Does the Bolt have too much range?

Does the Bolt have too much range?

I know that most people will disagree with me, but I think the Bolt has too much range. I know most, especially first time, electric car drivers want as much range as they can get, but really, what is it used for?

The Bolt makes a good city car. Most drivers drive well under a hundred miles a day. Getting down to this number by removing battery weight would increase efficiency.

The Tesla can use its range for long distance travel but the Bolt, without a supercharger network, really cannot. You could drive to a destination within 200 miles as long as you have access to an L2 charger and the ability to leave the car there overnight. Otherwise you could only travel about a hundred miles away from home. Less if you want to drive anywhere once you get there.

Without ubiquitous high speed charging, I don't see the ability to travel so I see the extra range as useless. It is good for marketing though as no one would be talking about it if it had 100 mile range.

Bighorn | April 5, 2017

Regenerative braking efficiency is highly dependent on anticipation so you can avoid touching the brake pedal at all. Generally friction braking happens on very steep roads or an unanticipated stop i.e. red light. It's been a while since I've done empiric testing on recovery of elevation induced losses, but by recollection it was in the neighborhood of 70-80%.

SamO | December 16, 2017


Just re-read this section and couldn't agree more:

"Without ubiquitous high-speed charging, I don't see the ability to travel so I see the extra range as useless. It is good for marketing though as no one would be talking about it if it had 100-mile range."

eeb9 | December 16, 2017

@SamO, while I mostly kind of agree...

After you lecturing me about all the non-SC places I can charge my Model 3 on Road trips, it’s a bit of a non-sequitour for you to say that other EVs can’t make those same trips.

Ya can’t have it both ways...


carlk | December 16, 2017

Absolutely. GM could have made 50% more $30K 160 mile range Bolts with available battery cells and cover 95%+ of the (local travel) market but it wants to seek the PR value of beaten the Model 3 to the market.

A passenger who is a Leaf owner when we went to lunch yesterday pointed to a Bolt in front of us, which is still a pretty rare sight even in the Bay Area, and said look how small it is. I said I thought it's the same size as the Leaf but he very proudly claimed Leaf is about the size of the Corolla but the Bolt is smaller. I guess it has beaten nothing.

SamO | December 16, 2017


Tesla would not work with "all the non-SC place" WITHOUT the Superchargers.

Did that help?

carlk | December 16, 2017

@eeb9 Probably 100% of people who have long distance travel in mind would consider the Model 3 but 0% would consider the Bolt. No?

phil | December 16, 2017

I bought a Bolt because of the range. I had a ~100 mile fault commute, and occasional errands, travel baseball, etc. I refuse to accept range anxiety, so the Bolt's range was exactly what i needed. Never had to worry about charging. For long distance just use the big gas SUV.

I know people with 100 mile Leaves and Fiats. They seem miserable needing to charge during the day, or not being quite sure they have enough charge.

SamO | December 16, 2017

Bolt will be a decent car when GM stops trying to undermine sales. And yes . . . a charging network would make the Bolt one of GM's best sellers.

But GM doesn't have the batteries to make that many. And they simply don't want to sell them.


eeb9 | December 16, 2017

@SamO - yes, that helps... ;-)

The SC network is a compelling part of the equation for Tesla. No argument there.

But calling other BEVs useless for similar travel is a bit of a stretch. More of a PITA for them? Absolutely!

Even so, their owners can and do still make some epic trips using only the infrastructure available to them.

The SC network is an essential part of the Tesla Triad - Performance/Range/Charging. Without any one of those three, Tesla would be nowhere close to where they are now.

And... I still celebrate every BEV I see, as being one less ICE on the road (yes, even while I castigate their manufacturers - you should see what i’ve written to the leadership at MINI/BMW!)

SamO | December 16, 2017


I've met some brave Leaf owners that have made thousand mile trips. I have mad respect for them. Seriously. Same with Bolt owners. Any trip they take is one less mile in a gas burner. In fact, there was one crazy couple that drove their Model S all over the US before Superchargers existed.

Now put a pin in that.

I save my distaste for the MANUFACTURERS that do not sufficiently support their car offering. Leaf 2.0 might be sufficient ranges with 10,000 Supercharging stations. Many trips are in-town, so many car owners would be able to just own an electric car.

But when there is no charging and NO PROSPECT OF CHARGING . . . then I get upset. I get upset when car dealerships tell Bolt buyers that they can use the SUpercharging Network. I get upset when I read about a Bolt owner getting to a public charging network and it doesn't function. Or the single spot is full.

Bolt is "of no real practical use" on long road trips if it triples or quadruples the length of time needed in a gas car. Yes, you can drive a Bolt from LA to NY or NY to Miami or San Diego to Seattle . . . but only an advocate (which I am one) would suggest it in lieu of a gas car. Everyone else would shake their heads in dismay.

And I say that as the first owner to drive coast to coast in an S60 using Superchargers only. Even after I got back in the same manner in just over 3 days, people still don't believe it is possible. Even after I tell them. :-)

eeb9 | December 16, 2017

@SamO - we’re well-aligned on that last!

carlk | December 16, 2017

@eeb9 No ones says EV without supercharger network is useless but they are just not the best tool for the purpose. People used to use bows and arrows to fight wars and they were pretty effective at those times too.

Mike83 | December 16, 2017

Not sure how good the Bolt battery system is. But the biggest issue it would seem is GM has no battery manufacturing or engineers in that area and maybe limited in production just for this issue. But I trust Tesla and have proven results of the longevity of the battery for several years now and I have no trust in GM. We have tens of thousand of long trips in our Teslas which have proven make journeys much more fun. Tesla also solves issues in a timely manner. That is my opinion and your welcome to yours.

noleaf4me | December 16, 2017

Does the bolt have too much range -- NO, is it priced too high -- yes

phil | December 16, 2017

Eh, new tech is always pricey. GM will get prices down eventually. So will Nissan and Tesla. It just tales time.

carlk | December 16, 2017

noleaf4me So true. The Model 3 is a electric BMW, only better, that costs about the same if not less. The Bolt is an electric Sonic with twice the price. Big fail.

carlk | December 16, 2017

For people who still can not see it just wait till the 160 mile under $30K Leaf to come out. It will outsell the Bolt by a large margin. GM will have to lower the price of Bolt to compete with Leaf. There is snowball in hell's chance that it could stay in the Model 3 price range and survive.

Carl Thompson | December 16, 2017

"... pointed to a Bolt in front of us, which is still a pretty rare sight even in the Bay Area"

I'm not sure what part of the Bay Area you're in but I see at least a few Bolts every day on my commute from the East Bay to the South Bay. Not at all what I'd call "rare."

Carl Thompson | December 16, 2017

"But GM doesn't have the batteries to make that many."

Where are you getting this "fact?"

noleaf4me | December 16, 2017

@carlk - agree -- they will need to be pricing the base Bolt at $32,500 MAX. I could see paying the extra few thousand over the leaf since it has a better battery and more range -- but seriously -- versus the Model 3 not a prayer...

SamO | December 16, 2017

I feel a big price chop coming for Bolt. Who'd pay $42,000 for a GM product when a superior Tesla product in every single metric is available.

Plus, GM has no ability to scale. They warrant only 60% battery capacity and GM simply stinks, as a company. Please watch "Who Killed the Electric Car" and "Revenge of the Electric Car" for many ample examples of GM's perfidy.

carlk | December 16, 2017

noleaf4me Even Leaf will have a tough time to compete but there are still people that $35K+ is absolutely out of reach. Market for under $30K EV is still wide open. BTW that Leaf owner I mentioned who is on his second one has a Model 3 reservation made by his wife in store the first day.

carlk | December 16, 2017

SamO I'd never trust GM either, Aftery it squeezes PR values out of the Bolt there is no telling what it will do next. As much as we want to laugh at the Leaf Nissan is still the only company besides Tesla that sincerely wanted to make EV a product instead of only for compliance or PR.

SamO | December 16, 2017

Leaf 2.0 + 10k Supercharging stalls is a decent car.

Supercharging & $25k and it's an awesome car.

Supercharging & $18k and I'd consider buying one.

SamO | April 26, 2018

It's not the battery that is too big. It's their charging network which is too small.

SamO | November 13, 2019

The Bolt has too much range if and only if GM built a fast-charging network twice as dense as the current Tesla Supercharging Network.

Plus a Destination Charging Network.

howard | November 13, 2019

2017 Bolt never needed to charge anywhere other than home and/or the office. Like the majority of Bolt, Leaf and other plugins owners do.

2018 P3D+ never needed to charge anywhere other than home and/or the office. Once at a destination charger in Steamboat Springs only because it was free.

SamO | November 13, 2019

Shut-ins are not representative of humanity. Which is why Bolt can't sell more than 20,000 cars per year.

andy.connor.e | November 13, 2019

The cars have never been the problem. The problem has always been the company behind the cars.

SamO | November 13, 2019

No charging = no sales.

Leaf, Bolt, Turd, iPace all prove the rule.

WW_spb | November 13, 2019

Quick question Turd=Kona? Just curious

jimglas | November 13, 2019

etron translated to turd

SamO | November 13, 2019

What's the French word for turd? Here's a list of translations.

WW_spb | November 13, 2019


WW_spb | November 13, 2019

I can call our troll Etron from now on )))

jordanrichard | November 13, 2019

"The cars have never been the problem. The problem has always been the company behind the cars", exactly. Many people say that us owners are against other EVs because we criticize them. It was not about the cars it was all the hyperbole from the companies that made the cars. Ok, admittedly the BMW i3 is just flat out ugly, but the other cars look fine.

SamO | November 13, 2019

I'm a fan of the Rivian truck. I think it's a neat bit of kit. I hope they do well with both the pickup and delivery van, both of which are net contributors to emissions far beyond normal passenger cars.

I wish EA would be cheaper than gasoline, but still be enough to sustain the business.

It is trolling in the extreme to suggest that Tesla owners "hate us 'cause they ain't us."

But I'm not going to give the Bolt or Turd a participation trophy. They need to be better and/or cheaper than a comparable gas car.

Model S, Model X and Model 3 are all better and cheaper than equivalent gas cars.


ReD eXiLe ms us | November 13, 2019

jordanrichard: Oh, the Porsche Taycan is plenty ugly too.

SamO | November 13, 2019

But the Porsche Mission-E with beautiful lines and suicide doors was absolutely stunning.

Another concept car that grabbed my attention, but then faded when it came time to produce.

No 350kW charging.

No 300 miles range.

No suicide doors.

No 5 seats.

Bait and switch.

ReD eXiLe ms us | November 13, 2019

SamO: Nah. I dund care about Electrify America being able to 'sustain the business'. It came about as a penalty, a punishment, for Volkswagen AG. Who chose to lie, cheat, and kill people for the sake of diesel sales, worldwide market share, and profitability.

They don't get the ability, the option, the opportunity, to transmute that pinishment into a means to bolster profitability. They insisted, along with the entire traditional conventional legacy ICE automobile manufacturers that it was a cruel & unusual punishment to require they sell clean, fuel efficient vehicles. They all insisted, proclaimed, testified for decades that it was 'impossible' to do in a profitable fashion. Then they used those claims to deny, defer, and delay any serious pursuit of bringing that technology to fruition in a timely fashion.

Y'aight, cool. Let the transition to fully electric be precisely the unprofitable punishment, the punitive judgement, they always said it would be. Make it hurt.

Let Volkswagen AG 'sustain the business' of Electrify America on their own dime. You know, the way Tesla has for the Supercharger network since 2012. After providing five, six, seven years of free, no charge service...? Then Volkswagen can try to become... 'The NeXT EXXON!!!', if they dare.

But, yeah... The Porsche Mission·e Concept was indeed stunningly beautiful. Even with the lower performance, it would have been worth whatever they chose to hang on it as a price. I thought for sure it would be every bit of $300,000 even without options or the likely added fees to 'What the Market May Bear' devised by 'independent franchised dealerships'. I probably wouldn't advise buying it, but I wouldn't be angry with anyone that did either.

andy.connor.e | November 13, 2019

At the rate that things are currently going, Tesla will be the only one making EVs. I'd be hard pressed to believe there is going to be a dependency on the existence of other competitive national charging infrastructures.

So far Tesla has a new factory this year, and possibly another one next year. If Tesla has to do it all themselves, i think they're willing to. If they double their production every year like they have been, in 5 years they'll be at 8 million cars per year. 5 more years after that? Boy that would be an interesting world if other companies had not produced EVs yet.

Techy James | November 13, 2019

While the Charging Infrastructure is definitely a factor. In 2018 Chevy sold 177K Volts compared to little over 18K Bolts. For the Dealers there is little incentive to sell the Bolt, as there is reduced after sale revenue generation from the car due to the lower maintenance cost of the Bolt compared to the Volt. If a potential buyer came is asking for a Plug in Car, they was trained to steer you to the Volt.
A perfect example before I got my M3 I went to Chevy after doing my research to test out the Chevy Bolt. The sales person actually pulled around a Volt for a test drive, and said lets try this out first, then we can try the Bolt to see which one you like better. During the Test drive, the sales person pointed out all the advantages of Volt over Bolt. Things like with the provided 110 adapter it could charge to full overnight. After the 50 mile range it automatically kicked over to charging from gas and could go over 400 miles using Gas and Electric. Then during Bolt test drive he pointed out you would have to buy a DC Fast Charging Adapter to be able to fast charge the car.
Unknown to sales person I had test drove the 2018 Tesla week prior, and that Test drive proved the M3 was the car for me.

ReD eXiLe ms us | November 17, 2019

Techy James: I'm pretty sure that was a typographical error right? General Motors/Chevrolet has never built or sold more than 30,000 units of the VOLT in any given year. They may not have passed 25,000 units annually. It is possible that the full production run of the carsold/leased to U.S. customers from 2009 through 2018 totaled ~177,000 units, maybe. But the Tesla Model 3 was the best selling plugin vehicle in the U.S. with 143,717 units Delivered, per GoodCarBadCar.