Chevy Volt vs Chevy Bolt
Armen Hareyan's picture

Chevy Volt vs Chevy Bolt: Brief Conversation Between 2 Owners

Today I heard about this brief conversation that took between a Chevy Volt owner and a Chevy Bolt owner. They wanted to compare their cars and it goes like this.
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A Volt owner writes that this morning he parked his Chevy Volt at the local Lowes and when he returned from shopping, he noticed a brand new Chevy Bolt parked alongside.

"The gentleman who owned it was walking out as I was unloading items into my car so I asked him how he liked it," says the Volt owner. "He said he daily drives from the north end of the San Fernando Valley (about 35 miles to LA) to Century City (downtown LA) and back and doesn't even have to charge it every day. His most recent charge showed 240 miles available on the dash display."

The Volt owner goes on and asks him if he can drive to Las Vegas or San jose on a full charge and the Bolt owner "began to scratch his head."

"I told him that was the very reason I purchased the Volt with gasoline assist. At 95 mpgE, I rarely do. But it's there if I should need it for a trip to to city that is 280 miles away."

Do you think the advantage of Chevy Volt is the gasoline assist and better mileage? What are some of the advantages that the Bolt has over the Volt?

Also see this article talking about Chevy Volt vs Bolt EV from a Volt owner's perspective and and earlier comparison of the two cars discussing if the Volt was going to cannibalize on Chevy Volt sales.


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Comments

I have both and they each have distinct advantages. The Bolt can comfortably fit 4 adults + luggage while the Volt rear seats are more cramped and there is less space for luggage. But 2 adults and kids in a Volt is perfectly comfortable for longer trips or trips away from the city. For many drives in developed areas, a 240 mile range will get the job done though. In a Bolt, I can drive from Dallas to OKC, Austin, Shreveport, San Antonio... just to name a few.
Also, in Baker, CA EVGO is installing the first 350 KW CCS charger in the US. I think it was supposed to be finished in July and will have 4 charging stations that can be used simultaneously. But even without it, you can make the trip by charging up in Victorville and driving 60-65mph. Then hit one of the EVGO chargers on the outskirt of Vegas (About 180 miles.) There have been a few people who have made the trip with range to spare.
I have a Bolt and have taken it on a 2200+ mile trip from my home in San Diego County to the Portland, Oregon area. I have driven it several times to the LA area and back, and once to Palm Springs and back,via Anaheim. I have not made the Las Vegas run yet, but probably will in the future. My daily drive is right at 52 miles, but if we add any side trips, it's well beyond the range of the Volt. Even my daily commute would push the Volt limit, since the return trip is a climb up 1000 feet in elevation overall, with plenty of ups and downs between. I do not want any kind of gas car or the maintenance that goes with it. I did drive a Volt for a week or so as a loaner once and it was fine, while it was within its 50 mile EV range. I really didn't like the drive once the gas engine kicked in. The graphics are way cooler though. The Bolt's graphics are kind of boring. Power goes from the wheels to the battery, or visa versa. There are some places I cannot go in my Bolt, such as Phoenix. The current charging infrastructure does not cover everywhere and is really inadequate in the places it does cover. For this reason, if I need to go to those places I'll either fly, or rent a gas car. Otherwise, it's all EV, everywhere I drive. I plug in when I get home, and unplug when I leave, every day. No thought of a gas station, or a charger away from home 98% of the time. I am surprised on the amount of focus that it put on road tripping -- something people don't do that often. I have a gas driving friend who was just commenting on the problems with driving an EV on long trips, yet he was leaving the next day for a road trip himself, and he had rented another gas car so as not to put a bunch of miles on his personal gas car that could have easily made the trip. So for him, and for others like him, an EV with a couple hundred mile range would be perfect.
Coming from a Gen I Volt, I'll be making a decision between Bolt or Volt in the next few months. Right now I'm leaning toward the Bolt, mostly for the better utility for day to day use, better rear seat room (for two children's car seats) and better acceleration. For the really long trips we can still take my wife's CUV, but the Bolt will be the go-to car for most everything else; from my daily commute to mid-range road trips with destination charging.
As an owner of a Chevy Volt, I am a big proponent of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) over all electric cars (BEV) like Teslas, Leafs, and Bolts. If I were to make an early bet now, I believe PHEVs will win hands down over all electric BEVs once people start driving electric cars and realize they don't need 200+ mile batteries because their home is the "gas" station where they can easily fill up with electricity every night. In fact, the ideal battery size is one that is just big enough to cover your daily commute needs and no more. The best way to describe a PHEV is "Electricity for your daily commute and gasoline for your weekend getaways". This combination makes sense for two reasons 1) Lithium-Ion batteries are very heavy. A Tesla battery weighs 1,200 lbs in which you are only using 10~15% of it on a daily commute basis. That means you are lugging around 1,000 lbs of unused batteries which is the equivalent of hauling three full size refrigerators in your everyday commute! 2) And when you are making those infrequent long weekend getaways, filling up at a gas station is still far more convenient than waiting 1~4 hours at a charging station assuming it's even available. When those Model 3s become popular, lineups at freeway/highway charging stations will invariably become common. With a PHEV, you can switch back to gas mode for those infrequent weekend getaways and don't have to worry about lineups or non-existent charging stations.
This is very well put. The Volt is a fuel flexible car. Makes me crazy when people talk about the Volt having a range of 50 miles like the guy in an earlier comment. Nope, it's over 400 miles when both fuel systems are fully charged/full. That is about as much as anyone is going to drive in a full day, even road tripping. And here's the thing - the Volt battery is the perfect size for full recharge over night. Can't do that with a Bolt or a Tesla. I wish Chevy dealers knew how to talk about this car as simply as and as well as Doug Peng. I talked my brother into buying one by explaining the "duel fuel" concept instead of trying to convince him it was an electric car. e. The concept finally clicked. Now he's in heaven. I've had a Volt for 4years. I use it for a normal mix of commuting and road tripping. Level II charger in the garage I got on ebay for $200. Nothing has ever gone wrong with the car. I've done one oil change and I'm showing 60% left until my next oil change. I've gone through two sets of tires. Could not be happier. Bonus - with the battery weight down low and center, it's a great car in the snow.