2020 Chevrolet Bolt – lots of smiles and miles with no gas
As General Motors recently killed its first mass-market plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt, the sole electric vehicle in the brands lineup is now the Chevrolet Bolt EV. But as I recently experienced, the 2020 Bolt EV is a fun to drive all-electric vehicle that takes you where you want to go, 100% gas-free.
Out since 2017, the Bolt is a front-motor, five-door all-electric subcompact hatchback built by Chevrolet in partnership with LG Corporation. In that debut year, the Bolt won all kinds of awards including being named the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the 2017 North American Car of the Year, and an Automobile Magazine 2017 All Star.
With an initial range of 238 miles, for 2020 Chevy has increased the Bolts range to 259 miles. The Bolt also gets a mid-cycle refresh including a new front grille and high-definition cameras – all making this all-electric vehicle very easy to live with.
Chevy offers the Volt in two trim levels – the base LT and the higher-end Premier. Both models use the same 66-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that sends power to a single electric motor (200 hp, 266 lb-ft) by way of a single-speed transmission. There is no difference in range either – both can travel up to 259 miles on a single charge.
The LT is nicely equipped with standard features like a 10.2-inch color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, keyless start and ambient interior lighting. An optional Comfort and Convenience package brings heated front seats and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel into the fold.
Move up to the Premier and you get the above mentioned Comfort and Convenience package along with a surround-view parking camera system and a rearview mirror that can turn into a full camera display. The rear seats are also heated.
As I stated before, the Bolt EV is a fun car to drive. Like all electric cars, it delivers instant torque, and also handles well. With it’s 200 horses, it’s able to hit 60 mph in the mid-6-second range, which is quite quick, EV or not.
Inside, the Bolt has an interesting cabin. It sports a two-tone look, the test car has a dark galvanized with a sky cool gray that almost looks white – it really grabs your attention when you first get in. The infotainment center looks plenty big and the digital instrument panel is very bright and keeps you informed with all the important information that you need like how far your range is on the current battery level.
To charge the Bolt, it can be plugged into a Level 3 charger and can get up to 90 miles in 30 minutes, making out-of-town trips feasible. A Level 2 charger takes about 10 hours to completely charge a depleted battery. For those with no access to a fast charger at home, like me, you can expect a charge of about 4 miles per hour on a 120V charger.
Pricing for the Bolt starts right under $37,000. My tester, a Premier, carries a price tag of $43,738 – thanks to options that include a Bose audio system, a host of safety features like following distance indicator, forward collision alert, lane keep assist and automatic emergency braking.
Thanks to the Bolts increased range to 259 miles it received for 2020, it holds bragging rights on how far it can go on a single charge when compared to it’s competitors, the Hyundai Kona Electric (258 miles) the Tesla Model 3 Standard (240 miles) and the Kia Niro EV (239 miles). In a market where range is everything, the Bolt appears to still have the edge.
– Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2020 Chevrolet Bolt
Base Price: $41,020.00
Price as Tested: $43,735.00
Layout: front-engine / front-wheel drive
Engine: single electric motor lithium ion battery pack
Transmission: single speed electric drive unit
Horsepower: 200 hp
Torque: 266 lb-ft
EPA Fuel Economy: Range of 259 miles equivalent to 118 MPGe
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