I recently got a Chevy Bolt and I found out that it evidently is speed limited to 91 mph.

There's just one problem: I see no mention of the limit except in two places: in the car itself (it stops accelerating and pops up a little message indicating that the car will not go over 91 mph) and a Kelley Blue Book article that just mentions it in passing.

Note that the owner's manual is not one of the sources, nor is the dealership (though I admittedly haven't spoken to a mechanic -- just a salesperson).

I have also test driven a Tesla in the past, during which time they indicated that their vehicles had a demo mode that was speed limited. So now I'm wondering if the Bolt has a similar feature.

To sum it up, my Chevy Bolt won't go over 91 mph. Is that a built-in limitation of the vehicle, or is it a super-secret feature that I can turn off?

  • googling this gives 91 or 93 mph - so if you wanted to go faster in an ev you should have bought a tesla.... – Solar Mike Oct 27 '17 at 12:15
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    Depending on where you are you just publicly admitted to breaking the law @bvoyelr. – GdD Oct 27 '17 at 12:37
  • @GdD, He obviously was testing this at a track. No one would ever go that fast on a public road. – JPhi1618 Oct 27 '17 at 13:14
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    Of course @JPhi1618, how silly of me. – GdD Oct 27 '17 at 13:16
  • FWIW many cars are speed limited to the speed rating of the original tires. I don't think any passenger car tires are under 112 mph though. – agentp Oct 27 '17 at 20:04

In general, it's more than likely a safety feature for the vehicle imposed by GM. It could be there for any of several different reasons, such as safety or possibly to prevent damage to the vehicle. Many cars have this feature and are speed limited whether it's a "pure" electric (like the Bolt or Tesla), or even if it's gasoline driven (I've heard tale of Dodge Challenger/Charger models being speed limited to just over 150mph).

That said, there will ALWAYS be enterprising people out there who have figured out how to crack the code and do a "tune" on the vehicle's ECU. In most cases this entails turning off the limiting widget within the software and rewriting the tables which allows the user to push it past the manufacturer imposed limit. Sometimes there are certain ways to turn off these types of system limitations through a series of dash panel button pushes, but that is more rare. You'd have to research what might work for your specific vehicle.

Please note, if you do this, you will void the warranty on the vehicle (in most cases). Manufacturers don't like to fix things when they break due to an operator caused issue.

EDIT (from comments): It's quite common for non-sports cars to have speed limiters as an "undocumented feature".

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    I figured it was a damage mitigation feature -- the motor delivers power straight to the wheels, so at those speeds it is pushing 5,000 RPM (which is around where commuter cars tend to red line) -- but the fact that it isn't mentioned in any official capacity is what has me confused. In your experience, does the vehicle documentation mention these speed limiters? – bvoyelr Oct 27 '17 at 17:08
  • It's usually one of those "undocumented features" I believe. People on the internet may post stuff about it, but you'd probably not know otherwise. More than likely the salesperson who sold it to you doesn't even know about it. If they do, they probably wouldn't tell you about it. Most of the time, unless it's a performance vehicle, you're never going to hear about "top speed". Just one of those things. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 27 '17 at 17:51
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    Back in the day when we had the Lotus Sunbeam (2 litre and weber carbs, small car) which had a rally version ie 11500rpm and an ordinary "shopping trolley" version ie 5500rpm the limiting was in the distributor : one customer asked for the limiter to be removed - wasn't written on the job card though.... – Solar Mike Oct 28 '17 at 13:44
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 works for me. If you amend your answer to mention that it's not unheard of for non-sports-cars to have a speed limiter as an undocumented feature, I'll go ahead and accept your answer. (Unless there's a Chevy engineer trolling around this site, that's probably as good as it's going to get anyways :) – bvoyelr Oct 30 '17 at 11:10

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