The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt, which has an interior similar to the 2017 model.
Image: Chevrolet

The Austin American-Statesman reports that, according to an arrest affidavit, a man in jail near Austin tried to steal a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt after a confrontation at a stop sign on Saturday. The confrontation apparently involved some yelling, a machete and confusionā€”confusion about how to drive an electric car.

Is this what society has come to, confusion when trying to steal an electric car? Remember when we used to think manual transmissions were the only way to curb theft, because of their three pedals and the need to actually pay attention? Remember when we used to laugh at thieves who couldnā€™t drive them?

That is no longer reserved for us. Now, evidently, EV owners and their ability to use just one (one!) pedal to drive have the same luxury. This world is bleak.

A Bolt sitting in a driveway with its vacation gear secured on the roof, with no fear of being stolen because itā€™s ā€œone of those electric vehicles.ā€
Image: Chevrolet

The Bolt owner told police a man identified as Cory Allen Patrick approached the window of his car at an Austin intersection on Saturday, according to the arrest affidavit. When Patrick, 28, yelled at the owner to ā€œget out,ā€ the owner rolled the window up before Patrick smashed it and climbed inside, according to the affidavit. The owner said Patrick attacked him, and that he got out because he ā€œdid not want to die over a car.ā€


Patrick then tried to escape but couldnā€™t figure out how to drive it, according to the Statesman. All the while, a witness was running over with a machete to help the Bolt owner. Because Patrick couldnā€™t make the vehicle move and a machete was on the way, the Statesman reports that he got out and was later caught ā€œin some nearby grassā€ by police.

The 2017 Chevy Bolt has several different driving modes, and the car offers different levels of regenerative braking for one-pedal driving and using less of the brake pedal in all of its modes. The Bolt owner said driving it ā€œtakes some getting used to,ā€ according to the Statesman, but the familiar ā€œDā€ option for ā€œdriveā€ is right there for those unfamiliar with EVs.

Image: Chevrolet


But letā€™s get this straight: We now live in a world where the potential to use one pedal and a ā€œRNPDā€ instead of a ā€œPRNDā€ shifter layout is enough to derail an allegedly violent thief. No longer are your three pedals, parking brake or manual gears special, because now, an electric car is enough to throw somebody off.

In 30 years, when everything is autonomous, our world leaders are computers and weā€™re nervously awaiting a robot uprising, people will shout ā€œsave the EVsā€ instead of ā€œsave the manuals,ā€ with the reasoning that ā€œnobody takes the time to learn how to drive a car these daysā€ and driving an EV with your own hands and feetā€”or footā€”could save you from theft.

Oh, wait, thatā€™s apparently already happening.