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Latest Tech: Chevy Bolt EV recall may give owners even more battery range

General Motors said in late July it needed a group of 2017 to 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV back once again to remedy battery cell manufacturing defects that may cause a fire. It followed up saying it wants to check on every single Bolt EV and EUV model. Not good. If there’s a silver lining in all of this, however, it’s the fact owners with an affected Bolt EV on their hands may end up with an even greater driving range.

Green Car Reports first reported on an email GM sent to owners of these electric cars, which includes a note describing “all-new cells featuring GM’s most advanced Bolt chemistry.” The latest battery cells will provide “8% additional battery capacity,” according to the notice. A Chevy spokesperson confirmed with Roadshow these older Bolt EV models will receive GM’s latest cells and said, which should result in a “vehicle range improvement in equivalent driving conditions.”

The 2017 to 2019 Bolt EV boasts an EPA-estimated 238-mile range. With the new cells boosting range by about 8%, owners will likely be looking at a maximum range of 250 miles. That’s just 9 miles short of the latest Bolt EV’s official EPA figure. This assumes, however, the battery to be replaced hadn’t experienced any sort of degradation. If it did, the range boost might be a wash. It’s not clear if the 2020 to 2022 Bolt EV and EUV models would also see a range gain, considering they already boast GM’s latest battery tech for the models.

Total, GM originally needed to see 50,925 2017 to 2019 Bolt EVs in the US for this battery replacement recall. With the addition of other 2019 to 2022 models, another 52,403 are now included. Until GM is ready to perform the recall, the automaker told owners to charge their cars more frequently, avoid running the battery below 70 miles of range, limit charge capacity to 90% and to charge vehicles outside and not overnight.

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