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When the Chevy Bolt electric car launched I was excited. As Chevrolet reported back in November 2016, this EV got First Production EV to Achieve 200. So an all-electric 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, which offers a breakthrough EPA-estimated 238 miles of range on a full electric charge, was named Green Car Journal’s 2017 Green Car of the Year® during AutoMobility LA. Other finalists for the 2017 Green Car of the Year® award included the BMW 330e iPerformance, Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Optima and Toyota Prius Prime.
Also stylish design, pleasing driving dynamics, and welcome suite of advanced and connected technologies. Along with its distinction as the first production battery electric vehicle to achieve a 200-plus mile driving range, the 2017 Bolt offers an array of features that provide a unique and catered ride to the driver. Specifically, the Bolt’s Regen-On-Demand feature allows the driver to use a steering wheel paddle to initiate more aggressive regenerative braking to slow down without using the brake pedal, while transferring electrical energy back to the battery.
On a personal note I did like the stitching and interior. It was comfortable and not hard seats. The car was easy to drive and frankly a fun drivers electric car.
Fast Charging Surprises
After getting the car and knowing how my fellow other car testers Test I decided to fast charge the car and give it a good hard juice or real energy. It usually helps clear any past test drives history over time. Most of the testers so just for speed. Here we go for real range if you know what to do. So here you see the Bolt fast charging with 156 miles as its more than half a charge. That’s good to start. I mean that’s like closer to 250 miles maybe with a full charge. I charged up to 250 (by the way) and drove home.
So now as I get home it goes on the 120 volt or 110 volt charger provided. No problem. Woke up the next morning to the picture down below. So I’m going to let my social media do the talking here to start! Yet Car and Driver did help to sums it nicely up by adding that the batteries are underneath the seats delivering a 200-hp electric motor. In MY testing, we got easily 250 miles to start! We used regen, were mostly in ECO mode except for parkway, thruway or highway when needed. yes acceleration was impressive making the 0-60 at around 6.5 seconds.
The cabin has a 10.2-inch touchscreen and a driver-facing 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G LTE and Wi-Fi are available (Wi-Fi was my favorite feature on this car)! How much more productive I was with that ability to email and find things on Google Drive or anywhere else I have images or info.
As you can see here the 238 mile range is OUT THE WINDOW!! I was like seriously, all it took was a good old hard charge of the batteries and driving like a human?! Wow! I mean think about that this car really really isn’t a 238 mile car. It’s just not.
As Chevrolet states:
Instead of losing energy when slowing down, this feature helps you transfer energy to the battery.
It works like this:
When driving in Low mode at any speed, you can slow down – or even come to a complete stop – by simply lifting your foot off the accelerator. This means you may use your brakes less and help increase your range. One-Pedal Driving and deceleration features may be limited when the battery is near full charge or cold. You should always use your brake pedal if you need to stop quickly. See owner’s manual for full details on One-Pedal Driving and Regen on Demand.
Then I started thinking what is the coolest part about this car? When I did a speak about electric cars I admitted a lot. Especially that people need to take heed to this cars regenerative braking. Then I read a piece from Motor Trend on the Bolt’s regen alone.
They put it best by saying:
What makes it better is it’s variable. Regenerative braking begins as soon as you’ve reduced the throttle below the point of maintaining your current speed (not accelerating or decelerating). From that point on, the more you release the throttle pedal, the more regenerative braking you get. Maximum regen happens when your foot is all the way off the pedal. If that’s not enough, you can grab the regen on-demand paddle for extra stopping power. If you’re getting too much, add some throttle back in. Depending on whether you’re coming to a stop or just slowing for traffic, you end up doing a lot of modulating of the throttle pedal to get your braking distance perfect, the same as you would using the brakes but without switching pedals.
So then I got really confused. You see if I never got a range of 238 miles not fully in ECO MODE then why in goodness would the EPA report 238 miles. I asked some Chevrolet reps why the range is that if it really isn’t 238 miles. Their answer which I have heard a million times is it’s how you drive it. Well I know that Captain Obvious!! Yet what was the real motive behind a Conservative 238 miles. So I really thought it out and came up with my funny reason why the Bolt is rated for less miles.
OK LOL. I came up with this story while driving the car so I might as well share it. It’s all in good jest folks.
My plot as a joke is Sean Spicer (he’s leaving the White House) and EPA head Scott Pruitt got together and said hey Seth Leitman is going to test the Bolt. He’ll realize it’s a strong electric car so let’s mess with him. Let’s set the range at 238 miles. That’ll show him. LOL
Sounds good? I don’t know about that but I do know the Bolt is a great car. While it still handles sometimes in highway driving a little less than a BMW X5 it still kept driving and I never worried.
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