It was the turn of the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV to undergo InsideEVs’ 70-mph range testing, and the compact five-door hatchback proved capable of meeting the challenge.
We recently ran the same range test on A 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThe Bolt EV’s slightly larger sibling gave a score of 231 miles under similar driving conditions.
The Bolt EV has a built-in EPA range of up to 259 miles, but its EPA highway rating is slightly lower, at 233.4 miles. We prefer to use the EPA highway rating for comparison when we run our range tests because that rating should be more representative of our highway driving at 70 mph.
However, the Bolt EV outperformed both ratings and we ended up with 260.1 miles on the trip meter when we finished, which brings us to how we finished.
Ideally, we would like to drain the battery as much as possible without running out of charge completely. When we reach the end of the test, we drive short loops on the highway around the charging station we use to charge after the test.
We use the battery status of the charge meter, estimated remaining mileage, and pedal response to help determine how much of the car is left “in the tank” to continue driving, and we’ve gotten very good at this and have never fully turned it on before pulling into the charging station bay – until now.
|Part of the test||average efficiency||Paid Miles||total miles|
|100% to 75%||3.9 miles/kWh||65||65|
|75% to 50%||3.9 miles/kWh||64||129|
|50% to 25%||4.0 miles/kWh||66||195|
|25% to 0%||4.0 miles/kWh||65||260|
The Bolt EV (and also the Bolt EUV) does not show the driver a digital display charging status anywhere in the vehicle. Instead, the driver gets a chain of 20 bars, each representing 5% of the battery. As the charging status decreases, the bars disappear. The driver’s display shows the estimated remaining miles, but only up to a certain point.
The problem is that once the remaining miles get too low – about 15 miles remaining, the rating disappears and simply flashes “low”. This is a very poor way to display the electric car’s range, in our opinion.
Because of this, two of the three tools we use to predict when a car will run out of our toolbox have been removed, and in an effort to squeeze as many miles as possible we ran out for the first time and we didn’t. Do not make the charging station at the end of the test. Instead, the Bolt EV needed to be towed on a tow truck and driven to the charging station—towing the ultimate shame.
About our EV range tests
We want to make it clear that our range tests are not perfect. There are variables that are simply out of our control such as 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, check the speedometer with GPS for accuracy and put the vehicle into the most efficient driving mode, and in the case of the Bolt EV, this is the normal driving mode. We set the climate control to between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and to the lowest fan setting unless more heating or cooling is needed to keep the cabin comfortable.
We always charge the vehicle up to 100 percent right before the test begins, reset the trip meter and hit the highway immediately or within two miles. Then we drive at 70 mph and in long loops until we finish either where we started, or as close as possible.
Driving conditions, temperature, and terrain will affect the driving range of an EV, and our 70-mph range tests are a guide to what you should roughly expect if you’re driving the same EV in similar conditions.