2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV
By Phil Shuyler
Living with an electric car no longer has to feel limiting. For years, electric vehicles came with no emissions, but they did come with range anxiety. That feeling of running out of juice nearly goes away with cars like the Chevrolet Bolt EV. It still may be difficult to go on long road trips with the Bolt, but everyday driving, commutes to work and trips to the grocery store have never been easier.
The Bolt EV has a range of 238 miles per charge. That means many people may only have to charge the car a 2-3 times per week. And with more businesses and office buildings offering EV charging stations, finding a place to plug-in is easier than ever. The 238 mile range could also mean you never have to charge away from home, making the cost of ownership even lower.
Currently, the Bolt EV has the longest range of any EV without a Tesla badge. It drives smoothand comfortable and has good power, even at higher speeds. That’s a big plus as a downside to many EVs has been the lack of high speed torque. It even has a Sport mode if you really feel like burning some kWs.
Some available safety features include lane keep assist, collision alert, rear cross traffic alert and electronic stability control.
As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally like the Bolt EV’s exterior styling more than that of its EV competitors. It feels tall and has a large greenhouse that provides excellent visibility. The Cajun Red color of our test car is probably our least favorite of the available colors, which include Arctic Blue, Mosaic Black, Nightfall Gray, Summit White, Kinetic Blue and Orange Burst.
Of all EVs on the market, I like the interior of the Bolt EV the most. It feels open, bright and technologically advanced. There’s some attractive accent lighting and a great use of contrasting colors with a variety of textures. In the center of the dash is a large 10.2” infotainment screen that provides a wealth of information. It also combines with the available Bose audio system to pump sound through 7 speakers. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility comes standard and 4G LTE Wi-Fi is available.
To keep you comfortable, it’s available with heated seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging, and ample front and rear legroom. The cargo capacity is also respectable and quite functional at 56.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.
The 8” LCD Driver Information Center (aka instrument cluster) is crisp, uses bright colors and contains a wide variety of information. You can also customize the display from Classic to Modern and Enhanced Visual Modes.
While on the go, the my Chevrolet Mobile App allows you to remote start the vehicle, lock or unlock doors, monitor charge status and find charging stations. Being connected to your car through your phone is one of those things that you don’t think you need, but once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Pricing for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV starts at $36,620 for the LT and tops out around $44,000 for a fully loaded Premier trim. Those prices are before any tax incentives, so be sure to check for available state and federal incentives if you’re considering the Bolt or any electric vehicle.
Some big news in the industry is the announcement of the 2019 Hyundai Kona EV, which will have an EPA estimated 250 miles of range. That’s going to be a prime competitor for the Bolt EV when it goes on sale later in 2018. For now, it’s hard not to be tempted by the bowtie’s EV.