I drove a $44,000 Chevy Bolt for a weekend and saw just how far electric cars have come — but I also discovered a huge problem (GM)


chevy bolt

I drove a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV for a weekend at the end of July.
The version I drove cost $43,905. The base price for the Bolt’s standard trim is $37,495.
It was the first time I’d driven an electric vehicle in real-world conditions for more than an hour.
I was impressed with the Bolt’s ride quality, acceleration, handling, and driver-assistance features.
But when I tried to charge the vehicle, I realized the limitations of current charging infrastructure.

When General Motors’ Chevrolet Bolt EV was released in late 2016, it was billed as the car that would take electric vehicles mainstream.

One of the biggest obstacles to widespread electric-vehicle adoption has been range anxiety. If an electric car can’t handle a commute to work and a couple of errands without approaching an empty battery, it’s difficult for people to rely on it as an everyday vehicle. With a $37,495 price tag (before a $7,500 tax credit) and a 238-mile range, the Bolt was the first non-luxury electric vehicle to allow for over 200 miles of driving per charge, beating Tesla’s Model 3 to market by seven months (though Tesla has yet to deliver the $35,000 base version of the vehicle).

But the Bolt was more than a public-relations stunt. Car reviewers praised the vehicle, with Business Insider’s Matthew DeBord calling it a “masterpiece” and Motor Trend naming it the best car of 2017.

Read more: 32 electric cars you’ll see on the road by 2025

I spent a weekend with the 2018 Bolt in July — my first experience driving an electric vehicle in real-world conditions for more than an hour — and understood the hype.

But it quickly became clear that range is not the final challenge that electric vehicles face before they can begin to take a significant share of the auto market. (Electric vehicles currently account for about 1% of global auto sales.) Unless you have the ability to charge an electric vehicle at your home, apartment, or workplace, using one as your primary vehicle can create significant challenges. And even if you do have frequent, convenient access to a charger, taking a road trip presents serious logistical headaches — particularly if you don’t own a Tesla.

Here’s what I thought about my first extended trial with an electric vehicle.

SEE ALSO: 10 mainstream cars that are likely to become collector’s items

I drove a 2018 Chevy Bolt Premier outfitted with a little over $2,000 worth of extra options.

The Premier is the Bolt’s premium trim, adding roof rails, heated seats, and several driver-assistance features to the standard version. The Bolt I drove also had fast-charging capability and extra tech features like wireless charging, a premium Bose speaker system, and USB ports in the back seat.

The version I drove cost $43,905. The base price for the Bolt’s standard trim is $37,495.

Unlike a Tesla, a premium Bolt doesn’t have more range than the base version. Both have an Environmental Protection Agency-tested range of 238 miles.

When I first got in the Bolt, it estimated I would …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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