One of the pioneer affordable electric vehicles just got its first refresh. The original Chevy Bolt was already an excellent all-around vehicle, with impressive efficiency, interior space, and even speed. The new 2022 Bolt EV pushes further ahead with new bodywork and a new interior. The new Chevy Bolt offers an upgrade in style, usage, and affordability, with an even lower starting price than the previous generation. That's right; Chevy has made obtaining an EV easier than ever with a starting MSRP that no other EV on the market comes close to.
The Bolt continues to be a near-perfect replacement for an average motorist’s gasoline-powered car. Since the Bolt has 259 miles of range and can be charged in your garage overnight, the vast majority of drivers will never need to visit a charging station during daily use. In addition, electricity is cheaper and more efficient than gasoline in terms of delivering motive power. This translates to dramatically reduced running costs and environmental impact compared to a gasoline car, especially over time. The Bolt offers a quiet, comfortable ride with large amounts of airy interior space and addictive instant electric torque.
While the body and interior of the new Bolt have been improved, its power remains the same. The unit powering the 2022 Bolt EV is a compact lithium-ion battery pack with 65 kWh of power. To put that into perspective, the US Navy’s prototype 32-megajoule railgun system uses less than 9 kWh of energy per shot. Put more simply; the Bolt is a hatchback packing enough power to fire a long-range railgun more than seven times.
Despite this enormous amount of energy storage, the Bolt’s compact battery pack is still cheap enough to allow the Bolt’s base model to be offered for under thirty-two thousand dollars. The Bolt can stand up to even the most advanced electric vehicles in the market proudly thanks to these eye-opening specifications and features, all at a lower price than the vast majority of electric vehicles in the industry. The Bolt EV’s price has actually come down roughly five thousand dollars, compared to the outgoing model. It has firmly positioned itself as the best all-around electric vehicle for under thirty-five thousand dollars, which is a harder area to compete in than the six-figure luxury cars and trucks that tend to dominate electric vehicle headlines.
While the cost of the Bolt is much less than that of those six-figure EVs, the underlying technology that powers it is very similar. Modern electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, a technology first developed decades ago to increase the battery life of cellphones and laptops. It turns out that the same qualities that made lithium-ion batteries so desirable and capable in mobile devices would serve them equally well in cars and trucks.
Just like all those expensive cars and trucks, the Bolt EV’s lithium-ion battery pack delivers consistent and reliable power that can both throw you back in the seat when you slam the accelerator and carry you silently for hundreds of miles at a time when driving gently. The 947 pound, 288 cell under-floor battery pack comes with an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, which compares very favorably with the five-year warranties mainstream gasoline-powered vehicles generally have.
Even though modern electric vehicles are relatively new, the fact that an electric motor has just a single moving part means that they are already significantly more reliable than the symphony of hundreds of moving parts that makes up a normal internal combustion engine. If any one of those intricately timed parts goes awry, the engine could quit running, or worse. With an electric motor, as long as the laws of physics and electromagnetism work, chances are the motor will too. All of this adds up to is a car that is more practical, more economical, more capable, more convenient, and more reliable than a gasoline-powered car.
The interior of the 2022 Bolt EV is crisp, sleek, and modern. The centerpiece of the interior is a very large 10.2-inch color touchscreen, which grants complete control over the Bolt EV’s numerous infotainment functions. The Bolt EV’s main touchscreen has the ability to display real-time camera information, enhancing safety and visibility. Another 8-inch full-color display in the gauge cluster allows the driver to monitor their Bolt EV’s status at all times.
Thanks to floor-mounted batteries, the 2022 Bolt EV has a significant amount of interior space compared to other compact cars. The Bolt’s occupants sit up high, with expansive visibility and comfortable seating. The maximum headroom is a very large 40.1 inches, while the maximum legroom is a practically luxurious 44.3 inches. Both shoulder and hip room are well beyond 50 inches for those in both the front and rear rows, which is very impressive on a compact car. All this space helps give the Bolt not just the reality of a large interior space but the feeling that you can stretch out unimpeded. It is practically anti-claustrophobic.
The Bolt packs a truly enormous 93.9 cubic feet of interior volume into its small body. With the rear seat folded, there are up to 57 cubic feet of cargo space, making it more practical than many standard small crossovers. The packaging and engineering that has gone into the 2022 Bolt EV have made the small hatchback into a vehicle whose utility and ease of use makes almost every other vehicle in its price range, gasoline or electric, look old hat. It’s even more practical than those six-figure price tag electric vehicles, at less than a third the cost. The interior updates made to the 2022 Bolt EV have made a great place to be even better.
The fresh design of the Bolt takes what was already a very modern design and transforms it into something downright futuristic. LED headlights and tail lights are thin and sleek, and the character lines are sharp and aggressive, even sporty. The overall design of the Bolt EV is that of a rather futuristic hatchback, but it is just as advanced under the paint as it is at first glance.
Floor mounted battery architecture not only dramatically improves the Bolt’s handling and road-holding but also makes the hatchback almost impossible to roll in most circumstances. The overall structure of the vehicle remains a unibody, but that unibody structure has been optimized to safely contain the Bolt’s battery systems, inverter systems, and 200 hp motor. The suspension of the Bolt is relatively simple, with a standard Macpherson strut setup in the front and a torsion beam design in the rear, with coil springs. An anti-sway bar keeps the Bolt docile in virtually all driving conditions in terms of its handling and adds to driver confidence by keeping the vehicle level through corners.
One of the cooler features found on electric cars that is impossible to replicate on pure gasoline vehicles is regenerative braking. This technique effectively transforms the car’s motor into a generator, charging the Bolt EV’s batteries under braking. This puts energy back into the car that would otherwise be lost, further improving efficiency. When that regenerative braking system is activated, it feels similar to engine braking, and via the Bolt’s software, the car can be driven with one pedal if the driver chooses. This is an intuitive and comfortable way to cruise around that gasoline cars can’t really match, largely because when they slow down, that braking energy is simply lost, never to be recovered. In addition to the Bolt’s new braking technology, good old-fashioned ventilated disc brakes are also included, with an anti-lock braking system. The 2022 Bolt EV rides on 17-inch wheels with low rolling resistance tires.
Just because the Bolt is an electric vehicle doesn't mean that Chevy has skimped out on the safety features. The 2022 Bolt EV features the Chevy Safety Assist suite of features that will make traveling a little bit easier. With this suite, you will get a Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, a Following Distance Indicator, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. You will also get Automatic Emergency Braking for those situations where you may not react fast enough and IntelliBeam Auto High Beam Assist to handle switching between high and low beams at night. The new Chevy Bolt is designed to take on every aspect of driving in a package that is sleek and efficient.