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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Considering a Bolt, first (relatively) affordable BEV with range. Haven't seen nor driven one yet.

We don't have "Smart" phones, will not pay for them nor their hefty monthly fees. We pay less per year for our stupid phones (which we use rarely) than what a Smart phone would cost per month. The question is: can a stupid TracFone connect to the car and be used "hands free"??

And I gather there is NO navigation option unless one has a Smart phone. Not going to pay a monthly fee to use OnStar either. I had hoped (since 2004) that Toyota would set up something so a Garmin type system could be connected to the Prius MFD. Bigger screen = easier to read = safer. Never happened of course. Apparently GM has no plans to do something like that in the Bolt?

Thanks,
Bruce
 

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If your dumb phone supports Bluetooth calling then you should be able to receive calls hands free. Whether to be able to give voice commands to dial out or possibly text will depend on the capabilities of your phone.

As for navigation, you are correct. Either smart phone with Android auto, Apple carplay, my Chevrolet app, or on star are the only way to navigate in-car.
 

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Do your dumb phones really cost less than $20 a month, which is what top of the line phones with a low usage plan can cost? (RingPlus used to be free and FreedomPop is still free but sucks).

If you can afford a new $35k car, why is 20 bucks a month a deal breaker?

Smart phones can be purchased brand new for $10. You don't even have to activate it to use bluetooth.

I'm glad manufacturers are transitioning away from the scam nav companies that charge ridiculous upgrade fees for a vastly inferior product than anything else.

Top of the line Garmin GPS can be had for about $100, so in car nav doesn't matter anyhow.

Take the car for a test drive; it's fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Responses inblue

Do your dumb phones really cost less than $20 a month, which is what top of the line phones with a low usage plan can cost? (RingPlus used to be free and FreedomPop is still free but sucks).
$60/year for more minutes than we ever use. I'm up to something over 4,000 minutes.

If you can afford a new $35k car, why is 20 bucks a month a deal breaker?
What smartphones have internet access, therefore navigation, for $20/month? Or are there built in navigation apps that don't suck and the maps can be updated??

Smart phones can be purchased brand new for $10. You don't even have to activate it to use bluetooth.
And can you use them for navigation? I assume you aren't talking about Apple phones because I don't think they sell for less than many $hundreds.

I'm glad manufacturers are transitioning away from the scam nav companies that charge ridiculous upgrade fees for a vastly inferior product than anything else.
I agree. Toyota's Nav is far from great and the cost to update the DVD, without even knowing if any changes would affect your area, is ridiculous. If they charged $50 people would probably upgrade every few years and they could more than recover their costs. Actually I suspect they would make money on every DVD at much less than $50, they don't cost much to copy and ship

Top of the line Garmin GPS can be had for about $100, so in car nav doesn't matter anyhow.
Sure it does, screen size. Maybe you are young, with good eyes and don't wear progressive lenses ;)

Take the car for a test drive; it's fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If your dumb phone supports Bluetooth calling then you should be able to receive calls hands free. Whether to be able to give voice commands to dial out or possibly text will depend on the capabilities of your phone.

As for navigation, you are correct. Either smart phone with Android auto, Apple carplay, my Chevrolet app, or on star are the only way to navigate in-car.
Thank you, yes I've been using my Tracfone in the car hands free for years.
 

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Either the 5" or 6" Garmin DriveSmart fits beautifully on the dashboard. It gives precise, accurate (multiple satellite GPS) navigation, includes lifetime map updates, has voice command (from you) destination setting and spoken directions (to you), and Bluetooth pairs to your phone (if you get a smart phone) with hands-free calling. I prefer it to using GoogleMaps via cell phone (primarily because GM "loses" the GPS signal during almost every trip. The only thing I do not like is the exposed power cord, but I got used to it and do not even notice it anymore. I also LOVE that it gives the speed limit on every road! (My wife like that when my speed exceeds the limit, the speed display turns red!!) All in all, $250 (Best Buy) well-spent.
 

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We live in a pretty rural area, and we know every road with a fifty mile radius. But once or twice a year we will be driving out of state. There are several sites, showing EV charging, that we can pull up on the tablet.
Does the Garmin DriveSmart have the ability to show DCFC stations?
 

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We live in a pretty rural area, and we know every road with a fifty mile radius. But once or twice a year we will be driving out of state. There are several sites, showing EV charging, that we can pull up on the tablet.
Does the Garmin DriveSmart have the ability to show DCFC stations?
No, I know of no "active (real time) navigation systems" that show charging stations (Level 3 OR Level 2). But using the Garmin frees up the USB for the iPad and with the OnStar WiFi hotspot (or a cell phone "data hotspot") open PlugShare to see stations. I have found that whenever I venture out of that 240 mile range, I plan ahead for which station(s) I intend to use and have no need for "on-the-fly" station finding. I have made trips of 180, 200, 220, 240, 350, & 420 miles, and was always able to charge at my intended stop. (I always try to have a "Plan B" if the station is broken or occupied.)
 

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If you have a tablet in car ChargePoint/PlugShare apps are the friends of EV drivers - none of the map providers do a good job of locating EV chargers in my opinion

For road tripping with an EV it's essential to have some in car "data" to look up likely charging locations - a tablet with onstar data or a phone hotspot is a wonderful tool.
 

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Well, a Ting plan with 100 talk, 100 text, and 100 MB data is $15/mo. If you don't text, it's $12.

Any Sprint compatible phone works on Ting. I bought the Kyocera Hydro for $10 from Target about 5 years ago. Then I upgraded my parents to the LG Volt about 3 years ago for $40 each. Not sure what the current value phones are, but I recommend spending about $100 or more to get a phone with better quality features, such as a better camera.

Check out Ting pricing:

https://ting.com/rates

I've got my wife on Google Project Fi, which requires a Nexus or Pixel phone, but the unlimited plan is $20/mo plus $1 per 100 MB.
 

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surgeonFWW

"I have found that whenever I venture out of that 240 mile range, I plan ahead for which station(s) I intend to use and have no need for "on-the-fly" station finding. I have made trips of 180, 200, 220, 240, 350, & 420 miles, and was always able to charge at my intended stop. (I always try to have a "Plan B" if the station is broken or occupied.)"

Yup. I have already done just as you suggest, for our trip from central Virginia to Nashville, this fall.
 

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No, I know of no "active (real time) navigation systems" that show charging stations (Level 3 OR Level 2).
Tesla's integrated navigation shows Superchargers, Destination chargers, and some public charging sites - entering a destination will "route" you to the necessary chargers to complete the trip and estimate charging time at each charging stop.
 

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Tesla's integrated navigation shows Superchargers, Destination chargers, and some public charging sites - entering a destination will "route" you to the necessary chargers to complete the trip and estimate charging time at each charging stop.
I think the navigation system in the BMW i3 I test drove (twice) showed charging station locations. (And, if I recall correctly, they were in a "range remaining" circle which got smaller as you drove.) But the maps were not upgradeable and not very useful. Besides, the much shorter electric range, the rear wheel drive, smaller cargo area (bicycle), and the narrower rear seat pushed me to the Bolt!
 

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Hi all,
Considering a Bolt, first (relatively) affordable BEV with range. Haven't seen nor driven one yet.

We don't have "Smart" phones, will not pay for them nor their hefty monthly fees. We pay less per year for our stupid phones (which we use rarely) than what a Smart phone would cost per month. The question is: can a stupid TracFone connect to the car and be used "hands free"??

And I gather there is NO navigation option unless one has a Smart phone. Not going to pay a monthly fee to use OnStar either. I had hoped (since 2004) that Toyota would set up something so a Garmin type system could be connected to the Prius MFD. Bigger screen = easier to read = safer. Never happened of course. Apparently GM has no plans to do something like that in the Bolt?

Thanks,
Bruce
Bruceha: I was of the same opinion concerning smart phones....until I bought the Bolt. I refused to pay high monthly fees just to make a few phone calls each month. Just before I bought the car my wife needed a new phone so I did some research and found her a good used refurbished smartphone released a year ago for under $90. That sounded cheap enough but I knew I would only be half way there if I couldn't find a cheap monthly plan. Fortunately, with further research, I discovered a prepaid plan with 500mb of data, 200 minutes of talk time and unlimited texting for $10 a month (with taxes and fees $11.29). Now that I could live with! I went with Tello and have been very satisfied. The website is very easy to use. They have plans that can be changed online whenever you want, reasonable phones, and the customer service is top-notch. Now we have internet access wherever we go, Google maps, Waze, Plugshare, car charge status, etc.
Now I'm in the process of getting my own smart phone! And if you use my referral code P3C3GHZ5 we each get 10 Tello dollars credit towards a plan or phone purchase.
 

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Андрей Т.;444745 said:
Looks like a good deal. I see they use Sprint network, how good is the coverage?
Do you mind if I use the discount code?
I've only been with them for just over a month and you are correct, they use the Sprint network. I haven't traveled more than about 40 miles from home and have never experienced a connection problem. I've also used Waze while traveling without a problem. I assume the coverage is whatever Sprint provides, and if you check the coverage map on their website, you will see it's quite good. Please feel free to use the discount code and if you do decide to go with them, private message me and let me know how you made out. I want to be sure they are living up to their claims. Thanks.
 

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Bruceha, I believe we think a lot alike. I despise monthly payments on anything. We've been Tracfone users since.... the beginning. I suggest you check out hsn.com and qvc.com We've gotten numerous phones for our family and others from them over the years. They regularly offer decent (from my perspective!) Tracfone smart phones that include a year of service and a year's worth of minutes, texts and data (for low users like us) for LESS than the price you would pay for that year/minutes/texts/data alone from Tracfone.
 
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