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Chevrolet Bolt EV is the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year

Chevrolet Bolt EV is the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year

The Groundbreaking Chevrolet Bolt EV is the car of tomorrow. Today.

That sound? It's almost imperceptible, but it's there. The soft rustle of air over steel and glass, the muted hum of rubber on tarmac, the faint whirr of spinning metals. It's the sound of electrons at work, the sound of electrical energy being converted into motion, the sound of the automotive world shifting on its axis. It's the sound of the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

The Bolt EV is not GM's first pure electric car. The company has been experimenting with electric vehicles for decades, stuffing batteries into Corvairs in the mid-1960s and developing the fiendishly complex EV-1 in the 1990s. You can buy an all-electric version of the Spark from your friendly local Chevy dealer right now. But the Bolt EV is the first conceived from the get-go by GM to be a viable, affordable mass-market electric vehicle. And it's a game changer.

Two numbers—238 and 29,995—are why. The first is the number of miles the EPA has certified the Bolt EV will travel on a full charge. The second is the price, in dollars, of the Bolt EV, after allowing for a $7,500 federal tax rebate. By offering that range at that price, the Bolt EV has made just about every other electric vehicle on sale obsolete. "Simply put, it's twice the car for half the price of a BMW i3," guest judge Chris Theodore said. "Abetter car, better package, much better handling, with twice the range."

Even the folks at Tesla, the electric vehicle masters of the universe, have been put on notice: The Bolt EV sets a benchmark for value and performance they'll have to work overtime to match. "This is a direct challenge for Tesla to make the Model 3 anything near the Bolt EV for the same price," executive editor Mark Rechtin said. "Chevrolet has made affordable long-range electric transportation available to the masses. Elon Musk should be afraid. Very, very afraid."

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Bolt EV is there are no caveats, no "for an electric car" qualifiers needed in any discussion. It is, simply, a world-class small car, and that's before you factor in the benefits inherent in the smoothness, silence, and instant-on torque provided by the electric motor. The ride is firm and sporty, but transmitted road noise is very well damped. The steering has slightly artificial weighting, but brake feel is natural, and once you learn to use the higher regenerative braking modes, you can pretty much drive all the time without touching the friction brakes at all.

It's not quite correct to say the Bolt EV drives just like a regular small hatchback, because, fundamentally, it drives better than most regular small hatchbacks. The under-floor battery pack keeps most of the mass low in the chassis—and between the wheels. The front-to-rear weight distribution of 56/44 percent is better than any small front-drive car in this year's field, and it's not far off the 54/46 of the tossable rear-drive Fiat 124 Spider. "If this car were fitted with a set of grippy tires, it'd be a helluva hot hatch," road test editor Chris Walton said. "I'd put it against a Mazda3 or Golf for fun per mile."

There may be some who see the selection of an electric vehicle as Motor Trend's Car of the Year—for only the second time in the award's seven decades—as controversial. But to do so would be to suggest the Bolt EV is nothing more than an automotive oddity, a publicity stunt, or a technological dead end of limited use or value. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here's how the Bolt EV stacks up against the award's six key criteria.

There is more if you follow the link below
http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/research/chevrolet-bolt-ev-is-the-2017-mo...

David N | 15. November 2016

Congratulations to GM.

Silver2K | 15. November 2016

It's really nice to see electric cars getting these awards. This article and magazine to follow with the headline will open people's eyes to electric cars.

check out this thread I posted also.

https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/jaguar-i-pace-concept-previews-all...

carlk | 15. November 2016

Hope this starts a trend. Future top rated cars will be dominated by EV.

Silver2K | 15. November 2016

did you see the jag I-pace? very nice!

jordanrichard | 15. November 2016

I agree that it is nice to see an EV get the COTY again, but this looks to be written by or with a lot of help from GM.

No, you can not just go to your local dealer and buy a Spark EV. It is not available in every state or even every other state.

The EV-1 you could not buy, only lease.

"Even the folks at Tesla, the electric vehicle masters of the universe, have been put on notice: The Bolt EV sets a benchmark for value and performance they'll have to work overtime to match. "This is a direct challenge for Tesla to make the Model 3 anything near the Bolt EV for the same price," executive editor Mark Rechtin said. "Chevrolet has made affordable long-range electric transportation available to the masses. Elon Musk should be afraid. Very, very afraid."" Really!!!?

Motor Trend is not forgetting where a chunk of it's revenue comes from.

EVRider | 15. November 2016

Half the price of a BMW i3? The 2017 i3 with the new larger battery starts at $43,600 before tax credit, vs. $37,495 for the Bolt.

Despite the exaggerations, the Bolt looks promising, and we would have considered one to replace my wife's i3 when her lease ends in February, but it won't be available here in FL by then. Sadly, neither will the Model 3.

jordanrichard | 15. November 2016

I will just add that to say that Elon should be very afraid of the Bolt is like saying Porsche should be very afraid of the new Fiat Spider.

Silver2K | 15. November 2016

JR

let them exaggerate all they want (imo). This will make Elon respond (hopefully) and get electric car ceo battles in the news. How do you think Samsung became so big in the smartphone world? The constant Apple attacks made Samsung the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world and killed HTC in the process.

Bighorn | 15. November 2016

GM has fewer than 100,000 tax credits remaining and I'm presuming many won't qualify for the full credit. Volt was largely moved by attractive lease rates which doesn't give the buyer a credit. Article sounds like they let GM write it. The perks of being a paid advertiser.

nadurse | 15. November 2016

This great news! In a time of extreme political upheaval and uncertainty, we need more than just Tesla to show everyone that EVs arent just compliance cars that the avg person wouldnt want, rather they are superior vehicles for everyday use that more than non-rich people can afford.

If this article lets GM beat their chest a little bit and promote EVs then so be it. Good for them, good for Tesla, good for us.

Besides, all this just sets up the Model 3 being the 2018 car of the year :)

Mazdarati | 15. November 2016

If they don't make the Model 3 their next car of the year, with it being less expensive, more techy, and better performing, this forum will probably explode. Rightly.

bgbythsea | 15. November 2016

@nadurse: "GM beat their chest and promote..."

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the chest beating and EV promotion from GM. Motor Trend probably got a call from GM saying "We told you to make it sound good, but not THAT good!" We're only making 30,000 of the damn things and now we're likely to get 40,000 calls for them! An EV for the masses? Not unless they produce mass quantities.

"Elon Musk should be afraid" Why would the holder of 400,000 reservations be afraid of 30,000 (buckets of) Bolts?

Madatgascar | 15. November 2016

@bgbythsea +100!

Good for GM, I hope they sell all 30,000 on the first day.

Earl and Nagin ... | 16. November 2016

@bgbythsea,
Don't worry, if GM gets 40,000 calls for their 30,000 Bolts, they know how to keep it silent. They very effectively kept the waiting lists for their EV1 a secret while they were telling the public and government agencies that there was no demand for the cars back in the early 2000's.

carlk | 16. November 2016

Don't worry dealers will be able to keep the demand in check like adding $10K markup. They might have to because those cars will not come back for them to drain more service money out of.

Dramsey | 16. November 2016

The Bolt seems a nice enough car, and the few video reviews I've seen on YouTube are positive.

However, the 238-mile range is much less useful than Tesla's similar range because, you know, no Superchargers. The Bolt owner leaving on a road trip will be consigning themsevles to the vicissitudes of fate, dependent upon an expensive, ad-hoc, and frequently non-working charging infrastructure from various sketchy third parties.

Also, with its 60kWh battery, the Bolt's in the same league as Tesla in that those puny Level 2 chargers aren't going to top you off very quickly.

Madatgascar | 16. November 2016

@carlk, I'm sure dealers will keep them out of sight.

I had to make an appointment to see a Volt once, and when I got to the dealer they had to drive me in a golf cart to a remote maintenance shop where it was charging. Because, you know, "you have to keep these things plugged in constantly," and it would have cost them "a fortune" to install a plug in their showroom. It was the filthiest car I had ever seen at a dealership. The test drive was fine; I said I liked the car and would think about it. They let me leave without any of the normal hard sell tactics, and I never got a follow up call or email. (Eventually Model S came out and I bought that instead.)

They could not have done more to not sell the Volt to me.

Bighorn | 16. November 2016

My intentions to buy a Volt were also squashed by an ignorant salesman--I am thankful that this led to my researching Tesla.

Efontana | 17. November 2016

I wonder how well MT car of the year tracks with success for everyone who touches it. Just thinking about past winners and the body language of the consumer reports reviewer...

KP in NPT | 17. November 2016

@nadurse said "This great news! In a time of extreme political upheaval and uncertainty, we need more than just Tesla to show everyone that EVs arent just compliance cars that the avg person wouldnt want, rather they are superior vehicles for everyday use that more than non-rich people can afford."

I totally agree it's great to have an EV as COTY - to the average consumer, EVs are barely on the radar, or a consideration. So having an EV with real range and an affordable price as COTY is great. If the Model 3 begins production next year as planned, I have no doubt it will also be COTY (and @T3slaKid you're right - if it isn't, it will be a total sham.)

That said, I still think it's a compliance car. Limits on production, initial limits on availability (ZEV states only), lack of national advertising, design compared to price,(though I guess thats subjective, but value wise to me it is a very expensive econobox) all point to business as usual for GM and it's EV offerings. lets not forget only certain dealers will be certified to sell it - and I wonder how many dealers outside ZEV states are going to bother going through that process. Hopefully the release of the Model 3 will force GM to rethink that.

nadurse | 17. November 2016

I havent rode in one yet so I cant say if it has that econobox feel or not, but by all reports not just motor trend it seems like a car well worth the money. I would agree that GM is still taking a tepid approach to EVs, but keep in mind they are a huge business and things dont really change overnight, especially influencing dealers and culture. The bean counters at GM think that their best strategy to sell at first in ZEV markets which I dont really agree with but apparently thats what they think is their best strategy to make money on this EV. Maybe part of it is their dealer network, and feel they have more chance of success as first in markets with dealers that are knowledgeable or comfortable selling EVs.

I dont know the answer, but hey they built the vehicle and are planning to sell it soon. I feel that way to many people on this forum have a cynical/evil view of GM because of their past sins and arent looking at the company and what its doing since the bailout.

EaglesPDX | 19. November 2016

@nadurse "The bean counters at GM think that their best strategy to sell at first in ZEV markets which I dont really agree with but apparently thats what they think is their best strategy to make money on this EV."

That has been Teslas strategy also. The new T3 sells in the family and close to home first.

CA and OR are a huge EV friendly market that can easily absorb and support the first Bolts.

Bighorn | 19. November 2016

Selling Bolts close to home would be Detroit or Incheon.

Plugged In | 20. November 2016

Funny how the car of the year may be one you'll almost never see on the road, at least not in 2017.

Bighorn | 20. November 2016

Seems Motor Trend got scammed with vapor ware.

SamO | 20. November 2016

We will know GM is serious when they sell any electric car in 50 states and has a network of fast chargers. Until then, they are selling a compliance/city car.

Not a real replacement for most customers

Red Sage ca us | 21. November 2016

This is the part where I humbly suggest that everyone who is certain that no Tesla Model 3 will be Delivered anywhere prior to 2019 or 2020 put their money where their mouth is by purchasing, not leasing, one of those Motor Trend Car of the Year 2017 Chevrolet BOLT EVs at their earliest convenience.

J.T. | 21. November 2016

I have 2 Model 3s reserved for my daughters. One lives in Albany and she drives a lot. It's 170 miles to our house, plus she drives all over NY State for her job.

My other daughter lives on Long island and has a 10 mile drive to work. She would have no need for a "fast-charging" solution especially if the Bolt can be charged from my 240 receptacle overnight.

So, though I agree the Bolt really can't compete with a long distance travel car it might be perfect for a station car or local commuter car.

I'm looking forward to seeing one in person.

SamO | 21. November 2016

@J.T.,

I agree that the Bolt might be a competent city car. I've never purchased a GM product due to their long and colorful history killings, maiming and otherwise neglecting their customers.

Judging from how they claimed a 50 state strategy (lying, of course) then announced the car would be sold only in two ZEV states, I know they are still run by the same group of shitbags.

I'm not recommending anyone pay 2X the price for a nearly identical gas car.

jordanrichard | 21. November 2016

Just to add to J.T.'s comments and a real world example of where the Bolt would have completely useless even with driving just within 1 state.

I am in CT and yesterday I drove down to Southern CT to help a friend with moving. I have a S85, charged to 90% (232 miles). It was a 81 mile drive one way. With a steadily dropping temperature, a bunch of running around town, when I was ready to head home, I only had 95 miles of range left. Clearly not enough to get home with the current temps and being nigh time (headlights). So I simply stopped on my way home at a supercharger for 15 mins and pressed on.

This was not what anyone would call a "road trip", this was just going to a friend's place and back. The Bolt would not have been able to do this in state trip. Charging at my friends house was not an option and nor in all of our running around, were we at one place to make a difference if I did find a DC fast chargers. I calculated based on the cold temps that I lost 25% of range. Which is expected. Take the Bolt's 238-57 (25%) and leaves you 181.

With no known and clearly not advertised Fast DC charging, no one is going to feel confident is getting a Bolt.

J.T. | 21. November 2016

@SamO I respect your take and agree about GM, though I have to say Chevrolet service on my daughter's Equinox has been competent and fair, most of the time, which is a huge improvement over my 1986 Bonneville.

Still, if I don't get a satisfactory answer on why Tesla trashed the forum I'm going to cancel my 2 Model 3 reservations and forget about trading in my S for an X.

I have not heard back from the moderator so I'm going to go to my local gallery where I'm fairly well known and even liked if you can believe it and talk to the Regional Sales Manager and let him know of my concerns. Perhaps he has a bit more pull with IT than the moderator does.

Anyway, that's my plan.

Spiteful? Me? Well, just a tad. :-)

SamO | 21. November 2016

@J.T.,

Lol. Good to take a stand for the absolute essentials. How were the cup holder/sun visor meltdowns handled?

SCCRENDO | 21. November 2016

I am a Tesla fanboi but I am thrilled at the Bolt. Ultimately our goal should be to get people off ICE vehicles and the Bolt is a step in the right direction. Also creating competition does not hurt. Unfortunately we all know that GMs heart is not completely in the right place but they are increasing awareness of affordable EVs and people who buy the Bolt are future Tesla customers as well. The article is obviously predominantly hype but kudos to GM for moving forward with the Bolt.

J.T. | 21. November 2016

@SamO I like lost causes. No one blames you when you fail. :-)

Dwdnjck@ca | 21. November 2016

Baby steps.

jordanrichard | 21. November 2016

SCCRENDO, actually the way GM is gimping the Bolt, they are just continuing to reinforce EV's limitations. Tesla goes above and beyond to show how you can replace your ICE vehicles with an EV. Just the whole supercharger and destination charger program, tells you that. Featuring customer's stories on their site about their travels. GM is doing the complete opposite. They don't list on their website where one can charge while on the road, even if it's a Blink or Chargepoint charger. There is no range estimator on their site, like Tesla's. There is nothing on their site that would reassure a potential new EV owner.

GM is letting people lick the sugar frosting, but not letting them eat the cake.

SCCRENDO | 21. November 2016

@jordan. That they have the Bolt out there is a good thing. That they are gimpy will drive more people to Tesla. So I see the Bolt as a plus for EVs and probably for Tesla as well

jordanrichard | 21. November 2016

SCCRENDO, good point. This will just drive more people to Tesla and that will only elevate Tesla's brand even more.

Joseph | 22. November 2016

I have had a Volt for two years, and the electric car experience (with the disappointment of going to gas after 40 miles) got me signing up for the model 3. Then I got inpatient and ordered a model S which I should get in a couple of weeks. I didn't really consider the Bolt because the user interface on the Volt is so terrible.

Rocky_H | 23. November 2016

@jordanrichard, Quote: "I am in CT and yesterday I drove down to Southern CT to help a friend with moving. [...] nor in all of our running around, were we at one place to make a difference if I did find a DC fast chargers."

I think you, like many people are to unnecessarily pessimistic about CCS charging sometimes. I don't know where you were exactly in southern CT, but just because you don't happen to see it sitting right outside your window in your driving around doesn't mean it isn't there. If it's within 5 or 10 miles of where you are, it would be worth using. I see 7 CCS stations in southern CT. Not knowing where you were exactly, I couldn't say if any of those were near you, but you seem to be pretending that none of them exist just because you didn't happen to see them.

Rocky_H | 23. November 2016

Gah.."too unnecessarily pessimistic", not "to".

jordanrichard | 23. November 2016

Yes, I am sure there were some, but my point is, if I had a Bolt, I would have to make a special trip to those said CCS charging stations. In which case I wouldn't of been much help to my friend since I would have to be shackled to the charger for 30 mins, plus travel to and from. Whereas the supercharger was on my way home. Any chargers, be it Level 2 or CSS should be on major routes to enable "long distance" travel. Traveling from town center to town center is not the fastest nor convenient way to travel.

Rocky_H | 23. November 2016

@jordanrichard, Come on. All of that is pretty specious. Superchargers aren't always in the best places either, also may require a half hour, and they frequently require a trip out of the way to get to them, depending on where you are and where you're going--not really any different. Take the Memphis Supercharger, for example--it can be a 30-40 mile round trip detour to use it, if you're coming down the west side of town.

"Traveling from town center to town center is not the fastest nor convenient way to travel."

Like the Superchargers in Davenport, Iowa City, Des Moines, Omaha City, Lincoln, etc.? Cities are where amenities are. It's how they are in Idaho and Nevada and many other places, too.

Rocky_H | 18. Mai 2018

Note that this is reviving an old thread because of something kind of noteworthy.

I saw a Chevy Bolt last week! I think this is either the first one, or maybe the second one I have ever seen. Chevy seems to be trying so hard to keep from producing/selling it. This article about the waiting list in Canada is interesting. It's a year long! The one year wait is not because the number of requests is so big, but because GM is barely sending any of them.
https://electrek.co/2018/05/18/chevy-bolt-ev-backordered-canada/

NoMoPetrol | 19. Mai 2018

Welcome to the world of GM, the company that killed the electric car...or so they thought.

Tesla-David | 19. Mai 2018

Yes, this thread is almost laughable now, with the M3 rolling out. GM has little interest in pushing the Bolt sells. I have only seen 2 Bolt's here in Seattle, a rarity indeed! Where are the charging infrastructure to support the Bolt? Tesla is so far ahead of the other EV manufactures in providing supportive infrastructure and constant innovation.

TeslaTap.com | 19. Mai 2018

US sales numbers for Jan-Apr 2018
Bolt: 5650
Model 3: 12055

In 2017 23297 Bolts were sold for an average of 1941/month
In 2018 (first 4 months), they are averaging only 1412/month.

It appears Tesla is eating into their sales, which is a bit sad. I'm happy for Bolt sales and figure every sales is one less ICE. Bolt owners may even be a future Tesla customer as they learn more about EVs and travel.

Numbers from: https://insideevs.com/april-2018-plug-in-electric-vehicle-sales-report-c...

jordanrichard | 19. Mai 2018

It’s rather funny how people critize Tesla for not ramping up production as fast as the legacy companies, yet here it is GM can’t crank out more Bolts? They said form the beginning that they could easily make up to 50,000 per year if demand warranted it, and yet................

Al1 | 19. Mai 2018

We'll hopefully see Bolts on the road before they become obsolete.

jordanrichard | 19. Mai 2018

The Bolt became obsolete when the 3’s starting rolling out. I don’t mean for that to sound snobbish. The 3 out accelerates the Bolt, has more cargo room that’s the Bolt, has an already built out national charging network and clearly is better looking than the 3. The only reason Chevy is selling any Bolts is because some people have given up on waiting for a 3.

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