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I'm waiting for my 2019 Bolt to be shipped. It's been sitting for almost a month. In the meantime, how does the heater work? Is it adequate? Does it zap most of the EV range? I just ask these questions because I come form a Volt which had a less than adequate heater except when the ICE was running. So, tell me. Ae you guys toasty in cold climates?
 

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This is a subject well covered in other threads and worth a search. To sum up my experience: pre-heating the cabin while plugged in and using the steering wheel and seat heaters while driving with an occasional blast of heat on the windshield reduces summer range around 20% (to 175 miles).
 

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The Bolt heating system is great and the seat and steering wheel heaters are fantastic. Yes cold weather impacts your range, I make frequent use of all and here in upstate NY it is not uncommon to see my nominal range of 240ish reduced to 165 or so in the winter with my short trips and toasty cabin temperature of 74.
 

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Where are you, how cold is it how far are your trips? Hard to give good info when the question is so open ended.
I have only had mine out in 13C, (8F?). It was fine. Turn the heat to 23C, steering wheel heater on, your golden.
One detail many forget about precondition while plugged in to ground power. It turns on at the LAST setting. You cannot select 鈥淧RECONDITION鈥 in the app, then change the settings. I leave the temp at 22C, Fan setting 2.
All is cozy after 10 minutes. I only use passenger seat heat, ( if there is a pax), I installed a high quality sheepskin seat cover from Down Under on the drivers seat. Keeps spills off the new seat, & adds a bit of comfort to the somewhat spartan Bolt seats.
Non LRR winter tires, & being warm reduce my range to 260km, appx 150 miles. That鈥檚 plenty for almost every days use. The **** with blankets, gloves, hats etc.
 

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I'm waiting for my 2019 Bolt to be shipped. It's been sitting for almost a month. In the meantime, how does the heater work? Is it adequate? Does it zap most of the EV range? I just ask these questions because I come form a Volt which had a less than adequate heater except when the ICE was running. So, tell me. Are you guys toasty in cold climates?

Ah yes, it is the winter season and we all faced the initial questions you asked.


First, you picked a great car. It's a jewel box of engineering that is a blast to drive. Having a different drive system means you need to understand how it all works in different driving conditions.



As mentioned, search the threads. However here are some quick points.



  • The Chevrolet BOLT EV heater is designed for 9kW maximum output. This converts to about 30,000 BTUH, about the size of a small gas fireplace. (Or about 6 1.5kW portable heaters going at the same time.) You will be warm.
    It is not the VOLT heater, that maxed out at 4kW and was supplanted by the ICE. VOLT was designed to operate the ICE under ERDTT mode to boost capacity.



  • Will it use energy for heating that can be used for driving range? Yes.



  • How much? Try looking [here]. It is average speed dependent. The faster your commute is, the less time the heater needs to work.



  • I, at least, am toasty and have minimal range anxiety driving in Maine and New Jersey. To answer if you will be toasty and mobile, one method is to compare with other drivers using 'heating degree days' for your location. I have no problems in Maine (4600 heating degree days at 18C reference temperature) with a 55 mile average daily commute. It seems that members in Ontario, CA, have no problems to at least 5500 heating degree days. These are good sources for HDD [US], [Canada].


The heating and range issue appears to be a self-resolving paradox for me. When the weather is great, I feel like long road trips and the BOLT more than provides for these in range. When it is -8C outside and grim, I just want to get back and forth to work and the BOLT is more than sufficient.
 
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With the ability to warm the interior while still plugged in, heated seats, heated steering wheel, excellent HVAC controls, the Bolt is one of the most comfortable winter cars we've ever owned.

OTOH, winter traction, even with true winter tires, is middling at best. It's good, just not among the best we've ever owned.

jack vines
 

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While I haven't had the Bolt long enough to compare at negative fahrenheit temperatures, it is quite comfortable into the teens.

The heated seat and steering wheel make a huge difference. My Gen 1 Volt had neither, but I was able to drive through most of the winter with an ERDTT bypass. At 15 degrees F in the Volt on electric heat only - you noticed the outside temperature with the coolish cabin and quickly dropping battery range. The Bolt uses about twice the power (per distance) as it does in the summer, but can stay quite toasty set at 74. All in all it is noticeably more efficient on electric than the Volt was.
 

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The heated seat and steering wheel make a huge difference.
This. This is my first car with either of those, and man, does it make a difference. We're not accustomed to long periods of cold here in the South, so every little bit helps! But preconditioning and sliding into the car on a warm seat, and then putting your hands on a warm steering wheel, it's the best.
 

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Last winter I got to find out what -23C (and below) was like in the Bolt on a road trip. The heater had no trouble keeping us nice and warm at 23C. I don't know exactly how much power it was consuming to do that, but my guesstimate is somewhere between 6 and 9 kW. That, of course, has a big impact on range. Somewhere just shy of 200km, IIRC.
 
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