Cheaper, sleeker, and now available as a crossover, Chevy boldly reimagines their 2022 Bolt EV.
The new 2022 Chevy Bolt is $5,500 less expensive than last year’s model. If that was the only change the next generation of Chevy’s only dedicated full-EV would still be big news. But the 2022 Bolt gets more than a change in price. A complete redesign also comes in the offing as well as a new, slightly larger crossover version.
Again, the biggest change from last year’s Bolt to this year’s is the reduced asking price. The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt started at $37,495 (including destination fees) whereas the 2022 model year starts at just $31,995. That’s major savings. Unfortunately, GM has already used up its share of federal tax credits. But, if the new Biden administration sees fit to renew the program, buyers could see another $7,500 in additional savings.
With cost being one of two major factors holding back EV adoption (the other being range and lack in infrastructure), the financial accessibility of the Bolt could help expedite the transition to alternative energy vehicles.
The Bolt EUV (electric utility vehicle) will cost slightly more out of the gate at $33,995. The EUV version adds six inches in height and a few more to the rear seat legroom. Despite the “utility” moniker, it will still feature the same FWD drivetrain as the hatchback version.
The 2022 Chevy Bolt doesn’t make any significant advances in its capabilities, still offering a modest range of 259 miles on a single charge of its 65kWh battery pack. Horsepower and torque numbers remain unchanged at 200 and 266 respectively.
Charging does improve with the introduction of a “Dual Level Charging Cord” (standard for the EUV and optional for the hatchback). This allows for either Level 1 120volt charging or Level 2 240volt charging, the latter of which has also seen a modest increase to 11kW. The hatchback will also still feature DC fast charging. Chevrolet is also providing free Level 2 charging instillation with purchase or lease of a new Bolt.
The EUV will also feature GM’s first official deployment of their current Super Cruise hands-free driving outside the Cadillac brand. This means the Bolt won’t be getting the more advanced Super Cruise system soon to be deployed on the next generation of Cadillac products like the Lyriq EV. That’s because, unlike the Lyriq, Hummer, and other upcoming GM EVs, the Bolt will remain on the current BEV2 platform, not the newly developed BEV3 platform with its Ultium battery pack.
This is also why GM can offer the new Bolt at such a steep discount. After four years of production, they’ve largely worked through the kinks of the BEV2 architecture and been able to reach greater economies of scale with the initial generation of the Bolt. Currently, GM says it has no plans to evolve the Bolt beyond the BEV2 platform.
In addition to being cheaper and more technologically advanced, the 2022 Chevy Bolt also receive a cosmetic upgrade. A new, more EV-centric design can be seen upfront, with faux intakes getting filled in. The interior also gets spruced up with a new 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster, a 10.2-inch infotainment screen, a new flat-bottomed steering wheel, and push-button gear selection.
A side note to the Bolt release is the Disney promotional tie in. Internet pre-rolls and television commercials feature Disney themed tie-ins including hitchhiking ghosts from the Haunted Mansion, Dumbo the flying elephant, and a Star Wars X-Wing, complete with an equating of sport mode with lightspeed in clear anticipation the inevitable dad jokes to come. Judging from the ad, it would seem the effort for Disney’s part is to reinvigorate interest in their hard-hit theme parks. Chevy, for it’s part, gets a strong connotation of wonderment and familial harmony. Oddly, there’s no reference to Disney’s 2008 animated movie Bolt, a clear promotional miss.
It’s easy to be cynical about lines like “when we dream together magic happens” in a car commercial until you recall Arthur C. Clark’s supposition that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” If the truism holds that making cars is hard, making electric vehicles desirable and affordable is certainly akin to magic.