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OUR FIRST INTERNATIONAL TRIP WITH OUR 2017 CHEVY BOLT EV

We traveled to Montreal, Canada from Lafayette, NJ – a total of 720 miles ( about 360 miles each way), and needed to charge three times in both directions. With high speed highway driving and steep hills we lost driving range faster than expected. We planned the trip based on charging station locations but unfortunately there were no fast chargers on the last half of the journey so we had to rely on a slow overnight charge at a hotel on the way up to Montreal.

First charge - The NY State Thruway “Greenlots” fast charge station didn’t work so we had to stop at an Evgo in Albany and received 120 miles in 1 hour. Then on to Lake George for an overnight stay and a Chargepoint Level 2 charging at the hotel. Next day we needed a small extra charge before entering Canada, but when we stopped at the chargers we found another Bolt and a hybrid using them. Luckily there was a Level 2 charger at a car dealer nearby.

Evgo was reliable but the most expensive to use;
Greenlots was less expensive on the way back;
Chargepoint was free at the hotel, and the car dealer was free.


Our hotel in Montreal had a level 2 charger in the garage so we filled up for the trip home. Since we couldn’t quite make it to the first fast charger on the highway near Albany, we stopped at a level 2 charger on the way back (1 hour for lunch ), then back to the same Evgo fast charger we hit on the way up. To make it all the way home the same day we needed an additional charge so we stopped at a second fast charger on the highway and had dinner – and this time the Greenlots fast charger worked fine, so we arrived home with 113 miles remaining.

Summary statistics:
Each direction: 360 miles, Average 3.7 mi/ kwh, energy used - 96.2 kwh

(See Bolt Energy screens attached)

LESSONS LEARNED:
1. Plan your trip to only use fast chargers if possible (level 2 chargers are OK if you’re planning to stay at a hotel overnight).
2. Have a back-up plan for alternate charger locations (in case one doesn’t work or there is road work or bad weather causing re-routing).
3. High speed highway driving combined with uphill driving lowers range (by about 17 %). 4. DC Fast chargers reliably provide 120 miles per hour of charging. Level 2 chargers reliably provide 25 miles per hour.
5. Expect your trip to take longer than normal due to charging stops – so plan meals or sightseeing at your charging locations and make that part of the experience.
 

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Driving uphill into the Catskill mountains on the NY Thruway at high speed doesn't help with range, but it's the only direct route to my destination. And the Bolt was very responsive in all driving conditions.
 

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The Bolt performed perfectly -- the problem is the lack of fast charging stations. New York State is planning to install 69 fast chargers on the Thruway, but other roads also need fast chargers at shopping centers just off the main roads.
 

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The Bolt performed perfectly -- the problem is the lack of fast charging stations. New York State is planning to install 69 fast chargers on the Thruway, but other roads also need fast chargers at shopping centers just off the main roads.
I hope they plan also for a good restaurant with the fast charger. It will be perfect to go eat a good meal while charging for an hour or so :)
 

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I hope they plan also for a good restaurant with the fast charger. It will be perfect to go eat a good meal while charging for an hour or so :)
Tessa is doing exactly this with the expansion of their Supercharger network! Instead of placing EVSE in existing malls, they will build a Tesla-owned highway rest stop with various eateries and short-term recreation activities. What a great idea!
 
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