Why the Chevy Bolt May Be the Best Deal on an Electric Car Right Now

A Girls Guide To Cars | Why The Chevy Bolt May Be The Best Deal On An Electric Car Right Now - 2023 Chevy Bolt Ev In Iced Blue Metallic Featured Image

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The Bolt has been on a rocky road, but don’t let that sway you. Here’s why.

Most of us have seen something in the news about Chevy Bolts catching fire and being under recall, but do you know all the details? And, did you know that Chevrolet just dropped the price of the Bolt, with an electric driving range of up to 259 miles on a single charge, to a budget-happy $27K? And that one has nothing to do with the other? This is one electric car you should keep your eye on if you’re thinking of putting an EV in your driveway soon.

Related: Meet the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV: What It’s Like Inside the Electric Car Cult

2022 Chevy Bolt Parked In A Driveway

2022 Chevy Bolt in a Driveway. Photo: Chevrolet

So Those Battery Fires: What Really Happened?

First, a little back story. In 2010, General Motors released what became one of the top selling plug-in hybrids in America, the Chevrolet Volt. In October 2016, they started producing the Bolt, their all-electric version and, in early 2019 they ditched the Volt forever, in favor of focusing on full-electric cars. That was a pretty big deal but, at the time, GM stated that they wanted to prioritize their investment in battery-electric architectures and focus on crossovers, SUVs, and trucks.

And that is exactly what they did, announcing the Bolt EUV (an electric SUV). GM also announced a new modular platform, and their Ultium battery technology. And soon after that, they announced their progressively pricier electric Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer. 2020 was looking bright on the electric front for General Motors.

But then came the wave of news reports of Chevy Bolts catching fire, and GM did the right thing, recalling the car, making repairs and advising owners on safe operations. 

Related: Warning Chevy Bolt EV Owners! There’s a Recall on Your Car

2022 Chevy Bolt Parked Outdoors

2022 Chevy Bolt Parked Outdoors. Photo: Chevrolet

The Chevy Bolt became the Black Sheep of the EV family.

But, the issue impacted every Bolt and it became an outcast. Literally. GM advised to quarantine it 50 feet from buildings, and it was not allowed to park next to other cars. It was also subjected to strict charging and usage protocol. For a while, GM kept selling the Bolt EV and EUV. But then, in mid-2021, they officially recalled every Bolt EV and Bolt EUV and halted production.

This was pretty crazy time. GM was trying to release new Bolts while making sure that they were repairing every single existing Bolt and it really just wasn’t manageable. They took a break to work it all out and halted production of their Bolt lines from mid 2021 to April 2022.

Related: Grab A Coffee With Friends While Charging Your Electric Vehicle

2022 Chevy Bolts Being Manufactured

2022 Chevy Bolts being Manufactured. Photo: Chevrolet

The Fires Were Linked to Manufacturer Defects 

Turns out that the battery fires were linked to two manufacturer defects found within the battery pouches made by LG Chem. The presence of these defects, especially when combined, made some batteries more likely to catch fire than others.

Keep in mind that batteries catching fire is a risk with all of our lithium-ion consumer electronics like our laptops or cellphones. Which is why airlines ask you to take the batteries out of your suitcase before stowing it in the overhead compartment.

Gas vehicles are also at risk of catching fire too. BMW has recalled almost a million gas vehicles for risk of fire. Which in no way diminishes how scary it is or catastrophic for those involved, but it’s good to know that electric cars are not alone in the risk factor.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Car Recalls

2022 Chevy Bolts In The Assembly Line

2022 Chevy Bolts in the Assembly Line. Photo: Chevrolet

GM Slashed Bolt Prices When Its Electric Car Tax Incentives Were Exhausted

Despite the pause in production, GM still sold enough Bolts to use up the tax incentives that the federal government offers on the first 200,000 electric vehicles a car company sells. Once they hit this mark, the incentive starts to phase out. GM hit the end of their phase out in early 2020.  

But does a tax incentive really help? It can be confusing, unclear, and you get your money after you file taxes for the year of your purchase. And not every buyer qualifies. But it’s a nice perk, so GM decided to offer their own incentive, dropping the starting price of the 2022 Bolt from $37,495 to $32,495, effectively moving the cash benefit to the front end, when you actually make the purchase.

That alone was a pretty good deal, making the Bolt competitively priced against the 2022 Nissan Leaf with its untarnished reputation as the most affordable electric vehicle in the US market. The Leaf had a $28,425 starting price, but non-industry standard CHAdeMO charging port. For another contrast, and the Mini Cooper SE with its fun aesthetic, had a $30,750 starting price, but not the electric driving range of the Bolt.

Related: What the Proposed New Electric Vehicle Tax Credits Could Mean For You

Mini Cooper Se Electric In Motion

The Mini Cooper SE Electric. Photo: BMW

The Chevy Bolt is now the Most Affordable new Electric Car in North America

Then GM cut the price of the 2023 Bolt line even further, pricing it at $26,595 for the EV and $28,195 for the EUV. Consider that the average price for a used car is $27,633 and suddenly the Bolt is not only the most affordable electric car on the US market, but it’s actually an affordable car, period. So often we are confronted with the concept that electric cars are too expensive, they’re only for wealthy people, and there are no options for people who would otherwise be looking for a cost-effective, used vehicle. Well, here we are!

2022 Bolt Ev On A Beautiful Drive

2022 Bolt EV on a Beautiful Drive. Photo: Chevrolet

What About the Cost of a Home Charging Installation?

The 2022 Bolt line includes a $1,000 credit towards home charging installation or a $500 credit towards charging at EVgo locations. We haven’t received confirmation yet whether this will be included in the 2023 models but, if so, that will make this an incredibly enticing first electric car purchase.

A Closeup Of The 2023 Chevy Bolt Euv Home Charging Setup

2023 Chevy Bolt EUV Home Charging. Edited: Liv Leigh Photos: Chevrolet

Is the Bolt Actually a Good Car?

The Bolt is great. In fact, both models might have everything you need for a city vehicle. While neither are built for power or performance, they absolutely shine in the range department, banking a not-too-shabby 259 miles for the EV and 247 for the EUV. This is 100 miles more than the comparably priced Nissan Leaf and Mini Cooper Electric.

259 miles is enough range to make this city car a potential road tripper too but you do have to contend with a rather slow charging speed. Both Bolt versions can gain close to 100 miles per 30 minutes of DC fast charging, which is pretty slow in comparison to industry leaders.

For reference, the Cadillac Lyriq is estimated to charge at 200 miles per 30 minutes of DC fast charging. So you’d have to factor in some really long charging stops if you’re road tripping one of these vehicles but, if you’re patient and don’t have to drive too far too often, it could be doable.

2023 Chevy Bolt Ev Zipping Around A City

2023 Chevy Bolt EV Zipping Around a City. Photo: Chevrolet

Well-Appointed Tech, Safety, and Driver Assistance Features

Both the Bolt EV and EUV have 10.2 inch color touchscreen displays with wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto capability along with a stack of safety and driver-assistance features. The Bolt EV 2LT trim comes with adaptive cruise control with GM Super Cruise hands-free driving available on the Premier trim EUV. They come with one-pedal driving and regenerative braking on-demand with a steering wheel mounted pedal, all packaged in a compact build with an 8 year/100,000 mile battery warranty.

A View Of The 2023 Redline Trim Chevy Bolt Euv Dash

2023 Redline Trim Chevy Bolt EUV Dash. Photo: Chevrolet

The Bolt May be a Deal That’s too Good to Miss

All in all, both the Bolt EV and the EUV are capable electric cars, with great range, a good assortment of tech and safety features, and the lowest price on the market. They may have a rough reputation but we know that billions of dollars were spent addressing the issue that ultimately affected around 14 vehicles out of 141,000.

We got to see GM deal with the fallout proactively by committing to make it right by every single customer. The Bolt is not built on GM’s new, fancy Ultium platform so it’s hard to say whether they will keep making them, or making them as they currently are, for long. This may be a deal that’s too good, and quick, to miss.

Production of 2023 models is said to begin this Summer, so be sure to keep an eye out if you’re interested in snagging one of your own!

An enthusiastic supporter of everything she’s passionate about, Liv got her first Electric Car and immediately made a YouTube... More about Liv Leigh