A Closer Look at the Bolt EV – Detailed Gallery
The Duke University Energy Conference started on October 30th and continues all week. Last week I got notice of the public opening event and since I live only 45 minutes away, it seemed like a no-brainer to attend.
Unseasonably warm weather combined with Fall colors made it the perfect setting for a Drive and Ride event. I took advantage of this by driving a 2017 Volt Premier and enjoyed the drive that consisted of a couple mile circuit. As a generation one Volt owner, I appreciated the improved interior, seemingly smoother drive, and substantially longer electric mile range.
The main reason (okay, the catered NC BBQ lunch was great too) I showed up today was the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. Unfortunately, this Bolt EV was not available for driving during the event. It was, however, open to explore and poke around. Interestingly, this Bolt EV was a base model as opposed to the magazine reviews that featured loaded premiers.
When I opened the hood, I was amazed how small the opening is to access the electronic drive components. A lot of stuff is packed in a small area – no room for a frunk compartment.
The front fake upper and lower grill is very glossy and slippery, as opposed to the Volt’s embossed surface.
The tires are Michelin Energy Saver 215/50R17.
In the driver’s seat, the front cabin is airy and is a big departure from the Volt’s “cozy” cabin.
Looking at the floor in the front, it is mostly flat allowing a passenger to switch between driver seat easily (and vice versa). The dash has a mixture of large touch screen and old fashioned buttons in a fairly ergonomic pattern similar to most other current Chevy models.
Overhead is the rearview mirror, cabin light, and button cluster.
Behold the inside of the glove box, which seems like it will hold a sufficient number of gloves.
At 5’11”, I’m a little above average height and sitting in the rear seats was very comfortable. I first sat in the middle seat, as in most cars, this offers the least amount of space.
I had roughly 1 to 1.5 inches of clearance above my head. While sitting fully upright, the rear glass is nowhere close, as would be the case in the Volt. I then sat in the rear right seat and had about 2 to 2.5 inches of headroom.
Next I tested the leg room in that seat, first with the front moved to the forward limit at 12 inches and then with the rear limit as 2.5 inches. That is a pretty impressive amount of legroom available.
For short trips, three adults will probably work. For longer trips, two would be very comfortable.
Photo update (below): As requested here is a shot of the rear hatch of the Chevrolet Bolt EV with seats folded down
The rear hatch is an area seldom seen in Bolt EV previews. When I opened the hatch door, there is a soft fabric privacy screen that attaches via loop to the hatch and rear seats.
Unhooking the loops on the hatch lets the screen fall flat against the seats. The false floor can be positioned flat, at an angle or removed altogether.
Underneath the trunk mat is a box for storing the 120V EVSE and other tools. I tried to remove this tray, but unfortunately it was held in place by some bolts.
All in all, for my first sit and non-drive of a 2017 Bolt EV, this was a great experience. I look forward to test driving one early next year.
Full disclosure: I also have a reservation for a Tesla Model 3. I also don’t have any affiliation with Duke University