With an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles and DC fast-charging capability, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is easily one of the more livable battery-electric vehicles on the road today – at least on paper. Those two attributes, in conjunction with its ample cargo capacity, mean that the Bolt should qualify not only as an adept city vehicle, but as an okay road-trip car, as well.
However, while it’s certainly possible to take the Chevrolet Bolt EV on a lengthy road trip, the relative lack of expedient CCS (Combined Charging System) stations means that taking the vehicle a long distance across state lines can be a chore. Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield of Transport Evolved discovered that much when she decided to take her new Bolt on an experimental, 500-mile road trip.
The problem, she says, is that while the CHAdeMO charging standard is fairly well-established, having what she calls a “robust” charging network in many parts of the US, the CCS standard is less mature. Stations are reportedly fewer and farther between, and many of the existing locations are limited to around 24 kW of power. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, for reference, is able to handle up to 80 kW.
Ms. Gordon-Bloomfield’s conclusion: “Yes, you can road trip in a Chevrolet Bolt EV; it’s far more easy than it would be in a limited-range EV. But the speed of charging really does make a difference… You’re slowed down by the charging network, not the car, and that’s a bit of a problem.”
For more, watch the video from Transport Evolved above.