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Chevrolet has pulled back the curtain on its updated-for-2022 Bolt EV, as well as a new variant, a small SUV that is a slightly larger version of the hatchback model. The Bolt EUV, as the SUV version will be called—the acronym stands for “Electric Utility Vehicle”—will join a list of other small electric SUVs that includes models like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV, and perhaps larger, more expensive upcoming models like the Volkswagen ID.4. and Nissan Ariya. Chevrolet says the Bolt EUV will be the first vehicle outside GM’s Cadillac division to get the automaker’s Super Cruise hands-free driver assist technology (other models, including the 2022 GMC Sierra will get it, too, though).
Both the Bolt EV and the Bolt EUV are built on the same platform, and feature a cleaner, more chiseled approach to the former Bolt EV’s styling. The Bolt EUV is more than 6 inches longer than the hatchback model, has a longer wheelbase, and is a tiny bit taller. The Bolt EUV has a bit less cargo room behind its rear seats, but rear passengers get more legroom.
EPA range estimates aren’t available yet for the Bolt fraternal twins, but GM estimates that the driving range for the updated 2022 Bolt EV will be the same as for the 2021 model at 259 miles. The Bolt EUV, which is almost 100 pounds heavier, will have a slightly lower 250-mile range. GM says it has partnered with a few charging companies to build a more robust charging infrastructure that the company’s executives hope will assuage consumers’ concerns about range.
“Range anxiety is a term we need to get rid of, because once you own an EV, and once you experience it, it's a non-issue," said Jesse Ortega, chief engineer of Chevrolet’s electric vehicle program.
It is notable that Chevrolet managed to shave more than $5,000 off the starting price of the 2021 Bolt EV. Even the new Bolt EUV is cheaper than the previous-generation hatchback.
There’s no need to consult a crystal ball in order to figure out why General Motors decided to build an SUV version of its Chevrolet EV. Currently, SUVs—small ones, in particular— are the hottest-selling type of vehicle on the market. The Bolt EUV has the potential to broaden the appeal of EVs at a time when GM is interested in selling more of them. Just last month, Mary Barra, the company’s CEO, said GM aspired to transition to an all-electric lineup by 2035.
Within the as yet limited world of EV sales, Chevrolet has already enjoyed moderate success with its Bolt EV, selling more than 20,000 of them last year. The addition of an SUV model seems likely to further expand EV sales. Ortega says that there is enough flexibility in the manufacturing process between the Bolt’s hatchback and SUV variants to allow Chevrolet to increase production one way or the other based upon consumer demand. Although the future is impossible to predict with certainty, current consumer demand seems to make it clear which way the needle will swing.
Chevrolet says the interior is all-new, and that it features more soft touch materials for a more upscale feel. Aluminum accents streak across the dash and doors, and the upholstery features a minimalist layout inset with a pixelated triangular print reminiscent of the first-generation Bolt EV. The front seat of both models has the cupholders, center console storage, and deep door pockets that have become de rigueur across the industry.
The instrument panel is new, and it features a multicolor instrument display and a large center stack touch screen, along with a smattering of buttons and switches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
While interior dimensions of the new Bolt EV are pretty much the same as the original, the Bolt EUV will get 3 inches more leg room in the rear seat, but also slightly less cargo room than the hatchback. The Bolt EUV is also available with a panoramic sunroof, although the rear headroom gained in the EUV model is lost with the sunroof option. The Bolt EV has 16.6 cu.-ft. of cargo space behind the rear seat, and 57 cu.-ft. with the seat folded down. The Bolt EUV has 16.3 cu.-ft. of room behind the rear seat, and 56.9 cu.-ft. with the seat folded.
What Drives It
Both the Bolt EV and the Bolt EUV have the same powertrain, which consists of the same electric propulsion system Chevrolet used in the 2021 Bolt EV model. A 947-lb., 65 kWh battery pack supplies the electricity needed for the 200-hp electric motor that drives the front wheels. The motor produces 266 lb.-ft. of torque. Neither model features the new Ultium battery technology GM says it will use in future EV products, such as the Hummer EV. Ortega said Chevrolet did not have plans to use Ultium on Bolt models in the future. Similar to the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro EVs, all-wheel drive is not available on the two Bolts, which is odd given customers’ expectation that AWD will, at the very least, be available on an SUV. Given the upcoming competition, we think it’s a missed opportunity.
EPA range estimates are not yet available, but Chevrolet estimates that the Bolt EV can travel 259 miles on a fully charged battery, and Bolt EUV—which, at 3,679 lbs., is 90 lbs. heavier than the hatchback—can go 250 miles on a full charge. Chevrolet says both models gain 4 miles of range per hour of charging on a 110-volt Level 1 charger, and that both models can be fully charged in about 7 hours using a 240-volt Level 2 charger. Both models come with a charging cable that can handle both Level 1 and Level 2 charging. DC fast charging capability is also standard on both models, and Chevrolet says 30 minutes of DC charging will add 100 miles of range for the Bolt EV, and 95 miles for the Bolt EUV.
Chevrolet is offering an optional package that allows users to check charging status and battery charge level remotely. A mobile app—myChevrolet—can be used to find charging stations along travel routes.
Safety and Driver Assistance Systems
Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and a following distance indicator will come standard among the advanced safety features available on both the Bolt EV and the Bolt EUV. A high-definition rearview camera is also standard. Rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and a suite of cameras that give the driver a surround view around the vehicle are optional.
Super Cruise, the driver assist technology that allows hands-free driving as long as the driver pays attention to the road ahead, will be available on the Bolt EUV, but not the Bolt EV. The system uses a network of cameras and sensors to modulate speed and steer the car, as well as monitor driver attention. When the driver looks away from the road, the system alerts the driver. Chevrolet says the Bolt EUV will not get the enhanced, lane-changing version introduced recently in some Cadillac models.