Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2021 Chevy Bolt EV is driving on a rural highway.

Used Chevy EVs Spark New Interest

Electric vehicles have gone through significant advancements throughout the past couple of decades. The electric vehicles of today are simply more powerful and efficient than their predecessors and more value-oriented too. Manufacturers from around the globe have begun producing electric models for their lineups, and as the years go on, these vehicles have been appearing more prominently in pre-owned listings. Nowadays, you’ll be able to find a quality used Chevy EV at a discounted price as the Bolt EV has been on the market for some time. Because of this, the Bolt EV has become the quintessential pre-owned EV.

Since the Chevy Bolt EV is currently the only electric vehicle sold by Chevy (although that will soon change with Chevy’s recently announced Bolt EUV, electric SUV, and electric pickup truck), this means that shopping for a used Bolt EV is a very simple process. The Bolt EV was first introduced in 2017, putting its older versions right in the sweet spot for high-value used cars without having to sift through a decade worth of worn-out models. In addition to this, there are only two trims for each model year.

The main differences between the three model years are slight enhancements that have been made on an annual basis. However, you can always expect a powerful and efficient vehicle. Realistically, there haven’t been all too many changes in the past few years. While there was a notable range increase for the 2020 model, you are unlikely to find many of those newer vehicles on the used market.

Any Powertrain Changes?

One of the main advantages of purchasing a used Chevy EV is that few powertrain changes have been made. The 2017 through 2019 model years used a 60 kWh battery pack with a range of 238 miles, while the 2020 and 2021 model years have a slightly larger 66 kWh battery pack with a range of 259 miles. However, that difference is rather small, and every Bolt EV so far has produced the same 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. When combined with the instant response from the electric motors and the lack of any transmission shifting, this power provides the Bolt EV with the sort of acceleration that you would normally only find in legitimate sports cars.

EVs such as the Bolt EV are immensely more efficient than gasoline-powered vehicles. While the entire idea about EVs has been rooted in the utmost efficiency, this concept is constantly improved upon. While EVs do not burn gasoline, the Bolt EV uses the same amount of energy as a gasoline car that gets 118 MPG – that’s nearly four times the efficiency of the similarly-sized gasoline-powered Chevy Malibu. When you factor in how much less electricity costs, it is quickly apparent that buying a used Chevy EV will save you a large amount of money over the life of the vehicle.

Buying a used EV is not just about saving the environment or spending less money at the gas station. When you own a car like the Chevy Bolt EV, you also spend a lot less time taking care of your ride. To begin with, you can recharge the vehicle overnight in your garage or driveway, meaning you never have to take time out of your day to refuel. EVs also require much less maintenance, including never needing oil changes. That means less time sitting in service center waiting rooms and more time enjoying yourself.

The gray and black interior and dashboard of a 2019 Chevy Bolt EV are shown.

Identical Interiors

The powertrain configurations aren’t the only aspects of the Bolt EV that have seen relatively small changes over the past few years. When looking inside an older used model such as the 2017 Bolt EV and the latest model, you may be surprised at the similarities. This isn’t a bad thing either, as the lineup has always been known for its comfortable interior with various state-of-the-art tech-centric features. Let’s say you purchase a 2017 Bolt EV, and a friend of yours purchases the latest model; you both will be receiving a nearly identical infotainment center.

Unlike many models that offer small infotainment center screens on the base trims, every Bolt EV comes equipped with a large 10.2-inch screen. So picking up a more affordable base trim doesn’t mean that you will be missing out on modern connectivity. Once you sit inside of a Bolt EV, it’ll become apparent how much screen real-estate this will grant you as it’s best compared to the likes of popular tablets on the market. More screen real-estate means extra visibility, allowing you to read maps easier and access what you need at a moment’s notice. These infotainment centers aren’t preloaded with simple non-intuitive software either – they’re feature-packed and easy to understand.

Accompanying the infotainment center are plenty of USB ports, and you may also connect your smartphone to the Bolt’s speakers through Bluetooth connectivity. You’ll also be receiving a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for wireless internet on the go, and the Bolt’s infotainment center also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These two pieces of software are highly popular and still aren’t universal on brand-new vehicles, yet here they are on every used Bolt EV. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both extend your smartphone features over to the Bolt’s infotainment center. With these features, you can even use voice commands to send text messages, make phone calls, or even change the song on the radio.

Not only are a majority of the tech-centric features present on each model year, but the remainder of the interior hasn’t seen too many upgrades either. This means that a used Bolt EV will give you the same spacious interior as the latest models, with plenty of headroom and legroom for both rows of seats. Cargo space also remains identical, with a total of 16.9 cu ft. of space to work with behind the 60/40 split-folding rear seats, which should be plenty of space for general cargo.

A popular used Chevy EV, a black 2020 Chevy Bolt EV, is parked on a beach.

Long-Lasting Relevancy

The Chevy Bolt EV is a great used EV option that is made even better because of the rather small improvements to the lineup since its launch in 2017. Although there has been an announcement of a redesigned Bolt EV making its way to the market starting with the 2022 model year, these older models are still a great place to start. Regardless of the incoming redesign, we speculate that many of the features that Bolt EV owners have become accustomed to will retain their relevance long after the release of the updated version.

There’s no denying that the next Bolt EV may very well be a significant upgrade to the lineup given the hype that Chevy has been creating around it. However, right now, the Bolt EV is one of the very best used EVs you can purchase. It’s entirely understandable as to why you’d consider a newer model such as the 2020 Bolt EV due to its larger battery and longer range. However, for the driver looking for a good deal, our recommendation is to shop around for the 2017 model because of how much money you’ll be saving. The future of EVs is brighter than ever thanks to manufacturers such as Chevy, and as new EVs hit the market, the number of affordable used Chevy EV models will also continue to grow.