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Discussion Starter #1
One of the big decisions points before I finally pull-the-trigger and buy a Bolt regards cold weather.

I do not have a garage, so the poor thing would be left out in the cold all the time. We have times where the temperature falls to single digits and occasionally in the negatives. A couple years ago we had a stretch of significant temperatures that froze my Beetle's diesel fuel filter solid. How will temperatures like this affect the Bolt? As my commute is 100 miles round trip I plan on charging at home daily via LV2. Will the car regulate the battery compartment temperature so as to avoid damage through the charge process? Will it keep the compartment warm even when charging is completed? If not how long does it take to warm the battery to a proper operating temp? Other thoughts/tips would be appreciated as well.

I understand that range is decreased in the cold. I would love to hear from some of you early adopters what kind of range reduction you got and at what temperatures.

Thanks,
 

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From the owners manual:

Do not allow the vehicle to remain in
temperature extremes for long
periods without being driven or
plugged in. It is recommended that
the vehicle be plugged in when
temperatures are below 0 °C (32 °F)
and above 32 °C (90 °F) to
maximize high voltage battery life.
As long as you keep it plugged into your L2, you should be fine.

Range decrease will vary greatly, but could be as much as 50%. Most will find they do much better than that. Factors like road conditions (snow, etc), speed, heat/defrost settings all have a significant effect on range.

100 miles should be doable. If you go for the LT trim, the heated seats/steering wheel are a MUST (Comfort & Convenience I). Using these greatly reduces energy draw vs heating the cabin air.
 

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If you keep her plugged in all the time when not driving- the battery will keep it self warm if/when needed.

You can also pre-condition the cab while plugged in to L2 to bring it up to livable temps without draining the battery prior to departure.

As Duc mentioned above, heated seats and steering wheel will help greatly to conserve energy.

What's your location BTW?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am in So. Central PA, near York. While our temps are mostly mild compared to other parts of the country our friends to the north occasionally send those Arctic Clippers dipping down into our region.
 

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I drive 130-150 every day. Got the bolt jan 9. Cold weather affects the bolt for miliage. But would charge to 170 miles at the lowest. Left out in the cold but no lower than 20 degrees. No problems. Should work fine for you. Enjoy.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
100 miles should be doable. If you go for the LT trim, the heated seats/steering wheel are a MUST (Comfort & Convenience I). Using these greatly reduces energy draw vs heating the cabin air.
I was planning on the LT, but without the Comfort package. You make a good argument for it. My Bug is notoriously lacking in the heat category usually taking 15-20 miles on a cold morning to warm the cabin to the point I can unzip the coat and take off the gloves. I can see where only heating where needed would greatly reduce the energy consumption and extend range. Does CC1 include the passenger seat heating or just the driver's?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
But would charge to 170 miles at the lowest. Left out in the cold but no lower than 20 degrees. No problems.
Thanks, Posatronic. That sounds pretty close to what is more typical for our winter lows. So at 20*F you are only seeing a 25-30% reduction in range. That is very helpful, and well within my round trip range.
 

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Be aware that if the Bolt is cold soaked overnight (or even left out in the cold for a few hours), fast charging will likely be limited till the Bolt's battery reaches around 68F/20C. The Bolt restricts DCFC rates until the battery warms up. I found that out one time on a trip to PA over the winter.
 

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Does CC1 include the passenger seat heating or just the driver's?
CC1 includes both driver and passenger heated seats (Premier is needed for rear heated seats). I live a few hundred miles north of you (Vermont), and after having them on my last car, now consider them a must have purely for the sake of comfort (they heat up much more quickly than the regular heat), but as others have noted, they're of particular importance for range on an EV due to the lower power consumption in comparison to using the heat.
 

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I'm new to this forum and considering buying a Bolt as my daily driver but before I buy I'm interest in hearing real life experiences from any who live in the colder northern climates as to practical experience in the very cold. I live in Northern IL and the town I live in holds the State record for a real temp of -37F and occasionally temps of -10F to -18F can be experienced on a regular basis in Dec and Jan.

My round trip drive to and from work is 130 miles of FLAT terrain and there is no place to plug in at work, not even a L1 outlet. I drive city roads for 2 miles to get on the hwy then 60 miles at 60 to 70 mph and another 3 miles city driving to work. My car would need to sit out in the cold at work all day and then at home where it could be plugged into an L2 outlet. Note also the daylight saving time where during late Nov to March I would need headlights and not to mention defroster and some heat.

So the hard question... has anyone at this time driven their Bolt under the types of conditions I've described and what have the experiences been on range and whether this is even do able with only charging overnight at home? I understand there are so many variables and it is hard to comment on battery capacity degradation over time since this vehicle is so new but I'm allowing for 30-40% over the first few years based on some early reports I've read and the reported Leaf experiences.

For myself I'm comparing against my current daily driver which is a '15 Cruze 2.0 TD which averages 50 MPG with a range of 700 miles on a full tank (talk about range anxiety). Currently I'm spending about $1700 (cost of diesel seems to vary as much as the stock market) annually on diesel. Based on "off peak" electric rates in my area (charging at night @ 0.11/KWh) I figure I could cut my diesel costs in half (save about $800 annually) if the Bolt truly delivers what current drivers are reporting at 4 miles/KWh.
 

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I live in the mountains of Colorado and cancelled my order due to loss of energy in winter months and range anxiety. I refuse to spend $43k for a car in which I have to be careful with my use of heat and possibly run out of energy. For what? To save a few dollars each month? To "do the right thing"?

I just dropped off a rental car, a Prius, that I drove over 300 miles in the week and filled it up costing $15.25. Got 61 mpg and helped the environment.

What would the Bolt have cost me even though I would have had to find a charger location to go the 300 mile distance. Maybe $9-$10 with cost of Peak New York ConEd rates?

The Bolt is not for me.
 

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I'm new to this forum and considering buying a Bolt as my daily driver but before I buy I'm interest in hearing real life experiences from any who live in the colder northern climates as to practical experience in the very cold. I live in Northern IL and the town I live in holds the State record for a real temp of -37F and occasionally temps of -10F to -18F can be experienced on a regular basis in Dec and Jan.

My round trip drive to and from work is 130 miles and there is no place to plug in at work, not even a L1 outlet. I drive city roads for 2 miles to get on the hwy then 60 miles at 60 to 70 mph and another 3 miles city driving to work. My car would need to sit out in the cold at work all day and then at home where it could be plugged into an L2 outlet. Note also the daylight saving time where during late Nov to March I would need headlights and not to mention defroster and some heat.

So the hard question... has anyone at this time driven their Bolt under the types of conditions I've described and what have the experiences been on range and whether this is even do able with only charging overnight at home?
How many hours would the car be sitting outside in the cold at work? Without being plugged in and in the temps you are talking about the battery conditioning will most likely be running a large portion of the day. Thus drawing power from the battery to keep the battery warm. So on the really cold parts of the year 130 mile commute (mostly highway) with no place to plug in and in those temps might be stretching it.

I don't have any experience with my bolt being temps that low to see what the battery conditioning drain would be. Yesterday I did get to see what it sitting in an open parking lot for 9 hours in 90+ heat would do. It used 3% of the battery on conditioning while I was inside work. I would expect cold temps to use more battery for conditioning as it would be cold all day versus starting in the 80s and moving up to the 90s like a hot day does. Without experience I can't say how much of the battery it would use, but heating uses more energy than cooling so I know it will be more.

I know we have some Canadian users on here so hopefully they read this thread and can give you their experiences.
 

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There have been some scattered cold weather range related posts on this and other Bolt forums, but not nearly enough to paint a complete picture due to the staggered Bolt roll-out diverting most early Bolts to sunny California rather than up north or to the northeast.

With that in mind.... my gut tells me you'd be on a razors edge on cold days and god forbid you hit inclement weather with headwinds, snow, etc.. where you need full heat and defrost for the duration to keep the glass clean, in addition to headlights and wipers for the full duration too.

I hate to even suggest it... but a Prius may be your best bet. Even during the worst winter storms- with full heat blasting, I still got 35+ mpg out of my Gen III Prius, and with real winter tires (not the junk OEM all-season radials!) it was excellent in the snow.
 

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Three years with a Nissan Leaf, now a Bolt. I'm going to throw in another vote for heated seats and wheel. I live in New England, many winter days the seats and wheel are enough. I would run the heat for a few minutes to get the air comfortable then shut it off. With the exception of those really bitter cold days, I got to find it more comfortable without the hot dry electric heat blowing in my face.

At some point you will ride in a car without the heated seats and wheel and wonder how those savages survive without the heated wheel. :)
 

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Thanks everyone for the early posts, I'm beginning to get a clearer picture of real expectations. I did not realize that battery conditioning was a matter of fact and not the user choice! My car generally sits at work for 9 to 10hrs and unfortunately they do not let anyone charge an EV because they feel it would give limited employees an add benefit over all their other employees. Would be interesting to know what it would cost just to keep the battery warm on a -35F night and figuring that into the mileage cost of operating the EV.

My main reason for considering going EV is to save on the cost of fuel for my daily grind but also from the green aspect and lastly to mention I'm an electrical/computer engineer and a geek. The plan for EV would eventually included adding solar panels for charging thereby hopefully eliminating the larger portion of the electric charging costs.

The back up plan especially for the winter months would include trading cars with the wife where she would drive the Bolt for her short distance errands during the extreme weather and I would drive the Cruze TD on those days for my drive in to work.

And I think for the vacation runs out through the Colorado Rockies, with limited charging facilities, the Bolt is out and we would rely on the Cruze TD to eliminate any perception there might be of range anxiety. :)

My plans also did include buying in Washington state due to pricing and make a vacation out of driving it back to my home state to see how practical the car truly was?? I checked out a few routes (1600 miles) which appeared to have enough charger en-route but it does contemplate that they were all functional and available??
 

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Any way to rent a Bolt for a week or so in your area?

That would certainly help estimating your EV range.
 

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Wish I saw this thread just made a new post about cold weather. Does anybody know how many watts the battery heater in the bolt is? When its plug into a charger and after battery is fully charged does it still keep it warm? And when the car is sitting off un plug it does drain the battery to keep it warm?
 

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You already have a perfectly good car for commuting in the winter: the Cruze TD. The Bolt, while a great car, is potenially not an ideal replacement for the Cruze because of winter range. However, you already mentioned a solution to the winter range anxiety: swap cars with your wife on those days. If her current car is an older car that gets low gas mileage, the Bolt would be a good replacement for that car. You get to drive it in non-winter months for your commute, and she gets it for winter where she's not traveling far.
 

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Any way to rent a Bolt for a week or so in your area?

That would certainly help estimating your EV range.
Thought about renting when the Leaf first came out and now with the Bolt but to this point was not able to find any short term leases in my area other then the typical long term leases. :(
 

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Wish I saw this thread just made a new post about cold weather. Does anybody know how many watts the battery heater in the bolt is? When its plug into a charger and after battery is fully charged does it still keep it warm? And when the car is sitting off un plug it does drain the battery to keep it warm?
When the Bolt is plugged into an L2 or higher charger it will run everything from that source, not the battery in the car. This includes climate control, battery conditioning, etc. The manual recommends that the Bolt be left plugged in for this exact reason, as to not drain the battery running things like battery conditioning.

When the Bolt is plugged into an L1 charger it will run everything from that source unless the demand for power is higher than the L1 line can provide. Running the heater at full capacity would be more than the L1 line could provide so some power will come from the cars battery in that situation.
 
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