Popular Mechanics Calls Chevrolet Bolt The “Electric Car Of Your Dreams” Without A 400,000-Deep Waiting List

6 months ago by Steven Loveday 120

Chevrolet Bolt

DIY editor for Popular Mechanics, Timothy Dahl, and his gas-guzzling F-150 loving self, spent two days in the possession of a Chevrolet Bolt, and he was beyond impressed.He was enamored with the fact that the car performed so well, and he couldn’t believe its range.

Chevy Bolt Interior

Keep in mind that Dahl’s primary function as a journalist is not to review cars.

So this is coming from someone that can be thought of as your “average Joe,” with no in-depth EV knowledge or passion, or vast grounds for comparison. Although he can tell you how to fix a running toilet, how often he sharpens his chainsaw, or 6 ways to recycle your Christmas tree.

This, however, may be a good thing … because Dahl just sees the car how he sees it, like any average driver may see it as they encounter the Bolt for the first time.

Of course, if you compare it to a Tesla, or a BMW i3, or really any $30,000 plus car, there will be places that the Bolt comes up short, and places that it succeeds. But, all in all, the Bolt is the Bolt, and Dahl had a lot of good words to say about it.

First and foremost, he notes the price. Finally a long-range EV that more people can afford … and then he throws in the part about the competing Tesla Model 3 having a similar price and an “uncertain future.” But, that’s beside the point.

Dahl’s other notable takeaways:

  • It’s a compact that doesn’t feel compact
  • Smooth ride
  • Spirited (guilt free) acceleration, even at freeway speeds
  • Simple (and often free) to charge (he test drove it in California)
  • It’s great to have your own designated parking spot (he had different things to say about EV charging spots when he drove his F-150)
  • “D” standard drive, and “L” low, so you can choose single-pedal driving, or not
  • Regen braking is a blast, once you get the hang of it
  • Helpful HIGH and LOW estimate of battery usage
  • 3 charging speeds: Level 1 (110v home outlet), Level 2 (240v charging unit), Level 3 (DC fast)
  • Limited trunk space (especially for a hatchback)
  • Four passengers will fit just fine (but not with all their luggage)
  • Rear seats are adult-friendly
  • It’s not a looker (but neither are most EVs aside from Teslas)
  • It is in no way “ugly,” but rather looks mildly aggressive and fun

In the end, Dahl shares that he believes the Chevrolet Bolt to be a perfect car for “city-dwellers” with commutes of “20 miles or less.” Hmm … this seems like an odd statement since it’s a long-range EV – but we digress.

Dahl concludes that the Bolt offers a “fun mode of transportation,” and anyone with a budget under $40k should give it some serious consideration. According to Dahl, it could just be the “electric car of your dreams … without a 400,000 person waiting list.”

Source: Popular Mechanics

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120 responses to "Popular Mechanics Calls Chevrolet Bolt The “Electric Car Of Your Dreams” Without A 400,000-Deep Waiting List"

  1. AlphaEdge says:

    It’s like anti-marketing. Don’t buy the car everyone wants, buy this car instead.

    Those who fall for it can regret their decision in a few years when M3 is widely available.

    1. Dav8or says:

      Regret can go both ways.

      1. Devin Serpa says:

        What use is long distance range without a long-distance charging network?

        1. Dav8or says:

          Seriously? You can’t figure out something useful for 230 miles of range? All you can think of is traveling city to city, or state to state??

          1. Paul Smuth says:

            You put a lot of energy, if not thought, into your Tesla hate.

        2. Jason says:

          Hang on, are Tesla SC everywhere yet? How come I always reading how going to Los Vegas you have to plan because the SC are a bit scarce (could be fixed by now)? And also the comments “should be on this Highway, or that Highway”, it’s not like SC are every 80mi apart on every road you drive.

          And Bolt does have CCS DCFC option, so it might not be quite as fast as Tesla, but everyone makes out it does not have any fast option. Maybe there are not enough CCS DCFC stations, but that is not the vehicles fault, and depending on your location might be no worse than how many SC you can access.

          I agree that GM and others should be partnering with charging station providers to fast track installations, but unfortunately that is not their traditional model (they don’t build gas stations) so it is unlikely to happen, even though they must be able to see the benefit of doing so.

        3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Devin Serpa

          “What use is long distance range without a long-distance charging network?”

          Ummm… do you want a list of the many reasons why most EV drivers prefer a longer range in their electric car?

          The implied assumption or premise behind your question ignores reality pretty firmly. If all EV drivers cared about was whether or not there are Superchargers available for those who want to drive long distances, then all Tesla buyers would choose the smallest possible battery pack. In reality, Tesla owners choose larger battery packs by a rather lopsided majority. If I recall correctly, back when the Model S was new, buyers chose the 85 kWh battery pack over the 60 kWh battery pack by a 7-to-1 margin.

          Bottom line: The market clearly shows that most of those who buy plug-in EVs are willing to spend significantly more money to get longer electric range.

        4. unlucky says:

          I’ve had my Bolt EV for 3 months and have had no need to charge it away from home even once yet.

          What’s this crazy idea that this car is useless without Tesla’s network?

          And I’ve done city-to-city trips on it several times.

        5. Nix says:

          Devin, it has been announced that the Bolt is capable of 80 kW charging. We don’t know how much taper the Bolt will see between 0-80%. If the Bolt doesn’t taper off significantly until close to 80%, it will actually charge very fast.

          A number of 80 kw capable charger networks have already been announced, including one from VW that is court mandated (so it is very likely going to become reality).

          ———-

          Somebody else mentioned that high speed chargers aren’t everywhere. That’s fine. The vast majority of people do longer distance travel on interstates. That is where the highest speed chargers are needed. The highest speed chargers are only needed on some side routes. Otherwise at this point in EV rollout, moderate speed chargers are sufficient off the beaten path. Just enough to charge overnight, or to get you to the highest speed chargers on the interstate.

        6. Neromanceres says:

          Seriously do people not know how to filter for CCS on plugshare yet?

          I’m starting to get sick of this no charging network BS.

    2. Steve5784 says:

      Wow, good luck to all the car companies who have to compete against a mythical car that no one has driven or seen in its final form. No one even has the final specs, yet everyone is willing to wait for this special magic and it could be half a decade before you have one at the rate things are going.

      1. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

        You are thinking about the tesla semi-truck, right? Or are you confusing an half of a decade or an half of…a year!? 🙂

        1. Bojan says:

          It’s half a year until production ramps up. It may very well be closer to half a decade until the people at the back of the reservation queue looking to buy a low-optioned model actually get their vehicle. If those people are dedicated to going electric with their next car and their current car doesn’t last that long, then the Bolt might very well be the best car they can actually buy when the time to do so comes.

          I’m one of those people, and I’m still hoping to get a Model 3, but I don’t go so far as to think of it as the only EV worth buying.

      2. Jason says:

        What are you, 12? Looks pretty convincing there is a real Model 3 out there, and production intent seems well on track for the middle of this year. If you like the sedan form factor, then it looks like a very nicely styled car.

      3. Mister G says:

        Steve if you’re referring to VW, I agree with your statement.

    3. mx says:

      Is he going to ACTUALLY spend his own money and buy one?
      Or was his “opinion” paid for, to get other people to spend their money, while he still drives an F150.

    4. brian ferguson says:

      In a “few” years

  2. Toni says:

    All Tesla cars would be desirable and cool even if they were not electric. And the Bolt is just a shapeless and forgettable blob of plastic if you look past the EV part. No amount of range and electricity can fix that!

    1. Someone out there says:

      No, the model S is pretty mediocre compared to other cars in the same price range if we take out the performance of the electric drivetrain.

      1. unknown says:

        If you have to take something out to make it more comparable doesn’t that say something?

        1. Someone out there says:

          The claim by Toni was “All Tesla cars would be desirable and cool even if they were not electric”.

          1. Toni says:

            Not electric does not mean slow. Take the EV part away from the Bolt without the performance part if you wish. It is still not exciting enough. Especially at 40K USD…

      2. brian ferguson says:

        If you have buckets of cash

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Someone out there” said:

        “…the model S is pretty mediocre compared to other cars in the same price range if we take out the performance of the electric drivetrain.”

        Yeah, the Model S only won all those “Best Car of the Year” awards and all those rave “best car ever made” reviews because of the straight-line acceleration, and nothing else.

        Oh, wait…

        1. unlucky says:

          Yes, it won those because it is electric. There’s not even a question about it.

          1. Michael Will says:

            And look sexy as hell, shape, modern door handles
            And have over the air software updates improving the car while owning
            And has hepa filters to not smell the legacy gas cars while driving (really miss that in my VW e-Golf)
            And has Autopilot driver assist making travel 40% less likely to crash, long distance travel and stop and go traffic less painful
            And sees continuous improvement, the difference between P85, P85D and P100 are huge if you drive them and compare

            The main drawbacks of model s for me was seat comfort of front passenger seat headrest but that was fixed with model x which we have been enjoying since May 2016 and may be fixed in more recent model s as well.

            1. unlucky says:

              The shape is the same as any other car. It was, before the redo, very similar to a Jaguar all around.

              And the “modern” doorhandles are stupid. If you want flush door handles there are 5 ways to do it that are better than how the Model S does it. Look at a Nissan GT-R. Look at a Model X. The doorhandles on the Model S are just one more thing to break or freeze up in the winter.

              HEPA filters do not remove odors. Odor are made of particles too small to filter.

              Other luxury cars had driver assist (including the assistance in stop and go traffic) before the Model S even came out.

    2. randomhuman says:

      Nop not true. Tesla would lost it’s image with a gas guzzling car…

  3. morty says:

    How’s his back feeling?

  4. leafowner says:

    Yea — too bad Chevy did not make the car more appealing. That is maybe why Volt sales are stronger than ever…….yea, this Bolt is butt ugly — oh wait, you have an alternative???

    1. Dav8or says:

      This a hilarious statement coming from a Leaf owner! Hands down, the Leaf is the ugliest car ever put together.

      1. CLIVE says:

        Get an eye exam stat

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “…the Leaf is the ugliest car ever put together.”

        You are of course entitled you your opinion… but that is just wrong.

        /science

        Pontiac Aztek

        1. Mister G says:

          Hey the Aztec is Walter Whites car lol

  5. Didier says:

    “electric car of your dreams …without a 400000 person waiting list.”

    First I am not so sure that I would receive my Bolt before my Tesla 3 even if I pass an order today, since both are actually non available where I leave and knowing the fact that GM has not scheduled the same production level than Tesla. Even if GM was drastically increasing the production (and I doubt it) where will GM find the batteries ?

    Secondly where does Dahl plan to charge his Bolt for one of the long distance trip that would make a Bolt a better choice than a much cheaper 30 kWh car ? Not in “2020” when a hypothetic new network will be available but now since the car is here…

    My point is that while no charging network as good as Tesla’s will be available for the Bolt before a long time (if ever), the Bolt compares to cars such as the 30 kW Leaf not as the Tesla 3. With more autonomy than the Leaf, but for a higher price, and still with an other car in the garages !

    1. vdiv says:

      You can order your Bolt EV from a market that has it and have it shipped in a mere week. Quite a few people that wanted one early have done that.

      1. Paul Smuth says:

        That’s right. You can get a Bolt anytime you want. Heck, many dealers are dropping the price to try to move the things, that’s how desirable they are.

      2. Nix says:

        I have a sneaking suspicion he might be talking about a market outside of the United States?

        1. Neromanceres says:

          Actually many international markets are getting Bolt EV’s / Ampera-e’s before the US national roll out is complete.

    2. Terawatt says:

      And, as another option, you can lease a Bolt now regardless where in the US you live. Until May 1st nationwide leasing is now being offered, so just head to Chevy’s web site if you want to have a look at the terms.

    3. Prasanna says:

      While I wish well for the Bolt, I’d wait for the inevitable price squeeze it’ll experience after the Model 3 and perhaps the next-gen Leaf with 200+ mile range are released before long. Competitive market dynamics will quickly find you the best price for that EV you always wanted.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        It always the same with new tech.
        You can wait for new and better next year until you get old and die. And in any year it will always be true that next year you will be able to get something better.
        Now you have 2017 Bolt for sale and are comparing it some vaporware from other companies that will be available at some time but right now you don’t even know what exactly options or features it will have for what price. It is just dumb.

      2. Ziv says:

        Prasanna, I think people are going to be amazed at the price reduction on Bolt purchases and leases shortly after the M3 arrives. LOL!
        The Gen II Leaf may have an impact as well, but it may be that Nissan has poisoned the well for BEV buyers in the US.
        GM is actually making a decent profit on the Volt and, less so, the Bolt, now. When the credit goes away, they are in a position to reduce the MSRP.

      3. BenG says:

        An all-new car in the first year of production … owners can expect a few extra headaches with minor repairs that Chevy will iron out in the second year. Another good reason to wait.

        Personally I could see myself buying a used 2018 Bolt in 2020. 🙂

    4. unlucky says:

      I don’t get how not having the supercharger network makes it like a 30kWh LEAF. I’ve driven it around 200 miles in a day twice now. Without having to charge it at all. Can the 30kWh LEAF do that?

      1. Michael Will says:

        Totally agree. It will be harder to make a 400 mile trip tho which in California is your typical north to south trip like SF to LA. And with DC fast charging even that is possible, will just take a lot longer than with tesla supercharging network.

        Bolt range is a big step up from the 85 mile range my VW e-Golf has and that one I have taken as far as 120 miles with one DD fast charging stop each way.

      2. Mister G says:

        Nope…my 2016 Leaf SV lost 2 bars at 18,000 miles. I’m glad it’s a lease…lol

  6. TM says:

    Bottom line is that the car may work as an impulse buy for non EV people.

    1. Dav8or says:

      Or for people that want a practical electric car that delivers on it’s promises and is very functional rather than just a tech gadget and fashion statement.

      1. Victor says:

        Dav8or, speaking of the Chevy Bolt you said, “a practical electric car that delivers on it’s promises and is very functional.” How is this car functional when it doesn’t even come standard with supercharge capability? How is this car practical when it takes over an hour and a half to charge to 80% on a standard 50 kilowatt charger? All these Awards this car is getting don’t mean a thing. In America you can get anything you want if your willing to pay for it.

        1. Dav8or says:

          It’s pretty practical for me and I’m sure millions of others. I have no interest, or plans in road tripping in my Bolt. I have yet to use any type of public charging. Plug it in at home and it’s more than enough for an average day’s travel.

          This may shock you, but the overwhelming number of American households have two or more vehicles. There is no need to have the criteria for your EV that it be able to drive from LA to New York. That’s neat if you like these kinds of adventures where you hang around charging stations as you go, but with the current level of technology, I’ll stick with gas for my long distant travel.

          One day cars will charge as fast as gas and one day they will have the range of gas, but today is not that day.

          1. unknown says:

            “That’s neat if you like these kinds of adventures where you hang around charging stations as you go, but with the current level of technology, I’ll stick with gas for my long distant travel.”

            That’s because with your Bolt, that’s what you have to do because its a slow DCFC if you bought that feature. No choice for you. For a Tesla it’s much faster. Don’t hate on charge time that’s faster than yours just because yours is slow 50KW. There’s no 80KW DCFC for the lame bolt yet.

            1. Dav8or says:

              No hate for Tesla’s faster charge time here. I think it’s great if you can afford it. I still wouldn’t travel long distances even if I had a Tesla. Gas is more convenient and gets you there faster.

              When EVs have the range and the recharge times of gas cars, then I will seriously consider one (like everybody else in the world) if I can afford it. Today, right now, screw that EV cross country crap.

              1. Michael Will says:

                I drive 400+ mile trips in the model x all the time and while it does take a little longer with a lunch stop in between it also is a lot more fun and relaxed with autopilot. I have done the same trip in a higher end Honda Odyssey and would rather fly than do that again, but in the tesla it’s fine, We traded in the odyssey for the Model X May 2016 and have done more long distance road trips since then than before.

                Bolt is a great car, I was thinking about replacing our VW e-Golf with it but probably will edit for model 3 with hepa filter and fully autonomous autopilot instead as even the 85 mile range is plenty for a secondary car in the family and will hold me over just fine until the end of the year when my reservation likely comes up.

            2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              It isn’t that much faster on Tesla. ~120 kW or ~95 kW on 75 model is just peak that is achieved in practice for short time only, if temperature is right and charger works perfectly. Average in practice is in the ballpark of the same 50 kW. No way to approach speed of refueling if you need cross country travel or need to recharge on road for whatever reason.

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                +10. And it will only be worse with a 60kWh Model 3. Most people just don’t get it. They have their biases and look for reasons to justify those viewpoints.

                1. Nix says:

                  Actually, we have no idea what the charge rate of the 2170 batteries will be. It isn’t just a smaller battery pack made of the same cells, it is also made with completely new cells.

                  1. Neromanceres says:

                    While true that the 2170 might perform a little better you are not going to see a magic drastic improvement over the 18650.

                2. BenG says:

                  I expect the battery/pack/management system/charger/controller on the Model 3 will be the very latest design by Tesla and so a Mod3 75 will charge faster than a S85.

                  And come on, there is a huge difference between peak power 125kw and then tapering down vs. starting off at 50 kw (if you are lucky enough to find one) and tapering down.

                  Cross country travel in an S85 is only a minor inconvenience compared to gas. If you start out with a full charge, and then recharge up to 70% full every 120 miles you can cover a lot of ground.

                  A Model S 100D even better. Very little inconvenience to cover 700 miles in that one, starting off with 300 mile range, cover 180 miles per hop afterward.

        2. Ziv says:

          Victor, you may claim to need fast charging for a BEV to work for you, but a huge portion of the car buying public does not need DCFC’ing. Why sell people a pricey upgrade they don’t need or want? Your near monomaniacal determination that every BEV buyer agree with you?
          How often do most people take long road trips? Some do it often, some never do. Give them a choice.

          1. Michael Will says:

            Agreed if sold right. For secondary car may not need it but I am sure it would come in handy one day when out of town visitors fly in and you want to take both cars long distance exploring.

  7. Tigardspaz says:

    Something nobody talks about when comparing cars to Tesla is that you don’t have to deal with an idiot salesperson at Tesla. I’d rather not be dealing with a con-artist when contemplating the second most expensive thing I will ever purchase.

    1. DL says:

      Yeah, you can just pay the ridiculous MSRP like every other idiot. The great thing about buying a car (and actually many other things) is that the price is NEGOTIABLE. I’ve always bought cars way under asking price because I don’t have to have the “latest and greatest, right now” like many other buyers.

      Do most people know that many retail stores will give you at least 15% off just for asking? No, they see the price sticker and figure that’s the price.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Hmmmm, in the US? Which retail stores?

        1. unlucky says:

          Costco, among others.

  8. Tigardspaz says:

    Having said all that, I hope Chevy sells the hell out of those ridiculous Bolts. I hope Chevy doesn’t use the Bolt as an excuse to harp on that there is no demand for an electric car.

    1. Dav8or says:

      Why is the Bolt ridiculous? I’ve been driving one for weeks now and it’s one of the best cars I’ve ever owned. I’m starting to think that EV really stands for Elitist Vehicle.

      1. unknown says:

        That’s what everyone says about their new car…….duh.
        Just wait till the GM craftsmanship shows with failing parts.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          The 80’s called, they want their Anti-Chevy opinion back.

          Tesla’s quality is the one that’s well below average, much worse than the Volt, for example.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Hehe, that sounds like a recent Radio Shack commercial. On that score, it was funny in that 1977-1978 when I bought a TRS-80 home computer – that they were marketing this as a professional business machine. All the bosses and secretaries dressed up in their finest suits and blouses. Which of course my brother proceded to do exactly that after he saw mine.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              Heath company (I had built about 20 of their kits as a kid) offered an 8080 model in kid form for around $1200 plus – the plus is all the crap you had to buy to to make it do anything, like RAM, Mass storage, printer, software, etc, but for me, the bloom had come off the rose with HEATH as they had started cheapening the quality (circuit boards with traces that weren’t supposed to be there, or traces that fell off when you soldered them. It was educational in that in the more sophisticated kits you automatically learned to throw out all the junk parts and replace them locally with better / more conservatively rated stuff before you even assembled the kit.

              Radio shack only charged $499 plus $49 for the tape recorder for a z80 keyboard a la the Commodore 64 which came out much later after the Vic-20. Also included a 12″ RCA B&W Tv with the tuner, and sound removed and a video modulator in its place. Of course, in the years that followed, I spent $10,000 in ‘extensions’ – usually after market since they were much cheaper than Radio Shacks.

              The IBM (8088 based) PC came out in ’81 which then made most other toy computers obsolete.

              I mention all this since home computer price/performance ratios shot to the moon in only a few years.

              EV’s are taking much much longer to become high value products, but as PM mentions, the BOLT ev is a good start when it comes to VALUE.

      2. Bacardi says:

        He means the ridiculous styling/small segment…

        1. Dav8or says:

          Guess I have ask again, what’s ridiculous about it? The Bolt looks like a very ordinary small hatchback. It’s not winning any beauty contests, but its hardly ridiculous. Now the i3, Leaf and iMiev, Smart, those are ridiculous looking.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I’m glad you’re enjoying your Chevy Bolt EV. I’m sure it will find many happy owners.

            Too bad that owning a Bolt EV seems to be motivating you to slam every other EV out there… especially Teslae. In fact, from where I sit it looks rather like envy or sour grapes on your part.

            1. Michael Will says:

              Seems to go both ways though 🙂

              Puzzles me personally.

              I love the bolt is available, test drive one in January and I love our 2016 Tesla Model X and the 2015 VW e-Golf.

              Can’t wait for EV to be mainstream and the stink and noise to go away

  9. ffbj says:

    You could lease it, if you can find it.

    More accurate might the car of your reality, than of your dreams.

  10. Vexar says:

    I’ve finally ridden in one, the local dealer brought their sole Bolt to our Tesla club meeting. There’s nothing dreamy about it, but I did like the rear view mirror trick, I thought that was pretty fly. Definitely get the top-end model, even if it doesn’t (still) have leather. My first reaction comment sitting in one was “wow, it is definitely a GM car.” The trunk is pathetic. It is a roomy passenger vehicle, but I doubt anyone needing to ride Uber to the airport is going to like it. A laptop bag and a roll-aboard suitcase it cannot hold.

    1. Terawatt says:

      That is simply untrue. It can easil hold four carry-ons and laptops at once, and a lot more if you’re the only person in the car and fold down the rear seats.

      I’ve driven my LEAF for two years now, and while I did need more room once nothing short of a van would have changed that. So I rented a van (at IKEA) for 3 hours at a cost of about $35. Big deal.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Yup, the Bolt EV has a LOT of space with the false floor opened up. You can fit a large suitcase in the false floor space alone. So despite the hatch area not being very long, it can hold an impressive amount thanks to its depth extending so low.

    2. Dav8or says:

      Hmmm… a useful, insightful review full of made up facts from someone who belongs to a Tesla car club.

    3. Neromanceres says:

      I would say based on these comments he clearly hasn’t seen the car.

      Leather is standard on the Premier.

  11. Victor says:

    To spend $40,000 for the Chevy Bolt is no ordinary dream, that’s a nightmare.

    1. CLIVE says:

      I agree wholeheartedly

    2. Larry says:

      While that might explain slow sales in California in Ontario the Bolt sells for $22,000 US after the instant government rebate. This explains why there is a one year waiting list. Thanks GM for being incredibly bad at gauging demand.

      1. Bacardi says:

        Yup and remember only 400 to South Korea which probably means they’ll are going way over MSRP, screwing over the country that help build a portion of the car…

        Quick and easy $500 reservation system would have solved that…

      2. Robb armstrong says:

        A bolt on Ontario, Canada is about $27500US or $36700 cdn dollars after fees, taxes, and subtraction of the $14000 provincial rebate. That’s fir the Lt. The premier will add appropriately $5500cdn to that.

  12. Hagy says:

    This still ignores the fact that the Model 3 and the Bolt have little to do with each other. If anybody did an ICE review, and merely looked at two vehicles of the same price with the same range on a tank of gas, people would think they were inept if one was a sedan and the other was a compact crossover hatchback.

    What these vehicles were supposed to have in common was that they were contenders for being the first generally available EVs with a range of over 200 miles that are “affordable,” meaning sold at a price near the average MSRP of a new car.

    For now, neither is generally available in the US. GM says that they will have them available nationwide in the US by September, and the Model 3 will likely be sold nationwide before then.

    Making an excuse that somebody could order one in a different state doesn’t fly. Dealers in other states aren’t authorized to sell them, and even in the states where they are available, only some dealers are authorized to sell them. If somebody does get one in another state, it will be without the opportunity to see it and test drive it. It remains to be seen whether that will be the case with the Model 3 before GM goes nationwide with the Bolt.

    Setting aside the race for who is first, GM came up with something that is nicer than most EVs that came before it. Whether or not you like it better than a Tesla is a matter of preference. Some would prefer something more stylish, and others would prefer something more practical if they need to move grandma’s dining room chair. Some would prefer something that would be convenient for long trips, and others want a second car for commuting. Some want to buy from a company with the highest overall rating of any US car company according to Consumer Reports, and others want to deal with a company they’ve been familiar with all their lives where they know of many dealerships. There’s no right or wrong answer and I hope GM is successful with this. It won’t hurt the Model 3, and may even help it. The more widely EVs are adopted, the better it is for all EV manufacturers.

    1. Bacardi says:

      Totally agree, it’s literally like comparing a Chevy Sonic hatchback with a more powerful Camaro engine vs a Caddy ATS…

  13. Warren says:

    The Bolt is more car than anybody needs. It is certainly more car than we ever owned, and we managed to get around our whole working lives, and carry around two kids for almost half that time. Is it too expensive? Yes, but that doesn’t stop most people from going into debt they will never pay off, to drive some extension of their overblown ego. I hear a bunch of whiners, who don’t give a crap about the future, and will make up a million excuses for never buying an EV.

    1. Michael Will says:

      After savings from not filling in gas or go to oil change and smog check appointments it’s not too expensive anymore. We did the math regular 29mpg golf vs eGolf assuming 20000 miles per year which we did 2015 on our eGolf, 690gallkns of gas at 2.70 per gallon $1680 per year plus $150 for synthetic oil changes and some extra for gas car related service is close to $2k per year.

      After incentives it takes just two years to break even with the gas car so it doesn’t just drive better but is also cheaper to own.

      1. Warren says:

        Averaged 17K miles a year, and did my own service, so it wouldn’t have saved that much. Now that we’re retired and driving much less, it doesn’t make economic sense, but there are other considerations besides money.

  14. Larry says:

    It seems most EV enthusiasts are into sport sedan vehicles while the general public favour the compact crossover/hatchbacks. GM is their own worst enemy. They need to focus on production, distribution, and marketing.

  15. unknown says:

    If you dream is for an econobox car with hard spingy seats, sure.

    Wait for the release of the new LEAF and Model3, then make a decision because the Bolt will need to have huge discounts to sell by then due to it’s lame econobox ugliness and feel.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Thinking the Bolt is uglier than the Leaf is like thinking Anna Kournikova is uglier than Rosie O’Donnell.

  16. Larry says:

    The Model 3 will undoubtedly do fine in it’s segment but if look around you will notice most drivers prefer the Bolt form factor. GM unfortunately seems inept at responding to demand.

  17. Ocean Railroader says:

    I saw a real life Chevy Bolt for sale at a Virginia car dealership brand new.

    The car is kind of the size of a Chevy Spark and the Telsa model S is a lot bigger then it.

    1. Dav8or says:

      So is the price tag. What’s you’re point? BTW, look closer, it’s substantially bigger than a Spark. Who would ever want a small car? This is America!!

    2. unlucky says:

      It’s Sonic-sized, not Spark sized.

      The Model S is indeed far bigger on the outside. But due to the frunk, trunk and high floor inside it has less interior space than the Bolt.

  18. Jim Whitehead says:

    Most print magazines like Popular Mechanics would die fast without advertisers. So their REAL LOYALTY isn’t to us, the readers but to the ad giants. Tesla doesn’t advertise there, so three guesses how they will fare. 🙂

    The bottom line: Most magazines are like whipped dogs: they will do whatever their Masters in Detroit wants. Before you believe their reviews, always ask yourself: Who holds their leash? Who pays their bills? (Then you will know the results 99% of the time. See why Consumer Reports rejects all forms of advertising?)

    1. terminaltrip421 says:

      I did realize how much overlap there was between ‘ev enthusiast’ and ‘conspiracy theorist.’

      but conspiracy theory is probably about right for someone who capitalizes words for emphasis.

      1. mx says:

        Maybe he’s just someone who’s read magazines for like 40 years. It’s not a tough nut to crack, that they’re pro anything advertised.

        If you think that’s “conspiracy”, you don’t know marketing or advertising, and your illusions will soon be shattered at some future date.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        If you really think that the reviews that most car review magazines give are not affected by the advertising they run, then you don’t have an informed opinion.

        Try reading about all the “swag” that auto makers give to the staff of car review magazines, and how the staff whines if the swag is less than they have come to expect. Go ahead, don’t take my word for it; Google the subject yourself.

        “Conspiracy theory”, my arse.

  19. Roy LeMeur says:

    Over the past couple of weeks, the Seattle/Portland area has been flooded with Bolts. Folks are snapping them up.

  20. terminaltrip421 says:

    anyone got a link to one of those sites that tracks bolts at dealerships? I dropped by my local here in the southern California desert -for a fuel additive coincidentally- and wanted to check out the bolt and volt. they had only one of each and the bolt was missing — to which he said the guys there like to treat it like a golf cart for moving around the lot.

    what I’m wondering is they don’t keep them stock intentionally or if they actually sell which if I recall correctly was his original claim though I didn’t see any empty spaces that new ones would be able to fill.

    1. hpver says:

      ev-vin.blogspot.com

      Several LA area dealers have dozens in stock. Some more than 100.

      1. Ziv says:

        Cars dot com tracks North American inventory and it is up to showing 4120 Bolts. This includes both cars on dealer lots and cars in transit and it is up to nearly double the amount shown just a couple weeks ago. The Bolt is being built in much larger numbers than it was up until recently.

        The question is, will this lead to more Bolt sales. We will have a pretty good idea about that in early May.

  21. David Lane says:

    I’m more interested in the Bolt vs. Volt or M3 because my tall kids in the back need some headroom.
    I’ve always loved hatchbacks and consider this car to be built to order for me. Being 6’5″ may have something to do with that.
    More likely to lease a 2017 eGolf if its significantly more affordable though.

  22. Pedantic Pat says:

    You can tell that this was not written by an EV guy. He calls CCS, Level 3. The Levels are defined by SAE and CCS is not Level 3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772

    1. Bill Howland says:

      The problem there is SAE changed their mind mid stream. Its uncanny how they are unable to visualize the near future dead ahead of them. People learned that fast DC charging was called Level 3, and they stuck with it. Its not their fault the jargon has been arbitrarily changed.

      1. Neromanceres says:

        It’s not that the SAE changed their mind. It’s just that the standard wasn’t finalised at that point. Unofficially people said well if DC is faster than 240V AC and if 240V is L2 then DC must be L3. And then everybody started calling it that.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          That is not my recollection, but its too picayune an issue to bother researching. The basic substance of what I said must be true otherwise there wouldn’t be pretty much everyone calling it L3.

          Those standards seem to me to be rather dumb and poorly thought out. For instance, why are only the LATER model S’s and X’s compatible with 277 volts, which is available at most larger commercial establishments?

          At least Tesla provides for it lately – I’m not aware of ANY non-Tesla product that allows it, and their HPWC will shut down if powered at 277 AND a non-tesla is plugged in.

          Its true that Tesla had their own heating troubles but they’ve pretty much ameliorated that kind of thing for the time being.

          As far as I am aware, there is no mention of this in the J1772 standard at all – the SUPERDOPE thing about this standard was they allowed either 5ma or 20 ma trip points for a gnding fault. Naturally I bought a Schneider electric wallbox with a 5 ma trip point and the Tesla roadster threw a 10 ma gndfault on the cable when negotiating. So that meant I had to redesign the Schneider so that it would charge the Roadster. But the proximate cause was the superdumb J1772 standard that allowed both products to meet the standard but they were at once incompatible with each other.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Just read the wikipedia link – apparently the j1772 is still an unfinished standard.

            To me, this is super silly – all these ‘charger facilities’ are only simple one-quadrant, well behaved loads (batteries)- i.e. only one polarity and only one direction of power flow.

            There is enough ambiguity in the standard that you could not tell a priori if a given charger would work or not. More often than not, my Roadster would not run off of BRAND NEW Aerovironment 30 amp round wallboxes due to the lousy pilot – regulated supply. Those few AV’s that did work would light their fault lights, then switch to working, but most of the time they’d fail. Other brands would just constantly renegotiate and never actually charge.

            Then there was the problem with the GE WattStation burning out the LEAF charger (which also burned out my friend Leaf Brian’s FORD EV). What a great standard… NOT! Of course, in general GE loves to do nonstandard things so they’re probably more to blame.

  23. Volt says:

    Lol.

    The car of everyones dreams is the Model 3, which is why the list is 400,000 deep.

    The Bolt is available and yet, no one wants it! It is a non desirable and non practical EV with no charging network.

    I certainly do not want a Bolt. It is not better than my Volt and it certainly does not have the looks of my Volt.

    1. theflew says:

      By this logic ever car sold must be sports sedans — Not!

      1. Michael Will says:

        +1

        Also the Volt has come a long way since the 2013 model I drove that looked a lot less interesting than today’s and had miserable performance on the freeway. Still a great plugin car fir it’s time if 4 seats are enough.

        A friend of mine drives his mostly on electricity and loves it. It’s his 2013 Volt that made me buy the VW e-Golf in 2015

    2. Neromanceres says:

      I don’t dream for the Model 3. No hatch no sale. I desire practical cars. I have no need for a car that can do 0-60 under 6 seconds.

  24. Bill Howland says:

    As far as where I am in NY State, there appear to be plenty of BOLT evs for sale everywhere.

    Much better situation than the Cadillac PHEV CT6 – the nearest ‘CERTIFIED’ dealership is in CLinton Township, MI, which is 386 miles away, or to just visit them without the car, 250 miles away if driving through Canada.

    So this is some kind of a joke.

    Since they recently opened a service center 220 miles away in Cleveland, Ohio, that means a TESLA dealership is MUCH closer than a Caddy dealership, as far as the CT6 PHEV is concerned. What a JOKE.

    DeNyschen should be fired and the 2016 ELR reinstated immediately. I assume they still know how to make the 1400 cc engine.

  25. Discodanman says:

    In certain parts of California you can get a Bolt for under 3000 msrp, 7500 federal credit, 2500 cali rebate, 3000 valley air district rebate, and some electric companies give 500 rebate as well. So this closer to a $25,000 car. It is an amazing car with the worst front seats ever made for a car. I hate driving ICE cars now. Rotate tires every 7500 miles, cabin filter every 22,500, and no more oil changes!

  26. John in AA says:

    Unless your dreams include AWD, in which case look elsewhere. (Yeah, I know Musk has said AWD will be arriving after RWD for the Model 3 — but it’ll be arriving.)