About the Car

The car is a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt, purchased in early December 2018 from Airport Chevrolet in Medford, Oregon. It’s about as base a base model as you can get – the only option we sprang for was the quick-charge port. It is, however, pretty well equipped, with a backup camera, a complete infotainment system (including satellite radio, an aux port, and two USB data ports), Bluetooth, automatic HVAC, stability control, and compatibility with both Android Auto and Apple Car Play. It can even serve as a WiFi hot spot (at least as long as I keep up my subscription to OnStar). It is a color that General Motors calls “Summit White”. The traction motor boasts 200 electric horses and enough torque to spin the Empire State Building. A 60 Kwh battery pack gives the car a range of 240 miles, give or take a couple of dozen miles depending on conditions.

The driver sits high, with plenty of visibility. The back seat can fit three abreast, with loads of leg room. The floor, front and back, is flat. I’ve heard complaints about the comfort of the Bolt’s front seats, but we’ve been happy with them. Luggage space is short front-to-back, but wide and tall, and the split back seat easily folds down to give you more. Our principal complaint is the paucity of storage cubbies: there are the usual door pockets, glove box, and front-seat center console, but only the front seat occupants get cup holders, and the single additional space is a small bin under the dashboard that appears to be designed to hold tollway change (we keep cards for various EV-charging networks there). I do miss all the little extra pockets and compartments we had in our Prius! Luck of the draw gave us Oregon license plate 019 LEV – which we might well have ordered as a vanity plate for our ‘019 Little Electric Vehicle.

At home, we feed the car on household 240-volt AC current, using a Juicebox 32-amp charger that plugs into a regular NEMA 14-50 outlet: it is easily removable from its wall bracket, meaning we can take it with us for road trips and charge at just about any RV park we come across. The Juicebox draws its power partly from the grid and partly from the 16-panel, 3200-watt solar array on our roof that is the source of 35%-50% of our total electrical use.