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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier w/ driver confidence 2 and infotainment packages in Silver Mist
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

I recently purchased a 2017 Bolt ev premier model. It is a lease return with 33k miles. The previous owner was very gentle on it as it looks like new. I traded-in a 2013 Volt premium which had 55k miles, and was the reason I was interested in a Bolt. I got hooked on electric cars after owning the Volt, and ready to proceed to a BEV.

I had solar installed on my house 3 years ago, and planned ahead to power up a battery car, and so far driving the Bolt has not exceeded the solar panels output. So much fun driving around and not costing anything is wonderful!

Anyway, I am looking forward to many years of this wonderful car, and reading interesting stories by other Bolt owners.

Martin
 

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I had solar installed on my house 3 years ago, and planned ahead to power up a battery car
Welcome to the forum. You did it the right way. I'm doing it all backwards. I got the electric car first 3 years ago and now thinking about putting in solar.
 

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2018 Bolt EV Premier Nightfall Gray
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Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy your premier as much as I have enjoyed mine.
 

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier w/ driver confidence 2 and infotainment packages in Silver Mist
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks XJ12! As far as solar, I am more than pleased with the investment. After having solar I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Anyone who lives in a sunbelt state (I am in the Central Valley of CA) is missing out on a win-win. I made the calculations and I will break even right at 6 1/2 years after the federal tax credit. The first 2 years PG&E paid me for the excess power I generated (although that is in their best interest since they gave me a whopping 2 cents per kWh).
Now I power the Bolt. I should be good for 8k miles per year before driving costs me anything.

I have plenty of recommendations for anyone interested in solar, I did a lot of research and didn’t fall for the BS that you will hear from the various salesmen. Anyone interested just ask!
 

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for the BS that you will hear from the various salesmen
Yeah, I don't listen to any of them. No loan for me. I'm thinking of just bulk ordering panels by the pallet and go from there. I've got over 4,000 square feet of roof on my shop to play around with. I've put in a reservation for a dcbel but doesn't look like it will be available for my area until next year at best.
 

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier w/ driver confidence 2 and infotainment packages in Silver Mist
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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I don't listen to any of them. No loan for me. I'm thinking of just bulk ordering panels by the pallet and go from there. I've got over 4,000 square feet of roof on my shop to play around with. I've put in a reservation for a dcbel but doesn't look like it will be available for my area until next year at best.
You have the first part right (no loan). The best deal is outright ownership. The other thing I highly recommend is buying Sunpower panels, and if you can get 360’s with mini inverters.Sunpower is the ONLY panel that will survive hail or feet of snow. Even if a panel cracks it will still produce. The Chinese crap are about as strong as a potato chip and when a single cell cracks it will put down the whole panel.
The inverter is the weak point of a standard system, as well as losing an additional 12-15% of the rated panel output due to converting DC into AC, as heat loss
Sunpower is the only manufacturer that gives a full 25 year warranty on everything including the mini-inverters. The best warranty on single inverters is 10 years. Mini-inverters comprise of each individual panel has it’s own inverter. They don’t get hot because they are only dealing with 360 watts. They are also more efficient: lest than 8% loss.
BTW, the potato chip panels only produce 240 watts each.
 

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier w/ driver confidence 2 and infotainment packages in Silver Mist
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Discussion Starter #8
seeing a pallet of 40 Sunpower 320W panels on Ebay for $6,400. Not bad. That's very tempting. Due to the dcbel's inverter setup, I'd not be getting micro inverters.
Sounds good! Not sure what advantages the dcbel will be for you other than fast charging. Aren’t you worried about battery life if you fast charge at home every day?
 

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Sounds good! Not sure what advantages the dcbel will be for you other than fast charging. Aren’t you worried about battery life if you fast charge at home every day?
Really wouldn't use the fast charge. What I'm interested in, is using an electric car as an emergency power source. The fast charge capability is only a side benefit.
 

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier w/ driver confidence 2 and infotainment packages in Silver Mist
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Discussion Starter #10
Really wouldn't use the fast charge. What I'm interested in, is using an electric car as an emergency power source. The fast charge capability is only a side benefit.
Everyone would like to do that but as I sure you must be aware only a Leaf has the potential to do that. Even Elon Musk is hesitant to make his cars capable of VTG. He would rather sell you another battery to mount on the wall.
I am not an electrical engineer but I do know this much: every time AC is converted to DC and visaversa there is a 10% average loss of energy. And inverters that perform this function are not 2-way. Modification would be necessary to your Bolt that would void your warranty, as would any warranty given for your solar system.
At this point in time VTG is a pipe dream. It would be nice and I would love to have power storage at home. I am happy that I live in an area of CA that is not prone to blackouts or shut-downs.
 

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Modification would be necessary to your Bolt that would void your warranty
and this will be the fun part. If the Bolt won't work out, then my next electric car will. System with the dcbel can be upgraded to support a battery system so that still might be an option. I like options. My electric company just slammed all its customers with a 2 cent per kWhr fuel charge this July in the middle of a pandemic. This type of behavior motivates me to design them out. I still remember $4/gal gas, that's why I have an electric car. My propane provider kept raising their prices, so I've converted my house to a ground source heat pump. I just hope I don't get taxed out of my own house. Haven't figured that one out.
 

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Welcome! My 2017 LT was also a lease return (34k miles at purchase). I was lucky to find one with enough miles so I could afford it! I just hit 40k miles and I am still very happy with the decision.

Enjoy your Bolt!
 

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier w/ driver confidence 2 and infotainment packages in Silver Mist
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yeah I just had a long answer to another user here who PM’d me about DIY on your own home. That is kind of a separate topic all by itself but I think I can sum it up this way:

By California law and I would assume every state, whoever makes permanent installations of (ANYTHING) to real property (your house) is FOREVER LIBEL (death will absolve you) for (ANYTHING) that goes wrong with (what you did).

Next, permits: NO PERMIT AND THE CITY WORKER DRIVING BY SEES YOUR SOLAR SYSTEM AND NOW YOU GET A LETTER FROM THE COUNTY: “Dear taxpayer, we see that you overlooked obtaining a permit for your solar system. Please have your licensed electrical contractor contact us immediately to correct this problem.” (I think you see the problem there if you DIY).

Next is your utility company. You cannot be hooked up to the grid with a system that puts power back into the grid without a PTO (Permission To Operate). I realize you want to disconnect but if you ever want to sell your houseany potential buyer is going to want to know EVERYTHING about why you aren’t connected to the grid. (See future lawsuits).

Getting back to DIY: No contractors license no install anything not there when you bought the house or you automatically lose in a lawsuit. I would never recommend anyone to make structural changes, electrical, plumbing or HVAC by yourself. Anything goes wrong and you will wish you hired a professional and gave him 3 times the bid price as a tip (rather than what will get squeezed out of you by the next owner of your home. Or a passerby who somehow gets struck by lightning on the sidewalk in front of your house and his attorney sees the solar system, checks the recorders office and cha-Ching!!! “I can litigate the possiblity that the spark came off the unlicensed pemitless until I am rich and you are poor “.

-a CA licensed contractor since 1985 classification B and C54 (general contractor with a tile sub classification). I have seen a few things in the 1977 until I retired last year.

Edit: solar systems are prone to lead to leaking roofs. Mine did after the solar contractor finished installation. The first rain after install I got drywall damage when the roof leaked. He fixed the leak and the drywall damage. And then gave me $3k to remove my Yelp comments about it.

See what I am talking about? And I didn’t even call an attorney......
 

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier w/ driver confidence 2 and infotainment packages in Silver Mist
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Discussion Starter #14
Welcome! My 2017 LT was also a lease return (34k miles at purchase). I was lucky to find one with enough miles so I could afford it! I just hit 40k miles and I am still very happy with the decision.

Enjoy your Bolt!
Thanks Essen.bolt! Just love the Bolt and I let someone break it in so I could get it for 1/2 price too!
 

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Next, permits: NO PERMIT AND THE CITY WORKER DRIVING BY SEES YOUR SOLAR SYSTEM AND NOW YOU GET A LETTER FROM THE COUNTY: “Dear taxpayer, we see that you overlooked obtaining a permit for your solar system. Please have your licensed electrical contractor contact us immediately to correct this problem.” (I think you see the problem there if you DIY).
Oh, I'll have a permit. I'll have a licensed electrician involved. I'll have the electric company install their meter and get their approval. I'll just be storing my panels on top of the roof until all the paper is in order.

I'm not worried about leaks as this is why I'm installing on my shop with a metal roof. Pretty simple as the industry has brackets made for just this type of install.
 

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Our solar panels paid for themselves (saved household electricity plus surplus paid by the electric company) in six years. Then we put in five more panels when we bought the Bolt in 2017. Don’t know when that will break even, but it is a good idea in any case.
 

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier w/ driver confidence 2 and infotainment packages in Silver Mist
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Discussion Starter #17
Our solar panels paid for themselves (saved household electricity plus surplus paid by the electric company) in six years. Then we put in five more panels when we bought the Bolt in 2017. Don’t know when that will break even, but it is a good idea in any case.
I am assuming you paid cash for your system as did I. I am going to actually beat 6 years because the installer paid me $3k to remove my one star Yelp review after my roof leaked.
😜
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Oh, I'll have a permit. I'll have a licensed electrician involved. I'll have the electric company install their meter and get their approval.
If your licensed contractor isn’t doing the whole job (what I think “involved “ means) he isn’t going to be involved in that lawsuit against you because if your contractor is giving advice, doing it as a good old buddy no-paperwork set-up etc he was never there when the excrement hits the fan.

Again, contractor here. You think I haven’t seen just about every single way that people want something for nothing and yet want to say “he did it “ when something goes wrong? I have to say every once in a while I run into something (different), but other than that I can smell the hidden agenda associated with “do me a solid bro cuz I’m special “ line before they even think it. The one law of business is “You get what you pay for “ .

I am not trying to troll you here. It’s just that the only way to get past paying the piper will unequivocally put you at risk for something that does indeed have consequences. I will just give you one last thing to think about. Your utility company is under zero obligation to grant you PTO. If they don’t know your installer they are going to look into that individual or corporation. If they don’t like what they see, don’t be surprised when you can’t turn it on. Another thing is to not turn it on until you get their blessing. They will absolutely know. If you plug a small portable gas generator into a wall outlet and fire it up, they will know you did that. The sensitivity of the system is down to about 1 watt. But this is all FWIW and IMHO......

edit: Application for PTO happens only after the system is completed and is ready to turn on. This is PG&E but I would be surprised if it isn’t exactly the same for all utility companies. Also, you need to check if your utility company has a moratorium on solar systems. I have heard it has happened in the past.
 

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If your licensed contractor isn’t doing the whole job
No license requirement for solar install in my state, just a licensed electrician. I'm an engineer so I'll be running my own wind and loading calculations. I had a licensed contractor install my geothermal system, should have seen the blank stare when I pulled out my Manual J HVAC calculations. They were more than happy to take a copy though.
 

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier w/ driver confidence 2 and infotainment packages in Silver Mist
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Discussion Starter #20
No license requirement for solar install in my state, just a licensed electrician. I'm an engineer so I'll be running my own wind and loading calculations. I had a licensed contractor install my geothermal system, should have seen the blank stare when I pulled out my Manual J HVAC calculations. They were more than happy to take a copy though.
Good Luck! Out of curiosity what state are you in?
 
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