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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there all, I'm James.

New'ish to the forums. I've poked around here a bit before getting my 2020 Bolt about a month ago.
I commute around 95 miles a day for work and was driving a 2018 Jeep Wrangler before this.
I'd figured with it's MPG compared to my cost per kWh I'd be saving around $2,500-3k per year in fuel costs.
...plus I'm a big nerd and all the shinies on the dash board make me dork out.

I'm in North Eastern Maine and the only thing that has me a little concerned is the snow, but it'll be ok I think.
I also am a bit of a road-trip junkie. As of last year I've visited and done something "touristy" in every state in the US. I'm a little concerned about not quite being able to drop anything and take a 1300 mile drive to go back home quite as quickly, but I'm still excited to see how it goes.

I had a Siemens VersiCharge L2 charger installed about 3 weeks ago and while it's been great, I was disappointed that it flakes out when I set the charging in the Bolt to stop around 90%. It looks like that's a common issue per some other threads here.

Other than that, I've loved it so far and look forward to seeing what kind of adventures I can have with the new ride!

Any pointers for the new guy?

I've heard mixed-reviews about getting a Tesla charger adapter. Is that a bad idea? There are a few chargers in-town, but I thought I'd keep the adapter in the trunk to be safe if I was in a pinch and that's all that was available.

Anyway, nice to "meet" you all and I look forward to all the input.


By the way, we need to invent something like the Jeep wave for all the cool cats driving these cars. :D
James
 

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Welcome!

I don’t personally see much to be gained by a Tesla adapter. In my circle of travels, the few Tesla Destination chargers are not too far from other options, so if I had the opportunity to use it more than a couple times, I would be surprised. But if it looks like you might be able to use it often, go for it.

Snow and ice have not been much trouble for me in CO. The stock tires, meh. I replaced with Continental Pure Contact at 50K, much better traction. In your area, snow and ice tires would probably be a good idea.

Siemens VC has worked for me, my only beef is faults when using scheduled charging, rare but enough to ruin your day if not prepared.
 

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I have had the non-WiFi Siemens VersiCharge for three years (2017 Bolt EV) without encountering a hitch, although I do not use the scheduled charging function. I do have the TeslaTap adapter (locks on to the car with a small TSA combi-lock) and use it quite a lot. Around here, many places have 2-3 Tesla destination chargers and ONE J1772-plugged EVSE. If the "J" is in-use, I use the Tap. If I am charging all night, and don't want to block the "J" for the next arriving non-Tesla visitor, I use the Tap. There are some places (Snowshoe Ski Resort) that have ONLY the 2 Tesla plugs. In 3 years I have probably used the Tap 7-8 times. I keep it in the trunk for all traveling.
 

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It is good to see your gas savings calculation of $2500 - $3000/year. The lower cost of driving and maintaining are my hot buttons for an EV. On top of that is no oil changes, no filters, and likely no brake pads. As long as the electronics and battery hold up, the Bolt EV is the lowest cost/mile to own of all the cars I ever had.
 

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It is good to see your gas savings calculation of $2500 - $3000/year. The lower cost of driving and maintaining are my hot buttons for an EV. On top of that is no oil changes, no filters, and likely no brake pads. As long as the electronics and battery hold up, the Bolt EV is the lowest cost/mile to own of all the cars I ever had.
Same kind of savings here. I spent $250-300/month driving an Audi, reduced it to $150 with a hybrid, now $50 in the Bolt.

My hot button was definitely fuel savings and not feeding the geopolitical mess of the oil industry. It’s also nice to know the air I breath is getting cleaner.
 

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Hey there all, I'm James.

New'ish to the forums. I've poked around here a bit before getting my 2020 Bolt about a month ago.
I commute around 95 miles a day for work and was driving a 2018 Jeep Wrangler before this.
I'd figured with it's MPG compared to my cost per kWh I'd be saving around $2,500-3k per year in fuel costs.
...plus I'm a big nerd and all the shinies on the dash board make me dork out.

I'm in North Eastern Maine and the only thing that has me a little concerned is the snow, but it'll be ok I think.
I also am a bit of a road-trip junkie. As of last year I've visited and done something "touristy" in every state in the US. I'm a little concerned about not quite being able to drop anything and take a 1300 mile drive to go back home quite as quickly, but I'm still excited to see how it goes.

I had a Siemens VersiCharge L2 charger installed about 3 weeks ago and while it's been great, I was disappointed that it flakes out when I set the charging in the Bolt to stop around 90%. It looks like that's a common issue per some other threads here.

Other than that, I've loved it so far and look forward to seeing what kind of adventures I can have with the new ride!

Any pointers for the new guy?

I've heard mixed-reviews about getting a Tesla charger adapter. Is that a bad idea? There are a few chargers in-town, but I thought I'd keep the adapter in the trunk to be safe if I was in a pinch and that's all that was available.

Anyway, nice to "meet" you all and I look forward to all the input.


By the way, we need to invent something like the Jeep wave for all the cool cats driving these cars. :D
James
James,

I take it you have your Reny's discount card and shop for bargains at Marden's. By 'Northeastern Maine', have you crossed the line from lobster rolls to poutine and are in The County? Or are you more along the Down East section near Machias?

In any case, welcome to Maine with your new BOLT!

I have been driving a BOLT since 2017, living in South Portland. There is really no problem with snow beyond what you would see with any front wheel drive car. The BOLT has an immense amount of torque and the tires will slip on early and late pack snow accelerating and regeneratively decelerating (Try L and single pedal driving on a long snowy downhill...) However, the electronic stability control keeps you out of trouble if you just lighten up on the throttle.

You will get used to variations in range as the seasons change in Maine yet 95 miles a day is not a problem. You will not need to go down the route of trying to save every microwatt hour of power during the winter by warming the cabin (precondition) while on your EVSE and then shutting all heat off and freezing during your drive. You have more than enough energy to keep warm albeit with a reduced range of 160-180 miles.

Road tripping is a question depending on where you are in Maine. Eastern and Northern Maine are DCFC charging deserts. There is no DCFC northeast of Skowhegan and only one new DC corridor to Canada along US 201. In The County (Aroostook) there is exactly one public L2 charger in 6,800 square miles. Not to be too glum, here is the summary.

  • Road tripping south of Bangor is not a problem. DCFC are plentiful. I regularly drive to New York and Gaithersburg, Maryland with no problem for charging.
  • Road trips to Quebec are not a problem. Quebec has a well-built out DCFC infrastructure nearly to the arctic. With an EV, you even get free ferry service across the Saint Lawrence river (Matane-Baie Comeau); go whale watching! If you go to Canada apply for an Electric Circuit account (The Electric Circuit) , it's cheap and you have access to 50-62kW charging across most of Eastern Canada.
  • Trips within Northeastern Maine or to New Brunswick are long jumps to uncertain landings. I have found myself charging on a public L2 in Bangor, then hypermiling and holding my breath until I can reach the DCFC station in St. Stephens, Canada. With the border closed due to COVID, that direction is out.
  • In 60,000 miles with the BOLT I have encountered exactly one instance where a Tesla Tap Adapter would have really helped out. That was at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockport. Everywhere else, I have found a J1772 available.
For extra credit, see if the BOLT can be charged from the Naval VLF station at Cutler, Maine. This submarine communication station radiates 1.7MW of low frequency RF. The antenna alone is 2 square miles. I was there with an ICE and cell phones and radio were non-functional. With a bit of rectification and an inverter, you may be able to charge a BOLT :)


There are many good contributions on the forum from charging ideas to tires. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Welcome!

I don’t personally see much to be gained by a Tesla adapter. In my circle of travels, the few Tesla Destination chargers are not too far from other options, so if I had the opportunity to use it more than a couple times, I would be surprised. But if it looks like you might be able to use it often, go for it.

Snow and ice have not been much trouble for me in CO. The stock tires, meh. I replaced with Continental Pure Contact at 50K, much better traction. In your area, snow and ice tires would probably be a good idea.

Siemens VC has worked for me, my only beef is faults when using scheduled charging, rare but enough to ruin your day if not prepared.

Thanks! I'll look into those as the weather starts to turn.

Yep, same here. So I found that if I didn't charge to 100% I was able to use the regen braking right away and it gained me around 2% which isn't much, but I was setting the charge stop at 90% and it would fault out and beep for a while. I've since just left it at 100% and it's all good.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have had the non-WiFi Siemens VersiCharge for three years (2017 Bolt EV) without encountering a hitch, although I do not use the scheduled charging function. I do have the TeslaTap adapter (locks on to the car with a small TSA combi-lock) and use it quite a lot. Around here, many places have 2-3 Tesla destination chargers and ONE J1772-plugged EVSE. If the "J" is in-use, I use the Tap. If I am charging all night, and don't want to block the "J" for the next arriving non-Tesla visitor, I use the Tap. There are some places (Snowshoe Ski Resort) that have ONLY the 2 Tesla plugs. In 3 years I have probably used the Tap 7-8 times. I keep it in the trunk for all traveling.
Nice! I'll see what those cost and may keep one in the trunk to be safe.

There's 1 charger in the town I work in and another Tesla charging station. Just back and fourth to work I'm good, but if it's not super expensive I may just grab one.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
James,

I take it you have your Reny's discount card and shop for bargains at Marden's. By 'Northeastern Maine', have you crossed the line from lobster rolls to poutine and are in The County? Or are you more along the Down East section near Machias?

I'm about a 1/2 hour North-West of Bar Harbor and work in Bangor and am a 6 year transplant from a small farm town in Illinois actually. :D

In any case, welcome to Maine with your new BOLT! Thanks!

I have been driving a BOLT since 2017, living in South Portland. There is really no problem with snow beyond what you would see with any front wheel drive car. The BOLT has an immense amount of torque and the tires will slip on early and late pack snow accelerating and regeneratively decelerating (Try L and single pedal driving on a long snowy downhill...) However, the electronic stability control keeps you out of trouble if you just lighten up on the throttle. That makes sense and I never thought about the regen deceleration! So would it be best to keep it in D instead of L then on the snowy days?

You will get used to variations in range as the seasons change in Maine yet 95 miles a day is not a problem. You will not need to go down the route of trying to save every microwatt hour of power during the winter by warming the cabin (precondition) while on your EVSE and then shutting all heat off and freezing during your drive. You have more than enough energy to keep warm albeit with a reduced range of 160-180 miles.

Road tripping is a question depending on where you are in Maine. Eastern and Northern Maine are DCFC charging deserts. There is no DCFC northeast of Skowhegan and only one new DC corridor to Canada along US 201. In The County (Aroostook) there is exactly one public L2 charger in 6,800 square miles. Not to be too glum, here is the summary. Yep, there was a 2 hour charger at a Hanniford around Bath Maine so I followed the coast on Rt 1 south from Bar Harbor this weekend as an excuse to take a scenic drive and was on the road for around 6 hours. It said it was a 50kw charger but at around 30% it only charged at 34-36kw which if my math is right at $0.35 per minute put that charging station at the same cost per mile as my Jeep which was kind of a bummer. At least it was a nice drive!

  • Road tripping south of Bangor is not a problem. DCFC are plentiful. I regularly drive to New York and Gaithersburg, Maryland with no problem for charging.
  • Road trips to Quebec are not a problem. Quebec has a well-built out DCFC infrastructure nearly to the arctic. With an EV, you even get free ferry service across the Saint Lawrence river (Matane-Baie Comeau); go whale watching! If you go to Canada apply for an Electric Circuit account (The Electric Circuit) , it's cheap and you have access to 50-62kW charging across most of Eastern Canada. That's great news! Where I'd gotten the states out of the way I was thinking about going up to the New Brunswick area to dip my toe in "International Travel" before going somewhere more "difficult". I'll look into that Electric Circuit!
  • Trips within Northeastern Maine or to New Brunswick are long jumps to uncertain landings. I have found myself charging on a public L2 in Bangor (Looks like as of last week the two free ones by emera-maine in Bangor have been closed/locked up due to the whole COVID thing), then hypermiling and holding my breath until I can reach the DCFC station in St. Stephens, Canada. With the border closed due to COVID, that direction is out.
  • In 60,000 miles with the BOLT I have encountered exactly one instance where a Tesla Tap Adapter would have really helped out. That was at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockport. Everywhere else, I have found a J1772 available.
For extra credit, see if the BOLT can be charged from the Naval VLF station at Cutler, Maine. This submarine communication station radiates 1.7MW of low frequency RF. The antenna alone is 2 square miles. I was there with an ICE and cell phones and radio were non-functional. With a bit of rectification and an inverter, you may be able to charge a BOLT :)
I'll stick a cloths-hanger into the J1772 port and drive in circles by the VLF Station till I hit 1.21 Gigawatts! :D

There are many good contributions on the forum from charging ideas to tires. Good Luck.
 

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Thanks! I'll look into those as the weather starts to turn.

Yep, same here. So I found that if I didn't charge to 100% I was able to use the regen braking right away and it gained me around 2% which isn't much, but I was setting the charge stop at 90% and it would fault out and beep for a while. I've since just left it at 100% and it's all good.
Right, older models had Hilltop Reserve to limit charging to ~88%. Much above that and regen is limited. My first 30 miles are downhill, about 2500 feet. So, regen is a part of my daily routine. I have not had issues with VC charging to 88%.

The only issues I have are scheduled charging (about 95% success rate) and precondition (about 99% success rate). In both scenarios, the fault occurs when the car, already plugged in, and starts requesting power. Anytime I plugin for immediate charge, no issues.
 

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James,

Thanks for the heads up on the Bangor Emera chargers at the Cross Insurance Center. These have been my go-to for longer drives north. I am going to have to re-plan some drives Down East.

D or L on snow will be what makes you feel more under control. I will go to D on long, slick downhills just because it feels more like a conventional transmission. I shift back to L for the precision driving.

Sounds like a nice drive down US 1 and you found out three things:

  1. Hannaford has been an early supporter of supermarket charging. Hannaford Augusta, Portland, York, as well as Hannaford in Massachusetts were among the first venues to host eVGO or National Grid DCFC. You will find Hannaford in Lowell, Mass, and Marlborough, Mass have maintained free DCFC stations with National Grid since 2017.

  2. 50kW is a rating seldom met, as is 62.5kW, or 100kW. It's better to think that these chargers are current regulated and limited. A 50kW charger is only 50kW at 500 Volts. That's 500 V x 100 Amp. So a 50kW charger is really a 100 Amp charger and a 62.5kW can deliver 125 Amps. The BOLT's battery is about ~360 volt giving 36kW at 100 Amps or 44-45kW on the 62.5kW charger. You have to find an Electrify America 150kW charger (300 Amp) for the BOLT to charge at it's maximum 55kW.

  3. eVGO is pricey. It's a better deal to try for ChargePoint independent stations or Electrify America stations. With a simple plan, I am paying $0.18/minute at EA stations in Portland.
It should get better with time, but for the time being, the BOLT is a great car and there is a lot to explore in the Northeast!
 
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