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Discussion Starter #1
Hello from West Virginia. Got my Bolt a couple of days ago and am giving it the shake down. Traded in my 2013 C-Max Energi. I loved the C-Max despite its unreliability; it gave me the thirst for more EV range. The Bolt's got the range, although it isn't nearly as nicely appointed as the C-Max. As someone said elsewhere, economy car with expensive battery. No problem; I drove a Festiva for 300,000 miles before the C-Max.

I'm already facing the challenge of a long trip from northeastern WV to the Detroit area. Looks like I can make it, on paper at least, with three, half-hour fast charges in the Pittsburgh and Cleveland areas. Could probably do it with two stops, but there's nothing much in the way of fast chargers around Toledo, so I don't want to take a chance until I see how the Bolt performs on the highway.

Thanks to all of you who post on the forum. I learned so much reading your comments as I prepared myself to take the plunge. Cheers!
 

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Welcome aboard. You are much better off where you live in terms of DCFC both east (Hagerstown Premium Outlet Mall) & west. I have done Huntington to Ann Arbor w/ only one stop for DCFC (Columbus, 165 miles from home). The key is to put cruise control on 60-65 mph and sing along with SXM. You can fairly easily get 250 miles. A 200 mile leg (Cleveland to Detroit) is a piece of cake, even at 70 mph. Plan your DCFC stop(s) to account for one plug to be non-working. (Columbus Easton Gateway Mall had 4 FREE DCFC!) Toledo has one at the U. of T. But if you charge in West Cleveland you may not even need Toledo.

I cannot make it to Hagerstown, MD, so to get east, I must drive south to get north. I must travel via Charleston and Beckley to make my first DCFC stop in Lexington, VA (226 miles). Then it's north & east to the DC suburbs (200 miles), thence to Baltimore (& family).

You cannot post private messages yet (# of posts) but put your pertinent questions here so that all can read & learn. Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Rick. Your comments give me confidence. Huntington to Ann Arbor with one stop is truly impressive. I tried the Hagerstown spot a couple of days ago just to see if fast charger was working. It was very easy. Too bad EVgo doesn't locate in the service plazas on the various turnpikes I-76, I-80, etc. Travel would be much simpler that way and encourage more people to try EV. One could go from NY or Philly all the way to at least Illinois with confidence that they could charge whenever necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I completed my round-trip from Northeast West Virginia to the Detroit area successfully, 1058.9 miles on 220.9 kwh, about 4.79 miles per kwh. Left WV with full charge. A 30 minute stop at an EVgo combo charger near Pittsburgh replenished 75 miles and a full hour near Cleveland another 144. That was enough to get me to Detroit with the guess-o-meter showing 51 miles left. This was achieved at speeds of 65 mph along with slow-downs to 60 or 50 through construction areas. I was pretty happy.

Unfortunately the two EVgo chargers I tried in Michigan--1 in Ann Arbor and 1 in Belleville--were not working much to the surprise of the EVgo staff. A third was inaccessible because of road construction in the area. Had to plug into my brother's 120v house current and let the Bolt sit, kind of disappointing. Never did get it fully charged in Michigan which led to a bit of a harrowing ride home. Arrived near Cleveland with warning chimes ringing and Bolt switching into reduced power mode. Made it though and did two 30 minute charging sessions. Another double session near Pittsburgh looked like it would get me home, but I forgot about how much power the mountains would consume. Projected miles dwindled rapidly and I had visions of needing to be towed. I began to dial back on the speed, to 60 then 55, no doubt pissing off a lot of other drivers. I was never so happy to see construction areas where slowing down didn't make me a bad guy. Nevertheless, downhills after the PA Turnpike tunnel added regen enough coupled with reduced speed to get me home with 30 miles left. The lesson for me: never leave on a long trip without a fully charged battery. Had I had that extra cushion the trip home would have been much less nerve-racking. And EVgo needs to step-up with better maintenance and more charging stations.
 

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wvblt: Congratulations! You did as well as any old veteran could have! Was the Ann Arbor EVgo at the Shell station on South State Street? It worked well for me last month and the station owner was very nice.

Once, driving home on I-64, I left Lexington, VA (~1500' MSL) fully charged for my 226 mile trip. In Beckley, WV (2500' MSL) my range estimate fell below the miles remaining. But I arrived in Huntington, WV (500' MSL) with a 40 mile reserve, regained over the last 100 miles (with last 44 miles @ 70 mph). What goes up must come down. I wish there was a nice formula, like "gain 20 miles for every 1000 feet descending" but, alas, none exists.

If you join the National Electric Auto Association ($35 or $50, I can't remember which) you can join the WV Chapter for just $15 more.
 

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Very nice. Stories like these help me answer remaining questions about whether the Bolt can work for me as a replacement for my Volt.
 

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wvblt: Was the Ann Arbor EVgo at the Shell station on South State Street?
Yes, that's the one. It gave no indication of being out of order, but when I called in (I don't have my EVgo card yet) the operator couldn't get it to fire up. They didn't know there was a problem until I called, which seems odd to me. I hope they can improve maintenance and expand the network. I drove the turnpike system, but there is no charging station at any of the many service plazas, ideal places for chargers. I had to exit the pike to get my charges.
 

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Yes, that's the one. It gave no indication of being out of order, but when I called in (I don't have my EVgo card yet) the operator couldn't get it to fire up. They didn't know there was a problem until I called, which seems odd to me. I hope they can improve maintenance and expand the network. I drove the turnpike system, but there is no charging station at any of the many service plazas, ideal places for chargers. I had to exit the pike to get my charges.
Turnpike rest stops seem like the IDEAL location for DCFC! Buy food, spend money, pay for the electricity, don't just sit & wait.
 
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