MotorWeek’s Quick Spin In Chevrolet Bolt – Video


MotorWeek test driver, Greg Carloss, says that the Chevrolet Bolt lives up to its “practical yet fun” claims. He says that “mashing on the throttle” provides instant torque (enough so to throw you back in the seat).

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

The low center of gravity makes for adequate handling. However, he makes note of the skinny tires being noisy if you push it too hard.

Video Description per MotorWeek on YouTube:

“Not surprisingly, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt was named “Green Car of the Year” at the recent LA Auto Show. Since Chevy first showed the production Bolt EV at last January’s Consumer Electronics Show, it’s created a lot of buzz, mostly for its EPA-certified 238-mile range, and with federal and state incentives, under 30-grand starting price…”

Other Notable Information (according to MotorWeek):

  • 9.5 hours for a full charge at 240 Volts
  • 2 hours will get you 50 miles on L2
  • 30 minutes at a DC fast charging station gets you 90 miles
  • Standard 10.2-inch color touchscreen
  • Standard 8-inch color digital dash display
  • Rearview camera monitor built into the rearview mirror
  • Easy to load, five-door hatchback crossover configuration

Quick spin is right. MotorWeek didn’t have anything else to offer at this point, but the Bolt videos and reviews keep pouring in.

Categories: Chevrolet, Test Drives

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53 Comments on "MotorWeek’s Quick Spin In Chevrolet Bolt – Video"

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Gunning the Bolt on dry pavement can easily spin the tires. I can’t do that with the Spark. I’m already getting a feel for just how much I can push it and maintain traction.

So then there’s no traction control on the Bolt?

There is, but the Bolt’s chief engineer had it programmed so it would slip the tires a little.

Same with the Gen 2 Volt.

If you had 2014 SparkEV, Bolt may feel faster. 0-30 for Bolt is only 3% quicker, and you’re not likely to notice. Only when you go over about 35 MPH will you notice Bolt’s power. Bolt’s power doesn’t seem to let up while you can tell SparkEV tapering after about 40 MPH.

As for “feeling”, SparkEV feels quicker due to twitchiness. Yes, it’s artificial, but having to fight the steering wheel on full throttle gives a sense of quicker acceleration unlike the dead smooth Bolt.

Yes, I read somewhere they had to limit the torque due to the traction limitations. Thus the drawback of FWD. In my testing of my i3 BEV, the acceleration: .70 sec 0-10 mph 1.7 sec 0-20 mph 2.7 sec 0-30 mph 3.7 sec 0-40 mph 4.8 sec 0-50 mph 6.5 sec 0-60 mph Is almost identical to the Bolt to 50mph, with superior HP of the Bolt pulling away after 50mph. But the i3 does it with no hint of wheel spin or torque steer in wet or dry. Also, the bigger battery definitely allows quicker charging, which makes a huge difference on longer trips. With my 33kWh i3, the charger showed 22.5kWh from the ABB DCQC dispensed in just 30 minutes. That’s an average of about a 45kWh rate from the charger. Not bad at all. One person on the forum with a 40kWh RAV4 (equipped with a Jesla adaptor) said he picks up around 19kWh in 30 minutes, so I am pretty impressed with the smaller 33kWh battery i3 picking up well over 20kWh in the same 30 minute period. So with a 30 minute DCQC I too can pick up a similar 80-90 miles as the Bolt… Read more »

The quick charge rate is the biggest negative about this car. I think the Model 3 will destroy it in that regard.

I don’t think it will ~destroy~ it in charge rate.
I think it will be faster to 80% but not by that much.

With the larger form factor cells it better be faster than the S60 (not the 75Ah soft limited) SC rate.

I don’t know if it will “destroy” it but you have to admit that the bar isn’t set that high to begin with.

Elon has been hinting at a much higher Supercharger rate (His Twitter: A mere 350 kW … what are you referring to, a children’s toy? 9:18 AM – 24 Dec 2016), and also there has been some talk, that the new “2170 cell” will be able to accept a really high charge rate, which will be used in the Model 3.

No point in coming out with a much higher Supercharger rate, if the cell cannot support it.

Might there be a trim level of MIII that is capable of charging at >350kW? I suppose. However, that configuration will not be anywhere remotely near the same price as a Bolt.

There’s no way a 55-60kWh MIII is going to charge at even 350kW.

No way. Even if it was possible (and it’s not) to charge at 350kW, all the Superchargers are currently not that fast, regardless of what might happen in the future.

I kinda suspect the crazy high SC rate hinted at, is more likely for the much larger capacity Tesla Semi?

Of course it’s for a truck.

The scuttlebutt is 750kW, but I think it may be 1MW.

500 amps * 1500 to 2000 volts

The Tesla Superchargers are limited to 120kW DC worldwide (contrary to what gets spread around the internet), so I think it’s safe to assume that the Tesla Model 3 will charge at least that fast for a time. My Tesla S-70D can only hold the full 365 amps (116kW) to about 17%, where the charge rate reduces. I find it highly unlikely that the Model 3 with a base 50-55kWh battery will beat that. I will speculate that you can charge the Model 3 from 20% to 80% at about 70kW average, which is less than double the charge rate of the Bolt EV. The Model 3 is grossly more aerodynamic than Bolt EV, so that’s adding about 150 miles in 30 minutes at 4.3 miles per kWh (232Wh). The Bolt EV is currently limited to 45.6kW MAXIMUM at 125 amps, with a “typical” charge rate of about 43kW between 20% and 80% (see my notes below). It may be possible that the Bolt EV can charge up to 200 amps (about 70kW MAXIMUM), but no public DC fast charger in the US has that power yet. You’ll note that there is a HUGE difference between the 365 amps that… Read more »

So we can disregard Elon’s tweet?

A mere 350 kW … what are you referring to, a children’s toy? 9:18 AM – 24 Dec 2016

You know they are actively building a semi-truck?

On what basis are you comparing the aerodynamics of the Bolt and the MIII? You certainly can’t use looks; the Prius line doesn’t look aerodynamic at all.

Actually I remember reading that all the Bolt EV dealerships had to install 80KW chargers they are basically the 100kw at 400v instead of 500v in the standard. If they are rolling out 1,200 80kw chargers for the 1200 dealers getting the volt I bet the DCFC that will support the 80kw standard it a lot cheaper and we start to see new deployments using them.

If Tesla manages to build and sell Model 3 profitably at $35k, it will destroy a lot of cars. But that is a very questionable assumption. I think Model 3 will be closer to $45k to $48k, about $10k more than Bolt. Alternatively they can start selling fully optioned cars at $55k-$60k range and drag roll out for a year or two and see if costs starts to drop. But I don’t think Tesla can sell significant volume of Model 3s below $50k until the end of 2018.

GMs website now shows 12 out of 24 dealers in Virginia as “Bolt EV Sales & Service” ready.

Interesting, how/where do I search the GM site for dealers that are Bolt ready?

Awesome, thank you!
24 dealers in the Seattle area are Bolt ready, yay!

25 dealers within 40 miles of me in MD. 🙂

Very useful! I did not even realize you could specify Bolt certified.

Looks like 15 out of 25 in D/FW area are already Bolt certified. 25 out of 25 are Volt certified. So I expect the remaining dealers will catch up as the Texas debut arrives.

Take pics of the sticker prices and post them here.
Especially the stickers that show no stealership markup.

Both dealers in Tucson are Bolt ready and 15 out of 16 dealers in Phoenix are also Bolt ready…
One dealer not planing on offering it just goes to show that this is clearly a vaporware compliance car offering that will not be available in non CARB states like AZ…

Did our dealers say if they are installing fast chargers? If all Chevy dealers would install them then we might be able to drive to LA from here.

Arizona is a CARB state.

Does “Bolt EV Sales & Service” mean they are going to put in a DCFC? I know that originally was a requirement by GM.. just wondering what the nitty-gritties were.

Probably at best 30-45KW DCFC.
Better than nothing though!!!

Chevy spec call for it to be a 80kw charger.

I saw this on MotorWeek. I save MotorWeek episodes that are significant on electrification and this episode is a keeper because of this Quick Spin.

“Rearview camera built into the rearview mirror”

So if the rear seats are occupied the camera is blocked?

The rearview camera is at the back of the car. The rearview mirrot is only a monitor, so it is not blocked by back seat passengers.

So then it should say….
“Rearview camera MONITOR built into the rearview mirror”

That makes sortof more sense. But wouldn’t it be better to use the larger 10.2″ monitor?

It’s not for backing up. When you back up, the center display shows a surround view and the backup view (forward too if needed). The rearview video mirror is for driving and removes blindspots and blocked rear window due to passengers or seat headrests. It’s much easier ergonomically to look at the mirror than down at the lower display – you’re already conditioned to use the mirror too.

Cool! Wish my Volt had this!

…and for those across the pond:

Napkin math….
If 9.5 hrs at 240VAC gets you 60KWh….
Then Charge amperage = 60KWh / 9.5 = 6.3A and/or 6.3A * 240 = 1512W charge rate.

If 2hrs gets you 50 miles and it is spec’d to charge at 7200W AC L2….
Then Wh per mile = 7200Wh / (50Mi / 2hr) = 288Wh per Mile

The above seems fine, not precise but close.

If 30min gets you 90mi and you get 1 mile per 288Wh…
Then 90mi * 288Wh = 25920W

That doesn’t seem right. I may be doing something wrong?
Can anyone confirm or correct?

60KWh / 9.5h = 6.3 kW not A
The max charge rate on 240V is 7.2kW (30A). Average of 6.3kW is lower for a full charge because of tape at the end.

30 amps * 240 volts = 7.2kW, but the onboard charger is only 90% efficient (or less), so that’s about 6.3kW DC into the battery.

The battery is:

288 cells * (3.65v * 60ah) = 63kWh total

Probably 58-60kWh usable

9.5 hours to charge * 6.3kW DC = 60kWh

“Napkin math…. If 9.5 hrs at 240VAC gets you 60KWh…. Then Charge amperage = 60KWh / 9.5 = 6.3A and/or 6.3A * 240 = 1512W charge rate.” 60kwh / 9.5 hours = 6.3 kwh per hour, not 6.3A and 6.3 kWh per hour is simply 6300W. In any case, 60 kWh is the wrong starting point. The 9.5 hours is for AC charging and there is going to be charging overhead for converting the AC into DC that typically amounts to 10-15%. The actual AC power to fully charge a Bolt is around 67 kWh which is just slightly over 7 kW AC and your 6300W estimate is a rough approximation of the DC power actually flowing into the battery pack. “Then 90mi * 288Wh = 25920W That doesn’t seem right.” The answer should be 25920 Wh, not Watts but the 90 miles was recharged in half an hour so to convert that to an average Watt charging rate you need to multiply by two which would be 51840W. But, the 288Wh came from your earlier calculation based on GM’s rough estimate of adding 25 miles for every hour of charging. A more precise approach is to start from the… Read more »

90m/30min * 288Wh/m = 25920Wh/30min = 51.84kW

Got it.
Forgot to account for the .5.

Thanks for the correction!

The car will charge at about 41kW average from 0% to 80%, and much slower above 80%. 41kW will add 0.68kWh per minute, so 30 minutes will add 20.5kWh. To add 90 miles / 20.5kWh = 4.39 miles per kWh (227Wh per mile), which is likely 55-60mph on a level dry road with no headwinds and no cabin heater use. More realistically, people will drive at 3.5 miles per kWh (285Wh) which might be 70mph on freeways, cabin climate control on, not perfect driving technique, etc. So, a typical 30 minute DC fast charge won’t start from 0%, so we can bump up the average charge rate between 20% and 80% to about 43kW average (0.717kWh per minute): 21.5kWh added = 30 min charging * 0.717kWh ********************************* 30 minute typical charge at public DC fast charger: 75 miles added = 21.5kWh @ 3.5 miles/kWh (freeway driving) 90 miles added = 21.5kWh @ 4.2 miles/kWh (careful driving) ********************************* Just like the Volt and most new electric vehicles, the GM Bolt EV will have 96 cells in series, with a maximum of about 400 volts (plus or minus 5 volts). It’s the same for a Nissan LEAF, or the new Tesla Model… Read more »

Because there are hundreds of the 100 amp (30-36kW – BTC (manufactured chargers on the eVgo network), I will add the 30 minute typical charge at those DC fast chargers:

60.0 miles added = 17.0kWh @ 3.5 miles/kWh (freeway driving)

71.5 miles added = 17.0kWh @ 4.2 miles/kWh (careful driving)


30 minute typical charge at public DC fast charger @ 120-125 amps (most public dual plug chargers that aren’t BTC units):

75 miles added = 21.5kWh @ 3.5 miles/kWh (freeway driving)

90 miles added = 21.5kWh @ 4.2 miles/kWh (careful driving)

Bolt taper seem to occur at 50% and 70%. Taper at 70% is severe, almost down to 25 kW. So it’s probably more meaningful to talk about 70%, not 80%.

Not sure why Bolt tapers so badly. I mean, it can’t even keep up 1C charge rate? Something must be wrong.

I really don’t know… it seems very conservative, which is not surprising from GM.

I think it’s safe to tell folks that the car can add 60-90 miles in 30 minutes.

a device controlling the flow of fuel or power to an engine.

What a truly annoying speaker voice…

My wife will not tolerate Motorweek audio being played in the house, can only use closed captions. That guy’s voice is so annoying, he talks like a valley girl with testicles.

BTW, what the heck is that woman wearing, a wetsuit?

Its been Davis’ voice for the last 3 decades.. Its his baby…..The animated nature of his speaking makes the show sound like a 30 minute commercial, which is exactly what it is.

I thought we were talking about the BOLT.. This Greg guy seems normal enough, and he calls the call ‘roomy’ and ‘fun’. No hint of any discomfort with the ‘hammock’ seats. That’s probably good enough of a review for me.