The 2017 Chevy Bolt EV hopes to build on the success of the next-generation Chevy Volt when it arrives late this fall. In fact, designers and engineers used suggestions and ideas of Volt owners to develop the car. Here’s a preview of what to expect.
First of all, the first question you’re probably asking is: How much range does the Bolt EV offer? Well, that’s the great thing here. Unlike most electric cars not named Tesla, this one can reportedly travel up to 320 kilometres with a single charge of its 60kWh lithium-ion battery ― ample enough for short and medium trips.
Said battery, which is mounted under the cabin and spans the entire floor from the front foot wells to the back of the rear seat, benefits from active thermal conditioning and weighs just 435 kg (960 lbs). It is mated to a standard 7.2kW on-board charger, and a 240-volt fast charger is available allowing a full charge in nine hours. The battery can also be charged up to 145 kilometres of range in 30 minutes.
What about power? The 2017 Chevy Bolt relies on a single, higher-capacity electric motor that’s rated at 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration from 0-60 mph (96 km/h) takes less than seven seconds, and power delivery is controlled by Chevrolet’s first Electronic Precision Shift system. This shift and park-by-wire system sends electronic signals to the drive unit to manage precise feel and delivery of power and torque, based on drive mode selection and accelerator inputs.
Being an electric car, the Bolt EV naturally features regenerative braking, but the idea here is to limit the use of the conventional brakes as much as possible, basically allowing you to drive with just one pedal. Speaking of which, GM promises a driving experience that’s more akin to a compact sports sedan than a small utilitarian crossover. We can’t wait to take it for a spin and tell you all about it.
Plenty of convenience
At the same time, the 2017 Chevy Bolt supplies a maximum cargo space of 1,602 litres thanks to the 60/40 split-folding rear bench (which you can easily access via the rear hatch). A hidden storage compartment can be found under the cargo floor. For more practicality, the front centre console has a sliding armrest and large storage bins and cup holders.
Of course, the main draw inside the Bolt EV is technology. Look for Bluetooth connectivity, OnStar with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allowing you to connect your smartphone to the tablet-like centre display to access select apps, your calendar and playlists, or navigate with Google Maps. This is all achieved through a customizable 10.2’’ MyLink touchscreen. By the way, another 8” screen behind the steering wheel serves as a driver cluster.
Also, don’t miss the available wireless charging pad behind the shifter, the advanced navigation system that’s programmed to design routes to maximize range, and the all-new MyChevrolet mobile app that combines important owner and vehicle information and functions such as vehicle charge status, OnStar Map service, remote start, cabin pre-conditioning, and owner’s manual information.
The 2017 Chevy Bolt EV has you covered in the event of a crash with 10 standard airbags. To prevent one from deploying, numerous active safety technologies come into play.
For instance, the rear-view mirror is connected to a rear-facing camera to provide a wide-angle view of the environment behind the vehicle (it can be switched off for use as a traditional rear-view mirror). Meanwhile, Surround Vision offers a bird’s-eye view of what’s around the Bolt EV for improved safety during low-speed driving and parking manoeuvres.
For extra protection, you can add Forward Pedestrian Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
OK, at this point you’re likely dying to find out how much the new 2017 Chevy Bolt EV costs? Sorry to disappoint you, but Canadian pricing has yet to be announced. In the U.S., the base MSRP has already been set at $37,500. On both sides of the border, substantial incentives will be offered by the government.
Direct competitors include the Nissan LEAF ($32,698), Kia Soul EV ($35,195), Ford Focus Electric ($31,999), BMW i3 ($45,300), and eventually the hot new Tesla Model 3. Then there are plug-in hybrids you might want to consider, like the Ford C-MAX Energi ($31,999) and all-new Toyota Prius Prime.
Production of the Bolt EV will take place at General Motors’ Orion Assembly plant near Detroit.