Monday, December 12, 2016

"Bolt"ing into the Future



Well, you have clicked the link to this blog, so I must have piqued your interest somehow, so let's get started!

First, a super quick bio for me. I’m just a guy in Maryland that happens to own a couple of Chevy Volts. Well, technically, I am leasing one of them, but I digress. The 2017 Volt I leased is one of 5 Chevy vehicles I have leased in the past 12 months, but that story deserves a whole separate blog in itself!

Anyways, as you can tell, I have an interest in electric vehicles, and the new all-electric 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is currently the one on my dream sheet. With 238 miles of EPA rated range, a sub-$30k price tag after tax credits, and small CUV/hatchback form factor, it checks nearly all the boxes I desire in a battery electric vehicle. The 2017 Volt is a mighty fine vehicle, but it was really just a placeholder for the Bolt (my other Volt is a 2012 which I am keeping for the long haul). Having a family of 4, including 2 young kids, the CUV-shaped Bolt better fits my family’s needs. 

Now to my Bolt story! I was initially expecting that Maryland would be one of the states included in the initial launch for the Bolt, since my state was also one of only 3 states in the country to sell the Chevy Spark EV. However, I soon learned that only California and Oregon residents would be able to pick up a Bolt by the end of this year! What is a guy in Maryland to do when he can’t acquire one locally until maybe Spring of next year? Reach out to a California dealer and try to snag a “loose” Bolt they have inbound, of course!

Shipping cost for a Bolt from SoCal to Maryland is roughly $800, give or take a few bucks, and that is a price I am willing to pay for the honor of owning a Bolt roughly 3 months before a Marylander is supposed to be driving one around! Plus I'm sure there are many people interested to know how a Bolt performs in the snow and dead of winter, right? 😉

Upon hearing that California dealers were accepting deposits for Bolts, I contacted one high-volume Volt dealer in SoCal after confirming they indeed would have Bolts stocked by the end of the year. I mailed a $500 check to that dealer to reserve a fully loaded Arctic Blue Metallic Premier Bolt with infotainment package, driver's confidence II package, and of course DCFC fast charging. Once the dealer had a Bolt meeting my specifications arrive in stock, they would contact me for final pricing and to close the deal.

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My future Bolt EV as configured





















However, while waiting (im)patiently for Bolts to ship out from the Orion factory in Michigan, I soon learned that the sales manager I was dealing with was…..a little lacking in the customer relations department, to put it nicely. After exchanging enough messages back and forth, I decided I did not want to take delivery from that dealer. If you are the general manager of that dealership and are reading this blog and figure out who I am, feel free to rip my deposit check up! And learn some people skills while you’re at it.

Luckily, I got in contact with another dealership that also had Bolts incoming (Rydell Chevrolet in Northridge...last I checked 10 out of their 16 Bolts inbound were reserved), and managed to lock down the Bolt of my dreams with a representative that actually knew what customer service was. They have been completely pleasant and timely with responses to date, and have offered a very reasonable price for a car that is in hot demand. I literally arranged the purchase of a $43k vehicle solely through text messages! Welcome to the future of car buying....that, or I'm just a crazy S.O.B. for purchasing a car sight unseen.

Late last week, I was informed that my future Bolt at status code 4300, which means it was on a transport truck heading to Ohio to be loaded on a train to sunny Southern California! With any luck, my Bolt will be delivered to the dealership within the next 2 weeks, and hopefully in my driveway a week later. That would make it a Happy Holidays for me indeed! I may actually be the first person in Maryland, if not the entire east coast, that will be driving around a Bolt on New Year’s Day!

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On the cross-country trek to SoCal!

To be continued...

p.s. feel free to share my blog to anyone that may be interested. Except if you are associated with Cleantechnica.com or Electrek.co. Since you two "news sites" will likely twist my experiences into some negatively slanted Bolt/GM article, you two do NOT have permission to link my article to an article published on your websites unless you have my EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONSENT, requested formally in my blog's comment's section.

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12 comments:

  1. First! Yes!

    ...totally always wanted to do that.

    Sidenote: look forward to reading your story Brian!

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  2. Having the car delivered is loosing an adventure. You could drive the car back to MD and blog about the adventure.

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    1. I would if I was single, but have family stuff that prevents me from taking off for a week. ;)
      Plus shipping to MD ia cheaper than picking up in CA due to tax differences.

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  3. Look forward to hearing about your adventures with the new Bolt. Mine will be on order as soon as one gets close enough to Iowa to actually sit in one.

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  5. Brian, looking forward to your story! Do you mind if I post your info on the http://www.mychevybolt.com forum? Mike

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  6. Looking forward to hearing the rest of your story. I live in PA and am heading out to CA and have been Jonesing for a Bolt. $800 transport fee doesn't seem too bad. My problem, is I'm looking at doing a lease, so I assume I'd have to pay to ship it back to the original dealer.

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  7. Thanks!

    Unfortunately only CA and OR can lease right now. So it's purchase or nothing for the rest of us for the time being.

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  8. Doing the same thing in Minnesota. I have ordered the premier package with DC fast charger added. They told me that then can actually drop off from Lansing MI en route to California to my dealership in Minnesota. I am also wondering if I maybe the first person in my state to get the vehicle. My order has been placed but the vehicle needs to be built.

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  9. Bro-
    What is your latest status?

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  10. I am also in MD (near D.C.) looking for dealers.

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