elec – 191km (less than)
    Tesla MS 75D – 360km (much less)
    Tesla MS 90D – 378km
    Tesla MS 100D – 451km

    1. Brett says:

      How odd that the Tesla range seems to have such a weak correlation with battery pack size, based on the results you listed:

      75D to 90D, a 20% increase in pack size results in only a 5% increase in range?

      90D to 100D, a 11% increase in pack size results in a 19% increase in range?

      1. Kj says:

        It’s because the 90 battery is not much bigger than the 75 in reality. Everyone sort of fudges their battery numbers, including Tesla. The 90 is more like an 84 and the 75 is more like a 72. Add the extra weight of the bigger pack and it’s not a surprise. No wonder they discontinued the 90.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Nonsense. The number Tesla gives as the kWh rating for the battery pack is the battery manufacturer’s nameplate rating, rounded off to the nearest 5 kWh.

          For example, the old 60 kWh pack reportedly has a bit more than 60 kWh, and the 85 kWh reportedly a bit less.

          But to claim Tesla cheated by 6 kWh, labeling an 84 kWh pack as a 90 kWh pack… that’s factually incorrect. It’s either a result of the tester using different testing methods than the battery manufacturer, or else it’s a case of not understanding that Tesla, just like all EV makers, hard-wires some reserve into the battery pack to prevent the batteries from either being charged to 100% of nameplate capacity or being discharged to 0%. Batteries would age much faster if actually charged to 100% of nameplate capacity on a regular basis, and discharging to 0% risks “bricking” the pack.

          What this boils down to is someone who doesn’t understand how EVs are engineered claiming that Tesla is cheating by not allowing 100% of the battery capacity to be used, when in reality it’s Tesla “babying” its batteries to maximize battery life.

          1. unlucky says:

            Pushy, Measurements seemed to show the 70kWh pack was 72kWh and the 75kWh pack was 74kWh.

            While this indeed rounds off the way you say I think it’s also fair to say that going by the number on the back can give you a misleading idea of how different a 70 and 75 would be.

      2. Brian says:

        Have to be careful here. This was an S and an X being tested. The X is much higher profile and less aerodynamic. It wasn’t a 75D > 90D S (It was a 75D S and a 90D X). If they did a 90D or 100D Model S it would have been way beyond the Bolt, but they didn’t.

        1. Brett says:

          Well that context is kind of important. Comparing range on the X vs. the S is apples and oranges. That makes much more sense then, so a Model S 75D, presumably a Model X 90D and a Model S 100D.

  4. SparkEV says:

    Range test methodology isn’t shown in CR web site, only the various other tests they do. Without knowing the methodology, I have no idea if Bolt is better. They could’ve been doing lots and lots of braking, which seem to be the case based on Bolt data. Regen would lose more on heavier Tesla S.

    They should make graphs like I did for SparkEV. Then we’d know if the range is better in all cases or just some.

    1. Taser54 says:

      The video details the test. 65mph no a/c or heat. Highway route. Both cars tested at same time on same route.

      1. bro1999 says:

        So the “aero brick disaster” Bolt outperformed the much slicker Model S and X at highway speeds, despite having a 20-35% smaller battery. Very intersting indeed.

        1. L'amata says:


          1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:


            Bruh………your math though……

            1. DJ says:


          2. Mike says:

            How is the Bolt, which is now available for sale in all states, a compliance vehicle?

            1. Brian says:

              Show me where I can test drive one in the upper midwest for a car that has almost been out a year.

              1. Throwback says:

                that sounds like a dealer issue. GM can’t make dealers order cars from them. If dealers think they can’t sell a car they wont oder cars.

                1. Brian says:

                  I agree with you totally. But it does still mean it isn’t available in all states :o)

                  Hence why the dealership model will be evolving for some of them to survive long term (10+ years)

              2. WadeTyhon says:

                Well the first vehicles were delivered the last week of December. So it has been out 7 months.

                Whether you find one, That depends on where you live of course. If you are in a low population state like one of the Dakotas, you may need to drive elsewhere.

                Otherwise, Bolt certified dealers in the midwest states are now getting vehicles.


              3. JeremyK says:

                They’re in MI and IL today.

        2. Tom says:

          Weight matters.

          1. SparkEV says:

            Not as much as this test shows.

      2. SparkEV says:

        Didn’t see the link to video before.

        If 65 MPH test is true, Bolt is better. 250 miles with 60 kWh is bit under 4.2 mi/kWh. Some who drove 65 to 70 showed 4 mi/kWh, so 65 would be bit more efficient. Bill Howland tested his Bolt to have bit over 60 kWh usable capacity, so using 60 kWh and 250 miles range is expected.

        For Tesla S, 235/75 is only 3.13 mi/kWh. That is awful. However, it’s unknown if Tesla S uses 75 kWh or if they leave margin. Only when Tesla uses 75% capacity (56.25 kWh) does it get better than Bolt. I doubt Tesla margin is so high.

        Side note: Bolt might be the most efficient car in the world in production at this time since there’s no IoniqEV. That’s very impressive for a car, especially one that makes 200 HP.

        1. unlucky says:

          It is crazy ridiculous how easy it is to average 4mi/kWh on the highway in the Bolt.

          You can set the dash to show usage on the right. Turn it on and if you see 15kW then you’re doing 4mi/kWh. And it’s really easy to do it.

          If you turn on the climate, then depending on temp you will be right on the edge at 65mph, probably just below (3.8-3.9mi/kWh). If you turn it off, then it’s not hard to get 4.2, 4.3 or even 4.4 mi/kWh without slowing down.

          1. Hans Wurst says:

            Now I want a cruise control that I can set to 15kW!

          2. Asak says:

            It impresses me because the Bolt is “a brick”. Well, non-aerodynamic shape, right? I can easily get over 4 mi/kWh in my e-Golf, but it’s a bit more low profile. Nissan Leaf is about 4 mi/kWh. I’m a bit disappointed with the Leaf, to be honest, although it was so cheap I won’t complain too much.

          3. Asak says:

            It also makes me wonder how much range a full EV version of the Volt could have?

        2. Brian says:

          I would estimate/suggest figure 7-8% on the S for hold back from the rated size. Remember you have a MUCH larger and heavier car. Add 1000-1200lbs into the bolt and you will see substantial reduction in mileage due to roll resist. Also, the slim tires help it which also reduces its performance and safety for fast braking. Lots of trade offs on both sides here. (money/safety/size/weight/range/performance)

          1. SparkEV says:

            Weight is not as big a factor. Bolt is more efficient than iMiEV that weighs about 1000 lb less. In other words, iMiEV with 60 kWh and same weight as now (1000 lb less than Bolt) would still have less range than Bolt.

        3. bro1999 says:

          Whoa, whoa, you’re saying very nice stuff about the Bolt.

          Did you recently take a trip to Colorado or something? 😉

          1. SparkEV says:

            Nice stuff? These are the facts. Bolt gets phenomenal efficiency, no doubt GM having done their homework using SparkEV as test bed. The test result shown in this article validates that.

        4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “For Tesla S, 235/75 is only 3.13 mi/kWh. That is awful.”

          That is almost precisely as “awful” as the Leaf’s mi/kWh rating, even though the Leaf is a lighter car.

          If you want a really efficient Tesla car, buy a Model 3. Tesla hasn’t specified the kWh ratings of its packs yet, but an educated guesstimate puts its energy efficiency at better than 4 miles/kWh.

          The Tesla Models S & X were not designed for maximum energy efficiency, but they certainly are much, much more energy efficient than a gasmobile!

          1. SparkEV says:

            I wouldn’t be too sure about Tesla 3 efficiency based on this test result. The single number means very little when driven at another speed. 220 miles / 50 kWh = 4.4 mi/kWh, but that may not be true at 65 MPH.

            As for efficiency, SparkEV gets 4.8 mi/kWh at 65 MPH (vs. 4.2 for Bolt) and 4.4 mi/kWh at 70 MPH. IoniqEV might be better (or not), but data is lacking. I doubt Tesla 3 will be better.

            1. Asak says:

              The Spark EV seems like a pretty awesome car. I wish it had been large enough for me to consider it over the Leaf, but the interior space just didn’t work for my tall family.

              1. WadeTyhon says:

                The Spark was an awesome car. I liked how every trip, when i parked and turned the car off, the m/kWh would pop up on the dash.

                8 times outta 10, the Spark would report 5 miles / kWh in the summer. During the spring or fall, 6 m/kWh was pretty common.

                Love my Bolt though, no regrets! But so far my daily efficiency is about 4.5 m/kWh. Down from my Spark, but still very efficient.

                Once the 100+ degree Texas summers are over, I am thinking I can approach 5 m/kWh in the spring and fall. Not that it is necessary… it is already exceeding expectations. I just find it fun to track. 😀

          2. Asak says:

            Nissan Leaf should get closer to 4 mi/kWh in my experience. Granted that is not doing jack rabbit starts and doing slow, controlled stops to maximize regen. Unfortunately, my brother borrowed the car when visiting for a few weeks and now my efficiency history has dropped into the 3.9 range. Not sure how long it will take to bring the average back up. 🙁

        5. Tech01x says:

          Not clear how they managed to get 310-315 Wh/mile in a Model S 75D in those conditions. That’s much worse than it should be.

          I would expect a S85/P85, which is about 12% less efficient to be under 300 Wh/mi at a steady state 65 mph drive. I suspect that they accelerated harder and used regen less in the Model S.

          It is also unclear how they determined the end of the test. Did they run them to shut down and then tow?

          Also, I expect the cut over in efficiency in favor of the Model S over the Bolt at highway speeds to be between 65 and 70 mph. It would be interesting if they re-ran this test at 75 mph which is a common speed on U.S. highways.

    2. WadeTyhon says:

      No graphs, but the article on the Bolt has some description of the testing. For instance:

      “CR’s electric-vehicle range test involves some mixed driving, but much of it is done by driving a constant 65 mph on a highway. If you were to meander on country roads at 45 mph, you might get even more range. To ensure repeatability, the CR tests are done with the air conditioning and heater off. Hard acceleration and running the HVAC system can cut the range significantly, as can driving in very cold temperatures. ”

      Living in Texas, I can say that A/C does not effect range significantly. My commute is between 40 and 60 mph. I have my AC set to 75 and less than 10% of energy is used on the A/C.

      But from my experience with the Spark, the heater can make a big difference. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Bolt fares once we get weather in the 20s or lower.

      1. unlucky says:

        It dislikes colder temps somewhat. Even if you don’t use the heater.

        The optimum temperature for the pack is supposed to be 65F I think. But the car seems to like the heat a lot better than the cold. The range drops off a lot more quickly when the temp goes down than up. If you don’t use the A/C the range is essentially unchanged at 85F from 65F but at even 50F it’s down quite a bit.

        If you use the climate control the range can drop as low as 205 miles once it gets to cool temps (days peaking in the mid 50s) but if you have days peaking in the mid 90s it’s still right around 235 miles.

        This is of course all for my particular driving. But I’ve done several long road trips (around 500 miles each) at moderate temps (days peaking in the 40s-70s) and the range is surprisingly long. If you drive at the speed limit (65 generally) continuously on the highway and don’t use the AC in these temps you can expect to get the entire rated range of the vehicle in my experience. If you use the AC you lose about 10 miles.

        This surprised me a lot both because of how other EVs work and because of the “but the aero is awful” comments from the GM designer. I would normally expect to have to slow to a hair below 55 and turn the climate control off to get full rated (combined) range on the highway on an EV.

        1. bro1999 says:

          The GM detractors sure took the “aero disaster” comment and ran an ultramarathon with it. Even when it was later clarified that he was talking about CUVs in general, not specifically the Bolt.

        2. Kdawg says:

          Not just using the heater in cold temps, but cold air is more dense, so aero losses will be increased.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      SparkEV said:

      “Range test methodology isn’t shown in CR web site, only the various other tests they do. Without knowing the methodology, I have no idea if Bolt is better.”

      Well said, sir.

      Without knowing what speed they drove the cars at, the comparison is meaningless. There was a discussion just the other day on InsideEVs about Model S range vs. Bolt EV range. The consensus was that Tesla optimizes the engineering of its cars to maximize highway range, and GM optimizes for city (stop-and-go driving) range. (And since InsideEVs’ Jay Cole was involved in the discussion, I presume the consensus is correct.)

      If CR tested both cars in mostly stop-and-go traffic, then it’s no surprise the Bolt EV performed better than expected, and the Models S & X performed worse.

      And has been pointed out, one would very rarely drive either a Tesla car or a Bolt EV past its normal driving range in those conditions; who drives 200+ miles per day in stop-and-go traffic? Almost nobody. So Tesla maximizing highway range over city, stop-and-go range, is much more practical than GM’s approach, even if the Bolt EV is mainly intended as a “city car”.

      If CR wants to do something useful, they should do several tests of the cars, driving at a steady pace at different speeds: 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, and perhaps even 85 MPH.

      Give us a chart of how well the cars perform at various speeds. A single number isn’t all that useful, and there is certainly no logical reason to prefer CR’s testing method over the EPA’s testing method.

      1. Four Electrics says:

        Don’t stick your head in the sand. The methodology is listed, clear as day, here:

        Fuel Economy

        We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government’s often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers’ claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits. One is on a public highway at a steady 65 mph. That course is run in both directions to counteract any terrain and wind effects. A second is a simulated urban/suburban-driving test done at our track. It consists of predetermined acceleration, and deceleration rates, as well as idle time. Consumer Reports’ overall fuel-economy numbers are derived from those fuel consumption tests.

  5. Hans Hammermill says:

    BoltEV is very sensitive to speed. If you drive slow it will greatly exceed range expectations; conversely if you drive fast range drops quickly.

    We drove from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia this summer (600 miles) with the car packed full of luggage and a family of four with light AC averaging 60mph on the highway and got 4.8 miles per kwh average (288 miles range)!

    Drove 70mph around Nova Scotia and averaged 3.9 miles per kwh (234 miles range).

    So far we have not gotten any “guess-o-meter surprises”; BoltEV’s high-low estimates are quite good.

    1. Hans Hammermill says:

      Actually to be fair we did get one small range surprise.

      On one trip we were driving 60mph and was averaging 3.5 miles per kwh (210 miles range) and could not figure it out why (no AC, no hills, no lead foot, etc).

      We only figured it out later when we checked the weather — there was a 20mph headwind for most of the trip!

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Yeah, and with your other speed difference example above, the other variable unknown is the wind there.

        If you had a headwind at the higher speed as well, it would exaagerate the difference. Conversely if you had a tailwind, your difference is understated.

        1. Hans Hammermill says:

          FWIW, we got the same 4.8 mi/kwh on the 600 mile trek back from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts as we did going there.

          Given the distance and the consistency in both directions it is likely wind did not factor greatly into that particular trip.

          But like I mentioned, on other trips it has indeed been a non-trivial factor!

    2. Jacked Beanstalk says:

      Even the 234 miles range is impressive. I wonder how the range will be for me – I typically do 75-80 mph.

      How is the range in rain? I’ve found that my Volt’s range suffers a humongous hit in the rain.

      1. Paul Lemieux says:

        Car and Driver got 190 miles doing a steady 75 mph through the California mountains with A/C set at 72 degrees.

    3. unlucky says:

      I got a “guess-o-meter” surprise. It wasn’t much of a surprise though.

      I took a trip where on one segment the car clearly indicated that I wasn’t going to make it back to the charger I planned on going to. I needed over 100 miles and even the “MAX” figure on the GOM read about 90 miles. The expected (center figure) was much, much less.

      It wasn’t a complete surprise because my entire trip from the charger had been uphill, gaining about 5,000ft. But it was certainly making me very, very nervous. Someone asked me how I like my car and while I did talk of it come and show it off I was nervous enough I may have given a bad impression.

      I changed my route back to drive a longer route but go to a charger which was almost 90 miles away instead of over 100. Due to the downhill drive I ended up getting to that charger with over 50 miles remaining. I loaded up with much less juice than I expected (saving some time) and drove home.

  6. Nyquest says:

    And they leave off the 310 mile range of the model 3?

    The dinosaurs can’t compete. Just look at that car – might as well be a leaf.

    1. bro1999 says:

      No one but Tesla employees can “buy” a Model 3 right now. And certainly not Consumer Reports, which acquire all its cars through normal retail channels.

    2. VazzedUp says:

      Because they have not tested the Modle 3, and no one else has either. You need to read the article, this is a comparison between CR tested vehicles :0)

  7. peetah says:

    they were obviously too scared to drive until it actually died… i’ve driven over 8 miles on 0% before, another time 7 miles and last weekend 2-3 miles on 0%. this being said though, you have to drive a Tesla almost like a granny to get EPA numbers let alone the stupid NEDC numbers. the Bolt is much lighter and easier to max out range because it’s less powerful as well which means less draw on the battery during acceleration…(i’ve driven the Bolt btw, and currently own a Model X P90D and CR is not saying anything out of wack)

    1. SparkEV says:

      “it’s less powerful as well which means less draw on the battery during acceleration”

      Unlike gas cars, the energy used to accelerate gets captured when braking. At moderate acceleration, efficiency is about the same as very slow acceleration.

      Bolt gets better efficiency than 1000 lb lighter and almost 1/4 of power iMiev. If you accelerate both cars at same rate, Bolt will still be more efficient (ie, more range than iMiEV with 60 kWh battery).

      Bolt’s phenomenal efficiency and range are due to superior, other-worldly engineering at GM.

      1. Ambulator says:

        In particular, the rare earths in to motor probably help. It’s a risky choice. If the rare earth supply becomes tight it could limit production of the Bolt.

        1. JeremyK says:

          Rare earth materials aren’t that rare, they’re just more expensive.

  8. Brian says:

    Not really much surprise here other than a bit on the range of the 75D and the fact they didn’t compare the larger battery cars since the price is already a factor of 2, what’s 2.3 at that point? Pretty much silly comparison, but good to see what they each do on the same road!

    The only thing in common is being an EV.

    Now compare range to the model 3 which is a more similar vehicle instead of a small hatch vs a full size performance/(luxury?) car. There isn’t much point to this report with the Model 3 existing.

    1. bro1999 says:

      They compared one of the cheapest Model S builds you can buy (75D, which has even more range than a RWD 75) you can buy (and tossed in the Model X 90D for good measure).

      I think the point is clearly that the Bolt is a much more efficient vehicle than any current Tesla (that can be bought by non-Tesla employees currently).

      And a secondary point could be that Tesla’s EPA ratings are very “generous”.

      1. Brian says:

        Of course it is. It’s 1,000+ lbs lighter, has much narrower tires, is much smaller, and has nowhere near the performance. Like I said, only being EVs makes them similar in some way. We don’t see Porsches compared to a v6 charger and then complain about the fuel mileage in the Porsche is my point, because those things don’t matter in relation to their buyers.

        Let’s not forget one of these cars loses the company money and one is profitable for the company. The sales numbers show which company is here to actually sell their car and which one is enjoying ZEV credits in CA.

        EPA ratings are on a certain spec, my Model S is 3 years old and just barely misses its EPA rating of being new. Picking and choosing what tests you do can get you the result you want.

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          “Let’s not forget one of these cars loses the company money and one is profitable for the company. The sales numbers show which company is here to actually sell their car and which one is enjoying ZEV credits in CA.”

          The base Model 3 and base Bolt were both estimated to lose money by the same report… but only when factoring in sunk costs and expected production numbers.

          They sell each Bolt for more than it costs to make. And when they bring it to Buick, Buick will be able to truly benefit from each sold since R&D is not really a factor for them.

          GM and Tesla will both be selling ZEV credits. Why else would they both release in California first? They want to recover those costs upfront. And from what I have read, delivery estimates from Europe are very late 2018 – 2019. While at least the Bolt was rolling out to Europe in limited numbers within the first 6 months.

          Both of them want to sell the car. Both companies offer compelling vehicles. Tesla needs to sell more, but GM would probably much rather sell you a Bolt than many of their other lower price, low margin vehicles like a Spark or a Sonic.

          1. Brian says:

            The numbers used for Tesla’s battery costs were based on a guess, not on what they actually are with scale at the gigafactory(though we don’t know what they are yet). And if they calculated the 3’s battery at 60KW and it is 55KW then there is 9% to come off the battery cost. I Hope UBS does an update to their Model 3 breakdown once they actually get a hold of one!

            I completely agree when the upsell the Bolt’s internals as a higher class vehicle with better margins they will be much better off.

            On the selling I disagree. GM hasn’t tried to sell it, the slow roll out is evidence along with the plant being shutdown that makes them since there are over 100 days of inventory on lots.

            Tesla is selling to its employees as both a mini thank you and as a large number mobile test squad to work out any last missed details. The volumes planned for both cars over the next 6-12 months speaks volumes for which company wants to sell them.

            GM loses money selling other vehicles if they don’t have a ZEV, Tesla does not. Yes, they both have a benefit from ZEV credits but with a much different impact to the bottom line (GM needs the ZEV to keep selling the low efficiency vehicles at a decent profit). And this is all after we as taxpayers bailed out GM. We loaned Tesla money and they paid it back with interest like a normal loan.

            1. WadeTyhon says:

              GM certainly does not need to sell 20,000 Bolts in California/CAFE states to meet the ZEV requirememts this year. I will look it up when I get the chance, but I believe they only need to sell about 1,000 this year. (don’t quote me – that is from memory looking it up a year ago 😉 )

              But they are going to sell the credits to anti-EV automakers like Mazda. The Model 3 is going to sell in numbers multiple times what the Bolt will this year. That does not mean GM doesn’t want to sell the Bolt.

              The bail out point is a Republican talking point from a decade ago. The american people saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, bringing in significant tax revenue compared to if those jobs were lost and they were filing for unemployment. Also, it turned GM around from one of the worst car brands to one of the better ones. And the American people invested in an amazing new EV start up carmaker. Both were the right decision at the time with a collapsing economy and $4 gasoline.

              1. WadeTyhon says:

                California/CARB states. Wrote cafe by mistake.

                1. Kdawg says:

                  I think the CARB states are the non-COVFEFE states.

              2. unlucky says:

                It’ll be hard for the Model 3 to even match the Bolt on sales this year. Next year? I’ll blow it away. But the Model 3 is starting so late and is not very far down its ramp up curve right now so 2017 is going to be close.

                Tesla will be lucky to sell 30,000 Model 3s this year. GM will be lucky to sell 30,000 Bolts. It’s going to be a horse race in 2017.

                1. WadeTyhon says:

                  Yes, I phrased this incorrectly.

                  I meant to say that Teslas goals are to produce several times more than the ~30,000 Chevy will produce this year. Not that Tesla will outsell Chevy this year. I think it will be close but that ultimately more Bolts will be sold in 2017. Then Tesla will take off like a rocket in 2018.

                  I am quite sure Chevy will produce 30,000 Bolt EVs by the end of the year. But I think American sales will be ~24k and worldwide sales ~3-4k. (between europe, canada, mexico, asia)

              3. Spider-Dan says:

                To be fair, one of Tesla’s primary income streams over the last 4 years has been selling EV credits to anti-EV automakers.

                1. Brian says:

                  Primary income stream?

                  What percent of their total net income was from the sale of ZEV credits?

                  2015 (only year I found full data for) it looks like 110 million in ZEV credits on sales of 4.05Billion. 2.7%

                  2016 – I can’t even find the ZEV credits value. Net income was 7 Billion though.

                  Hardly a primary income stream.

            2. unlucky says:

              You call the estimate of GM’s costs a guess but then say we know the Tesla costs except that we don’t. That doesn’t make sense. Both are estimates. And how could UBS update their estimate? They didn’t get a hold of anything. They just got to see one and Tesla didn’t tell them the pack size. So it’s not like they can take apart the pack and price it better.

              I don’t get what’s slow about the roll out. Tesla is starting in California only. They’ll sell few cars outside California in the first 4 months (if any).

              GM has made clear that the extended shutdown of the Orion plant is due to having too many Sonic, not Bolts.

              I don’t think GM’s level of sales is out of line with what we hear of them getting about 30,000 packs this year. In six months they’ve sold 10,000 Bolts. They expect to produce them faster in the second half of the year, sell them nationwide and EVs usually sell better later in the year anyway. 10,000 in six months, then 20,000 in six months. Seems reasonable and not an indication things aren’t going according to plan.

              We’ll have to see about why Tesla handed those cars to employees. Right now there isn’t enough evidence to be sure what is up. Handing them to employees seems conveniently similar to putting test cars into internal testing.

              1. Mike says:

                Musk said that Tesla employees will get the first Model 3s to help the company iron out production issues. He’s using his employees as beta testers.

              2. Brian says:

                I think you read my post wrong. I said GM is more known and Tesla was a guess. UBS will at some point get a car (that’s why I said once they get a hold of one).

                Also, I made it clear employees were first to iron out wrinkles.

                Yes, the bailout saved some jobs. Other jobs would have gone to other places who would have increased need of employees for increased production too, granted not all of them. But at what point do you say no and let a company go under instead of financing their comeback? What if all that money was put into other places? That’s my point there. I get why the bailout happened, it’s just strange that being government backed (and the USA tax payer losing money to it initially) then competes on the world stage. When other countries do that the Republicans go up in arms, like in solar panels right now.

                1. unlucky says:

                  I see what you are saying about your pack cost statement.

                  I don’t get where the bailout thing came from. I didn’t say anything about bailouts. Just introducing a new twist I guess?

                  1. Brian says:

                    Yes, in regard to costs. Probably should have let that go this time, my bad.

            3. Asak says:

              I really don’t believe the $35K Model 3 is any more or less profitable to the $37.5K Bolt (real world cost is actually below $35K for the base Bolt).

              GM has close to a hundred years of manufacturing experience, so there’s no reason to think that Tesla is going to have a leg up on them there. The “production hell” for the Model 3 is something GM does each and every year in numerous different models. On the other side of the coin, we can probably expect Tesla to have an edge on battery costs due to the Gigafactory.

              But the net result of all that I doubt is enough to make the base Model 3 profitable if the base Bolt is not. I suspect they are both profitable when considering only production costs, but not incredibly so.

              1. Brian says:

                All assumptions without facts. You know GM is buying the parts from LG right? Two companies that need to make a profit, then add in a dealership that adds on average $2,000 to the final price of the vehicle (building/personnel/etc) and you still think GM has a leg up on the manufacturing?

                So GM maybe makes the frame and does assembly?

        2. unlucky says:

          People say a lot of things. There’s not a lot of reason to think GM is losing money on the Bolt. There’s just different ways of calculating how money is spent.

          GM didn’t produce the Bolt to lose money on it. If the program itself comes out behind it is because they figured the value of the technology/experience they develop is worth losing money on this because they can apply that technology to other programs.

          1. Brian says:

            Exactly. Now to see what they do with their LG powered and energized car ;o)

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “And a secondary point could be that Tesla’s EPA ratings are very ‘generous’.”

        Or maybe Consumer Reports is guilty of charging the Tesla cars to only 80% and then claiming the range is less than the EPA’s ratings, as they did the first time they tested the Model S’s range.

        The EPA’s method is to test the range at an 80% charge and again at a 100% charge, averaging the results, which should give a result close to real-world driving. And in fact, from what I’ve seen, various reports of real-world driving do seem to match the EPA’s range ratings for EVs pretty well.

        Consumer Reports‘ results? Not so much.

        If you want independent tests, I recommend Unfortunately they don’t test all cars for MPG and EV range, but when they do, I think it matches real-world driving even better than the EPA’s ratings. Consumer Reports? Fuggedaboutit, they are much too inconsistent.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          That’s just dopey.

          Anyone with half a brain who is going on a trip where the battery range matters is going to charge the battery up to 100%.

          If you are testing for how far it go you’d do likewise.

          You don’t fill up a gas car half-full and then complain the car can’t go far on a tank of gas. Brain Dead.

    2. L'amata says:

      +1 they’re only trying to stir up some silly s***…

    3. Kdawg says:

      I found the report useful, as someone who is cross-shopping a Bolt EV and a Model 3. What it tells me is that I should not expect to get 220 Miles (or 310) in the Model 3, in real-world driving similar to what CR did.

      1. Brian says:

        And why? Until there are Model 3 tests that statement doesn’t hold water.

        1. Kdawg says:

          Because all things being equal, it appears in a controlled Test by CR, that the Tesla vehicles (and others) do not hit their EPA ratings, while the Bolt EV exceeds them. So it’s not a crazy leap of logic to assume on this same test the Model 3 will also not hit the EPA #s. It also gives me more confidence in the Bolt EV’s range.

          1. Brian says:

            Where are you getting that Tesla’s don’t meet their specs? This test above was done much faster than the EPA rating. Here is a link so we can put this myth to rest:

            The highway test average speed is under 55mph and never over 60mph.

            Person experience:
            With a 10mph tail/cross wind, slightly downhill, and about 55mph I went 293 miles in my ’14 Model S P85 (70,000 miles on it) with 30 to spare(rated miles). 202WH/M or just shy of 5Miles per KW.

            I have 71.2WH of usable charge as a side note for those interested.

            1. Kdawg says:

              I think you are not comprehending my post. Read again. In the CR test, they clearly did not reach the Tesla EPA range, but the Bolt EV exceeded it. That tells me that it’s logical to assume on the same test that he Model 3 would also not meet the EPA range, which we are being told is 220 miles.

              1. Brian says:

                Nothing to do with the actual EPA test just this drive. Got it.

                1. Kdawg says:

                  Correct. This was a CR drive/test comparing to what the EPA range was prescribed as.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “What it tells me is that I should not expect to get 220 Miles (or 310) in the Model 3, in real-world driving similar to what CR did.”

        And what that statement from you tells me is that you have a rather strong anti-Tesla bias.

        You’re comparing apples to oranges, even if CR’s tests were an honest comparison, which I doubt, given CR’s history of testing Tesla cars.

        1. Kdawg says:

          I’m not bias against Tesla. I’m a reservation holder since day 1, and info like this helps me. Driving 65mph and not meeting the EPA range in a Tesla, but exceeding it in a Bolt EV, sways me to either buy a Bolt EV over the Model 3, or opt for the 310 mile range Model 3. I don’t want to get a Model 3, rated at 220 miles of range, but in reality I only get 195. My driving pattern, for traveling to nearby cities, in Michigan winters, requires ever EV mile I can get.

    4. unlucky says:

      CR only tests cars they own. They don’t own a 100D. They don’t own a Model 3. The Model 3 isn’t available yet.

  9. mhpr262 says:

    I like the Bolt, but the numbers are not very realistic as long as GM subsidizes every single Bolt with at least $10.000, whereas Tesla has to make a profit with the 3.

    1. L'amata says:

      It’s all “BS” because they all make profit, With “ICE” they make MORE profit because of MORE MANTAINENCE, MORE PARTS, MORE REPAIRS & So On. Their Dealers stay in Business & companies make $$$ on parts , plus they’re being fed by the 0IL producers .Bonus!…”EV’s have little to no mantainence & with OTA updates Dealersships would be “HISTORECTOMY” more or less ,That is why the free Loading dealerships are crying up a storm .”NO MORE FREE $$$MONEY ” On the Backs of Customers!.

  10. Patrick says:

    It is no surprise that GM often reports pessimistic EPA and HP numbers.

    After reading initial press reports, it became obvious the Bolt was probably no exception.

  11. ffbj says:

    Good for the Bolt. Still it’s a city runabout with great range. It’s not a car I want to take on a long trip.

    1. bro1999 says:

      “Good for the Bolt. Still it’s a city runabout with great range *to me*. It’s not a car *I* want to take on a long trip.”

      FIFY, with asterisks added by me.

      1. ffbj says:

        But since *I* don’t take tong trips *I* still might *buy* one.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:


          A good rebuttal, sir. We shouldn’t have to go to such great lengths to make it clear when we are expressing a personal opinion. The reader should exercise critical thinking and should be able to differentiate between factual assertions, opinions, and mere speculation.

    2. L'amata says:

      YES! And no place to charge up the little Cartoon car !

  12. HVACman says:

    CR has not been kind to the Volt, finding lower-than-projected range and mpg. Glad to see that the Bolt exceeded their performance expectations.

    When CR does get an M3, it will be interesting to see if the real-world range of the M3 follows past CR experiences of Teslas not meeting EPA range estimates or if Tesla now is more conservative with the EPA test.

    The bottom line – despite a middling drag coefficient (Cd = 0.31) the Bolt’s world-class BEV propulsion system continues to deliver both fun real-world performance and amazing efficiency. GM engineering continues to set a high bar for their competition.

    1. Brian says:

      Don’t you mean GM money with LG and LG Chem technology?

      1. bro1999 says:

        GM money and GM IP that GM then handed over the LG Chem and LG Electronics to mass produce.

      2. unlucky says:

        It certainly is due to both companies. GM makes the specs and does part of the engineering (and foots the bill) and LG brings the battery chemistry knowledge and engineers the drivetrain.

        No shame in this for either company.

      3. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        Yes, big props to LG!

      4. Kdawg says:

        The battery is just one piece of a very large puzzle. And this battery was designed/spec’d by GM for LG to build for them.

        It seems like you just have angst towards GM for who knows what reason. You should be happy there is an affordable EV that provides 250 miles of real world range.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “…an affordable EV that provides 250 miles of real world range.”

          I dunno what car you’re talking about, but it certainly ain’t the Bolt EV!

          An “affordable” car is one that is priced under $25,000, just like all the best-selling cars (not light trucks) in the USA; and “real world range” in a 200+ mile range BEV should refer to its range at highway speed, which is the only time range should matter in such a car. As has been said, nobody drives 200+ miles in a day in stop-and-go traffic!

          As Paul Lemieux said, above:

          “Car and Driver got 190 miles [in a Chevy Bolt EV] doing a steady 75 mph through the California mountains with A/C set at 72 degrees.”

          To me, that would be an example of a real-world range data point.

          1. Kdawg says:

            Yes the Bolt EV. This specific article shows a 65mph test getting 250 miles of range. If you want to change the test to 75mph, then ask CR to oblige or do it yourself, but this is the info we have. We also have other owners talking about ranges much higher than the 238 EPA range.

            Affordable is a subjective term, but I’d argue 36.6K before tax incentives of $7,500 is affordable. This isn’t even mentioning other deals going on now. If you want to say this is not affordable, then you are not allowed to say the Model 3 is affordable. You can draw you line in the sand, but everyone will have different lines. If you want to use the average new car price that is about $34K. Yes that includes trucks, but apparently those are affordable enough for Americans to buy millions of them.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              Why the heck does anyone listen to that PUSHY pushi says – he doesn’t know anything, he doesn’t drive, and he won’t buy a car for a relative.

              I was looking for an IBEW union hall in Geneva NY on my way back from Trumansburg (Ithaca), and I missed it – my last charging attempt, so I decided to hell with it, i’ll just drive and if I get close to running out I’ll slow way down.

              Turns out I didn’t have to charge AT ALL during the round trip – 267 miles total earlier today.

              1. Bill Howland says:

                Correction: 279 miles. That’s the distance between my house and Trumansburg, and then back – except to the Niagara Falls union hall for lunch. Could tell it was getting a bit weak since you have to really press down on the accelerator to get the car to move.

                I didn’t think the car would go this far on one charge.

                1. Kdawg says:

                  That’s awesome.

                  1. Bill Howland says:

                    Certainy is, and although I wasn’t driving on the freeway, I was driving normal speeds for the roads I took.

                    The Tesla ‘3’ epa test today shows that similiar efficiency (and therefore much greater electric range) should be expected by at least the 80 kwh model 3 battery. The charging efficiency of the battery seems to be about the same as the bolt also, 89.4 kwh in for 80 out.

      5. SparkEV says:

        “GM money with LG and LG Chem technology?”

        Just like Tesla is Panasonic technology. Get real, no company makes everything themselves.

        Bolt was engineered by GM, and that’s what matters. If it was engineered by LG, it couldn’t possibly achieve the efficiency that it has. It might be as bad as Tesla efficiency!

        1. Brian says:

          Tesla is making their own inverters, drive units, battery package, and has Panasonic in house using Canadian (awesome) research + Panasonic know how to make their batteries. Tesla is also assisting in sourcing materials for the battery.

          So yes, Tesla is doing much more themselves in terms of manufacturing the car.

    2. CCIE says:

      If consumer reports knocked the Volt on range, that was a mistake. Every GM EV/PHEV so far uses a very conservative range number. With reasonable driving it’s easy to exceed the EPA range in any of them.

  13. Serial anti tesla troll thomas says:

    Therefore my next car will be a ICE again. I prefer to wait until there are more charging stations, more competitors and the EV technic is more advanced.

  14. Jacked Beanstalk says:

    From CR’s Bolt road test:
    “Seats are a big letdown here. The front seats are just plain cheap, with thin cushions that allow you to feel the seat frame poking in your back. There is no lumbar adjustment and lower-back support is wanting.”

    WTF Chevy? It’s not even certain that aftermarket seats would fit the Bolt since the stock seats are unusually narrow. The seats are among the most important parts of a car so how does Chevy get them wrong? It’s the same with my Gen2 Volt, the seats are shaped for alien life forms. Oddly, my Gen1 Volt had great seats, so Chevy somehow managed to lose their seat engineering knowledge in the space of 5 years or so.

    1. bro1999 says:

      There are hopes any seat issues are addressed in the 2018 version.

      The seats in my Bolt are fine, but definitely not the most comfortable seats I’ve ever sat in.

    2. Thanks says:

      Thanks for this bit of info. I’m disappointed the seats aren’t better. If I buy a Bolt EV, it will definitely be taken on some 200-1000 mile road trips (with planning, of course) and seat comfort is important to me.

      1. Hans Hammermill says:

        Best way I can describe the BoltEV seats are as ‘functional and tolerable but not comfortable’.

        Long road trips are possible and not annoying but the seats are just not a pleasure. It is like an economy seat on an airliner — certainly can sit in them for a long time without a problem but also never really thinking it was pleasant.

        The best I can tell is they made them narrow for side impact clearance (there is about 2″ between the seat and the door) with high sides to keep one positioned in front of the airbag on front impact.

        They actually reminds me a lot of the seats in the 2006 refresh of the PT Cruiser.

        2000-2006 PT Cruisers had very comfortable seats. 2006+ Chrysler changed them for crash-worthiness, made them narrower and they were not as comfortable.

        1. Jacked Beanstalk says:

          It’s a narrow platform. The Sonic has normal-width seats but no center console. For the Bolt, Chevy opted for the center consol and narrower seats.

          It’s odd that GM Korea didn’t widen the platform when they adapted it for a battery pack. Should have made the wheelbase a bit longer as well so the front seats could be thicker. It’s almost as if GM Korea don’t understand cars.

      2. unlucky says:

        I’ve had mine on long trips. The seats haven’t been a problem. And I’m not a small guy.

        They certainly aren’t the best seats out there. The lumbar isn’t adjustable and it isn’t quite right for me.

        But it is workable for long trips for me. The seat problem isn’t nearly as big as people are making it out to be. It’s not fake, but people are making a mountain out of a molehill.

        1. Kdawg says:

          Also, there are so many flavors of aftermarket seat cushions out there, if someone really wants something more plush, or more lumbar support, or more whatever, there’s a product for it.

      3. Bill Howland says:

        “Seats are horrible.”

        You guys must all have the Premier Leather seat vehicle.

        I hated them when I first saw the car at the Autoshow.

        But several people in my car, myself included, have remarked how comfortable the plain-jane cloth seats are after a long trip.

        I’d pay more for the cloth seats than for those expensive, uncomfortable leather things, but I didn’t have to.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I have no doubt that one could find aftermarket seats to fit the Bolt EV. The problem would be the airbags which are fit into front car seats these days. Perhaps not all, but after a previous discussion on the subject I did check, and yes the Bolt EV’s front seats do have built-in airbags.

      Increased comfort as a tradeoff for decreased safety? Not a very attractive choice.

    4. ModernMarvelFan says:

      The seat “improvement” in the Gen2 Volt is called “cost reduction”..

      They had to squeeze $7K out of somewhere. Battery was most of it. But at least $1-2K comes out else where…

      1. Asak says:

        I’m not sure what people’s standards for seats is, but I’ve driven for many hours in a G2 Volt and never had an issue with the seats. They’re certainly no worse than any other car I’ve owned.

  15. David Lane says:

    The Bolt continues to impress! Way to go.

  16. Nix says:

    It looks like they found the sweet spot for where the Bolt is likely optimized. 65 mph with no heat or A/C.

    Every electric motor has an efficiency graph that goes along with it. There are RPM ranges where each electric motor is the most efficient. And other RPM’s where they are less efficient. It doesn’t look like 65 mph with no heat or A/C is Tesla’s most efficient sweet spot.

    Which isn’t too surprising since there are trade-off’s for building an EV to also go 155 mph, while the Bolt tops out at about 90 mph. I’m not bashing Bolt for the top speed. There is no point to take a Bolt over 90. But it certainly makes the results understandable.

    The Bolt motor is running at about 70% of max RPM, and the Tesla motor is running at about 40% of max RPM.

    It would not be surprising at all to find out that the Tesla motor is at too low an RPM to be in the motor’s peak efficiency.

    From website:

    “Most electric motors are designed to run at 50% to 100% of rated load. Maximum efficiency is usually near 75% of rated load.”

    It would actually be odd if the Tesla were able to hit peak efficiency from their electric motor at 40% power.

    As this test is repeated at increasingly higher speeds, the results would likely change.

    So if you rarely drive over 65 mph, the Bolt is clearly the best choice. If you normally road trip at 75-80 mph, well, we wouldn’t know until somebody actually ran the test, but that would likely put the Tesla closer to peak efficiency, and likely put the Bolt outside its peak efficiency.

    This is one of the drawbacks of designing the S to be able to run at autobahn speeds. ICE cars have been dealing with this same problem for a decades. The Bolt solves this problem by simply not playing into the high speed autobahn game.

    This is yet another example of how YMWV (Your Mileage WILL vary). Buy the right EV that suits your specific needs, and know your own personal needs.

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      On a side note, have you ever seen the Tesla motor get built/wound?
      From what I saw, the winds had quite a bit of gap between windings. I’ve seen the I3 motor get built/wound and the windings were pretty tight.

      Maybe Tesla can improve that for better efficiency for the electric motor?

      1. Brian says:

        Model 3 motor is redesigned and is/should be much more efficient. Another part I’m curious to see when there is a breakdown of the vehicle, along with an efficiency and power graph.

        1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

          Yeah, I’d like to see those curves also.
          Would be interesting to see where the most efficient speed is.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Model 3 motor is redesigned and is/should be much more efficient.”

          We already have enough data to be pretty sure the TM3 gets better than 4 miles/kWh, so yes it’s almost certain it’s significantly more energy efficient than the Model S.

          But that has little if anything to do with the motor design. Modern EV motors are very efficient, in the range of 90-92%, and there is very little room for improvement, nor much difference between them, despite all the arguments about the supposedly better energy efficiency of permanent magnet motors vs. induction motors.

          No, the increased energy efficiency in the TM3 comes mainly or entirely from improvements elsewhere, such as significantly better streamlining (lower drag), lower frontal area, lighter weight, and improvements elsewhere in the powertrain, such as the inverter.

          1. Brian says:

            I agree. But we aren’t talking about maximum efficiency, we are talking about improving the lower rpm, lower power demand efficiency in this case. Picking up even 2-5% + a few more percent out of every other part adds up in the end very quickly!

            Things I want to see:
            This same CR type test (anything where they drive the same road at the same speed, preferably with a fanboy of each car driving so they do their best 🙂 )
            A 1/4 drag race between the base 3 and base bolt (so it’s as light as it can be)
            An autocross of both driven by the same driver.
            A total cost of a cross country trip (charging) + the charge times of each to make the same trip.
            -And then the total WH used for both cars on major trips even if not the same exact trip to see more real world uses, though I suspect the average Tesla driver pushes a little harder than the average Bolt driver, but not always!

    2. SparkEV says:

      “There are RPM ranges where each electric motor is the most efficient.”

      While this is true, the differentials are not all that much throughout the driving range. At 65 MPH, Bolt would be using about 16 kW (assuming 250 miles/60 kWh = 4.17 mi/kWh). That’s only 1/10 the peak power. It wouldn’t matter much if it’s half that or even double that.

      I suspect Tesla motor is less efficient, period. Even if it was tuned for optimal efficiency at 65 MPH, it wouldn’t come close to Bolt efficiency.

      1. Nix says:

        I think I was a bit sloppy with my post. The efficiency I was attempting to talk about was the RPM component of efficiency.

        That is where Bolt RPM is around 70% of top speed RPM. And the Tesla is around 40% of top speed RPM. Although you are correct that the power output at the RPM is also a component of efficiency.

        1. SparkEV says:

          I think you’re implying Tesla motor is spinning slow with respect to top speed, hence lower efficiency. I think the opposite. Tesla final drive ratio is about 9.5 while Bolt is about 7.0, thus spinning much faster on Tesla. Drag power is related to cube of speed (RPM), so Tesla spinning too fast is one reason for inefficiency.

          If Tesla can change the gear ratio to 7.0 and have it spin slow like Bolt (or change to 3.79 like SparkEV!), it will reduce drag loss, but overall efficiency may or may not increase. I doubt even if that’ll make it approach Bolt efficiency.

          1. Nix says:

            That is possible too. There is actually no way to know unless somebody could get their hands on the battery/inverter efficiency graphs for each car, and then had the data for motor rpm and load.

            The point is that the Bolt is likely doing so much better that the Tesla (or even the Bolt’s own EPA ratings) because constant 65 mph without the added load of HVAC is in a very efficient spot on the efficiency graph with regards to load and rpm for the motor/inverter combo.

            Tesla is doing less than EPA rating, so it is less likely to be in a very efficient spot on their graph.

            Here is an example of the type of graph I’m talking about, where you can see that too high or too low in torque or too high or too low in rpm will put the motor/inverter outside peak efficiency:

            1. SparkEV says:

              You are correct that we don’t know unless there’s actual test data.

              However, if you look at your graph, very low torque out of the motor has roughly similar efficiency. Both Bolt and Tesla would be operating in this region if the graph is representative of their motors. The difference in range and mi/kWh efficiency can’t be explained by couple of % difference in motor efficiency. It is likely that Tesla motor is less efficient than Bolt even if tweaked for peak efficiency.

              As for the graph, EVs have very different curve where the torque hits the peak in very low RPM, stays flat for a while, then taper. Below is SparkEV torque curve, but I’ve seen similar for Tesla. In such case, it’s not clear when the peak efficiency would occur for low torque region.

              1. Nix says:

                To be clear, the graph isn’t of the Bolt or Tesla, so nothing can be assumed from that graph. It is just and example of what a graph could look like.

                Yes, if we had the graphs, we and the data we could know for certain. But to be clear, the graph would include all motor and inverter inefficiencies, so you wouldn’t apply motor inefficiencies on top. So all you would have to do is compare the points on the graphs with rpm and load data.

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  The key graph missing in the pretty chart is the REASON the torque falls off with increasing speed after being constant for quite a while is that when the motor is accelerating, the applied voltage can be kept proportional to a fixed Volts/frequency retio.

                  This starts crapping out when the battery voltage (350 or whatever) is reached and the Alternating current produced by the inverter has ever increasing frequency, yet the voltage remains the same.

                  The Volts/frequency ratio then OBVIOUSLY falls, as does the torque. The “KNEE” of the torque curve has always been called the motor’s “BASE” speed given that you hold the frequency constant. Changing the applied frequency will also obviously change the motor’s ‘BASE’ speed.

    3. Bill Howland says:

      That 75% figure is a broad generalization of a typical 3 phase induction motor – that cannot be pointed to when talking about any specific motor, other than the take away is that such motors should be loaded at least 1/2 way to maximize efficiency.

      It also assumes constant voltage on the stator, which is NOT the case in ANY electric vehicle.

      I suspect the somewhat marginal ‘murmuring’ gearboxes (some ‘S’ owners are on their 3rd or 4th drive units) are less efficient than the beefy, loafing gearset in the Bolt ev. Another kicker is the Bolt ev doesn’t have any rotor current losses that the “S” has simply because it doesn’t have any rotor currents.

      The Bolt ev’s motor has been designed with reduced torque density allowed, so there is no danger of demagnitizing its rotor since the control unit prohibits too much torque out of the motor. Therefore much fewer rare-earths can be used in its construction.

      Anyone who has driven the BOLT ev (including my Race Car Driver Neighbor) realizes the car accelerates better than any “MUSCLE CAR” from the 1960’s-70’s and therefore it is adequate for a soccer-mom’s daily driver.

      1. SparkEV says:

        “Bolt ev doesn’t have any rotor current losses”

        That’s not entirely true. Current will be induced in them magnets sourced from the changing field of the stator. As the RPM gets higher, more current will be induced (and lost) in the rotor, because high RPM past the equilibrium point of back EMF will make permanent magnet motor behave more like induction motor. Some speculate that point is about 35 MPH.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          TOTAL BS. Beyond Stupidity.

          There are no currents in the rotor of a synchronous motor (unless you are talking about a 70 year old one with an electromagnet) since the rotor is stationary in comparison with the rotating magnetic field. No lines are crossed therefore nothing is induced.

          Now powerfactor correction may be adjusted on a Synchronous condenser by adjusting the angle of the rotor poles, but here we are talking about ZERO speed difference between the rotating field, and only fractions of a circle (degrees) change in the adjustment. After the adjustment is made, the speed is still Zero between the two.

      2. Nix says:

        Yes, it is a very, very broad generalization, which is why I used terms that indicated I was making generalizations. Such as “It would not be surprising to find out” and “results would likely change” and “we wouldn’t know until somebody actually ran the test”

        We would actually need to see an efficiency graph for the Bolt motor/inverter, and Tesla motor/inverter like this one:

        Then we would need to know the rpm and the load (torque) for each at 65 mph. Then we would be able to see exactly where each car was in their efficiency compared to their peak efficiency rating.

        Are you seriously hassling me for explaining to people how it is absolutely possible for a Bolt to get more range out of a smaller battery?

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Hey Nix, you at least stated something that was relatively true, the only problem was it had nothing to do with ANY electric car ever made.

          (Unless you want to call my conversion of a constant speed motor to a reel lawn mower as a teenager, and lately taking a Harbor Junk Tools 3 horsepower constant speed motor on an old CASE Snowblower. What you said apply to those 2 ‘vehicles’ – especially the Snowblower since it operates as a polyphase motor.

          But I’m mainly interested in the type of vehicles you climb into, not walk alongside as an appliance.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Ok, just as a preface, this comment has nothing to do with anything other than my just now remembering of a conversion about 20 years ago of an old Impala wagon (kingswood) with a 3 speed manual transmission to an ELECTRIC CAR.

            Specs: 30 HP 230 volt shunt wound (in this case CONSTANT SPEED – 1725 Revolutions per minute – RPM) DC motor. (He used around 20 lead acid 12 volt batteries in series).

            (same clutch and manual transmission, which as will be seen was VITAL to making this car work).

            The 30 hp motor drove a 5 sheave multiple V-Belt drive to a jack shaft, which then operated a variable Spring-loaded ‘CONE’ pully (stretching the special wide belt would push against said spring and ‘open up the driven pully, forcing the drive pully to operate the belt on a smaller diameter.

            The old ‘gas pedal’ merely released the tension on the belt, causing the drive pully to ride the belt on a larger diameter.

            The speed ‘ranges’ were determined by 1st, 2nd, or 3rd gear, and the speeds within those ranges were determined as described with the gas pedal, with the clutch allowing gear changes, and dead stops at stop lights.

            The power steering pump ran off the constant speed jackshaft. The radio and lights ran off of an additional 12 volt beefy battery.

            So driving this car was much like driving any other car.

            You’d start the motor (the 30 hp dc motor had a constant speed ‘starter’ that accelerated the motor in around 2 seconds time up to 1725 RPM), and then the power steering would commence. Driving used the gas pedal, clutch, and gearshift.

            After you got to where you were going, you shut off the 30 hp motor.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              And yes, the car had ‘full regen’. Taking your foot off the gas pedal would instantly overspeed the drive motor and would put 30 hp of juice back into the battery – and also power the power steering hydraulic pump for free.

              (In fact, you couldn’t take your foot off the gas pedal too quickly since that would trip the overloads on the motor due to ‘telling’ it to regen too much). Then you could downshift to second gear and repeat the process at a slower speed still.

  17. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    The bolt has it’s market for people who don’t care they are driving an econobox. There are a lot of people that fit that category.
    I predict this month we’ll see 2471 in sales for the Bolt.

    I don’t like the econobox and I will not support GM by giving them my money. Those funds go to their lobbying efforts to push back on emissions regulations….

    and lobbying against the Tesla sales model doesn’t deserve my money.

  18. Jelloslug says:

    I’m not sure how they managed such low numbers with the Model S. I get ~275 miles out of my 75D with no issues at all and if I push it I can get 300 miles.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      My guess is they charged the Tesla cars to only 80% “because that’s what the manual recommends for daily charging”, as was reported — if you read far enough down into the article… on CR’s first driving report on the Model S.

      The omission of any mention of this early in the article was at best misleading, and one has to wonder if it showed intentional bias on CR’s part.

      If CR was going to test the range of the Model S at only an 80% charge, then the first time they mentioned the range they got in the article, it should have specified “…with an 80% charge”. The reader should not have had to read pages deep into the article to find that rather important bit of information!

      Just speculating here: If the Bolt EV’s manual does not recommend charging to only 80% for normal use, then it’s entirely possible CR charged that to 100% while leaving the MS and MX at only 80% charge.

      If so, you’d think they would specify that. But they didn’t before, so perhaps they omitted that info again.

      1. unlucky says:

        You assume something that there is no evidence of and then say that it’s misleading they didn’t mention they did it.

        Alternate explanation:

        They didn’t do it.

        It you want to make claims about their testing methodology, perhaps you should contact them first to find out what it is.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        This proves you don’t live in the real world.

        Since people only occassionally take battery limiting trips in their electric cars, OF COURSE they will 100% charge their battery if they don’t have enough juice in it since in most places of the country you cannot just stop and charge anywhere, and besides people want to know how far the car will go during a long trip before having to find the rare place to charge up.

        Its as silly as saying a gasoline powered car won’t go very far between service station visits while at the same time refusing to put more than 1/2 a tankfull in.

        TO measure this, of COURSE you completely fill the tank.

        Anything else is brain dead.

        The slight hit to battery life doesn’t matter when the overriding objective is to get to your trip destination.

        I know clarkson cote keeps talking about using the 90% ‘hilltop reserve’ setting on the BOLT’s charging settings screen, let this is his theory alone.

        There is nothing in the BOLT OWNER’S manual that says that using, or not using, the 90% setting will do ANYTHING to lengthen battery life, – although, you would think they would at least mention it there.

        The only thing they say is to use the 90% setting if you are immediately going down a long hill, and want the REGEN to work during the hill decent. That is the only reason given to use it.

        I never noticed this on the VOLT, btw, but interestingly on the ELR, if the ‘buffer area’ is filled (i.e. car is overcharged ‘beyond’ full), then it completely kills the ‘regen on demand’ for a while until the battery drains.

  19. Apkungen says:

    This is bull****. I’ve said this so many times. Range is only important at high speed! And at everything above 80km/h or 50mph even the tesla model s 60 beats the bolt. I promise you my right arm!

    Almost 100% of ev owners have charging at home. So the only time you really need long range is when you drive far intercity driving. And intercity driving is always at speeds over 80km/h. A tesla model s gets around 140wh/km in energy use at around 80km/h and that means you’ll get a range of at least 430km/267 miles. The bolt won’t beat that.

    I say this after numerous trips with the model s and after seeing all björn nylands videos of the Ampera-e who I really trust presents good data!

    And the charging of the bolt is slow. I’d rather have an hyundai ioniq electric if I were to go over 400 miles in a day. The ioniq would be faster.

    1. unlucky says:

      I hope you’re left handed because CR made clear they do most of the testing here at 65mph.

      I assure you if I drove a measly 50mph (80km/h) I’d get well over 267 miles in my Bolt. My experience so far says if I did that with the climate control off I’d get over 280 miles. So I don’t get where you think the Bolt couldn’t make 267 miles at 50mph.

      1. Wow! says:

        Wow, amazing efficiency for such a practical, box like car. So I might even be able to make some long roads trips in the winter if I stick to HWYs and drive 55, assuming charging sites are lined up? If it only had an ethanol based back up heater for really cold weather. Good to see such improvements in vehicle engineering and design.

        1. SparkEV says:

          You’re being sarcastic. Fact is, long road trip is best done with SUV/Van since you’d be carrying lots of people and cargo. Even Tesla X isn’t fit for it (interior space is similar to Prius).

          Far easier is gasser; rent one instead of spending $80K on Tesla X just for those “long trips”. There are far more “charging stations” than any Tesla.

          1. Sarcasm? says:

            Not sarcasm and not a Tesla fanboy either. Am I allowed to take a road trip by myself? Why use a 4000-5000 lb. van or SUV for that?

            Compared to ICE capability, my post may have sounded odd or backwards. But if I wanted to drive app. 700 miles in moderate winter conditions (25F-40F) with a Bolt EV, to visit a relative, then it might actually be possible with highway driving at 50-55 MPH, assuming some combination of DC and/or AC charging stations along the way and/or overnight charging. This is my point.

            FWIW, I drive my 4 banger ICE at 65 MPH on the interstate for efficiency reasons, even if the max speed limit is 70-75 MPH. I’m always amused when a Prius passes me going 80 MPH!

            1. Anton says:

              I take road trips in my Camaro.. Since when do i need a van/suv to hit the right pedal for a couple hours?

          2. Asak says:

            I used to scoff at the whole “rent a car for long distance driving”, but after looking into it and experiencing it, I am a convert. It’s true, you can rent a car for so little (relative to what you’re paying to buy or lease) that unless you drive long distances all the time you’re significantly better off renting.

            It actually has made me reconsider what I even need from a car. Do I actually need a car that can be used for a road trip at all? Or is an around-towner enough and I can just grab a rental when I need more?

    2. SparkEV says:

      “I promise you my right arm! ”

      LOL. If you underestimate GM engineering, you will lose all your limbs soon. Before you commit more of your limbs, go test a Bolt for mi/kWh at various speeds; it will surprise you. Then test SparkEV mi/kWh at various speeds; it will blow you away (except for your right arm).

  20. CCIE says:

    GM has done an excellent job of under-promising and over-delivering with the Volt, Spark EV, and Bolt.

    I think it’s a great policy since buyers are pleasantly surprised to find they have extra range in summer, and about the rated range in winter.

  21. buu says:

    I know Bolt is way more efficient at lower speeds but unless tests are done at same track or same time on roads results can be easily skewed by 5% minimum

    1. CCIE says:

      Read what they did. They tested on the highway with both cars at the same time. 65mph with no ac/heat. Seems reasonable.

      1. David Cary says:

        The problem is that several of us have 70 or 75’s and we can go much farther at a constant 65 so it doesn’t make any sense.

        I don’t have a Bolt so I have no knowledge.

        But I also know that nearly 100% of cars will get above EPA at constant 65 mph. I have a 70D with a 240 EPA and I can go nearly 300 at 65 mph. So how does a CR 75D go so much less.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Is your 300 miles at 65mph “predicated” or have you ever driven that far per charge?

        2. unlucky says:

          Nearly 100% of all ICE cars will get above EPA combined at constant 65mph.

          That’s due to how EPA tests ICE cars. EPA does their test on the car, determines an mpg figure and then scales it back because tests showed real-world figures would normally be lower than their tests. So if you really did a very ginger test like constant speed you can do much better (especially if you turn off hotel loads like A/C). But they don’t test ICE cars the same way.

          We know from the figures Tesla released with the early Model S that it does very slightly at 65mph than the EPA rating.

          See this post from Tesla:

          The 2013 Model S 85 (as was tested there) is rated at EPA 265 miles range (combined). The curve there on Tesla’s blog shows you can expect 260 miles range at constant 65mph.

          So you suggesting that a Tesla should get more than EPA rated range at constant 65mph doesn’t really make sense.

          1. Asak says:

            This is very true about current EPA estimates. There have been two “revisions” to the numbers in the last decade or so. Before those revisions, it was possible to hit or even exceed the EPA numbers but you really had to try. Now after those two revisions you can very easily exceed them by just driving sensibly.

            That means, in effect, an “80 mile” EV is actually probably more of a 100 mile EV if you drive conservatively and under optimal conditions.

  22. Omar says:

    Congrats to GM on this one. I think it shows GM put some thought into the Bolt and were not just looking to rush out an EV for ZEV or to show up Musk, although I cannot say those were not factored too. 🙂

    Without the L3 network, the Bolt remains a “city car” which is cool for a lot of folks and the Bolt should do well for them.

  23. Andy says:

    I think the Bolt is a great car for short range commuting and in a pinch you can go 235 miles.. Saw the note about no super charging trolls and I guess I am one. I have no worries about taking my Tesla anywhere in the US. And I wont spend hours charging it along the way. That is a big deal to me. If on the other hand I just wanted a commuter can that I occasionally when a couple hundred miles (round trip) then the Bolt is a great value.

  24. HVACman says:

    Maybe EVs should be equipped with aircraft-style pitot tubes to get “air speed” as well as “ground speed” to improve range estimates:)

    1. Hans Hammermill says:

      Yes! That is actually brilliant.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Maybe EVs should be equipped with aircraft-style pitot tubes to get “air speed” as well as “ground speed” to improve range estimates:) ”

      I note your smiley, and you were kidding; but seriously, I’d love to see that if it would be practical and not terribly expensive to add one.

      The earlier post about a 20 MPH headwind for an entire road trip certainly made me think about all the uncontrollable variables one gets in real-world testing, and it’s why scientists prefer testing in the controlled environment of the laboratory whenever possible.

      Unfortunately, testing an EV’s electric range on an indoor test track loop wouldn’t be likely to give very meaningful results.

    3. Kdawg says:

      Does Tesla’s range estimator use weather data or just elevation change and temps? Seems like they could data mine current wind patterns.

  25. TomArt says:

    AFAIK, Tesla is the only one that uses AC induction motors. They are smart in terms of cost and resources (no rare earth elements), but they are not as efficient as permanent magnet designs. I do not know if this difference is enough, but it has to be a factor.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It’s a trivial and possibly insignificant difference. Tesla’s improvements to inverter efficiency have made more difference than that.

      1. unlucky says:

        That’s just catching up from being further behind. Others can have efficient inverters and permanent magnet motors.

        1. bro1999 says:

          Tesla gets their other-wordly technology no other manufacturer has from where? You guessed it:

      2. Bill Howland says:

        “Trivial and possibly Insignificant difference.”

        Yeah, if you’re made out of money.

        A Bolt will go further than a much larger batteried TESLA (’60 kwh battery vs 85′) (although I claim the Bolt’s is actually conservatively rated), and will cost much less to recharge to full to go further.

        So then obviously it costs much less for a BOLT owner to recharge his battery, and to drive an equivalent distance he also has to do his much lowered cost (60/85 ratio? or even better?) less often.

  26. AlphaEdge says:

    This comparison is almost meaningless.

    The huge price differential means the demographic buyers are in different camps.

    The Model S is a much bigger car.

    And most of all, the Tesla provides security in long range via the Supercharger network.

    This comparison has to be done with the $35,000 Model 3, and it still has the huge advantage of the Supercharger network, along with faster recharging.

    1. CCIE says:

      If only the M3 was actually available for CR to buy one.

      I’m sure we’ll see this same test once one is. And, even with the $9k extended range battery, I bet the Bolt and M3 have similar real-world ranges.

      GM is far from perfect, especially their marketing. But they have first rate engineering that shows in their EV/PHEV products.

      1. mzs.112000 says:

        By the time M3 is available for Consumer Reports to buy, the Chevy Bolt will be in it’s second year of production.
        Who knows, maybe GM will have unlocked faster charge rates(It is basically an ECU firmware change, the car has to tell the off-board DC charger how much current it can take).

        1. CCIE says:

          It’s not just firmware. The gauge of the wiring from the CCS inlet can’t handle it. Hopefully they’ll increase it this year or next, since higher output CCS chargers will start wide scale deployment soon.

          1. unlucky says:

            Moving the fallbacks could increase effective charge rate. Heck, not making them so chunky would help. The car jumps right from 125A to 100A to 80A to 62A or something like that. Make the steps a little less blocky and you get a little more area under the curve.

  27. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

    It’s a good news for Bolt owners, but I don’t know if this is a really good news for a company which planed a 30.000/50.000 cars a year assembly line, for a car could be easily being sold at more than 100.000 cars a year.
    So, it’s another time the EV1 effect, a very good engineering feat, but from a company still very dependent of their oil industry ties, in house way of thinking about what type of cars American Consumers should buy and being very dependent of a dealership network that, for the biggest part of them, are seeing EV rising as threat.

  28. speculawyer says:

    Good for Chevy!

    They need something to tout!

    Tesla is not needed more Model 3 orders.

  29. speculawyer says:

    OH Jeez, people. Let Chevy have a day in the sun. It is not like Tesla is hurt by this. Sheesh.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      We’re supposed to just ignore the fact that CR previously under-reported the Model S’s range by intentionally not charging it to full capacity?

      I think not! How do we know CR didn’t do the same thing this time?

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Did you watch the video?

        They did a side by side comparison.

        CR even mentioned that Tesla got a much better score than the Bolt despite the range difference.

        Maybe CR didn’t charge the Bolt correctly either by using their Mountain buffer reserve and Bolt could have 300 miles in the testing..

        Geez, seriously, until we have the facts to make an accusation in THIS PARTICULAR CASE, then let Bolt has its day. No need to be Tesla cheering fool on this day, plenty of time and plenty of people are doing it..

      2. bro1999 says:

        You need some heavier gauge tin for your tin foil hat that you wear to protect yourself from:

      3. Bill Howland says:

        Someone needs to pull Pushi out of Mommy’s basement – the stuff he’s saying is so silly, several commenters have spotted it.

        Only a fool would TEST THE RANGE OF A CAR by only partially charging it.

        Pushi then goes further and claims CR is as dumb and deceitful as he is.

        While I don’t care for CR in general, I’d never put the 2 of them in the same intelligence category.

        Its rather as when PUSHI stated MUSK was deceptively selling ‘BRICKABLE’ Teslas, to which I have repeatedly asked him what Tesla should have done differently to fix this supposed defect? (Brickable means the battery is toast and now is only good as a boat-anchor). (DEFECT only in Pushi’s Eyes.)

        He never responded since the whole Idea is as silly as blaming a gas tank manufacturer for not making a big enough tank but then refusing to fully utilize it. He’s also never appologized for insulting Mr. Musk.

        I think Pushi is “Relaxing with his thoughts” too much down in that basement and he’s inventing his own rebuttals to his fanciful constructs.

    2. Kdawg says:

      Whenever there’s a positive GM article, these people show up.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:


        You are just awesome! =)

  30. Dennis Kavanagh says:

    Now we need to see Consumer Reports follow up with a full 1/4 mile drag video between the same two cars. I wonder what the outcome of that would be?

    1. Bill Howland says:

      It has always been more than curious to me that the Tesla Fanboys always want to drag race test their cars (no doubt egged on by the silly drag racing articles), for what is merely a sedate family 4-door sedan.

      The Tesla Roadster had somewhat more justification for doing this, since after all, it was based on the Lotus Elise sports car.

      But any drag racing activity immediately violates and cancels the warranty with TESLA. And in view of my own, and others experience, as a TESLA owner you certainly do NOT want to do anything which would cancel the VALUABLE warranty.

      Interestingly, Car and Driver Magazine (which legitimately, ONLY cares about the car’s performance) declared the 2014 Cadillac ELR:


      That is why they gave the car such a great review. Of course, those interested in silly drag-strip comparisons would never be interested in the ELR, since the numbers are not complementary, and are even worse in all-electric mode.

      But I have never driven any Cadillac with more real world sport-coupe overall performance, as Car and Driver just awarded.

  31. Four Electrics says:

    My X gets similar numbers to those measured by Consumer Reports.

  32. JakeY says:

    2016 Tesla Model S 75D, 235 miles achieved vs. 259-mile EPA estimate
    235/259 = 90.7%

    2016 Tesla Model X 90D, 230 miles achieved vs. 257-mile EPA estimate
    230/257 = 89.5%

    This sounds suspiciously like they used the standard charge mode and didn’t charge the battery to full. Otherwise, they might have had an extremely unbalanced battery and didn’t wait for the full balancing cycle to finish.

    75kWh pack has 72.6 kWh usable (rest reserved for anti-brick), so 235 miles of range implies 309 Wh/mi consumption.
    That’s quite horrible.

    Just a quick google found a S60 (with 75kWh software limited pack) gets 278Wh/mi at 70mph (implies 261 miles of range at 72.6 kWh)

    A 70D gets 290Wh/mi at 70mph (implies 250 miles of range at 72.6 kWh)

    1. Four Electrics says:

      My X consistently achieves only 75-80% of EPA range. It’s like Tesla optimized the car’s software for the EPA testing cycle.

      1. JakeY says:

        At what speed, is there any headwinds/elevation change, and are you using AC or heat?

        This test presumably was 65mph at ideal conditions (unless Consumer Reports left out mentioning a significant amount of city cycle testing) where it should be easy to hit EPA range from every analysis I have seen at TMC. This test implies the X90D uses 356 Wh/mi at 65mph. What do you get in the same conditions (I presume you don’t have a P version which has lower efficiency)?

        Perhaps that is believable for the X given it doesn’t have great aerodynamics either and is very heavy, but for Model S, the results are well below par what others have achieved travelling 5mph faster.

        1. Nix says:

          It is his imaginary Model X. long time commenters who recognize Four electrics as just the latest screen name of a long time anti-tesla troll aren’t buying his latest trolling scheme.

          The only time he ever posts about his imaginary Model X is make up complaints about it. That after years of bashing Tesla endlessly.

          You remember that guy in high school who said he wasn’t a virgin because he had a girlfriend in Canada? He’s that guy.

          1. Kdawg says:

            Hasn’t he/she posted pics of his/her Tesla several times already?

  33. Warren says:

    We are seeing better than 4 miles per kWh running the AC, lights, and radio, in high 90’s weather. In a state the size of Virginia, range anxiety is a joke in the Bolt. We have been charging using the 120 volt cord, until our 240 volt cord arrives. It has been no problem. We are getting forty to fifty miles back in every night, and only charging to “hill top” level. We deliberately took a trip on the interstate, up to the Blue Ridge, hoping to get down to 50% charge, so we could try out a fast charger on the way back. Thanks to the terrific regen coming back down from the mountains, we were only down to 65% for the fast charge. Could have turned around,and gone back up to the Blue Ridge again to get down to 50% I suppose. But that would have been pretty silly.

    1. Kdawg says:


  34. Travis says:

    What you’re missing is that the bolt is ugly as #*!&$

    1. bro1999 says:

      I’d argue it actually looks better than the loaf of bread Model X.

      1. menorman says:

        I second that.

    2. Warren says:

      A car’s appearance is totally subjective. There are no cars in nature, so we have no genetic bias for cars. We do have a bias for the appearance of people, and animals, which explains much of the look of our vehicles. There is also a huge load of cultural baggage, by now, connected to various styles. In my mind, a sport sedan screams lawyer/pimp. That is my prejudice, and I know it.

    3. Kdawg says:

      250 EV miles for $36K is beautiful to me.

  35. BenG says:

    I’m impressed with the Bolt’s performance in this test. I thought that at 65 mph the highway mileage would be worse than the EPA combined estimate, not better.

  36. Alegad silva says:

    Listen here everyone. I work at Tesla with its engineers. I’ll crush the rumor now the Chevy Bolt “will never be the range king” Tesla is always 5 leaps ahead of others GM, Ford and Toyota just to name some. Tesla will always be ahead when it comes to range.

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