As an auto journalist, I’ve driven nearly 1,200 cars over the last 25 years. I’ve sampled pretty much every electric and hybrid car you can get, from the Mitsubishi i-MiEV to the Nissan Leaf to the Cadillac ELR. I even took a short drive in the ill-fated GM EV1. I liked the smooth, quiet ride and loved the environmental benefits of driving an EV, but none of the cars had enough range to make me feel like I could use them most of the time.
I normally test cars for a week, but last year, I snagged a three-month test of a Fiat 500e. It was delightful, but again, range was a concern. So, when I heard about the Bolt EV, with its 238-mile EPA range, I decided then and there to get one.
One month ago today, I went to Boardwalk Chevrolet and drove my brand new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV home. The day I got the good news from the dealership that my Bolt was ready, was the same day I turned in my old neglected 1993 Plymouth Voyager minivan to California’s Vehicle Buyback Program. From gas guzzler to EV in one sweep. I remember how beautiful my new Bolt looked parked in front, plugged into the charger, soaking wet with rain. I didn’t see it dry for days.
A primary requirement for the Bolt EV was to take me on the 165-mile round trip to visit my granddaughters without any charging along the way. We made the trip with 53 miles left on the battery when we got home.
After a month and 1,646.1 miles, the car is all I’d hoped for. I am surprised, though, that nobody seems to notice me as I drive all over the place. Maybe the looks aren’t distinctive enough.
Last night, on the way home from orchestra rehearsal, with my bass tucked in back, I turned off the radio and cruised home in near silence. What a pleasure.