Chevrolet Volt Owners Take Spin In New Bolt EV, Come Away Impressed – Video

AUG 22 2016 BY MARK KANE 65

Preparations for Chevrolet Bolt EV production are advancing quickly in South Korea by LG Chem and in U.S. by GM itself at the company’s Orion assembly facility in Michigan. The two companies are working in unison to start production in October and deliver first cars by the end of the year.

Chevrolet Bolt EV (source: DPCcars)

Chevrolet Bolt EV (source: DPCcars)

The annual Woodward Ave Silent Cruise in Michigan was a nice opportunity for Gm to afford Volt owners an opportunity to check out the new 200+ mile Bolt EV, and learn some new details.

It is apparently still too early for drivers to sit behind the wheel and take the EV for a private spin, but feedback from passenger perspective – at least according to above video – was tremendously positive.

We do of course have to note that GM was “playing on its home field” (so to speak), as all the riders were already GM electrified customers, but even the comments from people at the event that we have spoken to privately seem to show a genuine enthusiasm for the car; many of whom were formerly very attached to the “extended range” (EREV) formula of the Volt.

If there is one issue we have heard repeatedly, it is in regards to the width of the EV (and the limits that can bring with it)…as there is no hiding its Sonic/compact roots in this case.

At this point it seems that GM has nailed consumer’s main needs and it should be a success, at least in regards to initial targets of selling ~25,000 a year in North America.

Video (below): Extended video of a consumer drive (via Erik Stephens/YouTube)

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65 Comments on "Chevrolet Volt Owners Take Spin In New Bolt EV, Come Away Impressed – Video"

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I wonder if they’ll give these rides on drive electric event coming in Sep. If they do, I suspect there will be long lines, maybe even 400,000 long. 😉

Link to drive electric event.

That would be really sweet! It looks better and better, as we find out details.

I wish it had a free wheel coast mode, but it sounds like you can coast – maybe it has an easy position to find on the accelerator, or you can put it in neutral?

The car is set to go into mass production in less than 90 days and it’s “too early for drivers to sit behind the wheel”?

I’m sure the car is more than ready. But, having only a few, practically hand made, cars at this point, it is normal for any car company to be cautious and not let reporters and such take them away for a spin.

GM did a USA tour with pre-production Volts about three months before the release and we drove them too.

I suspect this is because of liability and/or they don’t have enough of them built yet to let folks drive them.

I hope that GM has huge success with this new long-range EV!

The hatchback provides a feature that the Model 3 lacks. Plus this car will be available soon. (And honestly, it will probably have fewer bugs than the Model 3.)

Even if they could get every Model 3 Reservation Holder to ‘Cross Over’ – at 25,000 a year it is going to be a long time before they deliver to them all!


Frankly, it’s silly to talk about the Bolt competing with the Model ≡, and vice versa. At least for the first few years of production, demand will far outstrip supply for both cars. Neither GM nor Tesla will be able to build enough cars to worry about whether or not the other company “steals” sales from them.

Now, maybe in 2021 or 2022, when perhaps Tesla will finally be able to satisfy the demand for the M≡, and if (but only if) GM ramps up production of the Bolt a lot faster than it looks like they plan to… if all that happens, then at that time it might be appropriate to start talking about real competition between the two BEVs.

But of course, those who write articles on the subject are going to keep writing as if there really is competition, because that makes the subject appear more interesting.

Hi Mark, any idea when the Opel equivalent in Europe comes to see the light?

The more tidbits we get on this cute Bolt the more it seems it’s gonna be highly likeable. Should it be proven highly reliable as well, it could easily make BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf sales nosedive, in the US and Europe alike.

i suspect that you are right about that.

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

I’m sure GM is hoping for a prius-like aha moment for 200+mile EVs. the market is ripe for it

I like it but why? You can go 200 miles in the new i3 with Range Extender.

Too many people who have never owned an EV will have range anxiety and this will keep them away from all electric IMO.

I take your point but the ‘range anxiety’ thing is mostly purely in the mind – as any EV driver will tell you. Most people use their cars for the same trips every day and once you have done that trip once and found that you still have 30 miles or more of range remaining, the anxiety disappears. It is then, only on the rare occasion when something out of the ordinary happens, that you have to charge differently and that is where a sensible, rapid-DC charging infrastructure comes in. As it does if you want to do a long trip.

If all our respective governments took a lead from what the customer in the 2nd video was saying, ie that the Ontario government are installing over 200 DC rapid chargers to be in (the next?) 9 months, even the perceived issue would evaporate.

I understand rewarding Volt owners but if they want honest feedback they most likely won’t get it…They should consider an event where either Tesla or even Vette owners can take a spin and share their thoughts…That’s how you sell beyond 25K/year…

Why would Tesla owners even show up. They are luxury car owners.

Vette owners, are motorheads. The vast majority will dismiss this car.

Anyway this video is marketing by GM.

They might want a CUV as a second car.

Most people do not “dismiss” things, they say they’re not interested but will share some feedback…Simply just ask their 3 favorite things about the car…You could include Leaf and Prius owners…

We are a Tesla household and we are getting one of these (if we can lol). Using an S for grocery shopping and hauling kids around is a bit of an overkill…

I’ve had similar thoughts – if I could afford a Tesla S or X – it would be our second car and would primarily be reserved for long distance trips.

The Leaf, or something less expensive like a Bolt or such, would remain as the daily driver.

I don’t think you had a be a Volt owner to enjoy a ride-along.

But a Volt owner would appreciate the difference more 🙂 kidding aside, I can’t wait to test drive one of these. I love my VW eGolf and my Tesla X and look forward to Model 3 also. Any car that replaces a stinky gas car on the road or idling for AC in front of the house is a good electric car.

Why even bother to have Tesla owners drive it? They’ll just bitch and moan that there is no super charging network and that it can’t beat a Ferrari in a 1/4 drag race…

You bother if you want to sell more than 24k/year a Volt sells.

GM needs feedback beyond its micro niche of buyers if they want the Bolt EV to sell beyond the green car ghetto.

Given that Model S drivers are a completely different market (big luxury car) there would be little value in GM seeking out advice from them for the Bolt.

The “formula” (200 mi range, hatchback form factor, cost)for the car was set years ago. Right now they are working on a successful launch – and that keys off energizing you “base”. In this case electric car enthusiasts (Volt, Leaf, Spark EV, etc owners). Neither Tesla nor Corvette owners are the primary target, as both owner groups (as of today), are people ok with buying $60K-100K cars. GMs target market is probably more like the Prius demographic. At least that would be my guess.

That makes more sense. It would still be interesting to see what high end car owners have to say about it. I would especially be interested in what i3 owners would say.

Last year, BMW sold 11K i3 in the US. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Chevy Bolt eats into the BMW i3 market share. Even at 80%, we’re talking about small numbers.

I wonder if they will make stretched version too, a kind of small station wagon. That would be a rather unique car. Longer wheelbase would allow for a larger battery, too.

That’s what I would like, a BEV replacement for our VW Passat TDI wagon.

Agreed. Longer wheelbase would also permit rear seats to fold fully flat.

Optimally I’d like to see a Buick Encore based Bolt but the extra size and weight would demand a larger battery, larger motor, all around more robust drivetrain, thus driving up the cost too high for GM. It would be much riskier and GM is the sort of company that takes bold risks.

They need more of these events to capture interest in the vehicle and to force the dealerships hands to actually sell it.

I looked at the dimensions and it seemed a bit larger than the Honda Fot, which is a very capable hauler. I’ve missed my Fit, and this could be good option.

Since its a marketing video, its hard to see if anyone DISLIKED anything – but I’d assume, overall, most VOLT owners were truly impressed. One slight peeve – I chatted with the ‘Bolt Concierge’ re: fast charging, and it took quite a while to get the point across that I have the so-called ‘fast’ 240 charging at home already – but I did find out that CCS is OPTIONAL – but they will have a local dealer call me to give me what the pricing of it will be, when the information is released. As far as ‘not marketing the volt’, the ‘drive along’ tends to indicate that a fairly heavy marketing push will be made toward this car. I think, this time, people nationwide may actually show up for this car – unlike the first time when Chevrolet made provisions for larger manufacturing numbers of the VOLT, but the customers didn’t show up. They’ve been quite MUM over range, just saying ‘over 200’ expected. Today I drove my ELR (cool day – no air conditioning required) along mostly country roads), and pulled into my driveway with 60.2 miles on the odometer, and 1 mile expected range left. This for… Read more »

“he car will go ‘over 348 miles’, just using my calculator.”

I doubt that on a 60kWh battery. That would be 5.8 miles/kWh assuming the entire 60kWh is usable which we know isn’t true.

So, anyone knows that 5.8mile/kWh is extremely hard to hit. That is mostly low speed driving with a lot of regen…

Is it possible? sure. But can we expect that? No.

Hummm, well, all I know is it takes about 14.5 kwh to recharge the battery when dead….So with the inefficiencies involved, (air conditioning to cool the battery, etc) that would be what? 11.2 kwh actually drained from the battery? So 61 miles would be 5.45 miles/kwh, and it looks like the car will actually go a bit more than 61 miles.

And this thing is a BOAT, the BOLT looks much efficient.

Yes, people have managed 80 miles out of the Volt, but that isn’t typical.

So, you can’t say that Volt is a 80 miles car. That is my point.

Tesla has been known to do 300 miles to 400 miles, but it isn’t a 400 miles car.

That is why we still have EPA cycles.

I am glad that you can do that many miles Bill. But we shouldn’t expect Bolt to be a 300 miles car with only 60kWh battery.

I would guess that Bolt is totally capable of 220-235 miles EPA range…

Maybe a bit less on the hwy.

I just took the car out a bit without charging it. According to the display, it used 12.3 kwh so thats 4.96 kwh/ mile, assuming 61 miles – actually there is a ‘bit’ of battery left, but I’m not going to run it down so far that the engine actually starts (I’ve gone 1180 miles since the engine ran last). My personal record in the car, but then its because of ‘fall-ish’ weather today.

Still pretty good for a boat.

My point in all this is, in the Roadster, I had to REALLY try hard to get the rated mileage. I only got rated mileage in the car 2 or 3 times over the 4 years.

I didn’t have to really try at all today in the ELR, but then I always drive it this way, – I rarely use the brakes, using the regen paddle instead.

Getting extreme range is just a matter of driving very slowly. (with AC and Heat off) Fun little stunt, but not representive. I think someone drove a Tesla S 500 miles, and months ago someone drove a 2016 Volt 100 miles on a charge. It’s insanely tedious to drive such distances at very low speeds, but not technically difficult. But it also tell us nothing about typical driving distances at real conditions.

“Extremely Slow”.

I avg’d 35-45 mph on country roads. Very enjoyable drive. I didn’t drive in circles at 19 mph. As I say I wasn’t even trying to see how far it would go. I was just pleasantly suprized how far I could go at the end of the trip today.

Bill, I hear you about efficiency at medium speeds. I drive on the GW Parkway a good bit and I can easily get between 5.2 and 5.8 miles per kWH at 45 mph and it is a nice drive. You really have to want play the efficiency game and go 20-25 mph, but you can beat 6 miles per kWh fairly easily. Just not on the roads in Northern Virginia.
My fixation with the Bolt is Hwy AER. I really hope that it can do at least 200 miles at 63 mph, 65 would be even better. The first gen Bolt will never be a great road trip car, but if it can do 210+ miles at 63 mph, it will be an ok road trip car and in this case, ok is good enough. And when you compare the miles per kWh of the Volt to the amount of kWh the Bolt will have, it is easy to think that it might just squeeze out 210 miles at 63 mph with the AC on Eco 2.

I can easily get 5.8 kWh/mi in my Spark EV on surface roads or places where the speed limit is 45 MPH.

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

Ditto. 5.5mi/kwh routinely with Spark when HWY is 55-65 and 50/50 combo. With a heavier foot/sport mode will drop to the 4s.

If hypermile mode high 6s/low 7s. 35mph without AC.

GM has been good on the efficiency despite crappy Cd.

ModernMarvelFan said:

“So, anyone knows that 5.8mile/kWh is extremely hard to hit. That is mostly low speed driving with a lot of regen…”

Indeed. The last distance record I saw for the Tesla Roadster was 313 miles, for a 52.8 kWh battery pack. That’s 5.93 miles per kWh. Contrast with the EPA range rating for the Model S85, which comes to 3.12 miles per kWh. The BMW i3, with its super-light body, gets 81 EPA rated miles with its 22 kWh, which comes to 3.68 miles / kWh.

So if Bill Howland is getting 5.8 miles per kWh in his ELR… then he must be driving at a constant low speed on those “mostly country roads” he mentioned. However, it looks like Bill is calculating by usable kWh rather than full capacity kWh, which does tend to inflate the numbers by a moderate amount.

Such extreme low-speed hypermiling may bring Bill some personal satisfaction by achieving such high driving efficiency, but it’s so far from how most people drive or use their cars that the number is meaningless, or more precisely it’s only meaningful as a stunt.

Depending on where you drive, close to 5.8 mi/kWh may not be too difficult. I was in LA for past couple of days, and I consistently got over 6 mi/kWh thanks to the damn traffic. Bolt being heavier, it might get bit less, but still infuriatingly high. Yes, infuriating, since high mi/kWh than EPA would mean traffic jams.

Also thanks to those sporadic shortening of my life in LA, SparkEV now reads 5.3 mi/kWh average after over 12K miles.

My mistake, I just remembered I ‘filled the buffer’ (a feature all gen1 voltecs have) before leaving; so I actually used 12.3 kwh – more below.

I expect some Volt owners will pick up the Bolt…

And maybe GM expect more non-PEV owners will drive a Volt first and then migrate to Bolt eventually.

I expect some Model 3 reservation holders to convert. Once the EPA rated range for the Bolt is known and part 2 of the Model 3 reveal is out, sales will shift accordingly.

Most households have 2 vehicles. It stands to reason the Bolt could be one and the Model 3 would be the other.

I would love to lease a Bolt while I wait on the Model Y.
Unfortunately, GM is Screwing! people on EV leases (the Volt). I can’t believe GM won’t reduce the capitalized cost by the amount of the federal tax credit. @$$h013s

They don’t screw you with leasing and in many cases the Volt is consistently one of the best lease deals to get…Costco has been selling the Gen2 under invoice since launch, GM always offers $1000 private offers once a month, back in July they had the 20% off Premiers…

We know of 6 dealers (half are in Cali) that will lease a LT for $1500 drive off and under $200/mo after taxes at any given time…

@Bacardi, did GM reduce the capitalized cost (the final price you pay for the vehicle) by the $7500 federal tax credit?

Looks good. I would imagine it will not be demand constrained, but limited availability.
It will nice for GM to have some exclusivity in the ev space.

Nothing impressive about electric vehicles and how they operate. We all know how they work and how great they are.

What would be impressive is an attractive design

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

And for the Bolt = utility. If it holds up well for us, it’ll replace the CR-V+Spark and consolidate the utility vehicle for us.

It looks far better than the i3 and that seems to sell pretty nicely

As 1 of the early Volt owners, it would sure be nice to get an invite from GM for such an event in my area. Chevrolet? GM? Other than the 1st month of ownership, never hear from them .. for anything .. Ever ?

You live near Detroit? The dream cruises happen every year. Not sure they send out invites.

They usually announce it on the Chevy Volt FB page. Then if you are in the area they send you an invite via message.

As a soul ev owner, love to see a side by side with the bolt.

Well, as long as GM sell it properly (unlike the Volt!!) I’d say they are going to have a big hit on their hands. But why oh why aren’t they selling it in Europe?

If GM was really looking at the market they would be building a CUV Volt..

“If there is one issue we have heard repeatedly, it is in regards to the width of the EV (and the limits that can bring with it)…”

That comment seems out of place. It’s one inch narrower than the Volt. I’ve never heard anyone complaining about it’s width. Now if you’re comparing it to the Model S that’s a different story. But the Model S is freakishly wide.

It’s even narrower than the Volt, which notoriously has room to seat only 2-1/2 adults in back? That’s pretty narrow, all right!

This runs rather sharply contrary to all the comments I’ve seen about how roomy the Bolt supposedly is. Maybe that was just advertising hype?

If the lease payment is under $350 per month for a Bolt 2 year lease, I might bite while waiting for model 3.

No doubt marketing left in all the negative comments. LOL (Erik Stephens more in depth video was considerably more real).