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Published on January 4th, 2017 | by James Ayre


Chevy Bolt EV Review, From One Of The First Buyers To Get One

January 4th, 2017 by  

While there haven’t actually been that many Chevy Bolt EVs delivered to buyers to date, several hundred have now been delivered (there were 579 deliveries in December). What do these first owners think of the Bolt EV so far?

One of these owners, posting under the name “Ladogaboy” on the GM Volt forum, was generous enough to post a review of the Bolt EV there. Here are some particularly interesting parts (though the whole thing is worth a read if you have the time):

“Also, after driving the car for about 45 minutes, I came to really like the back support. I’ve just driven a C-Max for about 5,000 miles, and the Bolt’s seats are definitely more comfortable. To me, anyway.

“… Good lord, people. This car is actually very efficient. Most of my driving was at ~67 MPH on the freeway; 55–60°F temperatures; and wet pavement/slight drizzle. Even with the ~2 kWh of juice that went into powering the electronics, my estimated range was within a few miles of the EPA’s estimated range of 238 miles. More to come on that, but the worry about highway efficiency seems to be much ado about nothing.

“… This is a bit weird, but I can’t quite explain the space in the Bolt EV. Having a direct comparison with the C-Max, I can tell that it is a bit shorter, which explains the smaller amount of cargo volume behind the rear seats. But the passenger area of the Bolt EV feels much more spacious.”

Ladogaboy also posted a video to accompany the review (for those interested):

All of that said, while Ladogaboy was apparently pretty happy with the Bolt EV itself, in a different discussion thread he did have some complaints to share about the ordering process, deliveries, and the dealerships. Here’s some of that:

“So despite how enamored I am with the Bolt (even just the concept of having an average-priced car be a full-functioning BEV), I have to say that I am very disappointed in the delivery and ordering processes.

“… despite having what could have been hundreds of production Bolts built by the end of the first week of December, it took until the end of the month to get them on dealership lots. I know that the dealerships themselves have to be held accountable for part of that shipment process, but those train car loads of Bolts sat in a siding for nearly two weeks before shipping out.”

“… On the ordering front, I also have some disappointments. I feel upset on behalf of others who pre-ordered and are still waiting, but that was not my experience. I reserved through a dealership (one of your highest gross EV dealers) that was supposed to receive 80 Bolts by Christmas. I was one of the first to reserve, and at that time, we were given a TPW of 11/28. Well, the TPW went from 11/28 to 12/5, and the number of Bolts went from 80 to 16. And as of today (the last day of the year), that number is now only 12. I still don’t know if the car I originally ordered has been delivered (it is a mere 60 miles away from the dealership).”

“… My disappointment also extends to many of the dealerships, though. From what I’m seeing, many are using this trickle of Bolts to mark the vehicles up quite a bit. Not that I think the i3 is worth the cost, but the Bolt EV (even in Premier trim) shouldn’t be the same price. The other issue I see is, many of the dealerships seem clueless about what really matters in the Bolt. Of the 12 that arrived at the dealership I went through, only 2 were not already reserved, but they both had something in common. Yes, they were both base LTs, but that’s not the only thing. Neither had the DCFC option.”

Not too surprising. This has always seemed to me to be one of the areas where Tesla has a huge advantage over the other auto manufacturers — it can simply forgo the use of third-party dealerships and shipping and take care of these parts of the business itself.

Have any of you reading this taken delivery of a Bolt EV yet? Anything to say on the matter?



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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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