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Picked up my Bolt on Wednesday! Just wondering if anyone could provide some guidance on the hilltop reserve setting. I have a 110km mostly highway each way commute and no charging at work for the moment. In the winter the range the range could be tight…

I have heard of Tesla owners change the max charge to 80-90% to extend battery longevity. On the flip side, if I have hilltop on and have to do the full 220km on a single charge this will nearly drain the battery. Which would be more detrimental to the battery longevity? It looks like hilltop charges to 88% for me.

Thanks
 

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Unless you absolutely need the full range of the Bolt on a daily basis (if that’s the case, the Bolt may not be the best choice anyways), turning HTR mode on is probably a good idea. Especially if you plan to keep the Bolt for the long haul. If it’s a lease? Eh, whatever, probably doesn’t matter.
 

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I would use Hill Top charging during the summer. 220km commute would leave plenty in the battery at the end of the day.

If range does get tight during the winter, I would cancel Hill Top and just charge to 100% for that season. I schedule my charge to complete just before I leave for my commute. I've heard this is better, because the battery does not sit around at full charge for any length of time.
 

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I would use Hill Top charging during the summer. 220km commute would leave plenty in the battery at the end of the day.

If range does get tight during the winter, I would cancel Hill Top and just charge to 100% for that season. I schedule my charge to complete just before I leave for my commute. I've heard this is better, because the battery does not sit around at full charge for any length of time.
Phil has it right but I'd like to add that if you can make it round-trip with hilltop on AND arrive home with more than 10%ish battery remaining, then go for it. Using the top 10% and bottom 10% of the battery frequently will cut into its life. However if you do have to use the top 10% (hill top off), Phil is absolutely right that the less time the battery spends at 100% the better, so departure timer is a great suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys!

It looks like my winter range concerns are a thing of the past since I was able to secure charging at the office. The 120V at 12A only gets me about 15% battery during an 8hr work day, but that is more than enough for a comfortable range on the return trip. However, it is kind of annoying to have to manually tell it to use 12A each time.

Also, I was able to get a 16A 240V Duosida charger from Amazon for $290 CAD and the office is willing to install the required plug. This should charge me up to full during the day! Hopefully EVs catch on at the office and some proper level 2s will likely show up.
 

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I haven't seen any data that indicates the Bolt battery will last longer if Hill Top mode is used. So in your shoes, I wouldn't use it. My bias would be not to drain the battery so far down. In some time, there may be evidence one way or the other, but at this point it seems to me that it is just some guessing going on. I do use Hill Top mode, because our house is at the top of a hill. It charges two bars less out of twenty bars or roughly 6 kWhr less or about 24 miles less range. I haven't managed to measure more directly how many less kWh the max is when Hill Top mode is used. I guess I could measure that by charging in Hill Top mode and then charge the rest of they way in normal mode and my Charge point app would provide the answer.
 

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Thanks guys!

. However, it is kind of annoying to have to manually tell it to use 12A each time.
If I'm not mistaken you should be able to use the location based charge setting for it to remember that 12A is ok at your work. That being said it sounds like it will be a non issue as you've managed to set up a level 2 evse for use at work. Good deal!
 

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The only reasons I would say yes, turn it on is:

1) You get instant regenerative breaking. At 100% full, you're using hydraulic breaks which can feel different and scare some people.

2) LiON batteries don't like being at 100% for long - it's a trickle charge to get them there past 90% or so. Keeping them there typically reduces life over time. However, Chevy and LG may have technology in place to help mitigate that. I personally don't need all 240 miles of range each day, so I turned on the feature to help reduce degradation. If I need more miles, I can turn it off the night before and be fully charged and ready in the morning.
 

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The only reasons I would say yes, turn it on is:

1) You get instant regenerative breaking. At 100% full, you're using hydraulic breaks which can feel different and scare some people.

2) LiON batteries don't like being at 100% for long - it's a trickle charge to get them there past 90% or so. Keeping them there typically reduces life over time. However, Chevy and LG may have technology in place to help mitigate that. I personally don't need all 240 miles of range each day, so I turned on the feature to help reduce degradation. If I need more miles, I can turn it off the night before and be fully charged and ready in the morning.
Regen braking is available at full charge but it's a small amount. The white line on the power/regen display on right side will show you how much.

When the car is charged full it's still not 100%. The battery( from other posts) is somewhere like 66-68 kWh. If you don't need the miles then use the hilltop more for sure. I unfortunately or fortunately need all the miles so I will be the test case for charge full all the time. But I am setting up the charging to be completed 1hr before I leave so it shouldn't be too bad. I will be charging or discharging most of the time.
 

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I've personally found that the regen in L mode is significantly reduced on a 100% charge, with most of it coming back after 1.5 - 2.0 kWh of usage. The regen meter on the instrument cluster screen looks like it activates after 3.0 kWh of the full charge has been used / 57.0 kWh remains (5% usage). The lack of regen on full charge was surprising at first, but as long as you remember that you just charged and need to use the friction brakes, all is good.
 

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1) You get instant regenerative breaking. At 100% full, you're using hydraulic breaks which can feel different and scare some people.
For my last fillup I went 100% full for the first time. Upon driving off with shifter in “L” mode I didn’t notice any difference at all in the one-pedal driving responses or the feel of it.

In that condition is the vehicle using its friction brakes on its own ? That is, in “L” mode taking foot off accelerator without touching brake pedal ?

It seemed to me it was business as usual (one pedal driving). Except I didn’t think I was getting regen energy to the battery, as indicated by the little battery symbol above “Regen” towards the bottom right of the 8” screen above the “Ready” indicator, which was greyed out as opposed to green in color.
 

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Thanks guys!

It looks like my winter range concerns are a thing of the past since I was able to secure charging at the office. The 120V at 12A only gets me about 15% battery during an 8hr work day, but that is more than enough for a comfortable range on the return trip. However, it is kind of annoying to have to manually tell it to use 12A each time.

Also, I was able to get a 16A 240V Duosida charger from Amazon for $290 CAD and the office is willing to install the required plug. This should charge me up to full during the day! Hopefully EVs catch on at the office and some proper level 2s will likely show up.
You work with some real nice people !
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Regen braking is available at full charge but it's a small amount. The white line on the power/regen display on right side will show you how much.

When the car is charged full it's still not 100%. The battery( from other posts) is somewhere like 66-68 kWh. If you don't need the miles then use the hilltop more for sure. I unfortunately or fortunately need all the miles so I will be the test case for charge full all the time. But I am setting up the charging to be completed 1hr before I leave so it shouldn't be too bad. I will be charging or discharging most of the time.
I was wondering if the battery was larger than the stated 60kWh. A friend of mine has a Smart fortwo with a 17 kWh battery that is supposedly 21 kWh so you cant charge to 100% and degrade the battery.

Can anyone out there confirm the Bolt has a hidden battery portion?
 

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Well we know it's got 60kWh usable, and that means there definitely is an unusable portion because no manufacturer would let you use 100% of the battery.
We just don't know how large the reserve portion is... guesstimates are from 8% and up.
 

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Well we know it's got 60kWh usable, and that means there definitely is an unusable portion because no manufacturer would let you use 100% of the battery.
We just don't know how large the reserve portion is... guesstimates are from 8% and up.
Other threads have calculated a 64 kWH battery capacity based on number of cells and their voltage. Sounds about right. That would be about a 6% cushion.

I will only turn off Hilltop Mode for a road trip, never around town. I have no idea why anyone would...
 

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I will only turn off Hilltop Mode for a road trip, never around town. I have no idea why anyone would...
It may be worthwhile to fully charge it on some sort of periodic basis so that the power control computer can balance the battery cells and reset it's estimate of what "fully charged" means. Some people have reported that the battery capacity indicator can start showing erroneous indications if you don't do this.
 

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What kind of periodic basis? Miles driven, months, number of charges. I'm guessing the manual doesn't provide an indication.

Would occasionally driving to near zero serve to aid the re-calibration of the cell manager?
 

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^ I've only been "filling up" on Fridays at work because I don't charge over the weekends at all and the next charge will be Monday morning back at work.

Weekdays I usually stop charging at 85% or so...
 
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