Bought a 2019 Bolt

DBoon Posted By DBoon, Jan 13, 2019 at 8:23 AM

  1. woodgeek

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    Yup. The LEAF I got was a cheapo trim, so it did not have that functionality. The Bolt could do it, but I have an attached and warm garage, so I never did that either.

    And the bigger issue is just cold weather road trips, not commutes or short errands. Preheating doesn't avert the issue there.

    RE roadtrips, IMO, the fast charging network (at least along my I-95 route) was getting really good. I did several roadtrips in my Bolt that were 500-1000 miles round-trip, in all kinds of weather, and I never white-knuckled it. And the stops to charge were never a hassle, like a few 20-30 min stops after driving 90 minutes to 150 minutes. Wouldn't want to drive cross-country in a 2017 Bolt, but for visiting family 250 to 400 miles away, aok.

    OT, I replaced the incandescent headlights in my Volt with nicer LED ones, that use 55W less power. I figured that adds >1000' onto my ~30 mile electric range, at least at night or in the rain. :p
     
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  2. semipro

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    With the power budget so critical on EVs I'm surprised there's even an incandescent used in one.
     
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  3. jebatty

    jebatty
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    I would be pleased to share a visit with you. Varies a little by your start point in Minneapolis, but 165-185 miles to my home would be good for planning purposes. Currently their are 3-4 FC in route at about 40 miles north of Minneapolis; a L2 charger is available for public use free of charge (the last time I checked) at a Nissan dealer 70 miles north of Minneapolis. Next L2 charger is my home, from my Bosch charger and J1772 plug on a 50A circuit or your own charger and a NEMA 14-50 receptacle on a 50A circuit (I put that in so my son could charge his Tesla when he visits) or a NEMA 6-20 receptacle on a 20A circuit.
     
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  4. jebatty

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    Yesterday, with temps in the -3 to -6F range, wife and me in the Bolt, cabin temp at 68F, 85 mile round trip highway at 60 mph with blustery winds and snowing, and then me only for another 20 miles on gravel country roads, 68F cabin temp, continuing winds and snow, at 20-30 mph, got 2.5 miles/kWh average for the day, Car also was parked outside in the wind for 4 hours and battery was down 2 kWh during the park. Winter tires, pressure at 38 psi.
     
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  5. woodgeek

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    For the record, in near freezing temps and 75-80 mph, I was still getting about 3 mi/kWh.
     
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  6. Seasoned Oak

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    How is the depreciation on bolts. Any early indications? The volt depreciation was very high but that makes for a good deal on a slightly used model. The leaf and Volt are both around 71% depreciation after 5 yrs. I dont see any 2017 bolts for sale for less than 25k .
     
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  7. jebatty

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    With renewed confidence that the Bolt battery system could handle really cold weather, my wife and I took off for a 42 mile trip to a nearby city, and the temp, not windchill, was -27F. After doing our business, we returned home with the temp at -4F. There was a slight northerly wind. End of trip mi/kWh was 2.1. Now, just to wait until it gets really, really cold, like -40 or lower! Can and does happen. The early morning low today was -33F.
     
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  8. DBoon

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    If the weather holds next weekend, I'll be road-tripping from my condo to Albany, NY area, then down to Princeton, NJ, then back to my condo in metro NYC. Temps will be 0 degrees F overnight, and not much warmer during the day. Looks like the hotel in the Albany area has a free Level 2 charger (I lucked out...didn't know when I booked it...I was going to use a Level 1 DCFC elsewhere in the area). A good top off in Albany overnight gets me to NJ (I may stop at a DCFC on the NYS Thruway) where there is a parking garage with a Level 2 charger, which gets me enough to get back to my condo.

    I have enough confidence already with optimizing the range in cold weather that I am confident to make this trip. Now, I just have to hope it doesn't snow - no snow tires on the Bolt, and I don't want to get it salted up on NY winter roads this first year, so it will stay in the garage if snow appears this coming weekend.
     
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  9. DBoon

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    Successful trip so far. Logged 120 miles on Friday in what started as 17 degree F temperatures and gradually reduced to 4 degrees. Drove north into a pretty stiff wind. Averaged 3.2 miles/kWh. Had a stated 65 miles of range left. Charging overnight at the hotel with the Level 2 charger, and will preheat the car before leaving this morning. It is -1 degree F outside now.

    We kept the car heat at 68 degrees F and the fan setting at 1 or 2. I wouldn't call it toasty, but it was fine. This setting uses about 4 kW/h or so - you can see the usage on the display when stopped. At first, I thought there was a problem with the car, but then realized (of course) I had the heat on.
     
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  10. CaptSpiff

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    Hi DBoon, would you be willing to post a trip log, keeping your start and end points vague but detailing the recharge locations used along the way. Maybe even listing the options you just passed by. I take a more than a half dozen LI-Albany-Scranton-LI trips a year and have been pulling into rest stops in my ICE just to see if chargers exist. I'd be especially interested in the Albany hotel. Neither the HIE or the Marriott affiliate I frequent have them yet.
     
  11. Seasoned Oak

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    I enjoy reading about these trips.I dont have an electric car but as soon as something i can use(like a truck or SUV) goes electric, ill be interested. Especially of its not a dog on HP.
     
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  12. begreen

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    Most electrics are pretty peppy. Hoping the Volt chassis gets resurrected as an SUV.
     
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  13. woodgeek

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    Save yourself the effort Cap and check out:

    https://www.plugshare.com/

    If you had a Bolt EV, you need a CCS/SAE fast charger for road trips. You might be seeing L2s. You can turn off all the other flags in that website, and zoom/scroll around on the map. For a given fast charger station you can click on the pin and find out what amenities are nearby, and its recent service history....ie its reliability. If it has a score of 9.5/10 it will be working (esp if there is more than one charger at the site), if Its less that 5/10, odds are you will want to avoid it. You can also see the ones that are under construction.

    This is how we EV owners plan our trips. There is of course an app version for your phone for use on the road. :)

    The Hudson Valley is full of Fast Chargers...I used a few myself last summer before the Crash. <>
     
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  14. begreen

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  15. DBoon

    DBoon
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    What Woodgeek said about charger locations. FYI, the hotel was the Century House in Latham/Cohoes NY. Level 2 charging was free to guests.

    On Saturday, we drove ~180 miles to NJ. Temperatures were 10 degrees F at the start of the trip and 36 degrees F at the end. There was a pretty bad headwind blowing from the south that I had to drive in the entire time (a reverse of the wind from Friday night). We used the 20 minute pre-condition while connected to the Level 2 charger to bring the car up to 70 degrees and this helped to keep the climate control usage lower - we averaged 3.5 miles/kWh for the 180 miles.

    I stopped at a NYS Thruway rest stop to use one of the DC fast chargers. The NYS Thruway info on these chargers is very ambiguous - it turns out they are GreenLots chargers, which doesn't take ChargePoint network, so we couldn't charge. I'll have to sign up for GreenLots account - in mid-2019 they will be compatible with ChargePoint (or so they say) but I'd rather not wait that long. But it was no big deal - we slowed up a bit on the Thruway and made it to our destination with 40 miles to spare.

    Close to our destination, we plugged into a Level 2 charger and juiced up with ~25 kWh in about 4 hours. This added about 100 miles to our range. The cost of this was not cheap ($11), but since I added more than 40 kWh for free the day before, it didn't feel so bad. Then, we 120V/8A trickle charged at our friend's house overnight to add another 15 kWh or so.

    Drive home was warmer - 50 degrees F when we left and 42 when we arrived about 2 hours later. Finally got to take advantage of warmer weather and a bit of a tail wind and achieved 4.3 miles/kWh. We left with 167 miles of estimated range, drove 90 miles, and arrived with 97 miles of estimated range remaining.
     
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  16. DBoon

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    Well, it seems that if I had realized that there were not one, but two thin plastic protective sheets over the touch screen, I might have had better luck with at least thing gloves. I finally noticed these driving in sunny weather, and when removed, the touch screen seems to work with thin (but not thick) gloves on.
     
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  17. DBoon

    DBoon
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    Tried my hand at EVgo DC fast charging twice this week. Can't say that I am super-pleased - it definitely isn't the way to go for casual charging, but I wanted to see what was possible if and when I needed to use it.

    Rates are 30 cents/minute - not too bad, you might think if it is charging at 50 kW/hour (the DCFC rating).

    The first time I used it was with a battery at about 40% SOC about two miles from work on my way home at night. I let it charge about 30 minutes and I think it added about 60 miles (didn't pay much attention).

    I had read that the fast charging isn't as fast if the battery is cold, so I thought I would try it again on my way to work after the battery (presumably) warmed up (~50 miles of driving in 32-40 degree F weather). Battery SOC was 25% (lower is better with DCFC). This time, I paid attention to the power delivery during charging. The EVgo charger said that it started charging at 18A and 350V (6.3kW) and ended charging at 28A (9.8 kW) when I disconnected - a pretty slow rate (though it was continuing to rise). This seems pretty consistent with what I saw posted on the ChevyBolt.org forum. In total I added about 60 miles of range for $7 or so - pretty steep. I've read that the battery will warm up after some DCFC and the charge rate will increase (as I saw happening).

    Moral of the story - if you are going to use a DCFC, only 1) use it when you really need it (lower SOC is better), 2) keep it plugged until charge rate drops from the max (i.e. don't use it for short durations), and 3) it will be faster in warmer months.

    I had thought that 50 miles of travel would have warmed the battery up from ambient, but this didn't seem to be the case, based on the DCFC charge rate. Maybe I need to drive more aggressively...
     
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  18. spirilis

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    L2 charging at home is really important IMO and really changes your perspective on EV ownership - fully charged in hours and effective preheating of the car. Keep the battery conditioned overnight too. I jury rigged an adjustable juicebox w/ the right adapter to plug into my 240V dryer outlet (current limited to 24A) for a month or so before getting the 50A outlet installed.

    Also with L2 at work (only 16A though) I rarely have to touch a L3 DCFC. Granted with my Focus Electric (120ish mi summer, 80ish winter) I don't go on any ambitious trips though.
     
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  19. DBoon

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    I have the Level 2 charger installed in my condo garage and the Bolt is now my daily driver.

    Just took a road trip to Buffalo, NY from metro NYC area with a stop halfway there at my house in Central NY. Was a good learning experience in managing expectations. I charged to 100% battery capacity (no "hilltop reserve" setting) before leaving - estimated 276 miles range.

    I arrived with about 80 miles remaining after day 1 - pretty much estimated range less actual miles driven. I charged from 115V/12A garage plug some and the rest via some Level 2 chargers in villages south and north of my home (went for a long training run south of my home, play morning ice hockey north of my home, went out to dinner north of my home).

    From Central NY to Buffalo I had really, really bad headwinds - 40 mph or so more than half the distance. This just really killed my efficiency - averaged only about 3.3 miles/kWh the last 100 miles or so. Made a 195 mile trip with about 30 miles to spare and charged up at a Level 2 charger during the day and evening in Buffalo.

    From Buffalo back to Central NY, again headwinds - not as bad (10-15 mph) but also heavy rain and temperatures in the 40s the last 90 miles.We made a couple of stops for breakfast and sightseeing and took advantage of some Level 2 charging for about 2-1/2 hours total. We could have made it home without that, but it was good to know we had some extra kWh in the battery. Arrived home with 80 miles range left. The heavy rain really killed the efficiency and the headwinds didn't help - was only going about 50 mph on state roads too.

    Now I'm charging again from 115V/12A garage plug and will add some more Level 2 miles in the morning before heading back to Metro NYC.

    All-in-all, very manageable. I do look forward to NY state building out the DCFC network on the Thruway. Also, I completely experienced the "range anxiety" of my wife who just can't help but be obsessed with the "miles remaining" gauge and worrying about running out of juice no matter how often I did the math on current miles/kWh rate and remaining battery (correctly predicting arrival with 30 miles range remaining).I should have known that someone who can't drive her car with less than half a tank of gas would feel the same about half a battery of capacity. This is the real issue with mass adoption of electric vehicles, more than likely - take the estimated range and divide it by two and probably for almost half the car buying population, that is seen as the "real" range. And until 500 mile batteries and DCFCs are pervasive, this will be a big problem with adoption.
     
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  20. jebatty

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    Nice description and good analysis of an EV and range. and the impact of temperature and wind. Based on the research and forums, my goal with the Bolt was 150 miles of range year-round, regardless of temperature or wind, and with no need to charge for that range. Obviously, getting more range is often possible, but the 150 miles covers 100% of our "local" driving. Only once was it a challenge this winter to meet that goal. That happened in early March when I was driving home from Minneapolis, a 155 mile trip.

    Because of strong headwinds and temperature below freezing I stopped at a FC location to add 50 miles of range. Before this charge the Bolt showed 130 miles of range, and the distance home from the FC sight was 135 miles. I added charge to 180 miles. With 70 miles yet to go, range was shown as 85 miles, but kW were being used quite rapidly, especially due to the headwinds. I slowed down to 50 mph, and then the last 15 miles I slowed to 40 mph. I made it home with less than 10 miles of range remaining -- the Bolt urgently told me I was "on vapor."

    With more than 16,000 miles on the Bolt, I remain fully satisfied. The Bolt is a great EV car. No more range anxiety, just simply understanding the importance of knowing temperature and wind and knowing where I get a charge if needed. Fortunately, there are three FC locations between our home and Minneapolis, and more in Minneapolis, and that's about as far one-way as we travel from our home.

    DBoon, wishing you good travel with your Bolt.
     
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  21. SpaceBus

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    My wife is the same way with fuel, this is a great point. I'm not as nervous, but there are diesel stations everywhere here. With an EV you are also essentially forced into having a garage. Without a place to install a fast charger, an EV has zero practicality.
     
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  22. begreen

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    Yes, home-charging is preferable and many people just use the 120v charger that comes with the car in lieu of an L2 charger. When we rebuilt our garage I had a 100a/220v feed added. That was a good call. 6 yrs ago I added an L2 charger.

    Also, the Tesla super-charger network is impressive, extensive and growing steadily. This is also an alternative for Tesla owners.
    https://www.tesla.com/supercharger
     
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  23. SpaceBus

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    I should say the practicality for a person living rurally is severely reduced without a L2 charger. Living in an urban or even suburban area would be a different story with the increasing number of places to charge. I think we will also see more public fast chargers since you don't need pumps and giant tanks of volitile fluids to refuel an EV.
     
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  24. Seasoned Oak

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    AS much as im interested in these ,Iv resigned to the fact that i wont be getting anything EV like until they come out with an at least partly EV truck. Would be a great way to add an easy 100-200HP to any truck. Compact cars are just not part of the fleet here.
     
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  25. SpaceBus

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    I look forward to silent trucks and heavy equipment.
     
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