Car and Driver recently acquired a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV to see just how much range they could squeeze out of its new, more energy-dense lithium-ion battery pack.
For this test, the publication went to one of the most brutal environments on planet earth: Death Valley. Not only would Death Valley’s high temperatures test the car’s operating efficiency, the route the editors picked would see them traverse the road up to California’s Whitney Portal – which sits 8,374 feet above sea level.
Car and Driver also planned to make a return trip from the 134-mile journey, giving the magazine editors a total trip distance of 268 miles. The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV has an estimated range of 258 miles, so while completing this journey on a single charge is possible – it would require some delicate driving and careful attention to the battery capacity.
Not surprisingly, the route sapped energy from the Bolt EV as it climbed the hill to Whitney Portal, but the editors were able to regain some of that lost battery capacity by using the vehicle’s regenerative braking feature on their way back down.
The car showed 75 miles of range left when they reached the turnaround point at Whitney Portal, but with the majority of the journey back being downhill, they were still able to make it home on a single charge. Car and Driver lauded the Bolt EV’s regenerative braking feature for this performance, saying the system harvests energy at a remarkable rate. At one point, it added 30 miles of range to the battery in just nine miles of downhill coasting.
In short, the Bolt EV impressed Car and Driver during this rather punishing road test and was able to complete a 268 mile journey on a single charge with relative ease. Head on over to Car and Driver to read their complete impressions on the car and find out what’s required to squeeze this much range out of a Bolt EV.
Source: Car and Driver