Fan Theory/Joke: First-Gen Chevy Volt Had 38 Mile All-Electric Range, First-Gen Chevy Bolt Has 238 Mile Range, 2021 Chevy Jolt Should Have 438 Mile Range −

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Published on September 28th, 2016 | by James Ayre


Fan Theory/Joke: First-Gen Chevy Volt Had 38 Mile All-Electric Range, First-Gen Chevy Bolt Has 238 Mile Range, 2021 Chevy Jolt Should Have 438 Mile Range

An interesting numbers coincidence (or perhaps not coincidence) was recently brought up on the forum by the commentator “Lewis9,” who noted that the first-generation Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid (PHEV) had an EPA all-electric range rating of 38 miles per full charge*, and that the first-generation Chevy Bolt all-electric car now has an EPA range rating of 238 miles per full charge.

It’s like Chevy engineers decided that the Chevy Volt needed exactly 200 more miles of range in order to be compelling and then delivered exactly that … and somehow got the EPA to go along with it and give the Bolt the exact range rating that they wanted. (Considering the EPA’s somewhat strange approach to determining the average range, it would be hard for Chevy/GM to do that alone.)

It’s obviously not important, but interesting/funny.

chevy-joltA response by “SSonnentag” got a good laugh out of me, though, which is the main reason that I wrote this article: “2021 Chevy Jolt — 438 miles”

Hopefully Chevy decides by 2021 that having the names of easy-to-confuse models rhyme and making them nearly identical isn’t a great idea. I was a bit surprised when Chevy revealed that “Bolt” would be the official name of the coming long-range, all-electric car.

On second thought — the Volt, the Bolt, the Jolt — why not? It makes more sense than the European market choices: Ampera (Volt) and Ampera-e (Bolt). Who decided that that was a good idea?

(*To ruin the fun of all of this, “ClarksonCote” later noted that the 2011–2012 Volt apparently had an EPA range rating of 35 miles.)


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About the Author

‘s background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • It doesn’t matter if EV gets 1000 miles range. Charging (DCFC) are still too slow and too sparse compared to gas stations to be practical for apartment dwellers. But for those who can charge at home and live in 10 miles per DCFC area like SoCal, even 80 miles range EV works well, even for 300 miles a day trips.

    Once there are as many DCFC as gas stations, there’s really no need for 1000 miles (or even 300 miles) range EV unless they could be charged much quicker. So far, Chademo/CCS top out at 50 kW (about 150 MPH) and Tesla top out at about 75 kW on average due to charge taper (about 200 MPH). Then 1000 mile range EV would need 7 hours / 5 hours to charge even with DCFC. Simply putting in bigger battery for longer range without regard to infrastructure is impractical.

    • We only need 6-15kW charging at home. All cars sit parked ~90% of the time. So, why is DC quick charging needed at home?

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