Charging system s/w update - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Charging system s/w update

I read that the 2019 Bolt will have an improved software for providing more charging options, and wonder if it will be possible for me, the owner of a 2017 Bolt, to have my software updated to be the same.

Thank you, Brian
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 05:05 PM
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I appreciate your hope, but I believe you will need to purchase a 2019 to make that work.

The good news is many people are trading newer at a profit, given that you get a new $7500 rebate.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian View Post
I read that the 2019 Bolt will have an improved software for providing more charging options, and wonder if it will be possible for me, the owner of a 2017 Bolt, to have my software updated to be the same.

Thank you, Brian
Of course, your hope seems very logical. But I would not expect them to go retro for several reasons.

One is to get us to trade in.

Then, there might actually be a technical reason. And that is that there might be a different piece of hardware that is activated or handshaking with the software command...something that is only slightly different, or up to quite different, in a 2019 Bolt. That would be the only legitimate excuse for never retro fitting.

I've been here. I've been there. And I've been in-between.

Driving Electrics since 1973.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian View Post
I read that the 2019 Bolt will have an improved software for providing more charging options, and wonder if it will be possible for me, the owner of a 2017 Bolt, to have my software updated to be the same.

Thank you, Brian
GM has already said that owners of 2017 and 2018 Bolts aren't going to get the software update to enable 2019 features (namely the Target Charge setting).

It's unknown if the actual software involved (the 2019 Bolt software) would even install on the 2017-2018 Bolt but in any case you'd need to either get your hands on a copy of that software yourself to try it or possibly convince a dealer to attempt to install the 2019 software on your 2017 Bolt despite the fact that GM doesn't support this.

Best case scenario is that everything will work beautifully and you'll have the 2019 BMS and your car will look (as far as the user interface) just like a 2019 Bolt. More likely scenario is that the 2019 software is flagged only for 2019 Bolts (to prevent dealer techs from accidentally (or "accidentally") installing it on an older car) and it will refuse to install. Worst case scenario is that the BMS update installs but there is some incompatibility that bricks your car.

FTR I don't believe that there are any hardware differences that would make the 2019 software inherently incompatible with the 2017 or 2018 Bolt, so if you could get it and get it to install it would likely work. That being said even though I really would love to have the Target Charge Setting on my car I would not want my car to be the guinea pig for such an experiment.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 05:19 PM
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That being said even though I really would love to have the Target Charge Setting on my car I would not want my car to be the guinea pig for such an experiment.
A petrol-head friend and I were discussing how much fun it would to have a "mule" Bolt for trying out such things as rewriting CAN packets so as to force the car to do things it's not supposed to. I like my daily Bolt too much to risk it but there's so much low-hanging fruit to play with if flames and smoke are not a problem.

Maybe put a couple of wrecks together for that?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dbostrom View Post
A petrol-head friend and I were discussing how much fun it would to have a "mule" Bolt for trying out such things as rewriting CAN packets so as to force the car to do things it's not supposed to. I like my daily Bolt too much to risk it but there's so much low-hanging fruit to play with if flames and smoke are not a problem.

Maybe put a couple of wrecks together for that?
Problem is I suspect even a wrecked Bolt would sell for >$15K because of the battery alone.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 03:53 AM
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FTR I don't believe that there are any hardware differences that would make the 2019 software inherently incompatible with the 2017 or 2018 Bolt...
Given that even mundane things like the windshield wiper blades and the wheels changed midway through the 2017 production run I think it's pretty likely that there are at least some engineering modifications to the vehicle control computers between model years. I'm sure that GM wouldn't spend time doing assurance testing of the newer software on the older hardware, and they'd have a mechanism in place to ensure that the wrong software couldn't be accidentally installed. So it seems very unlikely to me that you'd be able to install software designed for a newer model year on an older model. A hack might work, but anything short of that is wishful thinking, IMHO.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 01:30 PM
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Given that even mundane things like the windshield wiper blades and the wheels changed midway through the 2017 production run I think it's pretty likely that there are at least some engineering modifications to the vehicle control computers between model years. I'm sure that GM wouldn't spend time doing assurance testing of the newer software on the older hardware, and they'd have a mechanism in place to ensure that the wrong software couldn't be accidentally installed. So it seems very unlikely to me that you'd be able to install software designed for a newer model year on an older model. A hack might work, but anything short of that is wishful thinking, IMHO.
I didn't say there were no changes, just that there were likely no changes that would have any impact on the BMS. Nothing we've heard about the 2019 suggests that it's any different from a powertrain perspective than a 2017 or 2018 Bolt. We already know from the story about the guy who had his battery pack replaced twice that GM/LG has made several changes to the battery manufacturing process and that hasn't required a different BMS build.

In short I still don't believe that GM has any legitimate reason for withholding these features from 2017-2018 Bolts, they are just behaving the way they always have.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 02:03 PM
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Anyone know when the software update will be available? Will it be "over the air' install or dealer install? (I have't been able to find any info/news about this update.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 04:11 PM
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We already know from the story about the guy who had his battery pack replaced twice that GM/LG has made several changes to the battery manufacturing process and that hasn't required a different BMS build.
Do we really know that? Do we know, for example, that GM doesn't have different part numbers for not just the battery pack but also the other associated equipment based on the VIN ranges where the changes were rolled out? That's what they do for the even more mundane things like wheels. When I ordered OEM wheels for my car it turned out that I had to order a part number that was different than I would have had my car been manufactured about 2 weeks earlier (in mid September 2017). This, despite them both belonging to the 2017 model year.

Just because GM replaced a pack doesn't mean they didn't have to replace it with a pack that matched the the other BMS components in the car.
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