First Drive Of The Chevrolet Bolt EV By Consumer Reports, Tesla Comparisons Abound – Video


Initially in Consumer Reports latest quick drive review of the Bolt EV, it seems that the magazine is using this video as a promo for the 238 mile EV from GM against Tesla’s current and future offerings.

The video points out that the Tesla Model S and Model X are expensive, and that the Model 3 won’t be around for awhile. So … get a Chevrolet Bolt now.  All of this is true, but nonetheless still feels a bit odd/out of place for a Consumer Reports review; we’d have much preferred the review time spent on the EV itself.

Under the Hood of the Chevrolet Bolt

Under the Hood of the Chevrolet Bolt

Video Description via Consumer Reports:

The Chevy Bolt beats the Tesla Model 3 to market as the first relatively affordable long-range electric car you can buy. While the Bolt lacks the Tesla’s cool factor, it’s practical and enjoyable to drive.

The video goes on to do a quick explanation of the Bolt and how it differs from the Volt, and also how the Bolt compares to other available electric vehicles.

Later in the video, the tone changes in a humorous way. The reviewer – Tom Mulchler, talks about Tesla’s “cool” factor, and the fact that the Bolt is “dorky looking little box”. But he sheds light on how practical the Bolt really is in so many ways. While he doesn’t like the shifter, “which pops back to center” every time you let go, making it hard to find reverse, he is impressed with the 10.2-inch infotainment screen and attractive instrument cluster.

The Bolt doesn’t get up and go like a Ludicrous Tesla, but the instant torque is surely noticeable and the car corners and handles well. He describes it as “more enjoyable to drive than a Nissan LEAF.

Lastly, he mentions that it may make more sense to lease a Bolt than to buy one.

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216 Comments on "First Drive Of The Chevrolet Bolt EV By Consumer Reports, Tesla Comparisons Abound – Video"

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Americans keep harping on that it looks “dorky”. It looks like a perfectly normal small European or Japanese hatchback to me.

Agreed. Looks more normal than a Leaf or iMiev.

Or Spark and BMWi3

And perhaps therein lies the problem?

What problem? That it would sell like crazy and that they don’t have the capacity to keep up with demand?

That its main intended market is the US, where its built, and those cars just don’t sell that much within said market.

Indeed. From many comments here at InsideEVs, it seems that the Bolt will have more appeal in Europe than in the USA. So why has GM decided to limit the European version, the Ampera-e, to such a tiny fraction of the production?

It’s almost like GM wants to limit sales… >:-/

Former General Motors executive, Bob Lutz said that GM is selling Bolt at a loss, so they like to sell most Bolt in CARB states to get ZEV credit to offset some of he loss.

Funny how on this forum Bob Lutz don’t know anything about cars when he talks down the Tesla yet is a reliable source when he talks down the Bolt.

There is no way GM sells the Bolt at a loss. First, just do the numbers: what does GM sell similar size ICE cars for and how much extra does the battery cost? These numbers add up to much less than the $37500.

Second, GM already sells both the Volt and the Spark EV. If all they wanted was CARB credits, why would they spend any resources developing a car that sets a new standard for the whole industry? That just doesn’t make any sense. If they didn’t sell enough Sparks they could easily just have done a small refresh of the Spark with a slightly bigger battery and saved a ton of work and money. If GM really don’t want EVs to succeed as some people are suggesting, making the best EV on the market and raising the bar significantly is a pretty stupid move.

Why not? They did it before with the EV1!

The Cruze already sells spectacularly well in the US, which is the IC model that uses otherwise the same design and interior.

Eh, a lot of it is Korean. It’s called the LG Bolt in many circles.

Steven – So? What’s wrong with LG?

You do realize they are also selling this car as the Opel Ampera-e right?

Hahahaha!!! First it was GM couldn’t build a decent EV! Then, it couldn’t build one with as much range as Tesla! Then when it goes after a different segment of the market it’s too ugly! However, the Bolt is here! It won’t sell? Hasn’t even put up quite yet but it won’t have any competition when it is!

Keep in mind that the platform can be used for various models in the future, and it will be!

I don’t think it looks bad, but there’s nothing attractive about it. From the photos and video, it looks like Chevy created a decent design for a small practical vehicle. Some people believe their car is an extension of them and the car must look “cool” for the owner to be cool. Not all “Americans” subscribe to this way of thinking.

Agreed, the Bolt is neither bland nor exciting nor ugly.

It’s no extreme in any direction, really. It’s a normal looking car which actually makes it unique among dedicated EVs.

A “normal” looking car? It looks very much like GM closely copied the body lines and style of the pre-2016 Prius, which is notoriously a “dorkmobile”.

Of course, the Prius also sells very well on the international market, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

But no way is the Bolt a “normal looking” car.

2015 Toyota Prius

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

2015 100,000+ US dorks bought the Prius for the 10th year in a row. Not bad for a dork mobile. Few cars get the 100k yearly badge — the only ‘cool’ car above that would be the Mustang. Rest a plain jain Fusion/Corrolla/Sentras

I had a 1966 Mustang and it was anything but “cool”. It was a piece of junk.

I do not see even the slightest resemblance between the Bolt and the Prius in your picture.
And even if it did, who cares?

The Bolt looks very much like a stretched Chevy Sonic. The proportions, angles and aerodynamics are very different from the Prius.

The only thing that looks very much like a Prius is the Honda Insight.

I have seen various parts of the Bolts design compared to a Chevy Cruze Hatchback, a Toyota Yaris, a Honda Fit, a 2015 Prius, a Chevy Sonic, a ‘less ugly’ BMW i3…. just to name a few.

The fact that someone can see the Bolt and go “Oh to me it looks like… XXX but with… XXX” is proof that the car is incredibly normal.

The normality of a something isn’t based on how high or low its level of dorktitude is. Rather, it is more or less based on how frequently you see vehicles like it, and how accepting society is of a design or an idea.

Personally I don’t see any more Prius styling in the Bolt than I do any other hatchbacks. But as you stated, the Prius is an internationally best selling vehicle. Though if I were to compare it visually to a Prius, I would say the exterior is closer to the Prius C.

So as long as you don’t see any 2016 Prius in there, I think the Bolt is pretty ‘normal’. 🙂

Bolt and Chevy Cruze hatchback look so similar, they could be brothers. I guess Chevy didn’t want to call Cruze the BoltGas. 🙂

That’s the power of “design cues” and a “family design”, all euphemisms for “make ’em all look the same.” Remember the Rolls-Royce waterfall grill?

That said, the “family resemblance” of certain vehicles has gotten to the point that I end up hating the looks of ALL of their cars *cough*Toyota*cough*

I think Cruze is a better looking car than Bolt

Agreed. When did CR become the fashion police?

Yes, and they look dorky to many of us in the USA.

I’m coming from a Leaf so the Bolt looks amazing.

What?! No comparison to the i3? The eGolf? the Kia Soul EV?

The essence of this review: cheaper -> buy

There is no comparison with cars that have half the range. For now, the Bolt is in a class by itself, getting well over 200 miles of range for half of the price of a Tesla.

This is not in the Tesla category, let’s compare it to similarly sized and priced cars. Range is not everything either, especially for small city car that can be fast-charged.

In the EV world range IS everything. Until all BEVs sold have 60+ kWh batteries range will be the factor to separate them…

So the Bolt is in a class of its own and will be until most likely the Model 3 gets out.

By what factor do you think the Zoe will outsell the Ampera-E in Europe?

No, range is not everything.

Comment coming in from Eastern Europe;

I’m in the market for a car now because conversion EV rental I had this past year is almost due. I will buy the new ZOE instead of the Ampera-e because;

1) It’s on sale basically in a couple of months whereas in Europe we don’t even know if we’re getting the Ampera-e
2) Altough ZOE has a much smaller battery (41kWh usable) and much less range (186mi real world) it can charge AC 22kW. Finding 22kW AC plugs (not stations) is really easy here so I’d opt for that over 238mi with only 7kW charging.

So no range is definitely not everything.

One commenter from France stated the Renault 22kw charger is ‘only 80%’ efficient. The bolt is almost certainly 95% or better.

There is also the litigation problem we have here in the states that all ev’s must have separate chargers. And making anything larger increases the cost.

The 7200 watt charger is actually somewhat more than what most people have currently for a wall box in their house (or at least almost matches it), and the electric utility’s desire nationwide that any widescale adoption of EV’s do their charging over the entire midnight period.

The volt has been severely criticized for having only 3300 or 3600 watt chargers, and then only when running on 220 or higher. Public stations in the states generally are 10% lower than this. The BOLT effectively uses the existing infrastructure well, and the fast charging option of 50 kw charging also matches the vast majority of the fastest ccs chargers currently available.

I’m not making a brief for GM here, but I am saying that they’ve checked off several previous complaints/desires with their previous evs.

vdiv said:

“By what factor do you think the Zoe will outsell the Ampera-E in Europe?

“No, range is not everything.”

I’m tempted to say “range isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”. That is of course an exaggeration, but it seems very clear that range is the #1 factor that car buyers use when choosing a BEV. Just look at the Model S; Tesla wound up cancelling the cheapest, 40 kWh version because only 2% of orders were for that smallest battery pack. BEV buyers have demonstrated quite clearly that they are willing to spend considerably more for a longer range when they buy a BEV.

Will the Zoe outsell the Bolt, or rather the Ampera-e, in Europe, over the next year? Yes, but only because GM is going to sharply limit the number it sends to Europe during the first year of production.

If range was the only thing all of us would be driving a 100 kWh Tesla or 600-mile diesels.

The Zoe will outsell the Bolt in the UK.

Agree is ridiculous comparing Bolt and Tesla, the competition is the BMW i3

+ 1 I’m going to buy the Bolt for the battery in spite of the fact that the car is sold by Chevrolet.

A positive review overall. Styling, whatev. It looks fine. My minivan doesn’t have appealing styling either. I’m more concerned with what it can do.

Looks like a good car.
Only thing he didn’t cover was RIDE. How does it ride. That rear suspension isn’t independent. This is a good city, suburb and country car. What’s it like on the highway? That’s a short wheelbase.

But, with the safety equipment it’s price is getting into Tesla Model 3 range.

And the Volt, Premium with safety equipment is Cheaper!
This may move some Volt sales.

And yes, GM Finance needs to get their Lease Mojo on. They need to be aware of fed and STATE incentives and pass that price reduction on to Leasers’.

That assumes GM actually want’s to SELL this car. Or just hide it in the back lot like the Volt.

mx: “Only thing he didn’t cover was RIDE. How does it ride”

From CR:

“By virtue of the low-mounted battery, the Bolt feels planted in corners, despite its tall stance,” says the publication. “The car is eager to tackle a curvy road and is actually fun to drive—virtues that most EVs can’t claim. The ride is firm, yet compliant and composed, making the Bolt feel solid and substantial.”

The rear suspension uses a torque arm with struts, no axle. Actually the rear suspension is independent, it just doesn’t have the double wishbones you might be equating with independent suspension. With the high weight for its’ size and the stronger springs, the Bolt should ride pretty good.

They just decided to save some money. I would prefer the double wishbone, but you can’t have

I remember the ELR’s Watts link. Technically, that isn’t wishbones either, but sure felt great. Two Teslas and a Volt, and its the Volt whose steering I miss. Tesla’s advantages were out of the gate design choices. I suppose they did improve through the use of ball jointed control arms, but as the “Cult” seems more focused on software I’m starting to wonder if Model 3 won’t suffer some significant hardware cuts.

I imagine Bolt will mimic Volt, with even better weight placement making terminal understeer something few ever experience. It’s not like the engine will be sitting there ahead of the axle, and up high. Torque steer, the other front drive malody, has already been mentioned about it.

I don’t think Musk knows how to save money. It’s in Apple’s product placement slot. That’s why Apple dropped out.

I’m expecting fully independent suspension, like the Model S.

But, that doesn’t mean I think the Bolt will fail. I think they’ll sell every one they make.

reply to JeremyK: Yes all modern teslas have 12 volt batteries. The newer roadsters had smaller 20 amp-hr (motorcycle) batteries.

I’ve never understood the reason for a huge battery (even calling a motorcycle battery “HUGE”) since the DC/DC converter is fairly efficient and is started immediately at turn on. So the battery only strictly has to be big enough to run the remote controls and telemetry, and to do a once-over on the car to see if anything needs cooling or heating.
In other words, the smallest motorcycle battery should be adequate – but now it seems all ev’s and PHEV’s have large 12 volt batteries.

I utilize this EXCESS in my cars as part of my emergency power program for my house. Or, running equipment in a parking lot where i need ‘110’ and the only think I’m near is my car, and I don’t feel like draining or wasting energy in the car itself by turning it on.

Now as regards the suspension, I smile at the response given the BOLT by the self-appointed “BIG EXPERTS”, when the PROFESSIONALS say its ride is great.

And I much prefer to ELR’s pricey ‘passive’ suspension to the ‘active’ thing my Buick Riviera had, since after a few years, the Riviera started leaking air, then the compressor ran too much and burned out. I prefer something that is just there and always works, like the ELR.

Bottom Line…If you wanna settle and Pay $2,500.00 “MORE” for a car that is worth $20,000.00 LESS than a M3, You can Buy a Bolt Now!! Or you can wait a bit & for $2,500.00 Less Money , Get a real Car with a massive & Fast growing Charging network for Less money.

That’s a bit harsh. But, yes, the Bolt blows away the Nissan Leaf. It doesn’t touch the Tesla, unless the only thing you think about is range, and you want it NOW.

But, there are people who can only handle 1 variable comparisons.

Tesla will blow it away in looks, handling, acceleration, top speed, safety, auto-pilot, highway cruising, and charging infrastructure.

If you care about quality/serviceability, utility, having a hatch, easy ingress/egress, then you will like the Bolt EV more.

I don’t have problem getting in/out of Honda S2000 with top up, I shouldn’t have any problem with getting in/out any sedan.

How much do you expect the Tesla Model 3 to deliver at the base price?

Looks are subjective though the Tesla does look nicer and I agree Tesla has a marketing advantage with the Supercharger network.

As for acceleration, handling, top speed and highway cruising, Tesla has not even published a single bit of information, so how can we be sure the Model 3 will ‘blow it away’.

I’m excited too, but let’s

GM took the potential current output of a full 60kwh battery, and put it in a can. Bolt specs are how we know M3 will outperform. Because M3 will not come with a cork in it.

I still remember “The Announcement”, dropping a full second off the 0-60, of the Performance 85. There is very little record of Elon sandbagging the performance his cars are capable of (except maybe in turns). He could have sliced and sold on 3.5, but dropped the floor out, going from 4 to 3. Its the opposite. He gives you all he possibly can, promises even more and then eventually delivers.

The Bolt should be a 5-second car given C-rates, and maybe a few more bucks on the motor/inverter. It still frustrates GM, and all the other ICE-makers, to recognize not just the range of bigger batteries, but their power too. Despite all the Tesla drag strip vids we get accosted with, the public doesn’t get it. The others will be covering it up for a few years more. Not Tesla.

There are limitations to FWD architecture regarding acceleration rates. The 0-30 time for the Bolt is excellent, and the average driver will observe, correctly, that the Bolt is seriously quick.

Moving to RWD would significantly change vehicle construction and packaging. GM built this to a price point and it will sell very well. What year will Model 3 pass the Bolt in cumulative sales? I’m guessing late 2018 or early 2019.

The limitations of making EVs front wheel drive or rear wheel drive are minimal. Even the low-cost EV king, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, is rear-wheel drive. GM kept the Bolt EV front-wheel drive so it could share platforms and assembly line techniques. Otherwise, there really is no limitation to making an EV RWD.

FWD cars are inherently safer. I’ve spun out RWD cars too many times to believe otherwise. I prefer AWD but if I have to choose 2WD I will go with FWD every time.

What? I’m sorry, but that is inherently false.
RWD does require an altered skill than FWD, but the idea that FWD is safer is complete nonsense.

GM is delivering good performance with the Bolt. Zero to 60 in 6.5 seconds is very solid. So, in my opinion, they gave adequate attention and resources to making the Bolt perform.

Certainly they could have easily saved money and probably increased efficiency some by down-sizing some parts and delivering something like zero-60 in 8 seconds, which is still better than most cars with the Bolt’s profile: utilitarian 5 seaters.

The Bolt has impressive highway passing acceleration as well. Look at Car and Drivers specs. Smooth, silent instant torque at any speed. No chance of being flat-footed in the wrong gear or jerked around from a sloppy downshift.

Top gear, 30-50 mph: 2.5 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 3.5 sec

BMW M4 Coupe (7-speed automatic DCT)
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 2.2 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 2.9 sec

Camaro (6-speed manual)
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 10.6 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 10 sec

Elon Musk said Tesla don’t design slow car.

Tesla claims M3 acceleration is less than 6 second 0-60 MPH, this is sport car territory.

Model 3 is a low sedan and with battery on the floor it has lower center of gravity than Bolt, therefore better handling.

Don’t forget about battery size options and dual motor AWD if you live in the Snow Belt…

But now you’ve priced yourself out of the competition.

Yes, precisely. The pricing is going to shock a lot of people who expect a P85D for $35000. It’s just not going to happen.

Take the BMW 3 series for example. Starts at $33,000 and you can option all the way towards $70,000 and maybe beyond.

Expect similar pricing for the Model 3.

Well, you really cannot get a M3 for $2500 more. Anyone buying a M3 will be ordering the fully loaded model, at $5000-$10,000 more. Or, you will be waiting 2 years after the rollout and then will probably not have the Tax Credit. That’s another $7500 on top. It still might be worth the wait and additional costs, but just be accurate in your comparisons.

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

It’s entertaining how people think their reservation will get a $35,000 – $7,5000 M3. No way. Only the first 6month (12months at best conditions) M3 buyers will get the $7500. Thus, unless you load it up. You won’t be getting it.

Ask Model X base model buyers how they are liking their vehicles.

Full Federal Tax credit of $7,500 is cut in half on SECOND quarter after manufacture sold 200,000 EV in US.

Let say Tesla sold 199,999 vehicles by June 30th, they sold 200,000 on July 1st then they can sell as many as they can make until December 31st and all buyers from July 1st to December 31st will get full credit of $7500.

Elon Musk knew about this sensitive incentive time frame and he said he will do his best to make everyone happy, even if it will require he manage inventory to maximize customer happiness.

You won’t be able to buy a Model 3 for less than a Bolt, probably ever, but at best for a FEW years.

Tesla is still too far away from production to even know what their true costs will be. The $35K number floated out there is still just a target. No way they will hit it without SEVERE decontenting of the car and/or losing money on each one. They’re not saving enough money on the battery to beat the Bolt (GM) on cost. No way.

Chevy Bolt beats Tesla M3 To market & Nissan Leaf Beat Chevy Bolt to market years Ago …So What? it doesn’t mean I’d buy one because it’s 1st to market!

It’s often stated….

“First to market does not mean it will win.”

Apple has proven that time and again. music players, smart phones, tablet computers, payment by NFC. You name it.

What I miss about these professional reviews is the actual charging part. Which never happens, what’s up with that.

I can’t see reason not to try the DCFC so they can tell us how slow or fast it really is.

What they also neglected to mention is that the DCFC is an option, which is a cardinal sin on any electric car. Only the BMW i3 base and Mercedes B250e have done that in the past.

Well, the BMW atleast has the option, the Mercedes, or SmartCar doesn’t even have the option. What?!

The Leaf did it too briefly. It was also an option on the first 60 kWh Model S. Cardinal sin indeed especially at this stage of DCFC availability.

I keep hearing that the Bolt is a city car and won’t be used to roadtrip. So it won’t need a DCFC’er for a large number of buyers. Why make them pay for one when they don’t need or want it? Yeah, their resale value may take a hit, but that is their choice. Making the DCFC’er mandatory would increase the base price by $500 to $750. Why take the hit when many won’t want to fast charge?
A lot of people simply won’t roadtrip or need to opportunity charge at 50+ kW rates.
I would pay for DCFC, but I don’t think the world revolves around me or my choices.

Ok, this is a very common misunderstanding.
1st: DCFC is not just there to roadtrip. For many EV drivers who don’t have access to a driveway, reserved parking or garage, rapid charging is a way of life. The same goes for range. Range is not just there to enable longer trips. It is there so people who only have the time/capacity/oportunity to charge once or so a week, can have a car that allows them to go about their daily business and not have to worry about recharging.
2nd: The day you do need to go for a longer trip, I cannot explain how you will curse yourself for not getting DCFC. For me, it completely changes the whole ownership experience! DCFC is simply a must. I can see the resale value to drop to zero without it!
3rd. : It borders on the criminal that dcfc is not standard. Most new EV buyers won’t have a clue as to what the impact on the use of their car will be if they don’t get it. I can already see clueless dealers talking buyers out of getting it. Not OK!

1st. If you don’t have a driveway or a home plug, get the DCFC option. Problem solved. You are making molehills into mountains. Not everyone wants or needs DCFC. Why make them pay for something they don’t want/need?
2nd. Their choice. Don’t tell them what they want/need. They aren’t children and you aren’t their parents.
3rd. All of these Bolt buyers are adults and they don’t need you or anyone else to TELL them they NEED DCFC. We are all grown ups here and it isn’t your place to tell others what they do or don’t need.

I would get it, but there are people that won’t need it or use it for road trips or opportunity charging or due to the lack of a home plug.

“borders on criminal” Really? LOL!

I am glad that you brought this up because I was NOT AWARE in fact as you mentioned that nobody ever talks about it ..It is “very” important ,thank you for making me aware of this., I wouldn’t go without it now that I Know.

I agree DCFC is essential, but if you don’t have a way to charge at home and/or work, relying on DCFC won’t be good even for “once a week charging” of Bolt. Seeing how DCFC are clogged with EV getting free charge with waits of few minutes to couple of hours almost every time, you can only put up with that BS only so many times before you say “f-this. I’m buying a house!”

Or more likely, return your EV to get a gasser instead. Free charging is really ruining EV experience and thanks to Leaf slow charging (most prominent offender), problem is even worse.

Newsflash. Most EV buyers have money and a garage and an electrical outlet and will never use a DCFC exactly like GM says.
Newsflash 2.0. They don’t really want to sell the base model because they probably lose money on it. They would rather claim they have a sub-30k car but in reality most that hit the lot will be 10k more because they’ll have the optional charger, safety features, etc.

Fred said: “For many EV drivers who don’t have access to a driveway, reserved parking or garage, rapid charging is a way of life.” I certainly hope this is not the case, and will never be the case. Slow-charging, L1 or L2 charging at home (or at work), is convenient. You don’t have to wait while you charge, and you’re not making anyone else wait, either. Anyone who depends on DCFC for everyday charging is not only wasting his own time, hanging around while waiting for his car to charge; he’s also wasting other peoples’ time. People who actually do need an “on the road” charge because they’re driving past their PEV’s normal range limit. And while that local guy is improperly hogging the charger, they can’t use it, which means they’ll have to either wait in line or look for another public charger. Lack of privately owned EV slow charge points is a real issue in China, because few people have reserved parking places, and because it’s so hard to get a property owner to deal with all the red tape and *cough* gratuities *cough* necessary to get one installed. Regardless of what country you live in, there is… Read more »

I agree with Ziv. Maybe we’re sheltered here in the midwest, but DCFC is not a reality here. Most people charge at home, in their garage, overnight.

It’s a totally different customer that needs DCFC on a daily/weekly basis.

GM knows how sensitive their customers are at this price point and has a lot of experience moving product for $35K.

Tesla has zero experience moving product at this price point. Will be interesting to see how they do or if they just end up building an entry level luxury car with average retail pricing in the mid 40’s.

Not having DCFC on a BEV is like selling a gas car with a gas tank 1/4 the size of the “optional upgrade”.

Why would anyone want to drastically limit their car that way *forever*?

For me, this is the lynchpin of the argument. While Ziv made a strong case for buying a Bolt without DCFC capability, what are the odds that his needs will still be the same 5-10 years from now, when the opportunities for “on the road” fast charging will, hopefully, be much more common and more convenient?

Is omitting the DCFC capability really saving money? Or is it a case of being “Penny wise and pound foolish”?

DCFC is basically a high current cable from the socket to battery and some programming, how can this cost any significant amount of money? Even the onboard charger would cost more!!! Which at 7kW is a joke, all EVs should have at least an 11kW onboard charger, with the Option for 22kW. That way you can top up quickly at home should the need arise whilst charging overnight at lower rates for normal use.

Hopefully dealers are smart enough to order them all with the port or it’s an easy dealer fit upgrade.

Adam said:

“DCFC is basically a high current cable from the socket to battery and some programming, how can this cost any significant amount of money?”

It has been reported that Chevy will be charging $750 for that option (see source below).

There were a lot of people posting comments about that, saying it’s significantly overpriced. Personally, I wouldn’t know.

At any rate, the cost is high enough that several people have commented to various InsideEVs articles that they’ll forego the option.


Even if you have no need for it, if you ever want to sell the car the lack of fast charging will set you back.

Ziv said: “…it won’t need a DCFC’er for a large number of buyers. Why make them pay for one when they don’t need or want it?” You argue your case quite convincingly. Well done, sir. So long as Bolt buyers are as well informed as you, then there shouldn’t be any problem. And surveys show that PEV (Plug-in EV) buyers tend to be better informed than the average car buyer. That’s hardly a surprise; it’s normal for “early adopter” buyers to be well informed. But the Bolt and the Model ≡ are harbingers of PEVs moving into the mainstream. What happens when someone who’s not as well-informed as you decides to buy a Bolt? Surveys also show a shocking lack of education about PEVs among legacy auto dealers, not to mention disinterest in the subject; and that includes Chevrolet dealers. This isn’t a binary question. It’s not that GM is either right or wrong in making DCFC charging capability an option, rather than standard equipment. It’s a question of how good a choice it is for PEV buyers, and what impact that choice is going to have long-term, both on the Bolt and on public perception of PEVs. Perhaps, in… Read more »

I think that DCFC would work well for me, but I am not sure that everyone would need it, hence the option to buy the Bolt without it makes sense to me. There are a lot of people that simply won’t charge their Bolt anywhere but home.
I think the majority of buyers will see DCFC as being worth it, so that there won’t be all that many Bolts sold without it. If deleting $750 from the potential base MSRP leads to more people buying a Bolt, I am all for it.
I am already thinking past this years Bolt, I am into dreaming about interim upgrades to the Bolt next year. How about 75 kW charge rate capability? Optional powered drivers seat? Maybe a 75 kWh pack option! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

“professional” reviews. I found where you made your mistake.

Motor Trend found the Bolt EV’s handling and performance to be surprisingly similar to the Model S 60 with the 75 kWh battery pack.

Hmmm. They say it drives stable on the highway. But, I want to know how’s the ride. That rear suspension isn’t high-tech. Guess I’ll have to take a test drive, because every review is ignoring Ride.

Good to know, about the Tesla, is you should get the air-suspension, apparently.

If by “Ride” you mean straight line touring comfort, you won’t be disappointed. I mean, C’mon it’s GM. It’s heavy, check. It doesn’t ride on 19, or 21 profiles, check. It doesn’t have to manage gorilla power with thicker sways and higher spring rates, check. You might have to swap to Michelin. That way sublime gets checked, too.

I don’t think this type of ride concern is all that tough to predict, because you don’t seem to come at it from a sports perspective (maybe I’m wrong?). Having mid-size weight is a built in advantage, over other cars that are anywhere near this small. It would be great to test drive a Bolt, but “Volt-like” will probably bear out.

“You might want to cancel your model 3 reservation…” ??? Are you absolutely KIDDING me?? That’s like saying : There’s a brand new BMW 3-series comming out that is going to be the best BMW BMW ever made, but why wait when you can get a Ford Focus NOW!! (tears rolling down cheecks by now. This is just GM going : “Look, we can too!” There are quite credible theories that they are purpously overpricing the Bolt to make sure it doesn’t threaten any of it’s ICE cars…

Can’t understand why GM and these reviewers have a bug-up-their-X about Tesla. This car isn’t going to hurt Tesla sales. It will help GM sales though.

Consumer Reports is getting a lot of attention, and selling a lot of magazines, by including “Tesla” in the headline of their articles, or in this case the name of the video. CR is giving Tesla far more attention than such a small auto maker deserves, but I can understand why; it increases their circulation. And I doubt Tesla objects to the increased media coverage!

I still think a used Model S at 50k$ is a better deal. Then you have a car you can actually go somewhere in. It’s real car, not an around town roller skate.

Give me a roller skate over a land-yacht any day of the week. (and a roller skate that doesn’t need constant service)

I’m afraid no one is going to “give” you one but feel free to lease or purchase from your local Chevy dealership:)

For around city parking, Tesla S looks like a nightmare. It is enormous! I guess I’m so spoiled by SparkEV that I can’t even imagine I ever drove crew cab, extended length F350.

Finally, a good shot of the trunk. We have ordered a bolt with a deposit.

There are two things Tom Mulchler failed to mention. 1. If you want the Chevy Bolt now or later you have to go through a Chevy dealership. 2. Chevy does not have any infrastructure or support any infrastructure to charge this car. I will wait for the model 3. is your friend (or use the app that comes w/the Bolt EV to find a charger)

According to there are no DCFC on highways between LA and Vegas or Phoenix.

But there are Superchargers between those cities.

We’ve gone over this same discussion many times but seem to have missed it. You CAN travel between LA and Las Vegas in the Bolt only charging at CCS stations. You can travel between LA and Phoenix with only one L2 charge that can be done at an overnight stay at a hotel.

I might also point out that the longest distance between CCS stations between Los Angeles and Phoenix is only 260 miles. So you can travel between Los Angeles and Phoenix charging only at CCS stations in the Bolt at reduced speed. Or you could maintain highway speeds and get a short L2 charge while taking a lunch break.

I should point out that you would need at least three full charges in the Bolt between CCS stations traveling between Texas and Colorado. But there’s enough CCS infrastructure in California that any argument against the Bolt based CCS charging infrastructure in California is baseless. Some people on this forum seem to have an active commitment to reduce popularity of the Bolt.

I forgot about the new CCS charger in Oklahoma City. You can make it between Texas and Colorado with only two full L2 charges between CCS stations.

If 30,000 or even 50,000 Cancel their reservation from the M3 to buy a Bolt, this will hardly make a difference for Tesla but it will be hell for GM because GM will not be able to make 50,000 cars. Where will they get the batteries for 50,000 cars? 50,000 * 60 kWh = 3 GWh. Who will supply that? Then the bigger problem kicks in. If they sell 50,000 the demand will sky rocket. Every one will want one. But there is not enough production currently for the batteries. And it only takes a few days for 50,000 to be sold!

How many times are people going to have this conversation? LG has already said they have capacity for 50K Bolt EVs, and they have multiple plants, so if demand rises, production can be increased.

Let’s cross this bridge when we get to it.

Unfortunately, I don’t think LG Chem will be forced to build more than 50,000 Bolt packs in the first year. Chevy’s reputation for poor quality will turn a lot of people off before they even try a Bolt. Which is a pity, because if the Bolt is as well built as the Volt, it could be the car that returns a little shine to the Chevy logo/reputation.

My estimate is 22K.

I am hoping for 30k+ in the US, first year. But I won’t hold my breath.

Wow! That’s mine too.

So why not make a million?

Because Chevy couldn’t sell that many given their reputation and the price per kWh at this time?
When the III shows up, Tesla will be able to sell more due to their cachet. How many more? Depends on the price and the Tesla rep at the time.
Nissan is losing a lot of their early BEV cachet, but if they show up with a 200+ mile AER BEV soon, they could probably sell 25,000 a year if the MSRP is under $35k.
Given the price per kWh and the price of electric intent parts, BEV’s just cost too much right now to go mainstream for most buyers. $35k MSRP is just too high to see huge amounts of BEV’s sold.

at ZIV Nissan will not make a 60KW EV soon. It will likely be made in 2018. Hopefully they will introduce the 41KW Leaf at the LA Auto Show.

I had seen rumors of a 55 kWh Leaf 2, but not lately. Nissan needs to get moving.

Alaa wrote: “So why not make a million?”

Because there are plenty of people like you who refuses to GM products…

“…it will be hell for GM because GM will not be able to make 50,000 cars.”

You really don’t understand how auto dealers work, do you?

When a customer asks to see a Bolt, the salesman will say “Unfortunately, the waiting line for the Bolt is pretty long. Let me show you a car that you can drive away today.”

They do this all the time.

The Bait & Switch ……

Bolt & switch ?


Alaa said:

“And it only takes a few days for 50,000 to be sold!”

Presumably you’re talking about packs of gum, or cans of Pepsi, or some such? And not cars. 😉

The all-time best-selling PEV on InsideEVs’ Monthly Plug-in Sales Scorecard was 30,200, for the Leaf in 2015. That’s annual sales… not just “a few days”. 🙄

In REAL LIFE, how long does it take Tesla, Chevy, or Nissan to sell 50K vehicles? Answer: a long f’in time.
Plenty of time/opportunity to ramp as actual demand dictates.

True demand for the Bolt probably won’t exceed 50k the first year anyway. It will take a lot of good reviews and word of mouth to get people into the seat. If/when they need to increase production, it will be on a planned/logical/attainable schedule, just like any other vehicle.

Tesla has the opposite problem. They’ll be production constrained for YEARS due to high initial demand.

I don’t get all of the hate for the Bolt. I agree that GM isn’t EV-only, and I don’t like their politics, but the car seems nice. Take it for what it is: a good EV hatchback.

Agree with some folks on the charging infrastructure though. If you plan to use the Bolt for trips… maybe not so much.

The Bolt hate is almost exclusively Tesla fans. It’s understandable that people have their hard line devotion toward one brand or another when so much emotion and money is wrapped up in the purchase of a product.

You see it all the time in the tech industry or the game industry. Try convincing a Linux user to start using Windows or a Mac. See what a teenage X-Box owner has to say about the latest Nintendo console.

If it works like the early days of smart phones, this passion can be good for EV growth as it makes people evangelists for a platform and spreads the EV love. 🙂

You have the life-long GM haters as well.

“Government Motors took my tax dollars!! Yarrr!”


“You know who killed the EV right? Right?”

Government motors killed SparkEV. Proves the point.


GM discontinued SparkEV production, and less than 100 remain for sale now. Who killed (or will kill) SparkEV? GM!

Yeah I know, it’s more complex than that.

I’m hoping they’ll come up with something like SparkEV when tax credit situation gets sorted out. Market needs more than Tesla to produce EV that’s better than similar gas cars. (Bolt isn’t it).

They didn’t kill it. They did exactly as they had planned. Same with the ELR. The data gathered from those cars are what made the next plugins possible. The Bolt EV is the descendant of the Spark EV, but improved in every way. Spark EV was a CARB vehicle, which served it’s purpose, and was not priced to make GM money. The Bolt EV will be sold nationwide and is priced to make a profit.

What they planned was to sell SparkEV much wider in Europe and Canada since that’s what they announced early on. Something changed in the middle to have to change that plan. That means SparkEV had to be profitable to allow wider release they announced.

If SparkEV that uses existing car body and EV bits from Volt is losing money, Bolt with brand new everything must be losing hell of a lot more money, especially with 3 times bigger battery and bigger, stiffer body with higher power motor.

Fact is, even if both cars have same profit margin of X%, Bolt would make more money for GM, and having SparkEV eat into the tax credit makes no sense.

Indeed, this is probably why they don’t have 30 kWh option that could sell well at $23K post subsidy ($250/kWh pack price) ; why sell cars that make less money and eat into tax credit?

I think the EV range bar has been set at 200 miles. As much as people clamor that there’s a market for a 100 mile BEV, I don’t think it’s worth the effort. Especially as battery costs keep going down, and as their percentage of the car cost keeps becoming less. Even Elon has said a EV with less than 200 miles of range doesn’t make sense.

I don’t know. If Nissan comes out with a 200+ mile BEV and names it something other than the Leaf II, I think they could do well selling 30 or 40 kWh Leafs at a lower price and a slightly larger (mid-size car?) 55 to 70 kWh “Leaf II’s/some other new car name” at a price point starting $8k-$12k higher.
But the limited range Leaf would have to be a real bargain to keep the full utility Nissan BEV from being priced too high.

I just don’t think there will be enought of a cost/price delta between a 60kWh and a 40kWh car at that time.

In today’s costs, is $3000 worth cutting your EV range in half in a BEV? In 5 years, what if the delta is only $1500?

Tesla charges $3000 for some of it’s cowbell options. We’re talking about actually doubling the EV range.

You say 120 miles range EV won’t sell, but that’s because of lack of advertising. So far, 120 miles range EV has been $35K Leaf/SoulEV with pitiful performance. It’s the same reason why people didn’t buy Zap cars. Also, very few in general public know DCFC exist for Chevy while they’ve heard of Superchargers for Tesla.

Think of it this way; you’re in the market for $20K car like Cruze, Corolla or Civic, or even $22K Prius, but just couple of thousand more will get you Bolt with far better performance and efficiency. The question then becomes not why Bolt, but why not Bolt.

The Spark EV was always a test-bed & compliance car. It was an EV trial run that fulfilled their ZEV requirements and allowed them to learn about EVs and different battery packs.

I don’t think they ever planned on it being a mainline vehicle sold everywhere.

I have been tracking inventory of Spark EVs in the Portland, OR area this fall. About 3 months ago, one dealer had over 60 brand new Spark EVs on his lot. Now he has none.

There aren’t too many new Spark EVs, if any, left in Portland.

I don’t think there’s a Tesla owner out there who actively hates the Bolt. Prove that. There are many, like myself, who no longer trust GM, have disdain for Mary Barra making snide remarks, and outright despise the anti-Tesla dealer lobbyists and monkey business preventing Tesla from being sold in all 50 states. That said, I think the recurring criticism is that none of us who own a Tesla think any GM product is equivalent. Many of us cite specific, relative technical inferiorities of the Bolt, principally because the Bolt and the Model III are being compared constantly. The Bolt is priced like a BMW 3-series out the door (let’s not forget the savings in maintenance and petrol when shopping!). So is the Model III (albeit slightly less expensive). The Model III is equivalent in size and form factor. The Bolt is not. What I have yet to see is a single Bolt enthusiast or reservation-holder compare their vehicle to a BMW 3-series. This is the crux of the issue. The Bolt: will it displace BMW 3-series/ Lexus CT sales or as a hatchback, will it displace a Prius, VW Golf, or Hyundai Veloster at twice the price? Tesla will… Read more »

Lots of good points. I think Bolt should’ve been $22.5K post subsidy car ($30K MSRP) if they wanted to sell really well. The form they’re competing against are the likes of small hatch as you correctly point out, not $35K entry level luxury. Had Bolt come with smaller battery for about 150 miles range at $22.5K, it would’ve sold like hot cakes.

But then at that price, it will eat into Cruze sales as well as Prius, Civic, Corolla, just about all cars at that price range, not to mention utterly destroying likes of Leaf and i3. Not sure if GM could meet that kind of demand of hundreds of thousands of cars.

@WadeThon Thanks for the clarification, however the mentality I perceived initially was worth addressing whether or not it was yours, as it does exist out there. @SparkEV : what you describe, this is my year 2022-2025 hope! That the current $15k-$22k vehicle markets get beaten up by an EV to the point that nobody wants an ICE. The route to that is the “pack” price per kWh on the batteries. Pre-Gigafactory, a Tesla executive stated their pack price was below $190 / kWh. Their goal on the batteries is below $100 / kWh. Considering they doubled the manufacturing density on the Gigafactory (they meaning Tesla + Panasonic) and intend on very rapid cell manufacturing rates, I think that automation and an expected 6.5% annual increase in gravimetric charge density puts my timeline about right. However, what I expect to happen is that the Kia and Hyundai brands will be more heavily invested in the bottom end of US pricing first, and that other brands may catch up. Tesla has said repeatedly Model III is the “smallest/lowest” they will go. Still, we’re talking about the Camry-beater out there. And that, fine fellows, is the next big thing. Rest assured that InsideEVs… Read more »

For someone who openly hates the Bolt so much as Spark EV owner (which should have known how crappy that torque steer of the Spark EV is) should have read some more about the Bolt EV review…

Here is one from the Motortrend…

“The experience behind the wheel of the Bolt is shockingly zippy—when one might expect cheap econobox performance, given its size. The Bolt is a happy little scamp around town. Its small dimensions, torquey motor, and quick steering rack allow the Chevy to bolt (sorry) off the line and quickly plug holes in traffic. That fun-to-drive character really comes into its own when tearing down backcountry roads. Steering is progressive and linear with surprisingly good grip from the eco-oriented front tires, and there’s little body roll to speak of. The Bolt feels more like a hot hatch than eco-friendly electric car.”

I hate Bolt due to its pricing for what you get. As I wrote above, if Bolt is $22.5K, it would be the best thing in the world and a worthy successor to SparkEV. But $30K is way too high, and you need to make all kinds of excuses for it such as how smoothly it drives and so on.

$30K will get you true hot hatch like VW GTI or even AWD WRX (too bad no hatch this year), not merely feel like one. The excuses you make are precisely the excuses Leaf drivers make for their inadequate performance.

If it was priced at 22.5k, there would be someone else saying it should be 17.5k.. and so on..

22.5K is based on Ford Fiesta ST pricing, car that is FWD hatch and 0-60 in about 6.8 sec. Then 22.5K Bolt will crush all competition like SparkEV did, unlike 30K Bolt that lags so many others and some that comes with AWD.

But there’s no car at 18K with Bolt performance, so no one will bitch that it’s not 18K; 18K is unfair pricing unless the competition catches up.

SparkEV said:

“…if Bolt is $22.5K, it would be the best thing in the world and a worthy successor to SparkEV. But $30K is way too high…”

The only reason you are saying that is that you’ve managed to convince yourself of something which simply isn’t true. You’ve convinced yourself that the Spark EV was not a test market/ compliance car; that it was actually intended to make a profit for GM at that price, even when produced in such low numbers.

Nope. The reason the Bolt is significantly more expensive than the Spark EV is that it’s actually priced to make a profit for GM. And at that, they had to take cost-cutting measures such as farming out the entire EV Powertrain to LG Electronics & LG Chem, and not producing any right-hand-drive units.

Bolt has 3X bigger battery and bigger chassis, etc. If you priced Bolt like SparkEV and assuming $300/kWh battery and using existing body, Bolt would have to cost $40K. With new design everything, Bolt would cost over $50K. If anything, Bolt would be losing more money than SparkEV.

Since you’re so poor at math, here’s the breakdown if Bolt is based on Cruze hatch.

Base car: 22K
Battery: 18K ($300/kWh pack price)
Total: 40K

This doesn’t even include the cost associated with new design. Compared to that, SparkEV would be 15K SparkGas 1LT + 5.5K 18.4 kWh = 20.5K. MSRP is $25K, a profit of 5K.

You’ve thoroughly convinced yourself that SparkEV is way too good to be $25K, and I don’t blame you. But if you look at it objectively, it’s not that much. The fact that Bolt is only $37.5K MSRP is a proof of this.

I think Bolt is too tall to be classified as a hatchback and too short to be called CUV/SUV.

If Bolt is the same size as Honda CRV, Toyota RAV-4 it will be much better.

Hey Vexar, I wasn’t saying anything disparaging about Tesla or Tesla fans. At the end of my reply I said “If it works like the early days of smart phones, this passion can be good for EV growth as it makes people evangelists for a platform and spreads the EV love.” If you don’t trust GM, then by all means keep gunning for Tesla! I can see how GMs attitude toward Tesla sales would be infuriating. I think those dealership laws should all go away! I would much prefer to order a Bolt or a Tesla or an i3 directly from the manufacturer. For instance I use to be a Toyota and Scion driver, and was planning to get a Prius plug-in years ago but was totally turned off by the useless EV range and the hard line their dealers took with servicing the Rav 4 EV outside California. I was doubly disappointed with my Scion dealer who spoke dismissively about EVs when I inquired. So I decided to see what other manufacturers were offering. Since then I have been very happy with my Volt and my Spark EV. And with my dealer which has done some minor work on… Read more »

Problem is, you are assuming people actually want a BMW 3-series. I have no desire for that car, or a car like it.

The Model 3, when it appears, will be aimed squarely at the BMW 3 series. It also won’t be $35K. The Bolt EV seems more aimed at the Prius. After rebates and credits, the Bolt EV will at least initially be priced like a higher trim Prius. The Model 3, in part because there won’t be any credits available, will be priced more like a BMW 5 series.

I wouldn’t get my panties wet over the number of pre-orders. Nissan had a gazillion pre-orders for the Leaf, and we know how that worked out.

Gosh, a serial Tesla basher says the Model ≡ will be priced to compete with the BMW 5-series; Tesla says it’s aimed at the market for the lower-priced 3-series.

Who to believe; who to believe? 🙄

Vexar said: “I don’t think there’s a Tesla owner out there who actively hates the Bolt.” Thank you! for that calm voice of reason, Vexar. Auto enthusiasts, just like sports fans, can get pretty passionate about the brand or team they support, and will argue passionately about the merits of their brand’s qualities, or the qualities of their team’s players. And during a game, sports fans may get upset with fans of the opposing team, just like arguments sometimes get a bit heated in online discussions. But for 99%+ of people, ask them during a calm moment if they actually hate the “other” team, or the other brand. I think they’d be shocked that anyone would think so. Nearly everyone posting to InsideEVs, sadly with the exception of a small number of persistent stock “shorters”, are EV advocates; just like fans of both the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians are baseball fans. Speaking as one of the more outspoken Tesla Motors fan, I certainly don’t hate the Bolt, or any other EV, altho I certainly think some are better than others. Do I hate some of the things GM has done? Yeah, but then I hate some of the… Read more »

For me the verdict is simple:
Mostly urban driving? Bolt EV!
A lot of highway and cross country driving? Model 3!

W/a 215 mile EV range on the Model 3, that would be kind of a PITA for cross country travel. Not saying it isn’t *possible”, just a PITA.

I think you plan to do *a lot* of long distance travelling, and you want a plug-in, your best bet is a PHEV.

“I think you plan to do *a lot* of long distance travelling, and you want a plug-in, your best bet is a PHEV.”

I don’t agree. I’ve had a Volt for 3 years and now I have a Model S. I liked the Volt but I would stay away from a lot of gas engine miles which= along trip. I absolutely hated to see my lifetime MPG go down from taking a long trip.

Now with the Model S all my long distance gas miles are on electricity.

Your Model S has bigger range than 215 miles and charges faster. Not the same thing as a Model 3.

We don’t know the highway range and charging speed of Tesla 3, yet, so leave out that judgment. Maybe Musk is reading my bitching and will make Tesla 3 charge to 80% in 20 minutes like SparkEV can. Or maybe he’ll up it to even shorter 15 minutes. We won’t know until the car is available to test.

However, georgeS has a point in that driving on all electric is a weird feeling (or satisfying feeling). There were many times when I could’ve simply driven the gas car, but I chose to suffer through with SparkEV. Even if I had PH with DCFC, I probably would’ve used DCFC than use gas engine (unless I had to wait for free charging Leaf). There’s something about gas engine that feels so icky.

80% in 20 minutes on a small Spark EV battery is not the same thing when dealing with a 60kWh battery.

There is no secret lithium battery Tesla is holding back for the Model 3. If they had it, they would be using it in the Model S/X.

You seem to think there’s magic in SparkEV. It’s not the capacity but the C rating. Seeing how Bolt battery is by LG, cells are certainly capable. Cooling is another matter where Bolt could be capable as well since that topology is used by 2014 SparkEV.

But in case of Tesla, I suspect lack of fast charging is due to inadequate cooling. When the battery is cool, it charges at full rate of 120 kW, only to taper very quickly. You can see the same effect when Tesla driven at high speed (ie, 100MPH+) must slow down due to over heating.

With potentially smaller battery on Tesla 3, they could provide quicker charging with better cooling. There’s no magic.

If they had it, they would have done it on the Model S 60. Instead they stuck a 75kWh battery in there, and software limited it.

Of course they would’ve done it for all their cars if money is no object. They need to spend significant money on R&D to upgrade all their cooling system, and it’s probably not worth it for existing cars.

But 300 kW CCS chargers are coming. If Tesla wants to compete, they’ll have to stay above that, and they will improve on it.

DCFC is 90%+ efficient, and 10% of 120 kW is 12 kW. That’s about the power (heat) wasted by gas cars at 35 MPH. To say that such is not possible is nonsense. Again, there is no magic.

But they did just change their cooling system, so they are doing the R&D. I’m just telling not to hold your breath for some significant breakthrough/leap in charging. Everything about batteries has been incremental so far, and there’s no good reason to think anything will change between now and “late 2017”. At least anything that is going to make it into production at that time.

We will see whether Tesla will come up with something better, and that’s why I say reserve judgment. Granted, Chevy has the best EV engineers in the world, but Tesla can learn.

If the competition is any indication, they will have to improve or they will die off. I mean, if they lag “Chevy”, which is considered dirty word among some EV circles, Tesla EVs will be dead.

With all due respect, and with a fair amount of affection, it’s also true that you’re an EV nut job.

Kdawg said:

“I think [if] you plan to do *a lot* of long distance travelling, and you want a plug-in, your best bet is a PHEV.”

I view this as a measure of how far we’ve come in such a short time. Just a year or so ago, my opinion was that if you were only going to own one car, it would be better to own a Volt* than a BEV, because of the occasional need for a longer trip.

But now Kdawg, possibly the most active GM fan among us usual suspects on InsidEVs, is merely saying that if you do a lot of long-distance traveling, then you should get a Volt!

That’s what I call progress. 🙂

*or other PHEV with 40+ miles of range. But other than the rather pricey Karma Revero, I don’t think there is another one in production.

The article implies, accurately in my view, that the reviewer is constantly comparing the Bolt to the coming Tesla Model III, and concludes that they would have preferred just more focus on the Bolt. I agree. The reviewer concluding you may want to get a Bolt instead is uncalled for and sounds more like something from a GM press release.

I think the review is OK, but he fudges a bit, DC fast charge is available? Why not just say it’s an option and should have been standard as he complains about other features not be included as standard, collision avoidance…etc.

On looks, well it’s sort of true that they gave up but more like they never even tried.
They just took an existing form and adapted it. Which is fine, if you don’t care so much about aesthetics.
As I have said I think it is a good city runabout and that is what they designed it for.

Looks like a Honda Fit Hatchback with GM branding. The form factor is very similar.

Form factor, except the Bolt EV is bigger/taller.

Closer to a Toyota Matrix.

AKA Pontiac Vibe

We can argue this till the cows come home but the bottom line will be sales.

IMO most will walk when they see a 40K$ sticker price.

I’m sure it’s a well engineered car but it’s stuffed in a little compact for 40K.

I agree with SparkEV. It’s an OK car but it’s only a 29,000 $ car at best.

Fun for what it is but over priced.

Sooo with the Bolt being available to the consumer at $30k (or less) in CA after rebates are you saying it’s worth the $??

It’s a car that warrants a 29,000$ sticker.

It sounds like you bitter because you don’t get a tax credit. For us that do, it is a $29,995 sticker price.

For anyone else who doesn’t get a tax credit, just wait a year and a half for the Bolt to start appearing on used lots. Low mileage and the tax credit will essentially be baked right in to the price.

Got a 1 year old Spark for ~14K with 4K miles on it… less than a new Spark with California and federal rebates. Great deal since I was ordering out of state.

If you can’t take advantage of the credit leasing is a good option. If the residual is fair it will only cost you an extra $500 if, at the end of the lease, you want to keep the car.

Not to burst your bubble, but I bought a new Spark EV in June for 11,600 out the door after CA and federal rebates.

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

What dealer? Hope you’re in line for a Bolt with them! We’d be interested in contact

Boardwalk Chevrolet in Redwood City, CA. No idea if you can still do this, but Spark EVs were amazingly cheap in the summer months.

I also have 2014 that I leased and have to give back next week but when I saw the pricing in June it was a no-brainer to buy one.

How many are going to walk when they see a $50K price tag for the Model 3? Or how many are going to walk after they get tired of waiting?

Kdawg asked:

“How many are going to walk when they see a $50K price tag for the Model 3? Or how many are going to walk after they get tired of waiting?”

For the next two years at least, who cares?

GM will sell as many Bolts as it makes, and Tesla will sell as many Model ≡’s as it makes.

Now, if GM decides to ramp up production to actually meet what will in all likelihood be a high demand for the Bolt, in Europe if not elsewhere… then things will get interesting.

But unless and until that happens, any talk about actual competition between the Bolt and the Model ≡ for sales is about as meaningful as arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

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

Amen. Plenty to go around, which is sad — I was hoping to get a great lease deal on the Bolt.

Wow, that is surprising positive from Consumer Report on a GM vehicle…

Wait for the conspiracy theorists to say GM paid CR for the review.

I was totally surprised by it. Because I totally expect CR to bash it. But since it is very practical, CR actually is positive on the car.

We will see how the longer term review result…

At least Chevy isn’t the worst quality brand according to CR.

He said “30 minutes to get 90 miles of range” using a DC Fast Charger. How much range can you get at a Tesla Super Charging station in the same amount of time? That would be the Model 3, versus any competitor decision for me, in addition to value for the dollar.

This has been discussed a lot. Since the Model 3 is not out yet, but the base model is to have a 60kWh or less battery, we can use the Model S60 as a comparison.

In 30 minutes the Model S60 will get about 102 miles at a SuperCharger.

No, you cannot use Model S60 to compare against 3 that’s going to be many years away. It’s like saying SparkEV would take close to an hour to charge since that’s what Leaf does when both can charge at same peak power. In reality, Leaf’s bad taper makes it almost half the speed of SparkEV.

Technology will march forward, Tesla will learn, things will get better. Unfortunately for GM, Bolt took a step backward; SparkEV has over 2.5C charging rate while Bolt is 0.8.

The Leaf and the Spark EV are two cars, from two different manufacturers, using two different battery types. The Model 3 and the Model S are from the same manufacturer with cells from the same plant. It’s an apple-to-apple comparison. And we might be giving some favoritism to the Model 3, since it was expected to have a 55kWh battery at one time, not 60kWh.

As for Bolt vs. Spark EV charging, 20 minutes charging a Spark EV = 65 miles. 20 minutes in the Bolt EV = 60 miles. It’s almost the same, and that is 60 miles in a larger vehicle with seating for 5 plus luggage. It’s amazing that the Bolt EV actually has a better MPGe rating than the Spark EV.

Also, if you want to compare *today’s* Bolt EV battery with a *Future* battery from Tesla, then we should really compare it with a *future* battery from Chevy. At that point the discussion just becomes farts in the wind.

It doesn’t matter if that’s different company. What matters is technology. There’s no rule that Tesla must stick to whatever they have now.

As for Bolt, if you’re happy with SparkEV technology without any improvement on Bolt that cost $12K more and 4 years newer, sure it’s perfectly fine. But that precisely why I harp on Bolt: no improvement (or reverse improvement in C rating). It’s the same thing with Leaf sticking to their 2010 technology in 2016. Seeing how SparkEV kicked butt against all cars, Chevy engineers could do whole lot better, especially with Tesla breathing down their neck (at least in EV space).

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

I think they’ve made some incremental improvements while maintaining the benefits of the Spark.

30-60 is markedly improved and efficiency maintained with a killer mileage.

All this with a usable unified trunk and passenger room.

Also all the nice safety features and convenience options available not previously had on the Spark is nice–wonder how leather seats feel as the leatherette is a bit too vinyl right now.

With the additional weight, I hope it doesn’t skip like the Spark does when changing lanes, and cornering.

Well, whatever technology Tesla has “now” is what they’ll be using for the Model 3. If you can believe Tesla and that they’re on schedule, then that means designs are complete and suppliers have been chosen. If somebody comes up with a new/better battery chemistry today, you won’t see it in production for 3-5 years. It takes that much time to properly validate the hardware, software, and vehicle.

Kdawg said:

“The Model 3 and the Model S are from the same manufacturer with cells from the same plant.”

Suggesting that the Model ≡ will have the same limits to charging as the Model S is wrong on at least two counts:

1. They don’t use the same cells. The Model S was designed to use Panasonic’s 18650 cell, and the Model ≡ is being designed to use the new Gigafactory 21-70 cell.

2. Remember how much of an improvement there was in Model S charging speed over Roadster charging?

I don’t expect there to be as big an improvement in charging speed in the Model ≡, but it seems pretty naive to expect there won’t be a significant improvement. Five years’ worth of improvement, to be exact.

” Unfortunately for GM, Bolt took a step backward; SparkEV has over 2.5C charging rate while Bolt is 0.8.”

Maybe GM is leaving room to improve later or its battery will outlast many of the Spark EV.

(1 Palm Spring Spark EV complains that he lost 20% of his range and he does a lot of DCFC).

I have to suspect how he measured the battery. Simply looking at miles tell you nothing as GOM is really guess. I use lots of DCFC and GOM goes all over the place, yet measured battery capacity shows 98.7% after 20 months.

But if you’re saying we’re stuck with 0.8C, EV are effectively dead. While sporadic long trips might be ok, people living in condos and apartments won’t be wasting driving to far-away DCFC and sit there for over an hour week in and week out.

Thinking about it more, to suggest SparkEV lost 20% range and alluding DCFC use as culprit is ridiculous. We know Leaf loses 5% to 10% more with DCFC use, and that’s without any battery cooling. SparkEV with the best cooling in the world losing 20% and relating that to DCFC is FUD.

If he did lose capacity, which I doubt, the more likely reason is hot temperature at Palm Springs. If he had parked fully charged SparkEV under 120F heat without plugged in (ie, TMS not active), it is conceivable that it’d lose capacity. But that is true with any EV, even Bolt. Without TMS active, it becomes Leaf.

Before you spout such nonsense, think about Leaf. There’s no way SparkEV would perform worse than Leaf in any possible way.

2014′ 60kWh Model S, which now has resale value close to stuffed Bolt, charges to 150 km /30 min at Supercharger (starting from 10 km left) which is ~95 miles/half an hour:

So, Model 3 with 60kWh could be charging significantly faster (starting from completly depleted battery) only if it has some cutting-edge cells which allow at least 70-80 kW charge rate sustainably for 30 minutes. That we don’t know yet.

I don’t knwo if it’s already been linked but based on some of the comments I think this might be a better article

My wife and I both stood in line to reserve a Model 3 on the first day of reservations before the unveiling. I’ve already cancelled one of the reservations right after the real world reviews starting coming out on the Bolt. I really like what I’ve seen so far.

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

Same here, with 2 waiting in line for M3 and keeping them in case the bolt doesn’t perform as anticipated.

We like one sedan and one CUV/Hatback/crossover along with the minivan hauler.


I’m in the market for a new car.
One of the cars I’m considering is the Bolt.

The others are a Volt, or a Honda Accord hybrid.

I’m 78 so I don’t want to wait around until 2018 or a Tsela and since there won’t be a tax credit by then it will be too expensive.

I wouldn’t buy a Bolt without the tax credit either.

If I’m going to spend that much, I’ll get a new Mercedes and forget about economy.

The Bolt would be our everyday car replacing our Honda Accord, but we will still have our SUV both for winter driving and trips.

We almost never make any trips over 150 miles so the Bolt would be perfect for us.

We’ve been to the dealer twice and they have no idea when they will get the cars in stock.


“We’ve been to the dealer twice and they have no idea when they will get the cars in stock.”

Even some Chevy dealers in So Cal don’t know when they will get their hands on Bolt, and California Chevy dealers are supposed to get Bolts before all other states.

They went into production Nov 4 and should show up in California In the first quarter of 2017. (Maybe sooner, maybe not.)

$500 reserves you one of the first allocation of Bolts (assuming the allocation is not already sold out) at Keyes Chevy in L.A. They have already spec’d them, so you get what you get. That is: Suppose the allocation is for 78 cars and you’re the 50th to put down your $500: you get the 50th one to roll off the truck. Said cars are expected to roll off the truck from January to March 2017. If you don’t like how that one is configured, you can order one custom and wait (maybe another 3 months?).

CR made a comment regarding leasing the BOLT because of EV’s historically low resale value.

I took advantage of that recently picking up a very nice 2012 volt for the same price as a 2012 cruise.

But Leaf’s seem to have awful resale prices due to the knowledge that you may end up with a short-lived battery.

IF the BOLT battery is similar to the VOLT (which GM claims they are both identical technology – whatever that precisely means), then the BOLT should have no degredation either – in which case the resale value should be high, since there is no downside to buying a used one.

The chemistry in the Bolt is NMC 2.0. It shouldn’t degrade as quickly as the Lithium Manganese Oxide chemistry used in the Leaf.

So now you are back to a Volt, along with an ELR? My long range plan is to buy a nicely used Bolt in a coupe of years to go along with my(still nice)Volt.

Hi Lou: My Nephew totalled my 2011 VOlt, and I found one with even more options and a higher original sticker price on a 2012. It was adjudicated he was 0% at fault so I actually made $1,000 on the deal after the insurance settlement, and paying to have the ‘new’ volt’s routine scratches repainted several times and clearcoated.. Beautiful Car. Now as far as others insisting that “the BOLT has to HAVE CCS, or 22 kw level 2 charging or whatever – is the height of arrogance. Several ‘seasoned’ EV drivers (I could call myself that since I’m on my 4th and I drive more annually than most) have said: “Look its optional… If you want it get it, end of discussion. Don’t force others to pay for something they don’t want”. Exactly. Its only $750 anyway, not $1800 like it was on the Leaf. As far as the 7200 watt level 2 charger STANDARD in the car, there are 2 big issues here showing why this is precisely the right size: 1). It fully utilizes almost ALL the level 2 public charging in the states, and fully utilizes all of the affordable wallboxes installed in the majority of… Read more »
SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

Using the Spark as a reference, battery degradation is relatively low. None at after nearly 14k — daily charging Level 1 or 2 at home overnight.

“I took advantage of that recently picking up a very nice 2012 volt ”

You know that is the best Volt model year, right?

2012 is the BEST! (full of personal bias of course).

Why do EVs use ICE car batteries??

1. It’s a legacy of the 12 Volt system used on many cars.
2. It’s cheaper.

Good explanations here and the same applies for the Volt and probably Bolt.

Out of curiosity, does Tesla use a 12V battery? I assume they do, but if anyone were to do it differently, it would be Tesla. 🙂