The EPA rates the Bolt EV's range at 238 miles on a charge, which is a good deal more than existing budget EVs like the Nissan Leaf. It brings Tesla-like range down in price, before Tesla can with the upcoming Model 3. And with a 200-hp electric motor, this tall hatchback (Chevy claims it's a crossover) is pretty good to drive. Okay, it's actually kind of fun.
We're also attracted to how the Bolt makes the EV experience surprisingly normal. It skips blended brakes, which can be offputting to alt-fuel newcomers, and instead relies on a fully mechanical system backed up by a paddle behind the steering wheel that can activate regenerative braking through the electric motor. With a little practice, you can drive the Bolt with the throttle pedal and that paddle most of the time, only occasionally hitting the energy-dissipating brakes. Or if you prefer the normal two-pedal feel, that option is there for you too. You get to choose your level of EV adoption within the car itself.
As we said in our most recent review, the Bolt is an electric car that will change the way people think about electric cars. They're no longer early-adopter oddities or playthings of the rich (who can afford a third car for long trips). The Bolt opens up a lot of possibilities and invites more people to try electric living.
The Chevy Bolt is one of three finalists for the 2017 Autoblog Technology of the Year car award, along with the Acura NSX and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Our winners for both the car and feature categories will be announced later this week.