The 2017 Chevy Bolt EV is the first long-range, purely electric vehicle aimed squarely at a mass market. Its range (per Chevrolet, it can travel 238 miles on a single charge) and power (the equivalent of 200hp and 266ft-lbs of torque) far exceeds earlier EVs with similar prices (Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, Ford Focus Energi, et al.), and in a very real sense, this is the first vehicle that the average person can buy, drive, and enjoy, without worrying about how far it can go between charges.
Many potential buyers might be tempted to compare the Bolt, and especially its 6.5-second 0-60mph time, with Tesla, but it's a mistake to do so. With a starting price of $37,495 (which, at least for now, can be brought down to $29,995 with the $7,500 federal credit for EVs), the Bolt is far more affordable than anything Tesla currently produces.
After taking a Bolt (Chevy refers to it by its full name, the Bolt EV) for a spirited jaunt up the Pacific Coast Highway, there's one conclusion that really jumps out: This is a legitimately engaging car to drive. The engineering behind it has serious pedigree, and although its spartan looks fall more in line with a traditional economy car, it's likely the most fun electric vehicle you can buy today for under $50,000.