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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't been on the forum lately, and the reason is that I no longer have a 500e. My wife and I had a 2015 500e lease followed by a 2017 lease, for a total of 6 years. After the second lease ended, we were actually without a car for a few months before deciding what to do next (we're in San Francisco and easily able to get by without a car).

I'm fond of tiny cars (before the 500e, I have owned a Honda CRX and a MINI Cooper) and would have loved to get the new 500e if only they would import it. We considered buying a used 500e, but in the end, we leased a Chevy Bolt.

We enjoyed the 500e, but its biggest issue was the low range. My wife occasionally does volunteer work on the weekend at Point Reyes National Seashore, and she would need to stop and charge 1 to 2 hours (sometimes in the dark) before heading home. If the 500e had just a bit longer range, it would have made a big difference. One time the battery got to 0% a few miles from a charger, but fortunately she did reach it.

The Bolt is classified as a compact car, but it feels HUGE compared to the 500e and MINI Cooper of our last 15 years. We'll miss the easy parking in San Francisco with the 500e, its style and fun driving experience. On the plus side, the Bolt's infotainment and tech is light years ahead of the 500e, with some genuinely useful features. And of course the 250+ mile range. There is such a sense of freedom when you don't even think about range any more. The battery gets down to 40% and we still don't bother to charge because there is still over 100 miles left.
 

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I presume the Bolt has DCFC?

Also with all the incentives in the Bay area did you secure one of those low $100 leases?

I'm waiting for the flood of 2017-2019 Bolt buybacks and lease returns to hit the market in the next month or so since Chevy claims to have resolved the battery fire non-issue (5 cars out of nearly 80,000 only when charged to 100% really isn't an issue IMHO).

I figure with the flood, the bottom will drop through the floor and it'll be possible to buy a used Bolt for the same price range that 500e's are going for now. Better range and DCFC are really the two items I'm looking for in my next move. To get that at nearly the same price point is a winner for me.

My plan is to keep my 500e as my backup car. With multiple children driving around in used cars, having an available spare is useful.

ga2500ev
 

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eKona might be another one to watch for plummeting used price due to (better-than-gas) fire non-issue.

However personally I'd be looking for a 2017-&-up eGolf with 125mi EPA, DC charging, & fantastic handling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I presume the Bolt has DCFC?

Also with all the incentives in the Bay area did you secure one of those low $100 leases?
Our Bolt is a Premier with DCFC standard, but even with the base model, dealers generally order it with the DCFC option.

The low lease deals (I saw as low as $60) required that you are currently leasing another car, and we didn't qualify. The deals weren't available yet while we still had the 500e, and our lease had already ended a couple months earlier by that time. We got an okay deal, nothing special, based on Costco incentive, GM discount for my wife being a teacher, and couple of other incentives.
 

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As I've done more and more mods to my 500e and wished it had DCFC and more range, it's clear a Bolt Premier was a better fit all along. Hard for me to justify until I drive a little more post COVID. @rkw how does it feel compared to 500e? I can read specs and reviews all day, but it's nice to hear from previous 500e drivers.
 

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As I've done more and more mods to my 500e and wished it had DCFC and more range, it's clear a Bolt Premier was a better fit all along. Hard for me to justify until I drive a little more post COVID. @rkw how does it feel compared to 500e? I can read specs and reviews all day, but it's nice to hear from previous 500e drivers.
I did the opposite. In March I returned my 2018 Bolt after a 3 year lease and bought a 2017 500e. The Bolt is a good EV. It's not a great looking car but it's very functional. In mild weather it would easily deliver 250 mile range around town. During Arizona summers I'd leave the car and A/C running while shopping so mileage suffered a bit. It was not a slippery car so you'd be lucky to get 200 miles at highway speeds.

Compared to the Fiat, I miss the Bolt's "one-pedal" driving. Chevy engineers knocked that one out of the park. Everyone on the Bolt forum loves that feature. Now it feels so archaic to have to use the brake pedal again.

The Bolt is definitely quicker than the 500e! Due to the low C.G. it corners fairly well, too.

The interior of the Bolt is not very premium and everyone complains about the terrible seats.

Hope this answers some of your questions.
 

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I have a few followup questions:

1. How often have you run upon the situation in the 500e where you could have used more range?
2. Did you take road trips in the Bolt? If so, what's your alternative for that now?
3. Did you use DCFC on any type of regular basis? If so, how has the FIAT not having it impacted your usage?

I'm not too hung up on range. But the lack of DCFC I find devastating. So, I am curious as to how your handling that.

ga2500ev
 

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Thanks for the review!

Before I forget, make sure to check here if you haven't already:

1-Pedal Driving! (or close, above 25mph)

I've seen a few complaints about 500e seats too, but I sometimes sit in mine for hours & it's fine for me. Abarth seats are much better though, & I believe they bolt right in, with just a bit of work to hook up the heaters.

I wouldn't mind more range &/or DC charging either:

eGolf: 2017-&-up has 125 miles & 50kW DC (optional on "SE"). A friend had an earlier model I drove a lot & it drives amazing. Not QUITE as snappy take-off as a 500e, but better than a Leaf2.0, & actually feels better than an i3 or my other friend's brand new id4! The stock tires spin like a 500e though, so an easy upgrade there would help. It has NO torque-steer, better steering feel than a 500e, handles even the worst bumps & dips without even slowing down at all, and corners so well that it's almost boring.

Bolt/eKona: The reviews I've seen indicate the eKona drives better than the Bolt. My ex-eGolf friend has a gas Kona (waiting for a deal on the EV) & it drives okay, but not as nice as the eGolf. She has actually been considering getting another eGolf. eKona is even quicker than Bolt to SIXTY, but the same to 30, & both are slower there than a 500e!
 

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New Bolts can be had for under $20k (with DC fast charging). Cheapest new Kona I see on Cargurus is $38K. Even the Bolt Premier can be had for under $25k. Even with the full $7500 federal credit on the Kona, you would have to really want it to justify the price delta over the Bolt IMO. The Bolt is really tough to beat if you need 250 miles of range.

Cheapest e-golf I saw near me is $16k for a '17 (first year for the 125 mile range). New Bolt for a few thousand more seems like a better value. Probably drives better than a Bolt, but I didn't think the Bolt was too bad at all when I test drove one.
 

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I have a few followup questions:

1. How often have you run upon the situation in the 500e where you could have used more range?
2. Did you take road trips in the Bolt? If so, what's your alternative for that now?
3. Did you use DCFC on any type of regular basis? If so, how has the FIAT not having it impacted your usage?

I'm not too hung up on range. But the lack of DCFC I find devastating. So, I am curious as to how your handling that.

ga2500ev
Not sure if you're asking me these questions, but I'll answer:

1. I live in a small town on the west coast of Arizona. The Bolt sent a monthly driving "report card" which informed me that the most distance I ever drove in a single normal day was 35 miles! That's when I realized the 500e was a viable option. I purchased the Fiat in Phoenix (about 200 miles away) so I had to borrow a friend's truck to trailer it home. That's the only time I could have used more range or DCFC.

2. During the 3 years of my Bolt lease, I drove to Vegas (150 miles) twice and SoCal (300 miles) twice. Hills and high speeds really eat into the Bolt's range. The DCFC stations are sparse along those routes so I would have to charge to almost 100%. That took well over an hour using DCFC. Now that I have the Fiat I will patronize Avis for the occasional long range trip.

3. See answer 2. The Fiat works for me in my situation. I just have no need to travel very far.

I bought the 500e because is it's an inexpensive way to wait for cars with solid state batteries. I don't think EVs are practical for long distance travel yet. But after driving electric for over 3 years, I could never purchase another ICE vehicle.
 

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I was interested because I've never seen an EV owner who was willing to step back from more range or DCFC once they had the opportunity to experience them. Very few people recognize that road trips and fast charging are relatively rare events. Or that virtually all daily usage of passenger vehicles are less than 100 miles.

Thanks for taking the time to answer.

ga2500ev
 

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YES! Thank you very much for your detailed, logical answer!

While we keep using our Fiats, which have plenty of range for 95%(?) of US drivers, & renting for rare longer trips*, it seems to ME that the only "change" we may have to make is the rental cars will eventually be solid-state, & the planes will be electric for domestic, & green-fueled for overseas. Our Li-ion Fiats will still be fine for day-to-day use.

*Personally I would just swap for a few days with my friend who "upgraded" from a Fiat to a Tesla 3: When I asked her a COMPLETELY unrelated question about her Fiat's center screen, she said "I really miss my Fiat! It was really great for zipping around town!" (which of course is all 95% of us do 95% of the time!)
 

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Oooh! What effect does the trailer have on your range? Adding a hitch is on my list of things to do on my next break.

ga2500ev
 

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I'll take a closer look at my MPGe next time, but I know it's not great. The launch ramp is only 5 miles away and I never get above 40-45 mph so range is not really a concern for me. The Fiat does a decent job towing and has no trouble pulling the trailer up the ramp. I do tease my friends, however, telling them not to be in the water when I back my electric car in the lake.
 

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I'll take a closer look at my MPGe next time
Most of us use mi/KwH, which is a much more logical unit to read power consumption in. You can change what units the car shows by: (2013-2015)pushing the button on the end of the right stalk till the car image shows in the display, hitting the menu button next to the display, find units in the menu, change to mi/kwh. (2016-2019)going into the menus on the radio display (idk about steps, i did it once on a car I was test driving 3 yrs ago)
 

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Yes, I'm also used to mi/kWh from driving the Bolt. However, I replaced the stock radio with an aftermarket unit to be able to install a backup camera on my 2017 500e. This Alpine head unit doesn't have the capability to access all the car's menu items so I'm stuck reading MPGe. I'm able to change many of the other menu items using the my500e app.

Here's the formula if you want to convert: mi/kWh = MPGe / 33.705
 
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