The 20th Annual Fleet Car of the Year award was presented to the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV. Voting was open to professional fleet managers who were asked to select their top choice based on fit and function. It’s the first time an electric vehicle has won this award.
The first-generation Chevrolet Bolt EV was unveiled in January 2016 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Almost seven years later, it has made itself home in commercial fleet operations.
“At GM, we strive to create an electric vehicle for every purpose and work together with our customers as their business needs evolve,” said Sandor Piszar, vice president of GM Envolve. “We are honored to be awarded the Automotive Fleet Car of the Year award for our Chevrolet Bolt EV. We have said before, the Bolt EV has led the charge in putting more drivers in electric vehicles. It is a popular choice among our customers, include our fleet customers, due to quality and forward-thinking technology as well as our customer-first service our team offers to help them excel in their respective industries.”
Powering a Winning Electric Fleet Car
Technology is at the forefront of the electric car. The Advanced 65+ kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides up to 259 miles on a full charge.
With 200 hp and 266 lb.-ft. of torque, the compact car can charge via 120v, 240v, or DC Fast Charge systems. A 240v charger will fully charge the Chevrolet Bolt EV in approximately seven hours.
And with 57 cu.-ft. of cargo room with the rear seat folded, fleets can carry sales supplies, small delivery items, and needed materials with clean power underfoot. A small crossover version, the EUV, offers a longer wheelbase and added rear legroom.
The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV also saw a price decrease for the 2023 model year. The price reduction dipped to $26,595 for the 1LT and dropped to $29,795 for 2LT models. The reduction of $5,990 per model is helpful for commercial fleets at a time when vehicle prices and related costs are typically increasing.
In addition, Bolt EV purchases may be eligible for a Clean Vehicle Federal Tax Credit of up to $7,500.
Tech Advancements in the Bolt EV
The Bolt EV has even updated the accelerator pedal. Previously only used for accelerating, One-Pedal driving lets a driver slow down and stop the vehicle, too.
Chevrolet noted using this feature makes for an easier drive without as much switching back and forth between pedals while also helping you get the most out of your electric driving range.
How does it work? Traditional vehicles “coast” when you remove your foot from the accelerator pedal. One-Pedal Driving uses the electric motor to capture energy from the vehicle’s motion to recharge the battery and quickly slow down the car. When you must stop suddenly in an emergency, drivers should still use the brake pedal.
And Chevy helps keep power stored for when it’s needed. Regen on Demand allows the conversion of kinetic energy stored in the battery for future use by simply pulling on a steering-wheel-mounted paddle.
Safety First for Commercial Fleets
To keep commercial drivers safe and focused on the road and job, several safety features are available standard through Chevy Safety Assist, including Automotive Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, and IntelliBeam auto high beams.
Adaptive Cruise Control is available on 2LT models.
Making a Home in Delivery Fleet Operations
Its small size makes the Chevrolet Bolt EV the perfect vehicle for delivery fleets that need to handle busy city streets and minimal parking options with ease.
In November 2022, Domino’s announced they would have the largest electric pizza delivery fleet in the country, with more than 1,100 Chevrolet Bolt EVs being rolled across their stores. The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV is the official car of Domino’s electric delivery fleet.
In a release, Russell Weiner, Domino’s chief executive officer, said, “Domino’s has always been on the cutting edge of pizza delivery, and electric delivery cars make sense as vehicle technology continues to evolve. We’ve made a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and this is one way we can begin reducing our environmental impact, one delivery at a time.”
Making EVs a Viable Fleet Option Today
GM Envolve has a variety of products and services in place to help its customers in their transition to EVs, including:
- A network of 3,000 Chevy dealerships coast-to-coast that can quickly service our fleet and commercial customers and maximize their uptime.
- EV consultant managers are available to fleet customers to determine the best EV solution – product and charging infrastructure – for their business needs.
- A turnkey Fleet Charging Program that helps connect customers with EV infrastructure providers to customize the best charging solution for a company, whether it be a centralized charging depot at their facility or chargers installed at their driver’s home.
- Virtual EV Live Studio, which can provide product walkarounds for fleet drivers to become more familiar with the Bolt EV. For example, AstraZeneca used this service for product training and for their drivers to participate in real-time interactive learning about topics such as range anxiety, battery optimization, and utilizing a mobile app to find charging stations along their route.
Looking Ahead for the Chevy Bolt EV
And the automaker sees the potential in this vehicle. After an announcement about discontinuing the popular fleet model, in mid-2023, GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra announced Chevrolet would be introducing a next-generation Bolt.
“Our customers love today’s Bolt. It has been delivering record sales and some of the highest customer satisfaction and loyalty scores in the industry,” said Barra. “It’s also an important source of conquest sales for the company and for Chevrolet.”
Drawing on various Ultium and Ultifi technological advancements will help GM return this popular model to the market on an accelerated timeline.