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Hello Chevy bolt forum,

There might be a better section for this but they all seemed very specific so if it would do better somewhere else please let me know.

As you guys can see from the title I am here today because my daughter will be passing her test soon and I am looking into getting her a Chevy Bolt but I was wanting some thoughts from you guys first. Her test is coming up in a month and her birthday isn't too far away after timing couldn't be any better to treat her. The Bolt caught me eye because of the sleek modern design and the fact it's electric which is good for the environment but apart from that I don't know too much about it.

What are your guy's thoughts in terms of your experiences with the car? How long does the battery really last? how much does it cost to charge the battery and how long does it take to charge? what is the maintenance like to keep up with?? pretty much anything you guys can think of that would be useful/helpful.

If there is any other information that you guys need please comment below and I will get back to you ASAP.

Thanks
 

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Ben, I don't own a Bolt, but here are my thoughts.

The battery life isn't known because the car was just released. We barely have an idea of what the battery life for a Gen II Prius is from 2004. That said, it has active thermal management, so it should do quite well, especially compared to the Leaf. How long do you expect to keep the vehicle? The battery warranty is 8 years and 100,000 miles. A battery doesn't just stop working, but rather degrades over time, reducing the total range. This will likely happen slowly. Chevy has hinted at 10-40% reduction over the course of 10 years. There are habits that can preserve the longevity of the battery (using hilltop mode to stop charging at 90%), and habits that can prematurely degrade it (frequently using the entire range and charging to full).

That brings us to the next question. What are your daughter's travel needs? Does she need to regularly travel beyond the single charge range? Does she have access to a petrol powered car if she needs to travel far? Do you already have a 240v outlet available to plug into, or do you plan to have the charging infrastructure installed?

What off-peak price do you pay for electricity? In the US, electricity prices vary, with the highest rates about 5x the lowest rates. My rates are among the lowest, at $0.08/kWh. That translates to about 2 cents per mile to drive on electricity. By comparison, a 30 MPG car costs me about 10 cents per mile in gasoline. A Prius is about 6 cents per mile. Maintenance costs are much lower for an EV since there are no oil changes, timing belts, spark plugs, etc, etc, etc.
 

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I can only assume your daughter is around 16 since she's passing her first driving test soon. If she's anything like me in high school, didn't travel far or go on road trips, the Bolt's range is should be more than enough for day jaunts around the city.

There's plenty of standard features including something called "Teen Driver".

This configurable feature lets you activate customizable vehicle settings associated with a key fob to encourage safe driving behavior
It can limit certain vehicle features, and it prevents certain safety systems from being turned off
An in-vehicle report gives you information on your teen's driving habits and helps you to continue to coach your new driver
 

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If she gets used to driving the Bolt (or other BEV), will she ever again be able to drive an ICE car? On the other hand, it may be near-perfect for a teen driver. (AND safer!) Statistics do show, however, that on average, every new driver gets in an accident within the first year. This is often not their "fault", but they do not have the experience to anticipate that/when the other driver is going to pull a stupid move! I am guessing that collision repairs in the Bolt will far exceed those in an old ICE car. Maybe for her 18th birthday?
 

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For a first car for a young driver you want something:
-Safe; good IIHS crash test results
-Good visibility
-No glaring blindspots
-Easy to drive
-Easy to park
-Good brakes
-Collision avoidance features
-Hands free calling
-NAV

The Bolt has all the above and more... if you're willing to pay for it- I think it would be an excellent first car.
Of course the NAV is through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay from their phone connected to the Bolt via USB cable.
Regarding parking- if you get the Premier, the "Birds Eye" overhead view makes backing up and parking absolutely brain-dead easy and super safe!
You also have the huge benefit of Onstar with it's live 24/7/365 service in case they get lost of feel in danger.
The Bolt also has self sealing tires in case of punctures, and another great benefit is that your daughter will never have to go to a nasty smelly (and possibly dangerous for young female teens) gas station to fill up.

Just yesterday a work associate asked if he and his son could go for another ride in my Bolt to make a decision if a Bolt will be his son's first car. I had driven his son home twice in the Bolt since getting it in April... he couldn't stop talking about it at dinner his father told me the next day.
 

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man, i wish my parents had bought me a $40k car when i was a teenager. that said, i'd probably look at a used semi-beater for a first car. something reliable like an accord or camry. maybe save the bolt for graduation, either high school or college.
 

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^ Not knowing the OP's financial situation, if he can afford to buy/lease his daughter a new, safe, reliable car with advanced safety and protection features... why not?
There is no down-side to that decision....
 

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I sometimes wonder why people who are considering a $40,000 NEW vehicle ask about the cost of "fuel".

Not knowing the OPs financial situation, I would be more inclined to buy a used Leaf as a first car, given my comfortable yet frugal financial position. They start at around $6,500 on CL, and a 2013 model can be had for about $7,500. I'll probably get one for my parents when the Leaf 2 comes out and devastates the gen I prices even further. They almost never drive more than about 40 miles in a day.

I didn't know about the "teen" mode, which sounds pretty neat. They need to add a "stupid cousin" mode, too.
 

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I agree, my son's (now 21 yrs old) first car was a BEV, now he is a senior in college, and although he has driven ICE cars, he still has in the last 4 years only had a BEV full time himself, and driven 40,000 miles mostly to and from school.
Also, now his car habits have been spilling over to others in his generation, and some of his friends now drive BEVs too, even though their parents do not!
BTW: He loves the Bolt!

If she gets used to driving the Bolt (or other BEV), will she ever again be able to drive an ICE car? ...
 

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A good dealership can help too because the last thing you want when issues come up is dealer with a horrible service department. Seen it for myself and its not fun and can take a toll on you especially if you happen to be new to the world of new car ownership. If it wasn't for these being so special then I would recommend finding at least one good independent service shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello Chevy bolt forum,

There might be a better section for this but they all seemed very specific so if it would do better somewhere else please let me know.

As you guys can see from the title I am here today because my daughter will be passing her test soon and I am looking into getting her a Chevy Bolt but I was wanting some thoughts from you guys first. Her test is coming up in a month and her birthday isn't too far away after timing couldn't be any better to treat her. The Bolt caught me eye because of the sleek modern design and the fact it's electric which is good for the environment but apart from that I don't know too much about it.

What are your guy's thoughts in terms of your experiences with the car? How long does the battery really last? how much does it cost to charge the battery and how long does it take to charge? what is the maintenance like to keep up with?? pretty much anything you guys can think of that would be useful/helpful.

If there is any other information that you guys need please comment below and I will get back to you ASAP.

Thanks
Thanks for all the replies guys! I am going to have a read through everything above and then get back to you all! It's nice to see so many Bolt enthusiasts and helpful people coming together here.

Thnaks again I will be back soon.
 

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I highly recommend skimming through other posts on this forum, especially those from other potential buyers who are looking for advice.

One more thing to mention is that L3 charging, also known as DCFC, is not installed on every vehicle ($700 option I think I read) in the US (Canada has it standard). Lack of L3 charging makes the car unsuitable for longer trips beyond the single charge range.

L2 charging takes several hours to reach a full charge and runs on 240v, which often requires a new circuit to be installed in your home.

L1 charging plugs into a standard 120v outlet, and is so slow as to not be very practical for most people.
 

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I'd suggest getting a used BEV like a Fiat 500e, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, or Plug-in Prius as her first car if you want to go the (PH)EV route. Cheaper.
 

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I didn't know about the "teen" mode, which sounds pretty neat. They need to add a "stupid cousin" mode, too.
Didn't even know there was a teen mode until I dug around the Chevy Bolt site. I'd like to think the "stupid cousin" mode is just hiding the keys. :D

This forum is a treasure trove of information, just takes a bit of reading.
 
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