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2022 Chevrolt Bolt EUV should be charged outside due to a fire risk. Photo: Bill Rapai for Axios

This week I'm test-driving the 2022 all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EUV. Four days into the loan, it was recalled by General Motors.

Why it matters: The car's batteries may catch fire.

What's happening: GM isn't messing around. The company is telling all Bolt owners to park their vehicle outside and away from structures and to not charge the car overnight. And it gave owners special instructions for charging in the meantime to avoid extreme charging cycles.

  • Since I had a Bolt EUV from the media test fleet, GM advised me to follow the same instructions as any Bolt owner.

What I did: With help from a video on GM's dedicated Bolt recall page, I hit a few buttons on the car's touchscreen to limit the charging capacity to 90%.

  • This was pretty simple, but GM says anyone who feels uncomfortable making the change should ask a dealer to do it right away.
  • Following GM's instructions, I also recharged the battery more frequently rather than waiting until the battery was almost run down.
  • Those deep charging cycles can put thermal strain on a battery, causing a short.
  • I also parked the car outside my garage and per GM's advice, did not leave it charging overnight.

The root cause of the problem, per GM and its battery supplier, LG Chem, is a rare manufacturing defect in battery modules that can cause a short in a cell and trigger a fire.

  • GM says it is working with LG to increase battery production, and owners will be notified when replacement modules are ready.

What's next: This isn't the car review I expected to write about the Bolt EUV (electric utility vehicle), a slightly roomier version of the Bolt EV hatchback. I really enjoyed driving it, and I plan to share some of the highlights — including its hands-free highway-driving option — in the coming days.

  • But right now, the focus is on avoiding catastrophe.

Editor's note: Joann Muller tests new vehicles in her role as a juror for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 27, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Pity the "green" car buyer

Expand chart
Data: IHS Markit Data; Note: Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Americans are more open than ever to trading in their gas cars for electrified vehicles — but they're flummoxed by the confusing array of green options arriving in showrooms.

Why it matters: Getting up to speed on the differences among hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles will be a challenge for car buyers — and salespeople, too — as we transition away from gas-powered vehicles over the next decade.

Electric vehicles cost more to buy, but less to own

Expand chart
Reproduced from Energy.gov; Chart: Axios Visuals

Electric cars are still more expensive to purchase than gasoline models, but they're considerably cheaper to maintain.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

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