By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos GM Media
For 2017, Chevrolet is introducing the Bolt EV, fulfilling its promise to offer a long-range, affordable electric vehicle for the masses. The Bolt EV, will offer more than 200 miles of range on a full charge. It also features advanced connectivity technologies designed to enhance and personalize the driving experience.
The Bolt EV’s styling centers on its unique proportion, which is driven by a flat battery pack mounted beneath the interior floor. A 102.4-inch wheelbase and wide track give it a solid stance and the look of a small crossover. A short front overhang indicates that driving power comes from next-generation technology.
LED headlamps wrap around the forward edge of the front fascia, creating an aggressive character. The signature Chevrolet dual-element grille has been reimagined and features a smooth, clean and integrated design incorporating graphics with depth and a three-dimensional quality. It is offered with two signature colors, harmonized with the exterior color choices.
The large greenhouse offers a panoramic view from upright, SUV-like seating positions. The rear-window glass extends all the way to the license plate and integrates with LED taillamps on the liftgate. By integrating the taillamps into the full-width liftgate, the Bolt EV’s architecture enables a wide opening that makes it easier to slide boxes and other items in and out of the vehicle.
Inside, the Bolt EV has a large feel reinforced by generous headroom and legroom dimensions. A flat, flow-through floor adds to the roominess, while a contemporary, light color scheme adds to the feeling of an open, airy cabin and conveys warmth.
Due to the packaging of the battery pack, the Bolt EV interior offers seating for five passengers and 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, a floating instrument panel, for example, features a 10.2-inch-diagonal capacitive-touch control screen which creates a horizontal feel to the interior. Maximizing knee room and cross-vehicle spaciousness.
Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior layout incorporates easy-to-use technology designed to make the driving experience easier and more enjoyable. It wraps into the door panels and features a frosted and translucent appearance. A large, color 10-inch-diagonal capacitive-touch screen, with interface features, complements the Bolt EV Connect app.
Additionally, a multipurpose, connected center console features side-by-side cup-holders, a wireless charging location and a sliding armrest covering a storage compartment large enough to store a tablet device. Artful engineering solutions complement the practical use of space, with features such as thin-frame seats that enhance rear-seat roominess. The seats also incorporate the side air bag modules as design elements.
The interior is offered in a fresh, bright color palette that emphasizes the open passenger environment with signature-color electrification blue ambient lighting emanating from beneath metallic white decorative trim.
Like most EVs on the road, the Bolt EV’s drive system uses a single high capacity electric motor to propel the car. But it’s the smooth, powerful and quiet motor design, gear configuration and shift-by-wire system that separates it from the pack.
The Bolt EV’s electric motor was designed with an offset gear and shaft configuration tailored to meet efficiency and performance targets, most notably more than an estimated 200 miles of range. The motor can produce up to 266 lb.-ft. of torque and 200 hp of motoring power. Combined with a 7.05:1 final drive ratio, it helps propel the Bolt EV from 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds.
The battery system is mated to a standard equipment 7.2 kW onboard charger for regular overnight charging from a 240-V wall box. A typical commute of 50 miles can be recharged in less than two hours. Bolt EV also features an optional DC Fast Charging system using the industry standard SAE Combo connector. Using DC Fast Charging, the Bolt EV battery can be charged up to 90 miles of range in 30 minutes.
The Bolt EV pushes the envelope for crossover aesthetics. Its unique proportion, with practically no front or rear overhang, makes the most of interior space and was designed to create a roomy environment for four that feels expansive, the interior is intended as a sanctuary, with materials and technologies that reinforce the airy ambience and help contribute to the vehicle’s overall efficiency, it also incorporates technology in a subtler and simpler manner, for a more soothing driving experience particularly in busy, urban environments.
The Estimated fuel economy is rated at 128 MPGe City and 110 MPGe Highway 28 kW Hours per 100 miles. Manufacturer’s suggested starting retail price is $40,905.00, for the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier, the one I drove included the DC Fast Charging Provision $750.00, Infotainment Package (Wireless Device Charging, Audio System Bose 6 Speakers, USB Charge-Only Ports, Rear) $485.00, and it came in at $43,105.00 including destination charge $875.00.