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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. Thanks in advance for any help you can give. I am considering a Bolt and have read bunches of reviews, etc. Really like what I'm hearing.


So, a couple questions.


My daily commute is about 100 miles round trip, 90% highway with some traffic at the end so I know the Bolt will be perfect for this. However, I just don't know what is needed for switching to an EV. I'm still confused on the charging situation for home. Is everyone going with the cables sold by the dealer? Is there a downside (other than price most likely) to these?


Any other help, advice etc is greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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For charging I would recommend looking at the options that work for you. I went with the JuiceBox 40 because I didn't want or need wifi and I could set up the car for the rates that are the lowest. It also came with a long cable that led to the outlet on the wall which was necessary for my set up. It didn't hurt that the price was also only about $500.
 

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Hey everyone. Thanks in advance for any help you can give. I am considering a Bolt and have read bunches of reviews, etc. Really like what I'm hearing.


So, a couple questions.


My daily commute is about 100 miles round trip, 90% highway with some traffic at the end so I know the Bolt will be perfect for this. However, I just don't know what is needed for switching to an EV. I'm still confused on the charging situation for home. Is everyone going with the cables sold by the dealer? Is there a downside (other than price most likely) to these?


Any other help, advice etc is greatly appreciated. Thanks
The "cables" sold by the dealer?
The Bolt comes with a portable EVSE that plugs into standard outlets (120 V). You can buy "120V Charge Cord, Portable (Additional)" for $535, but it is identical to what comes with the car already. This will allow you to charge at a rate that will get you about 3-4 miles per hour of charging and will be too little for 100 miles a day.

You need an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) that plugs into a 240 V circuit. People tend to call this unit a "charger", but the charger is actually located in the car and the EVSE (or charging station) supplies the power. A few people will have an outlet in their garage already (Dryer, welder, etc.), but most will need to have one installed. To maximize the Bolts charging, you need a 40 A 240 V circuit. Since these are "continuous duty" devices by code, you can only use 80% of the rated circuit. A 40 A circuit allows you to use a 32 A EVSE (which will allow the Bolt to charge at it's maximum rate. The cost to install such a circuit can vary greatly (distance from current breaker box, room in the current box for a new circuit, etc.)

EVSE's are available from your dealer (an Aerovironment unit) for $699. There are better deals out there. Clipper Creek and the Juicebox line from eMotorWerks are well regarded, but Home Depot and others also carry EVSE's.

Most people opt for the DCFC option. The Bolt uses the CCS standard (as opposed to CHAdeMO or the proprietary Tesla system). This "Quick Charging" allows for charging up to about 4 times faster. These units are not installed in homes, but are found in commercial locations.

If you go to plugshare.com, you can filter for "CCS DCFC" under "more options" in the legend box to see what is available near you.

Some ultilty companies have reduced rates for EV owners. They often are Time of Use or TOU plans that give reduced rates for charging in low demand periods (at night). Some locations also offer rebates on equipment.

You can find a rebate list here (and browse for other articles of interest):
http://www.plugincars.com/federal-and-local-incentives-plug-hybrids-and-electric-cars.html

On buying an EVSE:
http://www.plugincars.com/quick-guide-buying-your-first-home-ev-charger-126875.html

Being able to fuel at home is a big advantage and major convenience. Stopping at the gas station is so ingrained that most people don't realize how inconvenient it is until they no longer have to do it on a regular basis. The downside is that charging is still much slower (even the DCFC option), so long trips that require charging on the road require more planning.

Please follow up if you have any more questions. People on the forum are glad to help!
 

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Hi Dmatt,

That sounds like the ideal commute for a bolt. You will need a lvl2 charger for that, unless you are both able to charge at home and work on 110v and don't use the car for much else. I definitely recommend a level 2 charger. Things to consider: remote access via internet, maximum output rating, portability, cost, size/aesthetics and Cord length. Maybe I missed something? When researching note that these things are call Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment or EVSE - some stores will still call them chargers.

Remote access usually via an app, is nice to have, but is in no way required. The car can duplicate approximately 50% of the app functionality through the mychevrolet app.
Maximum output rating - important- I recommend being able to at least maximize the bolt's charge rating with 32A output. Bigger is generally better, but more expensive, and the only reason to oversize is for future proofing or if you have friends with a Tesla or something. I haven't received my bolt yet, but I actually went with a 30A charger because chances are that the 2A wont make a major difference, but the up front cost was much less. Also, consider what your home service can handle.
Portability is convenient, but again, not necessary depending on the infrastructure around you. Choose either a plug in model or a hardwired model. Unless you have a properly rated plug near your car, you will probably need an electrician to install it either way (there may be small cost differences).
Cost - this one is obvious, in general, if two stations have the same features, you might as well get the cheaper one (unless it has horrible ratings or something), the internal components are basically the same. In some cases higher cost can reflect better build quality.
Size/Aesthetics, this might seem strange, but there are a lot of massive/ugly wall units out there. They don't need to be that big. If all else is equal, pick the one that has the better form factor or better looks.
Cord Length, this is more important than it might seem. Unless you park at home in the same spot every day, and never need any flexibility, make sure that the cord can reach. Ideally, you want to make sure that the cord has no tension on it from the unit or at the plug end (don't forget the distance of the unit to the floor and back up to the car plug!). Keep in mind that if you buy a unit with a 'coil' cord you won't be wanting to stretch it to the specified cable length. These basically have built in tension, which is not ideal (I haven't seen much of this style in higher powered units because of cord thickness).

Good luck in your research.
 

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The "cables" sold by the dealer?
The Bolt comes with a portable EVSE that plugs into standard outlets (120 V). You can buy "120V Charge Cord, Portable (Additional)" for $535, but it is identical to what comes with the car already. This will allow you to charge at a rate that will get you about 3-4 miles per hour of charging and will be too little for 100 miles a day.

You need an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) that plugs into a 240 V circuit. People tend to call this unit a "charger", but the charger is actually located in the car and the EVSE (or charging station) supplies the power. A few people will have an outlet in their garage already (Dryer, welder, etc.), but most will need to have one installed. To maximize the Bolts charging, you need a 40 A 240 V circuit. Since these are "continuous duty" devices by code, you can only use 80% of the rated circuit. A 40 A circuit allows you to use a 32 A EVSE (which will allow the Bolt to charge at it's maximum rate. The cost to install such a circuit can vary greatly (distance from current breaker box, room in the current box for a new circuit, etc.)

EVSE's are available from your dealer (an Aerovironment unit) for $699. There are better deals out there. Clipper Creek and the Juicebox line from eMotorWerks are well regarded, but Home Depot and others also carry EVSE's.

Most people opt for the DCFC option. The Bolt uses the CCS standard (as opposed to CHAdeMO or the proprietary Tesla system). This "Quick Charging" allows for charging up to about 4 times faster. These units are not installed in homes, but are found in commercial locations.

If you go to plugshare.com, you can filter for "CCS DCFC" under "more options" in the legend box to see what is available near you.

Some ultilty companies have reduced rates for EV owners. They often are Time of Use or TOU plans that give reduced rates for charging in low demand periods (at night). Some locations also offer rebates on equipment.

You can find a rebate list here (and browse for other articles of interest):
http://www.plugincars.com/federal-and-local-incentives-plug-hybrids-and-electric-cars.html

On buying an EVSE:
http://www.plugincars.com/quick-guide-buying-your-first-home-ev-charger-126875.html

Being able to fuel at home is a big advantage and major convenience. Stopping at the gas station is so ingrained that most people don't realize how inconvenient it is until they no longer have to do it on a regular basis. The downside is that charging is still much slower (even the DCFC option), so long trips that require charging on the road require more planning.

Please follow up if you have any more questions. People on the forum are glad to help!
Good advice - you beat me to the post!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
WOW....outstanding advice and help everyone! This is exactly what I needed. The very 1st step for me seems to be getting the garage set up. Time to get an electrician!.


Ya know, it really is a difficult decision between a good hybrid and an EV. With the prices of gas here in Southern Cal and the fact that our wonderful Leg. just approved a $.12/gal tax increase to cover infrastructure repair......I'm not sure even 50 MPG is good enough! Heck, right now I have a 2015 Chevy Colorado Z71 that gets about 20MPG ave. so either is a big step up in savings.
 

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Ya know, it really is a difficult decision between a good hybrid and an EV.
You may consider a Volt vs. Bolt.

It's easy to use the Volt as a EV if your daily commute is 50mi or less.
Upon trading in my 2014 Volt for the Bolt, the Volt had 47K mi on it... 44K of those miles were all electric... only 3K were gas miles that came from out of state trips, etc... oh yeah, I used 99.8 Gal of gas in the three years I owned it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, the Volt is a very viable option. My commute is over 100 mile round trip, so one way would be electric, the other gas. Still haven't made the decision which way to go. Thanks
 

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Ford focus electric may be a good fit if you have some access to charging at work and home. 2017 has 115 mi of range and is significantly cheaper than the bolt (at least where I am). I couldn't live with 15% range contingency myself. But I hear the weather is nice in California, and you may be able to pull it off! Just to provide another possible suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks. I have been looking and the Focus is actually quite nice. However, the 115 mile range is a down side as I'd like to take the EV on weekend trips we take to local mountains......about 140 miles one way. Really, the only two options in EV that make sense are the Bolt and Tesla 3 which won't be out until SOMETIME in 2018. My son's friend works at Tesla and has one of the very early reservations which he told me I could have. I'm just not good at spending $1000 on something I can't see or look at for about a year!
 

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Ford focus electric may be a good fit if you have some access to charging at work and home. 2017 has 115 mi of range and is significantly cheaper than the bolt (at least where I am). I couldn't live with 15% range contingency myself. But I hear the weather is nice in California, and you may be able to pull it off! Just to provide another possible suggestion.
The 2017 FFE is rated at 102 miles hwy. With 90% of a 100 mile commute on CA freeways, that ain't gonna cut it.

Ford uses the 2 cycle test, the top speed on the highway test is 60 mph and the average speed is 48 mph (at a lab temp of 68ºF–86ºF).


Temps are an OK representation of So Cal for part of the year, but freeway speeds probably not so much. With any A/C use, the range is even more in the hole (or at least way below a reasonable comfort zone). Any battery degradation (some is likely) and the scenario only gets worse over time.

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric (110 hwy) is marginally better, and the 2017 VW e-Golf (117 hwy) is borderline. A 100 mile commute really needs an EV with an EPA rating of at least 150 miles (combined) to be comfortable (even more in colder climates).
 

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It's the perfect car for that commute. I drive 130+ miles everyday for commuting. 1/2-3/4 at highway speeds. 75-82 mph. The rest slow interstate and city commute at 45-50. You will find its perfect with lvl 2 EVSE. Hope you get one and enjoy.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all that info.


I've actually been researching the new Hyundai Ioniq electric, which was suppose to hit dealers in CA in Mar, then early Apr, now.......nobody knows. From what I've read, there is a big time back up at the plant due to demand worldwide. What was interesting is that Hyundai announced at the LA Auto show that they were going to offer a "subscription plan" type of financing where everything was covered under one monthly price, including tax, license, fees, etc, all maintenance including tires, and UNLIMITED MILEAGE!!


But, as you noticed, mileage on a charge isn't where the Bolt is. It's been released in Europe and is getting realistic 123 miles on a charge. With no ability to charge at work, that would be cutting it too close for me. Plus, there is talk that Hyundai is backing away from the subscription plan due to overwhelming demand already.
 

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Thanks for all that info.


I've actually been researching the new Hyundai Ioniq electric, which was suppose to hit dealers in CA in Mar, then early Apr, now.......nobody knows. From what I've read, there is a big time back up at the plant due to demand worldwide. What was interesting is that Hyundai announced at the LA Auto show that they were going to offer a "subscription plan" type of financing where everything was covered under one monthly price, including tax, license, fees, etc, all maintenance including tires, and UNLIMITED MILEAGE!!


But, as you noticed, mileage on a charge isn't where the Bolt is. It's been released in Europe and is getting realistic 123 miles on a charge. With no ability to charge at work, that would be cutting it too close for me. Plus, there is talk that Hyundai is backing away from the subscription plan due to overwhelming demand already.
Hyundai already announced that the 2018 would be 200 miles. I suspect that was a slip.

They then announced the subscription plan.
Then decided it would be California only (due to lack of charging infrastructure in other markets).

I suspect that they realized releasing a 124 mile version in mid 2017 with the MY 2018 promising 200+ is a non-starter. The subscription plan was probably to help mitigate that, but who knows, really. I think the worldwide demand line is a bunch of hooey.

Starting to get whiffs of the Outlander PHEV scenario - it's always going to be available in 6 mos to a year (this has been going on for 3? years now).
 

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Ya know, it really is a difficult decision between a good hybrid and an EV. With the prices of gas here in Southern Cal and the fact that our wonderful Leg. just approved a $.12/gal tax increase to cover infrastructure repair......I'm not sure even 50 MPG is good enough!

@dmatt13 Make sure if you are calculating true full cost, to include the fact that CA SB1 not only raises gas tax by 12 cents, but also adds a $100/yr registration fee for electric vehicles.
 

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Hence why we see more of a focus on this in North America and certain markets with sufficient charging networks. Too bad that some dealers might be too caught up in making the sale that they wont tell you about the lack of chargers.
 

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I think the worldwide demand line is a bunch of hooey.
Starting to get whiffs of the Outlander PHEV scenario - it's always going to be available in 6 mos to a year (this has been going on for 3? years now).
Funny you mention the ...always just out of reach...Outlander PHEV :mad:
I had planned on buying one of them, but after delay, another delay, and even more delays and then the pathetic excuses... it's clear it will never be released here in it's current EU form.

Happy the Bolt came along... I love it!
 

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@dmatt13 Make sure if you are calculating true full cost, to include the fact that CA SB1 not only raises gas tax by 12 cents, but also adds a $100/yr registration fee for electric vehicles.
FYI, the $100 annual fee for ZEV will start for 2020 models.

Average car sold in the US gets 27 mpg. Driving 1,000 miles a month, comes out to using ~37 gallons/month. At ~$3/gallon, that's ~$111/month on gas. At $3.12 per gallon, that's $115/month which is a difference of $53/year.

If you just use the average calculations of 12 cents/kW to charge an EV, 4 miles/kW average for the Bolt and driving 1,000 miles a month, you spend $30/month on electricity.

This means as Bolt owners (if we had to pay the $100/year right now, which we don't) would pay an extra $47/year more than owning a typical ICE. But the savings in fuel cost from driving an EV would be $115-$30 = $85/month or $1020/year. So, with the extra we pay for the fee, we would still save $973/year.

Our original poster would save EVEN more per year because it seems like he will be driving 2,000+ plus miles a month. His gas tax would double to $106/year, making the $100 fee on ZEV (which again, doesn't happen yet) paid for.

I would still take the ZEV base on that math.

Though, it seems like there isn't a fee on PHEV such as the BMWi3. If BMW can extend their battery range to ~150 to 200 miles AND have the gasoline range extender, making it no longer a ZEV, you could theoretically get the best of both world of having a long range EV AND NOT pay the $100/year fee on ZEV.
 

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@dmatt13 Make sure if you are calculating true full cost, to include the fact that CA SB1 not only raises gas tax by 12 cents, but also adds a $100/yr registration fee for electric vehicles.
FYI, the $100 annual fee for ZEV will start for 2020 models.

Average car sold in the US gets 27 mpg. Driving 1,000 miles a month, comes out to using ~37 gallons/month. At ~$3/gallon, that's ~$111/month on gas. At $3.12 per gallon, that's $115/month which is a difference of $53/year.

If you just use the average calculations of 12 cents/kW to charge an EV, 4 miles/kW average for the Bolt and driving 1,000 miles a month, you spend $30/month on electricity.

This means as Bolt owners (if we had to pay the $100/year right now, which we don't) would pay an extra $47/year more than owning a typical ICE. But the savings in fuel cost from driving an EV would be $115-$30 = $85/month or $1020/year. So, with the extra we pay for the fee, we would still save $973/year.

Our original poster would save EVEN more per year because it seems like he will be driving 2,000+ plus miles a month. His gas tax would double to $106/year, making the $100 fee on ZEV (which again, doesn't happen yet) paid for.

I would still take the ZEV base on that math.

Though, it seems like there isn't a fee on PHEV such as the BMWi3. If BMW can extend their battery range to ~150 to 200 miles AND have the gasoline range extender, making it no longer a ZEV, you could theoretically get the best of both world of having a long range EV AND NOT pay the $100/year fee on ZEV.
The $0.12 per gallon tax is an increase over the $0.28 per gallon tax currently charged. Although this isn't allocated to transportation projects. You should be using $0.40 in your calculations. There is also local sales tax on gasoline. That should be included too. And don't forget the $0.18 federal tax.

This reduces the number of miles driven to reach the break even point of the $100 BEV tax.

Also, I think the 150 mile range if the BMW i3 is with the range extender and includes using a tank of gas. Maybe somebody with an i3 REX can confirm or correct me.

Ed
 

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I think you misunderstand me. The cost of gas at $3/gallon already has the current taxes. I am only adding the 12 cents because that's the increase in tax for driving an ICE vs the increase in cost of driving an EV with the $100 per year fee for ZEVs.

Also, I know that the BMWi3 only has 114 miles electric range and the range extender gets it up to ~160 miles.

Just suggesting that maybe the 2018 BMWi3 may have a longer electric range of 150+ miles and the gasoline extender option is a loophole around the ZEV $100/year fee.
 
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