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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings everyone. Newbie to your forum here. I found your forum looking for real world experiences with the Chevy Bolt. My Partner and I currently own a 2019 Nissan LEAF SL Plus, and a 2012 Nissan LEAF SL that we bought as a project car and fixed to use as a "neighborhood" vehicle. We are currently actively considering buying a 2020 Bolt Premier in the "punch you in the face" blue after a very shall we say, "interesting" experience trying to do a multi day road trip in our LEAF. I'm looking forward to learning about other's experiences using the Bolt on summer road trips in particular, as well as how the car has fared overall.
 
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Welcome to the forum! There are lots of road trip stories here which I am sure you will find interesting. I just got back from a ~1800 mile road trip from NY to SC and back. I'm debating whether it's worth the effort to do a write up.

I'd be curious as to your experience road tripping in the Leaf+ as it was one of two alternatives to my Bolt (the other was a Model 3).
 

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Welcome to the forum! I feel like a lot of us were considering a Leaf at one point but the lack of range, degradation, etc. helped convince us otherwise. You’ll love your Bolt and we’re glad to have you!
 

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Welcome to the forum! There are lots of road trip stories here which I am sure you will find interesting. I just got back from a ~1800 mile road trip from NY to SC and back. I'm debating whether it's worth the effort to do a write up.

I'd be curious as to your experience road tripping in the Leaf+ as it was one of two alternatives to my Bolt (the other was a Model 3).
We did a 1300 mile road trip from Akron, OH to Erin, TN (including a jaunt to the Loretty Lynn Ranch and Museum), back up through the Land Between the Lakes in KY and back home to Akron, OH. Day one was Akron to Bowling Green, KY to visit the National Corvette Museum. Temps were in the mid 90's by mid afternoon on day one. First charge was a bump charge to get to Cincinnati with a bit of reserve. Electrify America charge went easy and full speed. Drive to Cincinnati went perfectly normal up to our planned stop - another EA charging station. That one failed to start, even with customer support. We had to look for another place and ended up using an EVGo station at a Walmart just past the KY border. That EVGo station also gave us fuss, but did finally work. Battery temps were already over 100 degrees on the second charge, and the car started to throttle the charge, enough to make this stop a 50 minute stop. We then moved on to Louisville, KY which was another EA stop, and we had a comp stop there. Our slo-and-go method had us well above ABRPs estimate, but the battery heated up to around 120 degrees, dragging us down to a 11kw charge session. This was an over 90 minute stop for a relatively small charge boost. We stopped in Bowling green, which was our planned stop.

The hotel let me hook up the EVSE to a 110v outlet, and we let the car trickle charge overnight, negating the need to use the EA charger at the Corvette Museum. By morning, battery temps were just barely under the 100 degree mark when we continued our trip south to Erin, TN. Our single DCFC was Clarksville, TN to ensure we had plenty of power in reserve to do things for that day and the day after. We used our EVSE for 110v charging excercising ABC due to no infrastructure. The coolest the battery ever saw when we left Saturday morning was 90 degrees.

We cut out a loopback to Clarksville as the GOM showed a decent reserve, and instead headed to Bowling Green, KY, and made use of the EA stop at the Corvette Museum. The battery by then had picked up to the mid 90's, and quickly heated up to around 114 - 118 degrees, making our first DCFC stop a 90 minute affair. Our route back had us stopping at the exact same charging station in Louisville, which ended up being a 2 plus hour stop, with battery temps rising to 125 degrees. We hit some extremely welcome rain heading into Cincinatti, which brought us down to around 114 degrees when we hit our found EVGo stop on the north side of the city. The first session pulled battery temps right back up to 120 degrees, and we were unable to restart a second session. I had assumed that the car had refused the charge given that the car's on board battery temp gauge had all the blocks lit to the first red dash. We ate, then decided to move on to Columbus, to get cooler air flowing across the hot battery. We stopped at another EVGo station in Columbus and had a successful charge session - bringing battery temps to about 118 degrees. The EVGo, charger once again failed to start a second session, even though we were now one block into the "normal" range on the temp screen. Annoyed I pulled away to leave when my Partner suggested one more attempt. I looped around and plugged back in, and the second session started immediately. I have to surmise that I was rushing the resets on the EVGo stations. We left the Columbus station with enough to drive the rest of the way home with battery temps back at the redline on the gauge, and temps around 122 degrees. Temps had fallen to around 112 by the time we pulled in the driveway and plugged the car into the L2 home charger on my garage wall.

The car never officially overheated the battery on the trip, but the high temps and nail biting insistence on sitting at the maximum "ok" level, and charge stops turning into multi hour affairs due to the deep throttling turned the 650 mile one way drive into a 20 hour affair. This is unacceptable in a market filling with properly actively cooled batteries that would have allowed us to make the same drive home in about 14 ish hours. We both love the EV life, but Nissan really made a bad decision to tout a long range trip capable car, and refuse to include active thermal management. I love the LEAF, but we have an appointment in Columbus, OH on Saturday to look at it's replacement.
 

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We did a 1300 mile road trip from Akron, OH to Erin, TN (including a jaunt to the Loretty Lynn Ranch and Museum), back up through the Land Between the Lakes in KY and back home to Akron, OH. Day one was Akron to Bowling Green, KY to visit the National Corvette Museum. Temps were in the mid 90's by mid afternoon on day one. First charge was a bump charge to get to Cincinnati with a bit of reserve. Electrify America charge went easy and full speed. Drive to Cincinnati went perfectly normal up to our planned stop - another EA charging station. That one failed to start, even with customer support. We had to look for another place and ended up using an EVGo station at a Walmart just past the KY border. That EVGo station also gave us fuss, but did finally work. Battery temps were already over 100 degrees on the second charge, and the car started to throttle the charge, enough to make this stop a 50 minute stop. We then moved on to Louisville, KY which was another EA stop, and we had a comp stop there. Our slo-and-go method had us well above ABRPs estimate, but the battery heated up to around 120 degrees, dragging us down to a 11kw charge session. This was an over 90 minute stop for a relatively small charge boost. We stopped in Bowling green, which was our planned stop.

The hotel let me hook up the EVSE to a 110v outlet, and we let the car trickle charge overnight, negating the need to use the EA charger at the Corvette Museum. By morning, battery temps were just barely under the 100 degree mark when we continued our trip south to Erin, TN. Our single DCFC was Clarksville, TN to ensure we had plenty of power in reserve to do things for that day and the day after. We used our EVSE for 110v charging excercising ABC due to no infrastructure. The coolest the battery ever saw when we left Saturday morning was 90 degrees.

We cut out a loopback to Clarksville as the GOM showed a decent reserve, and instead headed to Bowling Green, KY, and made use of the EA stop at the Corvette Museum. The battery by then had picked up to the mid 90's, and quickly heated up to around 114 - 118 degrees, making our first DCFC stop a 90 minute affair. Our route back had us stopping at the exact same charging station in Louisville, which ended up being a 2 plus hour stop, with battery temps rising to 125 degrees. We hit some extremely welcome rain heading into Cincinatti, which brought us down to around 114 degrees when we hit our found EVGo stop on the north side of the city. The first session pulled battery temps right back up to 120 degrees, and we were unable to restart a second session. I had assumed that the car had refused the charge given that the car's on board battery temp gauge had all the blocks lit to the first red dash. We ate, then decided to move on to Columbus, to get cooler air flowing across the hot battery. We stopped at another EVGo station in Columbus and had a successful charge session - bringing battery temps to about 118 degrees. The EVGo, charger once again failed to start a second session, even though we were now one block into the "normal" range on the temp screen. Annoyed I pulled away to leave when my Partner suggested one more attempt. I looped around and plugged back in, and the second session started immediately. I have to surmise that I was rushing the resets on the EVGo stations. We left the Columbus station with enough to drive the rest of the way home with battery temps back at the redline on the gauge, and temps around 122 degrees. Temps had fallen to around 112 by the time we pulled in the driveway and plugged the car into the L2 home charger on my garage wall.

The car never officially overheated the battery on the trip, but the high temps and nail biting insistence on sitting at the maximum "ok" level, and charge stops turning into multi hour affairs due to the deep throttling turned the 650 mile one way drive into a 20 hour affair. This is unacceptable in a market filling with properly actively cooled batteries that would have allowed us to make the same drive home in about 14 ish hours. We both love the EV life, but Nissan really made a bad decision to tout a long range trip capable car, and refuse to include active thermal management. I love the LEAF, but we have an appointment in Columbus, OH on Saturday to look at it's replacement.
Thanks for this trip report. Those of us who are not familiar with Leaf hear general things like degradation, but the other side of it is the throttling that occurs on DCFC when the battery temps are unregulated. Your description makes it abundantly clear, air cooled is insufficient for trips, relegating Leaf to a role of a commuter car, despite the larger battery.

Bolt may not charge as fast as some BEVs, but its liquid thermal battery solution is quite good. Geomant released some studies based on their experience with fleets of thousands of BEV, Leaf showing the worst degradation performance, and Bolt, Tesla far better. But, despite the lower DC charging speeds (up to 55kW), Bolt will be less impacted by temperature effects on charging.

If you are interested in a more technical look at Bolt drivetrain components, Weber State University Automotive YouTube channel covers it down to the nuts and bolts level with complete teardown narratives. They also cover Leaf, Tesla, Prius and a few others. The professor who narrates these videos seems very knowledgable and it is amazing to watch him work from a wheelchair.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck in your Bolt search. It seems to be a good time for Bolt buyers with the incentives GM offers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for this trip report. Those of us who are not familiar with Leaf hear general things like degradation, but the other side of it is the throttling that occurs on DCFC when the battery temps are unregulated. Your description makes it abundantly clear, air cooled is insufficient for trips, relegating Leaf to a role of a commuter car, despite the larger battery.

Bolt may not charge as fast as some BEVs, but its liquid thermal battery solution is quite good. Geomant released some studies based on their experience with fleets of thousands of BEV, Leaf showing the worst degradation performance, and Bolt, Tesla far better. But, despite the lower DC charging speeds (up to 55kW), Bolt will be less impacted by temperature effects on charging.

If you are interested in a more technical look at Bolt drivetrain components, Weber State University Automotive YouTube channel covers it down to the nuts and bolts level with complete teardown narratives. They also cover Leaf, Tesla, Prius and a few others. The professor who narrates these videos seems very knowledgable and it is amazing to watch him work from a wheelchair.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck in your Bolt search. It seems to be a good time for Bolt buyers with the incentives GM offers.
I love the Weber Automotive videos. I've burned countless hours watching him take stuff apart and reassemble it to show how it all works.

Degradation on the second gen cars seems to be more or less addressed so far. I'm two weeks shy of my first year of ownership of our LEAF, and have lost about 1%. I'm on part to still have 90% at 100k - if we were to keep it that long.
 

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Wow, what an adventure! In my trip in the Bolt, I never experienced the car throttling the charge rate due to temperature. At most of my charge stops, the car was ready long before I was because I planned them around meals. At one stop the car was ready after 25 minutes, but we weren't ready to go again for 90 minutes. People move much slower in the south. As a northerner, it was an exercise in patience.
 
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