You can spot the popular Chevrolet Bolt anywhere. It commutes, vacations, runs errands, or works for a living as well as just about any EV. With nearly 100,000 Bolts on US roads, it’s no surprise that this affordable, subcompact is a cornerstone in GM’s plans for an all-electric future. Owners of the Chevy Bolt appreciate its range, acceleration, and value for the price, consistently scoring it strongly in terms of customer satisfaction for both LT and Premier trims.
Bolt hit the market in 2017 with a competitive 60 kWh battery, 200-horsepower engine, and excellent range. Its original 238 miles of pure electric range was far more than its Nissan Leaf rival, which was only rated for 107 miles of range in 2017. More recent models have a slight bump to 66 kWh battery and 259 miles of range.
Prices for new and used Bolts vary depending on the model year, options, and trim level. Although the battery capacity does not vary depending on the trim, other options do. For the base level LT, you have optional packages: a “Comfort and Convenience” package that includes climate control upgrades, and the “Driver Confidence” bundle with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors.
The Premier trim comes with both of these packages standard, and includes the option to further upgrade with an infotainment package or a higher-level “Driver Confidence” bundle, including forward collision warning system, pedestrian detection, low-speed automatic emergency braking, a lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlamp dimming. In the 2022 model year, 2LT is the upgraded trim level.
As of summer 2021, the Bolt Electric Utility Vehicle (EUV) hit the market. This crossover has a slightly larger body, new technology, and is rated at slightly fewer range miles - 247 as opposed to the EV's 259. The Bolt EUV comes in both LT and Premier trims.
The Chevy Bolt is battery electric, which means that it is entirely powered by electricity via a high voltage, lithium ion battery. Even a used Bolt that is several years old has a competitive pure electric range. Depending on the age and condition, many can average nearly 230 miles when charged to 100 percent.
For any all-electric vehicle, range means how many miles the car can go when it’s charged to 100%. However, the achievable range may vary with external factors, much as with a gas powered car. The EPA gives electric vehicles a standard "rated range" for each make, model, year, and trim, but there are both short and long term changes to this number. Short term changes are due to external factors such as driving style, terrain, or temperature, while permanent range effects are due to battery degradation and age.
Seasonal changes and driving behaviors affect an EV's achievable range on any given drive. Generally, EV batteries perform better when the temperature is in the 70-80's, terrain is flat or downhill, and traffic is slow moving or stop-and-go. These factors affect all lithium ion batteries, but the amount of on-board variability you’ll see in a car depends on battery chemistry and how the car manufacturer programs the battery management system. A Chevy Bolt will show reduced range on its dashboard when the climate deviates from around room temperature. The Bolt's on-board systems are very sensitive to driving style and terrain and you can expect to see your estimated range fluctuate.
Read more about how temperature affects range.
From what we've seen so far, most Chevy Bolts hold on to their original range very well over their lifetime. While used Bolt ranges at 100% charge fall mostly between 156 and 312 miles, vehicles have been observed with ranges from 103-364 miles. There is such wide variability for Bolts because the on-board range estimate varies a lot depending the external driving conditions. Recent extreme temperatures or hilly roads impact the estimate. Additionally, many Bolts have been observed to exceed their EPA range estimate under ideal conditions. This data comes from over 1200 Chevy Bolts on US roads today.
We all have our strengths and Recurrent’s strength is understanding EV batteries! Our research shows the beginning of our battery degradation monitoring for the Bolt electric vehicles in our community. This data is live from Recurrent’s battery tracking research, and as such, represents real vehicles. We know that in new EVs, there is an initial drop off in range. This is expected in all lithium ion batteries and means that the battery chemistry is settling into its long-term state. After this initial drop, range estimates (and battery health) tend to fall into a steady but slow decline.
The main ways to measure vehicle efficiency, or energy use per distance traveled, are MPGe and miles/kWh. You may see these values on new car stickers or on dealer listings. The Chevy Bolt gets between 118-120 MPGe depending on year and 3.45-3.57 mi/kWh. This falls to the mid to high range of efficiency.
Our community of Chevy Bolt drivers give the car a Charging Score of 3.69/5, meaning that most drivers are moderately satisfied with their charging experience. Importantly, both the LT and Premier trim levels can accommodate a DC fast charger but this optional add-on costs about $750. It allows you to charge to 90 miles in about half an hour before reverting back to a level-two charge. Of course, you still have the standard AC charging options: a 120V plug that will give you about 4 miles of range an hour, making it only a last-ditch choice, and a 240V plug that will give you around 25 miles an hour. To charge completely from empty will take around 10 hours on a level-two plug. Since the charging network for the Chevy Bolt may be sparse in some areas and a full charge does take so long, it is recommended that drivers have access to home or work charging.
Chevy Bolts use lithium ion batteries - a power power dense, high voltage technology that works well for storing enough energy to make a car run. Much like the lithium ion battery in your phone or your laptop, the batteries in your car will also start to lose power and capacity with age and use. Battery degradation is the inevitable decline in battery performance based on two things:
a) the age of the battery (also known as 'calendar' aging)
b) how the battery is used, charged, and stored
Calendar aging is inevitable - it starts the moment a battery is made. However, there are things that can cause a battery to degrade faster than expected. Common storage and charging practices do impact the rate of battery degradation, and there are thing an EV owners can do to slow the process. This discussion is covered in a research article on battery degradation.
The battery size, or battery capacity, for a Bolt is measured in kWh, and ranges from 60 - 66 kWh depending on model year. A 60 kWh battery is fairly standard for a contemporary EV, but it was considered pretty large in 2017 when the Bolt debuted. The newer Bolt EUV has a 65 kWh battery.
Despite recent news about the Chevy Bolt recall, the lithium ion batteries used in the Bolt should last for at least the life of the car. The battery issues addressed by the recall should affect very few Bolts.
Chevy GM offers an 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty - whichever comes first. The warranty terms mention that battery capacity degradation over the term of the warranty may be between 10-40%, with technicians make final determination on battery replacements. Bolts that receive battery replacements under the 2021 recall will have their warranties reset at the time of replacement.
This page shares Chevy Bolt data collected from over 1200 cars across the United States. Each of the 5.5 million miles driven helps to draw a picture of the Bolt experience. We polled our community to find out what they love and what they could leave with their vehicles.
Most liked features:
"It's fun to drive and very comfortable. It's been quite a while since I've chosen to drive my car somewhere just to drive it, but I do it with my Bolt, so it's brought the joy of driving back for me."
"Range is great. It's pretty peppy and highway or city traffic is no problem. Fit and finish in general is pretty good. Infotainment system is good, along with Bose sound system. Overall, it's a great car in my opinion."
"Everything is simple - the Bolt seems well designed for minimum maintenance and practicality. Just get in and drive, nothing else to worry about.
Room to improve:
"Not so great for long (>150 miles) trips. The charging network is still spotty (here in VA.), and the length of time it takes to charge while at public EVSEs makes long distance travel problematic."
"The seats aren't great and the heated seats don't get very hot."
"Not “connected” enough. Chevrolet app is pretty disappointing and there’s no support for 3rd party data connections."
The Green Score for the Bolt is great. It is an all-electric car with no tailpipe emissions. If driving electric isn't enough for you, you can lower your environmental impact by buying a used Bolt - every used car purchased means one fewer new car to be produced and shipped. Finally, you can really up your green game by powering your EV with renewable energy for the ultimate clean machine.
The Bolt was introduced as a cost conscious, all-electric option to luxury EVs such as the Model S. It is no longer eligible for the federal tax credit of $7,500 because too many have been sold, but there is pending legislation at the time of writing that might reintroduce incentives on the Bolt. New Chevy Bolt EVs start at $31,000 and the recently introduced Bolt EUV, which is a crossover utility vehicle with a slightly larger body, starts at $33,000. While these prices aren't insignificant, the lower starting price for new cars translates to more affordable used options.
The used price of a Bolt varies based on year, car condition, and trim level. Working with data form our partner, Marketcheck, we have seen prices as low as $13,000 and as high as $40,000 for 2020 and prior models. Some 2021 and 2022 used Bolts cost upwards of $45K.
Despite conventional wisdom that the ongoing recall should lower prices, if anything, more shoppers see the opportunity to buy a used-priced vehicle and get a like-new battery replacement with a brand new warranty.
Recurrent uses cost per range mile as a way to measure the marginal increase in range that larger battery capacity or different trims may offer. The cost per range mile in a used Bolt can range between $110-$130, depending on car price, making it a solid choice for budget-minded shoppers.
Recurrent uses data from the AFDC to determine the range of annual charging costs for a Bolt. Assuming and average driving pattern of 34 miles a day, 5 days a week, 49 weeks a year with 25% highway driving, plus a few additional highway road trips, you can estimate your annual charging costs to be between $368 - $1,178. More detailed and personalized values can be calculated at the link above. For our calculations, the highest electricity price is found in Hawaii and the lowest in Louisiana.