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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

First drive of the widely anticipated Chevy Bolt EV is set for Washington Auto Show

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV looks like so many other 5-door hatchbacks, but one writer has described it as a crossover between a car and a small SUV.


I'm heading for the Washington Auto Show in the nation's capital on Wednesday, when auto writers will get a chance to drive the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

I'm looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle that is said to be the first affordable all-electric car with a range of more than 200 miles on a full charge.

But as the owner of a 2015 Tesla Model S, I scoff at reports from those who have already tested the Bolt and who claim it will be a "Tesla fighter" or give "Tesla a run for the money."

Uninspired styling means the Bolt likely will fade into the background among so many other 5-door hatchbacks.

If you take the Bolt on a road trip, Chevrolet won't be providing any free charging, in contrast to Tesla, which has built a nationwide network of free, fast chargers for owners.

And the styling of the low-slung Tesla Model S 5-door hatchback remains fresh -- unique, really -- nearly four years after it went on sale.

So will the distinctive styling of Tesla's more-affordable Model 3, which is supposed to go into production this year.

I guarantee you no one will mistake the Bolt for a Model 3, and no Chevrolet can possible exude the quality and sophistication of a Tesla.