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I have read several articles in which the writer has call the Bolt ugly. I beg to differ. While I do think it might lose a beauty contest to a Lamborghini, I sure wouldn't call the Bolt ugly. I and my family think it's reallycute. In any event beauty is only skin deep. One must look beneath its outer coverings to see the all of the Bolt's beauty.
 

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I have read several articles in which the writer has call the Bolt ugly. I beg to differ...
I've argued your point on the Tesla forum many times, but some people can't seem to let go of the fact that their opinion on good taste (or good politics) is the final word. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

I am a Tesla owner (2013 S85). I had a reservation for the Model 3 before buying the used S. When my turn came up to configure the Model 3, I tried everything short of threatening divorce to get my wife to take the Model 3. But she HATED everything about it from the sedan style to the futuristic interior and the high tech dash computer screen. And she is a graduate of the California College of the Arts in Oakland.

Short story is that she replaced her Honda Fit with a Chevy Bolt and couldn't be happier with its look, performance and functionality. We are now an all-EV family, and we are extremely happy about it.
 

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It's definitely not ugly. If anything the biggest knock against the Bolt EV's styling is also the biggest knock against the Model 3's styling: both cars put function first.

That being said, I think the Bolt EV is a good looking car, but like any car, it has good angles and bad angles. Notice that the people who want to claim the Bolt EV is ugly always use the same exact shot and angle: upward, direct side profile. At pretty much any other angle, the Bolt EV looks very good.
 

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Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

The Model S is very sharp looking, and the model 3 is not far behind. Currently huge grills are in style, most of which are exaggerated and not actually as large as they appear. My guess is EVs will drive the trend towards subdued grills, which to my eye are best looking.

The Leaf might be the ugliest EV, but the i3 tried very hard to take that title. Actually... I just remembered the iMEV or what ever that dumb looking/named thing is. The Think City EV is on the same level of repulsiveness.

I'm happy the Bolt turned out unoffensive looking, though I don't really care what a car looks like at the end of the day. I want an efficient use of interior space along with an aerodynamic profile. Form should follow function.
 

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When my turn came up to configure the Model 3, I tried everything short of threatening divorce to get my wife to take the Model 3. But she HATED everything about it...
I'll marry you...>:)

The Bolt EV is cute.
I have literally gotten this quote from nice lady who passed by while I was loading groceries. I blame the fresh car wash making my Bolt all shiny and glinty.

Personally I think it is bland and generic, but not ugly.
This is exactly what I thought of the Bolt. Guess I'm a sedan person since I loved my 2017 Volt's style even though it was thought of as generic and very similar to other sedans. Though, I've gotten more complements on my Volt than my Bolt: 5+ vs 2.
 

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My wife thinks it's ugly but she drives it to save the polar bears.


I like it because it's cool to drive electric. It's fun to drive electric. And it saves money to drive electric.


I don't really care how it looks.
 

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Considering that most of us (me, too!) cannot work or even feed ourselves without using an automobile, they're at this point not much different than a prosthetic limb or especially in this case an electric wheelchair. I do see some nicely decorated artificial limbs and wheelchairs but at the end of the day-- just as with any other mandatory medical appliance-- function is key.

There is doubtless an optimum shape for any given vehicle application. Tinsel plastered on the outside isn't part of that.
 

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I've argued your point on the Tesla forum many times, but some people can't seem to let go of the fact that their opinion on good taste (or good politics) is the final word. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.
There is, or used to be a whole bunch of posters on insideevs.com, who badmouthed the Bolt with passion, with no apparent (to me) reason. Judging by some outlandish statements, I would guess some of these folks have probably never driven a car, or think that other forumers haven't - or both.
I am a Tesla owner (2013 S85). I had a reservation for the Model 3 before buying the used S. When my turn came up to configure the Model 3, I tried everything short of threatening divorce to get my wife to take the Model 3. But she HATED everything about it from the sedan style to the futuristic interior and the high tech dash computer screen. And she is a graduate of the California College of the Arts in Oakland.
I can't say I hate TM3, because it's a capable and pretty automobile, but for my purposes it's all but useless. It's 5-6" lower than the Bolt; I understand some folks don't mind having to wriggle themselves into- and out of the car, but I do. Also, I love tactile controls and no hatch means I would struggle to use the car for work.
 

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There is, or used to be a whole bunch of posters on insideevs.com, who badmouthed the Bolt with passion, with no apparent (to me) reason. Judging by some outlandish statements, I would guess some of these folks have probably never driven a car, or think that other forumers haven't - or both.
It's a zero-sum-game mentality. For some reason, people believe that GM and the Bolt EV's success in some way diminishes other EVs. I'd like to think the Bolt EV actually pushed the other automakers.
  • It compelled Tesla to promise a lower price (possibly not sustainable?) on the Model 3.
  • It provided Hyundai and Kia with inspiration on how to make their EV products better (consider the Kona EV and Niro EV, which both benefited from the Bolt EV's example).
  • It forced Nissan to up the range on the LEAF and add thermal management (a one-year refresh on what is essentially a new car?).
 

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Rabid, evangelical, proselytizing brand loyalty is a curious thing, in a class with "unboxing" videos on YouTube. How did our lives become so empty?

I can't say I hate TM3, because it's a capable and pretty automobile, but for my purposes it's all but useless. It's 5-6" lower than the Bolt; I understand some folks don't mind having to wriggle themselves into- and out of the car, but I do.
Yeah, height was deal breaker on that one due to back issues, even worse than the power door handles (which were already a showstopper as diagnostics of strange budget choices). Both are practical considerations.
 

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Rabid, evangelical, proselytizing brand loyalty is a curious thing, in a class with "unboxing" videos on YouTube. How did our lives become so empty?
Technology Fetish. A human behavioral attribute, and human behavior is easily exploitable.

鈥渇etishism of technology.鈥 By fetishism I mean the habit humans have of endowing real or imagined objects or entities with self-contained, mysterious, and even magical powers to move and shape the world in distinctive ways.

When technological innovation becomes a business in its own right, we in effect see the institutionalization of technological
fetishism within the very heart of capitalism.
Human technology fetish isn't new, it does however expand exponentially since technology builds upon itself.
An inconvenient truth: Aren't EV's a technological solution to the potentially severe unintended consequences of another technological solution; the Internal Combustion Engine?

[The] media and cultural forms and icons, mediated through sophisticated technologies of representation and communication, capture, manipulate, and promote consumer desires and identities in ways conducive to endless [consumption]. In this, the fetish of technology, the lust for the new, the fashionable, the sophisticated, has its own role to play within populations at large.

The production of this fetish is promoted directly through fantasy production, using advertising and other technologies of persuasion, in particular that aspect that reduces the consumer to a passive spectator of spectacle.
"Passive spectator of spectacle" could be applied as to why YouTube unboxing is even a thing; We not only have been socialized to consume, but also to be shown how we should feel and react when we consume. Western economic models are based on perpetual growth that must continue on its own terms to succeed. At some point an equilibrium sets in among the consumption class. Material consumption then forces us into comparison with the possessions of others, of which there is no end. Within this self-imposed comparison, [for this topic] with respect to the utility of an automobile in the absence of objective economic and environmental differentiators, we are also socialized to create wholly contrived subjective distinctions in an effort to rationalize that our choice is better somehow than anothers choice. Even though two different EV's get the owner from point A to point B for the same cost, and in relatively the same time - we wouldn't be very good competitive consumerbots if we actually applauded the other owner for their decision.

Thus we call the other guys car...Ugly.
 

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An inconvenient truth: Aren't EV's a technological solution to the potentially severe unintended consequences of another technological solution; the Internal Combustion Engine?
I'm not sure why that's an inconvenient truth. We've been able to get away with burning carbon sources for fuel for a few centuries because the Earth itself can absorb a bit of a CO2 beyond what is naturally produced. But we've hit a point that exceeds what the Earth's ecosystem can process (like our livers after the seventh shot of hard liquor).

Electric vehicles are a key solution because they directly address the cause of the problem in the first place (the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere). Yes, other solutions do exist: Population reduction; 100% renewable energy grid; reforestation campaigns; carbon capture and sequestration; mass transportation systems; telecommuting; and changes to cultural and lifestyle choices. However, none of those additional solutions make electric vehicles a less valid solution.

In an example from California, recent emissions data showed that transitioning to a 100% renewable energy grid from our current state would have less impact than reducing transportation emissions by half.

"Passive spectator of spectacle" could be applied as to why YouTube unboxing is even a thing; We not only have been socialized to consume, but also to be shown how we should feel and react when we consume. Western economic models are based on perpetual growth that must continue on its own terms to succeed. At some point an equilibrium sets in among the consumption class. Material consumption then forces us into comparison with the possessions of others, of which there is no end. Within this self-imposed comparison, [for this topic] with respect to the utility of an automobile in the absence of objective economic and environmental differentiators, we are also socialized to create wholly contrived subjective distinctions in an effort to rationalize that our choice is better somehow than anothers choice. Even though two different EV's get the owner from point A to point B for the same cost, and in relatively the same time - we wouldn't be very good competitive consumerbots if we actually applauded the other owner for their decision.

Thus we call the other guys car...Ugly.
I think it's a bit of a double-edged sword. Reviews can be a good thing if they are legitimately meant to provide people with a better choice. Most consumerism is driven by buying non-durable goods that are portrayed as long-lasting solutions. Quality reviews have prevented me from buying shoddy tools and items that were misrepresented through marketing. Buy a $10 shovel that lasts a year or a $50 shovel that lasts a lifetime? In essence, good reviews can actually reduce consumerism. I guess you could wax philosophical and state that we are trading one form of consumption for another (material to informational).

In the EV world, a good example of reviews that might have prevented ill-advised purchases are the rapidgate reviews of the 2018 Nissan LEAF. You have to read very deep into the subtext to realize that the DCFC will slow under certain conditions. The big lettering on the brochure states: "90 miles in 30 minutes." In the real world, I've seen rates that are a quarter of that. Sure, those reviews can be abused, but most likely, they'll prevent someone who takes regular 400+ mile trips from considering the Nissan LEAF when the promotional material tells them it will be just as convenient as any other EV.
 

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I vote for Cute. I think it's nicely styled. Perhaps it looks too much like ICE cars in it's class, but I see that as a compliment. I'm an engineer, so looks don't mean a lot to me, but I was immediately struck by the Bolt's looks when I first set eyes on one. I find some other EVs quite ugly (the first generation Leaf and the BMW i3).
 

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I certainly never thought the Bolt was ugly. In general, coming from a Golf TDI, I like the 鈥渉ot hatch鈥 format and saw the Bolt as being another hatchback, not that dissimilar in looks from a Honda Fit or C-Max.

In terms of looks, I didn't want was a 鈥淓CO car from outer space鈥 look (e.g., original Honda insight), nor did I want 鈥渢icket magnet sporty car鈥, nor 鈥渨ow, I'm really rich, please smash the glass and see if there is something to steal鈥. It was none of those things. It looked fairly ordinary, which is what I want. (I like having a car that looks ordinary but leaps off the line quickly; it's always nice to surprise people who judged based on looks.)

I first saw the Bolt in person an auto show in late 2016. I don't fully remember my reaction. I don't think I exactly fell in love with the looks, but I think it did seem perfectly fine.

When I bought my Bolt a year later, I was pretty used to its looks.

Now, having owned it for nine months, it's hard to separate my feelings for the car. It's the most fun car I've ever owned, and even if it is 鈥渏ust a thing鈥, I'm fairly sentimental towards it. So it's hard not to see it as a cutie.

Today when I see EVs with needlessly long hoods, I feel like they're getting it wrong, trying to ape too much of the look of ICE cars with their need for lots of space up front for the engine. I'd put the Tesla Model S and Model 3 into that category.
 

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From an aerodynamic standpoint, cars are built backwards, with the tapered end toward the front, and the blut end in the rear. If autonomous driving could make accidents so rare that building a car to crash is no longer necessary, we would flip the design so the blunt end is in front with the taper towards the rear. Won't that be a shocking thing to see, probably taking a long time to for our sense of style to adjust. To an engineer though, it will appear as a thing of beauty.
 
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