Chief Engineer For Chevrolet Bolt Says Performance And Electric Go Hand In Hand

Chevy Bolt EV


Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt chief engineer Josh Tavel recently sat down with the Detroit News for a brief interview.

The focus of the interview seemed to be on Tavel’s love for cars and his need for speed. Very little of the interview centered around the Bolt, but Tavel’s responses to a few questions still provide us with some background on the vehicle’s chief engineer and gives us a sense of what he believes are priorities when engineering an electric car.

Chevy Bolt's Chief Engineer Josh Tavel

Chevy Bolt’s Chief Engineer Josh Tavel

According to Tavel, he engineered the Bolt like a mini Tesla Model S.

The focus was on the electric car’s inherent benefits, such as gobs of torque and a low center of gravity. The focus, at least from his side of things, was never on being green, but rather on delivering a proper hot hatch that just so happens to be battery-powered.

You can check out the full interview here. Below we’ve focused just on the questions and answers that actually mention the Bolt:

Q: Your first project lead?

Tavel: I was lead development engineer on the Chevy Cruze diesel in Milford. Then I was the chief engineer for Cadillac ELR. Then I came to Bolt EV.

Q: What’s in your garage today?

Tavel: Chevy Bolt, Spark, Yukon. A Spec Racer Ford, and 1970 Datsun 240Z E-Production SCCA race car. I’m starting (to build) a Corvair — a highly modified Corvair. And I also have two Corvettes in the garage. Fixes top coupe and a Grand Sport C6 which is my Dad’s.

It’s clear to us that Tavel is a car guy, and that’s exatcly the type of guy you want engineering cars. The Bolt will likely go down as his crowning achievement, not because it’s an affordable, long-range electric, but rather due to the fact that it’s a well-rounded car that doesn’t cost a fortune and does most everything well including travelling long distances, yet is powered by a battery. A first in the automotive industry.

Source: Detroit News

Categories: Chevrolet


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100 Comments on "Chief Engineer For Chevrolet Bolt Says Performance And Electric Go Hand In Hand"

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I’m glad he’s echoing what I’ve been saying: EVs are great regardless of green credentials!

All the more reason why I lament the fact that Bolt could’ve been so much more as RWD. Traction just isn’t there for FWD for much performance, and Bolt is probably at the limits of FWD traction.

“I’m glad he’s echoing what I’ve been saying: EVs are great regardless of green credentials!”

That’s right. The worst thing we want to do is to make EV’s a political or enviro football.

The only way we will see them succeed is if all people regardless of political or environmental affiliation can see something beneficial in EV’s….and as you say there are plenty of great attributes to EV’s.

The sheer lack of maintenance that is spec’d out for BoltEV (we had an article) is proof enough. Then add into that the nice acceleration and interior room benefits and it’s a win win.

Problem is we need GM management to get on board this effort with a little more gusto than 30,000 bolts per year. Tavel has the gusto. Pam has the gusto but Mary??? I was very hopeful she would turn out to be different but I don’t think so. Let’s face it. To get into her position she had to tote the company line: trucks and SUV’s.

Look to Tesla as the only company that really wants EV’s to take off.

Given that SparkEV tried to meet the demand even after they sold more than enough, I wouldn’t be so sure about GM not meeting demand. I think they under-estimated the demand by huge amount (I’m also guilty of this). But looking around and speaking with people, I think demand will be far more than GM anticipated. Then like they did with SparkEV, though few months late, they’ll try to meet the demand.

“Given that SparkEV tried to meet the demand even after they sold more than enough, I wouldn’t be so sure about GM not meeting demand.”

Spark EV is probably not a great example…but it is still open to be seen what GM management will do if BoltEV demand exceeds their 30,000/year or so target.

I think they do make SOME profit on these cars (recurring costs). So they could do it without losing money. Question is whether they will do it or not.

SparkEV said:

“Given that SparkEV tried to meet the demand even after they sold more than enough, I wouldn’t be so sure about GM not meeting demand.”

You’re really not helping your case when you continue to ignore the reality that the Spark EV was a compliance car, never meant to be made in significant numbers, never intended to be sold at a profit, and not priced above cost.

Contrariwise, the Bolt is not a compliance car, meant to be made in at least moderate numbers, and is unit-priced to make a profit (ignoring development costs) for GM.

Bottom line: You’re comparing apples and oranges.

Actually I think the Spark EV is a good example. Initially the Spark EV was a pure compliance car. However GM expanded it’s market (retail sales in Canada, sales in Maryland etc..) and ended up selling far more than was needed for compliance.

GM might have only got quotations from suppliers based on a estimated 30K/year annual volume. But that does not mean they are only going to make 30K per year. Clearly GM and LG Chem have scale to make much more than that.

PuPu, you again spew nonsense. Why would GM make money losing SparkEV far beyond compliance when they know Bolt will be coming? But logic is lost on you. Even if SparkEV was priced at $100K, you’d still claim it was losing money.

Fact is, GM chose to increase SparkEV production even if they didn’t need more for compliance. If they did for limited availability car, they’ll do so for Bolt.

“the Spark EV was a compliance car, never meant to be made in significant numbers”

Has anyone who wanted a Spark been told they cannot get one? Where are the facts of your argument?

Technically, they have. Some commented that MD dealers refused to sell out of state.

The Orion plant where they make the Bolt can handle more production if in GM’s best interest. Batteries might be a different story?

This disdain for the environment seems to be a very American thing. There aren’t too many other places in the developed world where people make a determined effort to undermine concern for clean air, clean water and maintaining a climate your descendents will be able to survive and thrive in.

It’s weird.

Well said!

Disdain is a strong word, more like ambivalence. America has mostly cleaned up its air, smog in cities is rare and without visible evidence concern for pollution tends to subside. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still important and that’s why the education has to be kept up.

It’s not weird. Most other civilized countries have an advanced mass transit system used by the bulk of the population. So admitting we have a huge CO2 problem and green cars isn’t much of a sacrifice. In the U.S., cars are toys. People don’t like to give up their toys unless they feel they’re going to personally gain from it.

People can’t see beyond their noses.

I don’t know where you live, but people around here drive around in giant SUV and trucks while fully acknowledging climate change will be bad. That’s also true in other developed countries; though not SUV, they’d rather take more comfortable form of transportation than something that will “save the planet”.

Talk is cheap; actions speak louder than words; at the end of the day, blah blah.

Exactyly. Well said.

I wish GM could change its mindset and produce 80,000-100,000 Bolts its first year.

Here in Florida I would likely be a buyer.

But instead it will be about a year before I can test drive one,
allowing me more time to save and ponder snagging a gently used Model S, or joining the painfully long wait for the Model 3.

I don’t know why everyone here is anti-GM. They are performing. They delivered as many Sparks as anyone wanted, and are headed into the next car, the Bolt.

Whats the problem?

+1 with regards to RWD. In the near future, I see myself adding a used RWD Smart EV to my stable as a third car (the only EV to work with my parking space situation). The question is whether to get a used 1st gen now and trading it in later for a 2nd gen, or to wait a year for a used 2nd gen. The 2nd gen is wider, giving you more shoulder room, which is greatly appreciated. It might be hard to believe, but the addition width makes the Smart feel much roomier. You can pick up a low mileage 1st gen for a little more that $5k! For whatever reason, its seems a good number of 1st gen Smart EVs come off lease in just one to two years or sooner. I’m hoping the same will hold true for the 2nd gen. Currently, you can pick up a very, very low mileage 2nd gen for about $12k. But I expect the resale values of the used 2nd gen Smart EVs hitting the market to take a substantial hit when the Bolt starts hitting the road in greater numbers. $5,500 2013 Smart EV with 5,493 miles in high-speed… Read more »

Woz likely opted for Bolt as his main car as opposed to Tesla due to ease of parking, so I understand why you’d go for SmartED in NY. However, 2 seater will be very limiting, especially without DCFC.

Better might be used SparkEV. Though bit larger than Smart, it’s far more practical especially if more CCS start to appear thanks to Bolt.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven,

I’d go for gen 2, (=

As you/we know, the issue with pricing on the used smart EV is the starting MSRP…it happens with many “value” EVs, but is really exasperated on the smart.

The starting MSRP at $25,000 means it can be leased day in and day out at ~$140 a month via the standard “corporate offer”, but if you wait 2 seconds, or ask for it, you will find inventory generally discounted to some degree…meaning that $99/month (or less) deals are common place. (In my neck of the woods last year at one point a dealer was doing a 4k cashback and the monthly was like $40)

So why spend $5,500 on a 4 year old 2013, or $12k on a 2016…when you can drive around a brand-spanking new/next gen one for 4 years and pay basically the equivalent of one decent eat-out meal per month.

…which begs the question of what happens to used residuals when/if the fed credit leaves and that $140/month deal moves to $300? But I digress.

Hmmm. . . I haven’t seen any lease deals that low or anywhere close to that, but I haven’t really been looking as I expected the recently revealed 2nd gen to have a much bigger increase in AER and fast-charging ability. Boy was I wrong.

I think I should start shopping around for Smart lease/purchase deals outside of NYC as the dealers in this city are stocked with or allocated overwhelmingly with the ICE versions. I suppose the reason NYC Smart dealers stock predominantly ICE versions is that most SmartCar shoppers/buyers in NYC will street park and don’t have a garage/driveway to charge it up a Smart EV, and it they did have a garage/driveway then they wouldn’t be shopping for a Smart-sized EV opting instead for a much larger, longer ranged EV. It’s a Catch-22!

Available room is an ironic problem to have with the smart ED isn’t it? lol.

And that doesn’t just apply for city folk. I was going to pick up a smart ED cabrio (convertible) just for “summer fun” in 2015 when I saw one at ~75/month, but it was nixed when my wife pointed out we were out of garage spaces.

Apparently, she didn’t want another EV charging outside…unless of course I build her a separate garage/utility shed for lawn/gardening needs (not sure how that solved the issue of an EV charging outside, but that was the ultimatum). So no smart ED pour moi, )=

The point being, money was never an issue at all (it could have been free)…just the utility and storage of the smart.

I’m a big believer in stacking things to fully utilize a given space, which is perhaps as a relic of my days living in tiny NYC apartments. Back then you had to prioritize what you really need to keep/store in your apartment, otherwise it would look very cluttered and possibly be featured on an episode of Hoarders.

Personally, I’m thinking of getting a stacking washer and dryer to create more storage space in the laundry room, which would then open up enough space in my rather lengthy garage to possibly fit a Smart ED.

Garages are wasted on cars.

Like I said, I’d be getting as a third car. It works out for me due to the absurdly low price, and parkability on the street or in an unused corner of my garage or sidewalk-driveway. In NYC, plenty of things are close by. A Smart EV is great for making short trips to go shopping for groceries/takeout-food, or going to the mall that has no free parking lot, but has tight street parking with plenty of Smart-sized gaps between cars or driveways. Likewise, driving to a restaurant in trendy/gentrifying neighborhood or to Manhattan and street parking is usually faster than taking subway and/or bus, and also safer than taking my bicycle, which I used to do quite often.

This is my old hood (here)with its expanded-sidewalk to accommodate bike parking (also eliminate parking spots) and subway station, one stop away from Manhattan.

Those Smart EV prices are not real. They do not include the battery, which you have to rent for $80 a month.

You do most of your braking wth the front wheels. So RWD means losing out on a lot of regenerative braking and that means reduced range in the city.

I don’t expect RWD to take over for low-end EVs any time soon.

Unless the tires are losing traction, you lose no regeneration by having RWD.

“Unless the tires are losing traction, you lose no regeneration by having RWD.”

I’m Not sure that’s true. I would think it may have more to do with the weight distribution than whether or not you lose traction.

You are correct. In heavy braking, weight shifts towards the front of a car. That is why, in most cars (that is, those which are not exceptionally rear-heavy), the front wheels do most of the braking.

Regenerative braking happens in the motor, not the friction brakes, and therefore regen only happens with wheels connected to the drivetrain. With rear wheel drive, most of the opportunity for regen is lost.

The physics here are pretty basic.

“…With rear wheel drive, most of the opportunity for regen is lost.

The physics here are pretty basic…”.

More SuperDope commenting.

Uh, CHIEF, my Roadster was REAR WHEEL DRIVE ONLY, meaning there was no regeneration coming from the front wheels. The roadster also had more agressive REGEN than the model “S” even at the “S”‘s more agressive setting.

The very agressive regenerative braking happened even though the weight might slightly shift to the front, since BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE FRONT OF THE CAR IS ATTACHED TO THE REAR. Most of the time, since I didn’t use the brake pedal at all, 100% OF THE added braking came ONLY from regeneration.

You should really might want to cease with the Physics and Thermodynamics stuff. You don’t have the beginnings of any ‘feel’ for this stuff.

U really don’t get it don’t u?
Bolt has more weight up in the front and it has a higher ground clearance, which means pitch when braking.
Comparing the Bolt with a Roadster proves your lack of physics skills.
Btw, what maximum brake power – regen – reaches the roadster?

PuPu with more nonsense. If you’re regenerating with enough power to lock up the rear tires, what you say is true. But EV regen do not have so much power to lock up the wheels. You can see this with RWD Tesla, i3, even iMiev.

You may claim science, but without applying the boundary conditions, it’s just nonsense.

I presume you mean breaking loose?

Any weight transfer forward reduces the amount of grip which can be exerted at the back without the tires breaking loose. Even when they don’t break loose, you are always “losing traction” on the rears while decelerating.

Furthermore putting more braking at the rear causes the car to be more susceptible to spinning out from any kind of lateral force. So your regenerative braking is already limited and gets even lower when the steering wheel isn’t straight ahead.

Just look at the video someone posted above and put it in reverse. Weight transfers forward and unloads the rear wheels.

Warren: I’m not sure why you are talking about acceleration. Braking issues come under deceleration.

I would expect performance EVs to just go to AWD and not have to deal with either these issues. It already worked with Tesla.

I meant breaking loose.

Given that 50-50 weight distribution FWD SparkEV can put down over 100 kW, 60 kW regen on RWD cars won’t be a problem. Sure, it could break loose easier, but that would only happen in scenarios where SparkEV would break loose on 60 kW acceleration. That’s exceedingly rare. It may happen in icy roads, but then FWD regen won’t be much better in that case anyway.

The i3 is RWD and has plenty of regenerative braking. It doesn’t even trigger the DSC warning under full acceleration in the rain. It is uncanny how well it hooks up. On the other hand, I have driven powerful FWD BEVs such as the B Class and RAV4 without traction control and it is almost comical how inherently poor the traction is. Smoking the front tires at 30mph without really going anywhere. You can get the BMW X1 in FWD now. I borrowed one for a week. It was disconcerting how moderate acceleration resulted in irritating tire squeal, attracting unwanted attention. I have already read in reports that the Bolt front tires are fighting for traction even under moderate acceleration. As I love the feeling of taking off from every stop light with EV torque. RWD is a must for me, and one of the top reasons I won’t get the Bolt. My Focus EV with poor traction and torque steer will not be replaced with another FWD EV.

Just to add to the other comments. I think you would be surprised at how soon the rear wheels would break loose if you disconnected your front brakes. Tesla had a serious problem since they are rear drive and had to carefully limit re-gen to avoid loss of traction on the rear when braking.

I read at places that Tesla regen is limited to 60 kW like SparkEV. If they had regen problems, it’s not due to RWD but other issues. 60 kW regen on Tesla that weighs over 1200 lb more than SparkEV would be trivial (sort of).

I’m sorry Spark EV, I highly respect your comments but I have to strongly disagree that RWD is better. I use to drive a lot of RWD hot rods and I have swapped ends because the rear end lost traction more times than I can count. On icy roads, like we get here in Texas every winter, RWD cars and light trucks are useless and end up causing huge traffic jams.

No, just like I will never buy another ICE car, I will never buy another RWD. AWD is preferred but if I have to choose between FWD and RWD I will choose FWD every time. If the Bolt had RWD that would be a mark against it in my book.

I’d agree if there’s no traction control, but with modern traction control, RWD is almost as good as FWD. FWD would be better if you’re really stuck since it affords left-righ as well as forward backward, but for typical driving, I think traction control would take care of the issues.

But I do agree that Bolt should’ve had AWD option, maybe with even more power.

Personally AWD creates packaging issues. For me in snow country the best solution would be FWD with an electronic limited slip differential. That way you have a true 2WD with better handling possibilities.

Traction control is sort of limited slip differential. It will send power to non-slipping wheel. In some ways, traction control is superior.

Well traction control will brake one wheel to send power to the other (in conjunction with anti-lock brakes) which is quite effective. However an eLSD can vary the torque delivered to each wheel individually to maximise the power traction balance.

And eLSD can also do the same thing for cornering by helping apply more torque to the inner wheel to help pull the car through a corner.

You should try an i3 which is a RWD EV. It’s awesome.

The reason most RWD vehicles have poor rear wheel traction in slick conditions is because they’re typically front engine vehicles with most of their weight over their front wheels. Rear engine RWD vehicles function better in slick conditions than FWD vehicles because the steering wheels don’t also have to propel and brake the vehicle. The i3 is a rear motor RWD EV which is ideal.

Practicality is not there for RWD, does really bad in the snow/ice. There is enough traction thanks to precise traction control. AWD would have been nice.

Though, I hear the bare bones RWD Tesla model S does well in the snow

“Bolt is probably at the limits of FWD traction”

The traction is under the motor, where the weight is. My Spark can really jump ahead of cars on the freeway if I have the need. The issue is not traction, but loss of steering control that goes with FWD. I have learned to compensate.

It drives my wife crazy when I gun the Spark, but the acceleration is real.

You must really feel important spouting this rubbish which is best left to boy racers.
The Bolt is aimed at the masses and being front drive makes it inherently safer for public roads and various types of drivers. The auto industry had decades of rear drive cars before adopting front wheel drive and just now on the cusp of going electric your advocating a return to the past.
Get a proper job!

Apparently, you’re stuck in decades old technology. Fact is, modern traction control makes RWD more livable than no traction control FWD. If both have traction control, it makes little difference between FWD and RWD, but it makes huge difference in terms of traction for acceleration.

Before you want to sound important, look at what’s available.

If it was RWD, it would be off my list. AWD would be OK. I live in snowy/icy Michigan and am not going to deal with another RWD car. If/when I ever get to place a Model 3 order, I’ll have to go with the AWD version, so I’m stuck with that $5k (or whatever) option.

I’d like to see some of the most read çar magazines and tons of YouTube reviewers do hot hatch comparisons that include Bolt EV.

From Tesla, we have learned that the snappy performance of an EV can and will lift it’s cred amongst the flock of car gawkers and sells cars.

GM could push this message too….That is. IFA they want to sell more than the 30,000 unit threshold they seem to be comfortable with.

And he made the same mistake Tesla made with the Model X.
Both are an engineer’s dream.
Both are way too complex to produce.
But instead of a hot SUV it is a hot hatch.

He was charged with designing the first (1)affordable (2)long-range (3)mass-market (4)electric car.
He missed on affordable and mass-market.
The platform is so shaky they cannot even make a Right Hand Drive model.
Car guys design corvettes and mustangs.
Car entrepreneurs design civics and corollas.

This was clearly the wrong guy for the job.

Just curious why you think the car is too complex to produce. Also, just wondering why you believe the platform is so shaky. I have not tested it so I don’t know how solid the car is.

GM has spent quite some time producing pre-production BOLTs. But when the time came to start production, they could not ramp up. They have postponed planned availability and roll-out a few times. Looking at the 6-9 month they are working to get the production line configured and at speed, this is worse than the Model X launch.

GM has said they can not make a right hand drive model of the BOLT, too hard and too expensive.
GM has said they can not build another car on the foundation of the BOLT.
According to rumors the Tesla Model 3 is $15k-$20k cheaper to produce than the BOLT.

Not “can’t” but won’t, yet. RHD is a waste of resources until the LHD market is satisfied.

When did they say they can’t build anything else on that platform? I’ve read precisely the opposite. It includes some features the Bolt doesn’t require.

As for “rumors” — they’re not worth your time or mine.

There is a whole lot of huge assumptions on you part in your statements. I think you starring at the tea leaves a little to long.

Yes pre-production was a little longer than a normal ICE vehicle and yes production ramp is a little slower than normal. I think this has to do with the fact that this car is under a magnifying glass and GM wants this car to go over well. Rather than it being indicative of problems.

“They have postponed planned availability and roll-out a few times.”
They are on the same schedule they’ve had since Day 1.

“GM has said they can not make a right hand drive model of the BOLT, too hard and too expensive.”
There’s not enough market in the very few RHD countries to make a version for that. Has nothing to do with “too hard”.

“Well, that is like your opinion man.”

The bolt meets every one of those goals.

If GM would try to sell this car with a positive gross margin, the price would be as high as a Model S.
To compete with comparable hatch backs, the MSRP is still 10k to high, not affordable.
For GM mass-market is 100k-500k worldwide, not 30k.
GM can accept the losses on the BOLT if it is treated like a compliance car. If they sell a 200k cars a year, GM goes broke again.

How so. We know what GM’s contract prices are with LG Chem (Cell cost of $145/KWh). So we have a reasonable idea what the costs actually are.

If GM can make money on a Chevrolet Sonic for $15K USD made at the same assembly plant on the same line. Then GM isn’t loosing much if at all on a Bolt EV being sold for $37.5K USD.

Fact is this vehicle has performance numbers that put it into Golf GTI or Focus ST territory and the pricing isn’t that far either. Too add it’s the only EV on the market today in this Price/Range category.

“To compete with comparable hatch backs”
There are no comparable hatch backs. You can look towards the BMW i3 with less than half the range, and it’s priced at $42K.

Like WOW!!
So what do you think of Tesla since they were largely created by people who simply wanted an electric Porsche??
Are they the wrong guys for the job??
I would speculate there is a bare minimum 50% chance that the Civic and Corolla engineers would rather be designing Porsches and Feraris…

Tesla build what it intended to build.
This car guy build a car guys car. All the car guy auto journalists are wild about it. But he was not charged with building a car guys car, he was asked to build a car to conquer the EV mass market.

I do not doubt that the civic and corolla engineers would rather work on the Honda NSX or the Toyota MR2. But they controlled themselves, and designed million sellers despised by all real car guys.

Clearly if you actually look at the Bolt EV design it was built to cater to the EV market.

I don’t think you understand why most people buy a Model S. It’s not to be green.

All vehicles have compromises to fit into a price category. And engineers need to make the best car for the desired target price. Now that’s true for a Civic or an NSX. An engineer doesn’t try to make a Civic boring. They try to make it the best car for the desired target price. The Bolt EV had a target price of $30K after incentives. GM engineers hit that goal and they made it the best car they could. Outside of the powertrain there is not much different between an ICE car and and EV. And I would rather have a car guy design my car than someone else.

Who would you feel would be the best type of person to design an EV?

Probably the wrong guy for the ELR as far as I’m concerned. They tweaked the voltec to get more power for the 2014 model , and then considerably more for the 2016 – I’d be a bit concerned pushing the 2016 since although the 2011 volt was conservatively designed, I don’t think there was THAT much headroom in the 2016; – but DeNyschen (another EV hater) killed the car very prematurely anyway. Cadillac of all marques would not be harmed by seling 2 ev’s at the same time.

I’ve mentioned previously the problem with the regen-on-demand paddles that the operation of them sometimes works, and is sometimes flakey (attacks, releases , then attacks again – sometimes).

The other thing is the ridiculous running of the engine when under 33 deg fahrenheit.

Other times the engine starts when you don’t want it to, and that type of annoyance.

But, granted these are all minor annoyances and the end result is pretty good… But I did test drive the car 4 times before I finally bought one, and the real reason I did it is it was the only way I could get great resale value for the Roadster trade-in.

“running of the engine when under 33 deg fahrenheit.”
You can’t set it to 15 degrees like the Volt?

MaartenV-nl said:

“And he made the same mistake Tesla made with the Model X.
Both are an engineer’s dream.
Both are way too complex to produce.”

Given that the Tesla Model X is selling quite well, and that it ranks in the top 10 in Consumer Reports‘ customer satisfaction ratings… I’d say that your assessment is pretty clearly wrong.

I also question your assertion that the Model X is “an engineer’s dream”. Most engineers I know are not fond of things which are more complex than they need to be.

An engineer’s dream, as in full of brilliant nerdy technical showcases. Falcon wing door anyone? Most engineers agree that they should never have been put in this car, and absolutely not in the first version, but oh boy, they would have loved to design them. Engineers to are people with both a brain and a hart.
And because the Bolt is so full of brilliant design solutions, it will rank high on the consumer reports customer satisfaction index.
But the BOLT will not be bought by the millions who are not willing to spent thousands extra on a car guys car. They will wait for the Corolla EV, Civic EV or when the Renault Zoe will be imported by Nissan.

This car guy got carried away designing a must have car for car guys. Mary Barra asked for a must have car for the civic, corolla crowd.

The actual Bolt EV Chief Engineer is an LG employee.

Correct. Lucky Golden gets quite short-shifted on the Bolt PR Front. Mr. Tavel was more of a foreign supervisor on the outsourced project– so it makes sens that there isn’t much on specifics for him to discuss about the vehicle. 🙁

GM make the sonic-based glider, LG made all the stuff that makes that vehicle, a BEV.

Sonic based glider? Before you spew nonsense, you should actually compare the cars. San Diego auto show is going on now and you can compare them few feet apart. Bolt is nothing like Sonic, not even like Cruze hatch.

Sonic based glider??
Nice TROLLING but totaly wrong if you spend two minutes on Google…

“A MacPherson-front-strut/rear-torsion-beam suspension nestles into an all-new chassis called BEV II, which isn’t related to the Gamma platform on the Sonic hatchback. Despite the Bolt’s compact footprint, it’s longer than the Sonic by 5.0 inches, wider by 1.2 inches, higher by 3.1 inches, and has a 3.0-inch-longer wheelbase. It’s also much heavier, at an estimated 3580 pounds.”

Anon isn’t interested in fact only FUD.

Anon said:
“GM make the sonic-based glider, LG made all the stuff that makes that vehicle, a BEV.”

Give it a rest Anon. Your continual GM bashing is a bore.

I’m not bashing GM, I’m trying to properly credit the folks who actually developed 90% of the EV side of the Bolt Project– LG. It’s not my fault GM became an outsourcing hub after letting all their EV-1 folks go.

While we’re at it: Wiki the Bolt, and you’ll see that the Gamma II Platform hosts the current Chevrolet Sonic/Spark/Opel Corsa, INCLUDING THE BOLT. No FUD here.

Have a great New Year living in the real world.

The EV-1 was outsourced. It was made by Aerovironment.

I’m not sure why you’re trying to pretend happened here. Companies use suppliers all the time. To indicate that somehow GM didn’t engineer the vehicle because they did it with LG as the manufacturer of many subassemblies doesn’t make sense. It makes more sense than your characterization of the the EV1 though.

The engine for the McLaren F1 is from BMW. It wasn’t even co-designed by McLaren. Does that mean Gordan Murray wasn’t chief engineer of the car?

By your logic, 100% of tires are not made by GM, so none of the cars are GM? Same would apply to thousands of parts “outsourced” that go in a car.

If you live in the real world, you’d realize you don’t make everything yourself. Only nutjobs in North Korea believe that nonsense (it’s their motto: we make everything ourself). Go read about David Ricardo and follow the math. Doing something outside of your core competency is recipe for disaster in competitive world (aka, the real world).

Anon said:

“Wiki the Bolt, and you’ll see that the Gamma II Platform hosts the current Chevrolet Sonic/Spark/Opel Corsa, INCLUDING THE BOLT. No FUD here.”

While you are correct to say that there are descriptions of the Bolt which claim it shares the same “platform” as the Sonic, I think in this case the term “platform” has been stretched beyond the point at which it has much meaning.

Let’s look again at what Yogurt posted:

Despite the Bolt’s compact footprint, it’s longer than the Sonic by 5.0 inches, wider by 1.2 inches, higher by 3.1 inches, and has a 3.0-inch-longer wheelbase. It’s also much heavier, at an estimated 3580 pounds.

Assuming all that is correct, then by what criteria can you rightfully say that the Bolt uses a “Sonic-based glider”? It’s not like you can take the ICEV powertrain out of a Sonic and put it into a Bolt and expect it to fit — let alone function — now is it?

I agree with others here, Anon: You’re posting anti-GM FUD. Give it a rest!

The Bolt isn’t the best car in the world. But neither is it just an overpriced Sonic.

There’s no such thing as, “The best car in the world”. Everyone has different needs/wants.

How about getting the info from the source… and stop perpetuation untruths (misinformation) in the New Year.

“There are no Bolt EV parts tied to the G2 architecture,” said lead product engineer Josh Tavel, via e-mail through GM communications.

UPDATE: After this article published, GM’s Kevin Kelly gave us the following statement that appears to explain the discrepancy: “The Bolt EV program originated on the Gamma architecture, but then grew into its own architecture—even as it maintained the G2 code.”

Taken from ->

“I’m not bashing GM, I’m trying to properly credit the folks who actually developed 90% of the EV side of the Bolt Project– LG. ”

Again, Anon is making up stuff. I would like to see where the 90% is from. Probably from your rear end…

“It’s not my fault GM became an outsourcing hub after letting all their EV-1 folks go.”

It is your fault for making up lies.

“While we’re at it: Wiki the Bolt, and you’ll see that the Gamma II Platform hosts the current Chevrolet Sonic/Spark/Opel Corsa, INCLUDING THE BOLT. No FUD here.”.

Well, you are stupid enough to trust Wiki since that myth has been debunked by many credible sources such as Green Car Report, Car and Driver and Motor trend. But hey, don’t let your personal ignorance and hatred toward GM to blind you into an idiot…

“Have a great New Year living in the real world.”

Thanks! And please take that advice for once.
Your tireless stupid bashing of GM (BY making up lies) in the past 5 years are really getting boring and stupid….

I think you are confusing “made” with “designed”.

Engineers design. Suppliers make.

GM = Design
LG = Make

Hey Josh, how about repackaging the Bolt propulsion in a neat little two seat RWD roadster?

Yup, of the 8 cars he listed:
Corvette Grand Sport:RWD

The two cars he had current work related development interest in are FWD. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

The cars he has passion in are RWD.

Forgot to add the Spec Ford Racer to that list. RWD.

All the top GM cars are pretty much RWD:
Most Cadillacs, etc.

Same goes with the top Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, Merc,

Many of these cars “used to be FWD”. But for a premium experience, there is no doubt, it is either AWD or RWD over FWD. Can you imagine a FWD Porsche 911, LOL.

RWD is fine for a sports car that never see a wet or icy road but for real world driving its just dangerous. A light truck or SUV with RWD only is just ridiculous, the rear ends are too light and they end up spinning the rear wheels all the time. Pulling a boat up a wet boat ramp with a RWD light truck or SUV can be VERY challenging.

I’d like to see it in the Chevy Tru140S concept, but keep it FWD for me (or AWD).

I would like someone to do a time-lapse video on the Chevy Bolt supercharging from zero to 80%.

If that’s with 50 kW charger, it will be boring: almost 50kW from 0% to 80%. That’s what SparkEV does, and Bolt can’t be worse.

What would be interesting is if someone goes to “world’s largest thermometer” and use 350 kW charger. Will it do more than 50 kW, and how does it taper?

Anyone with Bolt going to CES? 🙂


I suspect Bro1999 will give us a glimse into a power vs time graph of BoltEV charging at the full kw’s it can take. What is it 90 kw?

The EVgo 350 kW charger plaza there isn’t scheduled to be up and running until

Doh! Serves me right for living in the future, thanks to SparkEV. 🙂

I do believe EVgo does have some 80KW stations up and running. So it would be nice to see how it does there.

No Bolt charging videos yet ..

Some “data points” if anyone is interested (source:

Charging now I am getting around 40 kW off the EVgo 50 kW charger, the car indicates a little more than an hour to hit 80% SoC
The battery was still charging at around 24 kW when it hit 80% as well.
Charging start: 11:22am, 18mi range, 8% SoC
Charging finish: 12:50pm, 187mi range, 83% SoC (Also includes three calls to EVgo to start charging sessions Update: Spent 6 minutes on the phone with EVgo)”

The issue is that a 50KW station only puts out 50KW if charging at it’s maximum DC voltage. The Bolt EV battery pack won’t charge at the maximum CCS voltage so on at 125A the Bolt EV will actually be running closer to 40KW. Would be interesting to see if the Bolt EV can handle 175A on the 80KW CCS stations.

Build an EVette if you want head-snapping performance. Without thr tranny tunnel it might be roomy enough for two average American adults.

Hurry before Ford rolls out a BEV GT-40 or FCA teases us with a Dodge EViper.

Bolt is going to be a tough sell when the US federal income tax credits run out. GM’s per unit margin has to be small or even a negative number; I do not believe there is slack available to cut list price after tax credits end. Adding insult to injury, several states are now slapping hefty road use taxes on EVs to allegedly make up for lost gasoline tax revenue. Something I am still waiting to see is how Bolt driving range holds up here in the Midwest US where we have several winter months where temperatures may stay below freezing day and night for days at a time. Heavy use of the HVAC system will cut into range as will (I presume, as I have not seen the shop manual) the on-board battery heater. The battery pack needs to be kept from freezing even when the car is not driving. That is not concern if the car is plugged in, but could potentially take a significant bite out charge while a car sits unplugged while its owner is at work or over night sitting at an apartment where chargers are not available. One auto magazine tried to range test… Read more »

I know when I am outside in the winter and sitting idle, I lose range as well.

Anyway, Michigan is such a state that will tax EVs. Can never get away from them.