Review: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Jan 25, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

After months of secrecy, details on the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV have finally been released. Chevrolet has been seen driving the newest Bolt EV, and it made an appearance at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. With its first official appearance, drivers across the country finally have a good idea of what to expect when this electrical vehicle hits the market.

Basic Design


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The 2017 Bolt EV has four doors and seats five passengers. Officials are classifying this vehicle as a small wagon, and Chevrolet has worked hard to create a class-leader in terms of affordability and range that is still fun to drive when you get behind the wheel.

Powertrain


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Under the hood of the Bolt EV, you will find a 60-kw lithium-ion battery featuring 288 cells. This system weighs 960 pounds and works with a high-capacity electric motor that generates a torque of 266 pound-feet to go with 200 horsepower. Thanks to the 7.2 kW onboard charger, which comes standard, you can charge the 2017 Bolt at home on your 240-wall box, getting enough charge for 50 miles in less than two hours. If you prefer, you can also opt for a DC Fast Charging system that will let the Bolt EV’s battery charge enough to travel 90 miles, and do so in only a half hour.

Performance

The official fuel economy and range figures aren’t out yet, but GM estimates that the Bolt EV will have a range of around 200 miles. It will also be fun to drive, reaching speeds of 91 mph. This EV will also be able to get from 0 up to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. To calculate the driving range estimates, GM used some of the knowledge learned from Volt owners. To create the most accurate and reliable estimates, the automaker will base the driving range on topography, driving habits, weather, and time of day. The Bolt EV has been optimized for “one-pedal drivers,” since you rarely need to break due to the regenerative braking system that automatically engages when you take your foot off the accelerator. In most situations, you will be able to stop the Bolt EV in “Low” mode by just taking your foot off of the accelerator, although you will occasionally need to use your brake pedal as well.

Pricing and Availability


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You still have to wait a bit longer to get behind the wheel of the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV. After factoring in the $7,500 federal tax credit, the Bolt will cost about $30,000. Considering that you never have to buy gas, this is an excellent price. Production will begin late this year and the release date hasn’t been announced yet. 

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