Electric cars are becoming more affordable and more accessible by the day. Nearly every car manufacturer has at least one electric or plug-in electric hybrid in their lineup. Chevrolet has two electric cars in their showroom — the Volt and the Bolt. Of the two, which is the better Chevy electric car? Let’s take a closer look at these new e-cars and figure out which one is the best option for the average car owner.
Pure Electric vs. Plug-In Hybrid
This difference is one of the biggest ones between the Bolt and the Volt. The Bolt is an entirely electric vehicle, while the Volt is a plug-in hybrid. The Volt has a battery that powers an electric motor in addition to a gasoline engine. The Bolt is a pure electric vehicle that doesn’t have an engine, a gas tank or even a tailpipe.
Car Size and Storage Capacity
The Bolt isn’t just a good option when it comes to gas mileage and distance traveled before recharges — it also has a ton of storage space. The hatchback has up to 56.6 cubic feet of space once the rear seats are folded. The Volt, on the other hand, has a sedan-style body and 10.6 cubic feet of trunk space. You can lower the rear seats for some additional storage space, but it doesn’t come close to the storage available in the Bolt.
There’s a huge difference in battery size between the two cars. The Bolt’s battery has an effective range of 240 miles, while the battery in the Volt can travel only about 50 miles before the gasoline engine takes over. You still won’t spend a lot of money at the pump when driving a Volt though — depending on how much you drive, the Volt’s 40-50 miles per gallon will still dramatically increase your distance traveled between fill-ups.
You can do a few things between fillups to increase the gas mileage of even a plug-in hybrid like the Volt. Just keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your car’s fuel efficiency — over-inflating your tires also makes them wear unevenly and can increase your risk of getting into an accident.
Tools and Toys
Both of these e-cars have plenty of tools and toys that can make your ride smoother and more comfortable. You can find Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system in both models. That’s where the Volt stops when it comes to extra toys though. The Volt comes with plenty of comfort accessories, from heated seats and steering wheels to ventilated, leather-trimmed upholstery to ensure that you’re comfortable in the driver’s seat regardless of the exterior temperature.
Which of these e-cars is best for you? That will depend on your needs. If you need a lot of storage and would prefer a purely electric vehicle, the Bolt is a great option. If you prefer to have a sedan that gets great gas mileage and allows the option to use an electric motor — and don’t mind missing out on some of the bells and whistles — the Volt can be a good choice.
Scott Huntington is a writer and car fanatic from Harrisburg, PA. Check out his site offthethrottle.com or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.