Chevrolet has exceeded range expectations on its 2017 Bolt EV with the EPA-estimated range coming in at 238 miles, well above the 200 miles first promised by the automaker. The longer range is anticipated to be a key selling point of the pure electric Bolt for buyers who have concerns on how far the 5-door hatch can travel between charges.

“While range is important, we knew Bolt EV owners would want more—more space and more power—and the Bolt EV delivers,” said Josh Tavel, chief engineer of Bolt EV. “Our team took special pride in optimizing every aspect of this vehicle, especially its impressive range and ride dynamics.”

Range and affordability

The other side of the range question is affordability. Electrics are priced higher than the average transaction price, which Kelley Blue Book currently estimates above $34,000. While the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV is expected to be priced at or below $37,500, a federal tax credit of $7,500 effectively reduces the purchase price to about $30,000. While the 2016 Nissan Leaf S is priced at $29,010, it offers only 84 miles of range from its 24 kWh lithium ion battery pack. The next model up, the Leaf SV, is equipped with a 30 kWh battery, but costs $34,200.

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is expected to go on sale by the end of the year, uses a 60 kWh battery to provide more than 200 miles range between recharging. The only other EVs on the market with 200 plus range are Tesla’s Model S and Model X. The 60 kWh versions of both offer similar range to the Bolt, but have respective starting MSRPs of $66,000 and $74,000 before the federal tax credit. Tesla’s Model 3, which is expected to retail for under $40,000 and have comparable range to the Volt isn’t expected until next year at the earliest.


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