The 2022 Bolt EUV crossover may be the significant vehicle making its debut Sunday, but Chevy also updated its Bolt EV hatchback for the latest model year. Fundamentally the same as before, this car has nonetheless been spruced up in several important ways, gaining a fresh front end and a new interior.
The two Bolts are built on the same architecture and they look extremely similar, though no exterior body panels are shared. The EUV is about 6 inches longer and is crowned by a set of roof rails. The EV's front end is more upright than before and the vehicle's lighting signatures have been tweaked. Overall, the design is still pretty generic, though so is the Nissan Leaf's, its primary rival. Of course, drivers might also cross-shop the Bolt EV with a Tesla Model 3 or maybe a Mustang Mach-E, but these products are really a segment or so above this Chevy and they're priced accordingly.
Inside, the new Bolt EV's cabin has been dramatically improved. The overall design is more attractive and the materials used are much better. The dashboard's most prominent feature is a 10.2-inch infotainment screen, which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus it should support over-the-air software updates for added convenience. You also get an 8-inch digital instrument cluster and there's a Honda-style electronic shifter on the center console, a design that takes up less space than a traditional gear selector lever. The Bolt's steering wheel has a flat bottom for a sportier appearance and it also features a regen-on-demand paddle for one-finger access to regenerative braking. The car also benefits a one-pedal driving button for maximum energy recuperation.
Super Cruise, which debuted on the highfalutin' Cadillac CT6 sedan several years ago, is finally proliferating throughout the rest of GM's lineup. It's available in the Bolt EUV, though unfortunately not in the Bolt EV. At least adaptive cruise control is an option, and ditto for rear cross-traffic alert and a 360-degree camera system. Standard safety tech includes automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, a following-distance indicator and front pedestrian braking.
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV features the same drivetrain as before, a single-motor unit that provides 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. That's more than enough to move this awkward little hatchback to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds, a strong performance thanks to all that immediate low-end torque.
But what about range? This is probably the most-important factor to consider when choosing an electric car. As with its drivetrain, nothing has changed here. The new Bolt EV can go 259 miles between charges, the same as before. This is provided by a 65-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Keeping the electrons flowing, a new dual-level charge cord is available on the Bolt EV (though it's standard equipment on the EUV). This arrangement has a swappable plug that lets you either juice up from a standard 120-volt household outlet or tap into a 240-volt socket at up to 7.2 kW. Beyond that, the Bolt EV also supports Level 2 charging at up to 11 kW.
When hooked to a DC fast-charger, the Bolt EV can absorb up to 100 miles of range in just 30 minutes, which is not too shabby. Plug it in to a standard household outlet, however, and it's a completely different story, with the vehicle only absorbing about 4 miles of range per hour, a painfully slow but totally expected pace.
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV and its new EUV sibling enter production later this spring, which means they should start arriving at dealerships in the summer. Both cars will be sold in all 50 states, so no matter where you live in 'Murica, you should be able to get one. Another bit of good news is the pricing. Including destination fees, the updated Bolt hatchback starts at just $31,995 before any potential discounts or incentives, a reduction of more than 5 grand compared with the 2021 model… with a caveat. The outgoing Bolt already has some pretty significant cash allowances, so Chevy is kind of just making those official by deducting them from the vehicle's base price. In any event, this makes the Bolt EV a great value, a more affordable option than the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona Electric, Tesla Model 3 or Ford Mustang Mach-E.