So this past Friday, a family member on my wife's side passed away. As a result, my wife had to flight out on short notice to the west coast, leaving me by myself with the kids...probably through the end of next week. As leave is it a premium, I would not be able to take that time off of work. Luckily, my mother in CT offered to watch the kids for me next week, so I was soon off on a 320 mile road trip to grandma's house (MD to CT).
During the long drive, I was thinking, "How would this trip have worked out in the Bolt?". I was hauling tail driving at 75 mph with heat on 72 for much of the trip, so if I had been in a Bolt, I would have definitely needed to stop for a charge somewhere. I took to Plugshare, and had it list only CCS charging stations within 6 miles of my route (no time to wait for L2 with 2 kids in the back at night!).
Here's what the map looks like after restricting to just CCS fast chargers:
Upon first glance, you would think "Wow! No problem finding a CCS station on my route!". But after some closer looking, there are actually only a handful of stations that would work out for me on a 1-stop trip to CT. The ideal station would be about 160 miles away, splitting the trip exactly in half. According to GM specs, I would be able to recoup 160 miles in 1 hour. Assuming the same conditions as my trip in my Volt, I figure after 160 miles driving @ 75 mph with the heat on, I would likely be at 20% SoC or less, so a 1 hour fast charge stop should be enough to make it the rest of the way. So I would need to charge at a station that was 160 miles away, give or take 20 miles. Here's a list of stations that would make the trip possible with just 1 stop:
- EVgo station at a hotel near Philly - 2349 Marlton Pike W, Cherry Hill, NJ (123 miles away)
- EVgo station at a Wyndham Hotel in NJ - 1111 NJ-73 Mt Laurel, NJ (126 miles away)
- CP station at a Walmart in NJ - 2106 Mt Holly Rd, Burlington, NJ (136 miles away)
- EVgo station at a Holiday Inn - 4 Tower Center Blvd E Brunswick, NJ (175 miles away)
There is another CP station a little further up the road from the one in Brusnwick, NJ, but it is 24 kW, so I'm basically ignoring that one. Perhaps as an emergency backup.
So basically, there is exactly 1 station that is in my "sweet spot" as far as location...that being the EVgo station in Brunswick, NJ. Even at 175 miles away, getting there with charge to spare traveling at 75 mph should not be an issue.....I think.
If I were to stop at any of the first 3 stations, that would likely require much more conservative driving the rest of the trip in order to make it to grandma's house without another stop. The minimum time a trip to CT would take is 6 hours, as I can make the trip non-stop in the Volt in 5 hours in ideal conditions.
Long distance travel in the Bolt is possible, but definitely much more planning is required than a car with a gas engine. Hopefully the I-95 CCS network gets built out more in the near future!