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Currently driving my 2011 Equinox LT (V6) with just over 142,000 miles. Considering a Bolt to complement my current fleet - as the "mileage monster". ('02 Impala LT 3.4L V6 226,300 miles ... ~30 mpg hwy, '97 Taurus Wagon 3.0L V6 ~225,000 ... high utility value, '89 Plymouth Colt 1.5L ~255,000 miles ... ~35 mpg). I buy all my vehicles brand new and drive them at least 222,222 miles. I call it "The 62 Club" (six 2's)! LOL! I do all my own maintenance and, <knock on wood>, my maintenance costs (non-routine, that is) over the past 30 years have been virtually zero! Because of this, my gross cost/year (purchase price + non-routine maintenance cost) on each car typically ends up dropping below $1000/year! Example: my 2011 Equinox was purchased for $20,700 OTD brand new, just turned 9 years old, has had only $35 non-routine maintenance cost so far, and currently sits at $2300/year gross cost. Still got a ways to go on that one.

Anyway, I went and looked at a brand new Bolt recently (a "Premier"), to actually exclude it from consideration for my next purchase, and came away liking it very much. Thought it would be tight inside, but it isn't. Thought it would be hard(er) to get in and out of (than my Equinox), but it didn't seem to be. So now I've got the following questions for you "veteran" Bolt owners:

1.) This "Premier" had an MSRP of $43.7k, and the Dealer claimed the Sale Price was $33.8k. They're showing "Customer Cash" of $8500 and a $1300 Dealer discount to get to that price. Is that $8500 "Customer Cash" real? It says it's "available to everyone" on every dealer website I've seen it shown, but I don't see any breakdown of this number and I'm thinking there is one (somewhere) that will make most, or all, of it disappear! Is this including State and/or Federal Energy credits, or is that in addition to?

2.) I've always been a DIYer maintaining my vehicles. These electric vehicles obviously have a lot less maintenance "opportunities". Has anyone actually done any maintenance on their Bolts yet? Will I be able to do things like brake jobs, or are there going to be hidden service costs with these vehicles that will require it to be taken to the dealership (which I absolutely detest, and have successfully avoided now for 30+ years)?

3.) How are you guys calculating your "break-even" cost on a vehicle like this one? I wouldn't be buying a Bolt to "save the planet", I'd be buying one to save my wallet! So - it has to be a good deal for me economically, otherwise I'm not interested. I've seen the fuel savings numbers on the Monroney sticker, but I'm not convinced they're true. I'd compare the Bolt to something like a gas-engine Corrolla, for example: a vehicle that I could purchase for around $10,000 less up-front, and still get 35 mpg all-around with it. With a Corolla, the fuel-saving cost would likely only be around $500/year for what I'd be using this Bolt for (back and forth to work, ~50-60 miles round trip per day). I wouldn't, for example, compare it to a 2020 Chevy Blazer, which is the other vehicle in consideration. I think the purchase prices may end up being similar (~$30,000 for either a Bolt LT versus Blazer 2LT), but then the fuel savings with the Bolt starts to chip away at the ever-increasing fuel cost of the Blazer. But the Blazer obviously has more functionality, versatility, and comfort, too!

4.) Battery Life: Does anybody know what it is? People mention this to me and I always reply with, "I've never even heard of anyone ever replacing the batteries in a Prius ... maybe they last 20 years ... I don't know?"

Of course, I'd also have to pay for the Level-2 charger at home, right? That's what .. another $2000? Or maybe it's subsidized, depending on where you live?
 

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You didn't provide any details on your commute or driving habits, so we're unable to factor any of that into our comments.

The #1 cost by far for most any vehicle is depreciation. You minimize depreciation by minimizing the purchase price. That's why used vehicles are a good value. That said, the manufacturer/dealer/state/federal/utility incentives can more than eliminate 1st year depreciation, which is the most costly year.

1. I'd recommend you get out the door prices online from as many dealers nearby as possible. Pretty simple to copy/paste the same email to 6 different places.

2. The brakes are normal. Only consideration is reprogramming TPMS when you rotate tires. You can do that too but you'd need a special tool.

3. I compare total cost of ownership with the spreadsheet I built that is linked in my signature. If you download it, you'll have full control to modify any of the fields.

4. Battery life is among the best so far, but the vehicle is only 3 years old, so nobody knows what the average lifespan will be.

Depending on how many miles you commute, you could make due with the included EVSE on a 120v or existing 240v circuit. You can get about 5 miles of range per hour on standard 120v, and 10 miles per hour on 240v using the included EVSE.

I installed my own 14-50r outlet in my garage for about $70 in materials. In my new house, I've got an unused 30a dryer and 30 oven circuit (gas appliances) I can convert to EV purposes when the time comes. The dryer would be simple to convert as I'd just need to make it come through the opposite side of the wall into my garage.
 

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Currently driving my 2011 Equinox LT (V6) with just over 142,000 miles. Considering a Bolt to complement my current fleet - as the "mileage monster". ('02 Impala LT 3.4L V6 226,300 miles ... ~30 mpg hwy, '97 Taurus Wagon 3.0L V6 ~225,000 ... high utility value, '89 Plymouth Colt 1.5L ~255,000 miles ... ~35 mpg). I buy all my vehicles brand new and drive them at least 222,222 miles. I call it "The 62 Club" (six 2's)! LOL! I do all my own maintenance and, <knock on wood>, my maintenance costs (non-routine, that is) over the past 30 years have been virtually zero! Because of this, my gross cost/year (purchase price + non-routine maintenance cost) on each car typically ends up dropping below $1000/year! Example: my 2011 Equinox was purchased for $20,700 OTD brand new, just turned 9 years old, has had only $35 non-routine maintenance cost so far, and currently sits at $2300/year gross cost. Still got a ways to go on that one.

Anyway, I went and looked at a brand new Bolt recently (a "Premier"), to actually exclude it from consideration for my next purchase, and came away liking it very much. Thought it would be tight inside, but it isn't. Thought it would be hard(er) to get in and out of (than my Equinox), but it didn't seem to be. So now I've got the following questions for you "veteran" Bolt owners:

1.) This "Premier" had an MSRP of $43.7k, and the Dealer claimed the Sale Price was $33.8k. They're showing "Customer Cash" of $8500 and a $1300 Dealer discount to get to that price. Is that $8500 "Customer Cash" real? It says it's "available to everyone" on every dealer website I've seen it shown, but I don't see any breakdown of this number and I'm thinking there is one (somewhere) that will make most, or all, of it disappear! Is this including State and/or Federal Energy credits, or is that in addition to?

2.) I've always been a DIYer maintaining my vehicles. These electric vehicles obviously have a lot less maintenance "opportunities". Has anyone actually done any maintenance on their Bolts yet? Will I be able to do things like brake jobs, or are there going to be hidden service costs with these vehicles that will require it to be taken to the dealership (which I absolutely detest, and have successfully avoided now for 30+ years)?

3.) How are you guys calculating your "break-even" cost on a vehicle like this one? I wouldn't be buying a Bolt to "save the planet", I'd be buying one to save my wallet! So - it has to be a good deal for me economically, otherwise I'm not interested. I've seen the fuel savings numbers on the Monroney sticker, but I'm not convinced they're true. I'd compare the Bolt to something like a gas-engine Corrolla, for example: a vehicle that I could purchase for around $10,000 less up-front, and still get 35 mpg all-around with it. With a Corolla, the fuel-saving cost would likely only be around $500/year for what I'd be using this Bolt for (back and forth to work, ~50-60 miles round trip per day). I wouldn't, for example, compare it to a 2020 Chevy Blazer, which is the other vehicle in consideration. I think the purchase prices may end up being similar (~$30,000 for either a Bolt LT versus Blazer 2LT), but then the fuel savings with the Bolt starts to chip away at the ever-increasing fuel cost of the Blazer. But the Blazer obviously has more functionality, versatility, and comfort, too!

4.) Battery Life: Does anybody know what it is? People mention this to me and I always reply with, "I've never even heard of anyone ever replacing the batteries in a Prius ... maybe they last 20 years ... I don't know?"

Of course, I'd also have to pay for the Level-2 charger at home, right? That's what .. another $2000? Or maybe it's subsidized, depending on where you live?
1. There are many people getting into bolts as low as low 20K brand new. It will take research to make sure that doesn't include some weird incentive that doesn't apply to Your situation. If You really want bargains search for maher chevy st. pete FL, they have loaner cars for sale at significant discounts.

2. My maint. involved $10 in 2 years - replace cabin air filter, replace rear wiper blade, replace key fob battery. This is a car for people who don't like "screwing around" every 6 months with things that are breaking.

3.That is a tough one because it is going to be different for everyone. I actually compared my cost to what it cost my old car to fuel - 2003 Olds alero base GX almost 300K miles on it. Around town it was doing poor on MPG 20 MPG so even with fuel cheap at $2 per gal I figure 200 miles around town costs me $20. Bolt charging at home around 200 miles at a conservative 3 miles per kwh costs 66Kwh + 10% resistance heat loss so+ battery condition+ cabin "pre conditioning" so lets round it all up to 80Kwh of enery x 0.20 per Kwh = an extra $16 to "fuel" - so a $4 savings is not much. Obviously a lot of variables in electric use and costs. I get my "fuel" for free at local stations 90% of the time so I calculate that as a $20 savings every week. Throw in oil changes etc I guess I could claim I save $25 a week over a gas car which is $1200 per year savings. Obviously this is is very fluid. If I started needing to drive more and gas / oil costs go up my savings go up. My resale value could obviously go up a LOT if gas suddenly became $5 a gal everywhere.

4. Eric / news Coulomb on You tube a member here has over 100K still going strong on original battery pack. I believe he got his in late 2016. One of the very first. Since it is liquid cooled it WILL last much longer compared to leaf.
 

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4.) Battery Life: Does anybody know what it is? People mention this to me and I always reply with, "I've never even heard of anyone ever replacing the batteries in a Prius ... maybe they last 20 years ... I don't know?"

Of course, I'd also have to pay for the Level-2 charger at home, right? That's what .. another $2000? Or maybe it's subsidized, depending on where you live?
You might be able to repair your own battery. About $2500 for a replacement module. Do you have access to 240V? I use an adapter to plug in the charge cord that came with the Bolt into 240V. I spent $80 to make the adapter, additional breakers, and a couple feet of #8 wire to add a 40 amp circuit with a 14-50 outlet a few feet from a subpanel in my garage. That gets you about 10 miles/hour of charge time.
 

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1.) This "Premier" had an MSRP of $43.7k, and the Dealer claimed the Sale Price was $33.8k. They're showing "Customer Cash" of $8500 and a $1300 Dealer discount to get to that price. Is that $8500 "Customer Cash" real? It says it's "available to everyone" on every dealer website I've seen it shown, but I don't see any breakdown of this number and I'm thinking there is one (somewhere) that will make most, or all, of it disappear! Is this including State and/or Federal Energy credits, or is that in addition to?
Yes the $8500 cash is available to everyone. Some dealer offer much bigger dealer discount. I saw some up to $3k dealer discount.
State rebate ($2k in CA) and Federal credit is not included yet. For Bolt, federal credit is only $1875 and it will ends in Mar. 31. But this depends on your tax situation. This is a credit and not a rebate.
 

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Bolt scheduled maintenance is basically:

  • Rotate tires and do some inspections every 7,500 miles (as noted above, need TPMS tool to reset the positions of the tires to the car's computer).
  • Change cabin air filter every 22,500 miles.
  • Change brake fluid every 5 years (regardless of mileage).
  • Change battery coolant every 5 years or 150,000 miles.
  • Change tires, brake pads, 12-volt battery, and wiper blades as they wear out.
 

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I replaced my 40 MPG Ford Fusion Hybrid with a Bolt. I keep pretty meticulous records and found that I saved about $2000 on fuel costs in the first year. I drive it about 30K miles per year. Also, electricity is very cheap where I live. About 10 cents per kWh on average.

For my 240V EVSE, I had my electrician install a new outlet in the garage. That together with the charger cost just under $1000. But I got a $400 rebate from my power company so it ended up costing me $600 total.

Oh, you will probably never need a brake job. Because of regenerative braking, the brake pads are hardly ever used.

The only service on this car is to rotate the tires and change the in-cabin air filter. If you love working on your car then you will need a new hobby to fill all the extra time.
 

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As others have said:
The money is real and does not include state or federal tax credits.
There is virtually no maintenance, even brakes, since regen slows/stops the car
No one knows how long the battery will last, but there are Teslas on the road with over 500K miles. I expect the Bolt to be just as good.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
redpoint5:

My commute (right now) is only 25 miles each way to work (so 50 miles total), 5 days per week. 40 of those miles are highway speeds (70 mph). The rest is two-lane at about 50 mph. I'm currently in the Carolinas, with the warmer weather ... but I could very well end up moving back to Massachusetts, where I'm originally from. That commute would likely be about 35 miles each way, 5 days per week, with 60 of those miles at highway speed and the rest at 45 mph with lights.. As far as "driving habits", not sure what you're looking for, but I'm very easy on my vehicles .. no abuse of any kind: no "lead-footing" at all .. except when I make my 900-mile jaunts up and down the East Coast ... then I'm getting there are quickly as possible (no stops except for gas, 13-16 hours depending on traffic). Probably could not do these drives with a Bolt. Charging stations still look kind of "iffy". As far as vehicle "load" (as it might apply to the Bolt), my Impala and Taurus have both had non-functional A/C for about 5 years now, so I've been driving through these hot summers down here without that, but I wouldn't be able to tolerate New England winters without heat .. no way.

1.) As far as the OTD pricing ... yeah ... I've been known to send out a blizzard of offers on new cars ... just haven't done it for a Bolt yet. Each of my current vehicles was bought in a different state, and I have no problem driving anywhere on the East Coast to pick up a new car purchase. I made a "form" years ago that used to send out which forced the dealer to list all fees, but now I just send offers through the dealer websites.

2.) By re-programming TPMS, you mean use of the "handheld" Kent-Moore, or some other Chinese knockoff? I'm about to buy a knockoff for my 2011 Equinox that shows two frequencies (315/433). Do you know offhand if the Bolt is the same frequency?

3.) I'll have to check out your spreadsheet. Sounds interesting. I love data analysis.

4.) Battery/Charging .. the 240V might actually be good enough for me (to start with, at least). But I don't have it where I am right now. Just the standard 120V. Still - that might be good enough to get going.

Davioh2001:

1.) $20k for a brand new (non-loaner) Bolt? I've seen some dealer offers like that ... like Quirk in Boston advertising $16,000 discounts, but I don't think they're real. There's $6,000 worth of discounts in there that look like stuff very few people will qualify for, and you probably can't even combine them anyway. I'd have to see an actual signed Purchase Agreement to prove anybody's getting $16,000 of a new Bolt. It looks to me like $11,000 might be the max. I'd bet some of these claims come from bored salesman in some dealer showroom going online with phony purchases to stimulate traffic.

2.) Love those maintenance figures! I work on my own vehicles, but I can't say I'd miss it if I couldn't do it anymore.

3.) What do you mean by "I get my 'fuel' for free at local stations 90% of the time?" You have some special "connection"? As for the "break even" point, I think you have to compare the Bolt to a similarly-sized gas vehicle - because that's the size vehicle you're buying. So that, to me, would be a Corolla, Cruze, etc. BUT - if I can get a brand new (non-loaner) Bolt for low $20's (which I didn't think was possible), then the price difference up-front isn't really much of a consideration! Really starting to wonder why this is the case now.

4.) Battery Life: I'd be looking to drive it my requisite 222,222 miles. Sounds like that might be possible.

XJ12:

I don't have access to 240V right now, but if I ever get around to building the new house I've drawn up, I'd be sure to include that in it!

utsug:

No state credit here. And I had heard the Federal credit took a big hit, too! And it ends completely this March?? Ouch!

boltage:

Wow! That maintenance is a piece of cake. I'm over 50 now, and getting underneath cars even just to change oil is starting to get old to me. The way I keep my vehicles, though - I could conceivably be driving this Bolt into retirement. I doubt I'll be wanting to lay down on the cold ground at that point in my life - especially if I'm back in Massachusetts!

Usain:

I want to say electricity runs about .13 cents kWh here? I remember it was 0.9 cents when I first got here, but like everything else, it went up of course. And I'll have to read up on "regenerative braking". I've heard the term used many times, but with little interest in hybrid or electric technology up to this point - I haven't taken the time to read about how it works. And "no", I don't 'love' working on my cars. I find it "interesting" (I always buy the Helm manuals), but I mostly do it to keep "others" hands off my vehicles. Back when I was an 18-year-old in Massachusetts I crossed paths with two crooked shops, and after that, I told myself - no more "professionals" touching any of my cars!

The Other Tom:
500k miles on a Tesla battery pack??? That's crazy! But it's also likely 80-90% highway driving, so just like the people who put 300,000 miles on a car in 6 years, it's not "real" mileage (to me) because it was piled up too quickly (skipping seasons and other wear/tear conditions that another "normally" driven vehicle would've been subjected to). I look at that 500k as probably the equivalent of 250,000 "real" miles ... but that's still impressive, I guess!

=============

More questions:

5.) Winters: How are these things in the snow? And the colder temps affect your charging/mileage, too, right? How much of a "problem" has this been for you "snow belt" owners?

6.) Tires: Any hidden costs here? I could see them killing you on the tires ... special "rolling resistance" tires, etc.

7.) Accidents: Has anybody had one yet? Did the IIHS do their usual frontal crash test on these things, and did the vehicle explode like Hiroshima? This is a new concern with these kinds of vehicles, correct? So you're driving this very small, lightweight car, saving on fuel, enjoying the convenience of never having to go to a gas station ever again, and then someone in a Monster Truck or SUV takes you out in an accident. I get it - driving any car is risky, but do these battery packs introduce even more risk?
 

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I want you to understand there are no 20k Bolts for sale, out the door, period.. After Federal and state credits (if available in your state), you will be may approach 20k. Mine was 27.4k out the door without Federal credit, but that isn't available immediately.
 

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7.) Accidents: Has anybody had one yet? Did the IIHS do their usual frontal crash test on these things, and did the vehicle explode like Hiroshima? This is a new concern with these kinds of vehicles, correct? So you're driving this very small, lightweight car, saving on fuel, enjoying the convenience of never having to go to a gas station ever again, and then someone in a Monster Truck or SUV takes you out in an accident. I get it - driving any car is risky, but do these battery packs introduce even more risk?
There's been at least one head on with a Bolt. The guy in the Bolt survived. At least one occupant in the other car didn't make it. No fire. No explosion. They use high strength steel in the Bolt and aluminum in doors and hood. The battery is part of the structure. The car is not lightweight with nearly 1/2 a ton of battery that would function as a battering ram in a collision. I feel safer than carrying highly volatile gasoline in a tank that can catch fire and explode.
 

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redpoint5:



5.) Winters: How are these things in the snow? And the colder temps affect your charging/mileage, too, right? How much of a "problem" has this been for you "snow belt" owners?

6.) Tires: Any hidden costs here? I could see them killing you on the tires ... special "rolling resistance" tires, etc.

7.) Accidents: Has anybody had one yet? Did the IIHS do their usual frontal crash test on these things, and did the vehicle explode like Hiroshima? This is a new concern with these kinds of vehicles, correct? So you're driving this very small, lightweight car, saving on fuel, enjoying the convenience of never having to go to a gas station ever again, and then someone in a Monster Truck or SUV takes you out in an accident. I get it - driving any car is risky, but do these battery packs introduce even more risk?
By I get my fuel for free - I mean that there are often L2 or even "slow L3" chargers available. Lubbock TX is not exactly LA California - Yet I can charge at numerous different businesses all for free - all found out on plugshare app. I am not even counting the households and campgrounds. Best Buy, Various hotels, Car dealers and Harley dealers all supply 6 to 22 Kw per hour for free. I view it as free since I can do plenty of other things while waiting to charge - go shopping eat at restaurants, make calls, read books, watch videos etc. Stuff I would be doing anyways.
5.) Winters: with traction control and stability control driving is not a problem. Many posts and videos of people even in Canada on Youtube not having a problem with it.
6.) Tires: as long as You aren't continually making use of abundant torque the tires should last a long time.
7.) Accidents: a few posts here and on Youtube- basically took a little while longer to repair, - safety = comparable to Model 3 - 5 Star. Here's a story where the elderly Bolt driver survived but the Ford Fusion driver / passenger didn't ...
yeah it is pretty mangled up but it did its job !
Slash gear / IIHS showing yeah it will get very mangled but what car wouldn't if it hit a stationary barrier at high speeds?
 

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6.) Tires: Any hidden costs here? I could see them killing you on the tires ... special "rolling resistance" tires, etc.
The OEM tires are optimized for economy (Michelin Energy Saver A/S with SelfSeal) and have self-sealing goo, so there is no spare tire, air compressor, or can of goo (though a kit of the latter two items can be purchased as an accessory).

The OEM tires are relatively expensive (but note that the same tire is also available without SelfSeal, which may cost less). If you want to consider different tires after the OEM tires wear out or if you want different performance characteristics, be sure to consider their rolling resistance / effect on economy / range -- some owners have had unpleasant surprises with some models of other tires. If you replace with non-self-sealing tires, consider the air compressor with can of goo at least, or carrying a spare tire, jack, and wrench (there are threads on these forums about what to buy for that). Or make do like Tesla drivers (no spare, no compressor and goo, no self-sealing tires) and be prepared to call a tow truck if you get a flat.
 

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7.) Accidents: Has anybody had one yet? Did the IIHS do their usual frontal crash test on these things, and did the vehicle explode like Hiroshima? This is a new concern with these kinds of vehicles, correct?
Nook and son took his car flying and documented it here:
Bolt-Kabob -> [Warning --> Graphic Images]

Batteries are probably safer than gasoline because they contain much less energy and aren't a liquid with flammable vapors. There's been no reports of fires here, and I've only seen 1 incident reported, perhaps in Russia, while the vehicle was charging.

I'm not accusing you of hypocrisy, but many people pretend that safety is a primary concern, but are they really interested in safety? If they were, they would drive the speed limit, avoid driving in the hours between midnight-5am, reduce the number and mileage of trips to lower risk exposure, turn off distractions... auto accidents are the largest cause of accidental death, so concern for safety is legitimate, but the way you achieve safety is to drive safely, not win a nuclear arms race in size. I don't want to be safe at the expense of others safety.
 

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More questions:

5.) Winters: How are these things in the snow? And the colder temps affect your charging/mileage, too, right? How much of a "problem" has this been for you "snow belt" owners?

6.) Tires: Any hidden costs here? I could see them killing you on the tires ... special "rolling resistance" tires, etc.

7.) Accidents: Has anybody had one yet? Did the IIHS do their usual frontal crash test on these things, and did the vehicle explode like Hiroshima? This is a new concern with these kinds of vehicles, correct? So you're driving this very small, lightweight car, saving on fuel, enjoying the convenience of never having to go to a gas station ever again, and then someone in a Monster Truck or SUV takes you out in an accident. I get it - driving any car is risky, but do these battery packs introduce even more risk?
I don't live in the snow belt, so I really can't help you there. But yes, range does suffer in the cold. Freezing weather can knock off around 10% to 20% of your range. It's a lot less of an issue if you use the seat warmers instead of the heater.

I replaced my tires after 70K miles. Could have gone a bit longer. I think the tread life warranty is 65K?

The emerging consensus is that electric cars are much less likely to catch fire than a gas car. Over 150 gas cars catch fire in the US every day.
 

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...
Usain:

I want to say electricity runs about .13 cents kWh here? I remember it was 0.9 cents when I first got here, but like everything else, it went up of course. And I'll have to read up on "regenerative braking". I've heard the term used many times, but with little interest in hybrid or electric technology up to this point - I haven't taken the time to read about how it works. And "no", I don't 'love' working on my cars. I find it "interesting" (I always buy the Helm manuals), but I mostly do it to keep "others" hands off my vehicles. Back when I was an 18-year-old in Massachusetts I crossed paths with two crooked shops, and after that, I told myself - no more "professionals" touching any of my cars!

5.) Winters: How are these things in the snow? And the colder temps affect your charging/mileage, too, right? How much of a "problem" has this been for you "snow belt" owners?

6.) Tires: Any hidden costs here? I could see them killing you on the tires ... special "rolling resistance" tires, etc.

7.) Accidents: Has anybody had one yet? Did the IIHS do their usual frontal crash test on these things, and did the vehicle explode like Hiroshima? This is a new concern with these kinds of vehicles, correct? So you're driving this very small, lightweight car, saving on fuel, enjoying the convenience of never having to go to a gas station ever again, and then someone in a Monster Truck or SUV takes you out in an accident. I get it - driving any car is risky, but do these battery packs introduce even more risk?
Regenerative braking is using the motor as a generator to recharge the battery while slowing down. It is part of why EVs have significantly better efficiency in urban driving than on the highway (the other part is slower speeds). It is also why the brakes will probably never need replaced.

The stock tires are OK in the snow if it is just a little below freezing, but traction goes downhill as it gets colder. On hard packed snow at -20°C they are terrible. If you get real winter, you will want winter tires.

Winter range sucks. Everything conspires against you. Air is denser, increasing aerodynamic drag. Snowy roads increase rolling resistance, as do winter tires. The Bolt likes to keep its battery above freezing, which helps keep available power and regen high but can consume significant amounts of energy for battery heating. Then there is the biggest energy suck, trying to keep the interior warm and the windows defrosted. In slow urban driving where the heater is running for a long time relative to the distance traveled, expect less than half of summer range if it is very cold. The difference will be smaller at higher speeds, but you will still have significantly less range than summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
ricardocabesa:

Yeah, I didn't think there were any $20k Bolts OTD. Apparently, though ... there may be total discounts of up to $14,000 ... which boggles the mind! For starters, I've never seen a GM discount as high as $8500 on any (non-truck) passenger vehicle I've ever tried to purchase the last 20 years! Best I remember was around $4200. It's starting to make me wonder why this is the case. Could there be something much better coming soon (from any manufacturer) that'll make these Bolts look un-saleable? Is Tesla about to announce a huge price cut? Or is there just a glut of Bolts out there and they need to start moving them? Or ... is it the tax credit coming to an end in March that's creating the urgency?

Plus - there's the GM Card $1,000 Bonus points in effect right now, too. I assume you can purchase a Bolt using GM Card Points, right? I've got the Original GM Card (started at 7 years, $7,000 max, got downgraded to 7 years $3500 max), and they used to exclude certain vehicles like Saab and Corvette. Is the Bolt excluded?

XJ12:

Getting back to the 240V ... I mis-spoke. I have an Electric Dryer here ... so you're saying I could install another 240V line, then use an adapter to charge at ~10 miles/hr (upgrade from 120V 5 miles/hr), for only about $80 in materials? That would probably work for me!

davioh2001:

Ohhhh ... OK ... but you're not pulling into hotel parking lots and charging for free, right? You're only using those if you stay at the hotel? I would think they turn those things ON/OFF from the front desk, no? And these chargers ... they're slow, right? So - like you said - they'd have to be in close proximity to something else you're doing ... you're not just gonna sit in your car for an hour or more charging your battery ... are you?

Just read that IIHS link you provided. Bravo for GM on the crash test results for the Bolt. I guess they've learned their lesson well! Reminds me of a different time, when my kids were still small, and I was looking at a Chevy Venture (minivan). I checked the IIHS crash results and they were horrific! IIHS basically said the Venture folded like a house of cards with multiple lower-body injuries to the crash test dummies. When I called GM to discuss this (because I really wanted the minivan back then), their reply was, "GM looks at actual crash data - which indicate the vehicle is safe". Needless to say, I didn't buy the Venture. LOL!

boltage:

I'm glad you mentioned this ... because I'd forgotten to bring it up earlier: when I went to check out that Bolt Premier, I noticed it had no spare tire ... which is against my religion! As a DIYer, I've yet to call anybody for help after losing a tire on an Interstate (or anywhere), and I don't want to start now. You say you can carry a spare tire, jack, and wrench back there? I'll have to search this forum for that thread because that space looked awfully small ... even after removing the styrofoam insert. What is it ... a 10" wheel? LOL!

redpoint5:

I'm kind of chuckling at your safety comment because ... I'm pretty much all those things you mentioned: OK, I drive 5 over around town and 7-10 over on the Interstate, but I made (4) 900-mile one-way drives last year, and I'm very careful with the hours I'm on the road (to avoid the drunks and wackos out there), and I've actually made some of those trips without ever turning on the radio the entire way (a lot on my mind those times, and it wasn't good stuff, either). But yeah - I wish people would only drive the vehicle they actually need instead of always going bigger and bigger. The parking lot at my place of employment has gone crazy with "Monster" trucks! Just about every other spot has a "Monster" truck parked in it! And then, a lot of them also tow a trailer ... because they paid so much for their "Monster" truck that they don't ever want to use the bed to haul anything that might damage it! And do most of them actually need this "Monster" truck? No. They just want to drive a truck ($70,000 in at least one case!). Some might tow a boat once in a blue moon, but honestly ... even those people probably don't need a truck that size. Maybe it's the gas mileage they're after ... LOL! I think most are diesels (and some have emissions either "tuned" out, or removed completely!)

Usain:

OK, so it seems the fire risk is minimal, but the "small car" risk remains. You get hit broadside in a Bolt, you're probably dead ... but that's just a risk you take with any small car, I guess ... and something the "Monster" truck people will say they don't lose any sleep over, I'm sure...

Titanium48:

So with "regenerative braking", is it like driving a stick-shift ... when you downshift to slow down (?) ... it uses that energy to recharge the battery? Because you're not actually using the brake pedal, right?

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More questions: (you guys are great, BTW .. very responsive crowd here ... the opposite of the Acadia Forum)

8.) GM "Dollars" or "Points": I touched on this above, but I'll ask here again ... can you apply these to the purchase of a Bolt? It seems you can, but I could tell you a story about a car purchase one time where the dealer gave me the runaround on using my points for a vehicle that they clearly could be used for ... so you never know, I guess.

9.) Insurance: Any trouble here? Everyone knows how Insurance Companies love to jack up rates for any little thing. I could just see them saying something like, "Ohhh ... electric car (??) ... that requires extra riders for injury to Rescue Personnel ... blah, blah, blah"

10.) Solar Power: Anybody actually set up their own solar power generator to charge one of these things? Some people probably have solar panels on their roofs ... it was all the rage in MA not long ago (seems to have slowed down now). If you have a typical roof system (for say, an average size 2000 sq ft home), is the Bolt gonna be too much of a drain on it?

11.) Why Not A Prius? OK ... I know this is a GM site and mentioning the competition might get you "banned", but really ... the Prius is about the same size (probably bigger, actually), and it has no "range anxiety" issues. Is this why GM is discounting the Bolt so much (now)? Is the next-gen Prius about to hit the market? The thing with the Bolt is ... the range will never get better, right?. It'll always be ~250 miles max (under ideal weather conditions). Will the charging time ever get better - because that's another "hard constraint" here, too. Let's say the charging station infrastructure increases rapidly over the next 5 years ... so much so that I could drive my Bolt 900 miles to MA (like I currently do in my 2011 ICE V6 Equinox) with no "range anxiety". If I stop the minimum number of times, will I still be waiting an hour to charge the battery? If so, then the Bolt will always be limited to a "work commuter" ... which is OK ... that's still the vast majority of my driving right now ... but it makes the purchase price all the more sensitive in the decision-making process.
 

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Why Not A Prius? OK ... I know this is a GM site and mentioning the competition might get you "banned", but really ... the Prius is about the same size (probably bigger, actually), and it has no "range anxiety" issues. Is this why GM is discounting the Bolt so much (now)? The thing with the Bolt is ... the range will never get better (right?). It'll always be ~250 miles max (under ideal weather conditions). Will the charging time ever get better - because that's another "hard constraint" here, too. Let's say the charging station infrastructure increases rapidly over the next 5 years ... so much so that I could drive my Bolt 900 miles to MA (like I currently do in my 2011 ICE V6 Equinox) with no "range anxiety". If I stop the minimum number of times, will I still be waiting an hour to charge the battery? If so, then the Bolt will always be limited to a "work commuter" ... which is OK ... that's still the vast majority of my driving right now ... but it makes the purchase price all the more sensitive in the decision-making process.
Once you buy a Bolt, no, the range of that Bolt won't improve over time. In fact, the battery will age and range will drop over time, although the drops people have observed so far have been modest (way less than 10% in 100,000 miles). And no, the charging speed of your purchased Bolt probably won't improve, the internal cables are rated at 150A and they can't handle more current. In theory, a software update could cause them to draw 150A for longer (rather than tapering off as the battery gets closer to full), but that seems unlikely.

The reason not to buy a Prius is: Have you driven a Prius? The best you can say is that it is competent, but no one buys a Prius because it is fun to drive. A Bolt is a blast to drive. In general, once you go electric, it's hard to go back, because anything else feels sluggish and annoying.

There is this interesting thing that happens with some folks where they feel that any car that can't handle ten hours of straight (virtually) uninterrupted driving is just a “work commuter” car. There are other folks who still drive their car on road trips but have never driven more than six hours in a day (or not done so since their crazy teenage years). If you want to drive a Bolt 350 miles on a vacation road trip, the need to stop and charge for a while need not be any kind of deal breaker. If you must drive 900 miles regularly and will only have one car to choose from, it obviously is. I believe most people aren't in that latter category.

I enjoy driving my Bolt so much that for a 450 mile trip, I'd probably prefer to take the Bolt even though I'd have some enforced charging stops. I can handle it, because I'd be on vacation anyway, and I'd be happy to take a break (although I'd prefer to stop at somewhere where I'd be happy to spend time). In fact though, the last time I had a 450 mile trip, long enough ago that we were back driving home in our Golf TDI, we got 2/3s of the way home and than saw a nice motel and restaurant, stopped for dinner, and then asked if they had a room at a good enough rate to tempt us to stay the night. They did, so we didn't do 450 miles in a day. I was glad we did, it made the journey home less of a slog, and it was supposed to be a vacation.

So to me the Bolt isn't just a “commuter car”, but then perhaps my road trips are tame by your standards.
 

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11.) Why Not A Prius? OK ... I know this is a GM site and mentioning the competition might get you "banned", but really ... the Prius is about the same size (probably bigger, actually), and it has no "range anxiety" issues. Is this why GM is discounting the Bolt so much (now)? Is the next-gen Prius about to hit the market? The thing with the Bolt is ... the range will never get better, right?. It'll always be ~250 miles max (under ideal weather conditions). Will the charging time ever get better - because that's another "hard constraint" here, too. Let's say the charging station infrastructure increases rapidly over the next 5 years ... so much so that I could drive my Bolt 900 miles to MA (like I currently do in my 2011 ICE V6 Equinox) with no "range anxiety". If I stop the minimum number of times, will I still be waiting an hour to charge the battery? If so, then the Bolt will always be limited to a "work commuter" ... which is OK ... that's still the vast majority of my driving right now ... but it makes the purchase price all the more sensitive in the decision-making process.
... because with my RAV4 Hybrid, I am unable to consistently maintain EV mode from the main street to my destination. I'd rather not spew exhaust where I live or where I work. It's like basic public health when camping, don't put your toilet next to your kitchen or tent... :)

BEV: Depending on your commute, with a BEV, you might be able to just charge once a week, so not having your own garage with charging is not as much of a hassle. Bolt 0 - 60 of 6.5 sec!

PHEV: A model with 50 EV miles is definitely worth considering if you are just not ready for BEV and have your own garage to charge nightly. The Volt battery has done pretty well long term and some owners have boasted about going to the gas station just once a year. BTW, Toyota is coming out with the RAV4 Prime which is suppose to get 40-50 EV miles. RAV4 Prime 0-60 of 5.8 sec!

HEV: You're still stuck with gasoline and price tend to be more volatile than electricity. Also, with renewables+battery storage now cheaper than even natural gas plants, I can see electricity prices going down. Prius 0-60 of 10 sec? Yawn... :)
 

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9.) Insurance: Any trouble here? Everyone knows how Insurance Companies love to jack up rates for any little thing. I could just see them saying something like, "Ohhh ... electric car (??) ... that requires extra riders for injury to Rescue Personnel ... blah, blah, blah"
I went from 2015 small SUV to 2019 Bolt, so insurance rate was about the same.
 
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