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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bolt in a charging desert?

Hi

I am on the verge of buying a Bolt as the car I've been waiting for. My daily commute is an easy 30 miles round trip, and locally I rarely go more than 75 miles in a day. A longer trip to Duluth (230 miles) would be feasilble since there's at least one charge site in Ashland. (And we have a hybrid toyota for long trips, like eclipse-viewing.)

But, sometimes I need to go further and I live in a virtual wasteland for charging (Calumet, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula).
So I have a few concerns.

1. My first question is whether I'll even be able to get one home from someplace that is actually selling them. My local Chevy dealer had never heard of the Bolt until I told them about it. They still are not able to order one. (But I could get one delivered to them from another dealer for about $1000.)

The Bolt I test-drove (on my way to see the eclipse!) is in Morton, IL, 540 miles from me, and I only see a handfull of stations between here and there.

Another option is Minneapolis, 350 miles away. Or Chicago, 375 miles, but I see fewer charging sites on that route.

Is it insane to buy a Bolt and then set off across a charging wilderness in my first week of ownership?

2. I see some inconsistencies in the lists between the various charging network maps. The Chevy site most annoyingly gives the 200 closest stations in a radius around you, and no others. (If I'm in Milwaukee why do I care where stations are on the opposite side of Lake Michigan??) Which network maps are most dependable?

3. Out here in the boonies RV parks seem like good options. I gather I'd need a converter to use those. Where do I get one? How fast do those charge? How amenable are RV parks to visits of a few hours?

4. Do I need to have my own home charger installed immediately or can I wait a few weeks (months?) and just change overnight with the 110V for a bit?

I appreciate any insights and advise!
 

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I will let others, more wise and experienced than I, offer most of the suggestions.

Level 2 EVSE with 25 miles rpch (range per charging hour) are NOT for travelling. Ask yourself, do you want to stop every 100 miles for 4 hours of charging. Most of us say "No". DCFC (Level 3) is the only way to travel. Level 2 means 240 volts and that is all. Most Level 2 EVSE are 32 amp (24 miles rpch) but MANY are 16 amp (12 miles rpch). Even when you buy your home EVSE (plugged, not hardwired), RV parks offer only 240 volts and you must have a NEMA 14-50 plug (or an adapter). Most will "give" you 2 hours for free, but an overnight stay may cost the same as an RV Camper.

Calumet to the Custer, WI DCFC is 231 miles, but this is not a trip you want to make with little Bolt experience. I "limped" my Bolt 350 miles from purchase city to my home. With naivete and poor planning it took 40 hours and 2 (unexpected) overnight motel stays. Although I did not pay for charging (motel #1 offered a free 110v outdoor plug, & 2 Chevy dealers w/ 16 amp EVSE let me plug for 6, then 14 hours), rooms and food ran me ~$200. That $1K delivery trades cost for hassle. IMHO it borders on the insane to set off across a "charging wilderness" in the first week of ownership.

If that DCFC were in Wausau, you would be golden. As it is, rent a car for long trips and drive your Bolt locally with no range-extending driving modifications.
 

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Level 2 EVSE with 25 miles rpch (range per charging hour) are NOT for travelling.
...unless you can plan your trip to take advantage of one during an overnight stay. There are a number of hotels that have Level 2 chargers that their guests can take advantage of while they sleep.

If the OP is thinking about buying a Bolt and driving it home, that's a pretty viable option, IMHO.
 

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Hi

I am on the verge of buying a Bolt as the car I've been waiting for. My daily commute is an easy 30 miles round trip, and locally I rarely go more than 75 miles in a day. A longer trip to Duluth (230 miles) would be feasilble since there's at least one charge site in Ashland. (And we have a hybrid toyota for long trips, like eclipse-viewing.)

But, sometimes I need to go further and I live in a virtual wasteland for charging (Calumet, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula).
So I have a few concerns.

1. My first question is whether I'll even be able to get one home from someplace that is actually selling them. My local Chevy dealer had never heard of the Bolt until I told them about it. They still are not able to order one. (But I could get one delivered to them from another dealer for about $1000.)

The Bolt I test-drove (on my way to see the eclipse!) is in Morton, IL, 540 miles from me, and I only see a handfull of stations between here and there.

Another option is Minneapolis, 350 miles away. Or Chicago, 375 miles, but I see fewer charging sites on that route.

Is it insane to buy a Bolt and then set off across a charging wilderness in my first week of ownership?

2. I see some inconsistencies in the lists between the various charging network maps. The Chevy site most annoyingly gives the 200 closest stations in a radius around you, and no others. (If I'm in Milwaukee why do I care where stations are on the opposite side of Lake Michigan??) Which network maps are most dependable?

3. Out here in the boonies RV parks seem like good options. I gather I'd need a converter to use those. Where do I get one? How fast do those charge? How amenable are RV parks to visits of a few hours?

4. Do I need to have my own home charger installed immediately or can I wait a few weeks (months?) and just change overnight with the 110V for a bit?

I appreciate any insights and advise!
If you use plugshare you can filter it to show only CCS (480v) or J1772 (240v). EVSE sites are rated. A rating of 10.0 is good (reliable). Look at the recent user comments from each site.

Plugshare shows a CCS (480v) site in Stevens Point and a J1772 (240v) site across the street from a Hotel in Florence. You would need a backup plan if the J1772 site was being used in Florence.

To be clear. If you plan to charge at an RV site with a 14-50 plug you will need to bring your own portable EVSE with a 14-50 plug. Since you will eventually want a home EVSE you could purchase a portable charger with a 14-50 plug. You could camp at an RV site with a 14-50 plug and charge overnight (10.5) hours.

Hope that helps,
Jeff

Consider driving like a snail with no climate control :)
 

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Tesla to Bolt adapter?

Am I misunderstanding this? Is there a Tesla to a J1772 adapter? Is there a solution to allowing my Bolt to charge at a Tesla Supercharger?
 

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Am I misunderstanding this? Is there a Tesla to a J1772 adapter? Is there a solution to allowing my Bolt to charge at a Tesla Supercharger?
The adapter will let you charge at "regular" Tesla destination chargers and use their EVSEs. The supercharger is a no, because it has something to do with the communication (or lack of?) between the car and supercharger that results in it not allowing a charge to happen.
 

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Another possibility: buy your car using a service like Carvana, who will deliver it to your house on a flatbed truck.
 

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There are two types of tesla chargers

1. An L2 AC charger just like the Bolts L2 charger - these are home and destination chargers and provide for 20-80 amps of charging happiness (the Bolt is limited to 32 amps max)
2. A Tesla Supercharger, these are commercial chargers using direct DC fast charging techniques and require activation and custom hardware.

Most tesla super chargers do not have an L2 charger, but sometime other charging networks locate their DCFast/L2 chargers in the same parking lots.

With the correct adapter any J-1772 based EV can use any Tesla L2 charger

To be crystal clear the Tesla to J-1772 adapter will NOT let you used a supercharger - just not gonna happen!

At the moment I don’t know of any adapter to allow a SAECombo/CCS EV use a tesla super charger.

There is an adapter that lets Tesla’s use Chademo chargers, but so far not one that lets Tesla’s use the SAECombo plug.

All Tesla’s come with a UMC and a J-1772 adapeter so there can use public chargers.

Tesla makes and sells a Universal Mobile Charger (UMC) that is a 40 amp mobile charger with modular plugs to use different types of plugs you might encounter in North America. Use of this charger would require the Tesla to J-1772 adapter but provides a flexible and affordable mobile EVSE.

You will need to become familiar with the PlugShare app which can show L2 chargers and DCFast chargers. With the correct mobile EVSE (Tesla’s UMC isn’t the only one) you can also charge at RV parks and campgrounds that provide plugs at their sites - but those are just slow L2 chargers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks!

Thanks for the help. This is clarifying the issues.

If my local dealer can't order a car for me in the next few weeks, I'm leaning toward shopping for my Bolt in Minneapolis. I have friends to stay with there and could drive it there for a day or two before coming north.

I can drive back via Duluth, which has a fast charging station (and friends to spend the night with, if necessary). The second stage would be 200 miles. To be safe, I know of two coffehouses with chargers on the way where I could stop for a 1-hour boost.

This is still a hypothetical car for the moment, though.

(While Caravana looks interesting they have no Bolts for sale, :()
 

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350 mile trip.

I have used these and they work great. They are called "dogbones". From Camco Manufacturing and available at amazon, camping world and others. This is just one of many...but this works great if you can only plug into a TT-30amp at a campgroud and then convert to 14-50 which is what your level 2 charger should run on for the long trip home. Google Camco manufacturing and look in the rv section under electrical.

Item #:55183

Camco RV 18" PowerGrip Dogbone Electrical Adapter with easy grip handle is designed for greater convenience and ease of use. It has 30 AMP male to 50 AMP female ends. 125V/3750 watt

Call the campground and ask them what plug they use...and some do not allow charging so ask!

Get the home charger before the car. It just makes it so much easier. Clipper creek, juicebox and openevse are the three best. For your situation the EVSE unit is particularly interesting since you can charge at different amperages and it is fairly small. I have a clippercreek hcs 40. It works great on the Bolt but it is too big to be portable. I should have bought the openevse level 1/2 charger.store.openevse.com

If you buy the car in Minneapolis or Chicago you should only need to charge once...preferably mid point...which is doable if you can find a 240V plug to use with your charger. Check hotels...they are becoming more available now. They need to be hooked up to a 40 amp breaker in order to draw 32 amps at your charger. You would not need to stop for more than 8 hours to charge and make it home safely.
 

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Hi FrenchFry... The Etsy link that I posted is a bit different than the Camco 55183 product. The Etsy product is a 14-50P to 5-15R workaround for a specific model of the EVSE included with the Chevy Bolt.

Jeff
 

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old thread, but still applicable. live in the desert and Level 3 charging for the Bolt is a desert around here. Tesla superchargers on the other hand, are popping up everywhere. I would like to take my Bolt on a 400 mile journey this weekend, but will have to use my ICE car. If I had a Tesla, the trip would be cake. Plugshare shows Tesla superchargers throughout the whole route.
 

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Cycle 1 of the National Investment Plan is going to be a glorious 18 months or so! Even better the new installs on the corridors should be primarily 150kW and 350kW DCFC stations. This should be a nice first step to catching up with the more advanced nations in Europe and East Asia. I hope the full 10 year EA roll out along side other private investment gets us to a drastically improved landscape...
 

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Cycle 1 of the National Investment Plan is going to be a glorious 18 months or so! Even better the new installs on the corridors should be primarily 150kW and 350kW DCFC stations. This should be a nice first step to catching up with the more advanced nations in Europe and East Asia. I hope the full 10 year EA roll out along side other private investment gets us to a drastically improved landscape...
Thanks for the link. 10+ stations on I-10 will help a lot. But there's 2460 miles of I-10. They wanted no more than 150 miles between stations according to the report. I'm guessing they're taking advantage of a few metropolitan areas in between. 2300 miles from Jacksonville Florida to Palm Desert California 2300 / 150 = 15. Subtract 2 for the endpoints, subtract 1 for each for Houston and Phoenix. Okay, 15-2-1-1 = 11 so report says 10+. That should do.
 

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Hey did you see the charge "map" in that article that was posted the other day? I don't see it on Electrify America's main site, so it must have come out of the press release department. It's necessarily vague, but it gives me some hope for the routes that will open up with this first phase of the project. Maybe someday Tesla will be playing catch up and trying to get all those superchargers upgraded to match or beat the 350kW standard... Or, heaven forbid, maybe they might implement a standards compliant port on their cars! That'll be the day - right up there with pigs flying and an open Tesla replacement parts and service market!
 
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