So you're considering an electric car. Smart move! I highly suggest the Chevy Bolt. I personally drive one, despite having access to any car on our dealership lot. Occasionally I'm tempted by the luxury of a GMC Denali or top end Jeep Cherokee. I think about how much easier it would be for my kid to get in the car with the push-button opening on a Honda Odyssey. But then I remember all the reasons I love my Chevy Bolt.
The Chevy Bolt is not a hybrid; it's an all-electrive vehicle (AEV). To charge it, you don't need any equipment other than the 120V outlet you already have in your garage and the charging cord that comes with the car. With the 120V outlet, your Bolt will only charge 4 miles per hour. You would therefore need to charge every single night and possibly all weekend, depending on your useage. However, upgrading to a 240V outlet will cut your charging down to just 4 hours total! We made this upgrade a year into our EV experience and it was well worth the money spent. The great news for Evergy electricity customers is that you can qualify for up to a $500 rebate for the cost of the 240V installation.
On a fully-charged battery, you can expect to drive up to 250 miles, though a more realistic estimate is 180-200. Keep in mind when shopping for ANY electric car, the maximum mileage only occures under perfect conditions--not using air conditioning, not driving over 50 MPH, etc. With an electric car, you actually get better gas mileage in the city than on the highway. Each time you use the brakes, energy is sent back into the battery. Stop and go traffic is no longer something to curse at! Additionally, the Chevy Bolt has regenerative braking. This is a paddle on the steering wheel that causes you to slow down and eventually brake. According to JD Power, up to 70% of the kinetic energy used in braking is captured and returned to the battery with this system. It takes some getting used to, but I use this feature regularly when I don't need an abrupt stop.
People often ask if the money I save on gas is actually worth it due to the electricity I consume by charging at home. The answer is "Yes, definitely!" When we first purchased our Bolt, we saw a $50 drop in our gas/electricity cost the first month. This was in 2019 when gas prices were much lower than today in 2022, so I have no doubt that we are saving even more now. Since then, we have discovered another way to save while charging and you can read about it here. I have also been asked if using electricity over gas is actually doing anything to help the earth. Here in the Kansas City metro, Every provides our electricity and they currently source wind for 30% of their energy, and their coal-dependency drops each year in relation to their wind and solar-dependency increasing. There's no perfect solution for helping our earth, but replacing gas-powered vehicles with electric is a huge step in the right direction.
The Chevy Bolt is a 5-passenger hatchback with back seats that fold down. We have easily filled the hatchback alone with two lawn chairs and my 7-year-old's bike with room to spare. I also have plenty of trunk space for groceries each week. We see large SUVs with third rows that impede on the back storage space in a way that makes the Bolt have more storage space. As far as leg room goes, I'm 5'10 and my husband is 6'3 and we are very comfortable. Our daughter is in a carseat in the back and has ample leg room as well. I was reluctant to drive a car this small as I have never owned a compact car, but I don't feel that I'm missing out on anything due to size.
Ease of Use
One of the biggest and most surprising reasons I love my Chevy Bolt is the ease I have in driving it. It has plenty of zip for a 45-year-old mom. Parking, even parallel parking, is simple. I see big vans and SUVs drive past cramped parking spaces that I happily pull into. U-turns, turning around in small spaces, backing up with the use of the backup camera...all a breeze. In 30 years I have driven countless cars and I can say that the Chevy Bolt is the easiest car to maneuver around in.
I'm glad you are considering a Bolt and I hope that you pull the trigger! I have had my Chevy Bolt for 3 years and I'll never buy a gas-powered car again. I see absolutely no reason to. Thanks to my Bolt, I save money by not buying gas, I have plenty of interior space for my family of three, I get around quickly and easily, and I'm doing my part to help the planet.
Meredith Reynolds, Owner