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Best tip I can give is to not use cruise control. Your brain can do better mi/kwh. Rule #1: Do not maintain speed going up hills. Hold your foot position constant and get in the right lane. CC will hold speed constant...and EAT Kwh. Coasting is a good thing! If the hill decline isn't enough to keep your speed with foot off the pedal, give it enough to keep the regen at near zero. #2: Do follow Better route planner suggestions about charge levels etc. The Bolt charges MUCH faster in the lower charge level range. Going from 65% to 100% takes a long time. #3: Use the seat heaters and steering wheel heaters, not the cabin heater. AC takes much less power. #4: Do the speed limit or less. Over 65mph, most of the energy used is to push air out of the way. You'll more likely survive a roll-over crash at a lower speed too...and the Bolt is a bit twitchy at high speeds.
Sorry, but the only portion of this I agree with for most people is the part about only utilizing DCFC up to 65%-70% State of Charge; because after that it charges too slowly. better to move on to the next DCFC (unless it is out of range of course and you have no choice).

the rest of it is overthinking things. Just drive normal, you'll be fine. We're not trying to hyper-mile here and annoy everyone else on the highway with us in the process.
My Bolt drives like a normal car. At all speeds. and the cruise control is AWESOME and efficient.
 

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The single biggest thing I am still learning is resisting the urge to "fill up". If you're in an area where there are a number of DCFC's along you route, you're much better off running in that 10%-65%ish range rather than waiting for it to charge to 100% or even 80%.
You have to temper this with an appreciation for the availability of chargers on your route. Here in mountainous British Columbia fast chargers are often located only every 100+ km, and many of them are single units. If you count on arriving at one with a low state of charge and find it to be busy or, worse, out of service then you're hooped. So at each charging stop you need to bring your battery up to a level where it will get you to the next charger and then the next one beyond that. And since you're typically climbing a few thousand feet when you depart one charger and then descending a similar amount arriving at the next, the "guess o' meter" can be very misleading - when you're at a charger it's usually pretty optimistic based on the descent.

Think like a pilot: carry enough fuel to get you to your destination, and then get you to your alternate, and then stay in the air for 45 minutes after that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks everyone! Super helpful!

It’ll just be me and my wife. She’s up for an adventure.

This is actually our second EV. We had a Zap! 🤪

In learning about the charging infrastructure and the various companies that run them, are there better ones to look out for if there is more than one option on the route?
 

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Here are my secrets. I have learned driving EV for last 10 years.
In your scenario use Android Auto ( if you have Android device with cable so you can have all information about SOC and predictions how far you can travel before pulling to the charger)
ABRP app ....plug share....and app of the Fast DC charging network you will be taking to see exactly status and pricing.....
Keep tires at 40-42 PSI try to stay around 65 MPH or less....
Always keep your own target where you feel comfortable before hitting your charger and have plan B if there is required to visit earlier other charger before reaching your charger. Always carry portable lv1 ot lv2charger ( and if possible one that can use various plugs and Amp settings).
Figure out how to calculate how much is 1% of charge in KWH or write them down on pace of paper.
If you have OBD2 you can see exactly what your watts are per mile instantaneous...or you can use onboard information display....but Android auto GM app is very accurate in prediction and how much left SOC you have....
Make sure you know weather conditions....wind tail less energy more efficient travel.
Rain
Facing wind
Increase bar of what you feel comfortable to 10% more before you need to hit the charger.
Become member for time of trip if choosing network is going to give you cheaper options.
Try to learn before hand how to use choosing via YouTube so you don't get in trouble how to start it without problems ( some require holding by hand heavy cable during the initiation to start charge).
And in worst case scenario lowering speed and sometimes taking side roads instead of interstate to make most efficient run to the next charger will save you from a lot of frustration and lost time.
And more you drive and learn how your EV doing you will be more confident in lowering your bar before hitting next charger.
With my experience I have no problem running down to 5% or less. But running this way you need to have full confidence and know how your EV behave at low state of charge ( some EV could go to limp mode even if there is 7-10% left on the pack.
Wow! Thanks, this post pretty much convinced me to wait a few more years to trade the Prius Prime for a BEV.
 

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In learning about the charging infrastructure and the various companies that run them, are there better ones to look out for if there is more than one option on the route?
DC chargers are rated in KW, but they are all rated at their max voltage (generally 500 volts) which is above what the Bolt will take. As such a 50 kW charger will not charge the Bolt at 50 kW. If you can find chargers that are over 75 kW then you'll get the fastest charge.

In general the largest providers (as of now) are EVgo, Chargepoint, and Electrify America. First first two are more reliable but are usually can't max out the Bolt, EA is fast enough to max out the Bolt (excepting a few older urban locations) but it's got a reputation for reliability issues. Personally I haven't run in to these reliability issues, but others have and I'm not discounting their experiences. There's also price: EVgo is usually the most costly since it is slower and charges by the minute, Electrify America is average in states where they charge by the kWh but very competitive where they charge per-minute, and Chargepoint is priced by the owners of each individual location and can vary wildly from free to some insane amount.
 

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Wow! Thanks, this post pretty much convinced me to wait a few more years to trade the Prius Prime for a BEV.
Haha! All those steps are a bit of an overkill. Whether a BEV makes sense for you depends on your use case and situation. It's possible to drive the Bolt on long distance car trips, but frequent road trips are not ideal. In my opinion, it's not so much about the range or even the charging infrastructure (which is getting better), but the 55 kW max charging rate.

If you plan on frequently driving more than 250 miles one way, I wouldn't recommend the Bolt. If you plan on frequently driving less than ~200 miles round trip, with the ability to charge at home, the Bolt is perfect for you (may also need an L2 EVSE). For everything else in between, "it depends."
 

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If you plan on frequently driving more than 250 miles one way, I wouldn't recommend the Bolt.
Only caveat is, if you frequently drive more than 250 miles and are in no hurry, the Bolt can be a good option.

In my youth, 800-1000 miles in a day was not uncommon, and plenty of 500+ mile days. In my 60s, 500 miles is about all I am up for, and I am generally not as rushed as I used to be. So, an overnight charge at a hotel, plus two or three 30-45 minute stops each day is not an undue burden. While a Tesla might get me to a hotel an hour earlier, it is the driving time that is fatiguing, not the elapsed time. In fact, longer stops for charging allow more time to relax and refresh, making me more alert for the next leg.

A lot of people fall into this criticism without qualifying things. No question, many EVs can charge faster, and get you there a little faster. But, there is joy in the journey itself that you can miss at a faster pace.
 

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Haha! All those steps are a bit of an overkill. Whether a BEV makes sense for you depends on your use case and situation. It's possible to drive the Bolt on long distance car trips, but frequent road trips are not ideal. In my opinion, it's not so much about the range or even the charging infrastructure (which is getting better), but the 55 kW max charging rate.

If you plan on frequently driving more than 250 miles one way, I wouldn't recommend the Bolt. If you plan on frequently driving less than ~200 miles round trip, with the ability to charge at home, the Bolt is perfect for you (may also need an L2 EVSE). For everything else in between, "it depends."
Yeah, I was being somewhat “tongue in cheek”. Is there an emoji for that?

I really think the Bolt would work for me, but like pretty much everyone else on here, I really wish it had a higher fast charge rate.
 

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That's Interesting. ABRP suggests I charge in Sutherlin, while Plugshare and the Chevy App wait until Eugene. (going from Ashland to Portland)
The latter two are correct. If you reject the Sutherlin station in ABRP (by clicking on the station, clicking on the gear action button, select Reject Station), it too suggests the Eugene station with a 30 minute charge. Note that ABRP by default starts with a 90% SOC. The #1 rule of road tripping in an EV is to always start each day of the trip at 100% because you won't reach that charge level again until the next day.

There are enough backups in the area not to worry too much. There's a 24kW DCFC at the Chevy dealer in Junction City that's only 16 miles away. Only open business hours though. There's a second EA station in Albany that's 30 miles up I-5. Eugene has a collection of L2 stations scattered around.

No real need to overthink it. I-5 along your route has a ton of charging stations of all types. And for this trip you really only need one stop for a short amount of time. Portland has at least 10 DCFC if your destination doesn't have charging.

This is an easy trip. Don't overthink it.

ga2500ev
 

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Is the best way to plan via a web browser? The apps are so crowded with info to investigate a route.
Of course the web browser is the best way to plan. You have much more screen real estate to operate.

Road tripping with an EV isn't a zero plan operation. But neither is it with an ICE. People check their fuel gauge before heading out and have at least a vague idea of where they plan to stop to fuel. Use the web apps to get the outline of a plan then transfer it to your phone and let it navigate the details.

ga2500ev
 

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Thanks everyone! Super helpful!

It’ll just be me and my wife. She’s up for an adventure.

This is actually our second EV. We had a Zap! 🤪

In learning about the charging infrastructure and the various companies that run them, are there better ones to look out for if there is more than one option on the route?
Electrify America should be #1 for three reasons:

1. Every station has multiple dispensers.
2. Every dispenser charges the Bolt at maximum speed.
3. Generally EA stations are connected to something useful like a Walmart or Target. Both of which are usually surrounded by other useful retail/food outlets.

Be sure to set up EA with their $4 Pass+ plan. You can cancel it after the trip. You'll make your money back in just 2 charges due to lower charging fees.

Last two things with EA. #1 is don't touch the screen/credit card reader at all. Use the app to authorize and pay for the charge. #2 is that while authorizing, hold up the handle until it latches on to the Bolt and starts charging. Failing to do these two causes most of the problems with using EA on a Bolt.

ga2500ev
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Electrify America should be #1 for three reasons:

1. Every station has multiple dispensers.
2. Every dispenser charges the Bolt at maximum speed.
3. Generally EA stations are connected to something useful like a Walmart or Target. Both of which are usually surrounded by other useful retail/food outlets.

Be sure to set up EA with their $4 Pass+ plan. You can cancel it after the trip. You'll make your money back in just 2 charges due to lower charging fees.

Last two things with EA. #1 is don't touch the screen/credit card reader at all. Use the app to authorize and pay for the charge. #2 is that while authorizing, hold up the handle until it latches on to the Bolt and starts charging. Failing to do these two causes most of the problems with using EA on a Bolt.

ga2500ev
Thanks!

Not over thinking it. Just trying to learn how to think it. :p

We will almost never do trips this long. We use it pretty exclusively in the Valley. We have a truck with a camper for long trips. For a trip with just a single charge and robust infrastructure we figured why not?
 

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without derailing the original poster's question too much ... how many hours did that take?
To drive the 876 miles took me 19 3/4 hours door to door. 4 hours and 11 minutes of charging in 6 stops.

Drive as fast as you can and run battery as low as you can.

I averaged 44.4 mph on the way up which includes charging time. But on the way back through Texas, I drove a good portion at 80 mph and got my average up to 46.5 mph.

@NewsCoulomb has been able to get that up to 50 mph. I'm not as seasoned as Eric.

Spacing of chargers ends up being a factor as one can't always stop charging at 50-55%. I had to charge to over 70% on several stops to make it to the next one. Sometimes I was just being conservative.

Also, it's amazing how fast 40 minutes go by when you think you have a lot of time to wait. At a gas station, you have to stay there for safety reasons. With an electric car, you get it "pumping" and you walk away and the time flies.
 

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It still surprises me how many people want to make the "BEV or not" driving decision based on the rare(for most of us) long trips. If you drive 200+ miles a day, don't have home charging, and aren't a Uber driver, then a Bolt is not for you. Then again neither is a Prius Prime with its silly token 20-25 mile Electric range. But if the aforementioned isn't you, then a Bolt or other comparable BEV will work great for you 50 out of 52 weeks a year. If the rare multi-stop long trip would try your patience in a Bolt, then rent a car with a portion of the money you should be saving the rest of the year by driving a BEV
 

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In my youth, 800-1000 miles in a day was not uncommon, and plenty of 500+ mile days. In my 60s, 500 miles is about all I am up for, and I am generally not as rushed as I used to be.
Yes, there was a time when I only stopped when the gas gauge was near empty. That has evolved into someone in my car needing to stop every 120-150 miles. Then you feel you might as well gas up and get a snack/drink. So about equal to 120-150 mile charge time. II was already used to it before the Bolt.
 

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It still surprises me how many people want to make the "BEV or not" driving decision based on the rare(for most of us) long trips. If you drive 200+ miles a day, don't have home charging, and aren't a Uber driver, then a Bolt is not for you. Then again neither is a Prius Prime with its silly token 20-25 mile Electric range. But if the aforementioned isn't you, then a Bolt or other comparable BEV will work great for you 50 out of 52 weeks a year. If the rare multi-stop long trip would try your patience in a Bolt, then rent a car with a portion of the money you should be saving the rest of the year by driving a BEV
What would be wrong with using a Prius Prime to drive 200+ miles per day?

And why would the Prime not work for someone (apartment dweller?) without a home charger? Many charge at work or elsewhere and some never charge, getting as good or in many cases better mileage than a regular hybrid.

The “silly token 20-25 mile“ electric range is more than I have ever used in a day. Visit a Prime forum and you will find that that a popular topic is the issue of the necessity of burning gas often enough to keep it from going stale.
 

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What would be wrong with using a Prius Prime to drive 200+ miles per day?

And why would the Prime not work for someone (apartment dweller?) without a home charger? Many charge at work or elsewhere and some never charge, getting as good or in many cases better mileage than a regular hybrid.

The “silly token 20-25 mile“ electric range is more than I have ever used in a day. Visit a Prime forum and you will find that that a popular topic is the issue of the necessity of burning gas often enough to keep it from going stale.
You can always come up with an exception, but it doesn't make it a valid argument.. If the 200+ mile/day guy above charges at work, then he doesn't need a 200+ mile range. So Bolt or other comparable BEV is still good.

If the average person commutes/drives 40 miles a day then a 20-25 mile electric range is inadequate. Toyota(who I love in most ways) didn't build the Prius Prime just for you, the minority. If I live next door to my widget business, and I design an electric vehicle with 100 yard range, that doesn't make it a good design for the world just because it works for me. The Volt had a 40ish mile all electric range which made sense because, again, that is adequate for most people. The RAV4 Prime also has a 40ish mile all electric range, which again makes sense. The Prius Prime is weak. If you, or the "Prime forum clan" never do more than 20 miles in a day, why do you need a pseudo-car at all. Why not ride an e-bike? Or a golf cart for that matter..haha
 

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You can always come up with an exception, but it doesn't make it a valid argument.. If the 200+ mile/day guy above charges at work, then he doesn't need a 200+ mile range. So Bolt or other comparable BEV is still good.

If the average person commutes/drives 40 miles a day then a 20-25 mile electric range is inadequate. Toyota(who I love in most ways) didn't build the Prius Prime just for you, the minority. If I live next door to my widget business, and I design an electric vehicle with 100 yard range, that doesn't make it a good design for the world just because it works for me. The Volt had a 40ish mile all electric range which made sense because, again, that is adequate for most people. The RAV4 Prime also has a 40ish mile all electric range, which again makes sense. The Prius Prime is weak. If you, or the "Prime forum clan" never do more than 20 miles in a day, why do you need a pseudo-car at all. Why not ride an e-bike? Or a golf cart for that matter..haha
Dodging my questions is not a valid argument.

Instead of defending your claim that the Prime wouldn’t be appropriate for someone who drives 200 miles per day, you respond by defending the Bolt’s usefulness in such a situation, as if it was that which I was questioning, which I did not. I still don’t dispute it, but I note that you did qualify it with the if he “charges at work” “exception”. Not sure why since 200 miles is within the fully charged range of the Bolt.

To me, either car could work for someone in that situation. All I’m asking is that you explain to me why you think the Prime would not. Maybe I’m overlooking something.

You are correct, Toyota did not build the Prime just for me; if they had then I wouldn’t be in the market for a Bolt or other BEV. Why the sarcasm? Is that your conception of a “valid argument?

You made several statements about cars that are adequate for most people or for the average person, as if that should be the only criterion for a car being built and offered for sale. While I don’t agree with that, I would argue that the Prime does meet that criterion. What is it that you believe the average person wants from a car that the Prius lacks?

Again, I am not a Prime “fanboy”, it just happened to best meet my needs at a price I was willing to pay at the time I purchased it. Just as (I assume) the Bolt did for you.

I assume you were being facetious with your comment about why not an e-bike or golf cart.

It really appears to me that you took my original questions about your Prime comments as an attack on the Bolt. I’m not sure what gave you that idea, but I assure you that was not my intent. I joined this forum to learn more about the Bolt because I am strongly considering one as my next car.
 
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