• Allen Hibner

My First Impressions of Our New 2020 Chevy Bolt EV

Updated: Aug 24

Written by Allen Hibner - June 11th, 2020 - We’ve had this car for three days now and we’ve driven it about 70 miles. I’ve formed some definite first impressions of the overall EV experience…


First impressions:


The entire experience feels more like a “computer on wheels” than a car to me. I’m right at home configuring and monitoring the parameters and gauges on screen after screen (whether on the car or in a browser on my laptop) and iPhone app after iPhone app! This is definitely “in my wheel house” based on my 40+ years of computer experience. I’ve already mastered the vehicle parameter setups. I cannot believe the richness of the data I can monitor and report on over time. Incredible feedback.

The blend of analog switches and controls on the dash and digital screens and familiar digital gauges on those screens makes for a much easier EV transition,” I think, for folks who are a little bit older. It feels just right for my wife and I – two 50’s era boomers.

  • The speedometer, odometer and other gauges are where you expect to see them.

  • The “Max, Min and Average” EV miles remaining gauge feels just like a gas gauge to me and provides a lot of comfort and familiarity in knowing how much “electric gas” you have left.

  • The HVAC controls are mostly analog switches and controls, very familiar as well and they provide a sense of comfort in knowing how to operate the climate controls on this vehicle almost immediately.

  • Tesla EV’s, while amazing vehicles, provide a somewhat “jarring” transformation for aging boomer brains, with that single, very large screen sitting right in the middle of the dash. The rest of the dashboard completely barren. My “GenX” children take to Tesla’s like a duck to water. Boomers? Perhaps not so much…

I am “blown away” by the “1-pedal” driving feature (“L” on the shifter). It combines continuously variable regenerative braking (recharging the battery) with acceleration using ONLY the right foot accelerator pedal. Almost no need to ever move your foot to the brake pedal when using. WOW!

  • This will be unbelievable for “stop and go” and more urban driving. Lift up the accelerator to slow the vehicle down… amazing.

  • I loved this feature the first time I tried it during my initial test drive.

  • You would have to pry this feature away from my “cold, dead right foot” before I would give it up going forward. Instantly bonded with this incredible capability!

  • Oh, and if you don’t have it on, there’s a manual “regen” paddle on the back-left of the steering wheel to also assist you in slowing down when/if desired. Nice…

High definition cameras (you’re right, that’s cameraS – PLURAL - Several of them…)

  • Flip a lever and the rear-view mirror becomes a wide-angle high definition live camera view instead of a stupid old mirror blocked by rear seat headrests. “Game changer…”

  • There are EIGHT+ high-definition, crystal clear selectable views of the sides, back and front using all of the cameras including a “birds-eye” top-down view as well. There’s just no going back once you’ve seen these views. How great is that for the aging boomer brain engaged in backing out of a shopping mall parking space? Priceless…

  • Did you know? The rear windshield wiper sprayer also sprays the rear cameras too? You’d never know you needed that until you DID! Think winter road salt and salt spray.

The (7) Bose speakers are crystal clear. My aging boomer (digitally assisted) ears can hear them much better during phone calls and listening to music and audio books.


Some Final Thoughts:

  • This car really channels my, “inner geek” with its software UI/remote access computer monitoring interface on wheels.

  • It also instantly excites the “reversing global warming” climate activist in me who is working so hard to provide lower cost, 100% clean, renewable and carbon-free electricity to everyone in Penfield through our still evolving CCA program.

  • Finally, it soothes my “aging boomer analog brain” at the same time. A brain that was largely formed in the 50’s analog era of rotary dial phones, party lines (multiple families on a single phone line), milkman home milk deliveries and Elvis Presley on the AM radio.

  • For me, this car is “emblematic of the future that’s coming” and all that I am working so hard to do; helping to build a more livable world for my children and grandchildren.

  • Oh, by the way, did you know that this computer on wheels can actually move your physical body from point A to point B in a very quiet, smooth and lively way? Sort of an after-thought though…

  • Clearly, this is going to be a whole lot of fun!

myChevrolet - Remote Access Connection – iPhone Control/Monitoring App - Showing Selected Screens in the Image Below:


ColorPenfieldGreen is an organization of residents of the Town of Penfield, NY who are concerned about the environment. Our goals are to: 

  • inform fellow residents about all the incredible ways that our community is “Going Green” with a focus on climate

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