General Motors has been talking up its electrification game for some time now, yet it has only had a single electric vehicle among all its brands: the Chevy Bolt EV, which was first launched in 2016. That changes today as the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV makes its debut alongside a refreshed version of the original Bolt EV.
While the two all-electric hatchbacks are the latest step in the automaker's march toward its plan to stop selling internal-combustion vehicles, they are not built with the Ultium electric vehicle flexible architecture or batteries that they say are the company's path to the future. Instead, they are both built on the bones of the original Bolt EV.
Though this may be an evolutionary dead-end technologically, the vehicles do have plenty of value to offer prospective buyers. For starters, take a look at their prices. This newly refreshed and improved Bolt EV actually has an MSRP $5,000 lower than the 2021, with its base price of $31,995 (includes destination charges). The slightly larger Bolt EUV gets a slightly higher price tag at $33,995.
Now let's take a look at exactly what buyers will be getting for their money, starting with the smaller of the two. The refreshed Bolt EV has undergone an impressive transformation. Though the exterior metal is pretty much the same, the redesigned fascia is distinctively different from the original.
It front looks more modern, taking cues from Chevy's latest design language. Slim daytime running lights, which double as turn indicators, now sit at the hood line in place of the headlights of the previous design, with its actual headlights cloaked within blackened trim below. Around back, the taillights have also evolved into a soft rectangular shape, and tie things up quite nicely.
Stepping into the cabin, we see an even bigger transformation from the outgoing model year. Gone are the acres of hard plastics that previously lent it an economy-car vibe. Instead, soft-touch surfaces make the interior much more in-line with pricing.
Also gone is the vestigial upright gear selector in the center console. It has been replaced by buttons and a pull toggle, which opens up space and adds a more modern feel. Fans of one-pedal driving – where letting off the accelerator pedal instigates generous amounts of regenerative braking, allowing drivers to not use the brake pedal in most situations – will be happy to learn one of those buttons will specifically apply that mode. And that's in addition to the steering wheel paddles which traditionally applied increased regenerative braking in the Bolt EV.
Gallery: 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Bolt EV also gets a new 10.2-inch touchscreen in the center stack with a fresh layout and allows for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With regards to connectivity, it also features a 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot, along with (optional on the Bolt EV, standard on the EUV) wireless charging for phones.
The seats, which were previously a point of many complaints, have been replaced by a much-improved design, which not only look better, but which should also be more supportive and comfortable. With contrast stitching and a subtle triangular geometric pattern, they certainly look better, and pair well with the new and sportier flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Mechanically, the car is much the same as it was, offering a more-than-adequate 200 horsepower (150 kilowatts), and 266 pound-feet of torque. This allows for acceleration from 0-to-60 miles per hour in less than seven seconds. The battery is, again, 65 kWh and good for 259 miles (417 km) of GM-estimated range. The pack comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on both vehicles.
For charging at home, the Chevy Bolt EV can charge at a rate of 11 kW with an EVSE (home charging unit) capable of that output. If you can live with the slower, but still adequate, charging rate of 7.2 kW, the automaker is offering an optional (standard with the EUV) charge cable that can plug into a 220-volt outlet. It also comes with an adapter that will allow users to plug into a 110-volt outlet, which will add about 4 miles per each hour it's plugged in.
DC fast-charging remains the Achilles heel for the Bolt EV and EUV, though now it is standard equipment on both. While most electric vehicles today allow for power intake rates over 100 kW, owners will have to settle for a 55 kW maximum. While that may be slightly inconvenient for trips over 400 or so miles, it can still add 100 miles of range in less than 30 minutes.
The 2022 Bolt EUV may share the same platform as its electric stablemate, but is 6.3 inches (161 mm) longer over all. Chevrolet says this gives it crossover SUV-like proportions. While that may be subjective, what is certain is that the wheelbase of the EUV is 2.95 inches (75 mm) longer than the Bolt EV's, so should offer a slightly smoother ride. It also offers over 3 inches more rear legroom, making this an even better family vehicle.
From the exterior, the differences between the Bolt EUV and EV are subtle. Despite a strong family resemblance, the two actually share no exterior metal. Like the EV, the Bolt EUV, has similar slim DRLs located high on the fascia that double as turn indicators. Its tail lights are similar, that not identical to those on the Bolt EV.
Moving to the interior, the basic layout is identical to the Bolt EV. However, while they both share optional additions like heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, only the EUV has a check box to add a panoramic power sunroof.
Being slightly larger and 90 pounds heavier, the Bolt EUV offers slightly less GM-estimated range than the EV at 250 miles (402 km). This also means it will added slightly fewer miles in a given period of time while DC fast-charging: 95 miles in 30 minutes.
Gallery: 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
Though their price tags may be geared to value-seeking customers, the Bolt EV and EUV do not skimp on safety features. They both come standard with "Chevy Safety Assist," which includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, following distance indicator, IntelliBeam (automatic headlight high-low beam switching), and front pedestrian braking. Both have a rear vision camera as standard as well.
Rear cross-traffic alert, HD surround vision, and adaptive cruise control are all optional.
The Premier trim level of Chevy Bolt EUV will have the option of Super Cruise, an advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) that adds auto-steer to adaptive cruise control on certain pre-mapped roads (over 200,00 miles worth in North America and increasing). Additionally, it has a driver monitoring component and will disengage and give warnings if the driver takes their attention from the road ahead for too long.
Both the EUV and refreshed EV will enter production later this spring and be available from dealers this summer. For those who want a nicely-appointed Bolt EUV as early as possible, Chevrolet is offering a launch edition featuring Super Cruise, a sunroof, unique wheels, special badging and an illuminated charge port for $43,495, which can be reserved on its website.
The new Chevrolet Bolt EUV and refreshed Bolt EV are terrific additions to the electric vehicle landscape. The Bolt EUV in particular, with its increased rear passenger leg room and longer list of standard equipment, represents a value well worth considering over pricier competitors. In addition to finding a home in a good many family garages, we would not be surprised to see ride-share operators adding these to their fleets as well.