Use of the cargo well - 2020 Bolt LT

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Jan 28, 2021
Just bought a deeply discounted new 2020 LT a couple days ago, so please be gentle with this virgin EV owner... In inspecting my new ride, I came across what the owner's handbook oddly calls a "cargo management system", basically a shaped piece of hard foam that stores a towing eyelet and presumably the level 1 portable charger if desired. The depressions in the foam also look like they'd be useful for a few tools, but honestly there's a lot of wasted space here that could be used for other purposes. As someone who has owned and personally maintained older cars for nearly the past 50 years, I feel naked driving around without a proper set of tools, safety equipment, a tow rope, warning triangles, flares, 12v inflator, a can of fix-a-flat, fuses, duct tape, etc., etc., etc. When I removed the foam insert, the well it fitted into looked big enough for storing all sorts of useful stuff (or perhaps a reduced-size emergency spare instead), but the exposed surface was just painted metal with various drain plugs and other plastic fittings.

My question is whether there would be any downsides to getting rid of the hard foam cargo management system, laying in some outdoor carpet over the painted surface, and then storing tools, the portable charger, and other useful items in some sort of secured manner. I imagine that the hard foam served some sort of sound insulation purpose, but believe me, I'll fill up that well like a hungry man's stomach at a Vegas buffet and very little road noise will get through. What's preventing me from going ahead with the plan is the nagging suspicion that had Chevy thought the well would be a useful area for the owner to do with as he or she wished, there would be some sort of indication in the handbook that the space didn't have to be consumed by the hard foam if the owner had other ideas.

Anybody have experience in this regard?


Nick in Palm Springs
theothertom said:
I thought about removing it, but I think it supplies some support for the (flimsy) floor? YMMV
This. I tried removing it and using it to store my stash of EVSEs and extension cords. But that floor just caves in without it. I've thought about fitting a thin piece of plywood across the gap, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
I suspected that without the foam insert, the existing well cover would be insufficient to support anything over a couple pounds. Thanks for confirming same. Crafting some sort of plywood support plate wouldn't be a problem for me. What I need to know is whether not having the hard foam block in there would allow too much road noise to come in (even if the well was filled with tools, emergency stuff, and the portable Level 1 charger) and whether there would be any technical reasons why I couldn't use the entire well as a storage space (such as possible damage to wiring or fragile equipment). Any one tried this?
Prof. John Kelly has done several videos of a Bolt tear down. I don't recall seeing anything like wiring or fragile equipment in the "sub trunk", but if you're concerned about it, you should watch his videos. Actually, you probably should watch his Bolt videos anyway since they are highly informative.
I LOVE PROFESSOR JOHN KELLEY!!!!!!!!!!!! His videos are EXACTLY what I need to understand my new ride. I had zero idea that the main propulsion unit in a Bolt is about the size of the 12 volt generator for my '71 VW Bus. Absolutely amazing. And this guy is the cool professor we all wanted back in school. Many, many thanks for the tip!!!

I think I'll just go ahead and turn the well into a dedicated storage area with some outdoor carpet for insulation, enhanced protection for anything that looks important or fragile, and a plywood support deck\cover. I'll report back on what I did and how it worked out.

Again, thanks for turning me on to the Professor. His shows beat anything available on Netflix right now!

Nick in Palm Springs