Drivers in the United States have been hearing that electric vehicles are the way of the future for decades. While automotive manufacturers have been scrupulously working at engineering an EV that meets the public’s demands, Chevrolet has emerged at the top of the pack with the 2021 Chevy Bolt EV.
It’s not that the American public didn’t want an EV. In fact, GM’s electric concept cars date back to the 1960s. Around the start of the 21st century, electric and hybrid vehicles gained an almost fanatic following, with their impressive mileage, silent ride, and high tech features. It seemed there were just a few things holding them back from taking over the country’s roadways, including range, the fun factor, and the overall usability of all that technology.
Chevy demonstrates that all of the public’s feedback has been heard and considered, creating the 2021 Bolt EV with the longest range and easiest ownability of any Chevy EV to date. Chevy has also indicated that the 2021 Bolt is just a precursor to the range of EVs it has on the drawing board, making this model one to strongly consider.
How Does the 2021 Chevy Bolt EV Charge?
Early EV concerns involved the charging process. Could the car just plug into a regular wall socket, like a blender or a television? Or was there some sort of magical process involved––perhaps a converter or a special plug? Then charging stations appeared around the country, but not everywhere, further muddying the concept. So an EV can be charged at a special station, which is only available in certain places? Did that mean drivers had to make a purposeful trip to a charging station? All of the information and misinformation about the charging process made it seem terribly involved and awfully inconvenient.
The 2021 Chevy Bolt is designed to take the mystery out of the charging process. The standard charging option involves a 120V charge cord. With this cord, drivers can plug in their Bolt anywhere they find a 3-prong outlet. Like the blender or television, no special plug or converter is required. This process is ideal for overnight charging absolutely anywhere, as it provides about 4 miles of range per hour of charge.
For those who would like to speed the charging process up a bit, a 240V/ 32AMP charging unit is available. This option does require a special charging unit, which drivers can have installed in their home through Chevy’s partner, Qmerit. This charging option provides up to 25 miles of range per hour of charging, which means a typical daily commute can require only two hours of charging each day.
For those who need a very rapid solution, Chevy also offers available DC Fast Charging. This option provides up to 100 miles of range in just 30 minutes of charging time. DC Fast Charging does require a public charging station but provides the most significant amount of charge for your time. Plus, with over 40,000 charging stations available across the country, a special trip into unknown territory may not be necessary.
In addition to simplifying the charging process, Chevy has made it easier for drivers to understand their EVs. 2021 Bolt drivers can enjoy the Energy Assistant via the myChevrolet app. The Energy Assistant can help drivers plan routes to their destination based on charge levels and locate and pay at public charging stations.
2021 Chevy Bolt EV Drivability
Chevy has also simplified the process of driving an EV. Though the process wasn’t complicated in previous generations of EVs, Chevy has added a variety of features to the 2021 Bolt that addresses any questions drivers might have about operating an EV.
First are the driving screens. The Driver Information Center within the 2021 Bolt can be customized to display exactly the information you want to know about your vehicle, your range, and power regeneration. There’s even a display screen specifically designed to demonstrate how driving technique, road conditions, interior climate, as well as the weather outside impact the overall driving range.
The driving process itself has been likened to turning a light on and off. While earlier hybrids and EVs required a little warm-up time between hitting the gas and launch, the 2021 Chevy Bolt accelerates exactly as expected. Thanks to the electric motor, it is incredibly quiet, which rides along under the vehicle, providing a taller ride than drivers might expect.
The 2021 Bolt offers a few “EV-Only” driving features. One-pedal driving allows drivers to operate in Low driving mode, using just the gas pedal to accelerate and decelerate. In this mode, the deceleration energy is transferred to the battery, which helps extend the overall range. A Regen on Demand paddle is mounted to the left of the steering wheel, giving drivers both more stopping power and added range with more dynamic brake energy, which transfers into battery regeneration.
At full charge, the 2021 Chevy Bolt has a range of 259 miles. It has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 6.5 seconds. And it comes with support. Drivers can browse Chevy’s online library of instructional videos or chat with an expert online for assistance regarding the Bolt EV’s many features.
Inside the 2021 Chevy Bolt EV
The 2021 Chevy Bolt EV is available in two trims: the LT and the Premier. Both feature 60/40 split-folding rear seats, which can fold flat to accommodate up to 56.6 cubic feet of cargo––much more than many drivers would expect of a hatchback EV. Since the electric components ride underneath the vehicle, trunk space isn’t as limited as in previous EVs. In fact, five passengers can ride comfortably inside the Bolt.
The LT model includes all the necessities, such as a 10.2-inch color touchscreen Infotainment system, deluxe cloth upholstery, and automatic climate control. Power doors, power locks, remote keyless entry with remote start, and ten airbags are all standard on the LT trim.
For those who want to customize the drive in the LT, consider adding the Comfort and Convenience package. This optional package includes a hands-free programmable power liftgate, heated driver and front passenger seats, a heated steering wheel with leather wrapping, and an automatic dimming rearview mirror in the cabin. Those craving more safety and driver assistance features may opt for the Driver Confidence Package, which adds Rear Park Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. Many of these features are standard on the Premier trim, which also takes things to the next level with a seven-speaker Bose sound system, a standard false cargo floor under the truck space for even more storage, hi-def surround vision, and leather-trimmed deluxe upholstery.
Drivers of the Premier trim also have a few optional goodies available, including additional USB ports for rear passengers, wireless device charging, and more. A Driver Confidence II Package is available for the Premier and the LT, which adds a variety of safety and driver assistance features. This package includes automatic high beam headlamps, Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Braking and Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and a Following Distance Indicator.
Ready for an EV?
As Chevrolet treads confidently into a new era of electric vehicles––followed closely by other automotive manufacturers––the 2021 Chevy Bolt EV sets the tone for what to expect over the next five years. As electric automotive engineering finally meets the needs and demands of the drivers who support the environmental and economic advantages of EVs, better vehicle options will become available. The 2021 Chevy Bolt not only meets those needs and demands head-on but sets the stage for innovation, improvement, and a new era of excellence amongst EVs.