I can’t think of a new General Motors model in recent times that’s had more buzz than the Chevrolet Bolt.
The little crossover has been called a game changer in the battery electric vehicle segment, offering long range and functionality at a (relatively) affordable price once government incentives are included. It’s been showered with awards and positive reviews.
My recent drive in a Bolt on the mountainous Sea-to-Sky Highway north of Vancouver suggests it delivers on its promises. It was comfortable, impressively quiet, handled well and offered bags of torque and power to cope with the steep terrain, with plenty of juice left after the 125-kilometre trip.
But something nagged at me during that jaunt, a quip heard years ago: At GM, the customer is the final product-development engineer.
That bit of drollery alluded to GM’s history of delivering half-baked new products, then fixing design and quality issues through the model’s run. It was true of conventional vehicles and spectacularly so when GM pushed the technology envelope.