powering to powder bolt ev

2019-10-8 | Chevy New Roads Magazine

Powering to Powder

During an intracontinental road trip, skier Greg Hill falls for Chevy’s Bolt EV.

Skier Greg Hill loves pushing the limits. Like the time in 2014 when he broke his leg during an avalanche in the remote mountain ranges of Pakistan, spending 24 hours on an icy peak before being rescued by a medevac team. Then there was 2010, when he climbed and skied a total of 2 million vertical feet in 365 days at various locales in North and South America—the equivalent of ascending the Empire State Building four times every day. “At the end, I broke down crying,” Hill says of his then world-record feat. “I learned so much about myself, just having the confidence and ability to achieve something no one else thought possible.”

 

You might think Hill would have nothing more to prove, having conquered mountains and set skiing records. But in early 2019, the restless Canadian added yet another pioneering achievement when he embarked on a trek from his home in southeastern British Columbia to Teton County, Wyoming, in Chevrolet’s all-electric Bolt EV. For Hill, the winter jaunt would put North America’s EV-charging infrastructure to the test, while allowing for an honest appraisal of Bolt EV’s tour readiness. Sure, Bolt EV has earned plaudits from the automotive media and praise from customers, but how would it hold up on the rangy terrain on Hill’s snowy route?

 

The road trip was just the latest exploration for Hill, who has made a career of barreling headlong into the unknown. Born in 1975 to an airplane pilot and a teacher, he was raised in quaint Sutton, Quebec, a town that would stoke his snow sporting passions. “It had a little hill where I skied with my family,” the 43-year-old adventurer recalls. “I would skip school for skiing.”

The Details Matter

238

MILES ON A SINGLE CHARGE

6.5 SEC.

0-60 MPH

383 LB.-FT.

OF TORQUE

As his skills improved, Hill began testing his physical and mental limits. He gravitated to backcountry skiing. Equal parts mountain climbing and downhill skiing, backcountry skiing attracts adventure seekers who forgo the ease of chairlifts and helicopters, opting instead to hike up rugged mountains, then ski down in a celebratory banzai blitz. It’s an audacious sport, yet skiers insist the life-affirming rush they receive is worth the effort. “After six hours of climbing the mountain, to finally get to the top,” Hill says. “There’s something about being in the mountains, abiding by nature’s rules while pushing your limits at the same time. There’s nothing quite like it.”

 

Informally launching his skiing career in the early ’90s, Hill immediately displayed a flair for grand gestures—one of his very first climbs was the 14,410-foot volcanic peak of Mt. Rainier. It wasn’t long before his exploits were earning him acclaim. He won Canada’s Whistler Randonnée race three years in a row, from 2002 to 2004. He pioneered the Northern Monashee traverse, a 21-day ski expedition where he summitted 21 peaks along the way, just one of many first descents throughout the continental Columbia Mountains. He was the first North American to climb and ski 40,000 feet in 24 hours, setting a world record at the time of 50,100 feet in 24 hours.

 

Whether skiing the storied Norwegian mountains of Lofoten, scaling Nepal’s colossal Mount Manaslu, or negotiating the cliffs of Argentina’s Las Leñas, Hill is obsessive about his sport, as revealed in his independently produced 2008 documentary The Unbearable Lightness of Skiing. “I need to prove to myself that I’m living life to its fullest,” he says of his hard-driving personality. “I’m happy because I’ve learned who I am through my hardships.”


Charging Down the Slopes

In hilly driving, Greg can use the Hill Top Reserve feature (called Target Charge Level in model years 2018 and newer). It stops charging just before the battery is full, so Bolt EV can recoup "free" energy from regenerative braking when driving downhill.


New Mode of Transportation 

Despite his status as a world-renowned skier, in 2013 Hill had arrived at a crossroads. An environmentalist who had planted thousands of trees, the proud father of two felt like a charlatan. “I had a big diesel truck with a snowmobile in the back,” Hill recalls. “There was this hypocrisy of loving nature, yet the way I was accessing nature wasn’t good. As a professional athlete, I realized I needed to show how outdoorsy people like myself should be stewards for Mother Nature.”

 

Determined to set a conscientious example, Hill began investigating ways of reducing his carbon footprint. He tried biking to various adventures around his home of Revelstoke, British Columbia, but cycling proved to be a time-consuming nonstarter. Hill was intrigued by electric cars, but their scarcity and costliness at that time—not to mention the lack of charging station infrastructure—made them an unrealistic alternative to gas-powered vehicles.

 

Then, in 2016, Chevrolet introduced the Bolt EV, a zero-emission small crossover with a road-eating range of up to 238 miles on a full charge. “Here was an affordable electric car with enough range for me to adventure,” Hill recalls. “I remember ordering it—the excitement!”

There’s something about being in the mountains, abiding by nature’s rules while pushing your limits at the same time. There’s nothing quite like it.

Electric Adventure

Taking delivery of his Bolt EV in July 2017, Hill used the car to access locales around mountainous Revelstoke. The Bolt EV’s superb handling and EPA-estimated 119 MPGe proved inspiring. So much so that Hill planned a 2,400-mile trek in his Bolt EV to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he was scheduled to teach mountaineering courses. “The charging infrastructure seemed to be there, so I knew it could be done,” Hill says.

 

Even before embarking on his two-week trip in late January 2019, Hill was impressed with the Bolt EV. “I didn’t bring my rooftop ski box because there would be wind efficiency loss,” Hill says, “but I was still able to get everything I needed inside the car.”

 

Winding his way through British Columbia into the U.S., Hill was “blown away” by the Bolt EV’s confident performance on the hilly, rolling roads of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, where his stops to charge the vehicle gave him the chance to enjoy the majestic surroundings. “Having to stop allowed me to pull off-road and get to know places,” the skier says. “I’d never stopped in Spokane before, but I got to wander downtown and stop at a nice place for some shopping.” Those stops also served to remind Hill of a favorite saying: It’s good having an end to journey toward, but in the end it’s the journey that matters. “With a car like the Bolt EV,” he says, “the journey really does become as fun as reaching your destination.”

 

While Hill’s trip to Wyoming was insightful, it was during his return to Revelstoke that the Bolt EV really demonstrated its mettle. “It was snow and ice storms the whole way home,” he says, but he felt confident in the Bolt EV thanks to its low center of gravity.

On-the-Go Charging

Planning a long journey in your Bolt EV is simpler with the Energy Assist feature in the myChevrolet Mobile App. Here’s how it can help.

MAP IT OUT

Check the “energy bubble” graphic on the map to see the maximum distance you can drive based on the battery’s state of charge.

WHERE TO GO

The route planner estimates how much charge you’ll have left at your destination and can help locate charging stations along the way.

FIND IT ALL

Easily search for nearby charging points when you’re in an unfamiliar area.

ALERTS

Get warnings if you’re driving too far away to make it back home on the current state of charge.

MAP IT OUT

Check the “energy bubble” graphic on the map to see the maximum distance you can drive based on the battery’s state of charge.

WHERE TO GO

The route planner estimates how much charge you’ll have left at your
destination and can help locate charging stations along the way.

FIND IT ALL

Easily search for nearby charging points when you’re in an unfamiliar area.

ALERTS

Get warnings if you’re driving too far away to make it back home on the current state of charge.


Winter Travel Safety

Avoid being caught unprepared when driving in cold weather. Keep your vehicle packed with items such as a cellphone charger, water, snacks, a first-aid kit, a flashlight and batteries, a blanket, gloves, and extra warm clothes.


In all, the trip provided Hill with a revealing glimpse of the EV future. “I actually saw new chargers that were starting to come online,” he says. “We’re right on the cusp of all the infrastructure being in place to go anywhere in an electric car, which is really exciting.”

 

Exciting, indeed. Though Hill had journeyed to Jackson Hole several times before, he ranks his Bolt EV experience among the most meaningful. Toward his goal of spreading the EV gospel, Hill has started a website chronicling his exploits (electricadventures.ca).

 

“As an explorer, I’m all about trying to lead the way,” Hill says. “Cars like the Bolt EV are the first defense in a new way of adventuring, and I’m just proud to be one of the first to show what’s possible.”

 

Through mountain passes, winter weather, and generally challenging conditions, the Bolt EV proved to be the perfect adventure companion. With daring souls like Greg leading the way, extending the fun and efficiency of EV driving has never been easier.

 

STORY: BRUCE BRITT / PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRIS ARACE

Explore Bolt EV
Back to New Roads

*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range will vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age and how you use and maintain your vehicle.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and driving technique.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and conditions.

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range will vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age and how you use and maintain your vehicle.

  • EPA-estimated combined city/highway 119 MPGe.

  • Device data connection required. Available on select Apple and Android devices. Some features require active service plan and working electrical system. Service availability, features, and functionality vary by vehicle. User terms and limitations apply.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution

  • EPA-estimated 29 MPG city/39 highway with 5-speed manual transmission and 30 MPG city/38 highway with available Continuously Variable Transmission

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.

     

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Connected Services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan, and 1 month/3 GB of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to User Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell service and GPS signals. OnStar links to emergency services. Visit onstar.com for more details.

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • Connected Services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan, and 1 month/3 GB of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Data plan offered by AT&T. Services subject to user terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell service, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  Visit onstar.com for more details.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. Sirius, XM, SiriusXM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc.

  • EPA estimate for Sonic with available 6-speed automatic transmission.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • EPA-estimated MPG highway for Cruze Sedan with 1.4L 4-cylinder engine.

  • Cargo space for Cruze Hatch with rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 37 MPG highway for Cruze Premier Hatchback.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, your selected subscription plan will automatically renew thereafter. You will be charged at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. ©2018 Sirius XM Radio Inc. All rights reserved.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain and driving technique.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range will vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain and driving conditions.

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for vehicle and smartphone compatibility.

  • Available late 2018.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • EPA-estimated 28 City/39 Hwy MPG

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Read the vehicles Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android (TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active service plan and paid AT&T Data plan. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • EPA-estimated with available 3.6L engine (FWD).

  • With second and third row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The system wirelessly charges one mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • With 5.3L EcoTec 3 engine. EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Suburban 2WD 15/22, 4WD14/21.

  • Based on GM Large SUV segment. With 5.3L EcoTec 3 engine. EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Tahoe 2WD 15/22, 4WD 15/21.

  • With second and third row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Available on all trims and standard on RS and Premier including 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Requires AWD model. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. Map Coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

  • Dependability based on longevity: 1987–July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan, and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • Requires Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab 2WD DRW with fifth-wheel hitch and available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android(TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

     

  • 308 horsepower with available 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Colorado 2WD with available Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel 4-cylinder engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner's Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • 308 horsepower with standard 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner's Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age, and how you use and maintain your vehicle.

  • Read your vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Certain features require a SiriusXM subscription and the Chevrolet Connected Access plan. See siriusxm.com and onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/chevrolettires or see your dealer.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on all trims:  Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Intellibeam Headlamps. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints.  Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint.  See the Owner's Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • On LS models with available front-row split-bench seat.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity to some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires AWD and 3.6L engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models

  • Available on Crew Cab models

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Equipment from independent suppliers is not covered by the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. GM is not responsible for the safety or quality of independent supplier alterations.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

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