Tesla Owner Spends 24 Hours With Chevrolet Bolt – Hails Bolt As Best GM Product In Decades – Video


Perhaps the longest “review” video of the Chevrolet Bolt to hit YouTube comes to us via a Tesla owner – Alex Venz, who, believe it or not, absolutely loves the Bolt and even goes so far as the call its one of the best products General Motors has made in decades, alongside the Chevrolet Corvette, of course.

Tesla Owner Reviews Chevy Bolt

Tesla Owner Reviews Chevy Bolt

Video description:

“Fair warning; this video is long, but I don’t think it’s possible to adequately cover a car like this in 5 minutes. If you have any questions about the Chevy Bolt EV or the Model S, please leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to get an answer to you quickly.”

“This is not a sponsored video–I did not receive compensation from GM/Chevy or any of their franchise dealerships. The Bolt was obtained as part of a 24 hour test drive so that my wife and I could gather information about our other automotive options ahead of the Model 3 launch.”

At around 27 minutes into the video, the tone changes from showing features of the Bolt to answering questions about the Bolt. Some comparisons are even made between the Bolt and the Tesla Model S, which this reviewer happens to own.

Alex adds:

“The Bolt EV, as well as the latest incarnation of the Corvette, is probably one of the best products that GM has brought to market in decades. I feel like they mostly played to their strengths with the Bolt and that worked to their advantage when it came to execution. That said, the Bolt isn’t perfect (no car is) and there are some use case limitations given the current state of CCS infrastructure in the US. Mary Barra’s statements about not making any meaningful investment in infrastructure for the foreseeable future are somewhat concerning.”

“Nevertheless, I think that the Bolt will do a lot to shape positive public perception of EVs and bring a lot more people into the EV fold. Even with the Model 3 looming, the Bolt is important because, to a lot of buyers, the potential purchase won’t be viewed as carrying the same level of risk as something like a Model 3 (young company, lack of service infrastructure, low parts availability, lots of legislative battles ahead of it, etc.).”

The review concludes:

“Stay excited–the Bolt is a good car.”

That’s been the unanimous view from most every Bolt test drive/review we’ve seen to date.

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156 Comments on "Tesla Owner Spends 24 Hours With Chevrolet Bolt – Hails Bolt As Best GM Product In Decades – Video"

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Still a far cry from that tesla model 3 will be but if you don’t need stop and go automation or long distance travel superchargers then the Bolt is here now.

Until the Model 3 fills preorders and is shipping on current orders in late 2018-early 2019, then the Bolt is The Affordable EV for the masses Now. Lease the Chevy Bolt today, and use Lease Trader to move on to your awesome Tesla Model 3, when your order is filled. Going from GM Good to Tesla Terrific, should be a real eye opener.

Deliveries begin in 2017 for the Tesla Model III. However, if you were to order one today, yeah, you’ve got a 12-month wait for sure.

It’s too bad that GM didn’t make this new Corvette an all-electric. I mean, if they really wanted to change the world, they would have. Too much engineering? Too much risk? Plenty of folks have electrified classic and more modern Corvette cars.

The reality is that GM is enslaved to their existing relationships.

Imagine how dealers would react if the new Corvette was electric. Oh, the horror. Fastest Corvette ever manufactured. GM is playing more cautiously than they could.

Sell the Bolt. Sell a million of them in 24 months. Anyone who has a Bolt, please, put racing slicks on it, do what you can to modify it, and challenge the new Corvette. Leave it in the sad heap of Hellcats slaughtered by Tesla Model S.

The Corvette, in general, has to be able to lap road course race tracks like the Nurburgring lap after lap after lap at near-max performance. The Model S can’t do it, stock (I’m not bashing the S… it’s a 5,000 lb 7-seater that has many other pros. It’s just isn’t a proof-of-concept for an electric Corvette, though). The Hellcat is a turd on a road course, comparatively, and even compared to many cars that are much slower in a straight line.

Even the Formula E cars have to be swapped out, mid-race.

I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it might be within the price confines of a Corvette, and in consideration that a new Corvette virtually has to be faster than the previous one around a race track.

Point being, building a electric Corvette with the performance pedigree of a Corvette is way easier said than done.

I thought the Tesla will be better than the Bolt

Doubt on! Remember, GM strictly uses EV sales allow them to sell more ICE Pickups and SUV’s, etc!

On the other hand, the Model 3 HAS to be a winner, even if to just help Tesla make it to the Model Y production! (Yet another 12-18 months away!)

My Bolt has the optional level 3 DC charger. It can take 80 Kwh and it charges 90 miles in 30 min. I hope the charging infrastructure expands quickly.

Depending on where you live, there are options. The problem is, all the DC fast chargers are 3-4 times the cost per mile of gasoline. Compared to 3-4 time cheaper than gasoline for fair priced electricity.

About half of the DCFC charges I’ve done in my i3 have been free (although the others were admittedly more expensive than gas), but either way, paying more for electricity than gas on the occasional long road trip probably won’t break the bank for most people.

If you’re going to be doing a LOT of long trips, Tesla or a rental car is probably the way to go, but plenty of people don’t take long trips like that, or they already rent a car for said trips, or they only say they take trips like that and never actually do. Any of those people would do fine with a Bolt.

Get a Volt for long distance EV driving… I take multiple 400mi trips a year from DFW to Amarillo in TX, with no real charging on the direct route. Supercharger goes up to OKC adding an hour. The Volt eats up the road at 80± MPH. Just sayin’. 😉

A Prius plus LEAF is another option for the occasional long distance trip.

You can get a used LEAF for 10k, making it an amazing deal.

The Bolt has a 60KWHr battery pack. How did you get it to hold 80KWHr? I think you meant that you meant that it can be charged at 80KW. Kilowatts are a unit of power. Kilowatt-hours is a unit of energy.

80kWh for 1/2 hour =40kW

Given he says the fit and finish of the Bolt is better than the Model S I think Tesla has it’s hands full with the Model 3. Also the Bolt isn’t going to stand still. I think the national rollout will be a 2018 model with potentially other options.

The Bolt EV appear to be a very solid entry. Not only the range but also being a solid car. Maybe the vehicle to compare to the Model 3 is what is next.

“Still a far cry from that tesla model 3 will be”
Without quantifiers, this is a meaningless statement.

the nice thing about the model 3 right now is that it is whatever you imagine it to be. it kind of reminds me of the situation described in the song “imaginary lover” by the atlanta rhythm section: “satisfaction guaranteed”.


A LEAF or similar First Gen EV is all one needs for an average commuter. Without a DC fast charge network that is either free or fair price for energy, the Bolt is overpriced and not pragmatic at all.

Why would someone buy a Leaf now? For $7,000 more you can get the far superior Bolt, for $20,000 less you can get a barely used 2015 Fiat 500e that is fairly comparable.

You can get a new LEAF for ~18k.

The Bolt primium is closer to 12k. The Bolt is smaller, and hobbled by the CCS quick charger standard.

If these are not concerns, the Bolt is the obvious way to go.


Spark-Fiat Leased Bolt TBD M3 Reserved

Agree-for a strict commuter car. Our Spark and Fiat do the job 90% of the time. It’s the other 10% which our Infiniti/CRV remain on hand. They are so cheap with our PV array, that we keep it a 4 car family (5 really with the Odyssey) which is not feasible for most families. The cost is neutral given the insane deals we got for them, so $$$ wasn’t an issue and we are a lot greener for the better.

That said, Bolt IS cost effective if you’re looking at total car replacement for family purposes. After school activity travel often exceeds 100+ range use of our Fiat even in optimal San Diego conditions.

I have to be careful with the Spark EV if traveling to evening activity before home. Requires some planning, so spontaneity isn’t for the 1st gen EVs

About 70k different

It’s a kind of moronic to compare the Bolt with a Tesla that’s not even close in production yet! It shows how Tesla owners think.

Did I misunderstand or does it not have built in SatNav ?

Apparently, the Bolt has no satnav. Instead, Apple or Google Maps can be used with Apple Play or whatever Google’s car interface is called, respectively. This seems like a big omission until one realizes that most people have smartphones, hopefully with large data plans.

You would have thought if it’s top spec $44K delivered it would have that plus the ability to be able to navigate you to the nearest charger like the leaf does here in Europe ?

All the built-in car GPS systems I’ve seen have been a combination of terrible AND expensive, compared to either phones, or (a few years ago) standalone GPSes. Building in an interface to your phone is a better deal, even if you have to buy the phone, too.

Google Maps/Android Auto is so much better than anything an automaker can provide that it makes sense to leave out builtin nav (unless the built in nav is Android Auto). My Volt has Android Auto and buitin Nav, I never use the builtin nav or builtin phone functions because AA is orders of magnitude better. AA now supports OK Google voice recognition which really works, the car’s buitin voice recognition is pathetic. I applaud GM for realizing that auto compaies don’t do software well and to leave these functions to Google and Apple.

Comes with OnStar at least my Chevy Spark and they will upload directions that will do turn-by-turn on the instrument cluster at least free for three years on the spark

No GM vehicles have SatNav.

The Volt has built in SatNav.

The shelf in the rear looked a bit flimsy ? Will it take the weight of something on the heavy side, for instance with the back seats folded down, would it take something weighing 200 lb + ?

I’ll ask my wife to sit on it. She’s a big girl. 😉

Looks to me like a safety hazard, where a dog or a small child could fall through, since the panel is not secured.

It is VERY lightweight, about 3/4″ maybe 1″ thick. I couldn’t quite identify what it was exactly. It has the weight feel of styrofoam, but it is textured more like fiberboard. It would def break if you sat on it, or put too much weight on it. I would be hesitant to put a watermelon or some 12 packs on it in the center.

It is also light enough that I think the edges of will quickly wear off/smash from contact with the “pivot point” (for lack of a better term) they came up with to hold it in place.

If I decided to get a Bolt, the first thing I would do is CNC a replacement out of 3/4″ furniture grade plywood.


It’s apparently sufficiently solid that this guy didn’t even notice it was a shelf, he just thought it was the trunk floor.

How much weight it can take depends on the weight distribution. But it’ll take 200lbs easy. In the center. I just put myself on it, my entire self in a ball in the center of the trunk as a test and while it flexed a little it didn’t feel like it was even thinking of failing. And I’m not small.

If you are worried it is too weak, you can flip it up or take it out. Then you have a larger trunk, just not a flat floor. It’s very similar to the LEAF in that way.

It’s weight belies it’s strength then. Would be interested to know just exactly what it is.

Honestly, I presumed it was whatever Chevy developed for the floorboards of the Corvette. They were balsa wood in the C6 and then changed to something with an even better strength to weight ratio in the C7.

I couldn’t see the value in replacing it with 3/4″ plywood, I don’t think you’d gain strength. You might reduce flex a little though. 1″ plywood would likely be stronger but that’s going to have its own downsides.

Many cars have this kind of plank at the back now. My other car has one. Audi Q5s have them. The Model X has a removable floor in the rear too. And indeed they are strong and light. They have a thinner plank with diagonal bracing to stiffen it.

If you’re worried about flex I think I’d just find an object about the size of a dinner plate that is the right height to sit in the basement below and support the center of the panel. Put some velcro on the bottom so it stays centered. You could move it to a corner or remove it when you need the space.

To bad the Bolt barely has production numbers above the level of a pure compliance vehicle. Availability is only slightly better than a Model 3 and that will end the moment the Model 3 production line opens. If GM got 400K orders for this car, that would represent 13 years of its forecast production. Wish I could have bought this car 3 years ago. Just sayn.

They are currently building at a pace of 50 to 60K per year. That is near the top of any EV produced to date.

So I guess based on your comments the Leaf is just a compliance car too?

Considering that it only went on sale a few weeks ago, any knock against its production and sales numbers is pure conjecture.

“To bad the Bolt barely has production numbers above the level of a pure compliance vehicle.”

It truly boggles me that numerous people are posting this same bad meme, this “alternative fact”.

Reality check: The Bolt is intended to sell more than 30,000 units in the first year of production, which will easily put it into the top 5 PEV (Plug-in EV) sellers in North America.

If the Bolt is almost a “pure compliance vehicle”, then so is every PEV sold, including the Tesla Model S.

All EVs and PHEVs are compliance vehicles at this point. Even Teslas would not exists without ZEV credits, and other “green” incentives from the government.

I think it’s good to that the Bolt is being well received as this will help accelerate the adoption of evs.

This is a mixed-up camel of a car.* Its what you get when there is no ONE product architect that has studied sleek elegant design. Its designed by committee: slow and odd. For example, why would I spend $44K for a plastic interior that looks good on a $25K starter car? Please. A low end Mercedes or Prius looks better. More design mess: The two-tone seats seem like a weird design compromise out of the psychedelic 1960s. The orange color is designed to fail and a repeat of the failed earth colors of the 1970s (the others were avocado green, mud brown and a burned yellow). The outside appearance seems strange, like a growling bulldog. (Are they trying to drive customers away, to look at their sexy sports cars and trucks? I think so. It screams, don’t buy me. I am a compliance car, a fill-in). Compromises again: The AC is a mix of manual and touch screen, so its worse than just picking one, as noted in the video. It goes on and on. The build seems competent, but the design is an incoherent mess. *If GM designed a horse to compete with Tesla’s champion racehorse, but didn’t want… Read more »

With respect, I think it’s a bit unfair to compare a Tesla with a Bolt (also stated in the video) just because they are both electric,

One is a small family hatchback the other is not and is twice the price.

I don’t expect it to compete on performance with a Tesla. Yes, its possible the Tesla has spoiled me there. But I have owned a Prius and its outside and inside were better designed.

Why did GM go with a confused design mess? Are they intentionally trying to NOT sell the car or they just timid, afraid to jump in and swim at the deep end of the EV pool?

Most people don’t understand “design integrity” that you see in an awesome care or a Frank Lloyd Wright building. You may not know what it is, but it all fits togeather to give you the “wow.” A low end Mercedes or a recent Prius has “Design Integrity” but little wow. (For example, no heads up display Wow). When Mercedes and Toyota finally build their affordable 200 mile EVs, they will have best-sellers and nobody will even look at these compromise, meatloaf Bolts anymore.

GM does NOT want the Bolt to sell. It was alleged in this very forum that GM loses money for every sale.

Stop the FUD. GM is not selling the Bolt at a loss.

That’s like saying Tesla doesn’t want their cars to sell because they always lose $$. Oh my I alleged that so it must be true!!!!

“It was alleged in this very forum that GM loses money for every sale.”

“Alleged”… To paraphrase Inigo Montoya: “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” People insert the word “alleged” into a sentence to indicate a statement may well not be true; that it’s not a proven fact.

Claiming the Bolt “loses money on every sale” is a Kindergarten level of accounting. Surely we can do at least slightly better than the brain-dead suggestion that the more Bolts GM sells, the more money it loses? Surely we can at least recognize the simple fact that development costs and unit costs should be accounted for separately? Surely we can, at the very least, recognize that the more Bolts that Chevy sells, the more money it will make!

Rick (no, not that Rick)

You killed my father. Prepare to die.

“Why did GM go with a confused design mess?”

What “confused design mess” ? The only thing worthy of mention about the Bolt project – “design wise” – was the prototype’s interior. That’s about it.
Except for the car being a decent range EV, what you get is an overpriced, mediocre quality, entry level GM product. With or without options. (Except for Canada, which seems to be getting a decent deal on these vehicles. And, in the near future, for Norway. But the all the merit goes to Norway’s government there.)

If you want to talk about design and design integrity you need to look elsewhere:

Seriously, the Model 3’s iPad dashboard is a deal breaker for me along with the stupid little trunk. The iPad interface is a cheesy cost cutting measure and looks ridiculous.

They couldn’t even bother to integrate the display into the simplistic dashboard. They literally stuck it on with a Ram Mount like an after thought.

I guarantee you, people are not going to be happy with the touch screen drive.

Seriously, if you want to talk “cheesy cost cutting measures” you can stick to GM’s lineup of vehicles including the Bolt platform as a whole. That’s pretty much their modus operandi.

You nailed my biggest complaint. Sometimes you just want a button.

Yep, trying to produce a car that has the same range as the $70k (to start) Model S60? There are going to be lots of cost cutting measures. Gigafactory battery pricing can’t shave the $35k needed to get from a stripper Model S60 to a stripper Model 3.

That interior of the Model 3 is definitely a casualty of cost cutting.

Then there’s the fact NO ONE will see a $35k (36.2k after $1,200 Tesla delivery fee) Model 3 until MAYBE late 2018/2019. Tesla would absolutely lose money on each of those sales if they started selling them from the beginning, which is why base Model 3’s won’t be shipped till much later. Even then, I bet Tesla will still lose money on a base Model 3, and hopes many people choose pricier upgrades.

Jim Whitehead said:

“Most people don’t understand ‘design integrity’ that you see in an awesome care or a Frank Lloyd Wright building.”

You are, of course, entitled to your own opinions about art and styling. What you are not entitled to do is to treat your opinions as facts, and state that someone else is wrong merely because they happen to have different opinions.

For example, all those auto reviewers which have praised the Bolt, and some which have named it “Best Car of the Year”; is your opinion worth more than all of them together, or even any individual one? Nope, not at all.

You say Frank Lloyd Wright buildings have “design integrity”? I agree that some of them certainly do. But I also say that his famous “Fallingwater” house is a jumbled mess of inelegant boxy shapes, awkwardly shoved together. Just my opinion, of course; and obviously it’s a minority opinion. But my opinion on that piece of architecture is every bit as meaningful and significant as yours.

Sorry P-P, you don’t understand what I meant by design integrity. It was not an aesthetic judgement, its just the design forms a coherent pattern, where every part fits in with the whole. (Which is often beautiful like an austere suspension bridge, but that is a side-effect). Remove any one part, the design collapses. Also, no part is superfluous. A mixed jumble of styles has no design integrity. Its what happens when committees of fools vote on “a little bit of this” and “a little bit of that” and the result is a political mess, like laws and sausage being made. BTW, Have you visited Falling Water? No? Then you don’t understand. it was built as a private retreat, not to win awards. It was meant to be enjoyed from the INSIDE, wowing you with nature. The outside appearance was irrelevant and it was not win any awards from the outside. If you care to visit it one day, you will see its an almost spiritual experience inside, like visiting a Cathedral that worship’s Nature’s God (just giving you the big picture here, so you understand). By design integrity, each piece fits together to make a coherent pattern. It has… Read more »
BTW P-P, I was not arguing aesthetics, but you think it ugly. That’s fine. Many modern buildings seem cold and soulless to me, like some cars. Since you say some architects hate it, you don’t know what you are taking about here. You never studied this stuff like I did. You are obviously were not aware that in a poll that Fallingwater was voted THE BEST WORK of American architects. By architects themselves! ITs their Golden Gate Bridge to modern design integrity and harmony with nature. It can only be understood from the INSIDE, from the human scale. It seems random and makes little sense, to see an outside picture! “Fallingwater is recognized as one of Wright’s most acclaimed works, and in a 1991 poll of members of the American Institute of Architects, it was voted “the best all-time work of American architecture.” It is a supreme example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept of organic architecture, which promotes harmony between man and nature through design so well integrated with its site that buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition. Wright embraced modern technology to achieve this, designing spaces for living which expressed architecturally the expansive freedom… Read more »

P.S. See: “Good Design Requires Conceptual Integrity by Jon Pittman” http://labs.blogs.com/its_alive_in_the_lab/2012/10/good-design-requires-conceptual-integrity-by-jon-pittman.html

“…Here are three other characteristics of good design:”

“1. Good design tells a story. Something that is well designed embodies and communicates a strong point of view. It does not try to be all things to all people. The entire design reinforces the story and omits things that detract from that story. If a design communicates a coherent story it elicits a great user experience. This is the essence of the romantic part of good design.

“2. Good design balances form, function, and performance. Good design looks good, does the job well for its user, and does it in a sufficiently robust and efficient way. America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, said that “form and function are one,” that they are inseparable. This is the essence of the classical view of good design.

“3. Good design has conceptual integrity. All of the parts of a design relate to each other and relate to the whole. There is nothing unnecessary and all of the parts have an internal consistency that contributes to the point of view. This is the magical part of a good design that brings together the classic and romantic views.”

You owned a Prius and you call anything else a design mess? Pot, meet kettle. 🙂

I don’t have a problem with the things you mentioned, but I have a huge problem with the Bolt’s Prius style shifter. Any shifter if this style, where the lever position dies not correspond to the gear, is inherently unintuitive, incoherent, and unsafe. The Toyota RAV4 EV has a Prius shifter and the salesman almost ran over me because he thought he had put it in park but it was in reverse.

So many of your complaints are either subjective opinions or simply silly. You don’t like Orange? Fine. There are choices in the banal grey scale pallette. Two tone interior fabrics? Common to countless other vehicles in every imaginable category. “Confused design mess?” It’s a fairly typical sub-compact hatchback shape, not far removed from a Honda Fit. Sorry, but mentioning Frank Lloyd Wright does not give you a superior grasp of “design integrity”.

The Bolt is winning awards and impressing drivers who test it, including Tesla owners.

If you think that any Prius is an example of good design, you just lost all credibility in this little design rant of yours. The Prius is easily in the top ten of ugly cars.

The Prius is a phenominaly designed and engineered…
It is not prety but form follows function…

The Prius is uglier than your spelling and design sell cars.

This guy isn’t talking about form following function. He’s talking about beauty and that’s about it. The Bolt’s form absolutely follows it’s function.

Now the Model 3 on the other hand is all about function following form. Why doesn’t it have a hatchback like the Model S? Because it has to have a gigantic glass roof, so function following form.

Why does it have this idiot iPad control panel instead of a tradition dash? Because it’s cheaper to build the car and it looks super futuristic in some lame millennial-car-drives-itself-mom-taxicab way. Again function follows form.

This guy isn’t talking about form following function. He’s talking about beauty and that’s about it. The Bolt’s form absolutely follows it’s function.

Now the Model 3 on the other hand is all about function following form. Why doesn’t it have a hatchback like the Model S? Because it has to have a gigantic glass roof, so function following form. Gigantic touch screen control- is that the best way to control a motor vehicle? NO! But it looks futuristic, cutting edge and familiar to millennials, so function follows form again.

Why does it have this idiot iPad control panel instead of a tradition dash? Because it’s cheaper to build the car and it looks super futuristic in some lame millennial-car-drives-itself-mom-taxicab way. Again function follows form.

Why would you pay $44k instead of $25k?

Because this car is not $44k, it starts at $29.9k after federal incentives and still before state incentives.

Clearly you haven’t done much research to form your pre-conceived opinion. 😉

The AC is a mix of both. And it seems lame to me.

No, it is not worse than having it all touchscreen though. Touch buttons are inferior in both cases and the Tesla has even more of them.

It does suck that on the Bolt you can’t adjust the seat heaters while the backup camera is on. That backup camera is a 480i full-screen video overlay and it’s rather embarrassing.

I still would not buy a Chevy just because of the crushing of the EV1.

Way to limit yourself. At least they made an EV, unlike all the other car companies you’re apparently willing to buy from.

I’m not holding a grudge against the current company. The old GM went bankrupt in part because of stupid decisions like axing the EV-1 program (turning $1 billion dollars investment to practically nil) and turning around and buying Hummer for $1 billion.

They went whole hog on extreme gas consumption and abandoned electricity. Stupid. They owned rights to the best battery technology available at the time and they sold it to a gas company.

Toyota went on to sell 5+ million Priuses built using that battery tech.

That’s not the reason for the bankruptcy.

A EVI is alive and well residing in the Ransom E. Oldsmobile museum in Lansing, Mi, including it’s recharging station.

No, that one is also dead. It’s a disabled hulk put on display.

Lol EV1 anger, huh? If Chevy came out with an unusual looking 100 mile 2 seater EV today you would probably be calling it a compliance car. Luckily Chevy is having no trouble finding buyers who are not arbitrarily outraged.

These buyers understand that buying an EV now is good for creating demand, pushing EV adoption, and driving down the costs of the technology. Plus theyre buying a great, practical car for a great price. That is really the only factor that needs to be considered. 😉

GM is losing tons on money on each unit. Let me know when they produce an EV sustainably.

What’s the evidence for that? Some anonymous comment in the WSJ?

Why should a customer care whether GM is losing money, anyway, as long as they keep producing and selling the car?

The “evidence” is that they are buying close to half the car from LG Chem including the entire drive train fully assembled (batteries, battery pack, motors, charging and control systems…), and they are making the car on a shared line designed to produce ICE cars, and they are stating that they will only be offering this car outside of the CARB states where they get zero emission tax credits for selling it at a “slow flow” and in “limited quantities.” This is why it matters to customers; GM will not be selling very many Bolts in most of the 50 states because it loses money on those sales. GM can only sell at the set price at a profit as long as they are getting tax credits they need with the sales. Which is why they are planning to just make 30,000.

GM never said they won’t be selling this outside the CARB states and never said they would restrict supply in those states.

Certainly the Bolt will sell a lot less outside CARB states because EVs sell a lot less outside CARB states. But GM never said they would restrict supply.

GM doesn’t get tax credits for selling EVs in CARB states. They get emissions credits.

“GM can only sell at the set price at a profit as long as they are getting tax credits they need with the sales. Which is why they are planning to just make 30,000.”

Or maybe GM is being prudent and properly cautious in the number of units it makes in the first production year, after they badly overestimated the market for the Volt.

Now, I don’t at all think GM is planning to promote the Bolt over its best-selling gasmobiles, all of which almost certainly make a fatter profit margin than the Bolt will, especially during the first year of Bolt production. But it’s getting very, very tiresome to see GM accused of making the Bolt nothing more than, or little more than, a compliance car, when they plan to make more than 30,000 units during the first year. That will easily put the bolt among the top 5 best-selling PEVs in the North American market this year, and very likely in the top 3!

“The “evidence” is that they are buying close to half the car from LG Chem”

A very recent article on InsideEVs stated Tesla is trying to consolidate to two main suppliers. Does that make them not serious about an EV?

GM sourced a lot from LG because it gave buyers a better EV product, through economies of scale and a lower battery cost. That’s not “compliance” it’s customer service.

Give up the conspiracy theories. No one is buying that crap, no matter how many times you say it.

I’m the “accountant” and I just did an “audit”, and I been given permission to say this here. It’s profitable! You can quote me on that. ?

Tesla loses more per car and they’re subsidized. I hope Trump shuts them down.

Innovation costs money. “You get what you pay for”. There are many reasons others aren’t so quick to follow Musk.

As far as Bolt goes, I like the way GM listened to owners by using fewer multi-screen touchscreen controls in Volt II. Bolt is similar. Maybe Tesla owners want something different. A car that is very engaging, away from the windshield.

I just don’t understand when people praise Tesla for their 400k preorders, but question GM on their ability to increase production. The Bolt is built in a plant that can produce 270k/yr in 3 shifts if they boot out the Sonic production. LG has some capacity to expand, but regardless they have cash to expand if necessary.

Let’s be honest I think the Bolt EV surprised Nissan and Tesla. From all the reviews it sounds like a potentially wider seat, upgraded interior materials and some optional sports tires and they’re set. Sounds like easy things to fix. Heck they could just use the wheels/tires from the Sonic RS.


It is simply a fact that GM cannot readily increase production on the Bolt. Battery electric vehicles require batteries to be produced. Increasing Bolt production from 30,000 to 270,000 would require batteries equivalent to half of worldwide lithium battery production circa 2013. LG Chem is projected to have had 7.19% of the worldwide lithium battery market in 2016. And they are already committed to building capacity to supply batteries to multiple other car companies launching cars in 2018-2020. The idea that LG could immediately increase battery production to nine times current production levels so GM can make 270,000 Bolts is laughable. Panasonic, by far the largest battery company in the world, and Tesla started work on the Gigafactory in 2014 and it is now only around 30% complete; making high tech battery factories takes a lot of time and capital. Even if LG had top of the line battery factories just sitting around waiting to increase production nine fold, the lithium mines to supply those factories would have to be found and developed first. Tesla is not building the Gigafactory just to lower battery prices, it is doing it because that is the only way to supply enough batteries to… Read more »

My only point was there is a belief by some Tesla fans that somehow Tesla has the only path to large scale EV manufacturing. Tesla built a factory with limit funds in 2 years in the desert. Imagine what companies with billions of dollars could do in the same amount of time or shorter.

Being that hardly anyone (1% of the market) is buying plugins, there is plenty of time to ramp up as demand dictates.

Regarding lithium, first it’s a small part of the battery (and recycleable), second Tesla doesn’t own the contracts as it’s a world commodity.

“I just don’t understand when people praise Tesla for their 400k preorders ..”

“People” don’t “praise” Tesla for their “400k” Model 3 preorders. They “praise” it for the really nice design, technology and value for money proposition of their newest model, among other things ..

If you could get the base model of this car:

for (just about, or) less than what GM’s dealers charge for a base Bolt, would you still be confused ?

Granted, you can’t get it right now. If you were to place an order today, you wouldn’t be seeing your car earlier than 2019. Even so, a lot of people think it’s worth the wait.

GM is the leader in electric car development and manufacturing.My bet should EVs
take off, that they will blow Tesla into the weeds with better quality, high volume, vehicles that are more affordable, reliable and serviceable. The whole Telesa organization seems financialy flimsy to me. Just saying.

Why do you think that car will be a value at that price in 2019?

Prices keep dropping on EVs. By the time Tesla delivers the base models there’s no guarantee it’ll seem like a value.

The problem is the car in your picture will easily be over $50k. We know the glass roof isn’t standard and neither will those large low profile wheels. I think people are going to be surprised at what a $35k Model 3 will look like and the content it contains.

I look to the Model S. Compare the 60 to the P100D. The base Model 3 will have a spare but also somewhat luxurious interior that compares in the ballpark with a low-end BMW 3 series. It will offer a lot of technology, but far less than will be available on the top of the line.

The Model 3 is scheduled to release late 2017.

“I just don’t understand when people praise Tesla for their 400k preorders, but question GM on their ability to increase production.” What part of “The Gigafactory will soon produce 35 GWh of batteries per year… and LG Chem won’t” do you not understand? “LG has some capacity to expand, but regardless they have cash to expand if necessary.” Yeah, Tesla tried that with Panasonic, too. Surely they could get Panasonic to ramp up production quickly if they kept buying more and more batteries every year? Or so Tesla apparently hoped. Didn’t work out so well, did it? And ditto with Nissan and its battery provider, AESC. It’s all very well to say that battery makers could ramp up production quickly, if they wanted to. But very clearly they don’t want to. And that’s understandable, because there was a glut on the commodity li-ion market only 3-4 years ago, which is why Panasonic had multiple shuttered battery factories. And it’s also almost certainly why LG Chem is being cautious about ramping up its production, despite its ever-growing list of customers! What I don’t understand is why people fail to learn from the lesson of history here. The lesson of history is… Read more »

I will never buy a GM because they are trying to shut Tesla down at every turn.

Spark-Fiat Leased Bolt TBD M3 Reserved

Competition is good for all. If Tesla is to survive, it will need to compete against others. Luckily they’ve been ahead of the curve. My hope is that Microsofts/Googles of the industry doesn’t make Tesla another Netscape.

GM is the IBM of the industry, and likely to suffer the same fate versus Tesla.

So they will grow from 216k employess to 377k employes and their stock price will rise 140 bucks while their net income increases from 9 to 13 billion…
Sounds pretty good to be GM…

Hmm those narrow front BoltEV seats would be an issue to me. I like to seat comfortable inside my car! Also missing navigation is a thing I don’t like!

It’s not missing Nav,you have a smart phone, use it! Unless you have one of those flip phone. All these people bashing the car, never sat in it, or drove it, but they seem too hate the car. But don’t know anything about it but what they have read.

The seats are really narrow, 3″ narrower than a normal seat per the video, and worse, the frame is much less padded, and worse yet, the bottom cushion actually tilts BELOW the level of the frame, so you slide over a hard edge on your way in and out of the car, and must be precisely centered in the seat to be comfortable. Some owners report pain in hips and kidneys. I love the Bolt and had every intention of buying one — but I think I had better hold off and hope for a Year Two redesign of that ghastly seat.

The thing about the bottom cushion in relation to the frame of the seat is exactly the same in the Volt (gen 2). And yet no one complains about that.

You certainly will rub on that frame a bit sliding in and out. That’s not optimal but it doesn’t affect the driving.

And I assure you you won’t have trouble centering yourself in the seat given the width of the seat. It’s not like you have a lot of room to move laterally.

People are way over blowing this.

It felt comfortable when I sat in it. I also liked the ability to adjust the seat height.

With EV drivetrain flexibility, don’t know why they did a FWD design with all that torque and HP. Yes, less trunk room perhaps, but the could then have a bigger frunk.

I’d definitely like to see a 4wd version of the Bolt. A 50 hp motor behind the battery, driving the rear wheels would goose efficiency and performance.

It is certainly a consideration in our household, being that we have a Fiat 500e that is sitting at the dealer now going into its 4th week. The electrical system and charge function have failed, now twice, and they can’t seem to figure it out? Perhaps because they don’t know what they are doing at Fiat, but none the less, the idea of longer range is a plus, and the cost is very close.

As for “satnav”, the fiat comes with a stand alone TomTom, and it’s still in the box sitting… I have nav in my Camry, and I use my phone, so using things through android or iPhone far outweighs adding in an option for $1500 more in my opinion, definitely a positive, not a negative.

I’m no fan of any of the big 3, but this is a viable option and is the best option available at this time. Even my friend who is a Tesla S owner has recommended it to us, and he also owned 2 500e previous and a Leaf.

The narrow seats are a deal breaker for me. They really need to revise that bottom cushion before I could even consider getting this car.

How much does a decent-quality after market seat cost?

I’ve been informed, on this forum, that side impact air bags installed in front seats are a barrier to that. Some auto makers do install side impact air bags in the door rather than the seat, and the Bolt seats have been criticized for thin padding, so perhaps GM has put the side impact air bags in the door.

But that’s certainly something you should check out before making any buying decision.

You will not find a more spacious seat in the aftermarket. The only significant aftermarket for seats is for racing shell seats and they are narrow also, intentionally.

As I posted above, it felt comfortable when I sat in it. I also liked the ability to adjust the seat height.

Wow. That was such a great review. Btw, you have a safety hazard in your garage. That storage thing hanging over your Model S.

Order that car in bright orange, and your judgement is automatically suspect.

Yes, we must all fear color. By all means, stick to the Ansel Adams color pallet and you will blend in nicely with your white, silver, grey, black car.

You guys HAVE heard of a thing called “humor”, right?

And buying it in yet another shade on the grey scale would lead me to believe that the driver is dull as dishwater, making us both fairly shallow and presumptuous. Fortunately, both boring and interesting colors are available to choose from.

There’s nothing great in Corvette..

Thanks for sharing that. I’m sure your opinion will weigh heavily on tens of thousands of Corvette buyers.

My range on the Bolt has settled down to about 180 on full charge with city driving. If I go on long trips, it jumps to 200 after a couple 10 miles.

What’s the weather like there?

“Still a far cry from that tesla model 3 will be”

Yup, it’s rather amusing (from the viewpoint of logic and rational arguments) to see people not merely expressing opinions as facts, but to express what are currently only hopes for the future as if they were facts!

Hey, I certainly hope that Tesla will have a tremendous success with the Model 3, and I hope that it will outsell every other PEV (Plug-in EV) on the planet.

But let’s not count our chickens before they’re hatched. Regarding the Bolt vs. the Model 3: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, innit?

(That should be enough cliches for one post. 😉 )

Edit: Oops, that was intended as a reply to Kdawg’s post above.

Very well said, and thank you. I am beginning to realize that most people who actually own EVs are incredibly good to each other, and good for the movement in general. Even owners of loaded Teslas are often incredibly down to earth, and happy to see ALL EVs gaining competence and market traction. It’s a wonderful feeling. The attitudes on web forums is completely different. and the “Anything other than a Tesla is crap driven by idiots” mantra is really disappointing. I am a massive Tesla fan myself, but I dont believe that brand snobbery, misinformation and conjecture are good for Tesla or EVs in general. This is especially true of simple trolling by people who don’t drive any EV at all. Terms like “compliance car” and “Vaporware” are misused as insults to EVs that are niether. I think we all expect the Model 3 to be fantastic. We have great evidence to that effect. But we have yet to see the production version design, full technical specifications, pricing, etc. We know that it is a massive challenge to meet the desired start of production date, and that Tesla has experienced delays before. We hope it all goes according to… Read more »

Totally! You get it. Stick around here, you are in the right place. lol 😉

Everyone can adopt a brand they love and root for – but actual EV owners should be mature enough to understand that all BEVs and PHEVs on the road move us forward. And we are all going in the same direction.


Thank you for your thoughtful and well-written comments! You certainly expressed those ideas better than I did.

Here’s hoping to see more comments from you, and soon!

Why are u. inspecting the bolt Ev. So you can steel ideas and put them on your car.How crude. Did you give GM one of your model 3. To evaluate for 24 hours. ?

Magnificent example of Manglish, Ben!

I really appreciate your thoughtful and detailed review. It really gave a great sense of being in the car yourself and and excellent feel for the UI.

I was ready to jump on buying a Bolt until I heard from you that this car is significantly smaller than the Leaf, and that the seats are fairly narrow.

I owned a 2013 Leaf SL for a couple years and I was pretty satisfied with its seating and storage. I certainly would not want anything smaller.

I am now leaning towards driving my 2014 Prius for a couple more years and then taking a plunge on a 2013 or 14 Tesla Model S 85. Hopefully I can get lucky a find one with jump seats!

It’s not significantly smaller than the LEAF. It’s bigger in the passenger area. In the rear it’s about the same volume but narrower. The entire car is narrower, the seats certainly are narrower.

If you like the LEAF you will like the car better.

The reviewer makes an excellent point that even with 238 miles of range, without a robust EV charging infrastructure, cars like this make little sense, unless you have a backup for long trips. I have always thought that Tesla’s biggest selling point is not the cars themselves. It is the Supercharger network, an absolutely brilliant idea and implementation.

However, this same point reinforces a conclusion I came to some time ago. If you want an affordable electric car now, the Chevy Volt II makes the most sense. The only problems I see with the Volt are the platform. I find the Cruze platform a little small for my tastes. I hope that GM expands the Voltec technology–which I think is brilliant in the way that Tesla’s Supercharger network is–into the Malibu and Equinox.

i only watched the first few minutes of the video. the reason being that the attributes that he seemed to consider worth comparing between the Bolt and the Model S were so nerdy that only an EV enthusiast would actually consider them to be that important. judging from you comment, the review really is EV enthusiast centered. that’s ok, of course, but GM has to think in terms of running a business, and the techie/EV enthusiast niche isn’t big enough to use as the basis for critical product decisions. only an EV enthusiast (and one probably on the extreme end of the spectrum) would actually consider a BEV to be credible for long distance trips. that group is a niche within a niche. i very much doubt that GM is even attempting to compete in that sub-niche. my sense is that GM views the Bolt as a car for “radius” use (much as described in the “tested” review. for that kind of use, almost all recharging is done at home. you can get the fast charge option if you are going to solely rely on the Bolt for transportation to cover the occasional situation where home charging isn’t sufficient. i… Read more »

Depends a lot where you live. Anywhere on the 101 from Marin County down: yep, you can road trip in this thing on existing CCS infrastructure. Anywhere else: chanza gorda. But in fairness, Tesla’s Supercharger network isn’t complete either; good luck driving your Tesla from Houston to Tucson, for example.

Assuming Trump doesn’t blow the whole thing up though, we are getting there bit by bit.

Without a national charging network the Bolt is truly Dead on Arrival.
My last GM Chevy Trax was turned back to GM as a lemon at a loss after being towed 16 times.
My Model S and Model X are the best cars I have ever owned. GM will never come close.

Great review. I have loved tesla’s since they started. Never will have that much money. But I own a Bolt. Way to many comparisons between the two. The model 3 won’t come out till 2018. They have never made a deadline yet. Also you won’t get a 7500$ fed credit because tesla will have sold too many cars by then. Which to be is great. Way to go tesla’s. Without tesla most companies would not have made these EV’s. The 8 amp and 12 amp is also for 220v. Not just 115v. I have used 220 in. Both settings and the time when done changes. You can regen to a stop with the paddle also. You can be in “L” and use the paddle for the most regen. All the functions of hvac can be use on “knobs” except recurrlate. Turn on/off just set fan lower than 1 and it goes off. Hit it up and it goes on. I have owned a Prius for 10 years. It’s as roomy as the Prius even thought it’s a foot shorter. It just lacks trunk. But as in video you can set seats down to put large items in. I drive the… Read more »

Forgot one thing. They can make up to 80k Bolts. According to LG chem article that’s the max as of now 2017. Chevy said 30-80k depending on demand.

“…The 8 amp and 12 amp is also for 220v. Not just 115v. I have used 220 in. Both settings and the time when done changes…”

If so, how do you get the pseudo-slide switch to switch from 8 to 12 to 32 amps, which is listed in the Brouchure as the 220 volt charging rate for this car?

My ELR changes the screen times when choosing 8 or 12, but the 220 volt times are unaffected by this setting, and it works similiarly in both of my old volts.

Wouldn’t you grant this is somewhat likely with the BOLT also?

The 8A and 12A setting are most definitely not for 220V. At 220V (or 208V) it charges at 32A or the limit of the EVSE, whichever is lower.

I know this from direct experience.

Ok, I’m rather pleased with his review: I like to get a ‘slice of life’ feel for the car which the initial reviews didn’t give. The seats are a bit narrow, but they were very narrow in the Roadster and I found them comfortable – so I think I’m ok there. Materials are supposedly on the cheap side – but they look ok – ok I can live with that. I’ll probably try to get as ‘plain jane’ a BOLT as they’ll sell (zero options) since it doesn’t appear the car gets much better with the Premier Trim, other than gadgets which I don’t want nor fast charging which I don’t need in my case. Fit and Finish he says are better than an “S” AFTER IT IS FIXED. I hear that. Drives and handles BETTER than an I3? A bit surprising in view of the lower cost, but then again not too unexpected due to the I3’s ‘bicycle tires’. All in all, seems worth the cash, although I would like to save a few thousand and get a Canadian one. A stripped Model 3 I would probably also like, but it will be years before that will be offered… Read more »

For a lot of things it handles better than an i3. But under heavy acceleration with the wheels turned the i3 is much better because the Bolt will spin one of its tires. Putting reasonable tires on it (not the high-efficiency ones) would probably bring this under control.

Cosmetically I believe the only things the premier does is change the seats to leather, add the roof rails and add the little fabric cover over the hatch area. And you can add the latter as a dealer accessory if you want.

The i3 is a city car; it’s a darty mess in the highway. The narrow tires follow every groove, the slab sides pick up every gust of wind, the steering has all the feedback of a Sega controller. It’s very much a purpose built car: incredibly relaxing to drive in the city, incredibly unnerving to drive on the highway. The Fiat 500e, itself a city car, seems more at home in either environment (much more so than the gasoline version; the extra battery weight tamps down some of the hobbyhorsing inevitable with an ultra short wheelbase).

“young company, lack of service infrastructure, low parts availability, lots of legislative battles ahead of it, etc.”
Tesla is clearly committed to EVs and in this field has more experience than GM.

It is funny (and perhaps a bit sad) to watch the EV discussions turn they way of EVERY car Forum I’ve ever been on. Basically, people start to align with a particular brand or model (the one they have purchased or plan to purchase). Most will willingly bash their own car if it has issues BUT if someone shows up to declare some aspect of “the competition” as “better”, well… Watch out!

Camaro vs. Mustang, BMW 3 vs Audi A4, Leaf vs. Volt, Bolt vs. BMW i3 or Model S. Same old, same old but with a nice shade of green added for good measure in the EV space.

Wow, I can’t say that I expected to end up in a post on InsideEVs… Eric, thanks for including posts that I made in the comments section to provide additional context alongside the video. This was the first review-ish video that I’ve done for an automotive product and I feel like I may have fallen a bit short on remembering to adequately convey my positive thoughts–your addition of remarks from the comments helps to balance that.

Hi Alex,

Great video, actually. It was very informative, fact based, and neutral. It was also kind of personal, with eye rolls and expressions you won’t get from Consumer Reports. It made it kind of fun. Be sure to review the Model 3 whenever you get a chance!

Thanks! I do certainly intend to make Model 3 videos… and as a day 1 reservation holder, current Tesla owner, and California resident, hopefully it won’t be that long of a wait? I know a lot of people are making videos based on speculation, but I don’t really see the point in that.

Not to speak for Eric, but it was a pretty great/informative review, we felt it should be shared. Nice work putting it together, (=

Great review! A couple of thoughts:

Hilltop Reserve mode stops charging at 90ish percent, but it looks like you found this later.

The cargo floorboard isn’t hinged because it’s intended not as a cover but as a false floor: remove it when you want a deeper cargo well, install it when you want a flat load floor with the seats down.

There’s a Chevy app for trip planning and charger finding, and it projects to the vehicle’s center screen, but I have not seen it in action.

Your thoughts on UI design were spot on, and welcome.

Did you try Apple CarPlay? I have a 2016 Volt and I tried CarPlay and was unimpressed. My biggest issue was Apple Maps vs. Apple Music. I could NOT figure out how to have the Apple Maps up and doing navigation and play music! I don’t think the iPhone can run 2 apps like that at once! So I was glad I bought the Chevy Nav. Since Bolt does not have it, I worry that it’s either/or. Anyone got experience with this?

I use CarPlay to play music or podcasts from my phone and use maps at the same time all the time on my Bolt. And I did it on a Volt loaner (2017) I had too.

Maybe your phone is running old software?

I’m up to date.. guess I’ll try it again. Do you start playing Music then hit Apple Maps? Does the order matter?

The iPhone should be able to do true multitasking with native apps. So Apple Music (blech) and Apple Maps should coexist fine; but maybe not Spotify and Apple Maps. Or so we have been told. Based on your experience it ain’t necessarily so; now I want to try it!