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Hello all.

Just joined the forum. I am this close to buying a new 2020 Bolt EV, which would be my first EV.

I typically do 50 miles or fewer each day, so the published range of 259 will be more than enough for me in most scenarios. However, I live in South Florida where for more than 6-8 months of the year 90+ temps necessitate keeping the air conditioning on full blast (especially if my wife is in the car).

So I've got two questions for any Bolt-owning Floridians (or those from other hot climates) who would care to weigh in:

1. I realize there are many variables at play when discussing range, but roughly speaking about how much of an impact does heavy AC use have on your Bolt's range? Are we talking like 10%-20%, or significantly more than that?

2. Is the Bolt's air conditioning able to keep the cabin cool in persistently hot climates? (My current ICE car isn't very icy-- it can barely keep the car comfortable in the height of summer, and makes a ton of noise doing it.)

Thanks to all. Looking forward to spending more time here in the weeks and months to come.

Joe
 

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The AC is very efficient and does not use much of your charge, I am in Hawaii and almost always run the AC, I would estimate range hit at 2-3%, the heater is the range killer, not the AC.
 

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during the hot summer in St Petersburg last summer, if i recall correctly the usage screen attributed up to 20% to climate settings. For cooling the battery and max A/C use in temp’s in the upper 90’s.
Keep in mind, this data would mostly be from short trips. so it is probably a worst case of A/C use. hot car, crank a/c, drive 5 miles, stop, repeat.

I don’t have enough data to back that up consistently, but that is what i recall, it was showing 20% energy use for climate on max A/C and 95+ temps.
and it gets the cabin cold, no issues there.
 

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I use the A/C on my 2017 Bolt all the time during the Summer here in New Mexico, and the range does not decrease to the point of getting worried about it. Try taking a test drive from your local dealer, and you will find the AC is cold, and the car is exciting to drive.
 

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I agree with zzzing. A/C use is much less significant. I live in Virginia so it is not like Florida. Also, keep in mind that you will get instant "full blast" cooling because the compressor is run by an electric motor. In an ICE vehicle one has to get some road speed to get the compressor going "full blast".
 

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I've had my Bolt for two Arizona summers with many days of 100+ temps. I agree with the previous comments but, as micantony stated, very short trips will result in terrible efficiency. In my small town I drive 3 miles to work and 5 miles round-trip to the grocery store. I'll pre-cool the car, drive to the store, leave it "ON" while shopping (very nice option!) then drive home. Typical efficiency in this scenario is less than 3 mi/kWh. So don't freak out if you see this on your Guess-O-Meter. It'll return to a more normal reading as soon as you take a longer drive.
 

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The AC at Max draws less than a kW, and 750 watts on average. The problem with this system is the humidity sensor, which often mixes heat and AC to dry out the cabin air. The heater can pull 7500 watts in humid weather.

 

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yeah, I learned to stop using the auto setting, because in 90 degree heat, the heater kicked on one time on me. I was like "huh"🧐🤦‍♂️😓😠
not sure if it was the humidity sensor or just the system trying too hard to keep a specific temp, but i learned my lesson quickly that the system is odd.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to all who replied. Looks like any concerns I had about AC being weak or a range drag were unfounded. Planning to go for a second test drive this weekend and then make my decision within a week thereafter. Right now I'm about 99% of the way to yes...
 

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I live in SE FL.

In my 2017 Premier:

With the A/C off, I can easily get 4.1 miles / kWh.

With the A/C on, it will drop to 3.7 miles / kWh.

So you are looking at a range difference of maybe 25 miles in a 60 kWh battery.

My advice? Run the A/C!!!!

And be glad you are not up north......

Jim
 

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Run the A/C, yes, but get comfortable with 74 degrees F, not 68-70.
You cannot say for sure. It totally depends on the humidity. I have seen the heat pulling several thousand watts, fighting the AC, at 74 F, and other times no heat with the the temp turned down to 68 F.
 

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If you are driving locally just set the climate controls to whatever feels good. You are still using way less energy than an ICE. The only time I watch climate power draw is on a trip. If I need more range, to make it to the next DC fast charger, the Heat/AC goes off...fan or seat heaters only. Otherwise relax.
 

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Do not do the short trips with pre cooling. On the open highway, at 75 mph, in New Mexico, I hardly noticed the impact of the AC. Would recommend the Bolt in all hot climates. Just got back from Costa Rica, where the Bolt would have gotten over 300 miles on a charge, with AC running all the time. Speeds average 30 to 48 mph in that country. Saw all the ICE waste, and was thinking how wonderful it would be to have my Bolt there...
 

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I live in Hawaii. My ac is always on. I'm averaging 4.5 miles per kw. Mostly around town driving with speeds averaging 30-50 mph. The ac works great. My wife leaves in on while waiting in the car if I need to run into the store to pick up something.
 

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I'm about 50 miles south of Tampa so of course, I run the AC those 8 months of the year. My typical drive is about half 60 MPH state roads and half 35-50 MPH town roads. Hardly any highway. The AC consistently draws between 9 and 11% under those conditions in the FL summer. It's a little bit of a hit on range but it has no problem keeping up with the constant 92-96F temps during those 8 months.

Mike
 

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Run the A/C, yes, but get comfortable with 74 degrees F, not 68-70.
Yes, I forgot to mention, in my response, that I use an auto 76 degrees. It may make the owner still feel a little of the summer or year round heat, but it is nothing like the outdoors. 74 to 76 is very efficient. If the owner demands going for a walk in refrigerator, YES, that will use very notable percentages. My percentages are more like 2 to 3 percent.
 

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Yes, I forgot to mention, in my response, that I use an auto 76 degrees. It may make the owner still feel a little of the summer or year round heat, but it is nothing like the outdoors. 74 to 76 is very efficient. If the owner demands going for a walk in refrigerator, YES, that will use very notable percentages. My percentages are more like 2 to 3 percent.
I don't have much of a choice here: I have to leave mine on 73 auto. If I set it on 76 auto, it'll command heat even when it's 85-87F outside! Only when the car gets heat soaked in a parking lot will it throw AC consistently at a setting of 76 auto.

Mike
 
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