1 Year with the Chevy Bolt

It has been about 1 year since I got the Chevy Bolt. It's time to reflect on this revolutionary EV.

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First, I have to say - this thing is still awesome. Instant torque, long range battery (60KWh), and the DC fast charger make this an awesome car. There is still no maintenance (other than tire rotations) and the battery hasn't shown any loss of performance/charge (probably due to the liquid cooling, unlike the air-cooled Leaf which has potential long-term battery issues). The odometer is at around 20k miles and the car still feels like it's brand new. I ride this car hard and run it in sport mode all the time. It's a tiny beast.

After driving a Leaf for 3 years, I was hesitant to jump ship - but Nissan didn't have the larger capacities available yet and I was really itching to get a long range EV. The Model 3 is still in mass production hell (still is) and I'm just an impatient nerd. Was it worth it? After 1 year, I say jumping ship was well worth it.

I do have the same gripes with the vehicle:

  • It's tiny. I'm a small asian guy and it still feels a bit cramped inside.

  • For something that is so technologically advanced, the in car sound system does have some strange problems that require me to reboot it from time to time (I have to stop the car, turn off the entire car, and then turn it back on - ugh!)

  • There is little trunk space. My wife and I did manage to bring home a large heat lamp from Lowes once using very creative spacing techniques - but man, that trunk is TINY!

  • Chevy's OnStar cellular system is slooowww. I don't subscribe to their major services, but the free basic connection that reports the car's status, allows door lock/unlock, and other related features is slow. It also times out a lot when it sits in my garage. It's very unreliable (perhaps, an AT&T problem?)

  • This is a common gripe with all EV tires: No grip. I realize that EV cars are designed with efficiency in mind and as a result, the tires aren't the best for performance. I'm not asking for Z-rated tires here (although, that would be fun in a car like this), but I wish someone made a better tire for EVs. With all that torque, it's easy to lose control in sport mode if you're not careful. All that torque probably wears out the tires quickly too.

My family is now ready for a 2nd EV. There are lots of options now with bigger batteries. Maybe something will change my mind soon about how good the Bolt is - but for now, the Bolt is badass.