It was the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV's turn to undergo the InsideEVs 70 mph range test, and the compact 5-door hatchback proved to be up for the challenge.
We recently performed the same range test on a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, and the Bolt EV's slightly larger sibling delivered a result of 231 miles under similar driving conditions.
Gallery: 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Bolt EV has a combined EPA range rating of 259 miles, but its highway EPA range rating is slightly lower, at 233.4 miles. We prefer to use the EPA highway rating for comparison when we do our range tests because that rating should be more representative of the highway driving we do at 70 mph.
However, the Bolt EV outperformed both ratings and we finished up with 260.1 miles on the trip meter when we finished up, which brings us to how we finished up.
Ideally, we like to drain the battery as much as possible without completely running out of charge. When we get to the end of the test, we drive is short loops on the highway around the charging station that we use to charge up after the test.
We use the battery state of charge gauge, the estimated remaining miles, and the pedal response to help determine how much the vehicle has left "in the tank" to continue driving, and we've gotten very good at this and have never completely run out before pulling into the charging station bay - until now.
|Segment Of The Test||Average Efficiency||Miles Driven||Total Miles|
|100% to 75%||3.9 mi/kWh||65||65|
|75% to 50%||3.9 mi/kWh||64||129|
|50% to 25%||4.0 mi/kWh||66||195|
|25% to 0%||4.0 mi/kWh||65||260|
The Bolt EV (as well as the Bolt EUV) does not show the driver a numeric state of charge display anywhere in the car. Instead, the driver gets a series of 20 bars, each representing 5% of the battery. As the state of charge decreases, the bars disappear. The driver's display does show the estimated remaining miles, but only up to a certain point.
The problem is, once the remaining miles are very low - around 15 miles remaining, the estimate goes away and simply blinks "low". This is a very poor way to display the range of an electric vehicle, in our opinion.
Because of that, two of the three tools we use to predict when the vehicle is about to run out were removed from our toolbox and, in the effort to squeeze out as many miles as possible, we ran short for the very first time and didn't make the charging station at the end of the test. Instead, the Bolt EV needed to get pulled up onto a tow truck and driven to the charging station - the ultimate tow of shame.
About our EV Range tests
We want to make it clear our range tests aren't perfect. There are variables simply out of our control like wind, traffic, and weather. However, we do our best to control what we can.
We always set the tires to the manufacturer's recommended pressure, crosscheck the speedometer with a GPS for accuracy and place the vehicle in the most efficient driving mode, and in the case of the Bolt EV, that's the normal driving mode. We set the climate control to somewhere between 68°F and 70°F and on the lowest fan setting unless more heating or cooling is needed to maintain a comfortable cabin.
We always charge the vehicle up to 100 percent right before starting the test, reset the trip meter and enter the highway immediately or within a couple of miles. We then drive at a constant 70 mph and in long loops so we end up either where we started, or as close as possible.
Driving conditions, temperature, and topography will affect an EVs driving range and our 70-mph range tests serve only as a guideline of approximately what you should expect if you drive the same EV under similar conditions.