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Being the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year and receiving Daily News Auto’s Best Hybrid/Electric Vehicle among many other prestigious awards, the ’17 Bolt certainly wasn’t in need of much improving, but Chevy threw in some upgrades and vibrant color options anyway.
“Rarely, however, does a vehicle come along that resets the bar, significantly raising the standards that all other carmakers must meet in order to compete. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is just such a car.” – NY Daily News
Let’s see if the 2018 can carry on the 2017 Bolt’s baton and win this year’s electric car race.
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#1 – The 2018 Chevy Bolt EV is in a Competition
The 2017 Bolt made history by being the first fully electric vehicle with a single-charge range three times the distance of most EVs at one third the price of a Tesla. The shockingly cheap-for-a-Tesla Model 3 is hoping to take back the EV prize.
The Tesla versus Chevy battle is no quiet one. In reference to the Bolt beating the Model 3 to market, GM’s Chief Engineer, Pam Fletcher, said “Who wants to be second?”
Since March of 2016, Tesla has taken over 400,000 pre-orders at $1,000 deposits each, for the much anticipated Model 3. Those reserved sales alone will total more than BMW and Land Rover annual U.S. sales combined — for one model that these people have never even driven!
It’s projected that the first 30 Model 3s will be delivered July 28, 2017, and then up to 20,000 will be produced monthly until the pre-orders are filled. It’s estimated that new orders won’t be filled until the middle of 2018.
“We don’t need to take reservations and deposits to fund the development and engineering of our vehicles. We’ve been generating revenue, cash flow.” – Darin Gesse, Chevy Marketing Executive
GM will welcome with open arms all the turned Tesla lovers who realize the Bolt is more affordable, just as efficient, and well . . . fully assembled.
“…Chevrolet has what Tesla does not — decades of experience, a massive national dealer network and more robust sales, service and warranty systems.” – LA Times
Let the games begin.
#2 – The 2018 Chevy Bolt EV is Following Controversy
With the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” and Tesla’s frequent reminders, it’s hard to ignore the tainted history GM has with electric cars.
“Few people know that we started Tesla when GM forcibly recalled all electric cars from customers in 2003 & then crushed them in a junkyard.” – Elon Musk, Tesla CEO
It’s rumored that GM killed their overly successful electric car because it was projected to rob income from manufacturers and oil companies.
“American carmakers threw the whole thing out the window, because they were making so much money off their high-margin gasoline cars.” – Chris Paine, documentary director
Rick Wagoner former CEO, admitted that his biggest regrets during his nine years with GM were: “Axing the EV1 electric-car program and not putting the right resources into hybrids.”
But that’s history, I think motorists will move past the drama, help the environment, and save gas money driving the even better EVs of the 21st century.
In 2012, President Obama announced the “EV Everywhere Challenge” as part of the Energy Department’s Clean Energy Grand Challenges.
“Right now, $4 billion of your tax dollars goes straight to the oil industry every year…It’s time to end that taxpayer giveaway to an industry that’s never been more profitable, invest in clean energy that’s never been more promising. . . .
And that’s why we’ve worked with the private sector to develop a high-tech car battery that costs half as much as other batteries and can go up to 300 miles on a single charge…That will save you some money at the pump.” – President Obama in Mount Holly, NC
Fast forward five years after this inspirational speech, and that high-tech car battery for half the price is here – sitting pretty in the Bolt, what Chevy calls “a long-range, affordable electric vehicle for the masses.”
Thanks to higher oil prices, cheaper batteries, more charging stations, longer single-charge ranges, and more environmental awareness, the EV market is steadily expanding.
The Electric Vehicle Transportation Center projects that at least 740,000 EVs will be sold in the U.S. in 2024 compared to the about 118,773 in 2014. And, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report estimates 41 million electric vehicles will be sold annually by 2040.
“The electric vehicle revolution could turn out to be more dramatic than governments and oil companies have yet realized…further, big reductions in battery prices lie ahead, and during the 2020s EVs will become a more economic option than gasoline or diesel cars in most countries.” – Bloomberg, “New Energy Finance,” February 2016
The more affordable and efficient EVs are quickly growing in popularity, and the Bolt is proving to be a fan favorite.
The Bolt was first released in California and Oregon in December of 2016, and then was expanded to another six states by April of 2017. In these limited early-release markets, GM sold an average of 1,088 Bolts each month – reaching a demand that exceeded supply most of those months.
#4 – The 2018 Chevy Bolt EV is Charged
“Some days are long. Your range is too.” – Chevy
The Bolt’s battery is not only the cheapest that can go the furthest, it only takes 30 minutes for 90 miles worth of range using a level 3 charger.
“The Bolt is the first in a crop of EVs that won’t suffer from range anxiety even during the longest daily commutes, and may be up for a road trip to a neighboring state without juicing up.” – Auto Week
It’s expected that this stand-out hatchback will be available in seven colors that match its electric, best-in-class capabilities:
- Arctic Blue Metallic
- Mosaic Black Metallic
- Nightfall Gray Metallic
- Summit White
And 3three Premium Paint Colors that cost an additional $395:
- Cajun Red Tintcoat
- Kinetic Blue Metallic
- Orange Burst Metallic
“We knew it has to be a high-function, high-utility vehicle. It really mattered that this car be a normal car, not a zippy-zappy electric vehicle.” – Steve Majaros, Chevy Marketing Director
Seems as though Chevy managed to build that “normal” electric vehicle with unexpected, abnormal capabilities.
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#5 – The 2018 Chevy Bolt EV is Comfortable
“Being inside the Bolt feels a bit like flying economy class on a brand-new, state-of-the-art plane.” – Wired
The Bolt is full of superior surprises. Unlike many electric vehicles, it has back seats that fold flat and offers 56.6 cubic feet of cargo space.
“It has the footprint of a subcompact and the interior space of a standard car.” – NPR
With efficiency even down to the seat padding, the Bolt doesn’t just offer more room than seems possible, it also drives better than expected — especially for an EV. A review in the LA Times said the Bolt is “peppy” on city streets and “settles into a calm purr” on highways.
- Leather seats
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- 8-speaker Bose audio system
- Heated driver and front passenger seats
- 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Heated steering wheel
- Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror
- Wireless Charging for devices
- 2 USB charging ports for rear passengers
Or better yet, motorists can go with the Premier trim that comes with all the above elements of luxury plus the following:
- 17” Bright-painted aluminum wheels
- Rearview mirror turn indicators
- Door handles with chrome strips
- Roof rails
- Silver center stack trim
- Ambient Light Pipes
- False cargo floor
- Rear Camera Mirror
- Rear armrest
#6 – The 2018 Chevy Bolt EV is Cost-Effective
Electric vehicles used to be too expensive for the average American to own. Thanks to Chevy, more families can afford to help save the planet.
The 2018 Bolt has a MSRP of only $880 more than the ‘17 – $37,500 in the early markets. But that number gets chiseled way down by countless incentives when you go EV.
“Do it all. Except stop for gas.” – Chevy
After those rebates and credits, CA customers have driven away in brand-new 2018 Bolts for under $25,000!
The Bolt makes it simple to save energy and avoid range anxiety with constant updates on current electricity use and miles remaining. The fact that it can go 300 miles or so on just one charge doesn’t hurt either!
“Quick on its feet and fun to drive, the Bolt EV gives Tesla a run for its money—and it’s a 10Best winner, too.” – Car and Driver
Motor Trend performed a study to compare the cost to charge the Bolt versus fuel a Prius. They found to drive about 3,200 miles it cost:
- Bolt: $87 for 29 charges
- Prius: $190 for 61 fill-ups
Plus, after incentives, the fully loaded Bolt costs almost $1,000 less.
#7 – The 2018 Chevy Bolt EV is Committed
It wasn’t dumb luck that made the Bolt the stand alone EV it is today. Back in 2016, GM invested $552 million to improve and expand four of its plants.
“The Bolt EV is the product of a lengthy design process that involved Chevrolet rethinking car construction and power supply from the ground up…” –TechCrunch
This crossover is not only committed to getting you there on one charge, but also in one piece. The Bolt family offers GM’s very own Driver Confidence Package, which includes:
- Blind zone monitoring
- Forward collision alert
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Rear park assist
- Lane keep assist
- Automatic braking
New for Chevy, the Bolt offers Surround Vision, which uses four cameras to provides a 360 degree “bird’s-eye view” of the car. The driver just glances at the 10.2 inch display to see all around the vehicle. And, Chevy takes it a step further by including 3 free months of Onstar with automatic crash response.
“It’s this ‘prevent, protect, respond’ philosophy that drives Chevrolet in its efforts to deliver outstanding vehicle safety.” – Chevy
The Bolt is also committed to saving energy with cutting-edge technology:
- Regen on Demand – Pull paddle on wheel instead of braking and send electricity back to the battery.
- One Pedal Driving – Slow down or stop by lifting foot off the gas; brake less and increase range
- Electronic Precision Shift – Electronically select gears. Smooth, precise, and takes up less space
#8 – The 2018 Chevy Bolt EV is a Game Changer
In 2016, GM paid $581 million to buy Cruise Automation, a startup driverless tech company, and then spent $14 million on a new facility in San Francisco for their research and development.
Combining this innovative autonomous software with LIDAR, cameras, sensors and radar, GM built a self-driving version of the Bolt EV that very same year. Since June of 2016, they have been testing hundreds of these autonomous wonders in California, Arizona, and Michigan.
“The Bolt is the most concrete evidence yet that the largest car companies in the world are contemplating a very different kind of future too.” – Wired
Also in 2016, GM spent $500 million to have a minority stake in Lyft. In collaboration, they aim to create a network of over a thousand electric self-driving Bolts for hire across the U.S. by early 2018.
“…our AV (autonomous vehicle) technology will appear in an on-demand ride-sharing network application sooner than you might think.” – GM Feb ‘17
“If carried out, this would be the largest test of self-driving vehicles by any major auto manufacturer…” – Motor Trend
Soon after these large investments, GM became a pioneer of mass-producing autonomous vehicles. The self-driving Chevy Bolts have been rolling off GM’s Orion plant assembly line since January of 2017.
“This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality. Expansion of our real-world test fleet will help ensure that our self-driving vehicles meet the same strict standards for safety and quality that we build into all of our vehicles.” – Mary Barra, GM CEO
“The Bolt EV does feel like a vehicle capable of leading the industry.” – TechCrunch
It will be exciting to see how the GM, Cruise Automation, and Lyft dream team ,use their game changer, the Bolt EV, to make history.
– The Reinvented EV
Regardless of the current electric car competition or past GM controversy, it’s hard to ignore how cost-efficient the Bolt truly is. It is the first of its kind to cost so little to go so far, and even the harshest reviews admit it’s comfortable and fun to drive.
“Bolt EV has completely reinvented what an electric vehicle can be.” – Chevy
With the tax credit, rebate, rock star battery, and perks for the planet, it’s a win all around. And, if GM is successful, you might be hailing a Bolt the next time you need a ride.
“It’s not just that Chevy will likely be first. It’s that a car company as lumbering and gigantic as GM, with infrastructure and manufacturing capacity on an epic scale, has gotten there first—and is there now.” – Wired
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