Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Bolt Test Drive Concludes Bolt Is “Legitimate Breakthrough Entry” In EV Segment

8 months ago by Eric Loveday 52

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

In late January, General Motors hosted a huge Chevy Bolt drive event out in California.

Most of the test drive reviews from the event have now found there way onto the Internet, including one from Kelley Blue Book (check it out in its entirety here).

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

The consensus from this batch of Bolt reviews is that GM has a game-changer in the Bolt. Truthfully, we’ve yet to find a negative Bolt review and you’ll find almost all positives in this KBB review that concludes:

“We’ve seen and heard plenty about the all-new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt during the past year. And there’s no doubt that with its class-dominating 238-mile EPA per-charge range and a price of entry that flirts with $30,000 after the federal income tax rebate, this compact crossover-style wagon makes a stunningly impressive case for itself on paper. But it wasn’t until we finally managed to slip behind the wheel of GM’s groundbreaking EV that its real-world potential became much clearer.”

“…While not cheap, when coupled with the Bolt EV’s truly outstanding range, impressive versatility and engaging driving demeanor, this new Chevy really does stand as a legitimate breakthrough entry in the electric realm.”

The only real drawbacks we’ve seen mentioned in the reviews are a narrow seating position, plasticky interior and that lack-of-charging-infrastructure from GM that’s been stinking up the Bolt’s otherwise rosy debut. But by and large, the reviewers have been enamored with the Bolt and with that, we hope to see potential buyers move in on the Bolt and push it to a high level of sales success.

Source: Kelley Blue Book

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52 responses to "Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Bolt Test Drive Concludes Bolt Is “Legitimate Breakthrough Entry” In EV Segment"

  1. William says:

    Thanks GM for The Bolt, any help not clogging up the current existing fast chargers would be greatly appreciated. I guess GM is a ICE car company that is not going to be much help, when it comes to its own all electric Bolt drivers, out in the Hinterlands!

    1. Dav8or says:

      I’m not sure why so many people expect GM to go into the charging station business. If it were profitable enough, I’m sure they would. Beside Tesla, what other car company has taken this burden on?

      GM is a publicly traded company and they get hammered in the press all the time for losing money, like the whole $9000 on every Bolt thing and it was claimed to be even worse on the Volt. The last thing they need in the press is how much money some analyst thinks they are losing on a charging network.

      1. DJ says:

        They shouldn’t go in to the charging business. Some people just like to bitch and moan…

        1. William says:

          It was more of a complaint, but you had to pile on with the B, M.

        2. James says:

          Placing 2 or 3 fast chargers at every Chevrolet dealership would be a smart move, don’t out think?

          1. DL says:

            I used to drive a diesel BMW. Diesel fuel is a little more difficult to find around the city than gasoline, but I didn’t in any way, shape or form expect BMW dealerships to offer diesel pumps on their lot for my convenience. Why should retail car dealerships offer “fuel” for their vehicles? Even if Chevy dealers had chargers, I can’t see that I’d ever use one.

          2. Daniel says:

            No. 1. Dealerships are not usually ideally located to facilitate travel and not usually along major thoroughfares or interstate highway infrastructure.
            2. They’re not usually located in areas where there is shopping, points of interest, financial center’s, or other businesses that usually attract people or where the car’s would be parked for a longer period of time.
            3. Do you really want to hang out in a dealership being hassled by salesman trying to sell you the latest offering? Or sell you stuff?

          3. Dav8or says:

            Chevrolet dealers are required to have at least one DCFC station as part of their participating in the Bolt program. Now, I don’t know how public these chargers are.

            I do know that one of the largest GM EV dealers in the country here, Fremont Chevrolet where the first Bolts were delivered, still has yet to install said charger. Their sales people ask the customer to inform them when they want to pick up their new car a full day in advance so they can have the car fully charged.

          4. Hot Potato says:

            Chevy does require dealers to install a fast charger before they can carry the Bolt – but most will install it in the garage, I suspect. Many already were selling the Volt and thus already had public level 2 chargers though.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              I doubt that rule is going to be strictly enforced, and, if a separate CCS test module is not going to be used but rather an actual CCS charger then I would imagine the SMALLEST CCS charger out there would satisfy this requirement – a 25 kw unit – unless there is now a MARKET for a cheap 10 kw CCS charger (which people could then install in their homes if its cheap enough).

              It will be interesting to see if anyone buys that 240 volt single phase 24 kw portugese charger being rebranded by ABB. Some of the homes with 300 or 400 ampere electric services may decide they want to purchase one to fast-charge their BOLT.

              But the “L2 requirement” for the Volt has not apparently been enforced. The dealership family I purchased my ELR from (a very large volume operation with 9 mostly huge dealer locations) only has ONE 30 amp old Couloumb thing for all 9 locations. I’m sure if GM audits them they say the same serial # for all 9.

              The dealership I ordered my BOLT from is on and off the largest chevy dealership in the US. I asked where their L2 EVSE was, and they told me it is tucked away in a distant building. If this dealership does indeed purchase a CCS charger eventually, I’m sure it will be put in a hidden location – designated the ‘service bay’ of course to meet GM requirements. That other family of Dealerships no doubt will try to totally avoid the requirement, but it will be no big deal for them to get one for 9 dealerships total. They’d have no problem taking a car from a sister dealership to use it.

              I’d rather have a dealership give me a discount on the car (alas, no discount on the BOLT for me, since early BOLT adopters cannot be too choosey), than spend money on superfluous things.

              I can only think of 1 dealership in all of Western NY that has ANY kind of public charging facility – other than the 3 public L2’s required to be a Nissan dealership – but then at THOSE dealerships you are only allowed to charge at some of them if you have purchased the vehicle at that dealership.

      2. Nick says:

        That’s the whole point.

        Charging stations are not profitable, they are strategically important for making your EV business valuable.

        GM does not think the EV business is valuable enough to make the investment.

        1. DJ says:

          Uhm no. It is clear that without a GM branded charging infrastructure their EVs are selling well enough. You can change at home or on the road at a myriad of charging options. No need for it to be GM charging infrastructure.

        2. Hot Potato says:

          It turns out Chevy *is* investing in fast charge infrastructure…in cities, since the Bolt is designed for urban ride hailing and car sharing services where it may run great distances every day but not go far from the city per se. In cities where GM is rolling Bolts out in its Lyft and Maven fleets (GM is a major stockholder of the latter, and owner of the former), fast charging infrastructure is part of the plan. Different focus than Tesla, who looks more to the suburban private owner who road trips now and then.

      3. Jake Brake says:

        VW dieselgate money is putting in a an open charging network in the US. It would be silly today to do your own network.

      4. RIC R TOSH says:

        It is not that gm is not supplying the charge stations.the bolt is not capable of using the (high output) station like Chadamo.

      5. poetinsf says:

        It’s a chicken and egg problem. Charging companies won’t build stations along the highways till enough long range evs are on the road. Meanwhile, consumers wont buy as many long range evs without the charging infrastructure. It’s a much easier problem to solve if you tackle both at the same time like Tesla. And the charging network is precisely why I bought Tesla, not Bolt. I would’ve bought Bolt in a heart beat if it had Tesla-like network.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It has been repeatedly pointed out that asking legacy auto makers to build their own national/continental fast-charge networks as Tesla has done, would be counterproductive.

      Since that has clearly fallen on deaf ears, perhaps it’s time to be more blunt: It is stupid to ask for every individual auto maker to build a fast-charging network to rival Tesla’s! That would lead to every individual auto maker having its own proprietary charging standard. Is that really what we want? I certainly hope not!

      What we should advocate is for those businesses which sell electricity to expand into the market for installing a planned national/continental charging system. It’s the electric utilities that make money selling electricity, and are set up to do the work of digging trenches and installing electrical power lines on a daily basis, without charging ridiculous fees for that kind of work.

      Demanding that GM sell electricity would be every bit as stupid as demanding that they sell gasoline.

    3. Mike I says:

      People who are talking about the charging infrastructure are kinda not not thinking. As soon as the first gas spigot is converted to a charger plug, even Tezla supercharger will be a non event. What Tezla is silent about is that as the charge moves toward 80 percent the charging rate is automatically curtailed and you are no longer supercharging but waiting!

      1. David says:

        Tezla??

  2. Dav8or says:

    I wonder if people will still think the Bolt is a “break through car” if the federal tax credits go away this year? Is the Bolt still a break through at $37,500-$43,000? I guess it is in a way because I’m getting one this year and I think there is only about a 50/50 chance that I’ll actually get the credit next year when I file my taxes.

    I have never owned any kind of electric car, or even hybrid before. This is the only electric car that has come along that works for me AND I can actually afford. So the Bolt is picking up some new converts.

    1. SparkEV says:

      There’s been lots of accolades for BMW i3 with even higher price, so Bolt still deserves credit even at $37.5K.

    2. ijonjack says:

      Just wait & get a real car for less money ..More car better in every way , But, you gotta be patient . I agree the Price Is NO breakthrough here & That’s for sure!

      1. DJ says:

        And what car is that exactly? Obviously not the Model 3 because it isn’t gonna be less $ especially with their rebates going away…

        1. Nick says:

          The model three does come with a nation wide charging network.

          That’s a ~250 million dollar value for free. 😀

          1. ffbj says:

            It’s a good deal but not free, anymore. Still you get 1k miles/year, non-cumulative, for free, and it’s true that cars sold before the cutoff date in Jan. still get to charge without paying.

            1. unlucky says:

              Tesla hasn’t said anything about how much included supercharging you get with the Model 3. And I’m not sure why people would assume the car would be treated like the Model S. It’s half the price of that car.

              1. Timmy says:

                Yes they have, plenty. Even wrote a blog post about it a few months ago. 400kWh free per year per Model 3. Why would someone make such an easily discoverable fact? Odd.

          2. DJ says:

            Haha. It isn’t free. It is baked in to the cost of the car, the car that otherwise would be cheaper!!!

      2. Dav8or says:

        Really? Let’s say the federal tax credit is allowed to continue on and naturally sunset as planned. I can buy a Bolt right now, get that credit had have a car that cost me under $30,000. Now let’s say I wait for the magical Model 3. By the time Tesla actually decides it’s OK to build the base $35,000 3, their credits will be gone. It will cost you $35,000.

        With battery prices falling, by this time the cost of the base Bolt will likely be, right around $35,000 particularly if the credits are killed.

        1. Ziv says:

          Tesla has problem that is a very nice problem to have. They are selling their top of the line S and X’s so fast that it is likely that their credits will run out either at the end of June or September of 2018. And they will have a heck of a time getting the III production up to a reasonable pace before January of 2018.

          So the more affordable III, which would benefit even more from having the credit will only have it for 2 or 3 quarters.

          The upside, though, is that in the final 2 quarters of the tax credit, there is no limit on the amount of cars that Tesla can sell. How much do you want to bet that III production rates in early 2018 are through the roof?

          1. lbsinsag says:

            This post sounds like an advertisement. The federal credits will run out when sales reach a certain point. The only ‘their’ credits might be local to the State of Texas.

            1. Ziv says:

              Advertisement? Just pointing out that Tesla is probably going to be the first to hit 200k sales, and the majority of their sales are going to be of the more expensive S and X. The cool part about the phase out is that once Tesla and GM hit their 200,000th sale, they get an unlimited amount of credits for 3 to 6 months after 200k is hit. And GM will sell a bunch, but Tesla is in a position where they could sell a lot more than GM can sell due to Tesla’s cachet and the 400k reservation holders, with around 75% of whom will probably buy a III.

              I am a Volt guy, but I am loving to see another American company crushing it like Tesla is doing so far. But once GM and Tesla have seen their credits cut in half, it may be time to phase out the credit for everyone. Why let the laggards profit while the leaders are losing the boost that the credit gives?

          2. Tabby Cat says:

            The “amount” of cars?
            By weight?
            Volume?

            English, please.

            1. Ziv says:

              Relax, Tabby. Amount works. Take your grammar police attitude elsewhere.

              a·mount
              əˈmount/Submit
              noun
              1.
              a quantity of something, typically the total of a thing or things in number, size, value, or extent.
              “the sport gives an enormous amount of pleasure to many people”
              synonyms: quantity, number, total, aggregate, sum, quota, group, size, mass, weight, volume, bulk, lot, quantum

    3. unlucky says:

      Yes. It’ll still be a breakthrough car.

      GM will surely cut the price some when the credits go away. And it’s not like it isn’t already a great deal if it’s the kind of car you want anyway.

    4. SteveSeattle says:

      I have never heard of a tax break being retrospectively pulled. Your 2017 credit is safe.

      1. Dav8or says:

        Sadly, you are wrong. The tax code has been changed in the past to retroactively affect the past. In addition, you don’t get your credit until you file in 2018, so if at anytime they change the tax code now in 2017 like they claim they are going to do, your tax credit could absolutely go away.

        When you file your 2017 taxes after January 1 2018, the tax code that is in force at that time is what you’ll be using, not the tax code that existed at the beginning of 2017.

        1. James says:

          Sorry, but you’re wrong. The IRS goes by fiscal year. This means any purchase of an electric car during 2017 is covered by the current tax law.

          Currently,the point at which the tax credit goes away for each individual car company remains at 200,000 units sold. After that milestone the credit does not disappear, but gradually reduces in amount over time.

          Thusly, no worries in purchasing a Bolt EV or Volt as they are just over 100,000 sold total at this point. With Bolt EV’s graduated 50 state rollout, you would have to be unrealistically optimistic to believe the full tax credit on those cars won’t be available for quite some time.
          Dav8or should feel safe in knowing that a Bolt EV purchased anytime in 2017 will get all $7500 if he pays that much in federal income taxes.

          He can track Volt and Bolt sales here on Inside EV’s or on any number of websites. The 200,000 shouldn’t be passed until well into 2018.

          1. Dav8or says:

            Here is just one link.

            https://www.aol.com/article/2015/01/22/retroactive-tax-laws/21133061/

            Google “retroactive tax laws”. You’ll find more. The IRS does whatever congress tells it to do and it can be retroactive to the beginning of the year. It’s been done before several times.

            The Supreme Court has upheld that this practice is constitutional. If the Congress wants to eliminate the EV tax credit, it can and it can be retroactive to the start of this year. Hopefully they will not do so, but keep in mind that EV tax credit is on the conservative’s hit list as most hated.

    5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      1. The tax credits don’t go away all at once; they get reduced to half, and then to one quarter of the full amount, before fading away entirely.

      2. Even if the tax credit were to disappear overnight, that wouldn’t change the fact that GM is making and selling the first “semi-affordable” BEV with an electric range of appreciably more than 100 miles. Adding $7500 to the price (and for many buyers, it will be less) would reduce demand, but it would not magically change the fact that GM has done what is, overall, a very well reviewed job of design and engineering with the car. And unlike for example the Cadillac ELR, GM has not sabotaged sales by pricing it out of the market.

  3. ffbj says:

    I think that’s it’s interesting to note that the two main bev that are shaking things up are made in the U.S.

    1. William says:

      The Bolt is assembled in the US, but batteries and most electronics are sourced from LG in South Korea. You are mostly correct without the GM/LG battery and electronics deal.

      1. Dav8or says:

        Well it should be noted that the LG factory that assembles the battery pack to GM’s specs is in Michigan. I believe the cells are imported. I’m not sure where the motor, controller and transaxle are made.

        1. James says:

          LG Chem in Holland, Michigan makes the lithium cells and builds the packs also. Last year, they proudly made over 6 million cells!

          LG Chem is currently adding 150 jobs and just broke ground on 100,000 new sq, ft, of factory space. They build the battery cells and packs for the Ford Focus EV,Chevy Volt and Pacifica Hybrid.

          1. James says:

            *As well as for the Bolt EV…Of course.

            1. JeremyK says:

              Bolt packs and cells are currently being imported from S. Korea. I expect that battery cell/pack production will move to MI once the LG expansion in Holland is complete.

        2. Chris says:

          More than 11 components including the battery packs are made in Incheon, S.Korea and imported to Orion. http://insideevs.com/lg-starts-mass-production-of-chevrolet-bolt-ev-parts-this-month/

  4. Dan Dan the driving man says:

    has anyone considered, the biggest value of an electric vehicle is how long will the battery system last! it is one of the biggest cost of the vehicle. who in this world already has a 250 mile range vehicle , who has a battery pack that has gone 500 to 600 thousand miles, on its original battery pack?

    1. Bill Howland says:

      After driving 100,000 or so miles, it is typical to have to need a new automatic transmission.. After 150,000 miles an engine overhaul is not uncommon.

      Quite a few Chevy VOLTS have gone 150,000 to 200,000 miles with the engines and batteries still fine, with little degredation. Some have gone well over 300,000 miles.

      Provided the battery doesn’t fail completely (as it is needed to start the engine), if it still has lets say 10 -20 miles left of range – the car will still function as the original plug-in prius and run more or less like a hybrid for anything more than a short trip.

      I’m in the process of purchasing a BOLT, but as others have said, since it uses the same highly reliable battery pouches as the VOLT, and the number of full discharge cycles will be few and far between (the vast majority of owners will only a small minority of the time fully discharge the battery – most of the time the battery will only be partially discharged before recharging – and then the total number of charge /discharge cycles is reduced simply due to the battery being so large).

      So, the take away is, if you are deathly afraid of spending too much for battery replacement – buy a VOLT since although in some cases the battery may die after 200,000 miles, it will be far cheaper to replace than the engine and transmission that you would have to replace in a Cruze (assuming you got the automatic transmission). The planetary gear sets in both the gen1 and gen2 volts do have 3 or 2 clutches (respectively), but they open or close under no torque conditions such that they should easily last the life of the car.

      If you’re a little more daring as I am, buy a BOLT, and be prepared to either ditch the car or pay $10,000 for a replacement battery after 300,000 miles. By that time I will have spent AT LEAST that amount of money on engines and transmissions (and the labor to facilitate the replacement) on a Chevy Trax.

      Granted there have been a few Hondas and Volvos in the past that have gone upwards of 1,000,000 miles with no major work whatsoever. If you are the type of person who cannot sleep at night worrying about this kind of thing, DEFINITELY don’t buy a LEAF in a hot climate, – buy a honda or old volvo instead.

  5. John says:

    You expect GM dealers to set up chargers so you can charge free? Why not just charge at home? With its 60kw battery ,most ppl only needs to top off 2,3 times a week overnight at home. Nissan installed ev-go chargers but you need to pay for it after 2 years. The real way is to get dc fast charger installed St highway rest area like Tesla supercharger withsolar panels and government funding.

  6. Dan Dan the driving man says:

    check out the 2016 byd E6. it has the best long-term overall record of any electric car of its kind in the world! do understand there are less than probably 100 in America right now.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      DAN Dan do you mean that BYD is the biggest EV manufacturer in the world in view of Chinese sales? Or are you saying that its battery is the most reliable? Or best Value?