Chevy Bolt EV: Eco-friendly electric car offers powerful engine, smooth driving

| Jan 29, 2017 05:05 AM EST

GM’s Chevy Bolt EV not only is a green car but its powerful electric engine reduces range anxiety and makes it fun to drive.

General Motors started production of its 2017 Chevrolet Bolt in late 2016 and the electric vehicle (EV) will be available throughout the United States this year. The U.S. automaker is now allowing tech and auto reporters to test drive consumer versions of the electric car. Reviewers have shared the four-door hatchback is not only a green car but also provides the smooth driving experience that is archetypical of most small vehicles.

The Bolt was unveiled in 2015. That was at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The subcompact e-car has an interior that is big enough for four adults and a one-week supply of household groceries,  according to Engadget.

GM's long-range EV has a price tag under $30,000 after adding federal tax credits. Its electric powertrain prevents owners from feeling they have to make changes to their driving style when switching from a gas or diesel engine.

Chevy Bolt has a 150-kilowatt motor that produces 200 horsepower as well as 266 pounds of torque. The car's Sport mode has a zero-to-60 rating below 6.5 seconds. Its electric torque makes the vehicle faster and provides power boosts for steep hills.  

The Bolt's battery is located at the bottom of the electric car, which provides a low center of gravity. It also has a suspension that is a little tighter than the GM car's pre-production model.  

Chevrolet's green car is rated with a 238-mile (383-km) range due to its 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Only drivers who watch their fuel economy carefully can get 238 miles on a single charge, while driving in different conditions and using the EV's three modes will result in a lower figure.  

The base model Bolt is shipped with a high-quality level 2 port. Owners can get an extra 24 miles (38.6 km) or so in one hour due to the 240-volt plug.

A 750 DC fast charger is also available. It requires a DC fast charger but can add 90 miles (144.8 km) to the battery pack in half an hour.    

Some car reviewers, however, have also had some issues about the Chevy Bolt EV.  They include no crash tests done yet, third-party DC charging infrastructure,  and the performance of its tires and battery in winter/cold driving, according to Electrek.

The Bolt's price is much cheaper than the Tesla Model S. Elon Musk's company is speeding up production of its cheaper Model 3 but the Bolt will be available throughout the U.S. by the middle of this year.

Here's a test drive of the Chevy Bolt EV:

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