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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question I have yet to find an answer to. I live in Ohio currently the temperatures overnight all right around 20 degrees. The GOM on my car is showing right around 175 miles at 100% charge. My question is I have roughly a 150 mile round trip to work. I work for the railroad so once I get to work my car will be left unplugged and overnight for roughly 24 hours before I'll get back in it to drive home. I have no ability to plug in while at work and there is not a single level 2 or fast charger on the route home. Is there any type of battery drain from conditioning while the car is left unplugged? I've been driving my Volt for the last month to and from work as I've been unsure of whether or not I can make the round trip comfortably. I would love to be able to take my Bolt but haven't pressed my luck.
 

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At 20 degrees, there is likely to be a small amount of battery drain do to conditioning (battery conditioning will occur with a SOC >30%).

Can you make 150 miles? Not enough info for us to know.

I'm assuming a large percentage of highway driving for a 75 mile commute (70 mph?). When you were using the Bolt, how much of your battery % did you use? At what temp?

You will need to factor in that your battery will have cold soaked while parked and, if it is normally garaged/plugged in while at home, the return trip will require more energy to overcome the colder battery.
 

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It depends on how cold the battery gets and it's state of charge. Once it gets below a preset charge level it discontinues conditioning/protection to save charge, but it could drain considerably till it gets to the cutoff level.



If you encounter a weather event on your commute home you'll really be pushing your luck.




Play it safe, take your nice warm Volt!
 
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If it were me, I'd have preheat set for maximum temp for your departure when plugged in. Then I'd drive very conservatively to ensure I could make the round trip. Based on how much extra juice remained from that pilot trip, I would adjust how conservatively I drove to ensure a comfortable buffer. If the buffer weren't comfortable enough, I'd just take the Volt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is a longer (time) route to work which has a speed limit of 55mph. I figured I'd take this route to help with the range but wasn't sure what I could expect for battery drain from sitting.
 

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You're smart to think of the drain from sitting. I don't own a Bolt, so I cannot comment based on experience. From what others have shared, the drain will be minimal at those temperatures, especially considering only sitting for 24hrs. There are people who park for a week at the airport in colder temperatures and are still able to drive away.

As Duc points out, the vehicle won't even condition the battery when the state of charge drops below 30%.

You could park the vehicle outside and not plugged in, note the SoC, and then see what the drain is after 24hrs.
 

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The battery loss over night in those conditions should be minimal.

This is no guarantee of your being able to make your commute because I can't guarantee how you drive, but something to consider is that GM's range estimator is very conservative at the upper end of the charge. If you are anywhere close to half a battery when you arrive, be sure to drive a bit more conservatively on the return.

Also, is this your regular yard/shift, or do just do it occasionally?
 

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In 12 hours at 鈥20掳 last winter I never saw a detectible loss in the battery charge. Where detectible means 0.1 kWh, which is the smallest unit on the display.

However, range definitely drops with temperature, so if it got much colder during the 24 hour standing period you could have less range for your return trip even if the battery doesn鈥檛 lose any charge.
 

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Hard to believe you don't have access to even a 110V plug...with the included charger you'd fill up quite a lot in 24 hours

In a bind you could stop at gas station and plug 110V for an hour (done that a few times)

But yes lately I have been getting 160 to 170 miles in 25F weather (down from 220 in Summer)
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hard to believe you don't have access to even a 110V plug...with the included charger you'd fill up quite a lot in 24 hours

In a bind you could stop at gas station and plug 110V for an hour (done that a few times)

But yes lately I have been getting 160 to 170 miles in 25F weather (down from 220 in Summer)
I tried talking with my manager to see if I could plug in and was told under no conditions could I. they had a gentleman a couple years back who plugged in his diesel truck block heater to make sure he could get home after work and they tried to terminate him for "theft". They're a little ridiculous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The battery loss over night in those conditions should be minimal.

This is no guarantee of your being able to make your commute because I can't guarantee how you drive, but something to consider is that GM's range estimator is very conservative at the upper end of the charge. If you are anywhere close to half a battery when you arrive, be sure to drive a bit more conservatively on the return.

Also, is this your regular yard/shift, or do just do it occasionally?
It is my regular shift. I work over the road so when I get called to work I'm gone for anywhere from 24 to 36 hours before returning. Obviously in the summer and fall I was able to make this drive without any issue however winter has caused me to question whether or not I could. I'm going to attempt it this next time I get called in and see how it goes.
 

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I tried talking with my manager to see if I could plug in and was told under no conditions could I. they had a gentleman a couple years back who plugged in his diesel truck block heater to make sure he could get home after work and they tried to terminate him for "theft". They're a little ridiculous.
I hope you're looking for a new job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I Hope you're looking for a new job.
No, that's just the current administration at the railroad. It varies based off terminals, and the managers at the time, some could care less and others, in this case, are just assholes. In a year or two they'll be promoted or fired and I'll talk with the replacement about plugging in.
 

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^ that's a shame... some people are just asses because they can be!


Meanwhile, in one of the biggest scams uncovered in the last 25yrs... 95% of the Long Island Rail Road management and employees retired on disability benefits! Many have been caught- pension & benefits completely dropped, the dr's involved went to jail and some restitution has been made... and these are the people who would probably deny you access to a 120V outlet too!
 

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Can't you just offer to pay $2 per shift that you plug in? Just being able to keep the battery warm (and "remote start" so that you have a toasty warm car for the drive home) would be worth the $2 to ME. (And you are getting a "half tank" of electricity, as well.)
 

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I encourage you to try the opposite of what is expected. I am finding that I get the best mileage, only on sustained interstate driving, with higher speeds. Put my cruise on 75, covered the same 80+ miles one way in very cold weather (25+) just as I did in warm weather. The only reasoning behind this, backed by studies, is that the battery pack is making enough of its own heat to reduce or eliminate external heating to the pack. In my case, it appears that conditioning the pack during slower speed runs is worse than asking the pack for high speed and getting its own heat built up. None of this will work with 35 to 50 inner city stop go. So, in such cold, it is almost like the Bolt approaches inner city inefficiency like an ICE. I would have not thought this was possible, until I tried it myself on a route that I am TOO familiar with.

Safely experiment, where you know you can make it home with either technique. Compare that slow stop and start to flat out highway. BTW, after am preconditioning and heat while on 240v, I then only use steering wheel and seat heaters = no cab heat. So? No cab heat, and hopefully little or no heat to the battery.

YES, your problem is coming home after no preconditioning.

Worth trying it yourself.
 

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No, that's just the current administration at the railroad. It varies based off terminals, and the managers at the time, some could care less and others, in this case, are just assholes. In a year or two they'll be promoted or fired and I'll talk with the replacement about plugging in.
Wow. Good luck!
 

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It is my regular shift. I work over the road so when I get called to work I'm gone for anywhere from 24 to 36 hours before returning. Obviously in the summer and fall I was able to make this drive without any issue however winter has caused me to question whether or not I could. I'm going to attempt it this next time I get called in and see how it goes.
This will be a good test to see what you can expect. It would suck to have to take a different vehicle for a regular shift.

I parked my Bolt EV on top of a mountain at 20 F overnight, and didn't see any significant losses.
 

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Have you looked at Plugshare? no private L2 charger on your commute just in case?
I still think 150 miles is easy. I never see battery drain when left sitting.

The biggest factor I see is running the heater so that is something you can turn off if you get too close on you return trip.
 

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Here's an update from Montana yesterday. I had to run TokoBolt up to Helena for a "service vehicle soon" light, which appears to be related to a software battery management issue that Chevy hasn't figured out yet..(??). So, here are the details, it's about 140 mile RT. Temps on the way up were cold, mostly below to well below zero F, as low as-20 (!). The trip up to Helena, 1300 ft elevation loss, cost me 60 miles of GOM 180 mile full charge. That's 20 miles more cost than at warmer temps. It usually costs me ~ 100 miles on the GOM to get home. Given the temps I was a bit concerned and had added some range (30 miles) at one of the few level 2 chargers in Helena. Temps had warmed up into the teens and twenties. Drove back pretty conservatively until I was about 1/2 way back and knew I had plenty of electrons. It ended up costing me 72 miles on the GOM on the way home, so if I hadn't charged up I would have had ~ 45-50 miles to spare. I was impressed I was able to add that much range by restricting my speed to 50 on the uphill stretches and 55 otherwise. It's winter driving so those speeds aren't that unreasonable under conservative driving.
Used only heated seat and steering wheel. Fortunately I'm not thermally challenged!
 
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