- New 2023 Chevy Bolt EV’s $26,595 price makes this car the most affordable EV on the market.
- The Bolt EV has 259 miles of range, and may be eligible for the $7500 tax rebate, in addition to Chevy offering owners a free wall charger.
- Only downside is that charging speeds are slow.
This 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV is, without doubt, the most affordable, no, let’s just come right out and say it—the Bolt EV is the cheapest electric vehicle on sale today in the U.S. But the story gets even better.
Apart from starting with a base price of just $26,595, customers may qualify for the $7,500 tax rebate that will start under the Inflation Reduction Act in January 2023, a deduction that will effectively lower the actual purchase price to around $19,000. But there’s more. For all customers, Chevrolet is offering to install a home wall charging unit for free as well, which would knock off another $1,500, making the initial deal even sweeter. This fee would include around $500 for the actual wall unit and near to $1,000 for the installation fee—as owners must rely on a professional electrician to fit the wall unit. Is that a tasty deal, or is that a tasty deal?
Before we go too far, we need to mention quickly that the Bolt actually comes in two specs—the Bolt EV and the Bolt EUV—which are essentially the exact same vehicle sitting on the same platform and powertrain. The only difference is in the styling—the EUV is more of a crossover whereas the regular EV is more of a hatchback. In addition, the EUV’s wheelbase is around 6 inches longer giving the car around 3 inches of extra rear-seat legroom. In contrast to the EV’s $26,595, the EUV starts at $28,195.
So the bottom line is that the Bolt EV is the cheapest EV out there, and it does come with a tax rebate and a free wall charger, making it even more appealing. But is it any good?
Firstly the Bolt’s EPA range of 259 miles is comparable to a lot of other EVs out there today, including the $28,000 Nissan Leaf with 212 miles or the $39,900 Ford F-150 Lightning boasting 230 miles.
The Bolt EV employs a 65 kWh battery permitting 259 miles of range while delivering perky acceleration from the 200-hp front-wheel motor pumping out 266 lb-ft of torque. This Chevy EV generates more than adequate throttle response and can get to highway speeds (60mph) in around 6.5 seconds. In fact, that front-wheel drive powertrain, which is the only one available, maybe a deterrent for some buyers wanting all-wheel-drive for snowy or off-road environments.
But if you only intend to use your Bolt on city streets, then the front-drive setup should be more than adequate. What might be a second deal breaker are the charging speeds. Because the Bolt uses Chevy’s older EV technology—55 kW capable DC fast charging—it does not offer the most impressive charging speed on level 3 power. That’s in contrast to rivals like Tesla and Rivian, who offer much faster-charging speeds rated between 150 to 350 kW.
Now if you’re an owner who does not plan to use this charging method, and is quite happy to use level 2 charging at home, then you will be perfectly satisfied with the Bolt EV.
Without wanting to burst a potential Bolt buyer’s bubble, we do need to quickly mention that one other concern customers may have relates to the multiple batteries recalls over the years. Due to a defect in battery pack design, Bolt batteries had a very small risk of catching on fire, with at least 12 actual cases recorded out of several hundred thousand sales. But thanks to the brand’s relationship with battery maker LG, every battery pack was recalled and replaced.
This is one major reason why Chevy is no longer using this technology and these batteries in their new EVs like the Equinox EV.
Chevrolet has crunched numbers to the extent that the Bolt EV is not only the cheapest EV on the market, but it even undercuts the big-selling Toyota Corolla hybrid model. With the Bolt EV’s base price of just under $27,000, its 259 miles of range, its potential to be eligible for the $7,500 tax credit, and the free wall charger installation, there is no other EV out there that comes close to this bargain. And if you want the slightly bigger Bolt EUV then expect a price of just over $28,000 with 247 miles of range.