Considering buying a new electric vehicle but worried about its range? Chevrolet aims to ease some of those concerns with the Bolt EV, increasing the hatchback’s range to 259 miles for model-year 2020 cars — up nearly 9 percent from an already not-paltry 238 miles for previous models. This substantial upgrade came without the need to redesign the battery pack’s physical structure or the structure of the vehicle itself.
That puts the Bolt EV comfortably back ahead of the Nissan Leaf Plus’ 226 miles of range, which apparently had gotten too close to the Bolt EV’s old range for Chevrolet’s liking. The 2020 Bolt EV is also ahead of the 2020 Kia Soul Electric, which has 243 miles of range. A 259-mile range is also a mile more than the Hyundai Kona Electric’s 258 miles.
Interestingly, the range increase also puts the Bolt EV ahead of the 240-mile Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, the cheapest Model 3 that can be easily purchased — Standard models with 220 miles of range may be floating around at Tesla showrooms but can’t be found online via Tesla’s website. Long Range and Performance versions of the Model 3 boast 310 miles of range, but they also cost far more than a Bolt EV.
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Does that mean we could drive a 2020 Bolt EV from our offices in Chicago to Detroit’s upcoming 2020 North American International Auto Show in one go? Nope. We’d still need to stop for a charge along the way. Still, a 259-mile range is nothing to scoff at, and it makes the Bolt EV that much more of an effective electric city car.
Pricing will start at $37,495 including a destination fee, and two new exterior colors will be available: Cayenne Orange Metallic and Oasis Blue. The 2020 Bolt EV should arrive at dealerships “later this year,” according to Chevrolet.
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