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Discussion Starter #1
Well I guess I did a dumb thing today. My wife was out with her artist group and I didn't feel like hanging around the house like I usually do, catching up on TV shows I don't normally get to watch. Instead I decided to go visit a friend in Elk Grove who isn't good at keeping in touch. I jumped in the Bolt and the GOM said 95 miles. Hmmm. Yeah, I can make it down and back.

My friend was home, and we had a nice visit. We also drove a few miles to get lunch. Finally realizing it was 3:30, I new I needed to get going if I was going to avoid the heavy rush hour traffic, which actually lasts about two and a half. I tried, but didn't actually hit the road till 4:00. Too late. Traffic. Crap.
OK, easy cruise at moderate speed, better mileage. Of course, it was a pretty hot day, so the AC was on. I don't think I made it to the 50/80 interchange before the GOM turned orange, indicating 32 miles. Range Anxiety! That wasn't gonna get me home. AC off wasn't going to get me home either. Worse, it was too late to turn around and go back to my friend's place, I was stuck on the freeway. I needed to find a DCFC.

I don't have a smartphone. I know, wtf, right? But my $16/month flip phone is Bluetooth enabled and connects to the car. I called my wife, got the machine. (We get so many robo-calls anymore, we hardly pay any attention to it.) I called my friend who's place I just left, got his machine! Finally got hold of my cousin out of town. He was able to get on his computer and direct me to a Charge Point L2 charger nearby at a student housing complex. I pulled out my Charge Point card I got from Chevrolet and tried to activate the charger. No response. The screen was blank. I called the number on the charger and got through to a guy who tried to help me activate the thing. He even did a reset. Can you take the charge plug out yet? Nope. It was obviously dead.

However, he was able to direct me to an EVgo DCFC only a few miles away, which is really what I needed anyway! I thought that was pretty cool. I quickly found the station, it recognized my EVgo card and I plugged in. In short order, I was getting 100 Amps at 480V. Just as I was about to go into the store for something to drink while the car charged awhile, an old guy coming from the store said How do you like the electric car? And we proceeded to chat. We probably babbled for twenty minutes when I checked the GOM: 88 miles. That'll get me home! I bid the gentleman adieu and hit the road. Made it home easily. Just about the time the GOM turned orange again.

Obviously, I should not have made that trip at that SoC. Or should have left the AC off the whole trip. I severely miscalculated. Actual mileage to his house is 56 I thought it was 40. I didn't even have my tablet with me which would have allowed me to find a station myself, thanks to the Bolt's WiFi. But no! I just about stranded myself instead. Lesson learned: Don't leave Placerville without a full charge. But I thought it was cool the Charge Point guy was able to direct me to an EVgo station.
 

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It was cool that ChargePoint was able to help you. Well done ChargePoint!
With the Bolt now as our only car I am forcing myself to make it a habit to ABC.......always be charging!
 

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I'm glad your adventure didn't end in disaster. Kudos to ChargePoint for helping an EV driver out, even if it meant pointing them to a competitor's station!
 

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Good deal. Now get a smartphone. :) Range anxiety is greatly reduced when you can just say, "OK Google... I need to charge" and it shows you the charging stations around you. Or you can use PlugShare, Chargepoint, EA, or other apps but I find it easiest to just ask Google.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I know....I'm such a luddite. A smartphone would have saved me some anxiety. But dang, the cheapest plan you can get is at least $60/month. My phone only costs $16. And if I'd have had my kindle fire, I could have easily used that and the car's WiFi to find that DCFC myself. I can't justify a smartphone to myself.

If anyone is interested, my charging session was 24 minutes, 13.51kWh, for $7.20.
 

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MikeyBolt is right. I had a flip phone for years until I started researching the Bolt and realized the value/need of Plugshare, Waze, etc. for charging stations and navigation. Check out Tello.com for phones and service. I've been a customer for about a year and a half and my cost is less than $12/month.
 

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We had flip phones the first year we had the Bolt. For the last year it has been smartphones, and all the EV apps.

Around here, the Chevy app and Google are pretty bad for finding charging. But PlugShare is great! And Google maps works well for getting where you are going without driving around, lost, in unfamiliar areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I looked briefly at tello.com. Sounds interesting, philbo. Whereabouts do you live? Based on your recommendation, I assume you haven't had any coverage issues? I've been with Verizon for years and am hesitant about the idea of switching to Sprint. I live in a rural community, and only recently has Verizon's coverage become truely ubiquitous and reliable. But everyone uses everyone else's equipment these days, don't they? What kind of phone do you get and what has your service been like? I'm all ears, if I can get a true smartphone for $20/month.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh and BTW, did you also look into Cricket? I understand they have cheap smartphone plans and phones, too. But the phones they give you are "simplified" for seniors. (For which I qualify, but I'm more technologically ept.)
 

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I know....I'm such a luddite. A smartphone would have saved me some anxiety. But dang, the cheapest plan you can get is at least $60/month. My phone only costs $16. And if I'd have had my kindle fire, I could have easily used that and the car's WiFi to find that DCFC myself. I can't justify a smartphone to myself.

If anyone is interested, my charging session was 24 minutes, 13.51kWh, for $7.20.
You can just get a cheap phone and use it as a miniature WiFi tablet. Just stick it in a console in the Bolt.

I'd bet that if you asked 5 of your friends if they have an old cell phone you could use, they would likely offer you 10 devices.

ga2500ev
 

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MikeyBolt is right. I had a flip phone for years until I started researching the Bolt and realized the value/need of Plugshare, Waze, etc. for charging stations and navigation. Check out Tello.com for phones and service. I've been a customer for about a year and a half and my cost is less than $12/month.
Google Fi is $20/mo for calls and texts, and pay-as-you-go data ($10/GB). Obviously you'd want to verify carrier coverage where you live/work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You can just get a cheap phone and use it as a miniature WiFi tablet. Just stick it in a console in the Bolt.

I'd bet that if you asked 5 of your friends if they have an old cell phone you could use, they would likely offer you 10 devices.

ga2500ev
There's an idea I hadn't considered! Even if the phone wasn't activated, it would still work as an internet device with the car's WiFi, right?
 

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Another low cost prepaid carrier that works with your own smartphone is Mint Mobile and they use T-Mobile network.

Low cost plans if you pay for several months up to a year in advance, can get 3GB, 8GB, or 12GB 4G-LTE data per month for $15-$25/month depending on data size. They offer a free trial period for $5 (refundable or creditable if you later pay for a full plan) and I tried it and worked fine on a T-Mobile compatible older used Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone as well as a used Samsung Note 4.
 

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There's an idea I hadn't considered! Even if the phone wasn't activated, it would still work as an internet device with the car's WiFi, right?
Yep I got a used older Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone cheap on the swappa.com website that works fine for wifi only without a SIM/ paid plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The suggestion that if I asked some friends if they had an old phone lying around was a great suggestion! A friend of mine is one of those guys who has no qualms about pitting service providers against each other in search of the best deal, and will change every other month if it suits him. Sure enough, he had two phones sitting in his closet! He's gonna drop off a Samsung S7 tonight. Unlocked for any carrier! It's only issue is the rear facing camera doesn't focus. What do I care? I don't do selfies. I'm getting a free smartphone!

So now I gotta get up to speed. Does Google Assistant really allow you to just ask it to "show me a map of EVgo stations in my area"? And it'll pull up Plugshare on the Bolt's screen? Providing I'm using Android Auto, right? (I started this thread, I can hijack it if I want)
 

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There's an idea I hadn't considered! Even if the phone wasn't activated, it would still work as an internet device with the car's WiFi, right?
Exactly. Sometimes it's just difficult to wrap your head around the fact that just because it isn't on a mobile network, it isn't useful.

What really gets interesting is then adding a VOIP app/account to the phone which facilitates actually making calls with it.

Finally even a deactivated phone can make 911 calls on the cell network.

ga2500ev
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Any recommendations for a good VOIP app?
And can anyone give me an idea of what mobile data usage is like? That is, how much of my LTE data allotment is used by say calling up Plugshare? Or using Waze or whichever navigation app is good in the Bolt? Or watching a YouTube video? Just wondering, in case I decide to go the Tello route, instead of VOIP. And how much data does VOIP use? My Bolt's WiFi has a 1Gig limit.
 

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I looked briefly at tello.com. Sounds interesting, philbo. Whereabouts do you live? Based on your recommendation, I assume you haven't had any coverage issues? I've been with Verizon for years and am hesitant about the idea of switching to Sprint. I live in a rural community, and only recently has Verizon's coverage become truely ubiquitous and reliable. But everyone uses everyone else's equipment these days, don't they? What kind of phone do you get and what has your service been like? I'm all ears, if I can get a true smartphone for $20/month.
I'm in southeastern Massachusetts and never have coverage issues except at my barber's shop (metal roof?). Has been fine in MA, CT, RI, NJ, PA, and NY. I have the Motorola Moto E4. Monthly bill is $11.66 for unlimited text, unlimited minutes and 1 GB of data which is way more than I've ever needed. Tello has that phone for $79 if you're interested.
 
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