How to relate charge of Bolt for non-EV user? - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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How to relate charge of Bolt for non-EV user?

Sorry for the confusing title. Here's my mini-dilemma. I've been doing a good deal of "show and tell" for friends since acquiring the Bolt. They almost universally ask; "How much electricity does it cost to operate?" (or some variation on that question)


Well, I simply do not know the answer to that query. How might I equate a "normal" evening charge-up of the Bolt to say the use of conventional home lighting. Trying to keep it simple, would it be accurate to state that my level 2 charger puts out the same amount of electrical energy as a 25kW light bulb per hour of charge?



If that number is wrong, what would be the correct analogy?


Thanks,


Rich

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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 01:13 PM
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The Bolt has a 60kwh (kilo watt hour) battery. That means to charge it from "dead" to "full" would use the same amount of energy as running a 1000W hairdryer (or small space heater) for 60 hours. If you pay 15 cent's per KW for electricity, thats 15 cents * 60 or about $9 for a fill up. If you get the 4 miles EPA average range per KWH that's $.15/4 (call it $.04 per mile fuel cost). These are all rough estimates as there are charging losses, electric cost vary dramatically, miles/kwh vary greatly with speed and temperature. But, this should good enough to give some perspective for non-EVers.

A real example. Yesterday I did about 120mi round trip and averaged 5mi/kwh. 120/5 = 24kwh used. I pay $.11/kwh so 24 * .11 = $2.64 fuel cost.

Put another way the battery in the Bold, when fully charged has about the same useful energy as 2 gallons of gasoline.

Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LooseBolt View Post
Put another way the battery in the Bold, when fully charged has about the same useful energy as 2 gallons of gasoline. Hope this helps.
That explanation certainly wouldn't help my less imaginative friend who drives a Chevy 2500 4WD and averages less than 10 MPG. He's busily thinking, "Huh? Then that little thang won't go more'n 20 miles."

OTOH, telling them I spend less charging my Bolt than the daily electricity cost of heating their hot tub makes them think.

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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 01:40 PM
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I generally say I drive 1000 miles per month for about $25.
People seem to relate to that more easily than discussing kW, kWh, etc.

Obviously some adjustment will be needed for different markets with different electricity rates (and I don't bring up solar, TOU, etc unless asked).

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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 02:08 PM
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I agree, I don't get into the details unless they have follow-up questions and want to see the details, I usually answer something like
" The Bolt cost about 4c/mile to charge, and the car it replaced cost me about 10c/mile for fuel with gas at $3/gal" I then follow up with something like
" that doesn't include all I save on service, oil changes, and the free public charging stations I use to opportunity charge"

Background, in very round numbers:
Miles/kWh lifetime = 3 (As displayed in My Chevy app)
National avg of electricity cost is 12c /kWh (My personal cost is much less but YMMV)
12c/3 = 4c/mile

Prior car 30 mpg
gas cost $3/gal
$3/30 = 10c/mile
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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I can piece together the various responses and come up with a rational explanation to their questions now!


Rich

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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 03:20 PM
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Unless the person asking the question is an extreme numbers wonk or a VCAA (Very Cheap Ass Acquaintance), I emphasize how much fun the Bolt is to drive, how much better for the environment, how convenient it is in our Frozen Northwest to be able to warm the interior prior to departure, how convenient to be able to leave the AC on when parked for a few minutes; the fuel cost savings are almost irrelevant.
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Originally Posted by wonderbolt View Post
Miles/kWh lifetime = 3 (As displayed in My Chevy app)
National avg of electricity cost is 12c /kWh (My personal cost is much less but YMMV)
12c/3 = 4c/mile
Yes, No, Maybe. Our effective electricity rate is .10kWh/3 = .033 per mile x 5,000 miles or $165 per year but then here in WA, there is a $150 annual EV surcharge. That effectively doubles our cost per mile. It is to be expected as BEVs become more prevalent, various methods of taxation will be implemented. There ain't no free ride.

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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 05:01 PM
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I've been asked how much it cost me to charge many times. I did the math with mine and it costs me $2.40 to charge it in the evenings. I really love the "How far will it go" question. I usually answer "As far as i feel like going". I usually get a blank look with that one.
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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 06:16 PM
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The way I'd tell it is that owning the Bolt adds less than $20 a month to my electricity bill. Prior to that, I spent much more than that at the gas station. I also had to go to the gas station, instead of just plugging the car in when I get home.

Here's the calculation. In 2018, we drove our Bolt about 7500 miles, and the Bolt claimed to use about 1750 kWh. Charging the Bolt, we used about 100 kWh at paid chargers, costing about $27, and about 1850 kWh according to my JuiceBox Pro (which includes doing things like preheating the car). I pay $0.12 per kWh, so it added $222 to my electricity bill, or less than $20 a month. Overall, charging at home cost us about $0.03 a mile. Charging at paid chargers cost us about $0.07 per mile (although it varied a lot).

A Prius getting 50 mph is also about $0.07 per mile at $3.50 per gallon. My Golf TDI, which I consider to be a comparable car, got about 32 mpg for my (mostly city) driving, so that's $0.11 per mile. My TDI would have cost me $820, so I saved about $570.

But it's not really about the fuel-cost savings. It's about never leaving the house in a car with a nearly empty tank. Never saying “oh crap, I forgot, I need to stop for gas, now I'll be late”. And it's about being fun to drive while not spewing pollutants everywhere I go. And a smaller carbon footprint is nice, too.
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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 07:26 PM
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I tell my friends that it doesn't cost me anything. Switched out all my lighting to LEDs and the kids moved out of the house. Looking at my past bills, they haven't gone up since getting the Bolt. So I'm driving for free. But I also tell them that I'm getting 138 mpg equivalent.

Had a marketer call the other day for solar. I only answered the phone because they called about 10 times already that day. They said they could halve my electric bill and they would take care of everything. Really, tell me more? She asks what my highest electric bill is during the summer. I answered $150. She said, oh what was your lowest. I answered that my last bill that I just paid was $60. She then said, never mind they can't help me. Whew, that ended the phone ringing again.
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