Wave of the Future - It is an Awesome Car
July 1, 2018
I did a lot of research before I made my purchase. My choice was between the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Bolt. I took both vehicles for a weekend test drive with the same driving course. The Leaf has a more refined interior (my opinion) and I like that the charge port on the Leaf is in the center front of the vehicle; but otherwise, the Bolt won out on every other category.
The only thing I don't like about the Bolt is the seats and the dash (i.e., the interior looks and feels "cheap" and "chintzy"). But literally everything else - and I do mean everything (i.e., vehicle range, handling, intuitiveness, battery life, safety, driving experience, price/value, size of battery, liquid cooling system) - is well thought out and well engineered. Chevy is winning awards for this vehicle and these awards are well deserved. Top Ten Consumer Reports.
One thing says it all: I picked up the Bolt at the dealership with 212 miles range. I dropped the Bolt off at the dealership after my weekend test drive at 160 miles range. I picked up the Leaf at the dealership with 160 miles range. After my test drive, I had to charge the Leaf twenty (20) hours in order to drive it back to the dealership to return the vehicle. Range matters. I have no range anxiety whatsoever with the Chevy Bolt. I would worry a whole lot if I had bought the Nissan Leaf.
Another thing: the Nissan Leaf has a five (5) page "disclosure and disclaimer" that basically negates the "battery warranty." I am writing this as an attorney; the document with its fine print undermines nearly everything Nissan promises with its battery. Chevy has no such comparable "disclosure and disclaimer" with respect to its battery. The Chevy Bolt battery apparently does not need "fine print" chalk full of loopholes and disclaimers which appears to have been written by an entire team of lawyers. I would not have signed the document Nissan wants its Leaf buyers to sign. And obviously, I did not buy a Nissan Leaf. Buyer beware if you are in the market for an electric vehicle.
A comment: If charging infrastructure were just a smidgen better in the mid-west, the Bolt could be my only vehicle. This is a Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Detroit, Louisville, Indianapolis, Dayton and Pittsburgh car. It is not a Denver, Nashville, St. Louis, Boston, New York and Bangor car. (At least, not yet it isn't.) I hope, as electric vehicles catch on, the problem of lack of charging infrastructure will resolve itself. I am using the vehicle as a commuter car and I am in the process of installing a 240 Volt home charging system. So these drawbacks are not an issue for me.
I have literally slashed my fuel costs to next to nothing (i.e., I still have a gasoline engine vehicle for longer trips). Maintenance on the Bolt is tires and brakes and air filter for the cabin. Oh, and did I mention the $7,500 federal tax credit that is taken off of the tax owed (and not off of the adjusted gross income)? This car is the wave of the future.