Wow, two posts in one day…
Head on out to dinner tonight and come across an identical Bolt on the road. A nod to the driver and off we go our separate ways….
Now seeing another Bolt on the road isn’t that unique of an event; before I picked one up I’d see one around here every one or two weeks.
After dinner, however, we saw a much rarer beast: Leaving the restaurant I happen to notice a Ford charge port on the car next to us. After backing out the car is revealed to be a black Focus Electric (FFE)! I really don’t see many of these..even when I had one I think I saw one a year other than mine, and my coworkers. Given that these are that rare it is likely that I’ve seen this FFE before.
The real question, for me, is: Did they notice the Bolt and purposely park next to it….
Looks like Chevy has finally sold the first few Bolt’s. (Yeah with the last few posts I promise not to turn the blog into a “Bolt only” blog but you have to agree that it is a pretty compelling EV–perhaps if Ford would announce something and give me more to blog about I would….) Now the Bolt will only be available in select CARB states for this year (2016) and nationwide rollout begins early next year.
Nonetheless I’m already seeing plenty of them on the road in SE Michigan. So far I see about one every third week or so. This already is more frequent than I see Tesla’s or Leafs (although I’ve noticed that there is a Leaf owner who lives close by and thus I see that one about once a month or so). Since the car isn’t fully “out” yet I have to assume these are GM test cars or management lease vehicles (none that I’ve seen have had manufacturer plates which makes me lean towards them being management leases). Funny thing is I’m pretty far from GM’s two big engineering presences in Southeast Michigan (The HQ at the Ren Cen downtown Detroit, and GM’s Tech center north of Detroit). I am near a GM service facility that would house the people working on the dealer technician tools–perhaps some are from there.
Comparing this amount to what I see in Volts: I pretty much see at least two or three of the older model Volts during my commute daily, and about one of the new one daily but the Volt is a mature car that’s been out in the market for a while now and with Southeast Michigan being the home of GM (and Ford, and Chrysler) you’d expect to see a lot.
So what I’m saying by this rather rambling blog post is that: I’m pretty surprised to see so many Bolts so soon–especially when they only just went on sale (and not in Michigan). I would suspect GM is pushing them on the leases (or at least offering deals on the leases) so they can get more on the road for testing purposes.
Today I saw another FFE on the road but this encounter was slightly different..backing up a bit:
On any given day I usually see a few plugin cars: Lots of Volts–like one every two or three miles–a couple of Leafs (I see two in my city all the time with the same people driving them), the rare Tesla (there is a gray one near my work and just saw a red one near my home last week), and occasionally an FFE. You’d think I’d see more FFE’s being that I live only a few miles from the plant where they are built (I see more C-Maxes than FFE’s). In fact I do see the odd manufacturer plated FFE from time to time.
Today, however, was slightly different. Typically the other plugin cars I see are going in the opposite direction to me, or are on an intersecting street. This morning I was stopped at a light all by myself when I noticed a distinctive grile approaching me in the rear-view mirror. A black one. He pulled up next to me in the adjacent lane at the red light and looked over when I gave him the thumbs up. My gesture was met with a smile and a brief period of puzzlement until he noticed the “Electric” emblem on my door. It would seem that the FFE is so stealthy that even other FFE drivers don’t notice it! (Giving him the benefit of the doubt: It was early and from the back it is very hard to distinguish the FFE from any other Focus. The “electric” emblem back there is in the same spot as “Titanium”, “ST”, “SE” or any of the other trim line emblems thus if you are not specifically looking for it then you wouldn’t notice that its another FFE. It was easier for me as the front grille is a dead giveaway.)