The 2021 5-door Chevrolet Bolt subcompact hatchback uses a 66kWh Lithium Ion battery to provide an EPA all-electric, class-leading range of 259 miles, and an MPGe rating of 127/108/118 miles for city/highway/combined. For most consumers considering which EV to get, range is usually the deciding factor. Bolt’s 259 miles are the highest compared to other mainstream EVs including the Kia Niro EV (239 miles), the Hyundai Kona Electric (258 miles), and the Nissan Leaf Plus (226 miles). Only the Tesla base Model 3, with 263 miles, beats it.
Simply put, Bolt’s EPA-estimated 259 miles of driving range is one of the longest ranges for a non-Tesla.
Bolt’s futuristic looks, generous front and rear passenger space for 5, large center display screen, strong performance and advanced technology have made the electric car a shining star in the EV World. Quick, quiet, reliable and beautiful to look at, this e-vehicle offers substantial quality and value for the price. And it’s incredibly fun to drive! CURRENT EV’s CEO owns one and loves it. The online car-shopping company sells more Bolts than any other ride.
Though GM hit its threshold of 200,000 electric vehicles sold in the USA in 2018, triggering a phase-out of a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit that consumers got for buying or leasing a Bolt, the vehicle remains incredibly popular. General Motors, which wants to be part of the fight against climate change by “putting everyone in an electric vehicle,” sold 9,025 Bolts in the USA in the 1st Quarter of 2021 alone. This is a surge of 50% over 1st Quarter sales in 2020, and it occurred despite pandemic related economic jitters. Consumers want to lease and drive the EV even though they can no longer get the tax credit.
Bolt’s awards have been numerous. It was named Motor Trend’s North American Car of the Year following its introduction in 2017. It was Green Car Report’s Best Car To Buy In 2017, and Green Car Journal’s 2017 Green Car of the Year.
The story of GM’s journey from the Volt to the Bolt during the 1st decade of the EV Evolution/Revolution is filled with radical shifts in thinking, amazing EV engineering discoveries, and lessons learned for the entire auto industry. Volt – a groundbreaking plug-in – made Bolt – an innovative EV – possible. These General Motors e-mobility cars have become two of history’s most important stepping stones to the auto world’s electrified future.
The 1st Bolt hatchback arrived in 2017 with a range of more than 200 miles and a base MSRP under $40,000. Consumers flocked to the car! Bolt remains a competitive player in 2021 with 59 additional e-miles and an MSRP that’s almost $4,000 less than the 2017 First Gen model.
Whenever you’re going, Bolt will get you there speedily, with 266 lb-ft of near instant electric torque. It’s a – excuse the pun – bolt of energy that races from 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds. With DC Fast Charging it replenishes up 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes.
There are two 2021 Bolt trims: LT (MSRP: $36,500) and Premier (MSRP: $41,700).
The LT trim comes standard with: the myChevrolet mobile app with Energy Assist (showing you access to over 40,000 compatible charging locations), an HD Rear Vision Camera, Keyless Open and Start, A Chevrolet Infotainment System with a 10.2-inch diagonal color touch-screen which includes Teen Driver technology, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and Michelin Energy Saver all-season tires with Sealfseal technology.
The Premier trim keeps LT’s standard features and adds: Front and rear outboard heated seats, a Heated-wrapped steering wheel, HD Surround Vision, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross traffic Alert, Rear Parking Assist, and a Rear Camera Mirror including an auto-dimming function.
Both trims additionally come with an Electric drive unit, a Regen On Demand steering wheel paddle, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, a 7.2 kW onboard charging module, a 120-volt portable charging cord, an Electronic transmission selector for One Pedal Driving, Power steering and a StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control.
Bolt’s firm brake pedal provides better than average stopping power and the regenerative braking system recharges the Lithium Ion battery. In most driving situations, decreasing pressure on the accelerator pedal helps slow the car to a halt, without the driver needing to use the brake pedal.
The car lacks a native nav system, meaning you’ll need to rely on your smartphone for directions or a map. Fortunately, Bolt comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so getting directions is no prob!
Safety-wise, both trims come with 10 airbags, LATCH system, LED Daytime running lights, OnStar & Chevrolet Connected services, Pedestrian Safety Signal, Rear child security door locks, Tire Fill Alert and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. The 2021 Bolt earned an overall five-star rating from NHTSA, including four stars in the frontal crash test and five stars in the side crash and rollover tests.
Without all the engine upkeep of a gas car — oil changes, transmission fluid flushes, engine belt replacements — you’ll spend less time and money on maintenance. The EPA estimates that over 5 years, your Bolt could save you as much as $5,000 in fuel costs.
Spoiler Alert: GM is debuting its 2022 Bolt, called the EUV – slightly bigger than the hatchback – in the summer or fall of 2021. EUV is an acronym for Electric Utility Vehicle. Bolt EUV will come standard with native navigation; have a changeable plug for letting drivers choose 120V or 240 charging; and provide an updated modern interior and “more comfortable” bucket seating based on customer feedback. It will offer the same 250-mile range.
But here’s the kicker, and it’s a whopper: the 2022 model will be priced $5,500 below the 2021 model. Why is Chevrolet doing this? Experts say the Bolt will be competing with other newcomers for market space, including the Volkswagen ID.4, Nissan Ariya, Tesla Model Y and the Hyundai Ioniq.
Says Chevrolet about its EUV: “It’s not just electric – it’s magnetic. A sculpted exterior with LED lighting and sequential turn signals is sure to draw you in. Inside you’ll find a premium interior with a spacious cabin and comfortable seating for up to five. An available panoramic sunroof as well as heated and ventilated front seats help provide the ultimate in class and comfort.”
From its 2017 debut, Bolt has surprised and delighted drivers. Its Likables List is extensive, making adoption of the EV Lifestyle an exhilarating experience! Whether you’re ready for a 2021 Bolt or want to wait a few months for the new 2022 model, CURRENT EV considers this electric vehicle one of the best on the market!
REWRITTEN MAY 2021
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.