Chevrolet Bolt Described As “Electric All-Arounder” By Slash Gear

6 months ago by Eric Loveday 38

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

“All it took was one road trip and I was a Bolt EV convert.”

States Slash Gear.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV

The folks over at Slash Gear recently had some behind-the-wheel time in the Chevrolet Bolt and were impressed by how well rounded the electric car from Chevy is overall.

On Slash Gear’s scoring system, the Bolt received 9 out of 10 total points. An impressive result, for sure.

The pros and cons break down as follows (via Slash Gear):

PROS

  • Better-than-EPA range
  • Legitimately rewarding to drive
  • Category-beating levels of tech
  • Spacious cabin and trunk

CONS

  • Level 1 charger is a slow way to charge
  • No navigation option
  • Tight fit for five people

The Slash Gear review concludes:

“All it took was one road trip and I was a Bolt EV convert.”

“You can get 250+ miles of enjoyable range with space, near-silence, and plenty of gadgets, and courtesy of the federal incentives save $7.5k off the sticker price. It’s not just a solid alternative to the gasoline compact cars out there, it’s simply better than them.

Check out the full reveiw at Slash Gear

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38 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt Described As “Electric All-Arounder” By Slash Gear"

  1. Robert says:

    “It’s not just a solid alternative to the gasoline compact cars out there, it’s simply better than them”

    PERIOD

  2. ffbj says:

    Yeah, definitely get the DCFC, if only resale value. So I have L2. I think it will charge fine with that. You can set charge limit I presume.

    1. Rhaman says:

      I believe the Bolt manual is available online so any info you need is there. Thanks

    2. Bill Howland says:

      Yeah, the BOLT ev may be set to either 90 or 100% charging, and also to override time-of-day plans to at least 40 % State of Charge.

      Interestingly, nothing is said that constant 100% charging will have any effect on battery life.

      Regarding L1 900 or 1400 watt charging rates, they are as efficient as they were in the Volt so that Isn’t too bad if that’s all you’ve got – better than nothing.

  3. VazzedUp says:

    “Level 1 charger is a slow way to charge”
    Thats like saying, using a plastic gas can is a slow way to fuel a Hummer. Guess they had to find some fault.
    Shame they could not have charged at minimum with Level 2.

    1. realistic says:

      “Guess they had to find some fault.”

      But this is a real issue for many potential U.S. buyers of cars in the compact sedan/crossover market: they don’t live in detached housing and their charge-at-home options are limited to what can be accomodated in an approved outdoor plug. Yes, workplace charging (for a minority), available rapid charging stations (less convenient than gas stations) blah blah — not really a “just the same as your ICE but you can refuel at home” scenario as promised. Please don’t start on the Tony Seba what-the-world’s-gonna-look-like-next-week prophesy. That doesn’t translate to someone who’s spending the same or more than the price of an Equinox and must rationalize a real inconvenience.

      When I got my first factory EV three years ago, the rvelation to my wife of upgrading the breaker box, wiring the garage for 240v and purchasing an EVSE was an unpleasant surprise. I was able to run all the wire, do some harware installation and basically leave the final connection to a certified Electrician (local codes and permitting, don’t forget), but this was not trivial.

      The L1 issue in the U.S. is not to be ignored if you really think the EV evangelism has legs.

      1. unlucky says:

        With L1 charging on this car you can easily add the 40 mile daily drive people that is common. I have a friend who owned a Bolt for a month using only L1. She was completely fine with it. It did mean they couldn’t use it for long trips on the weekend and used the other family car (gas car) instead. But that could have been worked out if she simply paid for L2 or DCFC charging for those trips. But she avoided this and instead finally arranged to get an L2 in the garage later.

        L1 certainly isn’t optimal. But you can make it work. I also know a guy who used L1 on a LEAF for over six months.

        1. Fabian says:

          I would not do L1 for month after month. I wold Suggest new L2 lines for higher charge speeds, or an EV is just not for you.

          An L1 charge will put house’s romex line at full blast for long periods of time, which will eventually (probably quickly) fail.

          Unless you put the 110 lines in yourself with very high quality romex, most home circuits are not really designed to have their near-max load drawn for such extended periods, over and over.

          Don’t cry if you kill your cheap romex and have to pull the sheetrock to replace the lines later, just to save a buck on an L2 setup.

          1. Rhaman says:

            Well, for a 45 year old home perhaps but an L1 Charger draws 12 amps and Volt/Spark owners use these daily and have done so without issues on any 16 amp outlet. Sharp Gear reviewer must be new to EV’s. The 60 kW Bolt battery requires at least a 32 amp Level 2 EVSE. Cheers.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              The only thing the BOLT ev ‘requires’ is an 8 ampere supply, so around 900 watts. That’s the minimum.

              As far as REQUIRING a 32 amp L2 wall box, the bolt ev will work with 12, 15, 16, 20, 24, and 30 amp ones also – they just won’t necessarily run at the peak charging rate (7200 watts), as well as 40, 48, 64, 70, 75, and 80 amp wallboxes – but they won’t work any faster than a 32 for a given location.

  4. ClarksonCote says:

    It’s a bit misleading to say there’s no navigation option. While technically true, the at comes with Apple Car Play and Android auto, so with those phones, you effectively do have in dash navigation. Without the headaches of typical in dash systems and outdated maps.

    1. vdiv says:

      Right. It also has the OnStar turn-by-turn system that some like

    2. cab says:

      Agreed, of course still have their own issues too (i.e. no cell = no nav, unless either system can make use of offline downloaded maps, and Android Auto doesn’t make full use of the screen real estate in this implementation). DOes it have Onstart “turn by turn” – not a true replacement but it is something.

  5. vdiv says:

    Slow and finicky L1 charging is a problem regardless of the EV. Perhaps the Bolt EV could have benefited from a slightly faster 11 kW onboard charger (or 3-phase 22kW in Europe), but the objective of the car was to be affordable so 7.2 kW is sufficient, and can max out most public (and home) EVSEs.

  6. Trollnonymous says:

    “Level 1 charger is a slow way to charge”

    No $h|t!

  7. Ziv says:

    Has anyone been able to document how fast the Bolt charges at DCFC’ers that are capable of charging at 75 kW charge rates?
    I have only seen people reporting that they are getting 42-43 kW charge rate from 50 kW chargers.
    Sorry if this has been covered at length already.

    1. unlucky says:

      There are no 75kW chargers out there. I used a 62.5kW charger and it looked like it would have peaked at 50kW (but I didn’t charge long enough to reach peak).

      We should start to see 80kW and higher chargers soon and the climate is temperate right now (in the Northern hemisphere) so maybe we’ll see data from 80kW and up chargers soon.

      There is actually one over 100kW charger which is Bolt-compatible in Fremont California (near the Tesla plant) but it’s not available to the public. It almost seems like its fake.

      1. Ziv says:

        Thanks for the info, unlucky. I thought there were a handful of 75 kW chargers installed recently. My error.

      2. bro1999 says:

        Where was this 62.5 kW CCS?

        1. unlucky says:

          Greenlots has several 62.5kW chargers in Northern California, you can see a list on the SMUD website. Note that some locations have more than one.

          https://www.smud.org/en/residential/environment/plug-in-electric-vehicles/index.htm

          I’d link to a station on plugshare but plugshare.com doesn’t support that. I don’t get it.

          1. bro1999 says:

            So I believe those stations are theoretically rated for 62.5 kW (500V * 125A), but no current EV’s HV battery’s voltage approaches anywhere near 500V. I think they are all currently capped at 400V.

            So that theoretical 62.5 kW station is just that, in theory only.

            For the Bolt, we need stations that are not capped at 125A to find out the TRUE max CCS fast charge rate for the Bolt.

            Max charge rate I’ve seen in my Bolt when hooked to a 125A station is ~46 kW.

            1. unlucky says:

              These are not capped to 50kW. But no, you won’t get to 62.5kW on a Bolt EV or anything else with a 400V pack because they are limited to 125A.

              There are 50kW-capped chargers in other locations. Like the 125A ones at the Lucky in Fremont which also has the experimental charger.

      3. menorman says:

        VW has said that they plan to install 150kW and 350kW stations as part of their Electrify America initiative, so we should find out by the end of the year what the Bolt (and Ioniq) are really capable of.

    1. Ziv says:

      I only have level 1 charging for my Volt and I almost never come down to the car in the morning and see anything less than a full charge. And my genset only comes on once every 2 or 3 months. Plus, I generally leave the charge rate at the lowest Level 1 rate there is, just 8 amps, not 12 amps.
      If I had a Bolt, I would only have to go to a faster charger once every couple of months if I charged at 12 amps every night. I think there is a substantial portion of the car driving public that could use a BEV with very few compromises and use a simple 110 receptacle.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Yeah that brings up an interesting question:

        What percentage of BOLT ev owners use precisely what type of charging at home?
        With the Volt – L1 charging has always been the most favorite with L2 at home being in the minority amoungst all users.

        The chevy sales brouchure doesn’t seem to emphasize 220 charging (L2) much at all, and some dealers aren’t as familiar as their customers as to the rigamorole involved to get a docking station installed.

        It will be interesting to see after plenty are sold, exactly how many L2 installations are put in specifically for the Bolt.

        1. Ziv says:

          Bill, the Volt has such pokey 220 charging, it is just not worth my time to put in an L2 charger. I get 3 or 5 miles per hour of charging, at 8 amps and 12 amps respectively. Even if I got a relatively fast L2 charger, I could only charge fast enough to get 11 miles per hour of charging. GM really punted on faster charging for the Volts. I get that I don’t NEED to charge at 6.6 kW charge rates, but if I am paying for charging by the hour, or if I have just an hour lunch break to recharge my car, being able to acquire 22 miles of additional AER per hour would be really nice.
          But for everyday charging, 110 works pretty well if you don’t drive more than 30-33 miles a day.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Yeah, I’m sure there will be many totally satisfied owners of the BOLT ev who only have L1 facilities / and / or do not want to install additional facilities, for whatever their reasons.

            The 220 wallbox arrangement is slightly more efficient, but not a deal breaker.

            I’ve computed efficiency numbers in the past, but I don’t recall how I got them.

            Assuming you have a standardized ‘GLOB’ of electricity, (for X amount of money), I got these relative numbers (higher is better)

            160 for Level 2 (3300 watts)
            150 for 12 amps L1 (1400 watts)
            135 for 8 amps L1.

            So, 12 amps at L1 is pretty good, and if you really cannot tolerate more than 8 amps, it ain’t so bad either.

  8. JoeP says:

    We love our Bolt as well.

    Our impressions:

    1. The seats are not comfortable for a long trip (SD to LA in traffic).

    2. It gets hot inside even on a winter day. Can’t wait for the peak of summer.

    Our other car is the FIAT 500e, which doesn’t get hot at all. There must be a coating for it.

    We will consider tinting windows, which we have never needed before.

    3. The user interface is not well thought out.

    In general, the car seems like it was developed by engineers, not industrial designers, which gives excellent specs, but it can feel awkward to use sometimes.

    4. The ride is very smooth and the cabin is extremely quiet. We feel relaxed when we get to our destination. The realization sneaks up on you after a while how relaxing it is.

    5. My wife hates the thick steering wheel. It tires out her hands, but it is heated, which is surprisingly useful in the winter.

    6. My wife also hates the Chevy emblem on the steering wheel. It sometimes reflects sunlight into her eyes.

    7. I think that if Chevy and FIAT traded one designer for the development, both cars would have come out even better. FIAT gives a great driving experience, feedback, user controls, etc. Bolt has great technology and capability.

    8. The range is definitely better than 238. We can go 238 miles at 70-75 mph on the highway.

    1. Sault says:

      “The range is definitely better than 238. We can go 238 miles at 70-75 mph on the highway.”

      Wow! Can you hit 238 or more consistently? I’ve been assuming the range falls to 190 miles at those speeds, but if you can hit 238 or better on the highway, that’s awesome.

      1. Fabian says:

        I can confirm this: “The range is definitely better than 238. We can go 238 miles at 70-75 mph on the highway.”

    2. SparkEV says:

      “2. It gets hot inside even on a winter day.”

      You must have a hot wife. Tinting the windows might make it even hotter inside. 🙂

      If you’re getting over 238 miles, that means you’re probably getting over 4 mi/kWh. That’s about what I saw in other people’s videos when driven at about 70 MPH.

      1. unlucky says:

        When it is 70F out or higher it is trivial to get over 4mi/kWh, even without turning the A/C off. On the other hand in the low 50s it’s hard to break 3.6 mi/kWh unless you turn off the HVAC, in which case it then pops up to about 4.

        I do wish this car had a heat pump. It really would help in the winter. Don’t get me wrong, it still has plenty of range for me, I don’t even charge it every day. But the impact on rage of cold temps (and I don’t even mean as low as freezing) is huge because the range is huge. if it’s cold out (peaking around 50F in the day) then the guess-o-meter can read between 190 and 200 miles on a full charge. While still a huge amount that is a 40 mile drop in range!

    3. unlucky says:

      I agree about the user interface, it’s so much effort to get to the top-down camera view when head-in parking that I typically don’t bother. It is one button on a Leaf.

      I don’t agree about the seats. I drove the car 650 miles in about 28 hours and had no issues with seat comfort.

      People have said it gets very hot very fast with a full seat in the back (3 people back there). I haven’t had problems with getting overheated in the front row seats. Although it has not been particularly warm where I am. It’d be heard for it to be worse than the Leaf I think since the HVAC in that car seemed intentionally underpowered to save on energy. I once measured the inside temperature in the winter to see what temp it got up to. I had the HVAC set to 73, it never got above 60 in there, and the AC had already ramped down to minimal output. The Bolt HVAC does give a damn at least, I dunno if it will fail to keep up in the summer sun yet though.

  9. randomhuman says:

    It’s such a shame that this car will not be fully available in Germany/Europe. I think it’s such a great car except for the 7,2kW charger. But whatever. It has a good range and design is ok. Such a shame GM…But at least you Americans can enjoy it. 😉
    We have to wait for the Model 3 to be the car of the masses…

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Yeah it seems a shame that in European countries that have single-phase domestic limitations (16-20 amperes) that the AMPERA-e will only charge at a 3,6 kw rate in German households, due to fact that the exact same part number charger is being used as in North America – you would think a 2×16 would have been substituted for German consumption to allow 7,2 kw at home.

      To date, the only change I see between the bolt and ampere-e is the cord connector on the side of the car.. That’s it. Everything else on the cars is identical – with the exception of course of the “Occasional Use charging cord” in the trunk. 120 in the States, 240 across the pond.

      1. unlucky says:

        Ampera-e has folding wing mirrors and a center headrest in the 2nd row. It appears it does not have the option for the top-down view camera system (probably due to the mirror change).

        Ampera-e has a different grille.

        They are very, very similar though.