Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular as the automotive industry moves away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy alternatives. GM’s Chevy Bolt EV has been the company’s attempt to move entirely away from gas and focus entirely on an alternative energy source for propulsion. The 2021 Chevy Bolt, despite not being a traditional combustion-based sub-compact, has still found affability among car shoppers due to a few noteworthy features that help make it stand out from the competition.
What Is the Chevy Bolt?
If you haven’t been keeping up with new vehicle releases, it’s not uncommon to be completely in the dark about the Chevy Bolt, a five-door hatchback subcompact that’s powered entirely by battery. The hook for the Bolt is that it’s an all-electric vehicle powered by a lithium battery pack. The all-electric vehicle is labeled as a plug-in electric vehicle since when the charge depletes, you’ll have to venture to a charging station to get it recharged. Alternatively, you can charge it at your home if you have a charging station.
The MSRP for the Chevy Bolt starts at an estimated $36,500-$37,000, so it’s slightly higher up the price range than some other compacts. However, what you pay upfront in terms of a car cost is levied by the fact that you don’t have to fill the car up with gasoline, so fluctuating gas prices are no longer an issue for Bolt owners. Plus, this car runs on clean energy, so you can feel good about saving the planet while you save money.
New Changes Before the Refresh
The big news buzzing for the 2021 Chevy Bolt EV was that it was supposed to be getting a mid-cycle refresh. The sub-compact originally made its debut on the market back in 2017, and there were expectations that a mid-cycle refresh would be coming soon to sate eager shoppers of the electric-car variety. However, Chevy has decided to delay the mid-cycle refresh to 2021 for a 2022 model year outing.
The refresh is expected to make modifications to the body and interior, including adding the new Super Cruise function that will allow for complete hands-free driving on the highway. In the meantime, however, Chevy decided to give Bolt purchasers something to look forward to with the 2021 model year, thanks to a number of modifications and changes before the big refresh takes place. It’s a nice little gesture in lieu of the major overhaul planned for the all electric vehicle.
2021 Trim Changes
The initial Chevy Bolt launched with two trim options and a single drivetrain configuration. The trims included an LT and Premier trim, the latter of which came with the availability of several desirable features. The Infotainment Package, 17-inch aluminum painted wheels, power heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, standard roof-mounted rails, available Bose premium 7-speaker audio system, interior upholstery, and wireless device charging were all included or available.
The drivetrain configuration is staying the same for the 2021 model year, with Chevy sticking with a front-wheel drive for the Bolt. The trim changes include the removal of the aforementioned Premier trim in place of a 1LT/2LT trim, which will basically add more optional features to the base trim. This makes sense given that the 2020 model year Premier trim, which has an MSRP of $41,020, only offered minor improvements over the base LT trim. If the price structure changes for the 1LT and 2LT trims, it will definitely make the Bolt a lot more attractive for those who may have wanted the additional infotainment packages and wheel upgrades but without spending quite as much for the Premier.
The estimated fuel/charge economy for the 2021 Chevy Bolt is still as efficient as the 2020 Chevy Bolt. The battery range still tops out at 259 miles, and the miles per gallon equivalent in the city is 127, and 108 miles on the highway with a max charge. Charging the Bolt is made convenient with up to 40,000 different charging stations spread across the country. Alternatively, you can purchase your own 32 amp charging station from a number of online outlets for home charging for a couple hundred dollars. With a level 2 charging station, you can keep the Bolt up and running with just a couple of hours of charging each day to keep the 66-kilowatt battery fully functional.
DC Fast Charging
2LT trims of the 2021 Chevy Bolt will come automatically installed with DC fast-charging. This feature makes it so that you can charge up the electric vehicle much faster than usual, especially at public charging stations. The fast-charging enhancements were first introduced in the 2020 year model, with GM promising more miles added in the first 30 minutes of charging in mild temperatures and 150% more miles charged in the first 30 minutes in cold temperatures. When tested, it takes a little over an hour to go from a near depleted 4% up to an 80% charge. With the DC fast charging now standard for the 2LT trim, it could undoubtedly make the Bolt feel a lot more economical for some potential car shoppers compared to previous model years of the Chevy Bolt.
The Comfort and Convenience Package now requires the DC fast charging function. If you opt for the 2LT trim, this isn’t an issue since it automatically comes with DC fast charging. For the 2020 year model, the Bolt Premier trim automatically came with the Comfort and Convenience Package, so that may not be an issue for the 2021 year model if car shoppers find that the 2LT trim also comes standard with the Comfort and Convenience Package. If, however, you opt for the 1LT trim, you will need the DC fast charging if you plan on having the Comfort and Convenience Package added to your purchase. The package comes with an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, 3-spoke automatic heated steering wheel with leather wraps, and heated driver and passenger seats.
The 150-kilowatt motor generates up to 200 horsepower for the 3,563-pound vehicle, making the sub-compact quite zippy on the road thanks to its low center of gravity and quick maneuverability. With the addition of regenerative braking to conserve battery consumption and its low-maintenance design, the Chevy Bolt EV is one of those vehicles that appeal to economic drivers who want something fun to drive back and forth via commutes or to run errands. While this vehicle isn’t designed for towing or off-road antics, it is designed to fit a very specific profile for what car shoppers are looking for out of a fuel-efficient compact. They want a car that gets them to and from their destination without the hassle of worrying about rising gas prices or traditional maintenance for fossil fuel-based vehicles.
The Future Is Electric
With a focus on DC fast charging for the 2021 model year outing, it appears as if the Bolt is certainly moving towards being a lot more competitive for car shoppers in the market for a plug-in all-electric vehicle or a hybrid. If Chevy sticks with incremental improvements for the Bolt with each new model year, it’s easy to see why this particular electric vehicle brand is fast becoming a fan-favorite among car shoppers. If you are looking for an eco-friendly sub-compact that completely forgoes the need for traditional fossil fuel, you should look into the upcoming 2021 Chevy Bolt.