There is a reason that so many people live in Southern California. Those who love nature can often find a piece of paradise in the immediate vicinity of the house. Or two. Or even more tempting active outings in the mild and sunny winter months. To engage in several activities on the same day is a rite for any Californian squeezed between the beach and mountains – the only question is what kind of adventure, when and how to navigate the masses and freeways lying between the array of natural wealth of the Golden State.
This, as they say, the lure of the final geographical two-lane always remains: the transition from zero level of height to the top of the mountain. We all know that you can surf and snowboard on the same day. As a native of the California coastal zone, I noticed that some of them are almost without hiccups. It's time to raise your bet. I needed to check whether it was possible to take a bag for one day and ride without harmful emissions from the exhaust pipe using a 100 percent electric car.
On a recent chilly morning, we embarked on this adventure that began in South Orange County. Our EV choice for the day, 2020 EV Chevy Bolt.
On paper, designed for a maximum range of 259 miles when fully charged, the new Bolt EV completed the task, especially considering how much battery technology is developing in each model year, allowing vehicles not only to travel long distances, but also more durable. topography (the increased battery capacity of the new Bolt EV expands by 21 miles compared to 2019). The question was, does this meet the specifications?
Dawn opened at the Ranch Hotel on Laguna Beach, plunging planks onto the roof rack and tossing snowboard bags into his back. While the Bolt EV's trunk is only 17 cubic feet, folding the rear passenger seats has opened up more than enough storage space for almost 95 cubic feet of passenger space. Three adults can easily fit in with three luggage boards (located on the side using 60-40 divided rear seats). First impressions of the interior: attractive style and technological accents. We hit the road by 5:30 in the morning, fully charged on our Bolt EV.
With the sun still behind the hills, the wind howled from the shore – all signs for an epic day. The air temperature at San Onofre State Beach was rather cold upon arrival, but the wind direction was still ideal. As we walked along a bumpy dirt road to the sand, the Bolt EV dealt with several sketchy potholes and difficult road situations like a champion.
When the sun was getting ready to look at the rocks and light up the empty line at the southern break of the “Old Man”, we noticed an uncharacteristically empty line. No crowd – surfer's dream. We got dressed and went out.
The conditions were all the time to start the day. Besides the fact that the air is chattering with teeth, of course, everything is lined up. The whole team was thrilled, with energy levels in and out of the water in full.
After about two hours in the water, it was time to dry, thaw and prepare for the next, much more difficult stage of this journey.
We reloaded equipment around 8:30 in the morning and jumped onto the road to Big Bear Lake (about 120 miles). Checking the flight range allowed us to walk 225 miles. When we comfortably glided along the cruise control on the freeway, we stopped on a two-hour road using a five-lane freeway system. With 200 horsepower, the new smooth acceleration of the Bolt EV was impressive. There were more muscles than expected when we passed through the lanes with heavy traffic – always a pleasant surprise.
The technical characteristics of the new Bolt EV are superior to the intellectual capabilities equipped with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi access point, and the integration of your phone with the myChevrolet app makes the entire user experience very simple and optimized. Wireless navigation from the phone to the bright 10.2-inch color touch screen made it possible to quickly go along the desired route.
When working with an electric car, it is important to be aware of your driving style in order to maximize your flight range. Try not to accelerate too fast or break too much. The real sweet spot of an electric car is slow and smooth. If we could keep the car in a relaxed state, we would have no problem climbing to Big Bear Lake, leaving a couple of hundred miles on battery. It was the moment when we turned Pandora on the phone and wirelessly turned on the tunes for an hour's walk to the base of the San Bernardino mountains.
When we started climbing along State Highway 330, we noticed that miles flew much faster than on the highway. While the Bolt EV probably had enough power to avoid the passage, we decided to take it low and slow and maximize the remaining range. And just about 35 miles to the alpine town on the lake, we were more than confident that our 138-mile radius would lead us almost 7,000 feet to the base of the Snow Summit ski resort.
By noon, we arrived at Big Bear Lake with a margin of about 60 miles plus a few hours of daylight to burn out a few turns on the hill. Although the tracks lacked new snow, the resort crews carefully purged artificial material, which was a little rough, but that was enough to create some fun pockets for skiing.
After several hours spent grinding in with crowded groomers, we decided that all of our legs were officially fried. We drove to the last chair, and then tore off the shoes from our feet on the back door of the EV bolt, and loaded. (Lovely heated seats were a very nice feature at this particular moment.) When we arrived at nearby Arrowhead Lake, the EV front-wheel drive Bolt handled the winding descent without worrying about anything. While we did not take detours and short roads, the roads in this area are more uneven than most; We were confident in the Bolt EV electronic stability control system with a traction control system (i.e., StabiliTrak) that safely handled stray shock and bumps. The day ended in a parking lot at Lake Arrowhead Resort for the night.
Thanks to the on-site charging capabilities, we quickly prepared the EV bolt for an easy walk down the Orange slope. And the coolest part? Our EV bolt actually got a range when moving down. It has a low mode that helps brake the car without having to press the brake pedal. This is a feature that Chevy calls “One Pedal Driving,” which regenerates frictional electricity when braking and pumps this voltage back to the battery. It was nice to see how the range slowly rises up while we go down the mountain. We started at a distance of about 100 miles, and when we approached the foot of the hill, we had about 130 … a lot to take us home.
As a result, the Bolt EV 2020 handled everything we threw at it. He not only pulled all our bulky equipment with him, but also coped with the difficult terrain, as well as with any compact car that we brought to the mountains.
If long trips or adventures off the highway were considerations preventing you from getting into the electric car, this double-dose day at least helped me get rid of some of my worries thanks to the electric car's ability. And with the all-new EV Bolt starting at just $ 36,620, as well as with charging stations appearing all over the country, things about switching to electricity only get twice as complicated.
Note. Be sure to study all federal tax credits available for electric vehicles and hybrids. Of course, you do not want to miss any incentive to become green.
Check all 2020 EV bolt specifications here
Sign up for YouTube to access exclusive videos, celebrity interviews, and more!