The Chevrolet Bolt EV is like a kid’s slot car that grew up. You know, those little electric cars that would run on a slotted track, operated by a hand controller? We spent many a weekend at the local hobby shop, racing friends and competing for ridiculously tall trophies. During those days of running 8-inch cars around the 10-lane track, I often wondered what it would be like to shrink down to drive an electric car. As if anyone would stop to design an electric car!
Well, wonder no more. An electric car is more common than ever before, with at least one model coming from many, if not all, manufacturers. One of the newest is the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV. Napleton.news had the opportunity to check it out during an extended road trip in and around Naples, and Miami Beach, Florida.
NEW AND IMPROVED Bolt EV
For 2020, the Chevrolet Bolt EV features new battery technology that has given this electric Heavy Chevy an additional 21 miles of range. That yields a remarkable EPA-estimated range of 259 miles on a full charge. The increase was achieved by Chevrolet’s Battery Engineering team, which improved the energy of the electrodes by a tweak to the battery cell’s chemistry. This way, the range was increased using the same physical battery pack and the way it is integrated into the Bolt’s powertrain system.
Torque from the Bolt EV motor is as stout as ever and is combined with features like one-pedal driving. Called “Regen on Demand,” which is Chevy-speak for automatic power regeneration, the system reverts to a charge mode when your foot is lifted, and at the same time applies pressure to the brakes or in this case the magnets in the electric motor to slow it down or even bring it to a complete stop.
Buyers of the Chevrolet Bolt EV have access to Chevrolet’s Energy Assist feature through the myChevrolet mobile App2. The app allows drivers to view and search for charge points while planning a trip with multiple waypoints and charging stops. Any chance you have to reduce that dreaded “range anxiety” is a good bet.
INSIDE MATTERS – CHEVY BOLT EV INTERIOR
The Bolt EV’s interior is pretty much carryover from the previous model year, continuing with its spacious, comfortable cabin. It features a floating dashboard with a new, larger high-definition display screen that lets you know how you’re doing on the way to total mileage range domination!
Sure, there aren’t many soft touch points throughout, but the Bolt EV is similar to the BMW i3 in that regard. The seats were comfortable on our two-and-a-half hour drive to Miami Beach, and we were able to find a good driving position with no problem.
The rear bench seat offers a 60:40 split, with room for two adults and a shorty, in between. In the rear cargo area, there is a two-stage storage area for the standard charging cord in the bottom, and a space to store valuables just above that. There’s a tonneau cover to keep out prying eyes, as well. By the numbers, there are 16.9 cubic feet behind the second row. Fold the seats forward and that number grows to 56.6-cubic feet.
DRIVING THE BOLT EV
Get behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and you’ll notice how much it feels like a regular gas-burning vehicle. Step on the accelerator and you will quickly find out how different it really is. The thing about the electric cars in general and the Chevy Bolt EV, in particular, is that it delivers instant all-or-nothing torque as soon as you squeeze the go pedal. This front-wheel-drive vehicle goes from zero-to-60 in 6.5 seconds. It’s good for approximately 259 miles depending on how heavy your foot works this go-kart, and with a fast charger, it can load another 100 miles in about 30 minutes.
The rechargeable batteries and single permanent magnetic drive electric motor and gearset are designed to provide 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. That’s actually pretty stout in anyone’s book, especially when you consider an electric vehicle is all about the torque.
Wheeling the Bolt EV is made easy by the placement of the battery cells below the passenger cabin. The result is a lower center of gravity which aids when it comes time to whip wheel through a challenging turn. Though it tops out at 91 mph, there’s that thought in the back of our mind, reminding us that it’s always more fun to drive a slow car fast rather than a fast car, slow!
Learn more about the award-winning Chevrolet Bolt EV by calling the experts at Chevrolet of Wayzata, today.