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Part 1 of my first impressions of my new Bolt EV

4504 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Ladogaboy
Part 1 of my Bolt review:

Ok, here are my first impressions after driving my new Bolt EV for five days all over Fresno.

1. Ride: It has a softer, more refined feel over little road imperfections than the gen1 Volt. I can't compare it to the gen2 Volt, having never driven one. It also does a good job of absorbing larger bumps, especially considering it has a shorter wheelbase than the Volt. I have ridden in a Jeep, and felt like I was riding a bucking bronco, and while there is a hint of that on large bumps, the Bolt handles normal roads very well.

2 Handling: The oem LRR tires are understandingly less capable than today's available performance tires, but the body roll is very minimal, and short wheelbase and slightly narrower track seem to give the Bolt very good manners and it has pretty neutral handling,
with not too much of the push American cars are known for. It may do quite well as an autocross car, and I will be exploring this subject more this year, and will try to leave updates on this forum as I learn more.

3. Acceleration: Again, the oem LRR tires limit this, due to more torque available than those tires can handle in most conditions. This is not a bad thing, though, because any good set of performance tires will alleviate the problem. And, the traction control and stability control keep the situation manageable. The biggest difference between the Bolt and Volts is that the acceleration doesn't fade above 30 mph like the Volts do, which makes freeway on ramps, etc. a blast.

4. Regeneration: This is better than the Volt in all modes, 'nough

End of part 1, more to come.......
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4. Regeneration: This is better than the Volt in all modes, 'nough
This is the only part where we disagree. The Bolt EV's regeneration is severely limited when the battery is >85-90% SOC to that point that, in my opinion, it could get dangerous if you are accustomed to L/regenerative braking at lower SOC. The Volt's regenerative braking was inferior overall, but it was more consistent.


Thanx for the write up. I have a handful of questions informed by the Chevy Volt.
I would much appreciate your opinions.

1. Rear visibility. (Poor in the Volt)
2. Charge door. Is it just a pop open. We need to have an auto retract option? My #1 peeve with the Volt.
3. Does it default to 8 amp charging. I have L1 charging. And will continue to have L1 charging with the Bolt.
4. Does it have the same rubber dam under the bumper in front which causes annoying low clearance in the Volt?
5. What is highway speed at which the efficiency cuts out. In the Volt it is somewhere around 58 mph.
6. How effective is the defogger. The Volt is slow and not very good.
7. How does it handle when coasting in N around corners/curves/downhill. I love the Volt in N.

Apologize for the bombardment but can’t find these anywhere…
Others have answered your other questions, but I can speak to #5 and #6.

#5: I don't know what you mean about "cuts out," but the point at which energy required to overcome aerodynamic drag exceeds the sum of all other energy occurs in both the Bolt EV and the Volt way before 58 mph (it's probably closer to 40 mph). However, if you are referring to how much "faster" the Volt's battery depletes at higher speeds, they are not comparable. My recent trip, for about 160 miles, my average speed was 70 mph and the average outside temperature was 40 F. Using climate control sparingly, I ended up getting about 3.1 miles/kWh, which is about 23% worse than EPA estimates.

#6: The defogger on the Bolt EV is amazing. It is as good as the defogger on any ICE vehicle I've owned. You pay the price with about 6 kW of draw from the battery, but it will defog a completely fogged up windshield in less than 30 seconds.
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WRT #5

I should have been clearer but all Volt drivers should know what I'm talking about.

That is the moment when that meatball on your screen starts going walkabout....
Are you talking about the efficiency ball? That is really just an estimator in the Volt, and in the Bolt EV, the display changes color (from green to yellow) at a similar speed. I don't remember exactly what that speed is at the moment, but I know that it is full green through the 40 mph range.
Yes. thats the very one.

I think it is more than just an estimator however. It gives real time info on brake vs regen and battery drain rate.

If the BOLT flashes into inefficient color at 40 mph that would be a notable change.
It doesn't. It's at least 50 mph, but I don't recall the exact cross over point. I just know it is yellow at >65 mph.
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