Chevy Bolt drag coefficient worse than Volt, Prius, Leaf

Chevy Bolt drag coefficient worse than Volt, Prius, Leaf

The Chevrolet Bolt appears to have posed a significant aerodynamic challenge for General Motors’ design team.

The electric MPV’s blunt shape was a “disaster for aero,” the project’s lead designer, Stuart Norris, told Automotive News in a recent interview.

The company’s South Korean design studio eventually achieved a claimed drag coefficient of 0.32, only slightly better than the Subaru Forester. The figure is significantly higher than claimed specs for the Toyota Prius (Cd 0.24), Tesla Model S (Cd 0.24) and Tesla Model X (Cd 0.24), among others.

Reducing drag coefficient and frontal area is particularly important for the first wave of mass-market EVs, allowing automakers to minimize battery costs and maximize driving range.

The Tesla Model 3 is expected to be the Bolt’s closest rival in terms of range an price. The Model 3 benefits from its sleek sedan shape, expected to widen the gap with a Cd of just 0.21. A company executive recently confirmed that its 215-mile range target with a smaller battery than the Bolt’s 60-kWh pack.

Live photos by Brian Williams.

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