The Chevy Volt vs. Bolt: The Differences


what is difference between the chevy bolt vs volt

Electric cars have taken the world by storm over the past decade. We got here thanks to hybrids like the Chevy Volt. Some love the idea of not needing to rely on gas at all, while some like the added option. Thankfully there is an option for both types of people, the Chevy Volt vs the Bolt.

The main difference between the two is the Chevy Bolt is an electric car, whereas the Chevy Volt is a hybrid, which means it can use gas or electricity. The Volt was discontinued after the 2017 model-year as GM focuses on the Chevy Bolt all-electric vehicle.

While they both can be used as electric cars, there is actually quite a bit of difference between the Chevy Bolt and the Chevy Volt.

Other than the main difference mentioned above, you may wonder about some of the other differences between the Chevy Bolt and the Chevy Volt. The look, style, and price are fairly different from each other when comparing the 2017 model year, but keep reading to see just what stands out between the Chevy Bolt and the Chevy Volt.

What Are The Main Differences? 

As mentioned above, the biggest difference between the Chevy Volt and the Chevy Bolt is that one is strictly an electric vehicle. At the same time, the other is a plug-in hybrid, which means it can use gas and electric power, which is great for those that want a more environmentally friendly vehicle but still have the option to use gas when needed. With either vehicle, you will leave a smaller carbon footprint and spend far less at the gas station, a win-win. 

The Chevy Bolt is an electric vehicle; you must plug it in to charge its battery, but you will never have to go to a gas station as there are many charging stations around the world. 

2017 Chevy Bolt

The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid with two power sources: 

  • One is a traditional electric motor that uses gas 
  • The other is a battery, just like the Chevy Bolt, that must be charged in order to drive 
2017 Chevy Volt

With the plug-in hybrid, you can get the best of both worlds. Yes, you can charge up and typically drive for days, but if you forget to charge or happen to be in a place where a charging station isn’t available, you can easily switch over to gas. 

How Many Miles Per Gallon/Charge Do They Get – Bolt vs Volt?

One big difference between the Chevy Bolt and the Chevy Volt is how long you can go on a battery charge. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two:

The Chevy Bolt 

This electric vehicle can go 238 to 259-miles on a single charge (depend on the year), but when that charge runs out, you could, unfortunately, find yourself sitting on the side of the road. 250 miles may not seem like much to some people, but the average person can drive around town for days before needing to charge. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the  Bolts battery is equivalent to 119 miles per gallon in a gas powered car, which a gas power car doesn’t even come close to. 

If you remember to charge every other night, for instance, you should be perfectly fine to drive to and from work or any other errands you may have. It’s a good idea to know where charging stations are and be aware of how much battery life you have left, just as you would with your fuel gauge in your gas-powered vehicle. 

Related article: Where to Charge an Electric Car Anywhere You Drive

The Chevy Volt 

This is a hybrid that can go a little over 50 miles on a charge, far less than the Bolt,  and you can easily switch over to the gas tank until you’re able to charge back up. This hybrid, like other hybrids, is not meant to last days on a charge. Those who do not have long commutes to work could still easily get by with never having to fill up with gas.

My friend had a Volt for his commute and couldn’t remember the last time he went to a gas station.

When you combine the Volt’s gas and electric driving range, it is well over 400 miles, which beats the Bolt by almost double the distance you’ll be able to travel. 

How Long Does the Chevy Volt and Bolt Take To Charge?

Plugging in either car takes as much time as it does to plug your phone in, for instance. Most people have a charger connected inside the garage or right near their carport/driveway area. The Bolt will be able to drive over 20 miles with a one-hour charge. Sometimes, when the battery is completely depleted, it can take overnight to fully charge it back to the over 200 miles of available battery life. 

There is a fast-charging port for the Bolt. It will set you back $750, but it could be worth it for those that may not have the extra time to charge. Keep in mind that even when your vehicle is fully charged, road trips still need proper planning. Otherwise, you could be stuck on the side of the road. 

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The much smaller battery in the hybrid Volt does take much less time to charge because you don’t get to drive as far on just the battery. Road trips are also quite easy as you can save your battery when you’re in between gas stations or save your gas when you’re in between battery charging locations. 

Source: Stringray Chevrolet

Cost Of The Chevy Bolt vs Chevy Volt

For the average person, the cost is a big factor when car shopping. Cars should not make or break you, and thankfully, fuel-efficient and environmental-friendly vehicles have become more budget-friendly over the years. This has made it so the average person can afford an electric vehicle. So how much do each of these vehicles cost? 

Bolt – You can expect to pay around $37,000. The federal tax credit expired on the Chevy Volt but that is still a good price for an electric vehicle at that battery range.

Volt – The Volt is a little bit less expensive, coming in at around $28,000. The Chevy Volt was discontinued after the 2017 model year.

Over time both vehicles can easily pay for themselves with little or no fuel cost and are less expensive than fueling up on gas alone. Plain and simple, both vehicles will save you money in the long run. 

Source: Chevy BoltChevy Volt

Related article: Which Electric Cars Qualify for a Tax Credit?

Chevy Bolt vs Volt: Which One is A Better Value?

When you spend a good amount of money on a vehicle, you want to get the most out of your money. Both vehicles come with a good amount of value. The hybrid Volt, as mentioned above, is the best of both worlds. The Bolt, which is an electric vehicle, is just as good and cuts out your fuel cost completely. 

Imagine a world where you never need to buy gas again. The amount of money you will save in gasoline alone makes purchasing the car worth it. The Chevy Volt is very nicely made and is a good value for the money. Whereas the Chevy Bolt comes standard with a cheaper feeling and looking plastic throughout the vehicle. 

Both vehicles are very close in price so that the plastic can have such a cheap feel. If you get a Chevy Bolt with the many upgrades and added features, yes, it will cost more, but you will definitely get a better quality looking vehicle.  

Do You Need To Replace Batteries More Often & How Much Do They Cost?

The batteries are very different in size, which makes sense because of the hybrid and fully electric difference. The Chevy Bolt has a 60 kilowatt-hours battery, while the Chevy Volt has an 18.4 kilowatt-hours battery. 

A typical gas-powered car gets replaced roughly every three to five-years. Traditional car batteries typically cost under $100 and the average person can easily replace it themselves. When you have a vehicle that only uses battery power, it’s safe to say the batteries will need to be replaced often. When it comes time to replace the batteries, the price could shock you. 

The Chevy Bolt’s battery should last around eight years or 100,000 miles and is covered under warranty. The cost to replace the battery pack is over $15,000, but it will almost always be covered, which is a relief because not many have even close to an extra $15,000 lying around. 

The Chevy Volt battery is much less expensive but still has an eight-year or 100,000 warranty like the Bolt. When it is time to replace the battery, expect to spend anywhere from $45 – $200 depending on your exact vehicle and where you are located.

Source: Green Car ReportsKBB

Size, Seating, and Cargo

If it’s just you or you and your partner, you may not need to worry about this being an issue. If you have a small family, one of the first things you probably wondered is just how big is it? Can you fit all of your family members, car seats (if needed), luggage (if you travel), or even a big grocery trip?

Volt

With its 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space, it is definitely smaller than most of the other hybrid and electric cars on the market. It is a compact vehicle. 

It’s longer than the Bolt coming in at 180 inches compared to 164 inches. You can technically fit five people in it, but the middle back seat is a tight fit.

Bolt

The Bolt has a much bigger cubic feet cargo space at 16.9 feet behind the rear seats and 56.6 cubic feet when they are folded down, which is really nice. 

Some models even allow you to remove the cargo floor, which lets you put taller/bigger objects in the vehicle. The Bolt hatchback gives it a much larger cargo area than the typical hybrid/electric car.

You can easily fit four adults into the vehicle, or you can attempt to have three adults in the back. Depending on their size, it could make for an uncomfortable ride. Your passengers may be hip-to-hip, but the foot/leg room is pretty nice for a compact car.

Speed & Performance

The Volt uses a powertrain 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The total horsepower is 149. 

Both vehicles are front-wheel drive, which may not be the best on some terrain. The transmission is a CVT, which stands for continuously variable automatic.

They can both hit 0-60 in under ten seconds. The Chevy Bolt reaches 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, while the Chevy Volt comes in a little slower at 7.5 seconds. Both have a lot of get-up-and-go for their size. 

When you drive either vehicle in extremely cold temperatures, up steep hills, or blasting the heater, you will lose a lot of power and battery. This is not as bad for the Volt, which is also gas-powered. For the Bolt, you could run out of battery far quicker than you thought and become stranded somewhere.

Exterior 

Both the Chevy Volt and the Chevy Bolt may look similar at a quick glance, but they are very different looking vehicles. 

The Chevy Bolt is a hatchback with more of a smashed appearance, but it also has very nice curves. The Chevy Volt has a much sportier sedan appearance. 

The Volt also is a lot shorter in appearance and size than the Bolt.

Both can come in many different colors, not to mention you have the ability to get a custom paint job. While both look very nice from the outside, the Chevy Volt wins when it comes to a sleek design. 

Interior & Features 

Different cars can come with more or fewer features. Let’s look at the average feature and upgrades available with each model.

Chevy Volt:

  • 8-inch large touch screen (standard)
  • Bose audio system
  • Cloth Material Upholstery (standard)
  • Heated front and back seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Leather
  • Manual adjustable front seats (standard)
  • Power seats
  • Push start
  • Remote start
  • Satellite radio (standard)
  • Smartphone connectivity (standard)
  • Two car seat LATCH connectors (standard)
  • USB Ports (standard)
  • Wifi hotspot (standard)
  • Wireless phone charging

Chevy Bolt:

  • 10.2-inch large touch screen (standard)
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats (standard)
  • Cloth material upholstery (standard)
  • Heated front and back seats
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Leather interior
  • Manual adjustable front seats (standard)
  • Satellite radio (standard)
  • Smartphone connectivity (standard)
  • Two car seat LATCH connectors (standard)
  • USB Ports (standard)
  • Wifi hotspot (standard)

Both cars have very similar features with only a couple of different things. It is up to you to see which style fits yours better and what stands out or is more important to you.

How Do They Drive

When you spend a decent amount of money on a vehicle, a big question is how does it drive and handle certain climates. The last thing you want is to get a vehicle that will drive poorly or become unsafe where you live.

Snow 

  • Chevy Volt – It handles fairly well because of the larger battery in the center. It has a low center of gravity and handles ice/snow quite well. The tires stay grounded well.
  • Chevy Bolt The cold weather with the heat on full blast can reduce the battery significantly. It handles well in snow. It is a pain to charge if you store your vehicle outdoors. 

Rain

  • Chevy Volt – During a lot of rain, owners have noticed the performance has dropped drastically. Other than that, it does drive ok in the rain.
  • Chevy Bolt Just like it tackles snow, it drives well in the rain. The touchy brakes can be problematic, though.

Rough Terrain – Off-Road

  • Chevy Volt – Driving to get to the place where you would like to off-road, yes—actually driving off-road, no. Also, don’t expect to be able to load up on hiking/camping gear.
  • Chevy Bolt Once again, the answer for off-roading is a big negative. These vehicles are just not equipped for off-roading.

Hills/Mountain Roads

  • Chevy Volt – The heavy centered battery allows you to take tight turns and hills with ease. Your drive will be smooth as you hug the curves. Hills are also easy to drive up, but it can take a decent amount of the battery’s reserve.
  • Chevy Bolt While it can make the drive, it will reduce your battery a lot. If you start with 200 miles of charge, you will not be able to go even close to 200 miles when driving on mountains and hills. You will need to plan your route and make sure you will have somewhere to charge your car. Charging stations are becoming more and more popular. You do get a charge going downhill as the Chevy Bolt is equipped with regenerative-braking.

Overall Handling

  • Chevy Volt – Its centered battery helps out a lot with driving. It can handle many different types of climates and roads as long as you don’t take it off roading.
  • Chevy Bolt – It will take some time to get used to its weight imbalance. The brakes are also a little touchy. The Chevy Bolt drives much better in city-type settings than anything else. The stop and go associate with city driving help to recharge the battery for you. 

Overall Differences 

Not including the main fact that one is an electric vehicle and the other is a hybrid – electric and gas vehicle, there are a few differences. Size, cost, style, and some added features are all different from each other. 

As the Chevy Volts get older, their value will depreciate as with all discontinued cars. GM phased out the Volt as they see the future to be electric cars. The Chevy Bolt is the future for GM so stay tuned for more advancements with this car.

One is far more spacious for you and your passengers. While there are many differences between the two, there also features that they have in common. This is not much of a surprise because they come from the same manufacturer and are very close models.

Sources:

GM Authority – Chevy Bolt

GM Authority – Chevy Volt

Torque News – Chevy Volt

Gear Junkie – Chevy Volt

Jordan Fromholz

I'm an electric car owner, enthusiast, and founder of the Plugin Report. As a Chemical Engineer with over 14-years in the energy industry, I've made my passions be renewable energy, batteries, and electric cars. My family lives on Maui where we drive our 2017 Nissan Leaf and share everything there is to know about electric cars.

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