Photo Credits: Chevrolet, InsideEVs, Autotrader, Car and Driver
Affordable, All-Electric, Remarkable Range
2020 Chevy Bolt
Base MSRP: From $37,495
- LT – From $37,495
- Premier – From $41,200
Tax Credit: Up to $7,500
Battery Size: 66 kWh
EPA Range: Up to 259 pure-electric miles
Charging Acceptance Rate: 7.2kW
Performance: All-electric, 200 horsepower
Mileage estimate: Equivalent of 102-127 mpge
Price estimate: From $37,495 to $41,200
Warranty: 3 years / 36,000 miles
Drivetrain Warranty: 5 years /60,000 miles
Roadside Assistance: 5 years / 100,000 miles
Corrosion Warranty: 6 years / 100,000 miles
2020 Chevy Bolt Review
Overall, there’s no comparing it to the more flashy, high-tech Tesla Model 3, but the Chevy Bolt continues to hold a prominent place among small electric vehicles.
Introduced in 2017, the Bolt is a subcompact hatchback whose best quality is it goes a long way before requiring a charge. Improvements to the 2020 Chevy Bolt include a 21-mile increase in range to 259 miles, thanks to its new 66 kWh battery. Among this year’s EV vehicles, only the Model 3 (310 miles) goes farther than the Bolt.
With a starting price of approximately $37,500, the Bolt has positioned itself as a solid competitor for the Model 3, which now goes for just under $40,000. Note that both the Chevy Bolt and the Model 3 no longer qualify for a federal tax credit.
Unlike the extremely techy Model 3, the Bolt has fairly simplistic controls and a 10-inch touchscreen that is a bit slow to react. Yet the truth is, many car buyers prefer the simplicity in comparison to the Model 3’s high tech complexities. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard with the Bolt, but built-in navigation isn’t available, so drivers must rely on their smartphone for directions.
While the Tesla Model 3 has a cool exterior that sets it apart, the Bolt has a rather dorky appearance that many other EVs also possess. The Bolt is tall overall, yet has a smallish front end, hence the odd look. And its name has always been baffling, considering Chevy came out earlier with the Volt, a plug-in hybrid? However, there’s no confusing the two any longer since the Volt was discontinued for 2020.
The Chevy Bolt has two trim models – LT and Premier. Although mechanically the same, the upper-end Premiere model comes with additional standard features like heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, rear camera mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and roof-mounted side rails.
The Bolt offers good head and leg room for front seat occupants. Three people is a definite squeeze in the back, where head room is amble but the legs can feel a bit cramped. The cargo area is good, providing 16.9 cubic-feet of space that expands to 56.6 when the rear seats are folded down.
One downside to the Bolt is the interior. The front seats are thin and too hard, not a good combination for any long-distance driving, especially for larger people. The front seats don’t have any lumbar adjustment and power-adjustable seats are not available even in the Premiere model. Other issues include hard plastic materials and a thin carpet.
Battery and Charging
Battery charging is always a concern for any EV owner. The Bolt takes approximately 9.5 hours for a full charge, using a standard 240-volt outlet at home. A Level 3 charging station can add roughly 90 miles of range every 30 minutes.
Despite its impressive range and some other fine qualities, sales of the Bolt continue to dip. Chevy sold 23,297 Bolts in 2017, that figure fell to 18,019 in 2018, and a year later the total was 16,418. The thinking here is the Model 3 impacts all EV sales. Last year, Tesla sales of the Model 3 was a staggering 158,925.
Vehicle Power and Speed
Although its appearance will have many people believing it’s gutless, the Bolt delivers surprising power in all driving situations. It generates 200 horsepower and 266-pound-feet of torque, allowing the Bolt to accelerate from 0-60 mph in an impressive 6.9 seconds.
The 3,563-pound Bolt still possesses ample power with four or a maximum of five people onboard and gets an impressive 110-128 mpge. The electric motor offers instantaneous acceleration, but is noticeably not as robust during freeway passing situations.
We’re impressed with the performance and also how it drives. The underfloor battery pack gives the Bolt a low center of gravity that makes the vehicle feel nimble on even challenging, curvy roads. The regenerative braking system recharges the battery when one lifts their foot off the accelerator and means the driver won’t frequently be using the brake pedal.
Issues are few as the 2020 Chevy Bolt remains a standout among its peers. Its top characteristic is still the enormous mileage range and the surprisingly spunky performance and solid handling.
ClipperCreek Virtual Tour Video: 2020 Chevy Bolt
Recommended Charging Stations = HCS-40
Recommended Power Level of Charging Station = 32A
Vehicle Acceptance Rate: 7.2kW
Ideal Charging Station Recommendations:
Why Chevy Bolt Owners Love ClipperCreek
HCS-40 and HCS-50 remain some of ClipperCreek’s most versatile EV charging stations, but you can see alternative charging station recommendations for the Chevy Bolt above. If you’re a ClipperCreek customer with a Chevy Bolt and want us to display your photos, please send them to email@example.com.
Super Charger! Fantastic charging station. Simple and powerful. Now I can go weeks between charges because of how quickly this thing tops off my vehicle (Chevy Bolt). Found an electrician who installed the 50-A circuit to the garage for $400 (another quote was over $900 so check around). I mounted it myself – with a simple measurement the 12″ power cord was a non-issue (and the short length makes the installation look clean). I ordered a Travel Bracket directly from ClipperCreek and used that for the installation – actually made it easier than direct mount. The people at ClipperCreek were very helpful and communicative.
Costly but Worth it for Chevy Bolt. Bought for my 2017 Bolt. Finally gave up on level 1 charger that came with car —-my car never fully charged with it. It topped off at 175 after 3 days. I thought something was wrong with the battery. Never bought a charger or electric car before. It’s very costly but I am thrilled with it. I set my car to charge during off peak hours. Now it fully charges to 225 in four hours! Make sure you check the outlet you are using. I was lucky my garage already had the right outlet. My friend helped me install it to the wall. Check for wall studs when mounting.