Chevy Bolt range test on California's Highway OneSure, the Bolt is an affordable and practical EV. But just how much range can you expect in the real world?
[MUSIC] Welcome to the cockpit of the 2017 Chevy Bolt. This is Chevy's all electric battery powered car and it promised a range of over 200 miles. And that's what we're gonna find out. We've been given access to a pre production model of the car. And we've been told to drive from Monterrey all the way down to California coast to Santa Barbara. That's a trip of over 200 miles. And in theory this car can make it on one charge. We're gonna find out and I certainly hope it can because I've got a flight tonight. And if this thing runs out of juice I'm probably gonna miss it. Now we're driving down Highway 1, which is one of the most beautiful roads in the world. We're driving along the California coast with ocean waves crashing up against the shore. And frankly a lot of traffic to worry about, too. It's a beautiful road and a lot of people wanna see it, so you can't blame them, but unfortunately, it does Does diminish the driving fun a little bit. I wanna talk about the technology of the Volt, because it's a pretty impressive car. And all the things that this can do for a very low cost, starting price of around $35,000 for a car that will, hopefully Do more than 200 miles on a charge. It has a 60 kilowatt hour battery pack situated down in the floor and it cross a little back beneath the rare seat. That's give again te tuner mile range theory but essentially a recently fun car to drive. Okay, it's not a model S or a model 3 or even a model X at that matter when it comes to acceleration But it's reasonably peppy. We've got a sport mode here. You can push on the dash, give you a little bit more acceleration. And then once you do that it actually accelerates pretty well. Although we're a little bit hampered by some low rolling resistance tires that have about as much grip as a billiard ball. You put your foot down and it actually starts to spin. Despite the fact that we're not really talking about a whole lot of horsepower here. But the handling over is quite good. And that's helped by the fact that this car weighs about 3,500 pounds. Now, for a little car like this that is a lot of weight. But that's about 1,000 pounds less than the lightest of the Model Ss. So this is, for an EV anyway, A reasonably lightweight car. And of course, all that weight is situated down low on the floor, which gives you a low rolling center, and ultimately better handling. So I had to make a little pit stop there, but it's not a road trip For that a vanilla milkshake. Cheers. Now again this is a pre-production car so everything I said should be taken with a pretty big grain of salt but I gotta say, even at such this is a really nice interior. The last time I drove one of these was quite a few months Months ago at CES, at that point the entire interior was covered in black plastic, so I couldn't see anything. But this is actually quite nice. We've got light and bright plastics and a lot of glass around, so everything in here is light and airy. Okay. [NOISE] Some of the materials are a little bit cheap feeling. But overall, it's actually reasonably nice looking. And the infotainment system is quite nice too. Now I'm not allowed to tell you too much about that unfortunately but I can say it offers both Android Auto and CarPlay which is great. There's plenty of room in here too. I'm about six feet tall but I've got tons of head room Tons of leg room, even in the back seat. I put my seat exactly where I wanted it and hopped in the back and I had lots of room left over. The seats fold flat and there's a pretty big trunk back there too, meaning if you've got a couple of big dogs like I do, this is probably the EV to think about. Now in addition to the touchscreen in the middle of the car, I've also got an LCD behind the [UNKNOWN] and it gives me lots of information about how the car is doing. Most importantly, the range. I do want to say, I'm not driving This car very conservatively. I'm just driving it as I normally would. I'm helped a little bit that I'm in California and it's very nice, moderate temperature. A little over 70 degrees out. That means I don't need the AC. I don't need the heat, and that may have been a conscious decision in choosing the location by Chevy. But ultimately, I've got plenty of range, supposedly, to make it to the end. But there's always that range anxiety that creeps in. And we'll keep an eye on it. As the road has opened up a bit I've been able to take advantage of the cruise control, which I wasn't able to do when the road was a little bit more twisty. And while the car will warn when you're getting too close to another car, it won't actually We adjust its speed so it's not really adaptive cruise control. It's just kinda little late down here that says that you're following too close. That's a bit of a bumper. There is a lane keeping assist so that the car will stay in lane, but it is not really the more sophisticated semi-autonomous kinda thing. It will basically ping pong back and forth if you let it do its thing, so it will help you stay in lane but it is not the kinda thing that you can really expect to drive itself in traffic or anything like that. You definitely still need to keep your hands on the [UNKNOWN] [MUSIC] We have crossed 212 miles according to Google Maps, I have 30 miles left to go and according to the bolt, I have 39 miles of ranger remaining. Now I think that that should be okay but there's a rather imposing looking mountain It is between myself and the airport that I need to get to in order to catch my flight home. So I'm a little bit concerned but yet i am confident enough, so confident in fact that I turn the air conditioning back on because it gets a little bit warm in here. But let's see what we do, keep our fingers crossed. We're almost over the mountain. I've got 40 miles ahead and I just got my first warning that the battery is about to die. I'm down to 20 miles of indicated range, or a minimum of 16 miles, but I'm definitely not driving too aggressively at this point. I still think we're okay but at least we're aren't seeing warning messages flash up on the dashboard. That can spike the blood pressure a little bit. I just got a second warning that says, propulsion power is Is rejuiced. Battery ranges now not showing anything. Just says low but ive got only 12 miles left. We're over the top. It's all down hill from here. I think we'll be all right. I think we're going to be. Be ok. Hey good news, all this descending has actually given me more range. I'm now up to 15 miles left and I've got all my propulsion power back. How about that. Well, here it is we made it. 240.4 miles covered. 17 miles of range left. That's That's really impressive. Frankly, I don't even know what to do to complain about this car. I've been really impressed with really just about everything thus far. I didn't even have to drive in carefully. We got here with plenty of range left. Okay, I turned off the air condition for a little while. But that was just me being paranoid. Turns out, no problem at all. All on one charge. That's a long way to go. And what is A very practical, very affordable car. Okay, it's maybe not as sexy as Tesla's upcoming model three but it is certainly more practical and I guarantee you can buy one of these a lot earlier than that model three. Really, really impressive. [MUSIC]