The Chevy Bolt differs in one very important way to the Chevy Volt. Unlike the Volt, with its small ‘back-up motor’, the Bolt is purely electric and represents Chevrolet’s first ground up, long range electric car.
Recently promoted Managing Director of Design, Stuart Norris, was on hand at CES 2016 proudly showing off his baby to engineers from other makes as they meet together in Las Vegas for CES.
Norris has said that GM supplied his team with a blank canvas when designing the Bolt. In the flesh the little bolt looks great and has a touch of Mazda 2 meets Lexus RX with short overhangs and a distinctive C pillar treatment.
With a range said to be over 300 k’s, five seats and a bigger boot than a BMW i3 this little Chevy makes a compelling case as a city/commuter car.
Still, with the optional 240 volt home charger taking about 9 hours to recharge until recharging stations become more widespread (commuter carparks, for example) perhaps the Volt is a better proposition for some.
Unlike the Volt though, which GM representatives say will never be built in right hand drive, the Bolt has been built on a platform with right hand drive capability. Indeed, Chevrolet representatives at CES 2016 confirmed to EFTM that right hand drive manufacture is certainly possible given that the Bolt is a “world vehicle platform” and hinted that right hand drive manufacture is in the plan.
With the opportunity to drive the little Chevy (admittedly only around a carpark of cones) I came away impressed. The build quality was a little sketchy in places but these were test mules pulled from testing especially for CES 2016 so this can be forgiven. Needing no such apology is the smooth, silent nature of the Bolt or its direct and nicely weighted steering.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Bolt is the price. Here is a brand new design, fully electric, ten airbags, Forward Collision Alert, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, automatic E-Call, 360 degree camera, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and is Apple CarPlay and android auto capable all for well under US$40k without US Government tax credits and US$30k with them.
EFTM’s coverage of CES 2016 is made possible with support from Intel, Hisense, Sony, Samsung, LG and Alcatel One Touch