Names have importance to people in general. A name indicates the great significance of a thing – just another nameless mountain in the wilderness of the Indian subcontinent that nobody would ever think about becomes known the world over when it receives the name of Everest. The same might be said of cars. Say what you will about vehicles with unspecific names like C63 or 330i or Model S. For most folks, these labels are meaningless – but drop a name like Corvette, and everybody knows what you’re talking about. Not all names find their way into legend the way Corvette has, but we think there’s another current Chevrolet model with a name worthy of recognition: the 2022 Chevy Bolt EV.
The Bolt name immediately generates a visual of thunder and lightning, especially when taken in the context that the Bolt was introduced while Chevy was producing their first electric mid-size sedan, the Volt. Not only does the rhyme make it easier to remember, but the amped-up imagery it recalls also is intentional, so people will easily remember that this is Chevy’s electric vehicle line. It’s a moniker that has also been a ubiquitous part of popular sports culture since the early 2000’s thanks to Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, who electrified the summer Olympics for more than a decade.
The Bolt EV is not the fastest EV on earth, but we think its place in automotive lore is just as significant as Usain Bolt’s place is in athletics. Despite years of anticipating the electric revolution that the Tesla Model 3 was prophesied to spark, it was Chevrolet who was the first to break into truly affordable EV territory with the Bolt in 2017. The Bolt continues to lead the way as other inexpensive EV models come out by setting the lowest prices on the market, and the Bolt name is now associated with the first truly autonomous driving feature on the market (Super Cruise, available exclusively on the Bolt EUV). Altogether, this intelligent, long-range, affordable EV should long be remembered for how it has electrified the automotive world.
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV does not deviate far from the same general body shape that has defined it from its introduction – it remains an upright hatchback in the same vein as the subcompact Chevy Spark. However, the 2022 model is designed taking cues from the current Chevy SUV design philosophy and with specific areas of customer feedback targeted for improvement.
On the outside, the front and rear of the Bolt are wholly transformed. A diamond-print body-color lower grille cover, along with the elimination of an upper grille, delivers a cleaner front fascia overall. The character is distinctly that of an EV, focusing more on a pleasing appearance and less on trying to look like a “normal” vehicle. In addition, the front fascia is taller and more upright than before, taking after Chevy SUVs and giving the Bolt a more athletic stance. A new headlamp system stands out as well, with the high-eye daytime running lamps doubling as turn signals and substantially updating the look of the headlights.
Black panels which give the illusion of a floating roofline remain, though the side contours are refreshed and more strongly defined. Then we see the entire lighting scheme at the rear has been clearly overhauled as well, with straight-lined two-tier signature taillights again making the Bolt look less like a bargain bin hatchback and more like the car of the future. Lower brake lights are recessed into the rear bumper for a cleaner, less in-your-face look, further tidying the space and completing the exterior refresh.
Inside the 2022 Bolt EV, the transformation is substantial. On the seats, we see that plain cloth upholstery has been replaced by triangular patterned covers with contrasting stitching, giving the interior a more upscale air reflective of the EV’s price point. Gone is the intrusive gear shifter knob, which has been replaced by a modern pull toggle/push-button selector and relocated for more convenient cup holder placement. The topographically-involved dashboard of 2021 is replaced by a straight-lined, evenly-tiered design in black trim with a new 10.2” infotainment touchscreen. Previously protruding climate controls are now seamlessly integrated into the touchscreen panel in flush mounted piano black control buttons. A new flat-bottomed steering wheel and a black Chevy bowtie emblem complete the new look, all dressed up for a new model year.
The biggest draw to EVs for driving enthusiasts is the instantaneous delivery of maximum torque right from the start of your acceleration. Torque and power from an electric motor are not dependent on the running speed like a gasoline engine, where potential gets lost to friction or fuel inefficiency depending on your rpm. The 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque that the Bolt EV throws down would be plenty satisfying for a hatchback of this size, but adding the electric effect takes the fun factor to an entirely new level.
However, what most people want to know about EV powertrain performance is the range, the charging time, and the savings. The trend-setting Chevy Bolt continues to lead the way on range, with its BEV2 platform achieving a max 259-mile range to beat even the base Tesla Model 3’s EPA-estimated 250 miles. That’s more than enough to get to Columbus, Indianapolis, or even Nashville from our home in Paris, Kentucky! And with the lowest MSRP in the segment at only $31,995, the Bolt smashes its closest competition – the Nissan Leaf at $32,570 only ranges to 149 miles, which is no contest at all for extended road tripping.
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV offers a diverse array of charging options. The standard Level 1 system is compatible with household 120 V outlets. While this is great for topping up anytime, anywhere, you’d need to plug in overnight to recuperate from the daily commute since the range only recharges at about 4 miles per hour.
We’d absolutely recommend opting to have Level 2 charging; the available Dual Level Charge Cord allows you to easily switch to a 240 V outlet, enabling charging at 7.2 kW. That’ll seriously boost your charge rate, likely landing around 15 miles recharged per hour. However, with dedicated Level 2 charging equipment, you can boost that all the way up to 11 kW or nearly 25 miles recharged per hour, and the best part is that installing that equipment just might be free! That’s because Chevy has partnered with Qmerit to provide installation of a Level 2 charging system at your home free of charge for qualified customers, making EV living more accessible than ever!
Last but not least, we can’t discuss charging without recognizing the public DC Fast Charging stations available nationwide. When you need to recharge on a road-trip, the Bolt’s standard 55 kW DC charging compatibility will reload 100 miles of charge in just 30 minutes of downtime so you can get back on the road sooner. This is perfect for those who want to take a road trip in their EV, and the recharging time will give you the ability to stretch your legs, eat, or see some interesting places while on your journey.
What does all this mean for you in terms of savings? Well, GM estimates that thanks to the lower cost of electricity versus fuel, you could save $5,000 in fuel costs alone over five years for switching to a Bolt EV! Plus, without oil, transmission fluid, or engine belts to replace periodically, your scheduled maintenance costs are fewer and farther between, easily adding up to hundreds of dollars per year. Suddenly, choosing an EV looks like a smart financial investment, thanks to the Bolt EV’s low starting price!
There’s so much to love about the technology included with every 2022 Chevy Bolt EV. Where do we begin? Maybe it’s the myChevrolet Mobile App, with Energy Assist to optimize your battery usage. The app will use real-time charge level, driving conditions, and weather to calculate the most efficient route to your destination, including locating one of the over 40,000 charging stations available nationwide. Never fear about driving to full or out-of-service stations either – the app accounts for station status, charger availability, and compatibility with your car too!
Or maybe it’s the one-pedal driving feature that helps you to extend your range by enabling regenerative braking. This magnet-powered braking system converts wheel rotation back into electricity for the batteries when you take your foot off the accelerator. New for 2022 is a push button on the center control panel to keep this feature active between driving cycles, so you won’t need to re-enable it every time you drive. Plus, by using this feature, you’ll hardly ever need your friction brakes, just another way that Bolt EV reduces regular maintenance costs!
Perhaps you’re even more interested in Chevy’s safety tech, which is available in abundance on the Bolt. The entire Chevy Safety Assist suite is standard on every 2022 Bolt EV and includes the following excellent driver assist features:
Upgrade to the 2LT trim and get Rear Parking Assist plus a Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zones standard as well. Popular Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Automatic Cruise Control features are available, too, though you’ll have to spring for the pricier Bolt EUV to access the first-of-its-kind Super Cruise hands-free driving assist feature.
Then again, we could always start by talking about the new interactive tech. There’s the next generation of GM’s widely-praised infotainment system on a beautiful 10.2” touchscreen, offering standard wireless smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The Bolt also offers an optional wireless charging pad, so the only cords you’ll need will be on the outside of the car. Finally, the updated dashboard shows all kinds of real-time performance information for the data fan in all of us.