by Jay Traugott
The Chevrolet Bolt EV hatchback debuted as a 2017 model, remaining relatively unchanged ever since. But with the introduction of the Bolt EUV, Chevy has given theBolt EV a facelift. The Bolt EV retains the hatchback body style while the EUV is simply a slightly stretched and lifted version with a crossover design.
For the next phase of the Bolt's life, Chevy embarked on a number of design enhancements inside and out as well as some new charging related technology features. Above all, the Bolt EV remains affordable, which is a great thing considering over 100,000 examples have been sold globally to date. It may not utilize GM's new Ultium battery technology but it doesn't have to. The existing BEV2 platform remains relevant and competitive. Also, the Ultium technology, consisting of batteries, communication systems, and other electronics, are not compatible with the Bolt's platform. Above all, the updated Bolt EV's mission still remains the same: to bring EVs to the masses.
The 2022 Bolt EV doesn't look dramatically different from the outside than last year but there are some noticeable changes. Specifically, there's a new front-end design featuring restyled LED headlights, signature high-eye daytime running lights, and a more upright overall look. The taillights are also newly redesigned and Chevy has introduced new wheel designs.
Overall, the Bolt EV's hatchback design remains the same as before, and that's certainly not a bad thing. It looks somewhat futuristic without going overboard. Hatchbacks are generally not as popular in the US as they are overseas, particularly in Europe. That's a shame because the Bolt EV's body style offers many of the same benefits of a crossover with a smaller price tag.
While exterior design changes are rather modest, the new Bolt EV's interior is perhaps its biggest year-over-year change. A 10.2-inch diagonal infotainment color touchscreen remains standard though the interface has been updated with easier-to-read climate controls and real-time displays. An 8-inch reconfigurable color gauge cluster is optional. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone projection capability is another available feature.
Chevy opted for a new electronic gear shifter design that utilizes pull toggles and push buttons in order to free up center console space. There's also a new one-pedal driving button that keeps the regenerative braking system active between driving cycles. Another cool new feature is a standard flat-bottom steering wheel that includes the "Regen on Demand" paddle that allows for easier one-pedal driving. Buyers can also now opt for heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. Overall interior dimensions remain the same as last year.
The 2022 Bolt EV's "guts" remain the same as before, meaning a 65-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery continues to produce a total of 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to the front wheels only. GM's estimated 259-mile all-electric driving range remains the same. What is new, however, is improved charging.
A dual-level charging cord is now optional so that owners don't have to purchase a separate unit for home charging use. This charging allows owners to plug into a standard 120-volt outlet for Level 1 charging, or a 240-volt outlet for Level 2 up to 7.2 kilowatts. The Bolt EV is also newly capable of 11-kW Level 2 charging, though additional equipment is necessary. Meanwhile, 100 miles of range can be generated in just 30 minutes on a DC fast charger.
The Bolt EV and Bolt EUV are also the first Chevy models to offer the Super Cruise semi-autonomous hands-free driving system. Standard safety includes the Chevy Safety Assist suite which includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, and Lane Keep Assist. An HD rear vision camera is also standard while Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control are optional.
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV has a starting price of $31,995 (including destination), which is over $5,000 less than last year. Buyers may also be eligible for state and local tax incentives. Deliveries will begin this summer.
The Bolt EV will continue to face off against the Nissan Leaf, another all-electric hatchback. Those who prefer an affordable EV crossover should look no further than the new 2022 Bolt EUV. The list of rivals continues with the Kia Niro EV and upcoming Nissan Ariya and Volkswagen ID.4. The Tesla Model Y is another excellent choice but it's far pricier (at least $49,900 before any tax incentives).
The Bolt EV continues to be the affordable and reliable choice for first-time electric vehicle buyers and returning customers. It's only the beginning of GM's plans to become an EV-only automaker by 2035.