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I know slagging off Onstar is a favorite pastime here and I have my fair share of issues, as well. But I stumbled across a feature that in some ways bridges the gap to the vaunted Tesla.
I was driving in an unfamiliar area when the battery bar went orange. I was on a 4 lane and there wasn鈥檛 a safe place to pull off, so I decided to experiment. I selected voice directions and asked for the nearest ev charger. Onstar then told me the 3 nearest chargers, the network, they used and how far away they were. I selected one and was asked if I wanted the directions downloaded to the car. I did and less than 10 minutes later I was plugged in.
You don鈥檛 get ratings or see current usage, but pretty good in a pinch.
 

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Orange bars freaks people out needlessly [you should freak out when it starts blinking, at 5%]. On my 2017, that triggers at 15% SOC, where you have at least 30 miles and probably 40+ miles left if you're careful and don't run the heat. The app gives you SOC to 1%, compared to the bars with 5% resolution. If you want to track SOC w/out the app to 2%, the "radio power down" setting can be used starting at 10%. It's a strange but maybe useful feature... 鈥淧ropulsion power is reduced鈥 message appears at 6% - a heads up that you are running on fumes. A conservative estimate of remaining miles [w/out heat] is to just double the SOC #. The GOM may not be useful in situations like this - I wouldn't trust it, or use it's lowest guess..
 

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Aside of phone apps having the ability to find chargers, I'm sure some of them (if not your phone itself) has the ability to do it through voice command too... and you don't need to pay a subscription for this. So what value has OnStar provided you in this case?

Maybe OnStar could be more true to its spacey name by offering EV drivers an emergency charge anywhere on Earth via electricity beamed directly to your car by satellite? Maybe GPS isn't accurate enough to safely beam energy from space directly to your car... what is it, precise to 3m or something? Might fry the car parked next to you.

I'm only half joking...
 

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Orange bars freaks people out needlessly [you should freak out when it starts blinking, at 5%]. On my 2017, that triggers at 15% SOC, where you have at least 30 miles and probably 40+ miles left if you're careful and don't run the heat. The app gives you SOC to 1%, compared to the bars with 5% resolution. If you want to track SOC w/out the app to 2%, the "radio power down" setting can be used starting at 10%. It's a strange but maybe useful feature... 鈥淧ropulsion power is reduced鈥 message appears at 6% - a heads up that you are running on fumes. A conservative estimate of remaining miles [w/out heat] is to just double the SOC #. The GOM may not be useful in situations like this - I wouldn't trust it, or use it's lowest guess..
Yes, and no. @Lithium shared his recent experience with his Bolt shutting down 2 miles from DCFC, with ~5 miles of range left on the GOM at lunch yesterday. He said he had never faced this issue with the original battery in his 2019 Bolt, but this was the first time he got that low with the new pack. Not sure if the pack itself is to blame, but there is a real uncertainty when the get in the Orange zone, and reason to take action soon.

Personally, I have successfully reached a DCFC with <5 miles remaining on the GOM with my new pack once...so who knows what circumstances caused his issue.

My wife gets really anxious when the GOM goes Orange. I get it, and as much as I assure her the 30 miles of remaining range is more than enough for the few miles we have ahead to reach the DCFC, she continues to play the what if game... Yet, in about 100 DCFC stops across the country we did last year, we were always able to charge at each stop without too many issues.
 

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Google Maps has some EV charging station info, so you can ask Google Assistant the same question and it would show up on the map. Especially handy if using Android Auto.
 

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I can attest to the benefit of having Onstar before you find a need for it. I have occasion to drive new cars for delivery for a dealership. One day I inadvertently lock the only key I had in the vehicle when at a rest area. I always carry my own keys in my pocket, so I habitually get out of vehicles without looking for the key. When I turned the car off, the radio kept playing as is normal. This time I didn't remember I had turned it off. Just a mental fart at the time. Because of the radio I couldn't hear the engine so I hit the green button again. I was in a hurry to get to the rest room. The upshot is I ended up with the vehicle locked and the key was inside.
I realized what I had done when I got back to the car. Tried to call OnStar and gave them the VIN. They couldn't unlock it. Tried calling the dealer. They in turn called Onstar, but there was nothing Onstar could do. I even called Onstar and gave them my information for my account which I have on my own vehicle and there was still nothing they could do.
In order to turn on an Onstar account you have to be able to push the button inside the car. If you are locked out and the account has never been activated you are out of luck. They were able to call us a service to come and unlock it for us using the standard thievery method. We were back on the road about an hour and a half later.

Onstar can be a good insurance policy. One of the other drivers was in an accident and the ambulance was on its way before he gained consciousness. They can unlock your car, they can turn it on or off for you. Of course, if you have your cell phone and MyChevrolet app, you can do it to, if you have Onstar. I think it's worth it for the more serious occasions.
 

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Google Maps has some EV charging station info, so you can ask Google Assistant the same question and it would show up on the map. Especially handy if using Android Auto.
Unfortunately, Plugshare doesn't work with Android Auto (at least in my phone). Wish it did. Way better than Google at displaying available plugin options.
 

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Unfortunately, Plugshare doesn't work with Android Auto (at least in my phone). Wish it did. Way better than Google at displaying available plugin options.
Works for me (blacked out the map):
Communication Device Gadget Portable communications device Personal luxury car Mobile device


Running Android 11 on a OnePlus 6T with PlugShare version 4.3.2. Plugshare says it's compatible with Android Auto for Android versions 6.0 and up.

Having said that, I don't know if it works with voice commands.
 

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Works for me (blacked out the map):
View attachment 54129

Running Android 11 on a OnePlus 6T with PlugShare version 4.3.2. Plugshare says it's compatible with Android Auto for Android versions 6.0 and up.

Having said that, I don't know if it works with voice commands.
Will have to try again next time I'm in the car. I couldn't find the icon on the screen, even.
 

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Yes, and no. @Lithium shared his recent experience with his Bolt shutting down 2 miles from DCFC, with ~5 miles of range left on the GOM at lunch yesterday. He said he had never faced this issue with the original battery in his 2019 Bolt, but this was the first time he got that low with the new pack. Not sure if the pack itself is to blame, but there is a real uncertainty when the get in the Orange zone, and reason to take action soon.

Personally, I have successfully reached a DCFC with <5 miles remaining on the GOM with my new pack once...so who knows what circumstances caused his issue.
A weak [outlier] cell could cause "early" shutdown. But 5 GOM miles is probably 2% or less, and anything can happen down there -- I wouldn't label shutdown at that point as "early". Orange is 15%, and while you should have a plan at that point if you're not close to where you will be charging, there's no need to panic and look for a safe place to pull over, yet. The Panic Point [for me] is when the GOM starts flashing -- at 5% SOC. GM is very conservative - they don't want you to run out of "gas", so the orange GOM at 15% and the 10% turn off the radio warnings are designed to get your attention before it's too late.
 

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My first couple of medium-sized trips (around 200 miles), I mapped every EV charging location on the route, including Level 2 charging stations, as a backup plan. I used ABRP to predict my SOC as I passed each location, then compared my actual SOC to the predicted value. There were over a dozen checkpoints on a 200 mile trip.

It really only took a couple of trips to get a good feel for the Bolt's efficiency and range, and I stopped doing that pretty quickly. Now I just plug the trip into ABRP and go with a conservative speed setting in the app (110% of the speed limit).

The lowest I've gotten is 12% SOC (orange DIC), and even then, I was confident that there wouldn't be a problem reaching home. It's like having the fuel light come on - you know you have a little gas left and you can still make it.
 
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