Like the similarly-named Volt, the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV keeps the cosmetic changes minimal, and instead aims to further optimize the ownership experience.
With the growing adoption of the EV lifestyle, owners and even data-driven manufacturers like General Motors seem to be learning this new style as they go, and solving problems that don’t really exist in the gasoline vehicle world in the process. One such example is that the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV allows owners to set a maximum target charge for 240V stations that are perhaps have unfavorable rates, or are otherwise an inconvenience. The basis here is that it gives the freedom for Bolt owners to charge up to just enough range for them to get to their home or perhaps another destination with more affordable or convenient vehicle charging.
Chevrolet reps at hand mentioned that the seat bottoms of the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV were updated to accommodate a wider frame, but we found it hard to differentiate these new seat bottoms from before, as they measure 18-inches wide, which is the same measurement from previous model years.
What must have been either an oversight or an overestimation of automatic preference, Chevrolet has also separate the heat and A/C controls. Previously, the climate control system would automatically switch between heat and A/C depending on both exterior and interior temperatures. Some customer feedback must have pointed to wanting what’s otherwise standard-issue on pretty much every other vehicle on the market, though our experience with the climate controls left us paying no mind on previous model year Bolt EVs. In other words, it was fine before. Now it’s more fine, but there are no plans to give 2017-2018 Bolt EVs any OTA updates for this, despite the controls being found in the 10.2-inch touchscreen.
Propulsion is the same otherwise: a flat 60 kWh lithium ion battery pack, featuring five sections, 10 modules and 96 cell groups (three cells per group), that spans the floor of the car, and the estimated range remains 238 miles. And unlike the 2019 Chevrolet Volt, the 240V charge time has not been improved, though the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV maintains DC fast charging capability, which its more rakish counterpart doesn’t posses.
Suspension tuning has allegedly changed, but the Bolt EV’s upright, bulbous shape and low-friction tires keep the experience from getting too exciting, even though we beat a Corvette Racing driver in an autocross with it once. Of the two plug-in Chevys, the better handling one is the Volt – which also has a lower roofline, has a wider wheelbase and more cargo capacity. But if electrification is the only option, the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV continues to be an ideal choice. Besides, who wants to wait a year for a backordered Tesla, anyway?