A Closer Look at the Bolt EV – Detailed Gallery

OCT 31 2016 BY MTN RANGER 55

Chevrolet Bolt EV On The Scene For Energy Week At Duke University

Chevrolet Bolt EV On The Scene For Energy Week At Duke University (shown in black because Duke knows black EVs are what the “cool kids” want)

Duke Energy Week Event

Duke Energy Week Event

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.

Under the hood of the Chevrolet Bolt EV

Under the hood of the Chevrolet Bolt EV

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.

Under the hood!

Under the hood!

Chevrolet Bolt EV Front Grille

Chevrolet Bolt EV Front Grille

The front fake upper and lower grill is very glossy and slippery, as opposed to the Volt’s embossed surface.

Chevy Bolt EV Tires

Chevy Bolt EV Tires

The tires are Michelin Energy Saver 215/50R17.

Inside the Chevrolet Bolt EV

Inside the Chevrolet Bolt EV

In the driver’s seat, the front cabin is airy and is a big departure from the Volt’s “cozy” cabin.

Look it's carpet!

Look it’s carpet!

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.

Chevrolet Bolt EV up top

Chevrolet Bolt EV up top

Overhead is the rearview mirror, cabin light, and button cluster.

Here is your new desktop screeensaver!

Finally, here is your new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV desktop screensaver!

Behold the inside of the glove box, which seems like it will hold a sufficient number of gloves.

Some other details include two USB ports inside the center arm rest.

Some other details include two USB ports inside the center arm rest.

As a base model, this is one of the first views of the fabric texture of the seats. 

As a base model, this is one of the first views of the fabric texture of the seats.

 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.

Ok, maybe THIS will be your new Chevy Bolt EV screensaver! /choices

Ok, maybe THIS will be your new Chevy Bolt EV screensaver! /choices

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. 

Chevrolet Bolt EV Legroom - seat forward

Chevrolet Bolt EV Legroom – seat forward

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.

Chevrolet Bolt EV - legroom seat back

Chevrolet Bolt EV – legroom seat back

For short trips, three adults will probably work. For longer trips, two would be very comfortable.

Chevrolet Bolt EV rear hatch in all its glory

Chevrolet Bolt EV rear hatch in all its glory

Another look at the Chevy Bolt EV's rear cargo space

Another look at the Chevy Bolt EV’s rear cargo space

Photo update (below):  As requested here is a shot of the rear hatch of the Chevrolet Bolt EV with seats folded down

Chevrolet Bolt EV rear hatch with seats down

Chevrolet Bolt EV rear hatch with seats 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.

Closeup photo of privacy screen in hatch

Closeup photo of privacy screen in hatch

Ye Olde Privacy Screen

Ye Olde Privacy Screen

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. 

Caption not required

Chevrolet Bolt EV – rear hatch/false floor

Snap! So many good Bolt EV screensaver pics...how will you choose?

Snap! So many good Bolt EV screensaver pics…how will you choose?

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

Energy Week at Duke


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55 Comments on "A Closer Look at the Bolt EV – Detailed Gallery"

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I love that they didn’t cover up the underhood with a bunch of beauty panels. It looks nice and honest. That is always my complaint with modern cars, even of the ICE variety is everything is covered when you open the hood.

I kinda worry about all the orange I see under the hood.
With the exception of the “first responders loop” (the cable you cut to disconnect the battery after a crash) there shouldn’t be ANY exposed HV cabling under there.

In the aftermath of an accident and/or a fire you want it VERY obvious where to cut and you want to limit access to dangerous voltages under the hood. Touching an exposed conductor on a HV system can KILL you INSTANTLY and PAINFULLY.

obJustification: This is my line of work. I deal with HV vehicle cabling every day.

Upon further examination, I note that many of the “orange cables” I thought I saw were actually red hoses.

Sorry about that. I *do* see too much orange, but not as much as I initially thought.

IMNSHO there should a single orange cable in a prominent yet protected location with a large “CUT HERE” pointing at it.

I agree with what you’re saying, but the second “under the hood” image shows what looks like a high voltage disconnect on the side of what I believe is the inverter. You just pull on it by hand to disconnect the battery pack from the rest of the system. This is preferable to cutting cables because you might not necessarily have high voltage rated tools on hand. Of course, I’m not actually familiar with the specifics of the Bolt’s HV systems but that’s what it looks like to me. Although I would hope that it would be labeled if this is the case.

‘Beauty Panels’ are great to keep out small animals and dust, though.

Admittedly, some do the job, others don’t.

Awesomely detailed! It’s nice to get a good feel for the back area which looks so much larger than my Spark. While I got a good look at the rest of the vehicle when checking it out at the Texas State Fair, the hatch wasn’t accessible.

Thanks for the detailed photos!

Rear cargo looks lot bigger in the photo than 17 cuft that it is. But if you look at the bottom with relation to the seat back, you’ll see that it’s just bit longer than SparkEV. I think it’s like Honda Fit (17 cu ft) and quite a bit smaller than Chevy Cruze hatchback (23 cu ft).

Yeah you’re right, the photo makes it look larger than it probably is.

But still, 16.9 vs 11.1 is over 50% more space than our Spark EV. That should fit our groceries and suitcases without having to also use the back seat. Gotta try it out in person to be sure, however.

We own a Honda Fit and a Spark EV. If it has similar room cargo room to the Fit, that is more than adequate for us. And if it’s anything like the Fit with the back seats down, even better. Looks very practical to me.

Wonder if I can lower the front seat flat and slide a surf board inside. I do it with my Leaf.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

+1 BIG Thank you on the pics and input. That trunk is definitely x2 of Spark and usable more than groceries — actual luggage and dog capabilities now. Not for large 4 person luggage hauling, but good enough for general cargo hauls.

I miss the cell phone holder that passenger Spark dashboard has. That’s quite useful for cell and extra openers.

No Homelink! — SMH —

like the USB relocation the front to the middle deck–allows back seat kids to recharge easier

Thanks again for the pics — getting excited to test drive one now!

Still no word on towing capability? Before you say you can probably find a hitch, I don’t want any excuses for warranty exclusion, so the factory must confirm towing ability.

From what I saw at the state fair. You would have to replace the entire rear bumper to put on a trailer hitch. My SUV has a bumper that incorporates a hitch so I’m not saying it can’t be done. We will have to wait for someone to get a look at the owners manual to find out if the Bolt is actually rated for towing but I’m not getting my hopes up.

It’s interesting that bob-innovative designed their mobile batteries around EVs that are not recommended for towing (Leaf, i3, etc.) Even at a 238 mile range the Bolt would benefit from a removable extended range battery. EV owners are going to continue to push the towing limits of their EVs especially in anticipation of mobile range extending batteries and EV manufacturers need to support this need for EV towing.

You have got to be kidding! How many who buy a Bolt do you think won’t have a heavier duty rig to pull trailers if needed!

As for a removable battery …. you’re out of your mind! Li batteries in the Bolt are part of a highly integrated pack with sensors, cooling and heating. And safety in unforseen circumstances.

Chevy isn’t interested in endangering an expensive and precise program for the future for such ideas! The T3 will charge $8,000 for additional batteries! Get that whenever they finally appear on the market!

Only color I like so far is white.

Looks like a great buy tho! Not sure how anyone could even consider a Leaf or Soul EV now.

Leaf S with DCFC is cheaper by about $7500, so it may not be affected as badly as SoulEV, especially since S will come with bigger battery soon.

I think far bigger punch will be to i3 that is more expensive than Bolt. BMW badge is worth only so much. No, I’m not anti i3; I rather like the car, just feel bad for its future unless they come up with better car soon.

Do the back seats fold flat for a level cargo area?

so, no spare tire right?

In the previous article about the Bolt, the C&D video seems to show the space for a spare.


I’m going to have to go take a look see for myself when they hit the showroom floors.

Now, EV’s have been out for long enough so why do they still sell EV’s with “Trickle Chargers”? The L1 it comes with is most likely 120VAC 12A. That works for a PHEV but for a BEV, the wait is forever……….like for GODOT!

Sure there are third party modders that can modify them for dual voltage autosense operation (120VAC 12A and 240VAC 12A) or the TurboCord but at the minimum sell one like this with the BEV. If these Stealerships were smart, they would bulk order the TurboCords and include them. But then again they’ll mark them up even more……lol

For you potential BEV buyers, buy your EVSE now because December 31 is the last day you can use your receipt of your EVSE purchase as a tax credit.


The Volt trickle charger can be modified easily to take 240 volts effectively doubling your charge rate. I would expect the same on the BoltEV charger

Define “Easily”?…….lol

I define it as box up the OEM trickle charger and send it to EVSEUpgrade.com.

Or buy an ungodly expensive turbo cord….
Or DIY it with OpenEVSE with the Wide Voltage (WD) model.

The Level 2 charging is a $750 option with a combo charge plug. Charging isn’t a problem.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

We have a 240V Level 2 and use a Level 1 for our two EVs at home.

Most of the time, this works as my daily commute is only 10miles each way and can go several days without a charge on the Spark if needed — Only time it becomes an issue if I have parent pickup duties after work and drain the charge down to 10miles; then have to plug in the Level 2 and swap out before night time to charge the Fiat fully at super off peak rates.

Could ping another 240V, but saving that for the Model 3 future and deciding whether to supersize to 50AMP on that.

A 120v EVSE is very useful if all you have is a 120 outlet. You can still add 30-40 miles of range overnight. I’m thinking condo and apartment dwellers who have a garage or carport with outlets, that sort of thing.

The real issue about EVSE cables and how much you need at home… how many miles a night do you need to replace each day. We also get by with one 240V, 40A supplied 7.2kW EVSE and one 120V 12A Nissan supplied EVSE. One of our cars is usually on the 7.2 and the other on the 120V cable. Both Nissan LEAF have the 6.6 and can recover fully in 4 hours so we almost always have one car at 100%. Most folks will not completely drain the BOLT battery daily and so will not need to charge for 9 hrs at 240V… folks really need to check how many miles a day they actually drive and how much power they need to recharge daily. YMMV.

Looks good, thanks for the pics.

“I also have a reservation for a Tesla Model 3.”

I like that over-the-top detailed level of disclosure.

Other green energy / car sites have writers long TSLA and/or SCTY shares that don’t feel the need to add any disclosure (while covering TSLA and SCTY in a very positive light 24/7).

I applaud his willingness to state even this. Much more professional of him to do so.

They also fail to mention if they have children which will be impacted by the climate emergency when covering Tesla.

Thx for the pictures of the hatchback. First I have seen actually. Looks sufficient for daily use but I have to admit I was hoping it would be a big bigger for the dogs.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

Agree- was hoping a little bigger, but it does look large enough for our one 75# golden. She’ll have room to turn around and sit/stand without bumping head and able to peer over to the back seats to torment the kids.

Excellent! You have whetted my appetite even more for the Bolt EV.

It is great to see the LT base model, since we have been seeing the Premier model most of the time.

My friendly Michigan Chevy dealer gave me ETA of “early spring 2017” for first Bolt deliveries. Not good, as GM is touting how “the Bolt is available now why wait for Model 3 in 2017”?

March 2017 is actually pretty good for Michigan. Remember that the factory is kicking out 72 Bolts a day but the production run only started a week and a half ago and you know the first ones are going to the CARB states. I will be very happy if we start to see Bolts on the streets in Texas by March.

Good report!
Thx MTN Ranger.

For people interested in this car, it would be advantageous to wait for some great lease deals. It may take a while but it will probably happen.

+1 Great report and excellent pics!

question MtnRanger,
When you were sitting in the back seat, how much room was under your leg and the top of the seat? This would be a measure of how high the seat is off the floor. Ideally you want no distance between your leg and the top of the seat in order to be comfortable for a long period of time.

Is there a “cigarette lighter” for a 12V power supply?

I like the spot between the front seats. It’s like my Gen1 Volt, big enough to put a large Gatorade or 2 liter bottle 🙂

“Is there a “cigarette lighter” for a 12V power supply?”

Make magic smoke?
You EE’s are all the same.

Thank you