2020 Chevy Bolt gets boosted with 21-mile range increase thanks to upgraded battery

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2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV GM

General Motors has revised the chemistry of its lithium-ion battery cells to give the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV an increased range of up to 259 miles on a full charge. That’s a 21-mile increase in range from previous models of the Bolt, and about what one would expect from increasing the size of the gasoline tank on an average combustion-powered American passenger vehicle by approximately one gallon. In the case of the Bolt EV, however, engineers did not have to change the physical size of the battery pack or how it is integrated into the vehicle.

Tim Grewe, director of Global Battery Cell Engineering and Strategy for GM said in a statement, “The Bolt EV set the benchmark for long-range, affordable electric vehicles, and we’re excited to raise the bar by offering nearly 10-percent more EPA-estimated range for the 2020 model year. At Chevrolet we’re constantly listening to customer feedback and we heard the desire for more range. The team worked diligently to find ways to improve battery energy, giving customers the confidence to go more than the extra mile.”

Presumably, since the new battery pack mounts in the same way, owners of previous Bolts should be able to upgrade if their battery pack needs replacement. We’ve asked General Motors for verification on that.

It should be noted that those are EPA-rated figures. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary. Real-life range can change based on temperature, terrain, battery age, and vehicle maintenance; and we have received reports that in real-world use many Bolt owners have been getting more than the EPA-measured range.

Chevrolet is also working on making charging more convenient. The automaker recently finalized a partnership with Qmerit, a logistics and supply chain management firm, that will give Bolt EV owners an easy way to find certified electricians who can give them a quote on installing home chargers. Also, original purchasers of new Bolts can search for charging stations, plan trips and charging stops, monitor their route, and receive alerts if they don’t have enough range to reach their destination through the Energy Assist feature of the myChevrolet smartphone app. Owners of 2017-or-newer Bolts can use the Energy Assist feature on their infotainment systems via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Oasis Blue and Cayenne Orange Metallic have also been added to the Bolt’s color palette. One wonders if Porsche will have something to say about that extra-cost color’s name.

The upgraded Bolt EV will arrive later this year at dealers as a 2020 model with a starting price of $37,494 including destination charges.

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