Monthly Archives: October 2017

Leaf vs. Bolt—Quick and Dirty Review

The 2017 Chevy Bolt---not the same as a Nissan Leaf.

The 2017 Chevy Bolt—not the same as a Nissan Leaf.

Ok, so I finally drove a Bolt. And… it’s not the same as a Leaf. I know, this is not sounding like rocket science here. But, bear with me—time for the very very short review.

My quick impressions from a 30-minute drive…

— The Bolt is a smaller car, that feels lighter than the Leaf. BUT… I just looked up the curb weights, and the Leaf averages about 3,350 lbs, and the Bolt is actually a bit heavier, at 3,500 lbs. So let’s unpack this a bit. First, the Bolt is smaller. You can’t really see any of the hood, even when you lean forward a bit. The passenger is closer to the driver than in the Leaf, by what seemed like several inches, and the side windows angle in more at the top. The end result is a cabin that feels quite a bit tighter than the Leaf’s. The area behind the rear seat (the “trunk space”) is smaller, too. But… there’s no hump in the middle of the rear floor, so the rear seating area seemed plenty spacious. Then, it has more power than the Leaf, by a noticeable amount. On one start, I accidentally broke both front tires loose, which made me wonder 1) if it has traction control, and 2) how much faster it would be if it was rear-wheel drive like a Tesla. Its acceleration on a highway on-ramp was impressive, and it seemed to dart right up to 70 mph. So… I think it’s this power that makes it feel lighter than the Leaf, even though it isn’t.

But… (there might be lots of buts in this post…) it seemed quieter than the Leaf, sort of. Continue reading

3,010 Mile EV Roadtrip, Round 2

EV camping fog cropped

News Flash—The EV world is changing. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve returned, but I’m finally getting around to reporting on our trip to the St. Louis area, from Vermont, in the 2015 Leaf. In total, we traveled 3,010 miles, in a big loop, off and on over a period of about three weeks, camping along the way on the days that we traveled. We did a slightly shorter version of this trip two summers ago, and back then I did a once-a-day blog entry about the trip. In one sense, not too much has changed—the daily mechanics of this trip were largely similar, and I don’t feel that this aspect deserves much more electronic ink. On the other hand… there were some aspects of the trip that have changed drastically in the last two years, and they mostly relate to the EV world as a whole, and these aspects deserve some attention.

So, in no particular order… Continue reading