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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks,

I joined this forum to get some opinions from Volt owners. I'm actually also over at the Bolt site and currently drive an Spark EV which is at its lease end.

I am a serious EV fan and am truly struggling with the idea of getting a car with an ICE engine in it. So I've been considering a Bolt as my replacement vehicle for my next lease.

Being that it's a new car, the incentives are terrible or non-existent and I'm not the type to get fleeced just so I get the latest and greatest vehicle. The lease deals on the Bolt are well in the $500/month range if not more with little to no money down. I'm struggling to justify paying so much for this vehicle because beyond the 200+ miles of EV performance, it's a pretty average car with average looks.

I'll be honest...I wasn't a particularly big fan of the Volt for a few reasons. The biggest reason being that it has an ICE engine in it and the EV range is not very great.

What I'd like to hear from some of you is how you like your Volts, would you recommend it over an pure EV like the Bolt, have any of you gone from EV to a hybrid like the Volt? Etc. I think the Volt is a more premium vehicle than the Bolt but it's also a different vehicle...one being a sedan the other being a hatchback.

The Volt's leases are so good it's tough NOT to consider it and the Bolt's lease are so bad that it's tough NOT to feel like you're getting taken for right now. I know the Bolt's leases will get better for sure and drop like a rock (just as they did for the BMW i3...which is another car I'm considering). But I may not have the time to wait although I might get lucky by then.

Anyway, I hope to hear some feedback.

Cheers.
 

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If you haven't test driven both cars, that's step one...You may find the Bolt EVs front seats to be uncomfortable or may love it's acceleration over the Volts...While most would agree that Volt's interior is more luxurious than the Bolt EV's, feature/option wise

If you can qualify for multiple incentives, the Volt lease is literally half of the Bolt lease...But GM not approving any incentives for the Bolt EV (FB, GM credit card points, etc) is something new, even the new gen Z06 and new gen Camaro qualified for some at launch...The fear is with this staggered Bolt EV rollout, we may never see GM greenlight incentives in 2017; or worse, this could be the new GM, holding back incentives on the Bolt for years...

One other option, it's being reported you can lease a MY16 Spark EV for $0 down and $100/mo, you get an all EV at an affordable price...Great especially if you have a second car you could use on longer trips...

Everyone will have a different opinion because the basic question between the Volt and Bolt is will you use the vehicle on long trips? (Many report they fly if it's a trip over 200 miles, many report renting a large ICE SUV, many report having a second vehicle they use on long trips, etc)...Then it comes down to patience with charging stations...If you're the kind of person who enjoys taking an 1+ hour break to eat at a nice restaurant on a long road trip (I don't, I want to get to the destination as quickly as possible) then the Bolt may not be bad...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey thanks for the feedback.

Yeah you never know what GM may or may not do as far as incentives go. Frankly I think it's crazy to pay that much for a Bolt. Granted, I write off my cars as part of my business and can easily afford one. But it's a matter of principle as well.

I've actually driven both. I drove a 2016 Volt a while back so I will go test drive one again. I've averaged over 13K miles on my Spark EV in the last three years...in excess of my 12K mile lease. So I do drive a bit. But never did I need additional miles per day.

As you mentioned, if I need more miles or need to go elsewhere that my car doesn't take me, I rent, etc.
 

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I think you'll find that everyone here really likes their Volt. The 53 mile battery range is an honest number, I get around 60 in good weather and back roads, a little less than 50 on Interstates. The 42MPG on the ICE is also an honest number, I've gotten as much as 48 and never less than 40. The Volt switches between battery and electric seamlessly. In summer the range of the Volt is about 460 miles (full charge plus full tank) so long day trips can be done with no charging and no fillups. Acceleration is good, not quite as good as the Bolt, but I find it completely satisfactory.

I'd be happier if the Volt had a 100 mile battery range instead of 53, but the current range can get me a lot of places without having to resort to the ICE and objectively the ICE is very good but the electric drive spoils you so I'm happier when I'm in silent running and I notice when I'm not.

If you have a second car or if you never travel long distances the Bolt is very appealing. 238 miles is more than enough for all local driving but it's just not good enough if you take frequent long trips especially because it has a weak DC Fast charger (50KW vs 120KW for the Tesla). From what I've read the user interfaces for the Volt and the Bolt are very similar. The Volt has builtin navigation as well as Android Auto and Apple Car Play, the Bolt only has AA and Car Play. I don't think that's a limitation, I never use the Volt's builtin nav because AA is so much better.
 

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From a pure financial standpoint the Spark EV seems to be the way to go especially if you consider you're paying CA registration fees and insurance as higher the vehicles MSRP the higher those items usually are...

But YOLO, if you find the Bolt EV (or any other vehicle) more attractive than the Spark EV, buy what makes you happy...
 

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It really depend how much you drive daily and if you can charge at work.

If your daily driving (eventually including charging at work) will be covered by the Volt range, then you will almost never use the ICE.
The ICE just becomes that bonus alternate fuel solution and the comfort of No range anxiety and no need to plan around chargers on long trips.

As an only car or a main car, I am of the opinion that the Volt is the best electric car to own bar none.

Now if you never take trips above 200 miles, or if they are rare enough and / or you dont mind a bit of planning around chargers when you do, then of course the Bolt is a great option.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
From a pure financial standpoint the Spark EV seems to be the way to go especially if you consider you're paying CA registration fees and insurance as higher the vehicles MSRP the higher those items usually are...

But YOLO, if you find the Bolt EV (or any other vehicle) more attractive than the Spark EV, buy what makes you happy...
Yes of course it comes down to what makes one happy. I'm just trying to strike a balance. If the Bolt was more reasonably priced, there'd be no question. At the lease prices they want, I could lease two i3's for the price of a single Bolt for a little more per month.
 

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It depends on how you cope with range anxiety.

Pure EVs can generate it, no matter what the range is.

Only the Lunatic Fringe (term of endearment) of Volt owners suffers from range anxiety. Most of us love to play games with seeing how far we can stretch the EV range of our Volts, but it doesn't actually require medication to keep our heart rate down.

The Volt is a fun little car. It can be had with Adaptive Cruise. It can be refueled virtually anywhere in less than 5 minutes.

The Bolt is quicker with better passing power, and has the coolness of never needing gas, ever.
 

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It depends on how you cope with range anxiety.
I think this is key. The big allure of the BOLT for this Volt owner is that I am always EXCEEDING its range. I'm always maxing out the EV miles to make my personal goal of 100 MPG + lifetime (which is difficult because I drive a LOT of miles per year).

I would love to have a BOLT to floor it with reckless abandon and only crawl when I have those particularly long drives.
 

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53 miles of daily EV range is pretty good. You can easily add another 25-50 EV miles in a day if you have an L2 charger. For me, the ICE is just for road trips, which I do every month or two. So yeah, I feel like the gen2 has a lot less gas anxiety than the gen1, just because it seems like 53 miles of EV range is a lot more then 38 miles of EV range.
 

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After having two Gen1 Volts in the past five years (60K miles) and really wanting a Bolt, I leased a .... 2016 e-Golf SE last week.

I really liked my Volts but the back seat is a bit cramped. My teenager is driving it for the last month of the lease, which works out well. I didn't want another Volt as I have a long distance car and really wanted an all EV vehicle. I thought the Bolt was going to be it but like you I could not justify the current lease prices. I though I might wait for lower leases and maybe new options like ACC (and better seats) but in the end I found that the 2016 e-Golf will satisfy most of my daily commute needs and the price was 1/4 of the Bolt was going to be. You should be able to get a 2016 e-Golf SE with DCFC ($31625 MSRP) for anywhere from $50-$150 per month with very little down. Total lease cost for 24-30 month should be $3-4K all in with tax. Hard to ignore that - even if it sits not being used at some point in its life.

Oh - here's what I like better about the e-Golf.
- fast heater, warms up very quickly
- real time updates to EV range when turning on the heater, heated mirrors, etc
- great ventilation and defrosting
- CarPlay and decent radio controls
- comfortable seats
- lots of head room and easy entry/exit
- big back seat
- rear window wiper with great visibility
- good remote app with temperature control from preheating or cooling
- small dimensions- easy to park
- 7.2kW charger
- stereo sound much better IMO - goes louder than the Volt
- better visibility not blocked by that A pillar blind spot in the Volt
- 'normal' shifter
- better back up camera
- handles better
- no low rubber spoiler to hit everything

Since I got the base model I don't have:
- leather seats - the fabric is a stain magnet
- steering wheel controls
- no hatch for larger items
- no parking sensors
- don't like that the charger locks and no menu item to change
- Volt has a better delayed charging setup menu
- charge port in the rear is not a good location IMO
 

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Either choice is good. Your money your choice.

Volt has a little more in upkeep since it is carrying an engine. yes every 2 years an oil change, but no fears driving cross country. The Bolt than by default will be less hassle, but do to infrastructure while driving the Bolt cross country will be doable but not easy and requires strategic planning. so an impromptu car trip over its range is not something I would recommend. The Bolt will give you a true middle passenger seat and thats a good thing. Your going get the full $7,500 tax credit for either car. If your into not having tail pipe emissions then by all means the Bolt should be your car otherwise the Volt will reduce your tail pipe emissions but not stop it.

Unlike others who bought their Bolts and Volts without a test drive, when buying anything over $10,000 I like to buy things that I have tested, so try to give either car a good run for its money during test drive . And get what you want on the car and not what the salesman wishes to sell you.
Good luck on your choice either one will be a winner and won't be wrong on any.
Between us, I'm waiting for the Bolt to drop in price, I got burned on the price of the Volt. After I purchase the Volt chevy dropped MSRP price by $5,000 so this time I'll be patient and wait and wait and wait..........& wait.
 

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Dealer price gouging aside, the Bolt is reasonably priced from a Marketing 1 stance. The correct price is that which just clears the supply. Chevy hopes this is happening now and will continue for awhile. When stocks start to build up incentives will appear. There's no money in EV service, so the factories and dealers have to make it somehow. So, buy your Spark, or buy a new or used Gen 2 Volt, or wait a few months and buy a Bolt.
Or not....
 

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Dealer price gouging aside
Of course we could find some dealer gouging on virtually any make/model but that isn't happening on a widespread basis with the Bolt EV...$1500 off MSRP is what major metro dealers are advertising right now which is far from price gouging...

It's the GM incentives...For example, right now GM is giving $3000 off Volts in the form of bonus tag and super bonus tags, then just about all other all other vehicles, except the Bolt, have the lease conquest or lease loyalty if you qualify...Lastly GM is not accepting you to use your GM credit card points redemption...The Bolt EV doesn't qualify for anything other than an extended family $250 discount (as of Jan '17)...The following was reported on the lease hacker site, understand you do have to qualify for incentives and haggle down the sales price...
Spark EV $0 driveoff, $100/mo (first payment waived)
Volt $0 driveoff, $200/mo (first payment waived)
Bolt EV $0 driveoff, $436/mo
 

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I've had a Volt, a Leaf, and an ELR. My take is the Volt is way more practical but has less space. At the moment it is also a much better deal. So you have:

1. Not having a gas engine (the actual gas you'll use is probably insignificant so it's an emotional thing).
2. Space
3. Ability to go on a trip of any length (with 200+ miles of range I don't see the Bolt engendering any range anxiety on anything other than a long trip).
4. Price

I don't know what choice I'd make but I think those are the factors. To me the Volt is the more rational choice but it's hard not to like having a long range BEV. My idea is just to wait. I have no doubt we'll see some good deals on the Bolt EV at the end of the 2017 MY.
 

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I've had my Volt for two months now. I've had to put gas in it once, and that was for a long drive. I never have to use enough gas around town to matter. Maybe occasionally 20 miles if I haven't charged it, maximum. It is nice to know that if you get low on a charge you don't have to worry about getting home. The Volt is such a great car to drive. I just love it. And all the incentives are icing on the cake. I think I would want to have a lot of experience with the Volt before I even considered a pure EV.
 

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Yes of course it comes down to what makes one happy. I'm just trying to strike a balance. If the Bolt was more reasonably priced, there'd be no question. At the lease prices they want, I could lease two i3's for the price of a single Bolt for a little more per month.
I'll go at this from a pure financial standpoint. When your spark ev lease is up, you're kind of stuck needing a replacement, and that puts you at the dealership's mercy if you are destined to buy or lease new. From 2010 to 2013 many volt owners paid too much, then the prices dropped. Similarly, in 2015-16 the volt prices were near MSRP, and now they've dropped. I think it will take 18 months to 2 years before you will see Bolt deals. So if you absolutely need a new car today, get a volt for almost half the price of a Bolt. I drive 65 miles per day with no charging at work, so the 70MPG on my dash is awesome compared to any pure ice vehicle or any hybrid. Yes, I hit the Dino juice daily, but sipping far less than I used to with a gas guzzler Deville.

Now, if you are really steadfast on getting a Bolt, but hate to pay the high prices of today, then go buy a heavily discounted used Spark EV until the deals arrive.

Finally, to escape from having this problem in the future where your lease ends and you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, seriously consider buying cars only after you can afford them (after you've saved up enough cash). It's amazing how much money you can collect when you have no car payments, and then the next purchase is on your terms when you can find the greatest deal, not on the dealer's terms when you need to replace your car. I love the 100% down, $0 per month, unlimited term, unlimited mileage lease.

True story, a coworker of mine drove his beater old caprice for 11 years all the while putting what would have been a car payment into a bank account. When the car finally bit the dust, he had enough in that account to buy a brand new Tesla Models 60, so he did it. It's far too easy to continually lease or finance vehicles, yet if you think about it leasing or borrowing is going to cause your earnings to always be playing catch-up with spending habits. Get ahead of the game, buy a used hoopty until you can afford something better, and keep upgrading until you can afford to buy anything you want with cash.
 

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If you really want to lease the Bolt, I would wait to later in the year when the lease prices are likely to become more reasonable.
I currently own a 2013 Volt and waiting for for details on the Model 3 (Hopefully by the end of March), before I decide if I will go with the Bolt or the Model 3. I am in the 23K range in the Model 3 reservation list and also have over $1,700 on my GM rewards card.
A max of $1,0000 could be used towards the Bolt. I really like the look of the Model 3 and the supercharging network even at a cost for each charge, may swing the decision to the Model 3, as long as an appropriate optioned Model 3 is not too expensive.
 

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If you really want to lease the Bolt, I would wait to later in the year when the lease prices are likely to become more reasonable.
I currently own a 2013 Volt and waiting for for details on the Model 3 (Hopefully by the end of March), before I decide if I will go with the Bolt or the Model 3. I am in the 23K range in the Model 3 reservation list and also have over $1,700 on my GM rewards card.
A max of $1,0000 could be used towards the Bolt. I really like the look of the Model 3 and the supercharging network even at a cost for each charge, may swing the decision to the Model 3, as long as an appropriate optioned Model 3 is not too expensive.
Though pricing of options isn't out yet, I'm guessing most people will want a bigger battery option, autopilot, and a few other features that will drive the TM3 price into the $40-50K range. One thing that caused me to cancel my model 3 reservation is the realization that it really is about the same size as the volt, with likely a roomier cabin, but with yeh truck and not the hatchback, cargo space is going to be at a premium. If I get a tesla, it's probably going to be the model S and not the 3 or X.
 

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We have a 2016 Volt, which we traded in our 2014 Volt with 40,000 miles for. There really is no range anxiety with a Volt. With our 2016 Volt electric range will vary from a low of 40 miles to a high of 60+ miles. Winter takes a toll on your electric range. We keep our Volt's gas tank full, and the indicated range just on gas reads 400 miles. Mpg's just on the gas engine have been 45 + mpg, better than 90-95% of all the other gas cars, even eco boxes, as well out there.

The Bolt is game changer with the price within that of the middle class income group. 238 mile range, probably 150 mile range in winter, could be all the car you need living in the city.

We like our Volt due to living on the northwest coast of Oregon where winter storms can approach the strength of a hurricane, and power can, and has gone out for days. With 4-5 cans of 5 gallon cans of gas safely stored with our gas generator, the Volt can run on its gas engine just like any other car, with far better mpg's than most as well. Just on electric the Volt, my wife's car, she can drive to her business, a 32 mile roundtrip, and even in winter conditions return with still 10-15 miles of range left. In summer 20-30 miles of range left when she returns home is normal.

The Bolt or the Volt are perhaps the most advanced cars made anywhere on earth for the price. The Volt has two distinct power sources, a gasoline engine, and of course an electric motor. Both the gas engine and electric motor by themselves can propel Volt for miles for the cost, with the Fed Tax Credit of $7,500, for a price nearing that of a high end Civic or Corolla...
 
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