2019 Bolt EV AWD - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
User Tag List

 2Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Zoomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: SoCal
Posts: 209
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Garage
(Thread Starter)
2019 Bolt EV AWD

When the Bolt EV arrives at the dealers late in 2016, there will likely be at lease two trim levels. We've all seen this before and a relevant example is the Volt, which has LT and Premier trim levels. On top of the trim levels are the packages, such as the "Drivers Confidence Package" and "Driver Confidence II Package." For a complete rundown of the feature differences in the Volt, go here.

The $37,500 Bolt EV will come "decontented" from what GM has shown. It won't have all the safety features. The rear view mirror will not have the video screen. The wheels may be smaller or less flashy. The headlights may be halogen instead of LED. I strongly expect the powertrain and battery will be the same, but the CCS DC fast charger will be an option. The base version may have fewer paint or interiors colors available.

It will, of course, cost us money to add those features back in. How much they cost will be based on how strong the demand is expected to be which, in turn, is based on things such as the strength of the competition and even the price of oil. Other options that might still be revealed are (only my speculation here) heated steering wheel, sunroof, leather seating, and maybe memory seats. I do not expect any "sporty" trim options, such as different bumpers, spoilers, larger wheels, or different suspension. I also don't expect any CUV-like features, such as increased ground clearance, towing package, or AWD. ...at least initially.

But depending on how the battery-only EV market evolves, GM may be motivated to produce variants of the Bolt EV that lean its character one way or the other. The GM execs and engineers have been very clear that they've positioned the Bolt for the middle of the market. They want it to be seen as a normal car. The dedicated platform allows the battery to be optimally positioned below the floor but that inherently raises the passenger compartment, hence giving it a taller appearance.

As a result, GM marketing wants to call it a crossover. Showcasing the Bolt EV as a crossover also gets it into the rising tide of the small CUV craze, which is the fastest growing vehicle segment. But the Bolt EV doesn't meet the typical CUV criteria, except for possibly a raised seating position. Most importantly, it doesn't have all-wheel drive.

Here is my guess for how GM will evolve the Bolt EV. In 2018, they'll announce an AWD version that has a second electric motor in the rear. This motor will fit very nicely just aft of the battery.

They will use the space that is below the false floor in the current Bolt EV trunk. The best demonstration of that space I've seen is in this video: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Walkaround | Detroit Auto Show. You can get an idea of its depth, which looks to be about 10 inches.

The addition of AWD does a few notable things. It increases traction but also adds regen capability to all four wheels, beyond just the front. There is an inherent efficiency gain by sharing the acceleration and deceleration forces among two motors on two axles. As an example, the AWD Tesla Model S 85D has better range and acceleration than the lighter weight but RWD-only Model S 85.

In order to reduce the costs for a second motor, it needs to be manufactured in large quantities. It does not need to be the same size as the current front motor, which puts out 200hp and 266lb-ft. I'm wondering if they'll decrease the front motor size and capability and use the same motor for the rear. Maybe they will use a 140hp/175lb-ft motor on both axles for a combined total of 280hp/350lb-ft.

Those two, smaller motors would provide serious acceleration performance and create a car more able to compete with the Tesla Model 3. Sub 6 second acceleration to 60 mph would be easy. The reduced front motor torque would reduce torque steer. The rear motor would add weight, but that would be partially offset by the lighter front motor. The front/rear weight bias would be closer to 50/50 helping create a more neutral handling car. We can hope that they also add a multilink rear suspension, in combination with the rear motor, to once again increase handling prowess.

But to extract the necessary power out of the batteries, which are currently limited to 160kW (215 hp), they'll likely need to increase the battery capacity. So using the same battery volume, and assuming slow but steady advancement in battery technology, maybe they increase the battery capacity by 25% to 75 kWh. That larger battery, in combination with a more efficient drivetrain, might yield a 30% increase in range to above 260 mi.

So how does this fantasy AWD version compare to the Bolt EV we know of today?

2017 Bolt EV
Initial sales: late 2016
Drivetrain: FWD, 200hp/266lb-ft
Battery: 60kWh
Rear Cargo: 16.9 cu ft
Weight: 3,580 lb
Range: 200+
0-60: <7 sec

2019 Bolt EV AWD
Initial sales: 2019
Drivetrain: AWD, 280hp/350 lb-ft
Battery: 75kWh
Rear Cargo: 11 cu ft
Weight: 3,800 lb
Range: 260+ mi
0-60: 5.5 sec

This gives GM a premium version of the Bolt EV with AWD flexibility. The battery and motor costs will be higher, which will be justified by the increased range and performance. The only functional loss is the reduced rear cargo space, which is admittedly already on the small side.

There are two big obstacles to a 2019 Bolt EV AWD. First, will the market support a spruced up Bolt EV that encroaches on the expected luxury, performance and AWD capability of the Tesla Model 3? Second, will battery technology evolve fast enough to allow the increased output needed to power the two motors?

2015 Spark EV

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Zoomit; 01-15-2016 at 08:15 PM. Reason: typo
Zoomit is online now  
post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 09:23 AM
Member
 
Breezy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Garage
It certainly looks like a possibility.

I think the efficiency gain wouldn't be so much because the motors are on both axles as because there would be two smaller motors running at higher loads. The Volt also uses two motors to increase efficiency, it's just that they're both driving the front wheels. There would be some gain by allowing the rear axle to regen rather than just using friction brakes, but the Bolt already has regen on the front axle which is the most important one for braking.

I bet they wouldn't add multi-link rear because of space considerations.

It does look to me like AWD was a consideration in the battery and rear suspension layout. Market considerations will be the determinant.

2013 Volt owner. No plug? No sale.
Breezy is offline  
post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 12:19 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Loss of cargo space shouldn't be an issue as long as they allow the seats to fold down. Most cars only have the front seats occupied. It will just be during that odd moment that it will be an issue.
Roth33d is offline  
 
post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 10:24 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 839
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 236 Post(s)
I'm used to AWD cars so is FWD a big change? Debating if I should wait and see if Chevy is going to come out with an AWD version in the future.
Bazinga is offline  
post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Zoomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: SoCal
Posts: 209
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Garage
(Thread Starter)
Well first, let me reiterate that my top post is 100% speculation. I have not seen or heard anything from GM that indicates they will make an AWD version. A second motor adds weight, cost, and reduces cargo room, but it does seem like a reasonable progression of the Bolt EV platform.

I don't like FWD, at all. I spin the tires and get into traction control in my Spark EV every single time I drive it. That's because the motor has high torque, the tires are small, and the front tires are also responsible for turning the car. The Bolt EV will be similar, but probably not as bad since the motor has lower torque, the tires are larger, and more weight on the tires.

I recommend driving the Bolt EV when it's out and reassessing then. Maybe GM will have given a hint at future models by that point.

2015 Spark EV

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Zoomit is online now  
post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 01:11 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
One thing i'm thinking will help push towards AWD if they actually see potential for it is with increased sales volume and distribution with fleet versions. Now seeing that in comparison to the Nissan Leaf will be interesting, don't think Nissan has plans for fleet, yet.
Roth33d is offline  
post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 11:39 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 839
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 236 Post(s)
Will definitely need to give the Bolt EV a test drive in the winter if tire spins are a concern. Wouldn't want the tires to spin every time I stop and start. Not sure what I would do if the FWD spins and they don't plan to come out with an AWD.
Bazinga is offline  
post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 12:15 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Getting studded tires might help but some places don't allow it. On the plus side its hard to spot them. A cop would have to get real close and in areas where most people don't run them... it won't be the first thing on a cops mind.
Roth33d is offline  
post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Zoomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: SoCal
Posts: 209
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Garage
(Thread Starter)
In winter, the first consideration should be snow tires (not full monty studded tires) replacing the OEM all season tires. In many cases AWD just gets you to the scene of the accident faster. Snow tires help you steer and stop.

The Bolt EV has sophisticated traction control that will keep the tires from spinning, unless you're being very aggressive it won't even kick in.
Roth33d likes this.

2015 Spark EV

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Zoomit is online now  
post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 10:44 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomit View Post
In winter, the first consideration should be snow tires (not full monty studded tires) replacing the OEM all season tires. In many cases AWD just gets you to the scene of the accident faster. Snow tires help you steer and stop.

The Bolt EV has sophisticated traction control that will keep the tires from spinning, unless you're being very aggressive it won't even kick in.
Exactly, steering and stopping is the most important, and with that comes climbing up inclines and going down declines. Grip basically. Once you don't have that... you're done for.
Roth33d is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome