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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, in the hunt for an EV thought I would join some forums and start getting some advice from the pros (e.g. not me).

Leaning towards the Bolt, really think that is the only viable choice for me at this point. Live in the Texas (DFW area) and really thinking the 200+ range is mandatory. Think I have succumb to the idea that this would be a city car only. But, round trip to go pickup my grand daughter, go to the fort worth zoo and return would be 150 miles :laugh:

A-bit of an inside joke there, rented a car once with the pre-paid gas option, I was determined to get my moneys worth and brought the car back on fumes, wife almost divorced me. Need the Bolt to stay happily married...
 

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Welcome Bob!

You'll be happy to learn that EV's absolutely love warm weather.... you'll probably see closer to 300mi range in TX a good part of the year.
And, don't spare the AC... it hardly uses any battery energy- something like 2-3mi range loss for every half hour it's on.

BTW... check into the Ft Worth Zoo and see if they have free L2 charging there... many destinations do. Enjoy a day at the zoo with your grand daughter and recharge your Bolt at the same time!
 

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The 300 mile range is only for city driving and lower speed limits. I get 240 mile range in the summer with air conditioning and driving the highway speed limits of 65 and 70 mph. Well my range is not 240 miles since I use hilltop reserve to charge the battery to around the 88% mark. My commute pushes 140 miles and I still have over 60 miles left on my battery with hilltop reserve on. Even blasting the heater in the winter, you should be fine with the 150 mile trip.


The only problem I have with the Bolt is that I spend about $100 in electric cost each month and my wife travels less miles in her Ford Explorer and spends $300 per month in gas. That figure may get worse with the gas prices on the rise here in California... The problem is now I wish I could have two Bolts :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks NY-Rob, great advice!! Plugshare does show some Blink chargers at a nearby shopping center that could be used in a pinch. Learning stuff every day, learning the habits of the season EVer is what I need...

Question, these networks (e.g. ChargePoint, EVgo, Blink, etc..) do they all require individual membership? A better question would be can you join in a pinch (e.g. oops, need a charge)?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The 300 mile range is only for city driving and lower speed limits. I get 240 mile range in the summer with air conditioning and driving the highway speed limits of 65 and 70 mph. Well my range is not 240 miles since I use hilltop reserve to charge the battery to around the 88% mark. My commute pushes 140 miles and I still have over 60 miles left on my battery with hilltop reserve on. Even blasting the heater in the winter, you should be fine with the 150 mile trip.


The only problem I have with the Bolt is that I spend about $100 in electric cost each month and my wife travels less miles in her Ford Explorer and spends $300 per month in gas. That figure may get worse with the gas prices on the rise here in California... The problem is now I wish I could have two Bolts :D
Thanks discodanman45, the range is really sounding good, I heard in multiple places that people are see above 238 mile ranges on the bolt. Nice to hear that, makes me feel like I would be future proof... I want your problems with the Bolt :D I'm in Texas, but we still pay at the pump...
 

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IIRC Chevy includes a Chargepoint mini card in the "Welcome" package found in glovebox... you just have to activate the account.

Evgo you can pay by CC at the station, I believe you get a discount if you join their network and get a plan.

I don't have any experience with Blink.

One thing for sure, unless you use one of the free ChargePoint stations... it's always less expensive to charge at home.

If you go onto plugshare.com and input "fort worth zoo" it will show you any stations in the area and if they're free or not.
 

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Evgo is quite expensive and for most of California the only convenient fast charging stations. I don't know about other states. The Evgo also has horrible reviews online and lots of customer service issues. For a company that has issues like that I wouldn't give them my credit card information. Plus the prices for Evgo are high. Chargepoint is great if they are at your work. Chargepoint in California has level 2 chargers at many businesses, but a lot of these you can't use unless you work there! There is a Chargepoint station at the college I work for, but if you don't want a ticket you need to buy a daily pass to use it.


For your use you will need a level 2 charger installed in your house. You will need an electrician to install the unit to a 40 or 50 amp circuit depending on what level 2 charger you purchase. The level 2 chargers are about $600 and will cost you about $100 to thousands of dollars to get it installed in your house by an electrician depending on the work needed. My electrician charged me $100 because he installed it on the other side of my circuit panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds good on the in-home charger. Already planning on that, I too will be installing next to the panel given it is in the garage. My thought is just have a 14-50 plug installed in the garage and pair it with a juice box or something that plugs in VS wiring directly into the charging station.
 

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Sounds good on the in-home charger. Already planning on that, I too will be installing next to the panel given it is in the garage. My thought is just have a 14-50 plug installed in the garage and pair it with a juice box or something that plugs in VS wiring directly into the charging station.
That's what I did, using a Clipper Creek EVSE. If you don't plug and unplug a lot, it should be a good alternative to hard wiring. I plan to clean the contacts once a year. I chose this route to be able to take the L2 EVSE with me on trips, so I can use it in campgrounds.

I grew up in Dallas and want to point out the obvious advantage you have with an EV there: fairly flat terrain. We are now living in the San Francisco Bay Area which is hilly, and still have chosen the Bolt as our only car, with a backup plan to rent a car for any long road trips which we seldom do. I think we will still come out way ahead financially.

Having had an electric motorcycle for 40K miles over 4 years as a commuter, with a 60 mile range on the highway, and 100 miles at city speeds, I recommend you approach your inquiry by starting with your worst-case-most-usual range requirement. If an EV meets that need, go for it. It sounds like the zoo trip fits that criterion for you and, as others have pointed out, the Bolt will easily cover the 150 miles required.

Another idea is to use a map (paper or computer) and draw a circle around your address with a 120-mile radius. Does that cover the vast majority of your transportation needs? If so, get a Bolt!

I just checked Plugshare.com for DCFC around DFW, and counted 22 EVgo locations.

We've had to use an outside charger exactly 1 time in the 4300 miles we've put on the Bolt, and that was because my wife forgot to plug in before one of her trips. And I didn't divorce her!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's what I did, using a Clipper Creek EVSE. If you don't plug and unplug a lot, it should be a good alternative to hard wiring. I plan to clean the contacts once a year. I chose this route to be able to take the L2 EVSE with me on trips, so I can use it in campgrounds.

I grew up in Dallas and want to point out the obvious advantage you have with an EV there: fairly flat terrain. We are now living in the San Francisco Bay Area which is hilly, and still have chosen the Bolt as our only car, with a backup plan to rent a car for any long road trips which we seldom do. I think we will still come out way ahead financially.

Having had an electric motorcycle for 40K miles over 4 years as a commuter, with a 60 mile range on the highway, and 100 miles at city speeds, I recommend you approach your inquiry by starting with your worst-case-most-usual range requirement. If an EV meets that need, go for it. It sounds like the zoo trip fits that criterion for you and, as others have pointed out, the Bolt will easily cover the 150 miles required.

Another idea is to use a map (paper or computer) and draw a circle around your address with a 120-mile radius. Does that cover the vast majority of your transportation needs? If so, get a Bolt!

I just checked Plugshare.com for DCFC around DFW, and counted 22 EVgo locations.

We've had to use an outside charger exactly 1 time in the 4300 miles we've put on the Bolt, and that was because my wife forgot to plug in before one of her trips. And I didn't divorce her!
Thanks for the input, all great information. Sounds like DFW area has plenty of EV charging options, also noted a lot of the Walgreens Drug Stores have chargers. They looked to be associated with EVgo, not sure how good they are will have to check them out a-bit more, hopefully the ones associated with Walgreens are reliable.

Like the map idea, also been taking some places we like to go too as day trips and attempting to map those out in terms of accessibility using an EV. Charging options are sparse in the outlaying areas, but was thinking with the portable I could take it with me (like you suggested). Planning on doing some more research to see if Texas State Parks offer charging connections for EVs (e.g. bring your own charger)...
 

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Thanks for the input, all great information. Sounds like DFW area has plenty of EV charging options, also noted a lot of the Walgreens Drug Stores have chargers. They looked to be associated with EVgo, not sure how good they are will have to check them out a-bit more, hopefully the ones associated with Walgreens are reliable.

Like the map idea, also been taking some places we like to go too as day trips and attempting to map those out in terms of accessibility using an EV. Charging options are sparse in the outlaying areas, but was thinking with the portable I could take it with me (like you suggested). Planning on doing some more research to see if Texas State Parks offer charging connections for EVs (e.g. bring your own charger)...
Bobster... If you plan on doing inter-city driving be sure to get the Level 3 fast DC charge option (480 volts). You may want a Level 2 charger at home (240v). The Bolt comes with a Level 1 charger (120 volts).

Sample charging times:

Level 1 50 hours.
Level 2 10.5 hours.
Level 3 24kWh 0-80% 2 hours.
Level 3 50kWh 0-80% 1 hour.

When traveling, a typical 30 amp 240v 3 OR 4 wire dryer outlet could be used with a 24 amp Level 2 travel charger with appropriate plug adapters.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bobster... If you plan on doing inter-city driving be sure to get the Level 3 fast DC charge option (480 volts). You may want a Level 2 charger at home (240v). The Bolt comes with a Level 1 charger (120 volts).

Sample charging times:

Level 1 50 hours.
Level 2 10.5 hours.
Level 3 24kWh 0-80% 2 hours.
Level 3 50kWh 0-80% 1 hour.

When traveling, a typical 30 amp 240v 3 OR 4 wire dryer outlet could be used with a 24 amp Level 2 travel charger with appropriate plug adapters.

Jeff
Thanks JAL1, have "DC Fast Charging" as a must have option...

One question, when you say "The Bolt comes with a Level 1 charger (120 volts)". Are you talking about the "120V CHARGE CORD, PORTABLE", looks to be $535 option on the LT.

Wondering if I need this if I plan on getting a 14x50 plug installed in the garage paired with a portable Level 2 charging station. Are there adapters available for a 120V standard house plug to 14x50 used on the Level 2 charging station? Will the Level 2 charging station be happy running with 120V?

Hate to ask so many questions, but not sure how versed the sales people are here in Texas given the bolts are new.. Like to be somewhat educated before walking in the door. Taking the week off next week, hopefully will have a bolt by weeks end :D
 

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The level 1 charger comes with every Bolt I think... Don't think you can buy one without it. The 120 V charge cord hooks up to a standard outlet. I just keep the 120 V charge cord in my car just in case I need to charge my car at a friends house. The level 2 chargers are meant for 240 Volts, don't know what would happen if you somehow found an adapter for the level 2 charger and tried it... I think they make some 120/240V combo level 2 chargers with adapters, but I am not sure.
 

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Thanks JAL1, have "DC Fast Charging" as a must have option...

One question, when you say "The Bolt comes with a Level 1 charger (120 volts)". Are you talking about the "120V CHARGE CORD, PORTABLE", looks to be $535 option on the LT.

Wondering if I need this if I plan on getting a 14x50 plug installed in the garage paired with a portable Level 2 charging station. Are there adapters available for a 120V standard house plug to 14x50 used on the Level 2 charging station? Will the Level 2 charging station be happy running with 120V?

Hate to ask so many questions, but not sure how versed the sales people are here in Texas given the bolts are new.. Like to be somewhat educated before walking in the door. Taking the week off next week, hopefully will have a bolt by weeks end :D
Bobster.... I also understood that the Level 1 120v charger came with all Bolts. I could be wrong. If your Bolt does not come with a standard 120v charger, consider buying a 120v/240v after market charger instead, for "trunk carry."

For a level two charger you will need to install a 240v supply. Although there are dual voltage chargers, they charge at a much lower rate on 120v compared to 240v. If you want to future proof your installation, install a 50 amp 240v supply. I installed a 40 amp 240v supply and 32 amp charger from ClipperCreek. You can choose from various types of plugs as long as you order a charger with the same plug.

Most of your charging will be done at home. Folks install "portable" chargers so that they can take it with them if and when they move. From a practical point of view, my "portable" charger is mounted to the wall with lag screws and the plug is locked down with a lock box so kids cannot get at it. In my case, I used a 6-50 plug so that I can use the same power supply with my existing 6-50 welder or with my 6-50 charger. Obviously, if you do not have a 6-50 welder this may not be the plug for you.

Also, in some states, a rebate for installing an EV charger in your home only applies to hardwired chargers, not portable chargers with plugs.

You should also know that weather resistant 240v portable charges, by code, only come with a 12 inch cord between the plug and the charger.

A 32 amp charger is not safe on a 30 amp. dryer circuit. Dryer receptacles are not designed for frequent plugging and unplugging.

My friend bought and Bolt and just used the included 120v charger each night until he had a 240v charger installed at home. When I charged at my local fast charger, I met a fellow who only charged on public chargers. So you have a lot of options.

As for asking ?, why not, the advice is free :)

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just wanted to say thanks to all the replies and help. Been out for a-bit, but for good reason. Just brought home tonight a brand-new red cajun Bolt, LT with DC-Fast Charging, Comfort and Convenience, and Drivers Confidence Package... Drive home was fantastic, love driving at night in this thing...

Now I really need to figure this charging thing out, think I'm going to be running on a deficit, wanting to drive all over during the day and level I charging at night...

Going to go ahead and have a 14x50 plug installed, just need to decide between the ClipperCreek HCS-40P and JuiceBox Pro 40. JuiceBox more portable w/ adapters (e.g. don't have to carry Level I EVSE along) and mounting options, ClipperCreek solid reputation and nice package. Both look to be UL Listed now...

Note, my Bolt did come with the Level I...
 

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Bobster.

I live down the road in Houston.

Flat + warm = Happy Bolt

You know how spread out Houston is...and the Bolt is perfect in Houston!

So I have absolutely no doubt you will enjoy it in Dallas.

In mixed driving I am always over 240 miles per charge.

Congrats and enjoy your Bolt.
 

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And, don't spare the AC... it hardly uses any battery energy- something like 2-3mi range loss for every half hour it's on.
Is that accurate? I live in a climate that can benefit from AC, it would be good to know. OTOH you spec for half hour, so that's 4-6 miles lost/hour, which adds a bit.
 

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Is that accurate? I live in a climate that can benefit from AC, it would be good to know. OTOH you spec for half hour, so that's 4-6 miles lost/hour, which adds a bit.
Yes. That is a very accurate figure if you keep the AC at around 75F/24C most of the time. I have observed a draw of no more than 2 kw on my Bolt standing still...which makes sense.

Heat draw is another story.
 
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