One of our latest members, @discodanman45, is among the many that have been reporting their experience with range, after putting on a reasonable amount of mileage. These go beyond just reporting numbers, instead entire experiences owners and/or potential owners will find real value in.
I decided to get a Chevy Bolt when my Hybrid started to give me trouble. I have a 130 mile round trip commute that is ALL highway, which I will discuss in my review. There is a chargepoint charger at work that charges $0.15 per kWhr and I don't have a level 2 charger at home yet... I bought the standard model, dark grey, heated steering wheel and seats, with driver assist package.
I get anywhere from 180 - 260 miles per charge during my commute. I have been shocked by this variance in mileage. The car gets horrible mileage in cold weather when I run my heater. I also have to drive 70 mph for the majority of my commute which is the posted speed limit. The aerodynamics for this car is horrific, I think a brick on wheels would have the same drag coefficient. Whenever I hit slow traffic my mileage is much, much higher. I once hit horrible traffic on the way home during a 72 degree day that no air conditioning was required. I made it home on 12.8 kWhr for 65 miles.
________________________________I am satisfied with the purchase, but not really happy. It is a commute car for me, but on long trips I will use my Ford Explorer. I will put on 20,000 miles a year on the car, so I will be able to give feedback on the battery life. The reason I purchased the car is really for the subsidies and wanting to reduce my emissions in the Central Valley driving 20,000 miles a year for work. I get to max out on the following subsidies 7500 federal, 3000 Valley Air, 2500 Cali, and 500 PGE makes this car about the same price as a Prius. It is a fun car to drive and not worrying about smog checks and oil changes will be a nice bonus. This car would be a perfect fit for someone in the city. You could get 300 miles per charge no problem in good weather and the acceleration is surprisingly fun!
Cold Weather Range
Range in extreme weather conditions has always been a concern with EV owners for obvious reasons but. If this concerns you then joining discussions like this is where you want to be. Fortunately we have Volt owners like @bxd20 and @jimmyspeed speaking from experience.
The lowest temp I've driven our Bolt in is approximately 30 degrees F, and it did fine. That being said, your temps of -30 (I assume this in F, not C) appear very extreme for any battery. I've attached a screenshot of a screen from the MyChevrolet app that works with the Bolt. The Bolt will actually send you a text message if it thinks it will be immobilized due to incoming cold weather. That's a sign that it probably won't work in your -30F temps. Hopefully someone else has more precise cold weather feedback for you.
From pg 231 of the owners manualQuote:
Do not allow the vehicle to remain in
temperature extremes for long
periods without being driven or
plugged in. It is recommended that
the vehicle be plugged in when
temperatures are below 0 °C (32 °F)
and above 32 °C (90 °F) to
maximize high voltage battery life.
________________________________I found on another forum 'mychevybolt' that Chevy Customer Care has confirmed that there wouldn't be any issues with leaving the vehicle unplugged in very cold temperatures, unless repeated doing so below -40F/C. That said, I still plan to plug in as per the owners manual.From pg 231 of the owners manual
I should note that this context is just overnight though, not for a week at a time or anything like that - I'm not sure what constitutes an "extended period of time".
@bro1999 is a familiar face around here and once again shares his valuable experience, this time about EVgo. Its not looking good and other Bolt owners are reporting similar experiences. More about that story here.
________________________________I decided to sign up for an EVgo plan after I got my Bolt, as even though I wouldn?t be fast charging that often, I still wanted to have an active membership with them to avoid potential headaches down the road.
EVgo has 2 fast charging plans (at least in the MD area) that make sense to Bolt owners: the ?Flex? plan (no monthly fee, $4.95 connection fee per charge session, 20 cents/min. $4.95 initial setup fee) and the ?On the Go? plan (no setup fee, $14.95 monthly subscription fee, no connection fees, 10 cents/min, 12 month agreement required).
I signed up for the Flex plan initially, as I figured that would save me money over the long run. I charged twice the first month I had my EVgo membership at $10.95 a pop ($4.95 connection fee + 30 min * 10 cents). As EVgo does not offer an app to manage billing/charging like Chargepoint does (wtf??), you have to rely on a monthly summary being emailed to you at the end of each month (and hope they didn?t make a mistake?more on that later). My bill for the first month was $21.90. Per kWh, that is......not good.
I then took another look at the On the Go (OTG) plan, and realized that if I charged just twice a month, the OTG plan would actually be cheaper on a monthly basis, since 30 minute charge sessions would only cost $3 ($14.95 + 3 * 2 = $20.95). Once I realized I only had to charge twice a month to save money over the Flex plan, I submitted a request to switch my plan to OTG. I charged twice using the local EVgo station after submitting my plan change request online (and after I received an email saying my account had been successfully updated.
I called up EVgo a couple of days ago to make sure everything was good with my account. I told the CSR that I wanted to confirm my account had been switched to the OTG plan, as I received a confirmation email stating such. The CSR told me that had no record of such a request being received, and that my plan was still on the Flex plan.I told him I received a confirmation email, but he could not find anything in his systems.
I told him to go ahead and switch my plan to OTG and to make sure it was retroactive to the beginning of the billing month, and he said he could do that. I then asked him if I could be sent a 2nd RFID card, so that I could have a 2nd one for my wife to use. The CSR said that due to limitations with their systems, only 1 card could be linked to an account, and that she would need to open and pay for her own account.I was like ?OK, forget it then.?
So, to summarize:
station availability (both locations and operational status)
The Ugly ? none yet personally, but I?ve heard horror stories of people having to wait days or even weeks to have a billing issue resolved. That would definitely qualify as ugly.
antiquated systems (no standalone app for real-time charge/billing tracking?? Not even a website?? Nothing but a single end of month summary that doesn't even list how many kWh were dispensed?? What is this, 1995?)
Pricing if you don't sign up for the OTG plan ($10.95 sessions)
Maximum Charge Settings
Drilling down on what gets the most power is important for almost any EV owner. So far there's 3 pages of feedback from owners discussing how they improved charge capacity and figured out what works. For any current or future Bolt owner, this will be one of the most important topics discussed.
I have a JuiceBox 75Amp charger and noticed the Bolt is charging at 30 MPH on the charger, which is fine. I charge during Edison TOU settings and start at 10:00 PM and the car is ready at 05:00 AM when I leave for work the next day. I use a little over a half charge each day (maybe a bar or two into the third bank of batts). I was curious about my settings and checked with JuiceBox. Here is their reply:
"Taking a look at your charge session, it looks like the Bolt is charging at about 25.6 amps. The Bolt is capable of 31 amps while charging, and you may have the car or circuit limited?
In any case, the Bolt will only charge at it's max charge rate based on it's onboard charger, in this case 30-32 amps, or 7.4kW rate.
The Juicebox will only give the car what it asks for, and limits only come from the JuiceBox if you have it dialed down either via the app (which from what I can see you do not) or the trimpot on the board inside."
Does anyone know where to max out the charge capabilities on the car? I see a setting on the dash that says either 8 or 12 Amp but that's about it.
I went from 21% to 60% SOC in 30 minutes using a 50 kW EVGo fast charger. Added 76 miles of estimated range.