Even we were surprised when we heard the news that the Chevy Bolt EV would get 238 miles on a charge according to the EPA on a 60kWh battery. The “SubCompact Crossover”, as Chevy likes to call it, gets about 30 more miles of EPA range than Tesla’s huge, 7 seat Model S on the same battery capacity but without the low drag coefficient that the Tesla enjoys.
But some new Bolt EV drivers are finding they can really stretch out that mileage, especially in California where the weather is in the 60s or higher year round.
Run your house off your car and an inverter
Los Angeles resident Glenn Williams was able to squeeze out 300 miles with some leftover charge in the battery doing what could be considered normal driving in and around Los Angeles including 100 miles of freeway driving.
Glenn wasn’t driving insanely fast nor did he use any climate or battery conditioning because of the Southern California weather. But otherwise, he says, typical driving. We’re assuming he didn’t do any mountain climbing or anything of that nature.
In case you are wondering, the record range for a Tesla Model S 85 is 550 miles, though that was using hypermiling techniques. Now that Tesla has added another 15kWh to the battery, it will be interesting to see if anyone can hit 600 miles.
The 300-mile feat for the Bolt is an impressive show of the battery, regenerative capabilities and efficiency of the design by Chevy on normal to optimal conditions. This isn’t the only outlier. One of the reviewers finished the 230-ish mile test drive with a few miles to spare. In my review however (where I was testing acceleration and top speed quite a bit), I didn’t make it quite as far as the 238 mile range.
Interestingly, after Glenn charged up after his 300-mile trip, the Bolt gave him an estimate of 318 miles with a 375-mile maximum. Good luck with that you cocky little Bolt.
FWIW, I just placed an order for a Bolt EV this past week and expect delivery next month here in climate-challenged New York City area. We’ll have lots of tests running the battery in many different conditions.