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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all!

I live in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia I am thinking about getting a Prius has served me well but it is already nearing 16 years (it is one of the first gen 2002 models).

However, I would like to hear more about the negatives of this car before I plunk down $35 K. My income level is not high enough to get the full $7500 tax credit so the rational/economist side of me just says to get a Honda Fit and wait for the EV technology to mature a little/costs come down.

It seems most people with good experiences live in Sunny California and "cold" weather there is 40-50 F. So, I'd be curious about what I can expect from the Bolt in a fairly rural, wintry area. My daily commute is only 18 miles R/T, so that should not be an issue, but I am more curious about what to expect from the Bolt especially on longer trips:

1) What is the misery factor of the Bolt in winter? I hate cold weather/being cold and really like the blast of hot air coming from the ICE on those dark, cold, below freezing mornings and evenings (and those are plentiful in my area). Can it keep a cabin temperature of 75 F in 25 F weather and still be able to go 150 miles on the freeway at 70 mph, and, still be cheaper than an ICE to run? I read a several tales of people driving like a Sunday driver at 50 mph on the freeway with blankets and legwarmers and all to keep the heat off or at a minimum-- that would be a deal breaker for me. Also, I do not have a garage (only a carport), and we have nights in the single digits several times each winter.

2) On road trips, how often does one encounter the situation where chargers (and especially fast chargers) are out of order or there is a line waiting? It seems I read a lot of reports on plugshare of chargers being out of order, etc. Or, worse yet, spend hours in some dark dealership in the middle of nowhere, sitting in the car hungry and bored waiting for those electrons to move back into the battery.

For example, the wife and I like to get out of the sticks every so often and drive to Richmond (100 miles o/w) or Northern Va. (160 miles o/w) to eat at good restaurants, go to concerts, and get some culture that is lacking in our area. When we go to Richmond, we often just make it a day trip. Would this be doable with the Bolt (especially the return means going uphill at night)? How about in winter? On Plugshare, I see some L2 in downtown Richmond, but many are affiliated with a hotel and for hotel guests only. A few in parking garages, but many are a little out of the way. What would be the etiquette about leaving the car plugged in while at a show or eating dinner? I keep reading one should unplug and move the car as soon as it's charged, but I would not be happy if I had to interrupt my dinner and walk 10 blocks to move the car.

3) Airport parking. We take trips a few times a year. How does one deal with the car there (specifically at IAD?) We often leave the car in some airport hotel that offers long term parking instead of airport parking to save a little.

4) Road trips, again. We drove to Asheville, NC to see the solar eclipse and got stuck in a 4 hour traffic jam -- Waze routed us through some 50-60 miles of back roads (and even these all got backed up) and looking at Plughsare, no chargers anywhere. What could have been a worst case and best case scenario with a Bolt? From what I can tell, the journey Staunton, VA-Asheville, NC (310 miles) would be very challenging to do in one day, as only 1 DC fast charger en route. Unfortunately for us, major travel destinations (e.g., the beach, etc) are ~300+ miles away, so I can imagine with some massive traffic jam like those that can happen during holiday travel or the like, having the EV can be quite a nightmare?

So, are the frustrations above a rare occurrence for a Bolt owner? Or, would this stagecoach lifestyle be part of regular life with an EV?

Thanks for any input!
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