Chevrolet has been involved with the electric cars for quite a while and the latest version impressed me with its overall performance. The Bolt came into the market in 2016 and with several improvements now there is a new and bigger model called Bolt EUV ( for Electric Utility Vehicle).
Chevrolet trusted me with a 2022 pre production Bolt EUV model and I drove it around town to experience some of its features. The exterior looks very similar to the standard Bolt and I confess that as Electric vehicles go, this one is quite appealing. But the best of the car is what you don't see and works behind the scene to offer a different kind of driving from what you are used to.
There are cameras on every corner of the car so you can see all your surroundings at any time. This is handy on small parking lots. It has an option where you can drive the car with just one pedal. The right pedal acts as an accelerator and brake at the same time. And with "Regen on Demand" you can restore some energy into the battery with just the push of a button. Before you drive the center screen will help you select the best route to conserve energy. Once on the freeway you can activate Smart Cruise, and then...you experience one of the best technologies in the market. SmartCruise is a level 2 autonomous system that takes over the braking and accelerating in traffic from you. You set up a speed and the Bolt keeps pace with traffic, even doing full stops and starting to move all over again. There is lane assistance, so the car centers itself on its lane and gently steers itself to remain in the center of the road. You need to hold the steering wheel, but it relaxes your mind at the slow freeway traffic that we lived with.
With 250 miles per charge, you pretty much are covered for all your city driving. But you need at least a level 2 charger to make it easier for you, and off course a physical place to charge the car. I tried the charger that comes with the car, a level 1 that works with your regular outlet and I was getting 4 miles for every hour of recharge. That is too slow to be practical.
What did I find that I didn't like. I was surprised by the loss of grip under heavy acceleration, but then I don't think people will be racing the Bolt EUV from one traffic light to the next. That would be silly and totally wrong as you would be misusing the car and it's reason for existence. Most EV cars are equipped with low resistance tires that offer better overall mileage sacrificing a bit of grip.
I did like the interior and connectivity. The bigger trunk space makes it more practical. And the $33,990 price before any rebates or subsidies makes it one of the lowest priced EV on the market. If you are thinking about an EV car I suggest you test drive the Bolt EUV . Who knows you may be as surprised as I was.