Disney and the Chevy Bolt EUV
Advertising relationships between big companies are nothing new. Those of us of a certain age remember the Hostess/Superhero comic connection fondly, for instance. (Twinkies still keep surprising us with new fun flavors.)
This time, it’s Disney and Chevrolet teaming up to showcase the new Chevy Bolt EUV. It’s not their first collaboration, as General Motors was an original sponsor for World of Motion at EPCOT, which became the Test Track ride. (A ride I highly recommend and, tip, single riders tend to go through the line fast.)
The 2022 Chevy Bolt spot is a clever commercial separated into three different segments, each spotlighting a new feature of the car. It begins with a little girl with a Tinkerbell wand that “magically” starts the Chevy Bolt EUV, uses the Haunted Mansion ghosts to show-off its’ rear-view mirrors, a Star Wars X-Wing to compare sports mode to warp drive, and a male couple using driver assistance while Dumbo flies overheard, taking charge.
It’s a fun commercial, with my favorite being the hitchhiking ghosts. They’ve fascinated me since my first trip to DisneyWorld in 1976.
But I’m also interested because the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV models are part of the future of electric vehicles. In a world where General Motors, home of the Chevy Brand, have pledged to shift to all-electric vehicles by 2035, those of us yet to own electric (me and likely many of you) have to start researching what our new style of cars will be like.
Chevy Bolt EUV Details
The answer is fairly simple: our new electric cars are going to drive and handle very much like gas-powered cars but perhaps better because they’ll have all the latest bells and whistles. During one of my last trips before the pandemic, I spent two-days test driving the 2020 Chevy Bolt all over the Pacific Northwest. Aside from inducing a craving to go back to places like Astoria and Cannon Beach, it also showed a skeptic like me that the electric future is nothing to fear.
Features like lane assist, rear-view cameras, Wifi and smartphone integration, plus an easy-to-read dashboard with a clear display of available power all worked terrifically. (For a full list of specs on the current models, try the Chevy site.)
One feature that the 2022 Bolt SUV has that my 2020 test-drive model did not is Super Cruise, the EUV being the first Chevrolet to have it. What is it? A hands-free driving assistance feature for compatible roads. As the name implies, it’s like cruise control, only a step above, as it allows you to take both hands off the wheel. Location data on more than 200,000 miles of roads helps steer the car correctly without driver input. It sounds a little bit like the systems in driverless cars but with drivers still required to be in the car. I’ve not tested this one but it sounds like a good feature, so long as people still watch the road and can easily take over from SuperCruise if there’s an issue.
The feature that was my particular favorite when driving the 2020 model was the one-pedal driving, which allows a driver to slow without touching the brakes. For new drivers, this may avoid confusion over the brake and gas pedals.
The redesigned Bolt EUV overall has been updated in several areas–interior, dashboard, steering wheel–to be more sporty than its slightly smaller cousin.
Charging the Chevy Bolt EUV
The biggest issue is not car performance for electric vehicles. Indeed, the electric Tesla models were just listed as high in owner satisfaction in the latest issue of Consumer Reports. (Though that same issue did not rate the Teslas nearly well in performance. Consumer Reports noted the difference.)
No, the biggest problem with electric cars is the charging infrastructure. For those staying local, installing a charging station in the home is relatively simple. Most dealerships will help their customers with the installation. Plus, Chevrolet plans to cover the standard installation of Level 2 charging capability for eligible customers who purchase or lease a 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt EV.
On the Road
It’s when you take an electric vehicle out on the road that it can get more complicated. The Bolt has an approximate range of about 250 miles per full charge, give or take 10 to 20 miles, either way, depending on road and weather conditions.
It’s not so different from a gasoline-powered car needing a refill. The difference is that there are far fewer charging stations than gas stations. Hence, a need to pre-plan. Chevy does have an EV Concierge listed on their Bolt page which includes chat functions or a number to call with questions: 1-833-382-4389.
When I contemplated a road trip for the summer of 2020, I was hoping to test-drive a Bolt from New England to South Carolina. I researched where I’d have to stop to recharge on the way. I downloaded several apps that provide locations and the ability to pay for battery power. Those apps included Plugshare, Chargepoint, and EV Hotels. But once you find the right station, you’ll be there longer than a regular fill-up. Recharging fully can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on what kind of charging cable is used and if the station allows for quick-charging.
But this is an obstacle that is likely to be overcome in the coming years as various locations see the advantage in having a captive audience around for at least thirty minutes. When I researched my canceled East Coast trip, the most frequent locations for charging stations were located at outlet malls and Walmart stores.
A foresee a test drive of the Bolt EUV in my future when the pandemic is under control. Alas, I probably won’t be able to hit warp speed. But I want to try sport mode anyway.