Bill Nye “The Science Guy” Buys A Chevrolet Bolt


Steve Wozniak now has company on the list of “celebrities” with a Chevrolet Bolt. Who better than Bill Nye the Science Guy to own and promote GM’s new long-range all-electric disruptor? If you don’t know Bill, he previously hosted a PBS children’s show.

Chevrolet Bolt EV rear hatch with seats down

Nye is an EV lover and advocate, and of course his education and field of expertise strongly supports his preference. He actually drove one of the few GM EV1 electric cars years ago. He shared:

“If you don’t drive an electric car, you just don’t get it.”

“Who the hell wants to drive a combustion-engine car? People … come on!”

The Science Guy is already pushing his friends and family to join the club and has been taking them on test drives. Nye believes that once you ride in one (an EV), it’s hard not to smile and be sold.

Nye said that he usually only needs about 100 miles of range. But, at times, he travels 120 miles to Palm Springs, from his home in Studio City (Los Angeles), CA. Some of his previous cars caused him range anxiety on such a trip. Nye has been the proud owner of the EV1, Mini E, Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, and VW e-Golf. He still owns a 2004 Toyota Prius hybrid that he rarely drives. Wow, his seriousness about electric vehicles is beyond obvious.  It also gives him credibility as an “expert” in the field, and a wonderful arsenal for comparison.

Nye said that the Chevrolet Bolt:

“Is head and shoulders above the rest.”

Chevrolet Bolt EV

His only complaints are that the driver’s seat is too narrow and the rearview camera display (housed in the rearview mirror, instead of on the display screen) is weird to get used to. It’s not as easy to judge distances than a traditional mirror. But, you can turn it off. He also mentioned that the steering wheel should tilt down further, so as not to block the instrument cluster.

Nye uses his Chevrolet Bolt as his daily driver. He sometimes travels up to 90 miles each way and never has to charge during his trips.

Source: Green Car Reports

Categories: Chevrolet

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53 Comments on "Bill Nye “The Science Guy” Buys A Chevrolet Bolt"

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“If you don’t drive an electric car, you just don’t get it.”

How insightful…

“Who the hell wants to drive a combustion-engine car? People … come on!”

99.99% of the world if we include the majority of EV owners who have an ICE vehicle in their household…

> How insightful…

Way more than you seem to be giving credit for.

+1. I dislike Bill Nye immensely. Though I dislike him slightly less for buying a Bolt EV 😉

Just shows you don’t get it yet.
Don’t worry it’s normal.
My boss laughed at me 1990 and said ‘nobody will ever use Email for business’

I was lucky enough that a friend showed me his GM Volt 2014 and how it could drive electric without gas engine for a good distance. I started test driving teslas and bought a good amount of shares below $190 instead of the car as it was out my budget. 2015 I test drove a VW eGolf and thought why not replace the secondary gas car that I mostly drive short distance anyways. Best decision ever, we ended up putting 23.6k miles on it and the ‘primary’ gas car stared collecting dust. 2016 we finally replaced the Honda Odyssee with a tesla model X after cashing in on some of the stocks gains, loving it.

The idea of going back to a gas car is about as attractive as trading in my iPhone for a landline. Not going to happen.

Right on Michael!!

Is he still alive? You should, you know… drop him an email.

You’re right, I, along with 99.99% of the population don’t get it…If you love EVs so much why even have a Volt with ICE engine when you could have a pure EV?

I had a MY17 Volt for 4 months, every single speed bump, parking garage ramp or drainage trench (L.A. area has a lot of them) it was SCRAPE…Went to an ICE SUV, I no longer even slow down for speed bumps and couldn’t be happier…

Speed bumps are there for a reason. You should slow down.

And this relates to the Volt being an EV how?

I’ve had my ’17 Volt 7 months and have never scraped a thing. Maybe you didn’t do enough research before you purchased – ground clearance is an easy parameter to find.

i find nye’s assertion that the Bolt is “head and shoulders above the rest” to also be rather suspect.

while both wozniak and nye both own a chevrolet Bolt, i suspect that they do so for very different reasons. for wozniak, i think a lot of the appeal is neat technology, but for nye i suspect it has a lot more to do with EV evangelism, the idea of driving a car to promote a cause.

I think if someone says the new BMW 3 series is “head and shoulders above the rest,” they probably don’t mean a $200,000 Bentley.

of course the Bolt does not compare to a bentley, or a benz-o either for that matter. but given that nye appears to be an EV-enthusiast, i took his comment to mean that he thought that the Bolt was head and shoulders above other BEVs.

Note that the list of “the rest” does not include a Tesla. All the lower priced EVs.

But the Bolt is “head and shoulders above other BEVs”… unless you compare it to an ultra-luxury BEV that is far more expensive.

Kind of like comparing a BMW to a Bentley.

I seem to recall that, several years ago, we gave him some flak for a video he made about hybrids, explaining that “you don’t have to plug it in” while holding up an electric cord that drooped like the member of a short-fingered vulgarian. Good to see he has fully come around! Oh, and never forget that there weren’t actually any EV1 owners, just lessees.

There weren’t any Mini E owners either, only closed end lessees. I was also one, Mini E #466!

Same with the Fit EV now. All will be taken back. And the Honda EV (contemporary to the EV1) was the same. The BMW ActiveE also.

By the way, InsideEVs, I don’t see mention of the Mini E (or Active E, with which I’m not as familiar) in the historical section of your monthly sales charts ( It would seem that it meets the criteria of “since 2008, publicly available, sold in the US, minimum 100 units” — unless “sold” excludes lease-only, though such vehicles are included in the main charts. Do you have that data somewhere?

Hey Mark, good question!

I do have the data…um, somewhere, been awhile now.

It isn’t in the charts just because it was really a closed fleet…it didn’t hit the “publicly available threshold”. There was hoops to jump through, disclaimers, etc.

I mean it probably could been…but we made the call to not include it, might have been more confusing than not for those people not really “in the know”. I can try to rustle up the data for you on the US volumes on the leases, if you are really curious to know

Thanks, but don’t go to any trouble on account of my query — I’ll accept your judgment (more experienced than mine) as to whether they were “publicly available.” There were only 500 or thereabouts, so it won’t make a big difference to the totals.

Speaking of which, I understand that the Bolt EV was only (relatively) widely available in California for the last week of December, and yet 579 were sold or leased. That means that, in a single week, Chevrolet put about as many Bolt EVs on the road than GM was willing to build of the EV1 in the entirety of either of its model years (’97, ’99)!

It’s true, though it was almost a decade ago

Bill Nye and PHEV's

I think that was the right thing at the time.

Around that time my father told me about how no one would buy hybrids because they didn’t have a way to plug in.

At the time, this video could help people in regular ICE cars into hybrids. And that’s a good thing.

Getting people to use less gas is about getting people to do everything they can, not complaining about people taking half measures.

“Complaining about people taking half measures” would be if we had taken him to task for promoting hybrids instead of plug-in vehicles. What we objected to was his (at least implicitly) bad-mouthing, on a wide-reaching platform, the idea of plugging in; in the service of “half measures,” that amounted to eating the seed corn. Not two weeks ago I talked to a woman who was proud that she had just bought a hybrid because she “didn’t need to plug it in”; the damage from such “talking points” was long-lasting. (And on-going:

It was a long time ago (over a decade despite what the text above says) and it wasn’t aimed at you.

The video is about “you don’t HAVE TO plug it in”, not “thou shalt not plug in”.

I don’t get why you would be angry with this woman. If she doesn’t want to plug-in then the best she can do is get a hybrid. And she did. So what’s wrong?

What’s wrong is that woman needs to be educated regarding the fact that being able to plug your car in is an advantage, not a disadvantage!

Dude, who says I’m angry with her? I’m happy she is happy with a high (gasoline) efficiency car. However, she and many others might have done better – for their bank accounts, as well as for the planet – if plugging in hadn’t been presented as a bad thing for long enough, and via enough channels, that they didn’t consider PHEVs or EVs. My objection was, and is, not to people getting non-plug-in hybrids in preference to these – I have a Prius myself (though that was mainly because we needed a new vehicle at the end of 2007, not 2010) – but rather to the fact that their preference is likely to have been slanted by misinformation or just plain bad-mouthing about plug-ins, from (as you noted) many years ago to (as I noted) the present.

No one presented plugging in as a bad thing. The message is not “don’t plug in”. It is “you don’t have to plug in”.

The issue is that for a lot of people plugging in presents a problem. So explaining you don’t have to plug in a hybrid removes a big (false) impediment to people getting one.

This is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Take a look at this: . I think you’ll concur that it “presented plugging in as a bad thing,” and it’s far from the first or only instance of this that I’ve seen. As for Bill Nye’s decade-old photo and caption (with the impotently drooping power cord) as presented by Ken L. above, I figure you and I are just going to have to agree to disagree as to whether it represents more of the same. For what it’s worth, the woman with whom I spoke was convinced that electricity from her car’s gasoline genset was just as clean as electricity from the grid, which I think Nye implies in that caption, and she had never heard of a plug-in hybrid.

Anyway, I must say it’s nice to find myself disagreeing with somebody who’s rational and civil in his or her disagreement! On all too many of the websites I frequent, I deliberately control scrolling of the page so the comments stay invisible off the bottom and I can avoid wading into the muck. Many thanks!

I don’t think it’s fair to take a statement from 10+ years ago about the technology of that day and apply it to the technology of today.

Your objection is essentially no different than if Bill Nye had criticized “inefficient automatic transmissions” back in the ’80s and you took that as undermining the automatic transmissions of today.

I’m talking about Bill Nye in 2006, not Lexus in 2014.

Looks like one more person that isn’t wild about the front seats. I’d like to see for myself some day.

It’s a seamless solution for not having a road worthy charging system: Seats so bad you don’t WANT to take it on a long trip. 🙂

Perfect solution.

They are indeed not very comfortable, but they don’t seem to bother me during a 1 hour trip. Don’t know about longer than that.

I have heard lots of people say that if my hips were any wider, that they would have a problem with the seat, including me, a very narrow person and a wide person.

However, since both small and large people say the same thing, so it may not be as big of a problem as it might appear.

When I have time, I want to write up my impressions after driving one for 6 weeks.

In short, it is great for me except for the infotainment system.

My wife has issues with it…the thick (heated) steering wheel tires her hands and a few others.

You feel the seats touching the sides of your thighs. That makes them feel narrow and they are narrow. But it’s not uncomfortable. It’s similar in feel to and less uncomfortable than sitting on your wallet and many people do that every day without even considering doing something about it.

If you want to see what it’s like, so sit in a Buick Encore. It has the same seat bottom.

Here is a Bolt seat discomfort tracking chart for those that want to see what others are reporting:

Cool link, but two people say the plastic protrudes above the seat bolster and it’s just not true. You cannot directly contact the plastic when seated in the seat facing forward. You can contact it when you swing your legs out to get in and out. And I do contact it at that time.

Note that the area where the seat frame goes above the seat is the same on the Volt and really any other similar Chevy. It is near where the pivot is and not in an area where your body contacts the seat frame or shell in normal use.

I would agree with the people who complain about the lumbar support. It’s not a problem for me, but the stiffness of the seat (you sit “on” it more and “in” it less) means a lot of people will have back shapes that don’t contact the seat well in the lumbar area and thus you don’t get good support.

Another note, when you adjust the seat, the plastic moves with the bolster so the relationship there shouldn’t change. In other words, the difference in experiences probably isn’t due to different seat adjustments, or at least not that alone.

The front seats are terrible. Deal breaker for me. I strongly suspect it was GM-Korea (aka Daewoo) that engineered the front seats for the Korean ass (in contrast to the wide American ass). Daewoo contributed a lot to the overall development of the Bolt (that scares me as well, seeing as there hasn’t been a single good GM product out of that division- EVER).

It’s the same seat as the Buick Encore, engineered by Opel in Germany.

I could not buy that car because the front seats are made for a 110lb woman. I am 5’10” 210lbs and the seat is way to narrow for my back. I was very disappointed on my test drive

Kinda old news, but still good news.

I got my first look at a Bolt in San Jose this past weekend. It’s the perfect car for me and I can’t wait to get one when we move to CA in June. Some guy had just traded his P85 for one and they were prepping the Tesla for their used car lot. We had a Honda Fit and I love that form factor, so the Bolt is going to be a welcome return to a car I loved, and with Apple Play!

Lol, maybe buy the P85 instead, much better car, assuming the residual value is not too high

It’s not “much better” if you prefer the Bolt EV’s form factor. Personally I would never buy a Model S or something that size. I don’t want to drive a land-yacht.

Bill Nye is a great educator and entertainer. But he is a questionable scientist. and has a poor philosophy on life. I have very little respect for him, with the way he treats anyone who disagrees with him. The quote given is a perfect example.

LEAF owners feel offended?

It is head and shoulder above the rest in terms of performance, range and value…

It isn’t the best in everything. But for a sub $37.5K BEV class in the US, it is one with the longest range, the fastest acceleration to 60, among the fastest AC charging speed and most interior passenger volume.

So, you should whine to Nissan or others for not being competitive, yet.

Your comment cracks me up. You have no idea what I’m talking about, took a wild guess based on your own assumptions and prejudices about me, and completely missed the mark.

No I’m not offended that he finds the Bolt head and shoulders above the leaf. From what I can tell, he is right. And no argument from me that the 2017 Leaf is completely non competitive with the 2017 Bolt.

But thanks for the rash, errant comment. I needed a good laugh!

Hi Brian.

By now you probably know I put a deposit down on one of the first batch of BOLTs for NY.

Just curious about Nye’s ‘Poor philosophy about Life’. What did you mean by it?

(Don’t watch his stuff much, but most of that ilk are humorless and pretty narrow minded – they can’t tolerate an opposing position).

Besides the poor front seating – I’m buying the BOLT almost exclusively for its 323 mile range (per the Euro drive cycle), and its good value.

Hey Bill. Congrats on the deposit, I can’t wait to see your shiny new Bolt. I assume you are going to wait for NYS to instate the rebate before pulling the trigger? “If you don’t drive an electric car, you just don’t get it.” “Who the hell wants to drive a combustion-engine car? People … come on!” These are perfect examples of Bill Nye’s narrow mindedness. So anyone who doesn’t drive an electric car (DRIVE – present tense, not WANT to drive in the future) must not get it. Clearly they meet all needs of all drivers, and are affordable to anyone who wants one. As for “who wants to drive a combustion-engine car?” … well, anyone who values their basic transportation needs over making a statement (or simply cannot afford a EV). Bill Nye knows science in the same way that my middle-school science teachers knew science. IMO, he does a good job of bringing the science to life for kids, which makes him a good educator. But it does NOT make him a scientist. By analogy, I’m an engineer. My job is to apply what we know from science in order to solve problems. I can be a… Read more »

Well, Ahem, other than the totalled VOLT, (which the junk dealers get every remaining scrap of value out of – they really do reuse almost everything conceivable – I wonder how much they’ll get for the battery pouches?), My Roadster EV is still driving around in Texas, and my current 2012 beautiful red metallic VOLT I’m selling to a friend to replace a 15 year old Corolla which is at end of its rustable life here in the Northeast.

I would imagine there are some good Science teachers, but none of the ones I had were as open-flexible-minded as you, nor could perform Fast Fourier Transforms.

“….Somewhat recently he was in a debate against a prominent Creationist. Regardless of where you stand on the topic of the debate, the way in which he treated his opponent is … less than respectful. He continues to treat anyone who disagrees with him in a similar manner …”

Exactly how people with similar views are treated here, sorry to say… I hear that, Brian.

The 2016 NYS budget appropriation requires the $2,000 EV rebate plan to be implemented by the end of the current fiscal year, March 31, 2017. Just something to keep in mind before pulling the trigger and signing on the dotted line. Whether NYS meets its self imposed deadline is anyone’s guess.

Since NYSERDA is charged with administering the rebate program, any news will be posted on their website:

That is precisely why the car is going to be sitting on the Dealer Lot for a while. But the VIN has to be generated by 12/28 to take advantage of the GM CARD SWEETENER.

Er, 2/28/17

Funny how they crop out the Titan holding up the globe on which he is standing.