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We own a 2020 Bolt and have really enjoyed the car. No major complaints other than Chevy not including a built-in 110 outlet in the cabin. This seems pretty common in many of their other new cars and trucks. Has anyone added one and if so, where and what was the experience like? I know you could just buy an inverter to plug into the DC outlet, but I am curious about installing something more permanent.
 

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I put one in the engine bay and it would not be that hard to run an extension cord into the cabin. It is connected to an inverter mounted on top of the "engine". Just have not had a need for 120 volts inside the cabin yet.
 

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Just have not had a need for 120 volts inside the cabin yet.
Yes, it seems that the need for a 120 VAC outlet would more likely be outside the cabin. As you did, under the hood, is good. Perhaps somewhere in the back (lower cargo space?) would be functional also.
 

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For those of us without sufficient experience or imagination, can those of you who have both list what needs require 110v outlet in the passenger compartment?

In an ICE with a 100-amp alternator, it's understandable how 110v would be furnished, but how many amp draw would affect BEV range by how much?

jack vines
 

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For those of us without sufficient experience or imagination, can those of you who have both list what needs require 110v outlet in the passenger compartment?

In an ICE with a 100-amp alternator, it's understandable how 110v would be furnished, but how many amp draw would affect BEV range by how much?

jack vines
Watts are Watts! If you assume a system conversion efficiency of 75%, you can back into range effects numbers.

Don't lose sight of the fact that the DC-DC converter from the Bolt's traction pack to the 12V aux battery is rated at 1600W. Being somewhat conservative, I'd call that number 1200W. A 75% conversion efficiency means that you can draw up to 900W off of the add-on DC-AC inverter. When I did experiments on my setup, I could draw 900W continuously from my inverter, and the Bolt's systems were able to keep the 12V aux battery topped up for hours just fine. At around 1100W, my Bolt's 12V aux battery voltage dropped until the inverter shut down due to undervoltage protections. It simply couldn't keep up with a 1100W load on the DC-AC inverter.

If you draw 1200W from the traction pack (used to keep the 12V aux battery topped up), you'll be drawing 1.2kWhr every hour you're running your AC load. That load would drain a 60kWh Bolt traction pack to zero in 50 hours, or about two days of what I would call a maximum AC load. This ignores any system loads that the Bolt itself has when it's turned "on", in gear and sitting still. Do note that a refrigerator might require 500W of surge to start up, and it's 300W running load is very intermittent as it cycles the compressor on and off. I highly recommend the purchase of a Kill-A-Watt power meter for about $40 to actually measure what your predicted loads are. For example, the average energy star refrigerator takes about 3kWh per day.

To more directly answer your question, if you take your average AC power load (in kilowatts) you anticipate drawing from your inverter, multiply it times 1.33 (for conversion inefficiencies), multiply again by one hour, you'll know approximately how many kilowatt-hours per hour you'll use from the Bolt's traction pack. Multiply that result by 4 (an average range for a Bolt is about 4 mi/kWhr) should give you the approximate mileage hit of using your DC-AC inverter for an hour of anticipated load.

NOTE: These example numbers are all approximations, I make no claims about suitability or accuracy, any vehicle modifications are at your own risk, and YMMV.
 

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Just buy a big solar generator for $1000-$1500 or smaller depending on your needs, seems allot easier than jacking around with your cars wires. Plus you don't have to worry about killing your battery and having no way to get home
 

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I am not sure that JWells wanted to run household appliances from his auto. Rather, running a lamp, chainsaw, string trimmer, or hedge trimmer at a > extension cord length from a normal outlet, either at home or at that cabin (or just tent camping) in the woods, may be what was in mind. At a curve in our road, 10-12,houses down, are bushes that obstruct the view unsafely. About twice a year, I wish I had a 110 VAC outlet in the Bolt EV to use my electric hedge trimmer to trim them back
 

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That's the type of thing that I use it for. Running an electric chainsaw to cut trees, running a soldering iron or vacuum cleaner at a boat dock not otherwise serviced by electricity. Running a grinder where I did not have ready access to an electrical outlet. The only thing that would not work has been my electric blower. However, if we have a power outage, I would likewise plan to run household heat (the gas powered hydronic system does not require much electricity, internet and perhaps a refrigerator.
 

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There are for-cheap 40-volt battery powered hedge trimmers which will run until your arms get tired. Don't create a problem where the solution already exists.

jack vines
 

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That's the type of thing that I use it for. Running an electric chainsaw to cut trees, running a soldering iron or vacuum cleaner at a boat dock not otherwise serviced by electricity. Running a grinder where I did not have ready access to an electrical outlet...
There are for-cheap 40-volt battery powered hedge trimmers which will run until your arms get tired. Don't create a problem where the solution already exists.
Where are you going to find battery powered soldering irons or grinders?
 

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Literally anywhere?
Huh. Obviously I've been out of the loop for too long...

So let me rephrase that. If you've already got corded chainsaws, soldering irons, vacuum cleaners, grinders etc, why would it be easier to replace all of those with their battery powered equivalents than to just buy an inverter and use your existing tools with the car?
 

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Huh. Obviously I've been out of the loop for too long...
Lol yeah they are fairly new to the battery powered tool line up.

Yeah I agree, being able to use existing tools with an inverter is a huge utility.

So I'm a systems engineer working mostly on electric motor drives. I had this crazy idea of getting a small cheap ~2.2kW variable frequency drive and attaching the DC bus terminals to the Bolt's traction battery, possibly using a Y-cable to splice the cabin heater circuit or something. (the connectors aren't impossible to find).

This would give you a programmable AC output: 277V, 240V, 208V,120V, 50/60hz, single or 3 phase. (literally any voltage below the ~350V nominal of the traction pack and 0-400hz or so)

You also wouldn't have to worry about the DC-DC converter limiting your power usage.
 

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You also wouldn't have to worry about the DC-DC converter limiting your power usage.
If you actually siphoned power off the traction battery without the knowledge of the vehicle software it would probably play havoc with your range estimates...
 

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If you actually siphoned power off the traction battery without the knowledge of the vehicle software it would probably play havoc with your range estimates...
Yeah I think the current monitor (shunt/ct) is in the pack assembly so if I pull power from the distribution module it would at least know that the power is going somewhere. Hopefully this wouldn't be any more confusing for it than sitting parked with the heater on, but I don't doubt it could throw some codes or do something else odd.
 

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Where are you going to find battery powered soldering irons or grinders?
Sean, you haven't shopped for one?. There are dozens of battery powered grinders. Forty bucks will get you one at Harbor Freight.

They've long been a favorite of thieves stealing expensive bicycles and burglars breaking into homes and storage units.

jack vines
 

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Sean, you haven't shopped for one?. There are dozens of battery powered grinders. Forty bucks will get you one at Harbor Freight.
Hey, bought my first cordless drill just a couple of months ago. Don't tell me I'm not hip with these youngsters!!!

In my defence, I've been studiously avoiding cordless tools ever since they first came out because they all depend on batteries that eventually die, and the proprietary batteries always seem to change so that when you need a new one it can't be found, requiring you to buy a brand new tool. Planned obsolescence, in other words. I'm still using tools I bought 40 years go, the idea of tools as consumables has always irked me.

I'm slowly coming to appreciate the convenience of cordless for quick-and-dirty projects, though - hence my cordless screwdriver and drill.
 

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I am not sure that JWells wanted to run household appliances from his auto. Rather, running a lamp, chainsaw, string trimmer, or hedge trimmer at a > extension cord length from a normal outlet, either at home or at that cabin (or just tent camping) in the woods, may be what was in mind. At a curve in our road, 10-12,houses down, are bushes that obstruct the view unsafely. About twice a year, I wish I had a 110 VAC outlet in the Bolt EV to use my electric hedge trimmer to trim them back
The eGo electric outdoor power tool series is amazing, the hedge trimmer is unbelievably savage too. Tames the wildest bougainvillea with ease. Just saying.
 
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