At $37,495 including destination and freight charges, the 2002 Chevrolet Bolt EV is upon us with two new exterior colors: Oasis Blue and the optional Cayenne Orange Metallic. The big news, however, is the 66-kWh battery with eight years or 100,000 miles of coverage.
The lithium-ion pack is 6 kWh better than the previous battery, translating to 259 miles of range on a full charge as per the Environmental Protection Agency. This puts the Bolt ahead of the Hyundai Kona Electric by a single mile, and even though they’re not competing in the same segment, ahead of the Tesla Model 3 in Standard Range Plus guise.
Numbering 288 cells, the battery powers up a permanent magnetic drive motor with 200 ponies and 266 pound-feet on tap. Using a 120-volt outlet translates to 4 miles of range per hour while a 240-volt outlet is capable of a complete charge in approximately 10 hours. DC fast charging, which is an option, provides up to 90 miles in 30 minutes.
17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels come standard, wrapped in Michelin Energy Saver A/S 215/50 all-season tires. Disc brakes are fitted to all four corners of the car, but as far as the suspension is concerned, the rear axle is a torsion beam instead of a multi-link setup.
Tipping the scales at 3,563 pounds (1,616 kilograms), the Bolt EV is rather heavy for a subcompact hatchback. The primary reason for this comes in the guise of the energy storage system’s multiple linked modules, which tip the scales at 947 pounds (430 kilograms). Cargo volume behind the second-row seats isn’t anything to write home about at 16.9 cubic feet, but on the upside, maximum cargo volume is rated at 56.6 cubic feet.
“The Chevrolet Bolt EV has been changing consumer perceptions of electric vehicles since its launch in 2016,” said Steve Majoros, director of passenger car and crossover marketing. “Great range — now even more — is the foundation of the Bolt EV’s success, and when paired with features like one-pedal driving, Regen on Demand and the instant torque of the EV motor, the vehicle delivers an exceptional driving experience.”