Cooley On Cars
On the road: 2017 Bolt EVGM takes the lead in EVs for the real world.
[SOUND] Do you hear that? Listen, that lumping sound. I know what it is. That's [UNKNOWN] of Nissan Leaf owners kicking themselves for not waiting And buying this. [MUSIC] The Bolt's competitive set is interesting. There's the massively pre-ordered Tesla Model 3, the next Nissan Leaf, which they know has to join the 200 mile club and expected new EV from Ford that they might unveil as soon as late 2017. And then there's the Bolt's sibling, the Volt. We'll get to that later. [MUSIC] First of all, some semantics. What do you call a Volt? Chevy will tell you, it is a small wagon or crossover. I'll be honest, that kind of surprised me upfront. But their rationale is this, Significant cargo space for passengers, and stuff in the back. A high ride height with high visibility, and the over all utility of the thing. Now whats happening here is a car that was styled at General Motors korean design studio, while in Michigan they were figuring out all the guts, all the power plant, power train, and all the running gear. By the way though, with some Korean help, because LG cam is their battery partner, and that big boy makes up almost the entire floor of the Volt. [SOUND] Now under the snot, the Volt is actually a very simple story. The front wheels are driven by an electric motor. And that's kind of it. There's no fancy modes or ancillary technologies going on here. 200 horse power, 266 pound feet of torque. There is a paddle on the wheel to add regenerative braking. And there's a sport mode to kind of tap more power at a given amount of throttle. And no transmission to speak of, just a seven to one reduction gear 3,600 pounds of bulk. Gets up to 60 in seven seconds, but as with all EVs, that doesn't matter so much. It has torquey instant response at any speed that reminds you zero to 60 relates more to old school combustion engines that have to huff and puff to work up a head of steam. Now inside the Bolt one of the first things you notice is above me, lots of room. And that's not common in many cars for me. So again we're getting this idea that this is a roomy, spacious and relatively vertical vehicle. Eight inch LCD in front of the driver, that's not optional, that's the only way that that IP ever comes. And of course, the ten inch screen over here also standard, lay this guy out at as something premium and very modern, the minute you get in. Android Auto and Car Play on the Bold, it's kinda from the ground up. Not some fancy option. Along with wi-fi in the car via and LTE connection. And by the way, Chevy just cut the price on that data package to ten bucks a month for one gig or 20 bucks a month for four. You know what to do. Shift by wire. There's no mechanical linkage to this shifter. Allowing them to do this great big scooped out space down here. And same thing in the back. You see a flat floor. Makes it easier to get in and across it. And this is [UNKNOWN] the Cadillac CD6, it's one of those rear camera rear-view mirrors, that's really cool stuff, especially at this price point. Lot's of charging for mobiles, two ports here on USB, two in the back, wireless charging, as well. And lot's of great little bins for things. Of course the bolt's headline is simple, 238 miles of range For about 30K. I didn't have enough time to run the battery down several times and check that range, but let's take it at face value. Because a 60 Kilowatt hour battery is pretty big. Charging it from flat takes 9 hours on a 240 outlet, or put another way, 50 miles every 2 hours on the standard charger. But pay more for the fast charger, then you're putting 90 miles in the tank every 30 minutes. Or fully charging the car in about 2 1/2 hours. Now some of you may know my theory that electric cars drive more like each other than combustion engine cars Let me notice how it drives the least. I don't want to hear motor or gear whining and I want it to be very linear underfoot. Bolt's hitting all those very cleanly We've also got this odd, little deceleration or regen paddle on the left. You can just about get by without using the brakes once you really master this guy. It comes on pretty strong. It's a nice little control and of course The upside it it puts juice back in the battery. Let's price our little electric friend. $37,495 is delivered for a basic Volt. The premiere package is $4300. It's the only one that's really chunky. It's a lot of niceties basically but you do get surround vision, blind zone, and cross traffic assist. Much cheaper is what they call the infotainment package for under 500 bucks. Of course, you want that. Driver confidence is also about 500 and that gets you some advanced things like forward collision alert, lane keep assist, forward automatic braking. That's a nice package for a nice price. And I'm going to add 750 for the fast charger. I really like those charge numbers a lot better, absolutely worth it. Now as I mentioned earlier, we have to look at the intriguing sibling rivalry between the Bolt and its sibling, the Volt. Let's just break it down to base price. Both qualify for the same federal tax credit, the Bolt gets a little steeper state tax credit, at least here in California, leaving us with a very different effective price. Now the Bolt can cost close to half as much to run, compared to the Volt, if you take advantage of off-peak rates. Still, if you are strictly looking at the numbers, the break even is out there aways. And of course as good as the Bolt's range is, there is still the possibility of range anxiety. The Volt will run as long as you have gas. Eventually bent up demand will ease and we may see some pretty good discounting on the street and GM ,may be less concerned abbot that's the new thing. It estimated they already loss about $9000 per boat sold about in line with the, Industry average and are more or less happy to do so because each one sold earns them four zero emission credits that allow them to sell more of the profitable combustion models in the ten clean states like California and New York that require such a trade off. And of course the long term picture is important. Electrified cars are the future. You may as well establish leadership now. Bloomberg energy finance says that by 2025 cars like the Volk's will actually have a better total cost of ownership than combustion cars generally, that's a major line in [UNKNOWN] and they expect by 2040 this kind of car will be selling in the 10's of millions annually around the world [MUSIC] Both of which might get the skeptics and doubters to say, nah. But drive one of these, and you start to believe it. More cars driven CNet style, standing by now at cnetoncars.com. Click on the road.