The First Affordable Long-Range EV Gets an Upgrade
General Motors has pledged to introduce 30 new electric vehicles worldwide by 2025, and two of those 30 vehicles are the new 2022 Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle (EV) and Bolt Electric Utility Vehicle (EUV). The Bolt has been a success for General Motors. When it was introduced in 2017, it beat the Tesla Model 3 to market and became the first affordable long-range EV. Over 100,000 Bolts have been sold around the world, and 75% of Bolt owners are new General Motors customers.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt lineup has expanded to include the standard Bolt EV and the new Bolt EUV. The Bolt EV receives styling tweaks and interior upgrades, but the EUV is new for 2022. GM hopes you’ll cross shop the EUV against electric crossovers. The EUV is six inches longer than the standard Bolt, riding on a longer wheelbase. Comparing the interior dimensions of the two, all of the EUV’s extra length benefits rear seat passengers where there is three inches of additional legroom. All other dimensions are virtually identical between the two Bolts, including cargo space. Unlike most crossovers, the Bolt EUV is not available with all-wheel drive. Both the Bolt EV and EUV are front-wheel drive only.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Styling
On the previous Bolt, the upright hatchback styling gave it a dweeby look. I’m not convinced that Chevy refreshed the Bolt EV’s styling enough to take it out of dork territory, but at least it doesn’t look worse than before. If you were fine with the old Bolt’s styling, you won’t mind the way the 2022 Bolt EV looks. If you hated it before, the 2022 refresh probably won’t change your opinion.
On the EUV, Chevy says it has SUV/crossover styling elements, but I don’t really see it. The Bolt EV and EUV don’t share a single piece of sheetmetal, but they sure look incredibly similar. Looking at them side by side, you can identify a few extraordinarily minor differences. But when you see a new Bolt traveling down the road without the other to compare it against, I’m confident most people would be unsure whether they’re looking at a Bolt EV or Bolt EUV.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Interior
The interior is where the previous Bolt had the most room for improvement. The seats were thin, flat, and hard, and the materials used felt cheap and low quality. The interior accommodations of the 2022 Bolts appear nicely upgraded over the outgoing model. Whether you choose the Bolt EV or EUV, they both use the same materials, dashboard design, and seats. The overall look is more appealing, both in style and quality. More soft-touch materials are used on the doors and dashboard, and the seats have more padding than earlier Bolts.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Powertrain
Both 2022 Bolts will be powered by the same electric motor and battery pack as the previous Bolt. It generates 200 horsepower, and should continue to provide quick and powerful acceleration. Combined with the Bolt’s nimble handling and low center of gravity as a result of the battery’s placement below the floor, the Bolt is more entertaining to drive than you might assume based on the vehicle’s mission and styling.
On a full charge, the 2022 Bolt EV can travel 259 miles. The range drops slightly to 250 miles for the EUV.
An upgraded charging cord is standard on the Bolt EUV and optional on the EV. It is compatible with both Level 1 and Level 2 charging. Level 1 charging, using a standard household outlet, adds 4 miles of range per hour. Faster Level 2 charging uses a 240-volt outlet (like those used for an electric clothes dryer), and will fully charge a depleted battery in 7 hours. If you need an electrical upgrade at home to enable Level 2 charging of your Bolt, Chevrolet will cover the cost.
For charging on the go, public DC Fast Chargers will add up to 100 miles of range in half an hour. GM is partnering with EVgo, the largest domestic network of public fast chargers, to increase accessibility. They want to add over 2,700 more fast charging stations nationwide by 2026.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Cool Features and Innovations
The biggest new feature on the 2022 Bolt is the addition of GM’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous hands-free driving system. It was previously a Cadillac exclusive, but it will be an option on the Bolt EUV. Super Cruise utilizes adaptive cruise control to maintain a safe following distance from vehicles ahead, and also uses lane keeping assistance with centering to keep the vehicle properly positioned within the lane.
Super Cruise can only be used on specific highways, although GM says over 200,000 miles of American roads are compatible. An illuminated status bar along the top of the steering wheel communicates whether Super Cruise is active. Sensors and cameras watch to make sure the driver is attentive. If the driver stops watching the road, the system will alert them to resume control of the wheel, and then deactivate. So, Super Cruise will not allow you to play Pokemon Go or crawl into the back seat for a nap while hurtling along at highway speeds.
Most advanced safety technologies come standard on both Bolts. And while this isn’t exactly an innovation, a sunroof is available on a Bolt for the first time. It’s an option on the EUV.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Pricing
Both the 2022 Bolt EV and EUV will be cheaper than the outgoing 2021 model – kinda. The current Bolt starts at $37,890 including destination charges. The 2022 Bolt EV will start at $31,995, and the EUV is only $2,000 more than the EV.
One factor at the forefront of the mind of most EV shoppers is tax incentives. General Motors and Tesla have each sold over 200,000 EVs, and therefore their cars are no longer eligible for the federal $7,500 tax credit. Chevrolet responded by offering big discounts on the 2021 Bolt ($8,500 off as of this writing) but perhaps they’re hoping that dropping the price on the 2022s justifies also dropping the steep discounts.
On paper, the 2022 Bolts are cheaper than the outgoing model, but when you factor in the incentives typically available on the existing car, the new models won’t be less expensive. But regardless, they’ll continue to be an awesome value in the EV marketplace.
The 2022 Chevy Bolts will start arriving at dealerships this summer.
I’m a big fan of the Chevy Bolt. I don’t mind the dorky looks, and love the impressive engineering and cool tech. The Bolt is peppy to drive, and the interior space and driving range make it practical for daily use. According to data from Consumer Reports, owner satisfaction ratings are high, and predicted reliability scores are excellent. And the new 2022 Bolts are poised to add to the reasons why the outgoing Bolt is one of the best affordable EVs on the market.
However, Chevrolet’s attempt to elongate the Bolt by a few inches and then call the EUV a crossover feels like a stretch. Pun intended. The EUV is barely any taller than the standard Bolt, there’s no increased cargo capacity, and aside from more rear seat legroom, passenger space is the same. You can’t get the EUV with all-wheel drive, and even in appearance, the EUV looks just like the Bolt EV. Don’t get me wrong, though. The EUV looks to be as appealing a package as the conventional Bolt. I’m just not going to call it a crossover. Sorry, Chevy.
I credit the 2017 Bolt for kicking off the current shift in the industry toward more affordable long-range EVs. And I commend Chevrolet for the steps they’re taking to make the 2022 Bolts, and EVs in general, more accessible. As more automakers aim to compete in this space, consumers will find more EVs available at more affordable prices with driving ranges that encroach ever closer to that of gasoline-powered cars. As the infrastructure of fast charging networks improves along highways and removes that final major roadblock toward mainstream EV adoption, it’s only a matter of time before driving an EV becomes as foregone a conclusion as driving a conventional car is today. Mark my words!
What do you think about the new Chevy Bolts? Comment below and let me know. And if you know someone who might enjoy this post, please share it with them! And as always, thank you so much for reading. I appreciate it!