Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 2019 Bolt EV Premier. Any tips not mentioned by articles that I need to know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,135 Posts
Congrats @TinyMighty on your purchase of a Bolt EV. If you're new to an EV, can't help you with wiping that grin off your face every time you drive. Enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Just got mine last week. Here's what I did:

1) New tires
2) Maxpider mats
3) Ceramic coating
4) Weathertech hatch mat
5) Tint (reduce AC use)
6) Set max charge to 90%
7) Installed L2 charger
8) Tire pump and patch kit in trunk

YMMV on these!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
993 Posts
Just got mine last week. Here's what I did:

1) New tires
2) Maxpider mats
3) Ceramic coating
4) Weathertech hatch mat
5) Tint (reduce AC use)
6) Set max charge to 90%
7) Installed L2 charger
8) Tire pump and patch kit in trunk

YMMV on these!
Tried to PM you to avoid spamming up this thread, but no reply so far. Do you have the OEM tires available for sale? I am in need of a new set of tires.

Thanks,

Keith
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,382 Posts
I just bought a 2019 Bolt EV Premier. Any tips not mentioned by articles that I need to know?
Probably the most common question that new owners have is about the range displayed on the driver's console. Be aware that it's just an estimate based on the car's recent usage - it can vary significantly according to how you drive the car, what the temperature is (expect a lot less range in very cold weather), whether you drive over significant elevation changes, etc. etc. You cannot use the displayed range as an indication of battery capacity, that's what the 20 green bars on the left side of the display are for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
I just bought a 2019 Bolt EV Premier. Any tips not mentioned by articles that I need to know?
Don't rush in terms of installing a charger. New EV owners generally get the thought in their head that if they don't instantly install the fastest, most expensive charger they can find, that their car will leave them stranded. Articles exacerbate this by making statements like "A Chevy Bolt can take up to 60 hours to fully charge at 120V". While technically a true statement if one has a 40 mile commute, it'll only take 7-8 hours to refill that mileage overnight. 8 hours of charging for a week is 56 hours.

So I always advise that if there are no external factors involve, do charge testing to figure out the right level of charging:

1. Start with the OEM EVSE (charger) that comes with the car on 120V. See how well it works.
2. If it turns out to be insufficient, then see about getting access to a 240V line and an adapter for the
OEM EVSE. It is rated to operate at 240V. Test that as it'll give you double the charging speed.
3. If that is insufficient, then look to adding a 32A EVSE to your 240V circuit. But only do that after testing the other two options.

Understand that the EVSE really isn't a "charging station". It's really a somewhat smart, and really expensive extension cord. So when put into the context of "I went out and bought a $400 extension cord because the extension cord that came with the car wasn't fast enough." hopefully you can see why doing some testing with the existing equipment may be worth the effort.

There are numerous threads here discussing point #2. Take a look around before making a decision.

ga2500ev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
You will want a L2 charger. Get the cheapest one with no bells and whistles to break. Enjoy. At your convenience, clear out all the ICE related crap in your garage, and get ready for very little maintainence...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
You will want a L2 charger. Get the cheapest one with no bells and whistles to break. Enjoy. At your convenience, clear out all the ICE related crap in your garage, and get ready for very little maintainence...
Everyone always says this "You want a L2 charger" without explanation. I really want to hear a justification for the cost of an L2 charger. As a short range EV owner who charges at 120V at 12A, my experience is that faster charging is needed in once in about 60 uses, maybe once every two months. I cannot even imagine how long it would be with an EV with 3 times the range.

A Bolt and other 250+ miles EV rarely are empty and rarely need to be full. So other than the satisfaction that it can charge faster, why is it needed? Especially when the OEM EVSE with an adapter trivially doubles the charging speed?

ga2500ev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Make an adapter for the stock EVSE. It won't cost much & will double charge speed over 120V at 12A.
This is all you need for charging at home.

120V = ~4 miles added per hour
240V = ~25 miles added per hour

If you drive more than 24 miles a day and want to "fill the tank" while you sleep, you need more than 120V...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,382 Posts
Everyone always says this "You want a L2 charger" without explanation. I really want to hear a justification for the cost of an L2 charger...
Yeah, I kind of expected to have to buy an L2 charger when I bought my Bolt, but I decided to try running it with the OEM charge cable that came with the car plugged into 220V. It works great, and on the odd occasion once or twice a year that I need more I just go to one of the nearby fast chargers for 15 or 30 minutes to pump enough juice into the battery that I can complete the charge at home overnight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I bought a 16A plug-in L2 charger for around $250 when I bought my LT 6 months ago, because the charger was on sale at Costco the week after I bought the car. I wanted a second charger to keep in the car. I do keep the L2 charger in my car, and I use the OEM charger on a 120V outlet for charging at home. I work from home, and in the 6 months since I've bought the Bolt I haven't needed anything more. I've made a couple of 150-ish mile trips to Tuscaloosa, AL, where I recharge at public L2 chargers in parking garages there. We have a cabin on a lake about 85 miles from home, and I use the L2 charger to top up when we spend weekends there. When we return home from the lake, I'm around half empty and it takes a couple days to top up, but that works fine for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
I got a level 2 charger within 2 weeks of getting my Bolt because I knew I wasn't going back to ICE cars. I also wanted to be able to recharge quickly to cover any unplanned trips that might leave the battery low on return home. Most garages are on a single 15A breaker too so I knew I wouldn't be able to use power tools or charge my golf cart at the same time the Bolt was charging without having the Bolt's charger on a separate circuit. The charger was $239 from Amazon and I got Mr. Sparky to do the electrical work for about $700. They probably get a lot of L2 charger calls because they didn't just hang the 240v outlet on the wall and leave; they asked for the charger, read the manual to confirm requirements, hung it on the wall, and even installed a clamp to hold the cable straight so the charger hung perfectly vertical. With the 120v charger, both the cable and the 15A breaker used to get pretty warm. With the L2 charger, they are barely over room temp so I feel better using that.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,379 Posts
... I also wanted to be able to recharge quickly to cover any unplanned trips that might leave the battery low on return home. ... and I got Mr. Sparky to do the electrical work for about $700.
I agree and would add that I have forgotten to plug-in on a few nights and needed to add 20 miles in < 1 hour in the am (and not wait 4 hours). I was SO glad to have an AC Level 2 EVSE! I bought the Siemens VersiCharge (30 amp; plugged) for ~$460 {Home Depot} and installed it myself for <$90. It is two feet from the service entrance and on an isolated circuit (40 amp breaker and suitable wire for a 2' run @ 40 amps). All the above comments are good. You can always go AC Level 2 later, but few places will buy the EVSE back!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
I also wanted to be able to recharge quickly to cover any unplanned trips that might leave the battery low on return home.

Mike
Thanks for the reply. I figured this is the primary reason folks invest in L2. So I see that you invested nearly $1000 to make this happen. How long have you had the EV? And how many times has this situation you describe above happened?

I'm really trying to figure out how much of a value add L2 really is. My gut is telling me that folks do it for comfort and convenience, not necessity. But installing L2 is almost always discussed as a necessity. Discussed as if one doesn't have it, then one cannot effectively use their EV.

I guess I just have a different mindset. Everything I've done in the EV world has been based on value, not convenience. I drive a FIAT 500e because of the value. I charge at 120V because of the value. I bought a 30A L2 for less than $200 used. Value. I share that EVSE with a dryer circuit for occasional use, which is exactly why I understand the frequency of when L2 is really needed.

It just seems that most novices come here to ask about L2 as if it's a done necessary deal. But it's a lot of additional funds to invest without a clear understanding of the value and benefits that are derived from that investment.

That's the reason why I keep asking the questions I ask.

ga2500ev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
I agree. I have only occasionally needed L2 when I had a 73-mile Leaf. Now that I have a 238-mile Bolt, I just need to L1 charge overnight and that's more than enough to recoup my average usage. Long driving days are augmented with DCFC on the road. I like to encourage people to try living without L2 at first, especially if they have backup options if it just doesn't work. But really if your average day is 40 miles of driving or less, L1 should be fine.

There are also perfectly valid reasons to upgrade to L2. Hot outlets are certainly one. I bought my first L2 because I wanted something hard-wired in the garage so I could leave the L1 cable in the car (purely for convenience). If I could have found a hard-wired L1 EVSE for less than I paid, I would have certainly bought it.

That said, after owning EVs for 8 years, I finally installed a NEMA 14-50 outlet outside my garage and bought a portable L2 EVSE from Duosida. It works great, and I appreciate the convenience. But I could certainly go back to L1 without any concern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
I love the convenience of having the L2 charger available. I considered it part of the price of my car when i decided to purchase. No regrets. The $500 total spent for the ability to charge when and how I want at home is well worth it to me.
Everyone has their own preference and needs in this regard. The oem evse is annoyingly slow. I have a lot more flexibility and freedom with my decision to upgrade to Level 2 whether I need it daily or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,382 Posts
I'm really trying to figure out how much of a value add L2 really is. ...

I guess I just have a different mindset. Everything I've done in the EV world has been based on value, not convenience. ...
This, IMHO, is exactly why using the OEM EVSE at 240V is such a no-brainer. It gets you almost halfway to the benefits of a higher power L2 charger at pretty close to zero cost, as long as you have access to 240V.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top