From One Enthused Chevy Bolt Proprietor To One other

I used to be backed into an area on the city library, rapidly sorting by means of the books I had simply borrowed. I regarded up and noticed a small car driving into the lot. “Chevy?” I puzzled because it drove nearer. “Bolt?” Yup, and blue at that, identical to mine. (“Two Chevy Bolts stroll right into a bar....”)

The Bolt pulled into an adjoining spot. I grabbed my iPhone and jumped out. “I’ve to get an image!” I admitted to the opposite driver. “Do you thoughts?” He offered as a 30-something male with a lightweight brown ponytail. He additionally had a cellphone/digicam in his hand.

What ensued was a extremely nice dialog between one enthused Chevy Bolt proprietor and one other.

As we snapped photos of the side-by-side EVs, we began speaking simply and readily about our Bolt experiences.

Can get quite a lot of car satisfaction: “It’s the perfect automotive I ever owned,” my companion declared fortunately. I responded that I had solely owned the automotive for a month however was actually liking it. I continued that it was dependable, quiet, clean driving, and had nice vary. I defined that I lived on the bottom of a small mountain, so, whereas going up means consuming about 10 miles of anticipated vary, the Bolt loves the journey again down and positive factors the miles again!

The Chevy Bolt is what’s referred to as an “orphan automotive” in auto trade parlance — a car produced by an organization model that has discontinued enterprise. Chevrolet finally plans to cease making the small hatchback in favor of newer EVs that use GM’s third-generation platform and Ultium battery propulsion. CEO Mary Barra admitted in an NPR interview that the Chevy Bolt “is one thing that has constructed up quite a lot of loyalty and fairness. So, I can’t say as a result of I don’t focus on product packages, however … that’s an necessary car in our portfolio.” Is there hope for a Bolt reboot? Present homeowners wish to know in order that we will plan future purchases.

Recall means renewed: My Bolt pal requested if I had the brand new battery, acknowledging that he thought it should be. I confirmed his suspicion, relating how, in preliminary conversations with the automotive supplier, I used to be instructed that no automotive with a recall on it may be bought at a dealership. My companion expressed a sentiment that I’ve held since buying this used 2017 Bolt — “It’s like getting a brand new automotive over again,” with an 8-year/ 100,000 mile battery guarantee.

(Since 2020, GM has been pressured to restore each single copy of the automotive with an entire battery pack alternative, as my colleague Jennifer Sensiba reported. There have been only a few precise battery fires, however the firm finally discovered that defects in LG Chem battery cells GM used have been so widespread that restore and monitoring to point out indicators of bother wasn’t an possibility. As an alternative, all packs have been fully changed with new cells.)

Prepare your battery mind: We talked concerning the vary indicator on the sprint. I allowed how the automotive continues to be attending to know us. It provides extra anticipated vary on the sprint each time we cost it again up, adjusting the potential miles per cost stage primarily based on our previous driving sample. My companion added to that speculation with an illuminating notion. “The Bolt continues to extend its vary expectations as you prepare it — it thinks it nonetheless has the unique battery.” Ah, that is smart.

When the Bolt EV was launched in 2017, it had a 60 kWh pack and was EPA-range rated at 238 miles. Then, in 2020, GM elevated the battery capability to 66 kWh, which added 21 miles of EPA-rated vary. That made the 2020 Bolt’s official ranking 259 miles. Nonetheless, beneath the recall and alternative plan, all Bolt EVs get the brand new bigger battery pack. Meaning the Bolts made in 2017 by means of 2019 have extra capability than their authentic pack.

No vary nervousness right here: We agreed that the Bolt’s vary is okay for 95% of journey. I associated how my husband Steve put in an out of doors plug on our trip residence’s shed, and we plug in in a single day and as wanted. My new companion’s journey can be typically round city or buying a dozen or so miles away in suburbia, so, he, too, discovered the vary to be sufficient for his wants.

After all, there’s at all times an exception to the rule. My new pal described a street journey to southern Maine he took with a trailer hitched to the Bolt, loaded with 2 kayaks. What would’ve been a 3-hour journey in an ICE car prolonged to six hours. He had issue distinguishing chargers that have been open to the general public from people who have been restricted to shoppers who had bought there. “Don’t attempt to cost at a Harley dealership,” he warned, nonetheless simmering from being dismissed when in charging want. I associated how the dealership the place we purchased our Bolt had an off-limits signal on a distinguished lot charger to maintain away a neighbor who was charging his LEAF there day by day. Now it’s solely individuals who purchase from the dealership and who’re within the know who can cost there.

out of order charger

Photograph by Carolyn Fortuna/CleanTechncia

One charging system to rule all of them: My companion talked about that he had heard that the Tesla charging community may sometime be obtainable to non-Tesla EV homeowners. At this level within the dialog, I felt snug sufficient to confess that my different automotive in FL was a Tesla Mannequin Y, and that there was no equal to the great expertise of stopping off I-95 at a Supercharger. I defined concerning the NACS and the way within the close to future, non-Teslas with an adapter would have the ability to expertise the thrill of a Supercharger, too. He appeared to really feel happy considering forward to this extra, notoriously dependable charging possibility.

Meals for mouse thought: After studying that I might be storing my Bolt in a barn for the winter months, my Bolt buddy opened his frunk and confirmed me a small black rectangular field with a pulsing gentle. “The Bolt has a vent within the grille that lets air in whenever you’re driving on the freeway,” he started. “I suppose it’s supposed to scale back drag.” It additionally appears to have one other impact: it makes a extremely good entry level for mice to sneak in throughout the chilly climate months, to munch and nest.

My companion identified what I consider as a “mouse machine” — in all probability higher termed an “beneath hood rodent repellent system” that sends off periodic sound waves that mice actually hate. No extra chewing these tasty, soy-based cables. Good to know, as have been different tidbits we shared in our mutual Bolt-admiration discuss.


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