Battery degradation is nothing new, it’s actually expected with all electric vehicles on the market including the Tesla Model S. We were originally expecting to see the Bolt only lose around a 10% of its capacity over a span of 8 years, but now we find out that it could lose as much as 40% of its capacity.
Taken from the Bolt EV owner’s manual, a snippet form page 322 says:
With an 8-year/100,000 mile warranty, a 10% reduction wouldn’t be too bad as it’ll only drop the Bolt’s 238 mile range to 214. But if the battery does degrade 40%, the Bolt’s range will drop down to 143 miles.Like all batteries, the amount of energy that the high voltage “propulsion” battery can store will decrease with time and miles driven. Depending on use, the battery may degrade as little as 10% to as much as 40% of capacity over the warranty period. If there are questions pertaining to battery capacity, a dealer service technician could determine if the vehicle is within parameters.
Chevy could be taking pre-emptive action to protect themselves so they won’t be hit with a class action lawsuit like Nissan if the batteries were to degrade more than expected, especially in hotter climates. The lawsuit resulted in Nissan completely replacing the batteries for plaintiffs named in the suit.
We really won’t know if the Bolt’s battery capacity will be reduced by 40% until the vehicle is delivered into the hands of customers and driven for a certain period of time.