Chevy Bolt vs Volt: Which Electric Car Is Best For You?

OCT 18 2018 BY BRADLEY BERMAN 68

If you aren’t sure about the difference between a Chevy Bolt and Volt, you’re not alone.

The decision by General Motors to give the company’s two plug-in electric vehicles such similar names was bound to create confusion. “Did you say Bolt or Volt?” is a common refrain among EV shoppers.

To add more confusion, mainstream consumers are uncertain about the differences between a hybrid like the Volt and an electric vehicle like the Bolt. But it’s precisely this technological distinction that distinguishes the two vehicles, as follows:

  • The Chevrolet Bolt (with a B) is a pure electric vehicle. The only source of the Bolt’s propulsion is an electric motor. To “fuel” a Bolt, you plug it in to charge its battery pack. You never go to the gas station because the Bolt doesn’t have an engine, gas tank, or a tailpipe.
  • The Chevrolet Volt (with a V) is a plug-in hybrid. It has two power plants. The Volt uses both a battery to power an electric motor and a gas tank to power an internal combustion engine. Sometimes the Volt works and feels like an electric car and other times it functions as a regular gasoline vehicle. Volt drivers plug in their cars on most days but only visit a gas station a few times a year.

Drivers of the Chevrolet Volt almost never go to a gas station. But the gas engine is available for long trips.

Both cars are among the most efficient vehicles on the road. For practical purposes, the big difference between the two vehicles is the size of their battery packs. In this case, size does matter. The battery pack size is the main factor that determines how far you can go on electrons. While the Bolt has a much larger battery pack and can go nearly 240 miles on a charge, when its battery is depleted, you have to stop and recharge. On the other hand, when the electric juice runs out on a Volt after about 50 miles, the onboard gasoline engine fires up and runs until you have a convenient opportunity to plug it back in.


How Far Can You Go on Electricity?

The Chevy Bolt’s 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack provides an estimated 238 miles of range.

Bolt: The Bolt can store an ample 60 kilowatt-hours of energy. It has an EPA-estimated driving range of 238 miles on a single charge. Considering that American commuters, on average, drive about 40 miles per day, the Bolt can provide several days of service before needing to be charged. Nonetheless, most Bolt drivers plug in every night before they go to sleep so they can wake up the next morning with a full battery pack capable of those 238 miles of driving.

The EPA rates the Bolt’s efficiency at the equivalent of 119 miles per gallon, in combined city/highway driving. But the most important number to consider is its 238-mile range, which is extraordinary for an affordable electric car that only costs around $30,000 after the federal government’s $7,500 tax credit is considered.

The Volt’s 18.4 kilowatt-hour pack stores enough to cover more than 50 miles of driving purely on electricity.

Volt: At 18.4 kilowatt-hours, the Volt’s battery pack is pipsqueak compared to what’s in the Bolt. That’s the point. With a plug-in hybrid like the Volt, the idea is to provide just enough energy storage for a single day’s needs, and then to rely on gasoline for road trips. The Volt is estimated by the EPA to travel 53 miles purely on electricity. After that, the Volt uses gasoline from an 8.9-gallon tank to power a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The Volt’s total combined driving range of electricity and gasoline is 420 miles.

The Volt’s EPA combined city/highway efficiency rating is the equivalent of 106 miles per gallon. That’s when the Volt is operating as an electric car. When the 18.4 kilowatt-hour battery is depleted, and the car starts working like a conventional no-plug hybrid, its efficiency falls to 42 mpg, which is still quite thrifty on fuel.

Winner: Chevy Bolt
The Bolt’s 238 miles of driving range beats the Volt’s 53 miles.


Which Car Is More Fun To Drive?

The Chevy Bolt reaches 60 miles per hour in about 6.5 seconds.

Bolt: Many consumers don’t realize electric cars are very quick off the line. The Bolt sprints from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a brisk 6.5 seconds. It completes a quarter-mile in about 15 seconds. The Bolt’s top speed is governed to 91 miles per hour. The EV’s powertrain provides 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque via a one-speed automatic transmission.

With the heavy battery pack positioned beneath the cabin floor, the Bolt has a lower center of gravity than the Volt, which gives the car a solid feel. When you shift the Bolt into Sport mode, it adds even more driving excitement. And there’s a Low gear setting that maximizes the regenerative braking so the car slows down to a stop without needing to use the brake pedal. The combination of Sport mode and Low create both an enjoyable and efficient driving experience.

The 0-60 mph performance of the Volt is about 7.5 seconds.

Volt: Car publications, such as Edmunds and MotorTrend, peg the Volt’s zero-to-60 performance at about 7.5 seconds. Its 101-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine and its pair of electric motors combine to produce 149 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque.

The second-generation Volt, which was introduced in 2016, operates more like a traditional hybrid than the first-gen model, finding the best combination of electric and gas power for maximum efficiency and performance, depending on the driver’s inputs and road conditions. Even when the battery is depleted, the Volt could pull power from the electric motor to exclusively operate the car under 15 miles per hour. Similarly, the gas engine could contribute torque when power is needed, even though the battery pack is not yet depleted. The Volt’s driving manners are also hybrid-like because it uses a smooth continuously-variable transmission (CVT), whereas the Bolt deploys a more responsive single-speed all-electric transmission.

Winner: Chevy Bolt
The Bolt reaches 60 mph about one second faster than the Volt.


Charging Times for The Bolt and Volt

Using a quick charger, the Bolt can add 90 miles of range in about 30 minutes.

Bolt: Plugging in an electric car takes about 10 seconds. After you pull into your garage or driveway, you simply reach for the connector from a wall-mounted 240-volt charging unit and place it in the Bolt’s inlet on the driver-side front panel. This assumes that you have access to a home charging station, which commonly costs a few hundred dollars to purchase and install. With the Bolt’s 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger, you can add about 25 miles of driving range in one hour. When charging at home, the cost for the equivalent of a gallon of gas is about one dollar, although it varies depending on where you live.

The Bolt has a big, 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack. On the rare days when you arrive home on an empty battery, it would take a full overnight charge of eight to nine hours to restore all 238 miles of driving range. But in a typical day of driving of about 40 miles, it takes less than two hours to restore the full supply of energy. It’s possible – but not advisable – to rely on a regular 110-volt charge that only adds about four miles of driving range per hour.

Chevy also offers an optional $750 fast-charging port for the Bolt. This could be helpful for road trips because it allows you to add about 90 miles of range in around 30 minutes from certain types of public chargers. The fast charger can be extremely helpful for a trip of 300 to 400 miles. But even with the fast-charging port, road trips require planning a route with highway-based charging stations that use the CCS standard.

The 2019 Volt has a 7.2-kW charger that fully charges the car in about 2.5 hours.

Volt: The beauty of a plug-in hybrid like the Chevy Volt is that it eliminates so-called range anxiety. If the Volt’s 18.4-kWh, 53-mile battery pack gets depleted, just spin over to a gas station and fill ‘er up. You can travel coast to coast using the Volt’s 42-mpg gas engine, just like you would take a road trip with an internal combustion car.

However, for nearly every day of the year, you can charge up at home, thereby avoiding the need to go to a gas station or spew emissions from the tailpipe. Many Chevy Volt owners say they visit a gas station only two or three times a year.

The 2019 Chevrolet Volt offers the same 7.2-kilowatt charging speed as the Chevy Bolt. Considering that the Volt’s battery is less than one-third the size as what’s on the Bolt, you can refill the pack with a 240-volt source in less than 2.5 hours. If you have can charge during the day, then your Volt’s battery is even less likely to run out of energy, so you can stay in electric mode longer. The 7.2-kW system is standard on the Volt Premier. It’s optional on the Volt LT, though, which otherwise would take twice as long to charge using a 3.6-kW charger.

Given the Volt’s relatively small battery pack and backup gas engine, the quick-charging capability is unnecessary.

Winner: Toss-up.
The Bolt and Volt use the same 7.2-kW charger so the rate of restoring range is the same.


Comparing Passenger and Cargo Space

The Bolt’s interior space measures 94.4 cubic feet, which is four more cubes than the Volt’s space.

Bolt: The Chevrolet Bolt is a tall, upright compact hatchback. But it’s interior space measuring 94.4 cubic feet is bigger than you might expect. It has an upright, SUV-like high driver position with excellent visibility.

The five-seat Bolt EV comfortably seats two adults in the back – or three people can squeeze in with reasonable space for short trips. Because there’s not a tunnel running down the center of the floor, the middle seat in the back has good foot room. However, the cushions are somewhat flat.

With all the seats up and in use, there are 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space. The Bolt offers 60/40 folding seats to create more space. Knock down all the seats for an SUV-like 56.6 cubic feet of cargo space.

Volt: The Chevy Volt is a low-slung, sedan-like compact. Its length is 180.4 inches compared to the Bolt’s more stubby 164 inches. The Volt’s wheelbase is also nearly four inches longer. However, the Volt’s 90.2 cubic feet of passenger volume is four cubes smaller than the Bolt, and you feel it. The Volt’s cabin is also lower to the ground with a height measurement of 56.4 inches compared to the Bolt’s 62.9 inches.

The Volt nominally has five seats, but the middle rear seat is very tight because of the battery tunnel. Thick roof pillars also compromise driver visibility some drivers. The Volt offers a modest 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space, significantly less than what the Bolt provides. When you fold down the Volt’s seats, the cargo area expands to an estimated 30 cubic feet. (GM doesn’t provide the exact number.)

Winner: Chevy Bolt.
The Bolt looks smaller from the outside but provides more interior space than the Volt.


The Price For a Bolt Versus a Volt

The Volt has a lower entry-level price than the Bolt.

Bolt: The Bolt EV is available in two trim levels: the base LT at $36,620 and the Premier trim for $40,905. Most shoppers will qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit, as well as some state and local incentives depending on where you live. The two trim levels use the same powertrain and differ mostly on cabin and safety features.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier includes leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel, as well as Surround Vision (for a bird’s-eye view of the car’s surroundings), blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. The LT is well equipped with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Proximity-key entry and push-button start, a Backup camera, and 4G LTE with mobile Wi-Fi. A Comfort and Convenience package can be added for $550, bringing heated seats and a heated steering wheel. The $500 Driver Confidence package, meanwhile, provides blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

The Bolt starts as low as $29,995, after the federal tax credit (excluding destination charges).

Volt: The base Chevy Volt LT begins at $33,220, a few thousand dollars less than the Bolt’s starting price. The upper-trim Volt Premier at $37,570 also beats the sticker for the Bolt Premier. The Volt Premier adds an eight-speaker Bose audio system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and automatic parking assist. Volt customers also have the option of the Driver Confidence and Comfort packages available on the Bolt.

The Volt starts as low as $26,595 after the federal tax credit (excluding destination charges).

Winner: Chevy Volt
The Volt costs less than the Bolt.


Bolt vs. Volt: By The Numbers

 Chevy BoltChevy Volt
Electric Driving Range238 miles53 miles
Battery Size60 kilowatt-hours18.4 kilowatt-hours
0 - 60 MPH6.5 seconds7.5 seconds
Onboard Charger7.2 kilowatts7.2 kilowatts
Interior Space94.4 cubic feet90.2 cubic feet
Starting Price (before incentives)$36,620$33,220

**Note: Our apologies for the red font in the graphic above. We are currently experiencing some technical TablePress issues.

All things considered, the Bolt wins the battle over its sibling plug-in car.

As you can see, the two vehicles might have nearly identical names but they are quite different. Nonetheless, based on all their respective features, we can declare an overall winner and the best car for different types of drivers.

Best Overall: Bolt
The Chevrolet Bolt’s combination of long-distance electric driving, fun behind the wheel, and creature comforts give it a decisive edge over the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid. However, until there is ubiquitous fast-charging along major highway routes, the Volt is a better choice for drivers who frequently take to the open road for long journeys, don’t have access to a 240-volt charger, or those who tend to worry about driving range.

Best for Drivers Taking Frequent Long-Distance Road Trips: Volt

Best Value Especially If You Can Charge Throughout the Day: Volt

Best If You Want to Entirely Dump the Pump: Bolt

Categories: Buying Advice, Chevrolet, Comparison

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68 Comments on "Chevy Bolt vs Volt: Which Electric Car Is Best For You?"

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Brian

Charging times for Bolt and Volt – both have the same L2 capabilities so that’s a wash. For charging during a road trip, neither will use L2. The Bolt will use DCQC at up to 55kW, restoring ~90 miles in 30 minutes. The Volt will use its on-board generator, burning gasoline to provide electricity on the road. Refueling is less than 5 minutes for more than 300 miles. The Volt is the clear winner here to all but the EV purist. And you already covered the purist when you say “Best If You Want to Entirely Dump the Pump: Bolt”.

Full disclosure – I’m a purist for my own fleet (this is why I regularly take the Bolt on long road trips), but a realist when talking to others. EVs need to be for more than just the purists to be successful.

John

That’s a very reasonable, well though-out comment. Especially considering you’re a BEV person. I’m a pretty hard core BEV proponent, but have to be reminded that PHEV is a great tool to help bring folks over into the EV world.

Have a great day!

stimpacker

Agreed.
I always tell non-EV savy folks to go with the Volt if you can only have 1 vehicle.
If you have an alternate ICE/Hybrid or if you’re comfortable learning about BEV charging, dealing with payment and charging hassles, then the Bolt is recommended.
Alternative to the Bolt is the 2019 60kWh Leaf or 2019 Tesla base model.
I also caution folks to try out the Bolt first. Not everyone are immediately comfortable with its econobox feel.

Dimitrij

I do most of my charging at home and I have not found it to be a hassle.

The 60 kWh Leaf and the base TM3 still do not exist, so they are only theoretical and potential alternatives to the Bolt.

What exactly makes the Bolt “econobox”?

God/Bacardi

May want to update the story…Listed is the Bolt EV’s Premier features but not the Volt Premier…Furthermore, features listed in the Bolt EV Premier are standard on both the Bolt EV LT and the Volt LT, things like wifi, carplay, android auto, etc…

ykhabins

“…Nonetheless, most Bolt drivers plug in every night before they go to sleep so they can wake up the next morning with a full battery pack capable of those 238 miles of driving…”

Not true. It depends.
With the city driving close to the 300 miles on the full charge there is no need to do that every night.
We are charging our Bolt EV with the garage charger just once or twice a week.

TJKR

Hmm I will be careful with that. If you deplete your battery below 10% and top off your charging to 90%-100% routinely, you many stress your battery. If you drive no more than 50 miles or so a day at most, best thing to do is set your charge limit to 70% and just plug it everyday to maximize your battery life.

Brian

Chevy Bolts did not have the charge limit setting until 2019. The best you can do with a 2017 or 2018 is “Hilltop Reserve” (about 88%). Or use timers. For example, I have a timer set to finish charging at 9PM. When I leave work at 5PM, the car is charged up to about 60%. It charges at roughly 10% per hour – adjust the end time accordingly to target different departure times or charge levels.

Eric Cote

The Volt charges much faster than the Bolt EV from empty to full, that’s not a toss up. The charging rate is the same but the title references charging time which the Volt easily wins. That’s part of the point of a plug in hybrid.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Not if you’re driving using the Volt’s engine.

The Bolt is (rated to be) more efficient at electric driving, so given an equal travel distance within the Volt’s range (at rated efficiency) the Bolt would need to charge less.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

* Not unless you’re driving using the Volt’s engine.

Eric Cote

What? If I drive a Volt 500 miles it will need to charge less than the Bolt EV since it has its gas range extender.

This article and your interpretation are both slanted in favor of Bolt EV simply because it’s all electric.

As another example there’s no total range metric, which Volt would clearly win.

I love the Bolt EV but there’s some clear oversights here that show the author’s own preferences pretty clearly.

Bill Howland
Ahem, well – the author was just trying to say that both cars add roughly the same number of electric miles per hour if you order the optional larger charger for the new Volt. I agree with Brian that for most people the GEN 2 volt will be the better choice since it is (or can be) lower cost than the BOLT ev – and neither car requires much maintenance – the Volt only usually needing an oil change every 2 years or 24,000 miles if you don’t in practice use the engine very much. The coolant for the engine only need be changed every 5 years, and the other 2 coolants (electronics, and battery) can probably be stretched out much longer since they never get really hot, of course that also applies to the BOLT ev since that car’s same 3 coolant loops never get really hot. The GEN 1 might be better for some, since its slightly larger width makes transporting large TV’s and Bicycles possible – why they decided to make it narrower is beyond me, but one bike riding friend bought a Prius Prime since he wanted a new car, and only the GEN 1 volt… Read more »
TheCyberKnight

Well, with a battery less than 1/3 the size, this is expected and not especially an advantage if you want to avoid petrol.
Also, you can also limit the Bolt charge level.

Brian

Charging time is a useless metric if that’s how you are going to define it. The best way to compare charging speeds in an apples-to-apples manner is “rated miles per minute”. In other words, charging rate (kW) AND efficiency matter.

For example, you probably would argue with someone who said that a 2017 Plug-In Prius is better than a Volt because it charges to full in less time.

Ziv

I believe that SparkEV used to haunt this board with exactly that argument, claiming his SparkEV was the best EV out there because it charge from 0-100% faster than any other BEV, ignoring the fact that the other BEV’s had 2 to 4 times the total AER.

Eric Cote

That’s only apples to apples if you completely ignore the Volt’s range extender. If you include it, the Volt adds way more miles per minute than the Bolt EV. Unless you only want wall power, which again is inherently biasing the article against the Volt.

Where’s the metric for total range? This article adds confusion and would leave many thinking the Volt only goes 53 miles based on the table summary.

If people want zero fuel use the Bolt EV is infinitely better, but this article completely ignores the crux of what makes the Volt great. It’s the only real plug in hybrid available for those that want ample (50+ miles) electric range for their normal driving and the ability to make a 1000 mile trip without the need to stop and charge.

Brian

Read my initial comment (not the reply to yours), and you’ll see that I already addressed the range extender. My argument was (and is) that L2 charging is a wash. On the road charging goes to the Volt because it “charges” while you drive it via an on-board generator. In other words, I agree with that conclusion. In fact, I stated it before you did.

So back to this topic, I didn’t mention the range extender because that’s not what we are talking about. You said “The Volt charges much faster than the Bolt EV from empty to full, that’s not a toss up. The charging rate is the same…” Clearly you are talking about L2 charging, and not the onboard generator. And so that’s what my comment addressed.

Oh, and BTW, I would put the Clarity out as a competing “real plug in hybrid available for those who want ample range”. Sure, it misses your arbitrary bar of 50 miles, but only by 3 miles. Its range is within about 10% of the Volt’s, so I consider them effectively the same.

Eric Cote

My original comment is in regard to the article. They reference time to full then say the rate is the same so they’re both are a tossup. Taking my comment at face value, they could certainly just change the metric they’re referring to be rate instead of time. In aggregate, the article is slanted in favor of all electrics for the other reasons I stated in addition to this one, which was really the point I was trying to make.

REXisKing

The Volt is the winner the more your time is important to you.
If you’re retired and not in a hurry the Bolt wins.

Also, if you’re single and want to get married, the Volt is the clear winner.
It attracts smart women.

BoltUp

Volt drivers waste time driving to and standing at the gas pump getting stinky (Women don’t like smelly men).
Bolt drivers charge cleanly at home not wasting precious time they could be spending with their women (women like that).

Bill Howland

I hear the point, but to me – gassing up a PHEV once every few months is one of those “Life is tough all over moments” – its not so much of a burden.

Now the much more expensive I3 REX with that ridiculous microscopic gas tank I would find very disagreeable since the roads I travel sometimes do not have convenient gas stations and therefore I’d hate carrying around a smelly gas can in the back…. Not particularly safe either – either from a fumes point of view or a collision point of view.

Tom Huffman

Virtually no Volt owner “drives” to a gas station. You only use gas on highway trips, which means you just pull off to the side of the road. The rest of the time you are running on electricity and gas isn’t necessary.

cesvilmal

Classy, speaking of women as if they were objects, you two.

bro1999

Or just get both like I did. 🙂
GM really needs to come out with something bigger though, either BEV or Voltec.

John

Agreed. And when you’re ready to sell your Bolt, lemme know!

stimpacker

Agree with bro1999.
Something bigger and hopefully a bit less econobox-like. But not over the top crazy like a Cadillac version.

Rennie Allen

You’re going to clear this up and you are completely ignorant yourself? It’s the blind leading the blind.

The Volt always runs off the electric motor. It is a series hybrid. There are two electric motors and when running on battery both motors are used to give better performance. When the battery has dropped to around 6kWh remaining, the ICE is then started and connected to one of the electric motors to use it as a generator and to maintain the battery at 6kWh. Thus, the Volt is a series hybrid and the wheels are always driven by the electric motor*.

*There is one very specific edge case at highway speed when the RPM of the wheel output of the PGS matches the ICE input RPM to the PGS and the ICE input might be connected to the wheel output, but this is extraordinarily rare (it has happened fewer than 5 times in the 45,000 miles I’ve put on my Volt).

bro1999

“The Volt always runs off the electric motor. It is a series hybrid”
Wrong. Both the Gen 1 and 2 Volt run as a parallel hybrid at times. The Gen 2 does this a lot more often than the Gen 1, as GM decided it shouldn’t matter HOW gas is used (series vs parallel) and maximum fuel efficiency should trump everything else.

Brian

Yeah, I always used to laugh at how people got so hung up about it not being a “pure” series hybrid. GM didn’t do that because it’s more efficient not to!

Spider-Dan

Indeed. The i3 REx runs as a pure series hybrid and it has terrible performance on gas: it has less power AND worse fuel economy than the Gen2 Volt, even while requiring premium gas (the Gen2 Volt takes regular).

VFanRJ

So true, the numbers don’t lie.

VFanRJ

As far as running as a series vs parallel , there’s a big difference between the gen I and II. When the generator is running, the Gen I still rarely runs in a parallel mode, but the Gen II does most the time.

Charles

It’s articles like this one that fuel the confusion between the two cars. The Volt IS an EV just as much as the Bolt with the exception that the Volt carries it’s own generator plant which charges the battery which energizes the electric motors which propel the car. It’s a similar concept to a diesel-electric locomotive. Virtually at no time does the gas engine power the wheels (there is a rare occurrence not worth discussing.)

stimpacker

The Volt is an EV but it is NOT “just as much as the Bolt”.
It carries the disadvantages of both by virtue of being a hybrid.
You have to deal with all the ICE-related stuff (gas, space).
The EV side is just a mini-EV, hence it has to lug that gas powerplant with it.
This is true for all hybrids.
So go Bolt if you can, if not go Volt.
Simple.

Spider-Dan

I think it’s more accurate to say that the Volt has both the advantages AND disadvantages of ICE/EV. It can be useful to have an ICE powertrain if there is a problem with the EV powertrain, and vice versa. I had a charging issue (low battery coolant, I believe) with my previous Gen1 Volt, and all that it meant is that I couldn’t charge the car and it ran on gas. In fact, I know several Volt owners, and I’ve yet to see anyone have a problem with the car that rendered it undriveable.

EV Ter

Like Volt form outside, but the T shape battery inside is a bummer for me.

bro1999

GM should release a BEV in the Volt’s form factor…basically Bolt guts with a Volt-like exterior. I’d also take an SS version of the Bolt.

Bill Howland

Since HONDA has the very nice PHEV MIDSIZED Honda Clarity (therefore the EV BUYER at least has SOMETHING to buy), GM should come out with an impala-sized or truck based PHEV.

I know, they’re worried about cannibalizing their high markup vehicles – so I’d think the Impala would be safe since they already have a CNG version…. The EV version would sell much better since the PHEV can be recharged at home – something that can only be done with great expense with the CNG Impala.

All these car companies are Monkey-See Monkey-Do, – Tesla’s great sales have caused all the Germans to come out with Tesla lookalikes. If the Clarity PHEV starts selling in large numbers, sooner or later will come the ‘me to’ vehicles.

Tom Huffman

Yea, I think the only significant weakness of the Volt is the platform. Put that Voltec system in a SUV or larger sedan and it would be a near-perfect t car.

Daniel Dorrance

We actually faced this decision a year ago. We ended up buying the Volt. It came down to two reasons. We do make some long trips to visit kids at college and my parents and the charging network plus a fairly long changing time even for the fast charging just does not make the Bolt very practical for long trips. I think Tesla is much better option right now for long trip EV (much better network and charging times). The second reason is the Volt drive experience feels much more solid than the Bolt. We loved the Bolt’s responsiveness but there is more body roll and sponginess to the ride. Both are really good cars and my gen 1 Volt is still going strong after 5 years and 70,000 miles.

Paul Cantrell
I’ll agree with the people pointing out that the purist EV people aren’t helping the transition to electric vehicles. There are many reasons a PHEV might be better for a person than a BEV (and vice versa). When you go all purist you ignore that there are some significant downsides to BEV. If someone who’s needs aren’t met by BEV is bullied into getting one, we end up with a vocal person saying “hey, electric vehicles aren’t ready for prime time”. Or, they just decide to get another ICE because the situation is confusing, and they don’t understand everything, and they don’t want to get left with a car that doesn’t meet their needs. I leased a BEV for my daughters and it worked well for 3 years until it was crashed. They both asked me to get a ICE instead as a replacement. They didn’t like having to plan recharging stops on longer trips. I got them a used Volt and they couldn’t be happier. Most of the time they don’t have to put gas in it (which is a win for a teenager) but when they want to just jump in and do a 300 miles drive without… Read more »
Scott Franco

Please don’t compare my Bolt with a Volt. The Bolt is an electric car. The Volt is a hybrid GASOLINE powered car. There IS A DIFFERENCE.

bro1999

Plug-in hybrid that can be driven just like a BEV for the first 53 miles.

Scott Franco

Gas cars can be driven several miles with the engine off.

If you start on a large hill. Whats the point.

Julius

I drove over 3400 miles this summer on seven gallons of gas. I guess all my travelling is downhill, eh?

Regardless, I expect that number to climb once I install a 240v line.

Spider-Dan

I’ve driven my Volt for six weeks and over a thousand miles without using a drop of gas. Repeatedly.
That’s a lot of coasting down hills!

EV Ter

I have a rex with 33k batt. I am 95% EV, so I will compare. I also hate to pay the inflated DC charge prices, and spend more time, unless its free. I just compared.

EV Ter

Secret , Volt is the Hydrogen Fool cell killer. With 90% Ev Driving, there is no need of expensive fool cell and expensive petroleum derived hydrogen, and expensive hydrogen refueling station.

Tom Huffman

This type of purist fanaticism is not helpful to the EV cause. Volt drivers spend 70%-80% of their mileage in electric mode and well over 90% of their time in pure electric mode. You burn gas on long highway trips only or on rare occasions like when you simply forget to plug-in.

Scott Franco

Volt drivers, from what I have seen, spend %70-%80 of their time making up complete BS about how green they are. In the real world, I see plenty of Volt owners who don’t bother to charge. At all.

Julius

I know Volt owners might not regularly charge – my son is one of them… but that’s because his apartment complex yelled at him for plugging in.

It was virtually impossible to find an apartment complex that had EV charging even possible for a reasonable price on the Oakland area.

ModernMarvelFan

“In the real world, I see plenty of Volt owners who don’t bother to charge.”

That is the minority. Just like you who are Trump voter that drives EVs…

Spider-Dan

https://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/7729

In fact, you can browse that site and find actual data on how often Volt drivers charge. Spoiler: it’s more than 0%.

Julius

“Similarly, the [Volt’s] gas engine could contribute torque when power is needed, even though the battery pack is not yet depleted.”

Funny, I own an ’18 Volt, and the only time I’ve ever had the engine come on when the battery has a charge is if the weather is below 15F.

As long as I had a charge, I could pin the accelerator to the floor and not have the ICE turn on at all.

bro1999

And the ’19 Volt has an option to not have the engine come on until the temps are well below 0F.

Julius

There is, however, one way that the ICE will come on if there is a charge: if the driver selects the “Hold” mode. There the car switches to its charge-depleted setting and the engine will start – but that’s a driver initiated switch, not a default setting.

Bill Howland
Yeah, that is one of the frustrating things with my ELR… As soon at the temp drops even for a second to 32 deg F, (hot around here in the wintertime), the engine constantly runs until the coolant warms up. Initially it used to really bug me, and I’d do everything to keep the coolant warm by driving around in the cold and a windshield I could barely see through, but now I just let the engine run and enjoy the relatively low-cost heat. Its not ‘free’ since the engine will run much much more if the heater is on high, since it robs the engine jacket of heat. But, Gasoline ain’t that expensive in the States, and it doesn’t cause enough additional engine wear to worry about. In the ELR, under such conditions, the BATTERY is still discharging pushing the car, and the engine is only very slightly providing any juice – its primary function is to make hot water for the heater. The fact that I’m the guy who paid for the car, yet I have no decision in when I want to run the engine is just another example of GM’s typical arrogance…. Which you find with… Read more »
Bill Howland
Yeah, that is one of the frustrating things with my ELR… As soon at the temp drops even for a second to 32 deg F, (hot around here in the wintertime), the engine constantly runs until the coolant warms up. Initially it used to really bug me, and I’d do everything to keep the coolant warm by driving around in the cold and a windshield I could barely see through, but now I just let the engine run and enjoy the relatively low-cost heat. Its not ‘free’ since the engine will run much much more if the heater is on high, since it robs the engine jacket of heat. But, Gasoline ain’t that expensive in the States, and it doesn’t cause enough additional engine wear to worry about. In the ELR, under such conditions, the BATTERY is still discharging pushing the car, and the engine is only very slightly providing any juice – its primary function is to make hot water for the heater. The fact that I’m the guy who paid for the car, yet I have no decision in when I want to run the engine is just another example of GM’s typical arrogance…. Which you find with… Read more »
Tom Huffman

That’s my experience as well. I don’t know that the ICE engine has EVER come on when the battery had juice, except in really cold weather

Elons_Best_Friend

I had to make this decision in Dec. 2016 and I’m damn glad I got the BoltEV! But I still really like the Volt and probably wouldn’t be disappointed had I decided to get that. I’ve never regretted making the decision to get the BEV. The BoltEV is so much fun to drive!

Ron

My 2017 Volt has ACC, collision warning and modestly effective lane following. AFAIK, this is not available on the Bolt EV. I hoped Bolt would offer it in 2019, it is extremely helpful in rush hour – my 2011 Leaf succumbed to inattention resulting in my rear-ending someone (trying to adjust the heater without turning on the A/C).

louie

umm,yeah.As with virtually all of these vehicles,having to work a touch screen while driving is inherently distracting to the point of being dangerous and unsafe.I wonder how many crashes have occurred due to this in spite of the advances in electronic collision avoidance systems.

Jay

Is it wrong that if I had to choose between a Bolt and a Volt I would pick…a Model 3?

Seriously though, owning a Volt gave me the perfect bridge to move from gas to electric. And gave me confidence that GM could actually build a decent car for the first time in my life.

Ridhard Joash Tan

Best Overall when it comes to everything: Clarity PHEV.

johnny mars

The Clarity has yet to prove itself reliable. The Volt has a good record of reliability. The Clarity lacks a lift back, a serious oversight, and has no lumbar driver’s seat support, even in the more expensive Touring version. DUH! The Clarity’s gas motor comes on often and is quite noisy, and the electric motor is not as quick as the Volt’s. It is a more spacious car, but the exterior styling is frumpy. The Volt is more of a sporting vehicle while the Clarity is for mature audiences. The Clarity’s overall range is about 330 miles, while the Volt’s is over 400. The Volt is more of a sporting vehicle while the Clarity is for mature drivers. They are both good choices, but for different audiences.

johnny mars

Both cars are winners!

Dave

If there is still some charge left in the batteries, the Volt will NOT engage the gas engine just because it needs more power.

(Manually engaged Hold/mountain modes and ERDDT notwithstanding)