Meet the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
General Motors has made big commitments to electrification. On the way to reaching carbon neutrality by 2040, the automaker is transitioning to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or other zero-emissions vehicles. Forty percent of GM’s U.S. models will be BEVs by the end of 2025. The Chevrolet Bolt, which was introduced as a 2017 model, is at the tip of the spear of GM’s attack. Now the strategy broadens, as the Bolt has been redesigned and engineered into two distinct models for 2022: The Bolt EV and the Bolt EUV.
The new Bolt EUV.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV (Electric Utility Vehicle) is a compact five-passenger crossover vehicle with five doors. It uses the same platform as the Bolt EV, but is longer overall and has a longer wheelbase. I got a chance to drive a pre-production version of the Bolt EUV last week in southeastern Michigan, and to compare it side-by-side with the new Bolt EV.
Under the hood of the Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The Bolt EUV and Bolt EV share no exterior sheet metal with the outgoing Bolt EV, and the Bolt EUV and Bolt EV share no sheet metal, either. The size differences between the EUV and the EV are subtle, just a matter of inches here and there. Bolt EUV’s wheelbase is 105.3 inches, about three inches longer than the EV, and overall length for the EUV is 169.5 inches, about six inches longer than the EV. The Bolt EUV is about the same size as the Chevrolet Trailblazer crossover SUV, the second-smallest in Chevy’s crossover lineup.
The Bolt EUV is six inches longer than the EV.
The exterior design of the two Bolt vehicles is very similar, though. You’ll probably need to look at the badging on the EUV’s exterior to make sure which Bolt you’ve encountered. Each is athletically drawn, easily recognizable as a relative of the rest of the Chevy crossovers (Trax, Trailblazer, Blazer, Equinox, and Traverse, from smallest to largest). Beyond the name badges and the solid patterned grille up front (there’s no radiator, so less airflow required for cooling), nothing about the Bolt EUV shouts “Electric Vehicle!”
The Bolt EUV hovers between SUV and hatchback.
Chevy has made a nice improvement in the overall look and feel of the interior. New textures and details have been added, like visible stitching on the layered dash, and a pattern on the dash inserts matching the triangular geometric pattern of the seat coverings. It’s a nice, comfortable cabin – not luxurious, but not stripped-down, either. The layout is clear, simple and uncomplicated, with a 10.2-inch diagonal color touchscreen at the top of the center stack for infotainment, and a logical array of buttons and controls below. A new electronic gear selector in the center console engages pull toggles and push buttons in a way that’s intuitive to understand and use. I felt comfortable with the operation right away.
Bolt’s uncluttered dash.
The Bolt EUV’s second row is a comfortable, if utilitarian space, with three inches more legroom than the Bolt EV’s space – a critical measurement which makes the EUV a much more pleasant space for rear-seat passengers. Curiously, the Bolt EUV has more overall passenger volume (96.5 cubic feet vs. 93.9 cubic feet), but about the same luggage space behind the second row (16.3 cubic feet vs. 16.6 cubic feet) and cargo space with the second row folded (56.9 cubic feet vs. 57.0 cubic feet).
The Bolt EUV is a pure electric vehicle, using a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery energy storage system comprised of multiple linked modules. The 288-cell battery weighs 947 lbs, and stores 65 kWh of energy. It carries an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty from GM.
Bolt’s front seats.
The system uses a single electric permanent magnetic drive motor (200 hp/266 lb-ft of torque) with a direct drive gearset powering the front wheels.
The Bolt EUV comes with a new dual level charge cord with a changeable plug so you can connect to a standard 120-volt three-prong outlet for Level 1 charging, and a 240-volt outlet for Level 2 charging (up to 7.2 kW). The Bolt EUV is capable of 11-kW Level 2 charging, which requires additional separate equipment. In collaboration with Qmerit, Chevrolet will cover the cost of standard installation of Level 2 charging for qualified purchase or lease customers. Using the myChevrolet app on a smartphone, you can find one of the over 80,000 chargers in North America, and use the click-to-charge feature to pay for electricity. GM and EVgo are expanding their network of fast-chargers right now, with a goal of adding more than 2,700 charging stations by the end of 2025.
Bolt EUV second row.
Charging time is estimated at four miles of range in about an hour at 120 volts (household current, Level 1). That means that if you plug in your Bolt EUV when you get home from work at 6:00 pm, you should have recovered up to 56 miles of range by the time you unplug and leave for the office again at 8:00 am. If your commute is under 28 miles each way, in theory, you could keep your Bolt topped off at Level 1. At 240 volts (Level 2), you can achieve a full charge from “empty” in about seven hours. When you have access to a DC Fast Charge station, you can get up to 95 miles of charge in about 30 minutes. With a full charge, the Bolt EUV has a range of approximately 250 miles.
In a lot of ways, driving a Bolt EUV is an unremarkable experience – which is exactly how it should be. The basics of driving a car apply, no special knowledge or skills required. Press the start button, engage Drive, give it some throttle and the Bolt EUV leaves the line in a very controllable, predictable fashion.
Bolt EUV cargo compartment.
Sound-deadening measures have been improved over the original Bolt EV, so less wind and road noise intrudes into the cabin, too. You can create your own soundscape, too, using the Bolt EUV’s native sound system, which includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, along with integrated Amazon Alexa. Wireless phone charging is standard on the Bolt EUV, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is available.
All the way up to highway speeds, the Bolt EUV is a pleasure to drive. A button in the center console allows you to select one-pedal driving mode, a boon for commuters who must contend with traffic. Braking can be tweaked using the regen paddle on the steering wheel, increasing or decreasing the level of energy capture while you drive. It can be a bit of a fun game to see how much you can use these systems to extend your potential range.
Bolt EUV infotainment screen.
The Bolt EUV uses independent suspension in the front (MacPherson struts with a stabilizer bar) and a torsion beam with coil springs in the rear. Handling is acceptable for the intended purpose of the vehicle, and the column-mounted electric power steering gives good feel and feedback at all speeds. If I had one complaint with the original Bolt EV, it was that the steering feel got very light at speed, almost like a go-kart. I had no similar complaint with the Bolt EUV, which has a better ride and more stable feel on the road, possibly thanks to the longer wheelbase and better weight distribution on the chassis.
The new flat-bottomed steering wheel is home to a number of controls, some redundant for audio and some for the 8.0-inch configurable color gauge cluster. There’s a regen-on-command paddle on the steering wheel, as there was on the original Bolt. On the Super Cruise-equipped models, like our sample, there’s an embedded light bar at the top of the wheel. It lights up blue when Super Cruise is available, changes to green when the system is engaged, or flashes red when the system disengages or needs the driver’s attention.
The cabin of the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
Super Cruise is being introduced here for the first time on a Chevrolet after previously being available only on select Cadillac vehicles. While the system is very impressive, and allows limited (but actual) hands-free and pedal-free driving on many freeways and highways, it’s an odd option for the Bolt EUV, which will be more of a city and suburban car than a highway hauler. You can’t get Super Cruise on the base LT model (starting at $33,995). It will be available as an option on upper trim Premier models (starting at $38,495), and will be standard on the limited production full-zoot Launch Edition (starting at $43,495).
Bolt EUV showing off its flank.
There are other BEVs to consider, of course. The Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Hyundai Kona Electric, and Kia Niro EV have been on the market and evolving for years. There’s a new Mini Electric Hardtop, Volkswagen ID.4, and Ford Mustang Mach-E, each showing a different size and style to the BEV equation. And don’t overlook the Tesla Model 3, the EV manufacturer’s most affordable car to date.
The Chevrolet Bolt EUV makes a lot of sense, and is a marked improvement over the original Bolt EV. The fact that its starting price is lower than the outgoing vehicle’s is a great sign of progress, that economies of scale are beginning to kick in for Chevrolet. Over 100,000 Bolt EV examples have been sold since its introduction in 2017. Of course, the downside of success is that GM vehicles are no longer eligible for the Federal tax credit, though some state and local rebates and credits may still apply, along with utility company subsidies and rebates. If you’ve been on the fence about adding an electric car to your household, it may be time to jump off that fence and take a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV for a drive.
Bolt EUV rear elevation.
I have reviewed hundreds of cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, minivans and motorcycles for a wide assortment of magazines and websites. If it’s got wheels and an engine, I