There’s a lot of excitement over Chevrolet’s award-winning new Bolt EV. Chevrolet promised to begin deliveries in December of 2016, and on December 13, in Fremont, California, three lucky customers drove their Bolts home. One of them was Bill Mattos, a retired law enforcement officer, who happens to live right there in town.
It turns out that Bill has been an EV enthusiast for a long time, since he got a rare opportunity to drive GM’s EV1 back in 1999.
“I was taking my Saturn to the dealership and saw this strange-looking car plugged in there,” said Bill. “It was the EV1. They let me drive it and we burned up a lot of electrons. I was blown away.”
Bill couldn’t buy or lease one—the waiting list was long, and GM notoriously cancelled the EV1 program—but he decided then that as soon as GM offered another EV, he’d be one of the first people to get one.
He got his chance when the diminutive Chevrolet Spark EV came out.
“I really liked the Spark’s acceleration, and it was easy to get in and out of,” Bill said. “But there was the 85-mile range, and while I enjoyed riding in the HOV lane, I sometimes felt a little intimidated by the big cars.”
Bill’s next EV was the larger Chevrolet Volt—a hybrid. He got the second-generation 2016 model. But not long after, he read about the upcoming all-electric Bolt and got excited.
“It sounded like a Spark on steroids,” he said. “I read everything I could find about it.”
And, Bill told the folks at Fremont Chevrolet to let him know immediately when they started taking orders so he could be the first one on the list. And that’s just what they did. On October 2, Bill drove down to Fremont Chevrolet and placed his order.
As it turns out, Fremont Chevrolet is the top EV seller in the Bay Area (and Fremont also happens to be where EV rival Tesla’s plant is located). So, when GM decided to deliver the first three Bolts there, Bill got a call to come on down and pick up his car. The dealership sent a car for him, since he would be driving his Bolt home.
“They had a whole lot of Bolts there, but most were going to other dealers for demo cars,” said Bill. “I originally ordered a silver one, but since I was getting to be first in line, I chose the red one, which included the fast charge port.”
The dignitaries presented Bill with his car, showed him how the features worked, and he was on his way. (Photo courtesy of Fremont Chevrolet. Bill Mattos, left, with Ron Meier, Chevrolet Western Regional Manager.)
Bill really likes the car so far.
“It feels bigger inside than it looks on the outside, and it’s easy to get in and out of,” he says. “And the acceleration is great, although all EVs have that.”
Bill likes the ergonomics of the new Bolt, and how, with its 238-mile range, he doesn’t have to plug it in every night.
He’s had a few challenges using the new displays, but Bill knows it’s just an initial adjustment—and part of being an EV pioneer.
If you’re in the Fremont area and have a hankering for a new Bolt, contact Kurt Mietz, Fleet and Commercial Specialist, at Fremont Chevrolet. Call 650-766-7777 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.