The Chevy Bolt is an all-electric subcompact (B-segment) 5-door hatchback developed by Chevrolet in conjunction with LG Corporation. The car was sold as Opel Ampera-e in Europe.
This concept car was initially unveiled in the North American International Auto Show back in 2015. The Chevy Bolt is frequently confused with but is completely different from the Chevy Volt (which is a hybrid car).
Here are some interesting facts about the Chevy Bolt.
1. Chevrolet is an brand owned by General Motors(GM). Chevrolet is abbreviated commonly to ‘Chevy’. GM also owns Buick, Cadillac and GMC.
2. The first Chevy Bolt was produced in 2016. Sales were first launched in California before extending to all states in 2017. The European sales also began at about the same time.
3. Until July 2017, the Bolt was widely hailed as the only EV for retail sales with a list price under $50,000 to have a range of more than 200 miles.
Description of the Chevy Bolt
4. The design of the Bolt was actually performed by a 180-strong GM-Korea team way back in 2012. The car was based on a new platform specially created for this EV. It was not based upon the Chevrolet Sparks platform. The doors, tailgate and hoot in the Bolt are to be made from aluminum.
Electrical System of the Chevy Bolt
5. The Bolt’s electrical system comprising motor, battery and others are manufactured by LG in Korea. The parts were then shipped and assembled in Michigan, US.
6. Bolt uses a “nickel rich” Lithium-ion chemistry for its single 60 kWh battery. This is said to allow the battery to operate at a higher temperature compared to GM’s other Lithium variants. The battery is cooled for better performance and longer life.
7. The battery pack is bolted to form part of the vehicle chassis. It weighs 440 kg. It consists of 288 flat plate battery cells which is configured in groups of 3 cells in parallel. The 96 cell groups are then connected in series to obtain the required voltage.
8. The battery has a warranty of 8 years or 100,000 miles.
9. The 2020 Chevy Bolt’s battery has a larger capacity of 66 kWh due to a refined battery chemistry used. This will increase the range of the 2020 Bolt by 21 miles.
10. The single permanent magnet electrical motor develops 200 hp and 222 lb.ft. of torque. This motor is integrated with the single speed reduction gear and differential into one unit to drive the front wheels.
11. Chevy Bolt owners will be able to fully charge the battery overnight ( about 9 hours). The range of the car is 238 miles (EPA) on a combined cycle. This works out to be 25 kWh per 100 miles. Its economy is 119 mpg-e (miles per gallon gasoline-equivalent) using EPA testing.
12. All Bolts can be charged using level 1 or 2 SAE AC charging plugs. With a factory-fitted option, it can also be DC-rapid charged. Using a special portable adapter, the Bolt can be charged using 110 V or 220 V.
Performance of the Chevy Bolt
13. The Bolt has a top speed of 91 mph. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than 7 seconds. This is rather fast when compared to a conventional car. With a low center of gravity due to the under floor location of the battery, the bolt has road-hugging capabilities and superb stability.
14. Like other EVs, regenerative braking is used to help increase the range of the car. This occurs when the gas pedal is released. During this time, the kinetic energy is converted to electrical energy and is used to charge the batteries.
Chevy Bolt – Future
15. The Bolt was the second most popular EV sold in the US. Electrek reported that there were more than 16,000 Bolts sold in the USA in 2019. However, this is a big 8.8% drop in sales from 2018. The report also commented that other EV makers were also not any performing better when compared with the leader Tesla.
16. The Chevy Bolt is a solid and well-engineered car from ground up. The vital statistics of this car are good. It has innovative features that even the Tesla does not have.
17. There are ready units in the US showrooms nationwide where the buyer will have his car delivery quickly when he purchases it (unlike aTesla buyer who does not know when he can get his car).
In a nutshell
With an attractive price point, it is a conundrum with many car commentators why the sales of the Bolt could not be even better than it was.