The field of affordable electric vehicles is growing by the year. And this year marks the first time that one of the longest-range affordable EVs, the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV, gets a range boost.
The 2020 Bolt EV gets its boost in battery capacity without any physical change to the pack or the way its integrated into the vehicle structure, according to GM.
Although if it weren’t for the two new exterior colors—Cayenne Orange Metallic and Oasis Blue—you might never be able to tell the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV LT or Premier from the 2019 versions at quick glance.
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GM’s all-electric hatchback earns a 6.8 on our overall scale for its long range, strong powertrain, and spacious interior—although safety and comfort areas bring the Bolt EV’s standing down somewhat. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
For 2020 the Bolt EV gets a 10-percent boost in battery capacity, without any physical change to the LG Chem–configured pack. It’s now EPA-rated at 259 miles, while its 200-hp motor, front-wheel drive, and generous 10.2-inch infotainment-screen real estate carry over.
The Bolt EV is as space-efficient as this tall hatchback looks from the outside. While your eyes might be torn between seeing this one as a boxy little utility vehicle made curvy, or a little hatchback pushed upward, the Bolt EV is set up to be a versatile little hauler of people and cargo.
The 2020 Bolt EV fits four adults—five in a pinch—and behind the second row, there’s nearly 17 cubic feet of cargo room for gear. The second row tumbles down to offer as much space as many compact crossover SUVs.
Safety ratings are quite good for the Bolt EV, but its headlights have kept it from achieving the high ranks from the IIHS, and getting essential active-safety features require too many option boxes.
A Chevrolet Energy Assist feature lets owners search for charging stations, plan a trip, or get dynamic advice about charging along their route. The feature is based on users’ smartphones but can project to the infotainment system using Apple Carplay or Android Auto.
The Bolt EV continues to be available across the U.S., unlike some other fully electric models that are only offered in California states. Even as GM’s EV tax credit has wound down to its present level of $1,875 (good through March 2020), Chevy has kept the Bolt EV’s price at $37,500 and shown no sign of making up the difference.