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Discussion Starter #1
I'm aware of PlugShare and GM's app, but are there any other apps that increase the EV experience?
 

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Plug share - if possible find a used iPad and just store it in the car with plug share and ev charging apps (ChargePoint)- the car can charge the iPad and the bolts wifi hot spot can provide Internet!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Plug share - if possible find a used iPad and just store it in the car with plug share and ev charging apps (ChargePoint)- the car can charge the iPad and the bolts wifi hot spot can provide Internet!
Innovative idea, David. What is the WiFi plan you get when you first get the Bolt? And what is the cost to renew it once the trail expires? I havent purchase one yet...
 

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plugshare


skip the bolt wifi - most cell carriers these days let you enable hot spot on your phone for free - I would look into that instead. I think the wifi-in car is a waste and pretty expensive


OnStar Monthly Data Plans with Overage Protection
Your data recurs every 30 days and will refresh at the beginning of each month.
1 GB per month - $10.00 for 30 days
Unlimited Data Plan - $20.00 for 30 days



OnStar Data Pass
One-time data purchase packages, available by the day or the year.
250MB for one Day - $5.00/day
20GB for one year - $150.00 for 365 days
 

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the OnStar data programs are quite expensive in my opinion. From what I can tell you have 4 options:

1. pay onstar
2. use your phone's hot spot
3. add your car to a shared data plan
4. go with out data

#1 is too expensive for what you get in my opinion - and you really can't let your kids use their iPads and phones on the Bolt's wifi cause they move a lot of data…
#2 this works, but keep finding scenarios where my phone isn't on or out of range, and doesn't work for remote unlock via the myChevy app or other data needs if the car isn't connected while your phone is out of range (also some plans can't do voice/data at the same time) so the hot-spot is effectively offline while you're on the phone
#3 I took this option - see below
#4 I don't consider this really an option- the trend is for cars to be online devices like everything else and there will be increasing loss of functionality if a car isn't online (the remote app for myChevy and Tesla are very very useful, but require the car to have a data link)

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I've done option #3 - I have AT&T family shared data plan - where we all share in XX gigabytes of data on a monthly basis (up to 8 lines and 10 devices can share one plan) - extra devices cost $10 each and "share" the data with all the other devices. I found OnStar's prices to be expensive and the shared data plan means the car providing data or the devices using the network all end up taking from the same data allocation and I can bridge non-cellar devices like a WiFi iPad on to the car's Wifi - and the car has it's own full time connection - which makes the app useful for remote status and lock/unlock functionality.

NOTE: getting the car onto an AT&T shared data plan is not the path of least resistance - OnStar wants to drive you down the path of using their data plans for obvious revenue reasons, but I called Onstar and was firm in my request to just use my shared data plan - make sure you know your AT&T security codes and billing information - once OnStar determined I wasn't going to pay them - the whole process was smooth, friendly and took about 20 min - and now the Bolt has it's own 7/24 internet connection - I've been watching it's data usage - and it's trivial other than when my devices are pumping their data via the Bolt.
 

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also evtrippplanner.com https://www.evtripplanner.com is an essential tool for any EV road trip warrior - again and iPad/tablet with an internet connection is good thing - but you can use evtripplanner to ball park your travels and it will show you estimated KWH's consumed for any trip with terrain/temperature taken into consideration - they do not yet have the model for the Bolt, but you can use the Nissan Leaf (Beta) setting to ball park your trip and your power usage…

it's just a website - so any computer/tablet with a web browser and internet connection will let you plan your usage and get an idea of what you're in for…great for last minute "what if" scenarios.
 

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example here are two scenarios via evtripplanner:

#1 San Jose, CA to Truckee, CA (Tahoe area) - 61 kWh used by a Leaf (pretty close to a bolt in efficiency - so you'll need at least one charging stop) - https://www.evtripplanner.com/planner/2-8/?id=1o4u3l9h
#2 Truckee, CA to San Jose, CA - 46.2 kWh used going back - cause of the downhill - you don't need to stop and charge on the way back - https://www.evtripplanner.com/planner/2-8/?id=7hgwi0go

again this isn't 100% accurate - but gives you a pretty good idea what you're in for based on distance/temperature/elevation/speed…
 

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the OnStar data programs are quite expensive in my opinion. From what I can tell you have 4 options:

1. pay onstar
2. use your phone's hot spot
3. add your car to a shared data plan
4. go with out data

#1 is too expensive for what you get in my opinion - and you really can't let your kids use their iPads and phones on the Bolt's wifi cause they move a lot of data…
#2 this works, but keep finding scenarios where my phone isn't on or out of range, and doesn't work for remote unlock via the myChevy app or other data needs if the car isn't connected while your phone is out of range (also some plans can't do voice/data at the same time) so the hot-spot is effectively offline while you're on the phone
#3 I took this option - see below
#4 I don't consider this really an option- the trend is for cars to be online devices like everything else and there will be increasing loss of functionality if a car isn't online (the remote app for myChevy and Tesla are very very useful, but require the car to have a data link)

-------

I've done option #3 - I have AT&T family shared data plan - where we all share in XX gigabytes of data on a monthly basis (up to 8 lines and 10 devices can share one plan) - extra devices cost $10 each and "share" the data with all the other devices. I found OnStar's prices to be expensive and the shared data plan means the car providing data or the devices using the network all end up taking from the same data allocation and I can bridge non-cellar devices like a WiFi iPad on to the car's Wifi - and the car has it's own full time connection - which makes the app useful for remote status and lock/unlock functionality.

NOTE: getting the car onto an AT&T shared data plan is not the path of least resistance - OnStar wants to drive you down the path of using their data plans for obvious revenue reasons, but I called Onstar and was firm in my request to just use my shared data plan - make sure you know your AT&T security codes and billing information - once OnStar determined I wasn't going to pay them - the whole process was smooth, friendly and took about 20 min - and now the Bolt has it's own 7/24 internet connection - I've been watching it's data usage - and it's trivial other than when my devices are pumping their data via the Bolt.
I have to disagree with your concern on point 1. Both of my kids along with my wife will all be on their tablets watching stuff at the same time on trips sometimes. All while I am streaming amazon prime music. Never had an issue with it. Cost wise, well it is expensive but still cheaper than making my phone unlimited. Along with the unlimited plans for phones meter speeds after a certain amount of data, 22GB for AT&T. The one the car uses doesn't seem to, I have never seen the speed change and last month we used over 600GB.

The car wifi also has one huge advantage over the phone hotspot. The receiver in the car is much, much better than a phone one. I get data reception in a lot of places my phone can't and it comes in really useful. (Though you get this advantage as well with adding it to your plan)

I also can't add my car to my phone plan, it's on Verizon.
 

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I have to disagree with your concern on point 1. Both of my kids along with my wife will all be on their tablets watching stuff at the same time on trips sometimes. All while I am streaming amazon prime music. Never had an issue with it. Cost wise, well it is expensive but still cheaper than making my phone unlimited. Along with the unlimited plans for phones meter speeds after a certain amount of data, 22GB for AT&T. The one the car uses doesn't seem to, I have never seen the speed change and last month we used over 600GB.

The car wifi also has one huge advantage over the phone hotspot. The receiver in the car is much, much better than a phone one. I get data reception in a lot of places my phone can't and it comes in really useful. (Though you get this advantage as well with adding it to your plan)

I also can't add my car to my phone plan, it's on Verizon.
Here's one place where YMMV. I was having terrible problems with bluetooth stability with my Nexus 6p. I simply could not make phone calls from the car. I RMA'd the phone, and tried a ton of other things. The bluetooth connection became stable when I disabled the hotspot in the car. Now the issue may still be with my phone, but the Bolt wifi and bluetooth are both in the 2.4 gHz spectrum, and I think the strength of the WiFi hotspot was causing issues with the phone. Other phones may have better bluetooth support, and not experience the issue.

FWIW, I hotspot my phone for most things, and it's free on Verizon. If you enable enhanced 4G, you can use data and voice at the same time, with the proviso that if you hop to a 3g tower, your call will drop.
 

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Here's one place where YMMV. I was having terrible problems with bluetooth stability with my Nexus 6p. I simply could not make phone calls from the car. I RMA'd the phone, and tried a ton of other things. The bluetooth connection became stable when I disabled the hotspot in the car. Now the issue may still be with my phone, but the Bolt wifi and bluetooth are both in the 2.4 gHz spectrum, and I think the strength of the WiFi hotspot was causing issues with the phone. Other phones may have better bluetooth support, and not experience the issue.

FWIW, I hotspot my phone for most things, and it's free on Verizon. If you enable enhanced 4G, you can use data and voice at the same time, with the proviso that if you hop to a 3g tower, your call will drop.
Yeah the hotspot feature is free for Verizon, but it would cost me more to move my plan to unlimited than it cost me to just pay the 20 per month for unlimited data in the car. I would have to move my plan to unlimited for it to be worthwhile and not kill me. Two kids and a wife streaming netflix, youtube or hulu plus me streaming music racks up the data really fast.

I have my phone setup to use data for calls, which doesn't drop for me when the car switches tower types since the car is just wifi to the phone. I haven't seen the bluetooth issue but that is most likely because I always have my phone connected for Carplay, so everything is just running through the car to the phone directly. Another nice advantage of having the car as the data access point. My wife and kids can stay in the car while I run into a store or something and still have unlimited data even though my phone is with me.
 

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Is the $20 Unlimited data plan truly unlimited?
In the myChevrolet app it says remaining data of 999GB at the start of the month, haven't hit that limit yet to see what happens though. The few months I have had it I have used 756GB, 685GB and 645GB without any noticeable change in speed of the connection.
 

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Sharing a data plan doesn't mean it's unlimited - I share 40 gigs a month for my family phones and the car...so the at&t shared data plan is virtually unlimited for less than half the cost of the onstar plans.
 

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Sharing a data plan doesn't mean it's unlimited - I share 40 gigs a month for my family phones and the car...so the at&t shared data plan is virtually unlimited for less than half the cost of the onstar plans.
You are missing the point I was making. With the amount of data I use in the car I would need to make my phone plan unlimited or I would have to limit what I let my family use it for and what I use it for myself.

The whole point of the unlimited plan is to be able to do whatever I want when I want and let my family do the same.

I'm also not sure how you think 40gb is virtually unlimited, i'm only 5 days into this months cycle and my car has already used 75gb. So i've blown through your virtually unlimited 40gb rather quick.
 

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I also actually ended up saving money with the onstar plan. I dropped the amount of the data plan i use with my verizon phone plan since I just use my car as wifi now. So between work wifi, home wifi and car wifi I use very little data from the phone plan now. So I dropped my plan down to a level $40 below what I had before so the $20 onstar plan is actually saving me $20 a month and getting me unlimited data.
 
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