The Chevy Bolt is electric, but that's not the really good part

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Well-known member
May 27, 2016
Though it's the first electric car that is both affordable and has a range over 200 miles, the Chevy Bolt is almost aggressively normal. Slipping into the driver's seat, it feels like any number of other cars I've driven. There's a steering wheel, a couple of pedals, a shift knob, and all the other stuff one expects from a car built in 2016. The only hint to the high-tech infrastructure hiding beneath the floor is the complete lack of noise when I hit the power button.

And that's very, very impressive.

Last week, I drove a preproduction Chevy Bolt down the gorgeous California coastline from Monterey to Santa Barbara on a mix of city, highway, and rural roads. The idea was to show reporters how the car can easily meet its EPA-estimated 238-mile range. It did, with room to spare. That was to be expected of course — but what I really wanted to know was how the Bolt was as a car.

Buyers of the first few generations of hybrids (mainly the Toyota Prius) were looking to make a statement: I'm greener than you. But at some point, buying a hybrid stopped being something weird and turned into just buying a car. The first few generations of electric cars were also about making a statement. But could the Chevy Bolt, with its affordable price (around $30,000 after a federal tax credit) and 238-mile range, turn electric vehicles from something weird into just another car?

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Chevy really did do a good job with this car. It gave the public a lot of things we were asking for