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Frustrated owner at the moment. My bolt will not fully charge. Correct me if I'm wrong but I have never understood why the bolt doesn't fully charge to above 200 miles. Is this normal? The last 7 charges have been consistently at 170 miles. I get it, it's winter. The dealer told me that the charge takes the last several usage amounts and gives you a maximum charge. Can anyone verify this. I'm frustrated because I feel like I've been had. I need at least 160 to get to work and back. Figured I would be just fine getting a car with a 238 range. Is there a problem with the car or is this accurate?

Thanks,

Frustrated owner
 

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As malkaven said, be sure you are not in "hill top" mode.

What are your tires pumped up to? You should see, at least, 41 psi after they warm up...44 psi is max, and just fine. What is the temperature where you are? Are you leaving it plugged in overnight, so the battery can heat, if needed, without using battery power?
 

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The Bolt's range estimate is based on recent driving consumption statistics (past behavior) - not actual battery kWh capacity - it is very very unlikely you have lost any battery capacity what so ever - what you are seeing is the car predicting your future driving range based on your actual recent past consumption rates (miles/kWh). In winter all EV's with batteries will not go as far due to increased load on the battery for heating (both itself and you) - also cold weather driving is more "expensive" due to a number of factors (air density, road conditions, tire pressure, etc)

If you review the Bolt's energy screens the car will show you how much of your charge was using for transportation vs. climate control vs. battery conditioning - winter/cold driving conditions can take 20-30% range from normal spring/summer driving range - this is to be expected.

The 238 mile figure is based on a full 100% charge of the Bolt's 60 kWh battery - to achieve 238 miles on a single charge you have to be able to achieve 4 miles per kWh (4 * 60 = 240 miles). The Bolt has very helpful displays that will show you your recent driving range miles per kWh - if the car is estimating 170 miles it's probably due to recent cold weather driving where more of the car's available battery energy is being used to keep the battery warm and you warm.

Assuming you are charging to 88% which is the default maximum charge rate with Hilltop Reserve ON - that is 60 * .88 = 52.8 available kWh - we'll round to 53 kWh for hilltop reserve charge.

170 miles / 53 = 3.2 miles / kWh - this is well with in normal for the Both and 3.x miles/kWh is a common number for range when driving the Bolt. You should be able to review your in car data a see if you're getting about 3 to 3.5 miles / kWh - you can also consult the "pie chart" to see how much % battery is being used for heating and battery conditioning.

there are several things you can do to mitigate the impact of cold weather driving, but the car will not go as far in extreme cold:

1. don't drive in the winter - drive the gas car instead - leaving the EV home for shorter daily errands
2. drive slower - speed is the MAIN consumer of battery charge (true all year - not just winter) - you'd be surprised how much a difference 5 or 10 mph makes - especially in cold weather driving
3. use less in car climate heating - seat heaters steering wheel warmers use much less battery than heating the air in the car - lower the in-car temp by 2-4 degrees
4. heat the car prior to leaving while it's still plugged in - over heat it really - and then run the in car heat on a lower setting while driving - while plugged in at home the car will use "shore power" to run the heater rather than the battery - you leave with a full battery and an already conditioned car using less battery to heat the car while driving
5. turn off hill top reserve - this is taking 10% battery range away from your daily commute - but if 100% charged you'll have less regen until the battery is depleted and charing an LiON battery to 100% over and over isn't good for longevity
6. learn to watch your driving habits and see if there is room for improvement in consumption
7. see if you can find even a normal plug to plug into while at work - this will both improve the car's battery usage while sitting in the cold, and will allow you to pre-condition/heat it prior to the trip home - again using less battery - leaving the car plugged in for 6-8 hours at work on a normal household plug will let the car warm itself via the charger (again not the battery) and you can pre-heat the car prior to leaving work - again using power rather than battery - make sure to set the charge rate to 12 amps
8. make sure your tires are properly inflated - cold weather loses a lot of pressure and low tire pressure can sap range
9. see if there are any L2 or DC Fast chargers on your commute route, or close to work - you'd be amazed how much a simple 10 min stop at a DC Fast charger could accomplish or 1 hour at an L2 charger.
10. are you driving in "L" mode or "D" mode - with an EV and driving experience you really should never use the brakes except to recover from unexpected stopping requirements - if you are routinely using the brakes rather than regenerative coasting you are losing range due to decreased battery regeneration from maximizing battery regen - try being smoother on the brakes and letting the car "coast" to a stop in 'L' mode - this will recover the maximum amount of power every time the car rolls to a stop
11. EV's are fun and quick, but using that fun and quick all the time saps battery - try accelerating less aggressively - small changes in smoother and slower acceleration will yield vast improvements in range. Drive like a humming bird when you need to maximize range, drive for fun when you don't need to worry about range.

there is ample information in the car's main energy display that will show you how your battery charge is being used and what the car's average usage is per-mile - the range estimate shown in the car is based on this data - your battery is fine and is being charged to the same percentage as it always has been - but driving an EV in cold weather is not like driving an ICE (internal Combustion Engine) car

238 mile range is best case at normal highway speeds on flat surface with minimal climate control - 238 * 70% = 166.6 mile range - 30% is a bit on the high side for cold weather impact, but not unheard of…and achieving a mile/kWh rating in the low 3's 3.1/3.2/3.x will lead to range estimates of less than 200 miles.

EV's are best in the spring/summer and winter driving takes a toll on their capacities. The good news is in spring/summer/fall you can achieve > 4 miles/kWh and have a car that can well exceed 238 miles range - but yeah - winter driving is harder with an EV.
 

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bjbolt said:
Frustrated owner at the moment. My bolt will not fully charge. Correct me if I'm wrong but I have never understood why the bolt doesn't fully charge to above 200 miles. Is this normal? The last 7 charges have been consistently at 170 miles. I get it, it's winter. The dealer told me that the charge takes the last several usage amounts and gives you a maximum charge. Can anyone verify this. I'm frustrated because I feel like I've been had. I need at least 160 to get to work and back. Figured I would be just fine getting a car with a 238 range. Is there a problem with the car or is this accurate?

Thanks,

Frustrated owner
It's winter. Your heater uses quite a bit of juice, and the lithium batteries are much less efficient when they're cold.
I routinely saw 240 on the G.O.M. after a Hilltop Reserve charge of 87% this summer. Now, with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, I'm seeing 170 on a full charge, 150ish using Hilltop Reserve. This is the nature of the car. Mileage will go back up in the spring.
 

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My wife drives our bolt and so far shes seeing 3.9kwh. We are in NY so temps are dropping. Her daily commute is ~80 miles and shes either at half or a little above have when she gets home. We use hill top mode too. I would check your pie chart and see what factors are impacting your range. Climate is a major factor. Use heated seats/steering wheel and bring a blanket so you can limit the using the heater.

Also check your daily route. Check to see if you can find a more direct route using less highways.
 

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My bolt will not fully charge. Correct me if I'm wrong but I have never understood why the bolt doesn't fully charge to above 200 miles.
"Fully charged" has nothing to do with the reported range and everything to do with how many green bars you have on the left side of the Driver Information Centre. A fully charged battery will have 20 green bars (10 slightly lighter shaded green bars alternating with 10 slightly darker shaded green bars). If all 20 bars are lit then the battery is full regardless of what the estimated range says. See the previous comments to understand why the range estimate can vary.

If all 20 of the green bars are not lit then either you're not waiting long enough for the battery to charge fully or you have the car in "Hilltop Reserve" mode as noted in the other posts.
 

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I wish people who complained about their first EV's range would compare to ICE mpg throughout the year. All cars experience swings in mpg throughout the year, but I bet most people don't even look at their car's mpg. Sadly, this is cause most ICEs get plenty of range out of their gas tanks, easily I think 300+ miles per tank.
 

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I consistently advise a "flush" of the Mileage Gauge to help see if that is the problem.

This week I drove from home in Los Angeles to Delano, CA (134 miles) then 7 miles to the EVGo chargers for two 30 minutes charges and then back home again*.

The Mileage Gauge said I had 58 miles available to me and I completely recharged at L2 overnight when it said 234 the next morning.

I never refer to the Bolt EV Mileage Gauge as a G-O-M.

*including the Interstate 5 Grapevine in both directions
 

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I wish people who complained about their first EV's range would compare to ICE mpg throughout the year. All cars experience swings in mpg throughout the year, but I bet most people don't even look at their car's mpg. Sadly, this is cause most ICEs get plenty of range out of their gas tanks, easily I think 300+ miles per tank.
yeah but the difference is it's a 10 min. "fix" when you're range on a ICE isn't what you need - the problem with EV's is that there is no quick/dirty solution to lacking range - L2 will take hours to "fix" the problem and DC Fast doesn't have enough infrastructure in most places

driving an EV requires planning - most people aren't that good at planning ahead - it takes effort and you just can't "get in and go" and figure it out on the fly…
 

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That 10 min fillup is very convenient. Then again, there are some who hate stopping at all and prefer plugging in at home. I'm one of those people.

I agree, EVs require a learning curve and careful consideration of your driving and maintenance habits. If a potential buyer can't be bothered to read up on the EV lifestyle (let alone the features of the EV they're about to buy), then they're no potential buyer.
 

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That 10 min fillup is very convenient. Then again, there are some who hate stopping at all and prefer plugging in at home. I'm one of those people.

I agree, EVs require a learning curve and careful consideration of your driving and maintenance habits. If a potential buyer can't be bothered to read up on the EV lifestyle (let alone the features of the EV they're about to buy), then they're no potential buyer.
Which is why my next ICE vehicle will most likely be a PHEV. 30(-ish) mile range on all-electric (which is good for most days, and whichever spouse needs to drive 30-100 miles will take the BEV that day) and the low-polluting ICE for long-haul trips. 5 minute stops every 2-6 hours for a "get out of the car and walk or maybe pee or maybe buy a sandwich and at some point put in gas" stop. Unless, of course, the rapid charging network gets significantly better over the next 2-5 years (min 150 kW rate, 2-8 plugs per charging location found every 30-50 miles along major highways).

CCS "standard" has already been amended for 150 kW charge rates, and they are working on a 350 kW standard. Being able to charge three times faster would mean a 10 min stop would get you about 90-100 miles of range. I could deal with that. Not as easy as gas, but for (one-way) trips over 400 miles I'd just rent a gasmobile (and I rarely do those drives anymore - I fly). I don't think I've made a 400 miles, one-way trip in the last 10 years. Many 300-350 miles trips, but those are easily doable with a Bolt (that can charge at 150 kW - I'm not standing in a parking lot for 45 minutes waiting for a charge at 50 kW).
 

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SparkE, you capture my thoughts on the 2017 Volt perfectly. I'm hoping they keep the Voltec drive train and offer a vehicle with 100 mile EV range w/ICE range extender.
 

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The Bolt's range estimate is based on recent driving consumption statistics (past behavior) - not actual battery kWh capacity
I am having the same issue with reduced charging capacity. 170 miles. If this is based on recent driving, then do Bolt owners who drive in warm climates and drive super-efficiently see range estimates when fully charged of greater than 238?
 

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I am having the same issue with reduced charging capacity. 170 miles. If this is based on recent driving, then do Bolt owners who drive in warm climates and drive super-efficiently see range estimates when fully charged of greater than 238?
In a nutshell, yes.

It’s winter. Everbody’s estimated range has gone down. In summer I had an estimated range of 215 miles when fully charged (I live in a hilly area with freeway speeds that are typically 70 to 75 MPH). With winter here, that has dropped to 180. Combination of running th heater more and colder denser air that provides more resistance.
 

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I am having the same issue with reduced charging capacity. 170 miles. If this is based on recent driving, then do Bolt owners who drive in warm climates and drive super-efficiently see range estimates when fully charged of greater than 238?
Another aspect is rain, not just temperature. All things the same this week, I had 190 miles during 45F morning and evening commute, light to no rain. Just today with heavy rain during the morning commute, I had 175 miles. That rain took 15 miles off my range. Commute home no rain but wet roads.

I used to get 220 miles back in October.
 
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