Economy

The Chevy Bolt is now a compact SUV with a 250-mile range and ‘hands-free’ driving.

The Chevy Bolt is now a compact SUV with a 250-mile range and 'hands-free' driving.

The Chevrolet Bolt is experiencing a growth spurt. GM unveiled two new versions of the Bolt on Sunday: an updated Bolt EV hatchback with longer range and new high-tech features, and the new Bolt EUV – essentially a compact SUV – with more legroom and less range than the Bolt EV.

This updated Bolt EV is set to sell for $ 31,995 – or about $ 5,000 less than the current Bolt EV model. The Bolt EUV (“electric vehicle”) will also be less expensive, at $ 33,995. The limited edition “Launch” edition, with unique wheels, special badges and an illuminated charging port, will be available for $ 43,495. The Bolt EV and EUV were expected to go into production at the end of 2020 but they were Delayed until this year Because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was first introduced in 2016The Chevrolet Bolt was intended to be General Motors’ first stab in a mass market, a purely electric battery-powered car with over 200 miles of range and an affordable price. But sales were weak Since the release of the Tesla Model 3 in 2018, it has come to dominate the electric vehicle market in the US and abroad. The size of the compact hatchback Bolt is not what most American auto buyers are looking for these days. And A. Last recall of 2017-2019 bolt model Related to a defective battery certainly didn’t help GM’s image problems with the EV.

The automaker is hoping to raise Bolt’s fortunes with these two new versions, but that could be tricky given that the technology that powers Bolt is quickly becoming obsolete. Both the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV will be built on GM’s BEV2 platform, which is different from the new one Ultium battery pack Announced early 2020. Recently revealed Cadillac Lyric And the The GMC Hummer EV It will be the first vehicles to be built on this new architecture. GM says the advanced chemistry of Ultium batteries will enable its future electric vehicles to travel further on a single charge and recharge at a faster rate. But the automaker has no plans to move the bolt to the Ultium platform, according to Chevy’s lead engineer.

As a condolence for its close incompatibility, both versions of the Bolt will come with the Super Cruise, the advanced “hands-free” driver assistance system that was previously only available on Cadillacs. Bolt EV and EUV are The first non-Cadillac cars And the first electric car to have a Super Cruise.

Price helps offset Boltt’s shortcomings. When it was first introduced five years ago, the automaker was still eligible for a federal government tax credit of $ 7,500, making Bolt a vehicle worth $ 30,000. But in 2019, General Motors sold its 200,000th electric car in the United States. Tax credit phase-out. No longer eligible for this incentive, GM has decided to stick to the discounted price for these latest versions, which is encouraging.

GM claims the Bolt EV’s 65 kWh battery pack will enable a 259-mile range on a single charge, while the slightly heavier Bolt EUV will have a 250-mile range – essentially the same as this year’s model. The 2018 Bolt’s original range was 238 miles, but it was usually lower due to cold weather or other external factors. None of the vehicle range has been approved by US or European regulators.

Chevy also includes an Active Thermal Management System that uses coolant to maintain the battery temperature. Late last year, General Motors had to recall more than 68,000 Chevy spikes manufactured between 2017-2019 after several battery fires were reported. Federal regulators are investigating W. A class action has been filed Claiming that the Bolt battery is “under fire.”

According to Jesse Ortega, Chevy’s chief engineer, the new screws use different battery chemistry that will help prevent future accidents, the same chemistry that allowed the automaker to increase the range from 238 miles to 250 miles.

Both versions of the Bolt come with a single-engine drive unit that can deliver 200 hp thanks to 150 kW of power, and 266 lb-ft (360 Nm) of torque. Like previous models, the new bolts will have regenerative brakes and a single-pedal drive mode which is somewhat common among electric cars today.

Bolt EUV and restyled Bolt EV share architecture, but their designs are unique. There are no exterior sheet metal parts shared between the two cars, after some owners complained about the weakness of the sheet metal in previous versions. The EUV is around 6 inches long and will have around 3 inches of rear legroom compared to the Bolt EV.

The grille has been modified, replacing the two-tone look from the previous Bolt with a more monochrome interface. Chevy maintains a small ventilation panel instead of embracing the completely flat front end of other EVs like the Tesla Model 3.

The Bolt interior has always been more functional than inspiring, as hard plastic abounds. The Bolt EV and the internal EUV have now been redesigned to include more screens and sensors, mostly to help reinforce the Super Cruise’s promise of “hands-free” driving. Chevy has even uprooted the often-criticized Bolt seats and replaced them with seats that feature a triangular geometry pattern and contrast stitching, which the automaker claims is “a premium design that creates a consistent and refined atmosphere.” The words you usually see aren’t used to describe a $ 30,000 car.

The main 10.2-inch infotainment screen is still integrated into the dashboard, but is more seamlessly integrated into the center console than Bolt’s original design. The physical buttons are smoother and less intense. Chevy replaced the transmission with a series of electronic buttons to create more interior space. There’s also a new one-pedal drive button that keeps the system active between driving laps.

Other new additions include a light bar at the top of the steering wheel and an infrared sensor on the steering column. These are components of GM’s Super Cruise Assist Driving System, which uses cameras, radar and map data to allow users to drive hands-free on divided highways. The Super Cruise is not a self-driving system, as it still requires drivers to keep their eyes on the road and busy enough to be able to take over the task at any moment. Notably, the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV will only come with the Standard Edition Super Cruise, not the enhanced version that includes automatic lane change.

EV charging in the US is a mess, and while Chevy can’t solve some of the more daunting problems, it does what it can to make charging a little less of a headache. A dual-level charging cord was included with the Bolt, which Chevy said would eliminate the need for many people to purchase a separate charger for their home. The changeable plug allows customers access to a standard three-prong 120V outlet for Level 1 charging and a 240V outlet for Level 2 charging up to 7.2 kW. Both cars are also capable of charging 11 kW Tier 2, but separate charging equipment is required.

As an added bonus, anyone who buys or leases a Bolt EUV or Bolt EV will get a free installation of a Level 2 charger in their home through General Motors’ partnership with Qmerit, Home charger stabilizer. For charging on the go, GM has partnered with public charging station operator EVgo to include more than 80,000 public chargers in the My Chevrolet app.

But charging times will still be subject to power levels for each individual charger. When plugged into a regular 120-volt system (i.e. most home outlets), the Bolt EV and EUV will only get four miles of range per hour of charging. It plugs into a 240V outlet, and the bolt will be fully charged in seven hours. And the DC fast charger will add up to 100 miles in 30 minutes to both cars.

Affordability has always been Bolt’s strongest selling point, offering an affordable battery and a decent range for under $ 35,000. Chevy wanted to ensure that the Bolt remained within reach of everyone even as new features were added, such as a Super Cruise, or a crossover upgrade, said Steve Majorus, Chevy’s vice president of marketing. He said keeping the price low would help spur the adoption of electric vehicles from their current position of only 2 percent of US sales to well over 15-20 percent of the total auto market.

“ice [internal combustion engine] “The vehicles will be around for a long time,” said Majoros. “But EV motion is real.”

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