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The 2020s will be the decade of the electric vehicle (EV). Some EVs on the road look sleek, while others, like the Toyota Prius, see ridicule. The Chevrolet Bolt doesn’t receive as much criticism, but it’s not getting the credit it deserves. Are we underrating the Chevy Bolt? This guide takes you through the bowtie brand’s featured EV and evaluates the pros and cons.
What Is the Chevy Bolt?
The rise of EVs took a long time, but they became mainstream in the late 2000s. Manufacturers like Tesla and Toyota developed electric cars that needed no fossil fuels for power. It was a win for the environmentally conscious crowd and led other automakers to follow in their footsteps.
Chevrolet began developing the Bolt back in 2012 and worked on it for three years. By 2015, the American automaker giant unveiled the Chevy Bolt at auto shows and announced production would begin. Since 2017, the Bolt has been a popular vehicle, with over 100,000 units sold from when it started until 2021.
The Chevy Bolt is an all-electric vehicle. General Motors (GM) used the Bolt as a spin-off to the Chevy Volt, which was a hybrid. The Bolt symbolizes GM’s trend toward sustainability. The automaker has pledged to eliminate tailpipe emissions from its vehicles by 2035 and become completely carbon neutral by 2040.
What Are the Chevy Bolt’s Pros?
The Chevy Bolt is a popular EV for the average driver. What makes the little car great? These three pros demonstrate its market presence.
Car prices nowadays are no joke. If you’ve been in the market for a new car, you know how crazy prices have become. According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), the average price of a new vehicle reached a record of $49,507 in December 2022. The average consumer has difficulty affording new cars, but the Bolt alleviates.
The base version of the 2023 Chevy Bolt starts at around $27,000 — a much better price than most new vehicles. In fact, the 2023 Bolt saw a discount of nearly $6,000 compared to the 2022 model. If affordability is a priority, then the Bolt is a terrific deal.
The Bolt’s price is even better, considering it’s fully electric. EVs on the market today are much better for the environment. Their carbon footprint is lower than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, despite requiring electricity to charge.
If you live near EV charging stations, a Chevy Bolt could be a terrific car for you. Imagine you’re a student fresh out of college. You’ve trusted your 2006 Honda Civic for so long, but it’s time to upgrade. The affordability and electric capabilities make the Chevy Bolt a solid option for first-time buyers or retirees who want to clean up their carbon footprint.
The Chevy Bolt is a solid car for young people or anyone wanting to join the EV movement. However, you don’t have to take it from us. Let’s listen to what the experts have to say.
Each year, car enthusiasts look at “Motor Trend” and what it decides will be the car of the year. The first winner was Cadillac in 1949. In 1966, the magazine named the Oldsmobile Tornado the first specific model to win the award. In 2017, the prestigious accolade went to the Bolt after Chevrolet won the year prior for the Camaro.
When it debuted, car critics lauded the 2017 Bolt’s price and capabilities. The first Bolt could last up to 238 miles or 383 kilometers on a single charge — far higher than its competitors at the time, like the BMW i3 or Tesla Roadster.
What Are the Chevy Bolt’s Cons?
Driving a Chevrolet is a powerful feeling. You’re behind the wheel of what Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon drove for so many years. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. These three cons show why the Chevy Bolt could be a liability for some.
One concern Chevy Bolt drivers have is safety. If you drive a Bolt today, you can make it from point A to point B and be fine. However, you should consider recent recalls. In 2021, Chevrolet recalled Bolt hatchbacks from 2017 to 2022 because of electric fire concerns. The lithium-ion battery modules were defective in enough vehicles to warrant a massive recall.
Another safety concern is the features that come with today’s Bolts. These aspects aren’t necessarily the concern — it’s the price point. Chevrolet uses features like adaptive cruise control and traffic alerts. Other manufacturers provide their cars with these features, but the add-ons quickly make the inexpensive Bolt seem more expensive.
Time is of the essence, and we all have somewhere to be. It could be work, school or a beach chair calling your name. Driving an EV is terrific for the environment and should be encouraged. Owning an EV comes with charging, which the Chevy Bolt could improve upon.
Chevrolet has improved charging speeds on the Bolt with each addition, but it still needs to fill a gap. For example, say you own a 2022 Chevy Bolt. This vehicle requires about seven hours to charge on a 240-volt charger fully. A 120-volt outlet would take two days to charge from zero to full. If you can, take advantage of Chevrolet’s complimentary charger installation if you buy a new Bolt.
When you think of a Chevy Bolt, you probably don’t imagine a vehicle you can load up your entire room and take to college with you. It’s not the vehicle you use to take camping trips by hauling tents, sleeping bags and campfire chairs. However, the cargo space can feel relatively small, a downside for some drivers.
In early models, consumers complained the Bolt didn’t have enough legroom. The Bolt fixed that problem and made passengers feel more comfortable. However, the cargo space leaves room for improvement. You can likely get away with a trunk full of groceries — any more than that, and you’re pushing it.
Chevy Bolt: Is It Worth Buying?
It’s hard to go wrong with today’s EVs. With any car you purchase, you’re making a conscious decision for the environment and your wallet in the long term. However, one car stands out, and it’s the Chevy Bolt. Are we underrating this car? It’s a terrific little car that’s ideal if you’re looking for affordability and practicality.
Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.