2017 Chevrolet Bolt Owners Manual –The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is the first mass-market electric car to surpass 200 miles of range, something that otherwise only a $70,000 Tesla can achieve.
Bolt boasts a range of 238 miles between charges. Bolt is a pure electric vehicle; there’s no range-extender engine like on the Volt. The Bolt is a tall compact five-door hatchback with the passenger space of a midsize car, thanks to pushing the wheels out to the corners. These virtues, along with a price that makes the cost-per-mile numbers work for commuter travel, make it potentially the first mainstream EV.
We spent six hours behind the wheel of a pre-production Bolt EV, logging 240 miles along California coastal roads and freeways at varying speeds and elevations. Our drive depleted the battery, but other automotive journalists on the same route tried harder and arrived with as much as 25 miles left. So the EPA-rated 238-mile range is not only real but can be increased with careful attention to efficient driving.
After its introduction as a concept car at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the Bolt EV was developed in record time by a close partnership between General Motors and the Korean battery maker LG Chem, which designed the battery pack, some powertrain components, and the digital dashboard displays. The battery pack, electric motor and drive unit are manufactured in Korea, but the Bolt is built in Michigan.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt Price & Model Lineup
The Bolt EV LT and Premier qualify for government incentives, including a $7500 Federal income tax credit and a $2500 rebate from the State of California, which also allows the Bolt in commuter lanes on the freeway.
Bolt LT comes with climate control, HID headlamps, LED daytime running lights, rearview camera, two USB ports, 10.2-inch color touchscreen, digital rearview mirror, and 17-inch wheels.
Bolt Premier upgrades upholstery to leather and adds additional features, including the latest rearview camera system.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt Exterior
The Bolt has the family resemblance to other small Chevrolets, an upright hatchback with a short nose, racy lines, sharp creases, rising windows, and wheels pushed out to the corners. This shape makes it look smaller than it is. There’s a plate in front where a grille would otherwise be because there’s no gas-burning engine needing air for cooling.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt Interior
Electricity aside, the Bolt’s standout quality is its cabin space. Its 94.4 cubic feet of interior volume just edges out the much larger and more expensive Tesla Model S, although the electric Nissan Leaf is nearly as good, with 92.4 cubic feet.
The cabin is light and airy, and fits four adults in comfortable seats; with five, it’s pushing the comfort level. Everyone, including the driver, sits high and upright, a position unlike that in the rakish Chevy Volt midsize electric/gas sedan. The front seats are thin, but there’s a lot of legroom thanks to the flat floor and slim dash and console. And the short nose allows superb visibility for the driver, especially useful for parking in tight spaces.
The interior is attractive enough, despite some economy-grade hard plastic. There’s a digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, and 10.2-inch color touchscreen fixed on the center stack. The thin fonts on white background look sophisticated and more importantly are easy to read.
One unique high-tech feature is GM’s new digital rearview mirror, which uses a rear-facing camera to give a wide 80-degree image in a digital display that replaces the mirror glass. Compare that to the 22 degrees of a rearview mirror, usually blocked by rear headrests, roof pillars, wiper, and window frame. The image is crisp, although there can be glare.
The rear seat folds flat to create a deep cargo bay with a storage compartment under its floor that slides out for easier loading. It can fit into a slot in the seatback to gain several inches of height in the cargo bay.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt Driving
One thing about GM’s electric cars is their awesome torque. To add to the Bolt’s 200 horsepower (150 kilowatts), the motor makes 266 pound-feet (360 Newton-meters) of torque. You won’t find a vehicle that small with that much torque, this side of a tractor. The Bolt can leap like a spider away from stoplights, and jump like a cockroach into holes in city traffic.
Even with four adults inside, the Bolt accelerates with authority, and can even chirp the inside front tire out of a turn. It corners fairly flat on 17-inch alloy wheels, with steering that has a nice positive self-centering action.