Small choices, Major Impact

Every day we make little decisions that can make a major difference. It can be as small as packing a healthy lunch, taking the stairs at the office, or ditching that single-use bottle of water for a stainless steel canteen bottle. It might be cliche but it really is the small things that create big changes in our lives. Chevrolet is pushing the envelope with the new and improved Chevrolet Bolt EV 2020. This all-electric vehicle is testing the boundaries of what an electric car can be. When you think of electric cars, what comes to mind; is it cost, maintenance, driveability, looks, performance or accessibility? I’m inclined to believe they all play a factor in which cars we purchase.

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Babcock Ranch in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

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I currently drive a traditional gas vehicle and had started thinking about what my next car purchase should be. My future ride needs to be affordable, great on gas/or no gas, and reliable. While that doesn’t seem like a hard list the options on the market can be overwhelming. Luckily, Chevrolet reached out to me about test driving the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV  and I was stoked to see what it was all about.

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Babcock Ranch in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

Making the Switch

Sustainability is the name of the game with the Bolt EV, so Chevrolet organized two days full of fun eco-friendly activities that would highlight how easy it can be to go green. Throughout our itinerary, we were able to see the present and future of conservation.

Our first stop at The Gabriel Miami was where we got a complete rundown of all the latest features of the Bolt EV.  The highlight from that presentation was that it will now offer an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range on a full charge. That’s a 21-mile increase over previous model years. Check out the following points for a few more highlights

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Babcock Ranch in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

Details

  • Bolt EV’s drive system uses a single, high-capacity electric motor for propulsion
  • The motor is capable of producing up to 266 lb.-ft. (360 Nm) of torque and 200 hp (150 kW) of motoring power, enabling 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds
  • Power delivery is controlled by Electronic Precision Shift system
  • The Bolt EV’s advanced 66-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is made up of 288 individual cells
  • An available DC Fast Charging system enables the battery to be charged up to 100 miles of range in 30 minutes5
  • Regen on Demand allows you to convert kinetic energy into energy stored within the battery for future use. A simple pull and hold of then Regen on Demand paddle on your steering wheel can decelerate your vehicle and store energy for future use
  • One Pedal Driving. While driving in Low mode at any speed, One Pedal Driving lets you speed up and slow down using only the accelerator pedal. When you want to speed up, press your foot down like you normally would. And when you want to slow down, just lift your foot off the accelerator. One Pedal Driving helps you capture some of the energy from the moving vehicle and turns it back into electrical energy which is stored in the battery. Of course, you should always use your brake pedal if you need to stop quickly.
  • Chevrolet infotainment system6 with 10.2-inch-diagonal color touchscreen display with “flip-board” operation
  • “Floating” instrument panel and multipurpose, connected center console – offers wireless phone charging7 and a compartment large enough to stow a tablet device
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® Hotspot with available 4G LTE data (3GB or 1-month data trial)8
  • Infotainment Package is available on Premier and includes Bose® premium 7-speaker system with subwoofer, wireless device charging6 and two USB charging-only ports9 for rear passengers
  • KeyPass smartphone entry/start operation is standard
  • Large greenhouse provides panoramic visibility, with upright SUV-like seating
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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Babcock Ranch in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

After our initial walk through we were able to try out the one-pedal driving. While it might seem daunting, it is much like driving a golf cart and it’s really ideal for stop and go traffic. I could see myself using one-pedal driving in peak Miami rush hour and being so much more Zen after my commute.

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Friday, January 10, 2020 in Malibu Farm Restaurant at the Eden Roc Resort – Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

After mastering the one-pedal technique we caravaned over to Malibu Farm Miami Beach for a hands-on Pizza class, using local farm to table ingredients.  Malibu Farm’s focus on using organic products for healthy, delicious foods that nourish body and mind continued our holistic vibe. After creating my own pizza it’s safe to say I’ll leave the pie-making to the professionals.

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Friday, January 10, 2020 in Malibu Farm Restaurant at the Eden Roc Resort – Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

Now that we had fueled our bodies we hit the road to try out the increased mileage of the 2020 Bolt EV. Our destination was Naples and I was psyched to get to drive through the everglades to get there. I thought I had seen much of Florida’s wonders but the Everglades were definitely one for the books. With over 7,800 miles of wetland, this unique ecosystem is a precious habitat for wildlife and plants that help sustain Florida.

The Bolt Ev is easy to drive, responsive, and incredibly quiet. There were several times that I got out of the car and completely forgot to turn it off because I didn’t hear the engine. As a safety precaution, the car is equipped with a system that alerts pedestrians around you that the car is indeed on.

We made it to Naples with miles to spare and the cars were whisked away to be charged.  The Bolt Ev is fully electric. There is no gas backup-which we will come back to in a bit. It has an app that allows you to plot out your daily route and where you can find a charging station. The Bolt can be charged easily in your home and/or at a charging station.

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Babcock Ranch in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

Out on the Ranch

The next day we headed over to Babcock Ranch, the most sustainable city in the United States. This private/public partnership spans 17,000 acres and is working towards the goal of a zero-carbon footprint. They have teamed up with FPL by donating 400 acres of land for a massive Solar power farm. Since its inception in 2016, it has been generating clean solar power for the community and its neighbors. In fact, the field’s emission prevention is the equivalent of taking 12,000 cars off the road.

What makes Babcock Ranch so unique is their commitment to conservation and sustainability, while giving you all the perks you could ever want in a community. They have created a space where you can live, work, and play knowing that you’re helping to improve the environment around you.

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Babcock Ranch in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

All good things must to an end and as we prepared to leave I made a rookie move.  I didn’t adjust for outside factors. Electric cars are amazing but they require an ev charging cable and charging stations aren’t nearly as numerous as gas stations( that is quickly changing but for now it is what it is). I calculated the mileage for a stop at a family friend’s home but didn’t use the app to see if I would have enough juice to get me there and back.

Picture it, it’s 10 pm in the everglades. Your battery charge is lower than you anticipated. You cut the AC and check the car battery levels on the screen. Axing the AC got me 25 extra miles. I was 10 miles from home and the battery starts flashing orange so I say a little prayer and switch to one-pedal mode. I make it home by the skin of my teeth.

In the am I call Onstar to come to grab the car because I have run the battery down past its happy place. The pick up is painless. The moral of the story is to use the app! It works and you won’t have to panic like me. The Bolt is not a hybrid, there is no gas station that will save you.

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Babcock Ranch in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

 

After this experience, I can say if you’re looking for an affordable electric option the Chevrolet Bolt EV is  a great choice. It handles well, is cost-effective, and reduces your carbon footprint. Chevrolet provides several services like the app, a home charging station installation service, and other resources to make your transition to electric cars seamless.

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV media program Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Babcock Ranch in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mark Elias for Chevrolet)

 

The Aspiring Gentleman was hosted by Chevrolet. All opinions are my own.