Chevrolet Bolt Slower From 0 To 30 MPH Than Volt


Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e

In its release on the Ampera-e and its more than 400 km range in Europe, Opel put out some specs that allow us to put the acceleration of both the Ampera-e and Bolt EV into perspective…kinda.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV (shown here from NYIAS 2016)

The Chevrolet Bolt EV (shown here from NYIAS 2016)

Here are the specs that were recently released:

  • 0 to 50 km/h (31 mph) in 3.2 seconds
  • 80 to 120 km/h (50 to 74 mph) in just 4.5 seconds
  • top speed:  150 km/h (93 mph)

Separately, Chevrolet previously announced that the Bolt (effectively the same car outside some badging) would zip from 0 to 30 mph in 2.9 seconds, with 0-60 coming up in “less than 7 seconds“.  So there is a bit of a discrepancy happening on in the initial launch times at GM.

With these figures in hand, we need a vehicle to compare the Ampera-e/Bolt to, and figured the Chevy Volt would work best for this comparison.

The Volt zips from 0 to 30 MPH in just 2.6 seconds, which is actually one tenth of second quicker than the original Model S 85 (non-Performance version, as tested by Motor Trend).  Basically, its pretty fast.

Seemingly then, the Bolt/Ampera-e won’t be quite as quick off the line as we expected them to be. Yes, the Volt moves out with authority from the line, but we had still assumed the lighter, pure electric Bolt would beat the Volt in a short dash.

Categories: Chevrolet, Opel / Vauxhall

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92 Comments on "Chevrolet Bolt Slower From 0 To 30 MPH Than Volt"

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I’ve found that with my LEAF’s 80 kW motor it’s satisfactory for just about all occasions. So 10 seconds 0-60 or 7 seconds 0-60 are both great.

We love our new Volt. Performance and comfort wise, we find it better than our Lexus IS250. Having an onboard generator eliminated battery range anxiety. When using the generator it gets comparable mileage to our Honda motorcycle. During a normal week, we don’t use any gas. We have no criticisms, it’s simply the best car we’ve ever owned.

Bolt has a slower 0-30 than the Volt, but is much quicker from 30-60. Almost linear power curve through 60 mph, unlike the Volt which drops off a lot after 30.

I believe the Bolt has taller gearing (7.05 final drive ratio), which would explain why it’s a tad slower off the line. The Volt’s final drive ratio is 2.64.

Linear torque curve. The Volt probably has a linear power curve sooner than the Bolt.

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

In the initial Woodward drive, the engineer talked about this. They smoothed it out to allow faster 40-60 speeds where EVs traditionally lagged.

This is great because both the Fiat was insane off the line from 0-30, lags 40-60 and downright stinks 50-70. The Spark has better 40-60 onramp speeds and glad that they made such adjustments on the Bolt to perform at higher speeds — not just off the line

I remember the vid, and agree linear was the way to achieve adaptation. Unfiltered EVs can be so brutally torque’y off the line, and that has oddly resulted in a lot of people forming an opinion that they are all anemic on the highway. At 60kwh, and its weight, I think GM could have modeled Bolt acceleration on the torque curve of your average V-6, right through 60-70mph. I bet its sublime, on the highway where most people cross-shopping 4 cylinder cars will get a totally different experience.

Anyone who’s been launched in a PXXD Tesla, knows the punch off the line is so hard that no amount of highway roll-on acceleration will seem impressive.

If you take SparkEV’s power/torque curve and scale / stretch it fit Bolt’s specs (200 HP, 266 ft-lb, 7.05 gear ratio, 3580 lb) and do the math, you get about 2.9 sec 0-30 MPH and 6.6 sec 0-60 MPH. Under that analysis, acceleration starts to taper starting at about 35 MPH, from peak of about 0.47g until 35 MPH down to about 0.26g at 60 MPH. Scroll down to “Bolt guess” section in my “SparkEV performance analysis” blog post.

It’s the same for the i3. It’s 0-30 isn’t as good as the Volt but it pulls really well from 20 mph on. The Volt does noticeably fall off after 30ish.

Volt has a gearbox.

I’m going to wait to see what the official Bolt specs would be. The original Volt had some nanny software limiting acceleration from a stop, so for all we know the Ampera-e implements that more than the Bolt EV for one reason or another.

That could be wishful thinking though. 😉

I simply think that GM has chosen taller gearing for reason of efficiency. The performance it’ll have is more than good enough, and with a single reduction gear they have to make a compromise. Better to focus on efficiency than try to compete with Tesla on performance.

Exactly what I was thinking. With the Volt’s complex drivetrain that can trade of power and speed like a multi-gear transmission, it’s easy to get good acceleration at all speeds. The Bolt, with its fixed simple reduction gear, has a bigger challenge there. I think it’s pretty clear that the Bolt is optimized for energy efficiency, as is the Leaf; so any acceleration performance significantly better than the 2016 Leaf’s rather pokey 0-60 time of 10.4 seconds*, is good.

*according to Car & Driver:

That’s probably it. Performance is important but range will make or break the Bolt. If GM can convince buyers they can drive the Bolt every week day and never worry about range then the Bolt will have succeeded wonderfully.

The LG manufacturing could also be a sleeper hit. A lot of EV enthusiasts hate GM and consider their cars junk, but they have a better perception of LG. So if GM can get their foot in the door by saying “it’s made by LG!” with a wink, then maybe it will do better than the Volt among that demographic.

Not that I agree with that perception of GM, but it’s not without reason and IMO it’s still true of some GM cars/trucks.

That seems likely. They were aiming for middle of the road rather than the high end performance spectrum. Quick enough but not so much as to hurt the range.

It’s probably pretty similar to the i3.

I’ve noticed that our 2017 volt is faster off the line, but our i3 seems to have more power over 30.

Do you happen to have the REX? Because in an apples to apples comparison with my BEV, I got some interesting test results this last weekend. I did a complete test against a new 2016 Spark. The 2014 Spark we previously tested against my i3 was significantly slower, turning 0-60 times in the high 7 second range. The i3 is deceptively quick when accelerating. We figured the new Spark would surely pull on the i3. With its surefooted RWD launches, the i3 is boring and deadly consistent. I will post a complete test once I download the videos.
Can’t wait to test my friend’s new Volt.

Test results:
2016 Spark:
0-10 MPH: .7 sec
0-20 MPH: 1.8 sec
0-30 MPH: 2.9 sec
0-40 MPH: 4.0 sec
0-50 MPH: 5.3 sec
0-60 MPH: 7.0 sec

BEV i3 Test Results:
0-10 MPH: .6 sec
0-20 MPH: 1.6 sec
0-30 MPH: 2.6 sec
0-40 MPH: 3.6 sec
0-50 MPH: 4.7 sec
0-60 MPH: 6.4 sec

Tested on the same exact stretch of road.
FYI: Car And Driver got 6.5 sec in their i3 test on their VBOX.
Remember, Compared to GM BMW is always conservative with their acceleration and HP numbers.

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

Spark – Pocket rocket.

Lease for essentially free with the gas savings.

1/3 the cost of the BMW i3.

Love my Sparky — quite a versatile car — just has very short legs

Yeah the Spark EV is the best bargain in motoring if the range works for you and you don’t need more space. IF YOU LIVE IN CALIFORNIA! Or another compliance state. I can only buy a used one and they are overpriced compared to used Leafs and Volts that are abundant in Michigan.

You must think the i3 BEV is *really* fast since it’s beats the SparkEV. 😉

We also have a Volt and an i3. Completely agree with David. The Volt feels notable quicker to 30 than the i3. But after 20-30 the i3 is remarkably quicker.

Motor Trend got a 0-30 time for the Volt at 2.2 seconds! The Volt is trickier to get the maximum performance to 30 than the i3.

In our non-rex i3 you can simply stomp on the accelerator an go. It’s consistent every time.

In the Volt even with traction control if you stomp on it from a dead stop you get wheel spin. For me this happened from day one with new tires on dry pavement. But if you put it in sport mode and hit it just right off the line and then stomp it after the initial jump it flies. Of course the problem is once you hit 30 it tapers. But usually by then you are at the next light or have gotten over into the lane you needed to be in.

We have the Rex.

I found a new spec sheet on the Bolt trim levels. What is “low speed front automatic braking”? Is this Adaptive Cruise Control?

I saw that and thought the same thing, why no ACC if it has all the systems already?

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

Researched this and GM is keeping inline with their options packages across systems. Driver Confidence Package II looks to be essentially GM’s versions of Accident Avoidance and Collision systems, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Parking Assist.

For better or worse, GM tends to be more ‘hands-on’ on all of it’s assist systems –probably to decrease company liability.

“low speed front automatic braking” sounds like the Passat “emergency braking” feature — If something pulls out in front of you while you are driving slow, the car will slam on its brakes.

what i find crazy about articles like this is that ev enthusiasts *claim*, on the one hand, that *ev’s are all about “saving the environment”, but on the other hand, they also want to be “speed racer” on the roads and scrutinize 0-60 times to the tenth (or even hundredth) of a second.

I have a Volt and until recently, a 350Z.
I think a lot of us like a quick car. My Volt is ok to 30 but 30 to 60 is kind of pokey. Give both the Volt and the Bolt a Sport Mode so that all the efficiency testing is done in Standard Mode, but give us a bit more pep on days we feel like playing with the car a bit. Better rear suspension might help a bit too. Don’t spend a ton on it, but tweaking it a bit to make it quicker would be a nice move.
0-60 is a good figure to use because it is what you do when you merge into traffic. Quick is better.

Why can’t it be fun to save the environment?

So people that care about reducing emissions aren’t allowed to like quick cars? I don’t think those 2 things have to be in conflict at all.

was responding to no comment

They most definitely conflict due to basic physics. accelerating to get to a speed is a very significant use of energy.

“Basic physics” say that 0 to 60 times are irrelevant as far as energy required, but are a significant factor in power required.

IOW it takes no more energy to accelerate a car to 60 mph in 2 seconds than it does to accelerate that car to 60 mph in 20 seconds.

Did you not read your own link?
Basic physics most certainly includes needing to overcome friction (what they call “dissipative” in the link), which is where a lot of energy is lost (or ends up heating the tire). Ditto much more fast braking actions (vs. regen) you’d need to do many more of before turns.
In addition, maintaining high speeds requires overcoming friction; the energy embodied in a moving object is proportional to the square of the velocity — the famous
E=(m*v^2)/2 equation

Read any article about fuel economy or (EV hypermiling) tips… It’ll say to avoid quick acceleration & braking as much as possible, in addition to high speeds.

carcus said:

” ‘Basic physics’ say that 0 to 60 times are irrelevant as far as energy required…”

But only if your “basic physics” ignores such things as friction and the Second Law of Thermodynamics: No reaction is 100% efficient.

Higher acceleration means more energy wasted, irrespective of whether it’s a gasmobile or an EV, period.

Every time.

That’s not always true. There’s certain amount of “basal metabolism” with EV. If you accelerate too slowly, this takes much away.

For example, SparkEV basal is about 1kW; if you spend just 1kW to accelerate (2 kW total), efficiency is 50%. But if you spend 2 kW, efficiency is 66%. Of course, if you use 100 kW, conductors will limit and efficiency will again suffer.

The curve will resemble a “bath tub” where very low and very high acceleration (power use) are inefficient with some maximum in the middle.

As for gas cars, typical best engine efficiency is about 3/4 full open throttle, but the overall efficiency is all over the place in RPM range. It’s hard to say what profile acceleration would be most efficient; it is possible that hard or even hardest acceleration is most efficient for some engines. This is why some hypermilers use “pulse and glide” technique.

you would think that part of saving the environment would include not wasting energy. obviously, different people have different views on what constitutes “pokey” but i have no complaints about the volt’s performance at all. but in my case, my last car was a honda accord, so i probably have different expectations.

i appreciate that there are people who aren’t the least bit concerned with energy conservationists, but it seems hypocritical to me for a person to try to pass themselves off as “saving the earth” and they’re turning around and buying a tesla with the “ludicrous mode” option.

Driving a car with ludicrous mode is still an efficient, zero-emission vehicle.

What if you’re recharging it at night from a coal fired electrical source?

Where are these mythical places where electricity is 100% from coal-fired power plants?

I believe they exist only in the imagination of EV bashers.

Maybe China?

But, here in the US, less than 40% of the country’s electricity comes from coal burning — and this is shrinking rapidly.

And, even in the parts of the country that do burn coal to generate electricity, driving an EV is still net more efficient, and less polluting, than driving a gasoline-powered cars.

While it may be true that accelerating quickly “wastes energy”, it has been in my experience that accelerating to 60 mph quickly in an EV doesn’t use significantly more energy that accelerating slowly to 60 mph. Also, when the EV slows back down, some of this energy is recovered.

This is completely unlike gasoline-powered cars, where high-revving for any reason, uses VAST amounts more fuel and generates much more pollution. Moving quickly in a gasoline-powered cars is probably THE most wasteful you can do in a vehicle. In an EV, not so much.

With an EV, electricity is much more efficiently and directly converted into kinetic energy (and back). Accelerating quickly is mostly just a fun choice, and not a particularly wasteful activity.

Many EV drivers do so for environmental reasons, but there are many who only care about bang for the buck like myself where SparkEV is cheaper than highest polluting gas cars while being quicker than anything in its class. As EV become more capable, there will be more like me. Days of Zap cars are long gone.

i get the part about not everybody wanting to save the planet. hey, i want a b#@z-o, in europe you pay a fairly steep carbon tax to drive one (a tax that you avoid with the phev b#@z-o).

That’s not “crazy”, that’s just being human.

It’s a left brain/right brain thing. The logical, rational left brain wants to save the environment; the more emotional right brain wants the thrill of driving a car which punches you back in the seat when you press the “pedal to the metal”.

(And yes, I know the left brain/right brain meme is largely a myth. But sometimes oversimplifications are useful for making a point succinctly.)

I don’t see the contradiction at all. If everybody wanted to just poke around at slow speed, we could have bought electric golf carts decades ago.

The point of the modern highway ready EV is that they are capable of functioning in all traffic conditions. Including flooring it up an uphill interstate merge ramp in order to squeeze into a hole in 80 mph interstate traffic. And punching it to get into a lane you need on a city street, etc.

Slow pokey cars just can’t hack many urban/suburban traffic conditions without becoming part of the problem.

So naturally the way you quantify a car’s ability to handle these situations is to use cold hard numbers. Because subjective talk about how a car goes, like “my car is fast”, or “your car is slow” doesn’t help anybody. Hard numbers only make sense. And because EV’s attract detail and science/math focused individuals, the numbers we use are accurate and detailed, just like the numbers we use everywhere else in our lives.

EV fans are (mostly) human. They like to have fun and brag, too.

Furthermore, most EV fans realize “we must all suffer to save the environment” won’t fly in the real world. If you want to crush gascars you have to be better. Slower, dorkier, costlier with less range isn’t “better”. Tesla understood this from the start. The legacy carmakers whiffed completely, but they’re starting to come around.

Chevy understood this with SparkEV. SparkEV still dominates compared to any car in its class and post-subsidy price range. In that regard, even Bolt can’t match SparkEV since there are $30K gas cars that are better with Subaru WRX AWD being really good.

SparkEV has some great features but it’s not relevant to the big picture.

New car development can cost a billion upfront. Spread over a mere 8000 units that’s $125k/car! Rather than incinerate a billion dollars, GM just took an existing gascar and “engineered by spec”, meeting design goals by specifying high-performance electric pieces (e.g. A123 batteries). Of course these pieces are way too expensive for mass production, but in the case of SparkEV it was better to lose $100m ($12k/car) on expensive parts than $1b on R%D.

So yes, The SparkEV is interesting but not relevant to mainstream markets.

Why is this a noteworthy topic? Does it really matter that the Bolt is slower 0-30 than the Volt…or a Yugo….or a 1975 VW Beetle?

Of course it is.
EV is superior then ICE and the Bolt has to confirm that.

It’s important if you are trying to dispel the myth that EVs are slow/wimpy cars.

But the Bolt’s time is not being compared to an ICE car. And whether or not it is slower than the Volt (which is very fast to 30), the Bolt is by no means a slouch to 30.

HEADLINE: BOLT SLOWER TO 30MPH THAN THE VOLT! Uh, so are many cars. Apparently IEVs felt they had to highlight something in hoping it would pull the halo off the Bolt and bring it back to earth.

I agree that this article seems to be biased against the Bolt, but not for the reason you state. The reason I think it’s biased is shown here:

“Seemingly then, the Bolt/Ampera-e won’t be quite as quick off the line as we expected them to be. …we had still assumed the lighter, pure electric Bolt would beat the Volt in a short dash.”

Honestly, who expected the Bolt — which like all production BEVs, has a fixed gear ratio, and GM has obviously optimized the car for energy efficiency and range — to beat the Volt, which has a complex powertrain that’s capable of trading off power for speed (and vice versa), just like (or even better than) a multi-geared transmission?

Not every article at InsideEVs has to wave the cheerleader pom-poms of “EVs are better than gasmobiles”. Comparing the 0-30 time of the Bolt to a gasmobile would be an apples-to-oranges comparison. Sure, we know the Bolt is gonna win, unless it’s up against a vastly more expensive “supercar” gasmobile sports car. So what? That’s not a very informative comparison.

Comparing the Bolt BEV to the Volt PHEV still isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, but perhaps it’s no worse than a peaches-to-tangerines comparison. 🙂

when you are quibbling over *tenths* of a second, you are trying to determine whether a car is “slow/wimpy”; you’re more interest in determining whether you can “smoke” the guy in the next lane on the green light.

keep in mind, the subject of this article is based on the observation that the volt gets to 30 mph in merely three-tenths of a second less time than does the bolt.

explain to me what practical use that 0.3 second difference would have in normal driving. what is it that you could do if the bolt could accelerate to 30mph in 0.3 seconds less time?

“Bolting” off the line with instant torque is cool….. it’s also really hard on the metal bits. Maybe GM just wants the metal bits to last.

It the tires that suffer far more. Some forum post said that his SparkEV tires were bald by 6000 miles. This is a cautionary tale for those who like to have too much fun with FWD Bolt.

No doubt the tires suffer, but when they suddenly “get a grip” it’s everything else down the line that takes the hit. So if you accelerate out of a gravel patch or through a pothole and then the tire hooks up/lands on dry pavement, the driveline is in for a shock.

So you could “go the cheap route” and reduce the shock (and performance) through programming ,… or you could hold onto the performance and spend some engineering dollars and design a motor mount “mechanical shock absorber”.

BMW i3 Motor Movement

I’ve seen a lot of reports that Tesla cars wear out tires excessively fast, too. This is going to be a problem with high performance cars, whether they’re gasmobiles or PEVs (Plug-in EVs).

indeed, i suspect that is one of the problems that tesla owners will experience. as i recall, one of the things that they did in the saleen version of the model s was use more heavy duty components in the drive train. the result was that the drive train makes a bit more noise than does the drive train of the stock model s.

Interesting. As I recall, the first report I read on the Saleen aftermarket mod of the Tesla Model S said they were careful not to fiddle with the powertrain.

But apparently since then, Saleen has gotten bolder with its Model S mods:

Go Saleen? 🙂

Well GM did say in that ride along video from a couple of weeks ago that they decided to even out the acceleration performance for the 0-60 spectrum, compared to other vehicles that are very quick up to 30 but then tapers off quickly. Apparently there weren’t joking.

Without the weight of the engine over the front wheels, the Bolt probably lacks the traction under off the line acceleration of the Volt. No doubt it’s faster once moving though. This is an inherent disadvantage of front wheel drive. The engineer (Tavel?) already said they were fighting traction and torque steer with the software.

So very true about FWD and lack of traction. SparkEV almost always squeals off the line, sometimes even at 40 MPH when there’s even a slight bump. I doubt they could get Bolt to be much quicker to 30 MPH with FWD / eco tire setup. Hopefully, Bolt tires are better than SparkEV as g-force at 50 MPH will be like that of 35 MPH on SparkEV when squealing occurs often.

If GM made tradeoffs that improved 30-60 MPH acceleration at the expense of 0-30 MPH acceleration, then I think that’s a good thing. Pretty much every modern BEV has an excellent 0-30 time. By comparison, 30-60 times don’t look so good. That 0-30 acceleration is great if you want to “smoke” that obnoxious gas guzzler driver whose car is sitting beside your BEV, gunning his engine while waiting for the stop light to turn green. But for everyday driving, the ability to accelerate with confidence when entering a freeway, and the ability to pass quickly on a two-lane highway, is far more important and far more practical.

It would be great if they publish the torque/speed curve of the motor. That would explain a lot and will be interesting for many of us.

Yes, and the speed vs. time curve.

The Bolt EV does not have ACC

I think that the Bolt is traction limited. In one of the videos from yesterday the reviewer commented how easy it is to get the front wheels to lose traction. The Bolt’s tires are probably biased towards low rolling resistance to get the great Range rather than grip. Less weight over the front wheels compared to Volt will not help either.

Volt’s acceleration to 30 shows the benefit of planetary transmission as compared to fixed gear ratio. However, the simplicity of single speed gearbox seems to outweigh the benefits of more complex transmission for BEVs.

It’s posts like this that remind me of F&F where Vin Diesel says that he lives his life a quarter mile at a time.

Well more accurately how in Torque how when someone said that someone else said basically that is the stupidest thing they have ever heard.

While I don’t want my car to go 0 to 60 in 2 minutes I don’t care if it is .3 seconds slower than a pretty quick car. I would rather it be built for efficiency. Then again I have always owned a 4 banger…

0-60 is pointless especially in city traffic and congested freeways.

Though it’s slower, I agree with that carcus character, biased towards efficiency.

I hate GM but I’m going to give them a “hat tip” on the Bolt.

Now, once they hit the showroom floors, everyone post the sticker prices with all the stealership markup. 😛

Fast acceleration is certainly not “pointless” when you’re trying to move from the on-ramp onto a crowded freeway, and there’s a gap that you can get into only if your car is fast enough.

Anyone who has ever driven on a daily basis in a large city shouldn’t need to be told this.

0-60 is pointless in city driving? LOL

0 to the speed limit is what matters, which is 35-45

and passing power

I was a little disappointed to see it was slower than my Volt from 0-30, but thought I’d gladly trade off a few tenths 0-30 to get a much better 30-60 time. But then I realized I was wrong, and that it’s being compared to the Gen 2 Volt which is quite a bit quicker than my Gen 1 Volt on the 0-30 front. So the Bolt will be quicker than the Gen 1 Volt in all dimensions. It’s still not an all out race car and will be a little slower than the RWD/AWD Model 3, but should be more than sufficient for those times you need the power to merge or avoid a situation and about as good as you can reasonably expect for a FWD car with eco-tires! Between the acceleration specs, the range spec and finally seeing some good pics of the trunk space, which is better than I expected, I might be asking for my deposit back from Tesla (even though some on this site claim that no one is cross shopping those two cars). Add to that the fact that I don’t want RWD where I live, so I have to pay to upgrade… Read more »

I’m also cross shopping the Model 3 and the Bolt, or at least in a couple of years when our 2013 Leaf battery degradation requires replacement.

I’m not holding out much hope for Leaf 2.0 to meet or beat the Bolt specs. Especially if it won’t have thermal battery management.

Oh, and the Leaf 0 to 30 is pretty good and surprises a lot of other drivers. As a car enthusiast I try to explain that I am much more likely to push the pedal to the metal on the Leaf than my old BMW since there is no additional noise vibration or harshness between hyper miling and flooring it from a stop light. (Assuming I have a large range cushion!)

I agree on the new Leaf, we don’t know much, but I would be very surprised if it could beat the Bolt overall. Air cooled batteries would be a deal killer for me – and it seems like that’s going to be the case. The one thing I like about the Leaf is the size, with a little longer footprint it definitely has a leg up on the Bolt for behind-the-seats storage capacity, assuming the Leaf 2.0 is close in dimensions to the current Leaf. I think the number one thing I’d change about the Bolt for my needs would be to add about a foot to the back to add some more cargo space so it would be on par with the Leaf. I do love not calling attention to myself when driving “spirited.” Hopefully the Bolt has a little better traction control off the line than the first generation Volt which will chirp the tires quite loudly and scrambles for grip if you mash the pedal too quickly, even in “normal” non-sport mode. I do have to say, even with very low ground clearance, my volt proved itself to be a complete beast in the snow, so other… Read more »

I started a thread over at that explains why I think the 0-60 time for the Bolt will be 6.8 seconds.

Basically used the curve fit function in Excel to fit a line through 0-30 and 50-75 mph times. Had to manually enter different 50 mph times until the curve went through all the points cleanly. Seems like a very reasonable estimate.

6.8 sec. Remarkable. This Bolt could be a sleeper hit.

Probably electronically limited in order to maximize the range number.

.. I don’t think so.

It’s not like an ICE. Hard BEV acceleration does not necessarily mean significant (or even noticeable) loss in efficiency.

There’s a lot of physics involved, if you want to read through this thread you’ll find discussion and a couple of people who did practical experiments — they found hard acceleration (to the same final speed) had no effect or perhaps even helped with overall trip efficiency.

If you floor the Volt at launch both motors engage. At some point thereafter it falls back into single motor operation.

The Bolt uses a single motor with a fixed gear ratio. This requires some compromise between low and high speed performance to get the most efficiency out of the motor.

If you floor the Volt at launch both motors engage. At some point thereafter it falls back into single motor operation.

Hmmm, I don’t believe this is correct. I believe the Volt doesn’t ever engage the gas motor until the battery pack falls to about 30%… or maybe 40% if you engage the “Mountain” mode.

That’s why Voltec is so wonderful. The Volt is a true switch-hitter, operating equally well in either BEV mode, or “extended range” driving in serial hybrid mode (the latter with occasional direct assist from the gas engine when accelerating hard).

That is really clever, well done GM!

I think he might mean “both electric motors”…

Such a shame that the BMW i3 is now being compared to a cheap Chevrolet spark EV. When did german engineering fall way to the American econobox. From what I have heard, the BMW i3 is even slower to 60 MPH for 2017. How does a car with such a small battery capacity 33Kwh compared to Chevrolets bolt with 60Kwh have such poor acceleration when compared to a steel bodied Chevrolet. So much for all that carbon fiber plastic BMW touts as being so lightweight. I suspect this will be an upset for BMW when the Bolt starts getting into customers hands and they realize the bolt is a far superior car in terms of performance to the german i3.

FYI I didn’t write this 🙂

Fast acceleration doesn’t necessarily equate to efficiency which is really what the i3 is all about

Most people choose performance over efficiency. The I3 will be stamped in no time by BMW, whitout a next generation coming (at least not an EV).
They allready said that the I brand will focus on self driving tech. So bye bye Intelligent3.

The only thing intelligent about it, is that it can actually fool some buyers to buying it.

So the Bolt Bolts later in acceleration than than the Volt….. Bolt is lighter is should be faster – maybe GM is saving the horses?


No, that’s the artifact of one speed transmission and flat torque curve. They have to optimize for one thing only, unlike gas cars with multi-gears.

For example, if SparkEV has 2 speeds, it could run 0-30 MPH in 1.6 seconds and 0-60 MPH in 6.5 seconds if traction holds. See my “SparkEV performance analysis” blog post, scroll down to “Tangent thoughts: more gears”

Far more likely reason is that Bolt is traction limited (like SparkEV, but even worse), and the engineers optimized for traction with FWD car.

The GEN1 and GEN2 voltecs operate somewhat differently; one big difference is the engine is constantly connected to the wheels in what amounts to differential gearing, so that in EV mode the ‘gears’ spin while the engine is stationary. Plus 2 planetaries in Gen 2.

The fact that the Volt is faster than the BOlt is due to a ‘higher’ gear ratio compared to the base speed of the relative drive motors (refering to the larger motor which starts off alone in the GEN 1’s), since the drive ratio may be effectively reduced with increasing speed, whereas the BOLT has no such facility and is stuck at a fixed ratio.

Can’t have overy bell and whistle in a low priced value product.