Chevy Bolt EUV Opens My Eyes To Electric Cars

Merging onto the I-5 towards L.A. I’m immediately wowed over the deceptive acceleration I’m experiencing. I am driving the 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV Premier. In just seconds, I am up to freeway speed. Yet it just seemed like I was gliding along much slower. In fact, the car accelerates so agile and smoothly that I often catch myself going well beyond the speed limit and not even realizing it. I feel invincible, as if I can effortlessly pass any car, motorcycle or truck.

This is the first time I’ve ever driven an electric vehicle beyond the neighborhood, mind you. The two previous experiences were driving a friend’s Tesla and my neighbor’s Ford F-150 Lightning. But this Bolt EUV, wow: Its power is simply mind-blowing. The other thing I instantly notice is how quiet it is. I mean, it would even make an old librarian happy. And on the noisy Southern California freeways, it honestly makes the entire experience worthwhile all on its own.

I’m sure many of you reading this have already driven electric cars at some point. So you understand what I’m talking about. But for those of you who haven’t, this combination of power and quietness are eye-opening and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced behind the wheel.

In a week of test-driving this car, I’ve been impressed with its performance and pep. And comfort. And all of its features, really. Seriously, it has everything I’d want in a car these days – for an out-the-door sticker price of $43,585. I’ve tried using every tech feature that the car offers. It has the surround vision backup cameras that stay on when you first put it in drive, as well. The lengthy sunroof brings a lot of natural light into the car when you want. It has the camera-based rear-view mirror, if you opt to use it. I tried the hands-free Super Cruise twice on the freeway. My wife wanted to see how it handled the curves on the 5. Bottom line is – as she said – it handled them way better than I could. I opted to use the single-pedal option for much of the time I was driving the Bolt EUV. Essentially it starts slowing the car down as soon as you take your foot off of the gas. At the same time, it’s extending the battery range with regenerative braking. It took a few minutes to get used to, but I really liked it. The car is also equipped with WiFi and a hotspot, cordless phone charging pad, satellite radio, clear and vivid 10.2-inch infotainment screen, an awesome navigation system, and all of the battery monitoring features you need.

Speaking of, this has been my first experience with recharging the battery. When fully juiced, the Bolt EUV has roughly a 252-mile range. In Southern California, where Teslas seemingly outnumber the volume of people who can actually afford them, there’s a huge network of charging stations around. I quickly learned that most of those, at least in my area, cater to Teslas. I’ve come across everything this week in my charging experience. A quick primer (or at least my interpretation of it): There are three charger levels you can use. The first and slowest is plugging the included cable into your 110-volt house plug. That gets you maybe three or four miles per charging hour. The second is a Level 2 charger that ideally gets you about 20 miles per charging hour. But in my experience the actual charging times were throttled back, and were more realistically half that speed. And if you use a machine that’s share-charging another vehicle, expect it to be even slower. And then there are fast charging stations. While those should give the Bolt EUV a full charge in about an hour, the one I found was a two-hour charge. I stumbled across several non-functioning chargers this past week, as well as multiple unused chargers in spaces that were being occupied by cars that weren’t even plugged in.

The public charging situation will definitely improve in the very near future – especially because the world is moving aggressively toward electric vehicles. If I owned this car, I would absolutely install a fast charger in my garage so I wouldn’t need to experience range anxiety out on the road as much. Obviously I rarely think about range with a fuel car, as there are gas stations everywhere – where I’m in and out in a few minutes. But we are paying over $6 per gallon in California, so that “convenience” is expensive.

Many of my friends have asked about my experience and I tell them the same thing: If the Bolt EUV is any indication of what’s in store for electric vehicles, then I’m definitely looking forward to the near future.

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