On The Road With The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, Regret Being Felt From New LEAF Owners? Video Review

6 months ago by Mark Kane 97

Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevrolet Bolt EV was the topic of recent Roadshow’s test drive review.

The latest all-electric Chevrolet is once again well received, and provides more than a few positive reactions from the reviewer, including an observation that “LEAF owners are kicking themselves for not waiting” for the Bolt EV.

“GM takes the lead in EVs for the real world.”

It our opinion this video is a good starting point for a wider audience, and for those consumers less familiar with EVs, to get to know the Chevy Bolt EV.

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97 responses to "On The Road With The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, Regret Being Felt From New LEAF Owners? Video Review"

  1. unlucky says:

    He covers the car well. Although his explanation of the DCFC is useless. Not explaining that it only speeds up charging when using special on-the-go chargers is doing a great disservice to his viewers.

    Some LEAF owners may be kicking themselves. Others will just switch to a Bolt (or LEAF 2) at the end of their lease. Others knew the Bolt was coming and got a LEAF anyway because Nissan is making the LEAF so cheap to get into in order to keep sales going now that the Bolt is out there. It’s really win win. If you want longer range you now have the option for less than $80K and if you want a short range car you now can get it cheaper.

    If he really thinks all those options are must-haves I think he probably doesn’t usually pay for his cars. The infotainment option is pretty useless, the only reason to get it is because you can’t get the safety option on the Premium without getting the infotainment option.

    It’s crazy in a way that the Bolt is so much more than a Volt when a Volt has so much more stuff in it and is a larger car (more material). GM must be planning to reduce the Bolt price over time.

    1. Nemo says:

      I was planning to stick with my i-MiEV for a few more years, until I could afford a used Bolt, Model 3, Gen II Leaf, or some other long-range EV that’s available by then. But now, with the insane discounts being offered on Gen I Leaves, I’m thinking of getting one of those, new.

      1. Dan says:

        As a fellow I-Miev owner I have to comment. I need the longer range of the Bolt. My wife asked if we were trading in the I-Miev and I said it has almost no trade in value so we are keeping it.

        1. Seth says:

          That rings a bell, we’ll trade in the old Suzuki Swift and keep the i-MiEV as well. It’s not a very popular car, but it is very, very, cheap to run.

          It still works fine as a people transport 5 days a week for the 60-100km trips. However you look at it, it’s still hugely better over public transport. It’s far faster, you never miss a connection, you are dry and out of the wind and it’s a lot cheaper.

          There are far worse choices for a car in my opinion. My neighbor spent as much in maintenance in 2 years on his Chevrolet Avalanche as I did purchasing the i-MiEV.

        2. Nemo says:

          I’d like to keep the i-MiEV as well, but I’m not sure I can justify the added insurance cost of multiple cars.

          But, the Leaf thing is looking less likely anyway. I was counting on the state replenishing its rebate fund, but I’m not sure that will happen before March 31st (when the Nissan $10k rebate expires). Meanwhile, the supply of new Leaves within 50 miles (according to cars.com) has dwindled from 69 to 54 in the last few days, and I’m guessing it only goes down from there (until Gen 2).

    2. BenG says:

      “GM must be planning to reduce the Bolt price over time.”

      I’d say so. They can charge a premium for it now as the only “affordable” 200 mile EV, and with the $7500 federal tax credit available. As competition moves in, the tax credit phases out, and GM has accumulated some return on investment from the early higher sales point, they will drop the price to keep it competitive.

      Of course the “more material” in the Volt doesn’t include the comparison of battery size – the most expensive part.

    3. no comment says:

      i don’t entirely agree with his “competitive” analysis. specifically, i don’t agree that the Volt and Bolt are competitive alternatives. instead, i think that they are complementary products, especially for the typical 2 car household. the Bolt has the range to cover the vast majority of “radius” driving scenarios, while the Volt has greater flexibility to cover any driving scenarios, including outlier “radius” scenarios.

  2. Jim Thompson says:

    When I bought my 2015 Leaf 18 months ago the Bolt was just a speck on the horizon and I wanted a good BEV. In the the year and a half since, I have fallen in love with it. I immediately named it Evey after Evey Hammond from the movie “V” and the obvious play on EV. I would love a Bolt but have no regrets. So far the Leaf has delivered everything promised. I use it solely as an around the county hauler and it does that perfectly. I will probably buy a Bolt (or something like it) eventually but it will be a while. Evey is taking great care of me for now.

    1. Todd says:

      I’m with you. I bought about 18 months ago even though I knew the Bolt was coming. I wanted electric and the economics are what got me to do it. Even if I were buying today I would still choose a Leaf since they are still 1/2 the cost of the Bolt. I think the Bolt is a real winner and I love the way it drives, but in terms of value, the Bolt just doesn’t compete with the Leaf.

      1. Kdawg says:

        “1/2 the cost”
        ———
        Not sure how you come up with that.
        Leaf MSRP = $30,680
        Bolt MSRP = $37,495

        1. Hank S. says:

          Prolly cause he’s talking about actual cost, not the imaginary MSRP number.

          1. Kdawg says:

            So provide the “actual” costs for both vehicles then. MRSP is a tangible comparison. You can’t say “I know a guy that got a new Leaf for $4”.

            1. Nick says:

              I doubt more than a handful of LEAFs has been sold at MSRP for the last ~2 years.

              A new midrange LEAF is roughly 18k all in.

              I’m shocked you didn’t know this, you normally have your finger on the pulse of such things.

              Thanks!

              1. Kdawg says:

                “A new midrange LEAF is roughly 18k all in.”
                ———

                I just typed in a search in Autotrader for a 2017 Leaf in the LA area.

                Sampling:
                $29,505 MSRP $33,505
                $29,815 MSRP $33,815
                $31,700 MSRP $35,700
                $33,705 MSRP $33,705
                $33,730 MSRP $33,730
                $34,005 MSRP $34,005

                Now let’s look at the Bolt EV:

                $36,595 MSRP $37,595
                $36,745 MSRP $38,245
                $37,495 MSRP $37,495
                $37,495 MSRP $37,495
                $37,945 MSRP $37,945
                $38,245 MSRP $38,245

                ———-

                So you still think a new Leaf is 1/2 the price of a new Bolt EV?

                1. Nick says:

                  > So you still think a new Leaf is 1/2 the price of a new Bolt EV?

                  Are you being intentionally obtuse?

                  All of these prices drop by 5k out of the gate due to NMAC and dealer incentives.

                  Thus they are all ~12k less expensive than a new Bolt.

                  1. Kdawg says:

                    So you’re ASSUMING a $5k dealer incentive on every Leaf, and NO incentive on a Bolt EV. And even then, the math STILL doesn’t work out.

                    LOL, k

                  2. unlucky says:

                    That’s still not half the price.

                    You can get to half (or very close to it) when leasing though.

            2. vin says:

              Looking at the currently advertised discounts out there for a new LEAF S and Bolt, it’s more like 2/3 (~$24K vs ~$36K).

              I just eyeballed the math. Data is here:

              http://ev-vin.blogspot.com/2017/02/current-discounts-on-selected-evs.html

              Maybe he meant to say “lease” instead of “buy”, in which he would be in the ball park if we’re looking at currently published dealer offers. 3-year lease on a LEAF S is about $6K+tax+lic for 12K miles/yr over 3 years, whereas the Bolt is around $12K+tax+lic for 10K miles/yr over 3 years.

              Kinda eyeballed that one too, data is here:

              http://ev-vin.blogspot.com/2017/02/ev-lease-deals-sorts-and-filters.html

              1. Nick says:

                Nissan offers 4k right off the top if you finance at 0% APR.

                Local dealers seem to drop another 1k off.

                30 – 4 – 1 – 7.5 == 17.5k + Dest etc.

                This is ~12k less than the Bolt, which is a smaller car with fast charging trade offs. That’s a big difference.

                I’m holding my breath for LEAF 2.0 having CHAdeMO and 60kWh and being the same size. If it pulls that off, it’s a winner.

                Thanks!

              2. BenG says:

                “Looking at the currently advertised discounts out there for a new LEAF S and Bolt, it’s more like 2/3 (~$24K vs ~$36K).”

                Take off the federal tax credit though and you get $16,500 vs $28,500 … closer to the 1/2 price referenced above.

                In some states, i.e. NC and Hawaii, you can get a $10,000 rebate off retail on the Leaf, which drops the price after federal tax credit to ~$13,000 … even less than 1/2 the price of the Bolt.

                1. Dan Dan the driving man says:

                  until March 31st 2017 in the state of Missouri you get an additional $10,000 off the car price

            3. Stimpacker says:

              Kdawg, stop trolling. You have been here long enough to know what the costs are.

              In any case, I’ll indulge you since my wife just shopped for both. 36 month lease.
              2017 Leaf = $216 + 0 down.
              2017 Bolt = $459 + $2K down.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                Dublin Chevy just advertised Bolt for $258/month leasing.

                $2K off the MSRP.

                Dublin, CA.

              2. Kdawg says:

                Not trolling (and not leasing). See data provided above. I welcome you to search for yourself, and several different zip codes that actually sell the Bolt EV.

                Don’t rely on some anecdotal data where “a guy I know” got a new Leaf for $xxxxx.

                1. Nick says:

                  You forgot to subtract the 4k NMAC cash and 1k dealer incentive from all of these.

                  1. Kdawg says:

                    Why are you using incentives? How do you know people’s credit ratings, or even they even plan to finance? Can we count GM credit card points too?

                    It’s apparent you are a big Leaf fan, and it upsets you that a car with twice the range/battery is only a few thousand more. Facts are facts, and that’s the boat Nissan is in now. Let’s see what they do with Leaf 2.0.

              3. Alexander says:

                Not bad, but FYI the guy below you appears to be right: the Bolt leases for as little as ~$265/mo., if you search for Dublin Chevrolet (California) they have it listed on their site. “36 month lease, $6,495 total due at lease inception which includes zero security deposit, plus tax and license. $3,995 customer cash down and $2,500 CCR”. Obviously the down payment is higher, but otherwise, why is yours so much more expensive?

                1. Stimpacker says:

                  Haha, I did check out Dublin Chevy. I suggest you do the same.

                  The 2017 Leaf is not just $0 down, but $0 drive off. Ask the Bolt dealer what the drive off total is.

                  I dunno what Kdawg is trying to do here. My Leaf payments total $7K. Residual is $9K. So that’s $16K to purchase/keep not counting $2500 CVRP. HALF the price of a Bolt after $2K discount and $7500 tax credit.

                  1. Kdawg says:

                    Now you are assuming people get the tax credit? Lots of assumptions going on.

        2. Brian says:

          My guess is that Todd is talking about leasing, in which case he is right. Nissan is offering some great deals for ~$200/mo while a Bolt costs $400/mo.

          As for buying, the numbers don’t work out. I bet one could buy a Leaf for $20k after rebates/incentives. But the same person would not pay $40k for a Bolt. More like $30k.

          1. NFuzzy says:

            Actually with group buy discounts in CO a new leaf is 12k or less. Bolt will be 25k or slightly more than double the price after tax credits.

        3. Ken says:

          I’m the guy who bought a Leaf for half price. I bought a 2015 Leaf S from O’Neil Nissan in PA on 11/24/14. I live in NJ so no sales tax. Here’s the numbers:
          15 Leaf S w/QC and freight. $32,000
          Federal tax credit. -$7500
          Nmac rebate for financing. -$3500
          12 Leaf owner loyalty rebate. -$1000
          O’Neil Nissan dealer discount. -$2500
          Bulls*** dealer fees. +$198
          I financed $17,698 for 72 months. 0% interest through NMAC. My payment is $245.81 a month. I can email a copy of the bill of sale to anybody that doesn’t believe. And this was 2.5 years ago! I’m sure many have received even better deals than i have by now.

          1. Kdawg says:

            Why are you comparing a 2 year old car to the Bolt? That is not the question. Unless you want to look at the numbers again in 2019.

    2. Jon says:

      I have a 2015 Leaf and love it. I have a 10 mile round trip to work everyday, so the range is perfectly fine for me for many years to come. The only thing I wish was the range was better in the cold temps (in PA), but this car has been awesome. My lease is up May next year, we’ll see what kind of deals I can get for the next Leaf.

  3. jim stack says:

    The DC Fast Charging is really a must to have even if you only use it a few times when your in a hurry or on a longer trip. It also helps resale value.

    I have has 2 LEAF and in the heat the battery loses capacity for life! It’s very bad compared to all other plugin cars. Why can’t they add cooling for the battery like all other plugins have.

    The Bolt os very nice but on a longer trip you still have to try and find a charging location, hope it’s fast and not broken. No such problems with our used Tesla S 85. EVeru Auto maker has a long way to go to catch Tesla.

    1. no comment says:

      if the Bolt is not your only car (and i expect that that would rarely be the case) then you don’t really have to have the DCFC option. indeed, the home charging model is the basis of GM marketing plans. i think that there is a good reason why GM is not promoting this option – because raises consumer awareness of how long it takes to recharge a BEV.

  4. Kevin C. says:

    Nissan needs to seriously promote the vehicle in areas other than the coasts.
    Namely Boise.

    Used 2014s are flooding in from Oregon, Washington and Cal, selling at a brisk pace. There are thousands of Prius drivers here that could use a new Leaf in their garage as well.
    But we still need ridiculously low prices,incentives and $99/mo lease deals to move the MY 17s.
    Come on Nissan, light some promotional fires at the inland dealerships dammit!

  5. John Hansen says:

    The only Leaf owners who might have any regret are those who somehow didn’t already know that the Bolt was coming. At this point in EV development, everybody knows that their current EV will be “yesterday’s” technology tomorrow. I bought a 2014 Volt a couple years ago and it has been handily surpassed by both the 2nd gen Volt as well as the Bolt, but I have no regrets either. In any case, the Leaf is a bargain right now, as long as it fits your needs.

  6. DL says:

    So they said they were losing 9k on each Bolt?

    Even assuming $145/kWh pricing that has been leaked a year ago, and which probably has experienced some favorable direction since then, the cost of battery comes to a little less than 9k. And then we have to believe the rest of the car, base version econobox mind you, is worth 28.450??

    I don’t think this car once implemented in gas version would touch 20k, base. So we have to assume that another 9k or so is the cost of converting a gas engine and transmission to an electric one (which probably actually the other way around)?

    So either GM is an incredibly inefficient organization, or the “loss” is significantly overestimated, or perhaps a bit of both?

    1. DL says:

      correction,

      actually, since they are saying they were losing 9k per car, the cost of the car minus cost of the battery ~ same 9k (in MSRP terms) would be what it is now, $37,450, which is supposed to be at least comparable to a similar gas car price, if not cheaper?

      But of course no comparable gas car costs that much, in base Bolt configuration, not even close.

      What am i not getting?

      1. Skippy444 says:

        You are still payiny a huge price premium for a bolt when you consider that a new cruze with auto & a/c is only $19,900.

    2. SparkEV says:

      I suspect the $9K loss “rumor” is to justify the $37.5K price. If you add up the numbers, Bolt shouldn’t cost much more than $27.5K ($15K base car + $12K battery).

    3. Julius says:

      One thing that people forget is this: the Bolt has no comparable platform-mate yet. Like the first-generation Volt, the Bolt basically carries all the R&D costs involved in its creation in that “$9k/car” loss.

      1. JoeP says:

        Bingo.

        Some OEMs will include the cost of a new factory in the development cost for the vehicle, at least in their comments if not in their accounting ledgers.

        In this case, there was likely a lot of research on how to approach EV issues that future vehicles will be based on (Mary Barra’s comment).

        The Bolt is much nicer

      2. JP White says:

        Right. GM probably aren’t losing 9K per vehicle if you look at cost of components and assembly only. GM are probably allocating a large amount per vehicle to contribute towards writing down the R&D for the platform which will be in the billions of dollars for sure. LG should be a partner in that R&D effort as well, so GM won’t shoulder the entire R&D investment.

        It also helps justify the price to say you are losing money.

        1. no comment says:

          i would assume that there is more than just r&d costs since there would also be custom tooling costs for this car. given the small volume, a higher burden of fixed costs are going to be borne in each vehicle sold.

          it should be noted that the correspondent stated that the Bolt might be cash positive for the GM fleet since sales of the Bolt allow GM to sell more large ICEVs. so, if GM realizes greater incremental profit through higher unit sales of profitable ICEVs than incremental losses through unit sales of the Bolt, then the Bolt is a good deal for GM.

          i personally think that the emissions credits policy is a good one because it encourages companies to introduce zero-emissions vehicles. the higher credits for FCEVs, relative to BEVs, are justified because FCEV technology is in a more nascent state, so the higher FCEV credit gives auto makers an incentive to develop FCEV technolgy as well. there is no telling where zero emission automotive technology is going to lead, so to the extent that the government gives auto makers incentives to consider a wider range of options, the better it will be for the public.

      3. TwoVolts says:

        +1. Thank you. You got it! Coupled with the fact that this is still a low volume vehicle to spread the development costs. When future EV models sell 30k units per month instead of 3k units per month, the R&D contribution PER VEHICLE will drop significantly.

    4. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      “So they said they were losing 9k on each Bolt?”

      GM didn’t say anything similar. Bloomberg posted such rumor based on “according to a person familiar with the matter”. Which doesn’t sound credible, not to mention that it doesn’t reveal what part of it is fixed cost, if it include value of ZEV credits, and so on.

      1. no comment says:

        no, the $9,000 loss estimate for the Bolt does not include the value of ZEV credits. the correspondent stated that in the video. indeed, one can conclude that the ZEV credits result in more than $9,000 in additional ICEV sales profit or else it would not be an attractive proposition for GM to introduce the Bolt.

    5. unlucky says:

      There’s no reason to think the $9K thing is correct. It’s just guessing.

      Indeed the body is similar to a Sonic. But it has features the Sonic doesn’t so I think a theoretical gas version would get to $20K. Not much over though.

      1. unlucky says:

        Wow, that was confusing. I mean I do think a theoretical ICE version would be over $20K. But not much over.

        1. BenG says:

          Comparable “hot hatches” go for $25k.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        unlucky said:

        “There’s no reason to think the $9K thing is correct. It’s just guessing.”

        Oh, I’d go farther than that; I’d call it outright FUD.

        Anyone who knows enough about the industry to be making an estimate of costs, even an estimate that appears to be inflated, as this one is said to be, knows better than to lump development costs in with unit costs.

        But that’s exactly what we see in all too many cases where someone is trying to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about an auto manufacturer and/or its cars.

        We saw that with the Chevy Volt, with every one of Tesla’s cars, and now with the Chevy Bolt EV. No doubt the same FUD has been leveled against other cars in the past.

        No auto maker “loses” money on every car it sells, so long as they can sell it for more than it costs to make it (including costs of marketing, advertising, shipping, etc. of course).

        If we were to take the assertion “They’re losing money on every car” at face value, then the logical response would be to stop making the car immediately! I think nearly everyone knows that’s not how it works, so why do we see the idiotic claim “They’re losing money on every car” repeated so often?

        It’s downright brain-dead to claim that all the R&D and tooling-up costs should be charged against a single year of production of a single model of car. If it’s not deliberate FUD, then it’s at least astoundingly clueless. A car model generally lasts for several years, not just one; so why would any informed person charge all the upfront costs against a single year of production?

        /end rant 😉

    6. Kdawg says:

      I estimate GM makes $49,243 per Bolt EV. Yay. #alternativefacts

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        “Yay. #alternativefacts”

        LMAO

        Even I don’t believe they lose much. And that speaks little to nothing…….lol

        IMHO, they’re probably not losing much if any.

  7. CLIVE says:

    Hogwash.

    By the time you can lease a Chevy Bolt in all of North America the Leaf 2 will be out. Chevy better enjoy the hype while it lasts.

    1. SparkEV says:

      If Nissan’s past is any indication, new Leaf will be way underpowered and still lacking active cooling. Unless their core philosophy that EV are slow green turtles that should only be driven rarely in temperate climate, Leaf 2 will suck compared to Bolt.

      I hope the do change since EV are capable of so much more. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      1. ffbj says:

        That’s most likely correct if not in the particulars, which could change, at least in the general sentiment and conclusion.

      2. CLIVE says:

        Leaf 2 will suck compared to the Bolt…

        Ha!

        Keep chugging the GM Kool-Aid Sparky so you can keep telling your funny stories.

        1. SparkEV says:

          Facts are GM coolaid? Fact is, Nissan / Renault / Mitsubishi have been pumping out EV that lag GM and others in power, efficiency, no active battery thermal management. To deny this is to live in fantasy. I’d say you’re drinking Nissan coolaid, except Nissan’s thing is underpowered EV of low efficiency and less reliable than GM while destroying EV experience for everyone with their stupid no charge to charge program.

          Your fantasy is Nissan being like GM; doubtful that’s going to happen if you look at Nissan’s history. But of course, it’s your fantasy, you can make up whatever history you want. Just don’t let the facts get in the way.

          1. CLIVE says:

            LOL Bitter are we… You clearly have issues over the “No charge to charge” program.

            I will just leave it at that !

            1. SparkEV says:

              Of course I have issues with no charge to charge program. I wrote a whole blog post about it.

              http://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/10/free-charging-sucks.html

              Leaf is especially bad due to its steep charge taper. 30 kWh version might be less severe taper, but there are those who plug in for the second time. Nissan is actively destroying EV adoption by offering free charging with crappy charging car. If you like free charging so much, you’re probably part of the problem.

              DCFC was meant for distance travel, not for charging in your neighborhood during busy times to save few cents while making everyone else wait. Tesla learned their lesson, Nissan still hasn’t.

              Free charging SUCKS!

            2. JP White says:

              Odd you would pick on the “no charge to charge” program.

              At least Nissan have invested dollars into the charging infrastructure. At this juncture, GM are on record saying they won’t invest in the charging infrastructure.

              That’s the one thing Nissan did that is commendable. Their execution left something to be desired, better than nothing as is the case with GM.

              Nissan do have a long way to go to catch up with Tesla and GM, but at least they are ahead of GM when it comes to charging infrastructure.

              1. CLIVE says:

                I knew exactly what your problem was Sparky.

                Nailed it.

                Ha!

              2. SparkEV says:

                Free charging is not investing, because Nissan wants to invest in EV infrastructure. They are doing it to sell their crappy cars that’s known to have high battery degradation, slow, dated design, rapid charge taper, etc. Was it not for NCTC, Leaf sales would’ve tanked a long time ago.

                Giving out free charging is not investing in infrastructure. Even if there’s no free charging, people will still pay to use DCFC. But free charging makes people use DCFC needlessly, artificially boosting demand beyond what the supply can handle, and making people wait.

                That destroys EV experience for all, just so that Nissan could push their crappy Leaf for few more years. That’s worse than not “investing”.

                If GM “invested” in infrastructure like what Nissan did and offer free charging, you’d be singing my song when you’re at DCFC and constantly waiting 2 hours per Bolt. Some Leaf drivers plug in for second DCFC when their cars already have 95% and charging even slower than 3 kW. I’m sure some Bolt drivers would plug in for second, third, or even fourth time if it’s free.

      3. unlucky says:

        I’m withholding judgement until I see it.

        While not investing in the drivetrain and making it completely unattractive would be right in Nissan’s wheelhouse I think that between the Bolt and the Ioniq they can’t afford to do so. And I would hope that they realize they can’t afford to do so.

        On the other hand, Ghosn sure did make a “this is going to eat our lunch” face when sitting in the Bolt.

        1. CLIVE says:

          Carlos knows the new Leaf 2 will rock.

          I cannot wait to see the interior.

      4. Nick says:

        I hope they keep the passive cooling.

        The very efficient and bulletproof passive cooling story is one of the LEAFs best features after they tweaked the chemistry to be more heat tolerant.

        I’m completely ambivalent about having more power. It will already change speed with the effortless torque of an EV motor, making it perfect for normal drivers.

        1. unlucky says:

          It’s tough to tell how well it is treating the battery in the longer term. If it’s just 14% harder on the battery then that would mean a pack is at the same aging after 7 years that it would have been after 8. I don’t think we can say the passive cooling is a win after such a short time on the market, especially when the early models did so poorly. We really have to wait until 2014s (as 2013s had that 80% charge thing) get old enough to tell the tale.

          Also, the passive cooling is most definitely your enemy if you want to go long distances with DCFC. Each time you do it the pack gets hotter, so the charge rates drop noticeably. Your 3rd in a day (which isn’t even that much given the short range) starts to get frustratingly slow.

          If other makers push DCFC past 50kW to 100kW or more then passive cooling won’t be workable. The LEAF will be a slow charging car due to heat no matter what the nominal speed. And that’s even before we talk about it being on a dead-end (in the US) charging standard.

          1. Nick says:

            These are all good points.

        2. Rich says:

          “I hope they keep the passive cooling.”

          I’m on the opposite side. IMO, Nissan’s battery degradation problem is from a lack of active thermal management. Air cooling doesn’t get the job done in hotter climates.

          I would like to consider the Leaf2 as our second vehicle, but won’t look twice if it doesn’t have improved thermal battery manage.

        3. SparkEV says:

          Passive cooling is no more efficient than active cooling. You can see this from BMW i3, Bolt, SparkEV all are more efficient than Leaf.

          Passive cooling is fine for toy cars, but not for EV. If you plug in to charge in middle of hot summer, you’re effectively cooking your battery both from ambient plus heat from charging, even L2. In effect, you best not drive passive cooled cars in summer. This is just one example, DCFC pointed out by unlucky is another, and there are myriad of other reasons why passive cooling belongs to toys only.

          1. Nick says:

            Sorry if I was unclear, I was considering efficiency of the cooling system in isolation.

            Active cooling implies pumps at least. Passive cooling == nothing (ie just passive).

            Since a pump uses some energy, passive cooling is more efficient.

            1. Nick says:

              To expand on this, charging a Volt in my garage heats it up, but charging the LEAF does not.

              I’d assumed this was due to the difference in charging efficiency of the two vehicles.

              1. theflew says:

                The difference is the Volt is drawing the heat away from the battery, which heats up your garage. The Leaf is just insulating the heat.

  8. ANewHope says:

    BEVs are new technology so there will be bigger advances each interation (features, price…) than in ICE cars. Weak premise to the article. Why not add all the other sub 200mile BEVs to the regret story. Same could be said for the person who bought a top of the line P85D and “regrets” not having a P100D ludicrous.

  9. Mister G says:

    Nissan needs to step up with 250 mile EV for $35k?

  10. Ken says:

    We just got a new Leaf 30kwh due to the fact that this is the (together with the Ioniq and the Tesla), the only electrical car with the capability of hosting 2x rear facing child seats AND a big stroller in the back.

    The Leaf is 4.44m compared to the imiev-like length of the Bolt at 4.17cm.

    So … as of right now, the only option for us as a family was Tesla, Leaf or Ioniq.

    1. CLIVE says:

      A deal breaker without a doubt for those with kids. Ioniq will be a hot seller.

      1. unlucky says:

        How many families have 2 kids in the rear-facing age bracket (under two years) at once? If you have twins, sure. But how many do?

    2. unlucky says:

      I would imagine being barely over 4cm long would be a big deal breaker.

      The length difference of the cars is immaterial. The length of space for passengers is the same. The difference is the width. I imagine you can’t get a big stroller in the back the same as you can’t get a golf bag with driver in the back without taking out the false floor (and then it still doesn’t fit well).

      Your situation is why I regret that Toyota stopped making the RAV4 EV.

      I saw a family of 5 get out of a Bolt last weekend. They had a car seat in the middle of the back row. I guess when that kid gets large enough to not need a seat they’ll fit even better, at least for a while. When the kids get in their teens putting 3 across the rear seat consistently is going to be annoying. Maybe they have a 3 year lease and it won’t be an issue.

  11. Stimpacker says:

    Not a good article.

    Nope, no regrets not buying a first year production car. Long time GM supporter here but learnt my lesson.

    Nope, no regrets getting my 3rd Leaf. Less than half the price.

    Can’t go far with either Leaf or Bolt due to the sorry state of CHAdeMO/CCS.

    So yea, no regrets but I do thank early Bolt customers.

    1. CLIVE says:

      CCS is many many years behind CHAdeMO.

  12. Bret says:

    I leased a 2016 Leaf last year and I do have a bit of Bolt envy.

    My Leaf gets me to work and back, but not much farther. After a 66 mile commute, I should have 51 miles remaining, but it’s usually more like 20-30. Thank God I have the 30K battery or I would really have buyer’s remorse. I absolutely love the car, except for the range. It’s smooth, comfortable, zippy and seats five.

    My lease is pretty cheap, so it’s hard for me to complain. I save enough on gas to offset much of my lease and I don’t missing stopping at the gas station. When my lease is up, I’m definitely getting a 200+ mile EV.

  13. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Bolt is superior to LEAF in almost every way except for price. But it should cost more as it has more battery, more power, more performance, more range, more modern features…

    So, isn’t choice a good thing?

    “Have it your way”.

  14. hpver says:

    Test drove the Bolt recently and I think this review was pretty fair overall (except the $9k loss per vehicle line). It’s a really good car and easy to drive. Would like to see a bit more in-depth coverage, but maybe that would be too much for the general public.

    We leased a Leaf for 39 months and loved the car, but the battery degradation in the heat was ultimately a deal-breaker for us. Nissan really needs to address that issue. Replaced our Leaf with a leased Spark EV. Basic and small but meets our needs as a stopgap until we get the Bolt or something better. And the lease is no net cost to us because of state and local rebates, so it was a no-brainer. So far the Spark’s battery is far outperforming the Leaf’s, and the range is better, too.

    1. CLIVE says:

      Nissan changed to a more thermal “Lizard Battery” years ago.

  15. mymrkeys says:

    I tend to change my business vehicles every 4 years. Last year I made the jump and got a 30kwh Leaf knowing full well obsolescence would arrive sooner rather than later. I have no Bolt envy. GM crushed the EV1s, GM killed Saturn ( I still have my 1999 with 252,000K and going strong. GM could have killed my daughter with the HHR I sold her after 4 years in the business. Hell will freeze over before I buy another GM.

  16. Bill says:

    The Bolt is quite a bit smaller (according to GM’s publicist talking to a reviewer on YouTube), based off Sonic’s body design – obviously based rather loosely.

    To wit, the Bolt has pretty generous head room up front for over 6 foot tall driver such as myself, but fox hole like seats that are only 17 inches wide. I don’t think I would want to be riding Bolt’s 200+ mile range all in one chunk, lest winding up with a quite sore tail bone. The Back seat of the Bolt has a lot of intrusion of the C-pillar, so if I managed to fit in, I’d have to be riding with my head tilted to the center of the car. A Bolt back seat is best suited for pre-teen kids.

    I have a 2011 LEAF and there is much more passenger and cargo space than the Bolt. Two six foot adults can fit in front and three six foot adults can fit in the back of a LEAF all at the same time. That would be a sweat-fest in a Bolt.

    I believe the grestest advantage of the long range of the Bolt is not for taking long trips, but rather for not needing to charge every day. That would make the Bolt more practical for apartment dwellers that don’t have ready access to EVSE units where they live. Of course, a DC fast charge port would be needed to assure being able to get a reasonable top-off at chargers of opportunity. A DC fast charge port is a hefty $750 option on the Bolt. Ouch.

    My plan is to wait for the Tesla Model 3 or the next generstion LEAF. Those should be more pragmatic than the smallish Bolt. No doubut all manufacturers will be have to lower prices as EV competition heats up.

    1. unlucky says:

      I put two adults of normal and larger than normal size (over 6 feet) into the back seat of my Bolt a couple times a week. The C pillar does tilt inward a bit, but it’s not enough to have to lean your head over. The back seat of the Bolt is well suited for adults, not just pre-teens.

      It is not well suited for 3 adults though.

    2. no comment says:

      one of my first impressions of the Volt was how comfortable the seats were. surely, GM knows that this is an important “first impression” attribute of a car. you kind of wonder why GM skimped so much on seat design in the Bolt.

      as to the use of the Bolt, it is clear that GM does not view the Bolt as being a vehicle for long distance driving, but more one for radius driving. and while people think that an 238 mile EPA range is huge, there are scenarios where you can burn that up in metro/regional driving. imagine that you are a notre dame fan living in chicago and you want to go to south bend to watch the fighting irish play. given that the temperature will probably be on the cooler side, it might be a bit of a challenge to go the game and back in a Bolt. admittedly, south bend indiana is not considered to be part of the chicago metropolitan area, but this is a credible driving scenario in which you aren’t doing a long distance drive, but one in which you may not want to use the Bolt.

      1. theflew says:

        Why wouldn’t just find a level 2 charger and plug in? Heck for the length of a game (tailgate/post game) a level 1 charger would add some range back.

  17. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Say what you will about the Leaf, and if you’re considering buying one, then be aware that the resale value is abysmal. You’d almost certainly be better off leasing a Leaf than buying one.

    However, there is one thing that you definitely can say for the Leaf that you can’t for the Bolt EV: Everyone who wants one, will be able to find one. Unless I’m very wrong, then there will be a lot of people who want a Bolt EV who won’t be able to find one, at least during this first year of production. Likely the second year, too, if my prediction is right.

    1. bro1999 says:

      Bolt will be available in all 50 states by September of this year. GM has stated that multiple times. Not sure why you are “predicting” that won’t be the case.

  18. HotPotato says:

    Having driven both…

    The Leaf is much more comfortable and spacious. Wide, cushy seats, no pillar intrusion in the back seat, pillowy ride, relatively wide body and good size cargo area. It’s the car I’d rather ride in.

    The Bolt is much quicker, has more modern features, and of course a much longer range. It’s also a pretty good handler. I’d say it’s the car I’d rather drive, but there’s a caveat: the car is quite narrow and the seats almost comically so (like 15″ wide at the narrowest point, with a rock-hard plastic frame to the sides).

    If it looked and felt like a C-Max inside, I would already own a Bolt.

    1. bro1999 says:

      I had a C-Max Energi for 2 years, and I have a Bolt. The interior of the Bolt, while a smidge narrower, is otherwise just a spacious as the C-Max.

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