Infographic – Comparing 2017 Chevy Volt To Chevrolet Bolt

2 months ago by Eric Loveday 68

Infographic Via Newswheel

Volt or Bolt? Which one suits your needs?

This very basic infographic lays out the key differences between the Chevrolet Volt and the Chevy Bolt.

The biggest difference obviously between the two plug-in Chevys is that one is a plug-in hybrid, while the other is powered solely by battery. But if we look beyond that, we can see that a few other rather significant differences exist.

For starters, the Bolt has much more “trunk” volume. This is largely due to its high roof design, as compared to the low-slung nature of the Volt. Additionally, you’ll see that the Bolt is a couple grand more expensive than the Volt and that the Bolt has more HP, though less torque, than the Volt.

When it comes down to selecting which vehicle of these two is right for you, the decision will likely be guided by charging infrastructure in your area. Public charging, though often not required or utilized, gives you the cushion you need to feel confident in buying a pure EV. That likely explains why you’ll see a larger percentage of Volts versus Bolts in markets not supportive of EVs, while in the flipside is often more true in regions that show strong backing for electric vehicles.

Chevrolet Volt vs. Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Volt vs. Chevrolet Bolt

Source: Newswheel

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68 responses to "Infographic – Comparing 2017 Chevy Volt To Chevrolet Bolt"

  1. Paul Stoller says:

    How about you give a Volt in the Bolt packaging. Flat Bolt battery pack, EREV drivetrain. On second thought throw both of those things on the Equinox platform and give me a call I’ll be first in line to buy one.

    1. Stimpy says:

      Many of us would like a plug-in hybrid Equinox but I suspect that would decimate GM’s margins. Because then why would anyone want the gas-only version with significantly higher operating costs and worse performance?

      1. Paul Stoller says:

        Better to canabalize ones own sales than one los them to a competitor. If GM waits much longer they risk losing all of the conquest sales from Volt/Bolt. We want more capable vehicles to move in/up to and we don’t want a damn diesel.

        1. bjrosen says:

          It’s short term thinking vs long term. GM shot themselves in the foot in the 1980s because they concentrated on short term profits vs building good cars, the result was that they went from a 60% market share to less than 20% today. In the car market once you’ve sold someone a car that they are happy with chances are you will sell them their next car, if you sell them crap you can kiss them goodbye for life unless you do something radical and EVs are that something. My last Chevy was a 1980 Citation, when it blew it’s transmission when it was only 6 years old I bought a Chrysler, I subsequently bought two more Chrysler’s. Last year when my last car was getting ready to die I had to shop for a new brand because Chrysler has abandoned the sedan market and I have zero interest in a Jeep or a pickup truck which is all they make now. As part of my due diligence I went into the Chevy dealer across the street from Chrysler dealer who had given me the bad news about the repair cost of my 300C. They had a Volt and when I test drove it I was sold because electric drive was so much better than then current crop of ICE cars which have awful high gear count transmissions. Because of my past experience there would have been zero chance that I would have bought a GM ICE car but they won me back with the paradigm shifting Volt. GM’s statistics are that 70% of Bolt buyers came from other brands. They should be jumping on that opportunity while they can because even if they take a margin hit on today’s sale they will be able to look forward to decades of future sales from the customers they capture now. However the window is very short, by 2020 it will have closed completely because the Axis powers will have full lineups of competitive EVs by then. Once that happens the opportunity to capture new customers will go away.

          1. Paul Stoller says:

            Fully agreed!

          2. Tjam says:

            Never thought of it that angle. So true

          3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “…the Axis powers will have full lineups of competitive EVs by then.”

            Gosh, I didn’t realize the Italians were entering PEV production in a big way. What are Fiat, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo up to? 😉

            Okay, seriously, it had not occurred to me to lump Japanese and German auto makers together as the “Axis powers”. An interesting, if perhaps strange, viewpoint.

          4. Wallace says:

            What you are talking about is perception of quality. I have had GM’s since the 70’s. They were good cars back then too. Have you seen a Toyota from the 70’s lately? Doubt it. But I see many GM’s still on the road from the 70’s and 80’s.

          5. Bumnsun says:

            I too was a former Chevy owner. I have leased a bolt and luv it. The general is back

      2. FISHEV says:

        “Because then why would anyone want the gas-only version with significantly higher operating costs and worse performance?”

        Same reason they buy 1,000,000 ICE vehicles to 1,000 PHEV’s today. Range, convenience, price.

        AWD and cargo capacity with hatchback utility would be nice in the Equinox type package as PHEV but in GM’s experience the market demand is no there. It would be in the Model 3 price range of $60K and with a $60K ICE SUV you’d get towing and lot more range vs. an Equinox SUV in EV package.

        They could up Bolt and Volt sales with driver power seat for the Volt and driver power seat and dynamic cruise for the Bolt.

    2. Tom W says:

      As a Bolt owner that orignally wanted a Volt … I really really like your idea about the Equinox … sign me up.

      1. Ted says:

        I would also!!!

    3. rad says:

      Who knows? Maybe they have one waiting in the wings that they will magically produce as soon as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV or Model Y appear in the US.

    4. BenG says:

      Add an ICE, gas tank, and exhaust to a Bolt and you will give up a fair bit of that great interior space.

      I like the idea, but you might need to make the car a bit bigger to fit everything.

  2. bro1999 says:

    They don’t mention the fact the Volt has a gas engine and can go an additional 380 miles after the battery charge runs out. Some n00b will look at that graphic and go “WTF, the Volt can only go 53 miles?? What a stupid car!!”

    And WTH did they shrink the Volt to make it look like it has the same footprint than the Bolt?? The Volt is 16 inches longer than the Bolt.

    Nice try, but I give it a D+.

    1. Anthony says:

      Agreed, they need a “total range” line in that infographic.

    2. Rennie Allen says:

      I agree, the range is a key factor and to exclude it is extremely disingenuous.

    3. BenG says:

      They also don’t mention that the Volt gets 106 mpg-e combined city highway mileage when operating on electric power.

    4. Bumnsun says:

      Nope. Buyers of the bolts don’t want a gas engine and all the maintenance. I lease a bolt and they are fun to Drive

  3. Bacardi says:

    Agree with Bro, they’re fundamentally two different vehicles…

    HP/Torque are nearly useless, Bolt’s 0-60 is nearly 25% quicker…

    S/B:
    MSRP
    Price after qualifying federal tax credit
    Range (Volt can include both)
    F.E.
    Charging speed
    0-60
    Pass Vol
    Trunk Vol

    1. SparkEV says:

      Actually, HP + gear matters in 0-60 time. Peak motor torque alone is not so relevant, but as a point of fact, SparkEV’s 400 ft-lb (327 in MY 2015+) is still the strongest torque among sub $75K EV.

      1. Bacardi says:

        I get that yet as a marketing metric no one cares…The Volt a surprising good 0-30 (which in the real world is near useless) while it’s 30-60 (which in the real world could be needed for passing on non-highways and onramps) is equally surprisingly bad…Yet HP/TQ metrics do not explain that…

        1. SparkEV says:

          I think you are right about marketing metric for what real people care about, peak HP/torque matter little. But for guys saying “oh yeah? mine is shorter than yours!” it is somewhat relevant.

          As for Volt being quicker, another factor to consider is traction, and Volt being front heavy would have better traction for quicker 0-30 time even if Bolt was geared differently (it would simply invoke traction control).

          So yeah, I agree, actual acceleration times is more concise, and HP/torque not very meaningful in single speed transmission EVs.

    2. Koenigsegg says:

      I smoked a Bolt off the line in my Volt.

      Bolt is slower than the Volt

      1. SparkEV says:

        You mean like SmartED quicker than Ferrari?

      2. Bill Howland says:

        Gen 1 volt essentially has a 2 speed xmission and Gen2 a 3.

        Bolt only has the fixed speed which is a bit too ‘high’ at low speeds and too ‘low’ at high speeds.

        The BOlt ev is built down to a price. Its a compromise vehicle, but currently there is nothing like its value for what it is in the marketplace.

  4. ClarksonCote says:

    The comparisons to combined MPG are wrong. They took the MPG of the Volt and compared to the MPGe of the Bolt. The Volt has MPGe right around 100 as well for the electric range. You’d think they’d at least use the blended MPG instead of the gas-only MPG on the Volt.

    That skews the comparison quite a bit, and is in error.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      Talk about an apple to orange comparison….

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “The comparisons to combined MPG are wrong. They took the MPG of the Volt and compared to the MPGe of the Bolt.”

      Thank you for pointing that out. It bothered me, too, that the infographic compares MPG to MPGe as though they were equivalent. Of course, it doesn’t help that the Volt’s onboard display confuses matters by displaying the combined use of gasoline and stored battery power as “MPG”. That is, what the Volt’s instrument panel displays as “MPG” is fake MPG, not real MPG.

      I’m not going to “touch the third rail” of InsideEVs’ discussions here by again raising the question of whether or not MPGe is a useful metric, but I hope we can all agree that (real) MPG and MPGe are not measuring the same things!

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        The number the Volt displays is not “fake” MPG. It is actual, literal, miles-traveled-per-gallon-used.

        Now, from a fuel efficiency standpoint, it is true that MPG does not include electricity as a fuel source. But from an environmental standpoint, the Volt’s MPG tells you very useful information.

        When a BEV owner says their car doesn’t use any gas, that does not mean it is a perpetual motion machine that operates without fuel. Similarly, when a Volt owner says that they have used one tank of gas for the last 10,000 miles, that is describing gasoline consumption, not fuel efficiency.

  5. Mark.ca says:

    Volt is not a 5 seater! That middle back seat where only a kid could fit and has to keep his feet up the entire time is not a seat.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      5th seat belt is there.

      1. bjrosen says:

        I have a Volt, I love the Volt and in almost every regard it exceeds it’s specs. But in the case of the so called fifth seat, that’s an outright lie, nobody with legs can sit there. If you were to put a seat belt on an electric chair would you want to sit on it?

    2. bro1999 says:

      4.5 seats rounds up to 5.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Some things should never be rounded off to integer numbers. This is one of those things.

    3. Spider-Dan says:

      By this logic, a motorcycle has seating for 0.

      I don’t know why people keep insisting that someone sitting in the back would have their feet on the center console. You straddle the center.

  6. Get Real says:

    I have both cars and the Bolt has many advantages over the Volt:

    1. Much sportier performance overall in quickness and handling due to the skateboard/big battery.

    2. A true 5th seat, Volt 5th seat is a joke.

    3. Much better visibility for the driver and easier to park in really tight places.

    4. Much faster recharging rate on electric (considering that most EV fans WANT to drive electric), Volt’s 3.3k charger is SLOW.

    On the Volt’s side, it has the basically unlimited range on gas and it is a very nice looking car compared to the Bolt which is a little polarizing.

    If GM was smart they would start transitioning all their vehicles to the skateboard design BEVs and EREVs and secure the battery supply to do so. If they were to bite the bullet and do this they would be set up for dominance.

    1. Koenigsegg says:

      None of those things you listed are advantages

      The Volt is better than the Bolt

      1. Bill Howland says:

        “Volt is better than the Bolt”.

        Agreed the Bolt does have a bit of an econo-box feel compared to the Volt. But BOLT wins in the rear seat category -> there is more room in the back than the front! Since there is no need for a console in the BOLT, they should have had a front bench as an option to give it 6 seat capacity for those who need it.

        But by the same token, a BOSE equiped 2011 VOLT is far nicer than a Gen 2 Volt, in that respect.

    2. Tony Marco says:

      GM dominance??? LOL

      That made me laugh!!!

  7. william edwards says:

    Um….how about back seat leg/head room?

    1. Peter G. says:

      True Mazda has a full line of vehicles custom made for rear seat passengers with no legs. Audi has a number of models designed for rear seat passengers with no heads.
      GM has only recently discovered that most Californians are too self-centered to care about their passengers.

    2. Koenigsegg says:

      Who sits in the back seat? Dust? Im not concerned about how much headroom the dust has

  8. ModernMarvelFan says:

    To meet two different needs.

    Comparing them is kind of silly without knowing the use model as well as many other details.

    I would give it at most a C- rating.

    1. William says:

      C- is pretty accurate!
      It would be nice if the statistic was presented of what % of aggregate miles on EV only mode as opposed to ICE mode, the Volt has been driven, by all existing owners/lease drivers.
      That would help understand the comprehensive EV utility, of the Volts drivetrain, for the uninitiated.

  9. Dan says:

    Appreciate the intent of MPGe, but does anyone understand it? If so, does anyone care?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      We Usual Suspects here, those of us who frequently post comments to InsideEVs, once had a surprisingly long discussion/debate on the subject, which unfortunately degenerated into an amazing amount of acrimony and pejorative comments — and I have to admit that I was one of those adding a lot more heat than light to the debate, so I don’t want to start that argument up again.

      Let’s just say that apparently, yes, a lot of people do care about the subject. Perhaps some of us care a lot more than the subject than we ought to (again, certainly including me). After mentally stepping back and getting some perspective… I’ll now say, belatedly, that this really isn’t important enough to argue over. There are important issues connected with the EV revolution. This ain’t one of ’em.

      But back to the actual subject: Given the amount of argument about what the MPGe metric does or doesn’t include, I think it’s safe to say that the subject is far less clear than most people think. Some say that MPGe includes losses from charging the car; that is, it measures energy according to the kWh that comes out of the wall plug, not according to the kWh that is stored in the battery pack. (If so, that would help explain why comparing MPGe between different cars appears to give erratic and therefore somewhat meaningless results.) If that’s true, then the EPA ought to specify that in their definition of “MPGe”… and they don’t. And even if that’s true, there are other questions. Does MPGe include “ancillary losses” such as “vampire drain”?

      Regardless of who is right and who is wrong about what MPGe actually measures and what it doesn’t, it seems pretty clear that many or perhaps even most people who think they know exactly what it means… don’t.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        GM cars don’t have ‘vampire drain’ unless intentionally left on. And they’re making that terminate after a time also.

        No one has confused mileage ratings more than you of any of the commenters here.

    2. Bill Howland says:

      Dan, an example might help.

      Lets say your ev gets 100 mpge. That’s 100 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent.

      Old gasoline used to have 125,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit(s)) in it, and current Ethanol-ed gasoline my be 115,000-120,000 BTU (since the amount of Ethanol, up to 10% -added is seasonal. The GGE of Ethanol is 1.5 (Gasoline Gallon Equivalency) meaning the heat content of a gallon of ethanol is only 2/3 of gasoline, or 83,333 btu/US Gallon.

      So, assuming 10% ethanol, a gallon of ‘gas’ has 90% of 125,000 or 112,500 BTU plus 10 percent ethanol (8,333 BTU) or (120833 BTU).

      1 kwh is 3413 BTU. Therefore, you need 35.4 kwh of electricity to equal the heat of a gallon of gasoline. Or, since your car is 100 mpge, you must be needing 354 watt-hours to go one mile.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        (To DAN (cont.) ) or 100 mpge is 2.825 miles/kwh. Humm, a bolt ev gettting
        128 mpge would be 3.62 miles/ kwh.

        These numbers seem extremely conservative to me. City drivers regularly get 5 or even 6 in moderate weather, so thats like 200 mpge.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        Just as a “CHECK” on my work, EIA.gov states a typical gallon of gasoline is 120,476 BTU versus my derived 120,833 BTU, so I’m 99.3% in agreement with them, or much less than 1% at variance.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Since 35.4 kwh is the energy content of one gallon of US Gasoline, it follows 2 gallons of the stuff is 70.8 kwh of energy.

          But my BOLT ev, which last weekend went round trip Niagara-falls to Ithaca and back and only charged 15 miles worth with 18 miles at the end spare, means I could have made the entire 315.5 mile journey with 3 miles to spare with no interim charging. On effectively less than 2 gallons of gasoline.

          Depending on outside temperature, it takes 67 3/4 kwh to refuel my Bolt to ‘full’. Or 1.914 gallons of gasoline.

          This proves 2 things:

          1). Electricity is a Premium Fuel, even if it does cost $6.78 to refuel my BOLT at a cheap 10 cents/ kwh

          2). The ‘per gallon’ price of this electricity at $3.54 is indeed pricey, but then I only need 1.914 ‘gallons’ of it to go 315.5 miles.

  10. Dave R. says:

    Dan, it is no more difficult to understand than MPG. It’s a simple expression of efficiency. It serves as a useful tool for comparison, both among EVs and between EVs and gasoline cars.
    Call it a gallon of electricity, if that helps. In round numbers, a Tesla 100D holds 3 gallons. A Chevy Bolt stores about 2, and a Volt about 1/2 gallon of electrons plus 9 gallons of petrol.
    And yes, people do care.

    1. Koenigsegg says:

      Absolutely completely worthless measurement.

      53 miles on a charge. Simple.

      Not 125 MPGe. Stupid.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        The problem with this measurement is that the 2 fuels ‘gasoline’ vs. ‘electricity’ are not processed to the same degree at the entry point to the vehicles.

        A Diesel vehicle has only minimally processed/cracked fuel put in the car from what it was in the ground.

        A guy near me doesn’t EVEN bother with THAT amount of processing as I’ve mentioned before…He doesn’t BOTHER making Bio-Fuel in a Still – he runs his 30 year old Mercedes Wagon DIRECTLY on french-fry oil after a pre-purge/post-purge of all the lines to keep them from clogging on the next trip – using filters and heaters to make it work.

        Electricity, on the other hand, has been HIGHLY PROCESSED upon entry to the car, and it is one reason why electricity is so much more expensive than other motor vehicle fuels.

        To MYOPICALLY look at the efficiency of the final electricity to mechanical force device as having a 90% or whatever efficiency, is downright stupid. But all the articles you ever read always tout that.

        The engine/valving/clutch/transmission set of equipment in an ICE is simutaneously doing much of the processing work that must be done ELSEWHERE prior to fuel entry on an electric car.

        Now electric cars are good from a polution standpoint, since any pollution generated at a central station may be more easily removed there from a large, fixed location device where economies of scale may make the removal economical vs trying to do this on a moving car.

        But saying the electric car is always, everywhere, everytime more efficient than an ICE vehicle is mistaken. It can occassionally be more efficient, as for instance if driven by a local water or wind turbine. But there are plenty of times when the efficiency of an electric car is lower than an ICE vehicle.

        Electric cars are good (I should know – I’m on my 5th, while currently having 2 of them), but they are not THAT good.

  11. Blaine says:

    One big problem for the Volt in northern climates is that the car goes full ICE when the temperature hits 4C.

    1. Brian says:

      You can set that down to -10 if you’d like. Just poke around the car settings.

  12. PHEVfan says:

    Clearly a skewed infographic in favor of the Bolt. Put electric range only of the Volt and ignore the total range? Then immediately below only put gas MPG of the Volt against the MPGe of the Bolt? What about MPGe of the Volt? Disingenuous at best.

  13. Koenigsegg says:

    No Dolt is anywhere near the level of coolness as this

  14. Dave says:

    Why would GM have to sacrifice margin to sell a true CUV version of a BEV? Couldn’t they just raise the price to the same gross margin? Or are they just 100% they wouldn’t sell at a price that would meet that margin?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It’s dangerous to generalize from a single example, but we can be 100% sure that GM found far too few people willing to buy the Cadillac ELR, a PHEV using a Voltec powertrain, at the price they put on it initially. Of course, I have no idea what the gross margin would have been at that price, but it’s safe to say that Cadillac wound up making a far smaller gross profit margin on the car after they slashed the price sufficiently that it would actually sell, albeit never in large numbers, despite it being a car whose style and driving experience were highly praised. Naturally, the small sales volume meant a high unit price, further reducing Cadillac’s profit margin.

      But that may not be a valid example. I saw a recent claim that the ELR was intended to be a limited production vehicle, perhaps more of a test market car than anything else. If so, then that is not a valid example at all.

  15. Steve gallagher says:

    The volt is the most underrated car in usa the fit finish and performance are impressive I love my 2012 volt I’d recommend it to anyone

  16. Steve says:

    I own a 2017 Volt and love it. Also seriously considered buying a companion Bolt. I test drove it and love the car, but even with it’s great range, I could not take my daughter on 350 mile college tour in one day, so drove my 53mpg Prius. I could have driven the Volt, but for this distance the hybrid still wins.

  17. Don Zenga says:

    Thanks for the clear pic with facts. Seems Bolt is much bigger and it’s worth paying extra $3,500 for all these. Only problem is with long distance drive, you should find the fast chargers.
    I believe September is the month when Bolt goes on sale in all 50 states even though GM said its August.

  18. Frank says:

    Unfortunately, the only comparison stat’s relevant for me are:
    Volt Bolt
    Availability no no
    Neither is sold in my country. Come on GM, get your crap in order!

  19. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Looks like whoever did that infographic weighted the comparison to favor the Bolt EV.

    How about “Time it takes to fill up or charge to keep going past the car’s normal maximum range”? How about “Has front seats which most people find quite comfortable”?

    As with most if not all comparisons between two or more cars, especially cars as disparate as PHEVs and BEVs, which characteristics are compared and which are ignored is entirely subjective; a matter of opinion, not fact, about what’s important and what’s not.

    Many people prefer the Bolt EV to the Volt; many people prefer the Volt to the Bolt EV. I would imagine those two groups are going to disagree quite a bit on which characteristics are important, and which are not.

  20. EV says:

    Is the volt not much more cheaper than what is mentioned ?

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