It always cracks me up when someone online says "I'll buy an electric car when it costs no more than the price of the average gasoline car."
If that's you, and if that's true, there are a good half-dozen cars that fit that description right now. Including the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt.
We last reviewed the Bolt about a year and a half ago, and while most of the basics remain the same (five-seat EV with 259 miles of range per charge), one big thing has changed: The provision to use DC fast charging instead of level 2 charging is no longer a $750 option. It's standard. What's it like to drive? Reasonably quick (0-60 in 6.5 seconds), fairly quiet (no engine noise) and small enough to be maneuverable. It's an ideal city car that won't feel punishing if you take it on a road trip. And with 259 miles of range and DC fast charging capability, road trips are no big stretch. I could take the Bolt the 399 miles from my house in Folsom (suburban Sacramento) to downtown Los Angeles, recharge at the midway point where my wife and I usually stop for a meal in both directions, and add zero time to my usual trip.
And because someone is bound to ask: The 2021 battery fire incidents have been solved by battery supplier LG and Chevrolet.
2022 also brings a redesigned and much more premium-looking instrument panel to the Bolt. The lineup has also been simplified. The Premier trim is gone, and there's the base 1LT and the upgraded 2LT, which was our tester. Base price is $34,200 and a lot comes standard at that level---an eight-way driver's seat with power lumbar support, heated steering wheel and front seats, heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors, a 10.2-inch touchscreen for infotainment, keyless entry and remote vehicle start.
Our tester had only two extra-cost options---$595 for an upgraded Bose seven-speaker audio system with wireless device charging and $375 for adaptive cruise control. With $995 destination charge, the as-tested price of the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV 2LT is $36,165---roughly $4,000 below the average price of a new car this year (based on MSRP and not counting dealer markups, which are wildly fluctuating). As good as that price is, there's more. Chevrolet cut the price of the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt by $5,900, and in a move of uncharacteristic good will from any automaker, it's made the price cut retroactive. That means anyone who bought a 2022 Bolt will be reimbursed $5,900 by Chevy...and it means $5,900 comes off the sticker of any remaining '22 Bolts on dealer lots, which would bring the as-tested price of this car to $30,265---TEN grand below the current average new car price.
$30,000 won't buy you much more in terms of space or performance in any car on the market than you get in the Bolt. Factor in the elimination of gasoline and many maintenance expenses and this might just qualify as the deal of the decade.