Families Can Now Go All-Electric with the Chevrolet Bolt 2017
Atlanta’s roads are filled with a bevy of electric and hybrid vehicles. I have admired the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius in the carpool line, but the limited mileage of the smaller batteries on these cars made me nervous. That’s where the new 238 mile range of the Chevy Bolt caught my interest. When Chevrolet contacted us about test driving the Bolt to Chattanooga, I jumped at the opportunity.
What Makes the Chevrolet Bolt Cool
The Range: You can use the Chevy Bolt to get around town or for a road trip. The car easily got me to work, picking up the kids from school, to the grocery store and home. There’s no need to worry. I’ll admit I was a little more nervous about the trip to Chattanooga. It’s 122 miles to Chattanooga from Atlanta, so it’s easy to get up there and around town.
With a road trip, you may need to charge the Bolt at some point. Fortunately, there’s a growing network of charging stations in Chattanooga, Atlanta, and throughout Georgia. Apps like PlugShare show chargers near you, so you can map out your route in advance. Or if you get ICED, which means a car with a gas-powered engine is blocking access to the charger, you can easily find another charger.
The Technology: The huge touchscreen with Apple CarPlay is awesome. It’s a fun experience just turning the car on each time. There are plenty of USB plugs, including two for the back seat plus the option of 4G LTE Wi-Fi, to hook up the kids’ devices. It also comes with OnStar and satellite radio. Parents of new drivers will love the Teen Driver mode where parents can limit the maximum speed, not allow the radio to turn on until seat belts are clicked, and provide a driving report card.
The Drive: The Bolt is a fun car to drive. It’s sporty and has great pickup on the highway. I had never driven an electric car before, but it was easy to get the hang of it. I enjoyed the comfortable ride on my daily commute and on our longer road trip. It also has the option of one-pedal driving, which lets you accelerate and break with one pedal. This feature allows you to conserve and generate more power while you drive.
Charging the Bolt: It’s pretty easy. You can plug it into an outlet each night or you can buy a 240-VOLT/32-AMP charging unit, which provides about 25 miles of charge per hour. Atlanta has a great charging infrastructure around town that makes it easy to get a quick charge. My local Kroger has a Supercharger which allowed me to get about 90 miles in a half hour for about $3. It was convenient to charge while grocery shopping. I noticed that the chargers stayed pretty busy, but there was always one available.
The Price: The Bolt is $37,495 MSRP but is $29,995 after federal tax incentives.