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Drove from amherst to Boston,Ma last Feb. and got this tremendous range shock; because I travleled Interstate rather quickly, my range dropped dramatically. Had difficulty recharging on the Mass. Pike on my trip home at two gas stations. I've been leery ever since of making the trip to Boston. I'm doing research on locating re-chargers along side the Mass. Pike so I can get off the Pike and recharge if needed and I'm wondering if anybody can give any advice.

I'm a bit angry that the Chevy dealer where I bought the Bolt never mentioned that the Bolt's range,in New England drops about 100 miles in Feburary. Kinda tough finding out about "range anxiety" when the valet service at Boston Eye and Ear Clinic tells you they don't have EV charging ports in their parking lot and you have to scramble to find one to make sure you can make it home.
 

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Yep fast highway speeds kills range. As does New England winters I would imagine.

Were I in your location, I would get an aux diesel heater installed. That should help. And I would (I do) drive 65 in the slow lane if traffic is going fast and you need the extra range. Daily commute I'm ashamed to say it, but I blast around as fast as possible. And I have no issues. Road trips are a different story, I slow down. I've been trying to spread the word about the lousy range at high speeds here for a while.. I guess the Chevy dealers aren't doing the same.
 

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Hmm. I wonder what you mean by "rather quickly". I have confirmed on several >300 mile trips that I get a range of ~230 miles when driving at 68 mph. With no headwind. I have found that a steady headwind (15 mph say) will cut way into this and similarly a steady tailwind will push me up into 260 miles or more. I'm not sure why you would expect to recharge at gas stations?
 

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I don't know about him, but around here 80 to 85 in the fast lane is kind of normal if there is no traffic. And I do every mph of it to save time on the rare occasion there is no traffic. 68 is slow lane stuff when the freeway is open..
 

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John, I hear ya ! Many folks on this forum would say that you were negligent for not knowing how much range the Bolt loses in cold weather. Although I own two Bolts, and love them, I live in S. CA, so I've never experienced range loss like that. My opinion is that Chevy is negligent for not informing you about the "cold" problem. As a matter of fact, if I were living where you do, I'd be driving a nice new ICE car and avoid the cold problem altogether. Sooo, go ahead and announce from the rooftops how you were ripped off. In a sense, you were.
 

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People who regularly drive 85 mph should not own an electric car. The number of gas stations >>>>> the number of EVSE. Having said that, our Interstate speed limit is 70 mph. By driving my Bolt EV at 60 mph, on cruise control, in the right lane, safely, with minimal A/C, destination slightly lower MSL than origin, I have gotten 260 miles easily. Range anxiety is eliminated by thorough, preliminary, conservative planning. I have over 10 trips of >400 miles in my Bolt EV in two years (tomorrow, in fact). Happy birthday, LCTRCBLU!
 

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The practicality of the Bolt seems, to a great degree, dependent on the location where it will be driven. I live on Cape Cod. Top speed on the Cape is 55 mph (route 6). A bit over 60 mph is normal. The main route to Boston (route 3), is, from memory, a 60 mph road. So, for a around a 100 mile radius around where I live speed is not much of a factor in range calculations.


Weather would be, if I were a long distance commuter. But for a "normal" commute, during a routine MA winter, range loss ought not to be too great (yeah, there may well be the anomalous 5 or 10 degree day in southeast MA, but that's pretty unusual).


One of the posters mentioned choosing your vehicle based on how you plan on using it. Makes sense to me.


Rich
 

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People who regularly drive 85 mph should not own an electric car. The number of gas stations >>>>> the number of EVSE
Daily 85mph in a Bolt *can* be perfectly fine if you can tolerate the range hit. Same with the cold, some folks knew about the hit and are fine with it.

If you aren't fine with either hit... gasmobile.

The hits also negate some of that $$/mile advantage of an EV over gas.
 

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Most of the posts here are correct. Slow down if you are not sure about your range and charging facilities ahead of the trip. Slowing down may actually save you the time to recharge! Why drive at high speeds and later waste an hour or more just to recharge and continue?

As another has posted here, a EV owner should consider what to drive in winter. I suggest buying a Chevy Volt as a second car for cold days. Or you can move south, avoid winter for the rest of your life and save hundred of thousands of dollars in heating costs and clothing. I did this in 1962 and never suffer any winter. All we have is "Spring" from October to March, and "Summer" from April to September. I don't have a Chevy Bolt EV because I need a larger vehicle (an EV Equinox would be perfect!), but I do have a Ford hybrid that gives me 54 MPG, and I spend less than $400 a year in fuel cost and oil changes.
 

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Hmm. I wonder what you mean by "rather quickly". I have confirmed on several >300 mile trips that I get a range of ~230 miles when driving at 68 mph. With no headwind. I have found that a steady headwind (15 mph say) will cut way into this and similarly a steady tailwind will push me up into 260 miles or more. I'm not sure why you would expect to recharge at gas stations?
I'm just shy of 6,000 miles on my Bolt, purchased in Feb. of 2019. My daily commute is 70 miles on the highway (70 MPH posted, but typical traffic is ~77 MPH), and 12 surface streets (55 MPH and less). My long term average as reported on the dash (not the Energy screen) is 2.9 miles/kW. There's no possible way I'll ever see 200 miles on the highway. Yesterday was the first time I've seen the range meter show over 200 when full. Ambient temperature was 70F, and I had drive around town at lunch and. By the time I got on the highway (6 miles) the range had dropped to 180 from 206 because I had gotten up to highway speeds.

It is deceiving as to what the range is, because it's reported without enough information to decipher how your conditions will change from the published. It's not that I'm unaware that cold and speed have an effect, but I didn't know how much of an effect because that information is provided by GM or certainly not any dealerships around here (Michigan) that I spoke with. I'll have some college football games to attend in the fall, and my total commute will be around 210 miles. I'm going to have to figure out a charging solution for those trips... but I'm aware of that in plenty of time to figure out a solution. It is also the reason I waited to get the car until what I was hoping was the end of winter, but still within the $7,500 tax credit window. I suspect my range will be around 100 miles come January 2020, and that's still doable for my commute.
 

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As pointed out above, driving 85 in a Bolt is fine, as long as you know your range at 85. People have posted range charts for different speeds here in the forums, but I don't recall seeing one that went to 85 mph. I would go out and test it myself, but I would need a flat stretch of road that I can be sure to do constant 85 on for at least 5 miles in each direction. (each direction to account for wind). That would be a long way from here (center of the SF bay area) but I'll keep it on my list. I also like to drive in the fast lane with the idea that I'm "saving time", but really, in a 75 mile trip, driving 85 vs 68 saves just 13 minutes. I could save 13 minutes by doing almost anything in my life more efficiently. I suspect most of us actually drive in the fast lane for other reasons.

For anyone wanting to do a range estimate with a short drive, you might like to know that when you reset the "trip meter" under the speedometer, it starts by adding in 1 mile at 3.9 miles/kwh. Thus, if you drive 1 mile at 2.9 miles/kwh, the "trip meter" will then read 3.4 miles/kwh. One has to drive ≥10 miles at constant speed to get a good average, or just do the math to remove the initial 1 mile assumed by the system. Also, make sure not to include the time you spend accelerating or decelerating at the beginning and end. Those turn out to have more impact on the average than a few miles of constant speed driving.
 

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I agree with rlhammon about the range estimates. After a year of owning the Bolt, I am inclined to put a piece of tape

over that readout. I now know my range under different driving conditions and I can predict the future much better than the guess-o-meter, which can only take into account the recent past. Another thing about range though. I actually should not report the "230 mile" range that I mentioned above. That is for 100% battery down to 0%. On long drives it is the range from about 85% battery down to 10% battery that counts. No one wants to get to a range less than 20 miles before recharging, just in case. And charging beyond 85% is too slow for long drives. Thus I actually consider my normal "range" to be about 170 miles between charging.
 

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People who regularly drive 85 mph should not own an electric car. The number of gas stations >>>>> the number of EVSE. Having said that, our Interstate speed limit is 70 mph. By driving my Bolt EV at 60 mph, on cruise control, in the right lane, safely, with minimal A/C, destination slightly lower MSL than origin, I have gotten 260 miles easily. Range anxiety is eliminated by thorough, preliminary, conservative planning. I have over 10 trips of >400 miles in my Bolt EV in two years (tomorrow, in fact). Happy birthday, LCTRCBLU!
I'm fairly young so I drive 80 typically. My daily commute is 54 miles. 80-85 is the average freeway speed in this geographic area. I charge the car at home every 3 days on average. I only take the 'being green' philosophy so far. I value the time savings more than the efficiency.
 

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I only take the 'being green' philosophy so far. I value the time savings more than the efficiency.
Life is an optimization problem.

Everyone takes "being green" only so far. The best thing a person could do for the environment would be to drop dead immediately. Unless someone is opting to do that, they can keep their piety.
 

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Drove from amherst to Boston,Ma last Feb. and got this tremendous range shock.

I can see your frustration. It sounds like you are new to electric vehicles and had some other things on your mind when you were at Mass General Hospital Eye and Ear Campus. You probably wanted to knock the Chevrolet salesperson silly, or throw a cold, 800 pound battery at them...


But, breathe deeply and reconsider.


My story--transferred to Portland, Maine over this winter, with assignments in Boston (Yawkey Med Center--I do laboratory work...). 20F and my Bolt EV dropped from 240 to 170 miles of range. Its 214 miles door to door for me twice a week. And, I do drive 70 on the Maine Turnpike. Ouch!


Then, I considered, "what do I care if I need to stop for 30 minutes to recharge?" Well timed, it would help avoid some traffic, it would let me clean up some e-mails, or just get some coffee.


Secondly, you and I are in the lap of luxury for DCFC stations. I have 6-11 stations on the route from Portland to Boston; there are even more L2 at restaurants and brewpubs along the way (You can charge yourself into a stupor this way--it is not recommended). From Amherst to Boston you have 11-30 depending on the radius off Mass Pike you want to drive. I do drive to Hartford about once a month and my experience is that many of those DCFC are open and available.



Your 97 miles from Amherst to Boston will need a charge, but it's not the end of the world.



Some observations.



  • Valets do not usually know about L2 chargers. MGH does not have readily available L2. (Harvard Medical Center does, but that requires a more serious disease. You are lucky.)
  • Stop at Copley Place before leaving Boston for a DCFC. https://www.plugshare.com/location/62530 . You can avoid some traffic and one hour free, covered parking is included when charging at EVGo. Easy access to Trader Joes or other shops.
  • The Shops at Chestnut Hill on route 9 is another option before leaving Boston. https://www.plugshare.com/location/58220. Again, free covered parking.
  • Mass Pike Framingham and Charlton Plaza are very reliable.
  • Try the Hannaford Supermarket on route 20. https://www.plugshare.com/location/134004 . It is a FREE DCFC sponsored by National Grid. Good coffee and shops abound.
  • The Holiday Inn mega station at Sturbridge is always available. https://www.plugshare.com/location/142303. There is now a very good little center around the station for food, WiFi, etc.

Once you get over the range shock, you will find it's very manageable.
 

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Daily 85mph in a Bolt *can* be perfectly fine if you can tolerate the range hit. Same with the cold, some folks knew about the hit and are fine with it.

If you aren't fine with either hit... gasmobile.

The hits also negate some of that $$/mile advantage of an EV over gas.

And I was referring to distance travel. When I know I am going to be home for the night plugged in, I drive the speed limit, use air conditioning and heat, accelerate quickly from the stoplights, and generally ignore range limits. (But then, I don't drive 85 mph, on purpose, at any time.)
 

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Pike Bishop said:
I can see your frustration...


...Once you get over the range shock, you will find it's very manageable.
That is a great post, Pike. Thanks for sharing your experience. Very cool.
That's what's great about this forum. Sharing ideas and experience.
 

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I'm fairly young so I drive 80 typically. My daily commute is 54 miles. 80-85 is the average freeway speed in this geographic area. I charge the car at home every 3 days on average. I only take the 'being green' philosophy so far. I value the time savings more than the efficiency.
I hear this rational all the time. Your commute is 54 miles, I take it that’s 27 each way?
The difference between 60 vs 80, (assuming you can hold 80 from start to finish...very unlikely) is less than 5 minutes.
I constantly see people blast by me, passing on hills, on the way to the airport...as we get into the built up area, I run into them at the stoplight. The actual time savings are almost insignificant. You need a really long stage length to make any difference. Driving a B777 from the other side of the World, increasing our Mach #, burning 6 tonnes more fuel, we can save almost 30 minutes. From Calgary to Vancouver, 1000km the savings are a couple of minutes.
 
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