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Discussion Starter #1
Hello good people.
I'm very interested in purchasing a Bolt. Sorry in advance if this has already been discussed. My biggest concern is having to keep the Bolt plugged in at temps over 90 degrees to help maintain the battery. Here in Phoenix its over 90 half the year. This will not be a problem at home (I plan on installing a charging station).The company I work for does not have any outlets (110v) near the parking lot nor do I know if they would let the employees use them. I plan on keeping the car for a long while (since I will be retiring in a few years). Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Thank you for posting your question. I have learned a lot by researching the issue!... live in Metro Boston so not so much of an issue for me, but still relevant as we are seeing many more hot days.

I don't think charging, in an environment over 90 F, is a significant problem during the charging because there is active management to keep the battery cool. I think when you go to drive the car you may want to turn it on, and turn on the A/C, 5-10 minutes beforehand so the battery cooling system an passenger cooling systems are going.

HOWEVER one does see threads by more experienced persons who charged their EVs in middle of the day in 110-120 F weather and had shorter battery lives... check out mychevybolt.com and search for the thread using "Hot Garage."

Quoting a posting by Jeff3948 there: "And here is the link that describes the Bolt's TMS which is a little different than the Volt's but still uses "active liquid battery cooling" (a refrigeration cycle that cools the coolant liquid): http://www.hybridcars.com/2017-chevy-bo ... x-details/

Take a look at: http://www.chevyevlife.com/bolt-ev-questions-and-answers/#how-long-does-the-battery-last?evar25=ch_boltev_mov_chargingbattery

I think you want to charge at night when it is coolest (and you may get best pricing...). Bolt manual says best to keep Bolt plugged in, when temps > 90 ... but unless I am wrong, the active cooling of the battery only occurs when the Bolt is charging. Maybe another more experienced soul can inform the thread on battery cooling when the car is not in charging mode....
 

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we've had temps well over 90 all summer and a few times over 100 in LA and no problems. I would keep the EVSE (charging brick) in the shade though. That's the only part that gets hot and direct sunlight in 100 deg heat might not be the best idea.
 

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I read the original post as impact of parking - not plugged in to either 120 or 240 - during the day in hot temperatures.

The thermal management system will cool the battery when needed, even if not plugged in as long as the battery is at least 30% charged (not sure about the exact percentage). It is likely that the TMS allows for a higher temp before cooling starts when unplugged, but the car will still protect the battery from damage.

The impact on range should be minimal - just a few miles if parked during the business day and then driven home at night.
 

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My unsophisticated view is that the car will protect the battery at all times, but that battery conditioning is on by default whenever the Bolt is charging. If the forecast calls for <94 degrees, I try to have it plugged.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the great info. There is a bit of a learning curve in making the switch to an EV. Yes my big concern is the car sitting in the parking lot at 100 - 120 degrees five days a week for six months not plugged in and any long term effect on the batteries.
 

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if i were you, i would actually root for the battery to fail - because it has an 8 year warranty. if it fails in less than 8 years, you get a new one. of course if it fails in 8.5 years, you're hosed.
 

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Approach your employer. Mine put in 4 L2 chargers and there was 6 Volts on site within a few months. Upper management guy was pissed with rotating cars so everyone got equal access. Had 12 more stations put in for a total of 16. There are now 13 cars on site and sure more are coming. Can't hurt to ask.
 
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Been able to keep my garage below 90 F while outside temps have been triple digits. Went to dinner last night with car parked on west side in the sun. Saw my first battery conditioning since owning the car. This is my first summer owning the car. The conditioning appeared to occur during the drive home.
 

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Been able to keep my garage below 90 F while outside temps have been triple digits. Went to dinner last night with car parked on west side in the sun. Saw my first battery conditioning since owning the car. This is my first summer owning the car. The conditioning appeared to occur during the drive home.
Good info, I too have yet to see any evidence of battery conditioning occurring, including on one day when it got into the high 90s while the Bolt was parked unplugged with ~70% SoC.

I would really love to see some real data on when and how the Bolt conditions the battery, now I am sure that it's going off the temperature of the battery as opposed to ambient but I want to know:
  1. At what temperature does the car decide to condition when you are driving it?
  2. At what temperature does the car decide to condition when it's "plugged in"?
  3. Does being plugged in to a 110v outlet count as being "plugged in" or do you need to be on 220v?
  4. At what temperature does the car decide to condition when it is not "plugged" in?
  5. Precisely what SoC does the car require to allow for battery conditioning from battery power?
Now of course I don't expect GM to ever give us straight answers to the questions I'm asking, but I do hope that we Bolt owners as a community can figure it out for ourselves.

For now, based on all the information I've seen I'm making the decision to NOT keep the car plugged in, because if the car really will use battery power to condition the battery I believe it's better for the battery in the long run to keep the SoC between 40% and 75% as opposed to plugging in, letting it charge to ~90% and holding it there until the next time I drive it.

Now OTOH if the car doesn't condition when not "plugged in" or if it waits to condition until the battery reaches a significantly higher temperature I'm probably better off plugging in on very hot days and trade the small amount of damage I'm doing to the battery by having it sit at ~90% to make sure the battery is kept in a more favorable temperature range.

Basically I'm reasoning that since I know for a fact that I'm (slightly) damaging the battery by keeping it plugged in I choose not to and running the risk that I'm damaging it (possibly even more) by letting it get too hot.
 

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Good info, I too have yet to see any evidence of battery conditioning occurring, including on one day when it got into the high 90s while the Bolt was parked unplugged with ~70% SoC.

I would really love to see some real data on when and how the Bolt conditions the battery, now I am sure that it's going off the temperature of the battery as opposed to ambient but I want to know:
  1. At what temperature does the car decide to condition when you are driving it?
  2. At what temperature does the car decide to condition when it's "plugged in"?
  3. Does being plugged in to a 110v outlet count as being "plugged in" or do you need to be on 220v?
  4. At what temperature does the car decide to condition when it is not "plugged" in?
  5. Precisely what SoC does the car require to allow for battery conditioning from battery power?
Now of course I don't expect GM to ever give us straight answers to the questions I'm asking, but I do hope that we Bolt owners as a community can figure it out for ourselves.

For now, based on all the information I've seen I'm making the decision to NOT keep the car plugged in, because if the car really will use battery power to condition the battery I believe it's better for the battery in the long run to keep the SoC between 40% and 75% as opposed to plugging in, letting it charge to ~90% and holding it there until the next time I drive it.

Now OTOH if the car doesn't condition when not "plugged in" or if it waits to condition until the battery reaches a significantly higher temperature I'm probably better off plugging in on very hot days and trade the small amount of damage I'm doing to the battery by having it sit at ~90% to make sure the battery is kept in a more favorable temperature range.

Basically I'm reasoning that since I know for a fact that I'm (slightly) damaging the battery by keeping it plugged in I choose not to and running the risk that I'm damaging it (possibly even more) by letting it get too hot.
I found some comfort to know, based on voltages reported by others, that it appears that using hill top reserve is consistent with a 80% voltage level for the cell type.

Like you, I didn't want to keep it plugged in. So I went out of my way to get my garage to stay below 90 F. But, some time in my future, I was planning to go with a heat pump so I'll no longer have the waste cooling like I have now with my evaporative cooling system. I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Hope to understand the Bolt's battery conditioning a little better by then.

I have the same questions as you stated.
 

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Rooting for battery failure must seem horrible to most of the people on the Bolt Forum. However, I took full advantage of the Mitsubishi warranty. I purchased an I Miev two years ago. I hate Carmax, but found it and researched myself, though still had to finally pay Carmax. They were as bad as the worst stories that you have heard, and did not understand the needs or even specs of the car that they were selling. I knew what the worst case scenario was, for an EV with 1300 miles on it. And, sure enough, when I picked it up, the body and mechanics was probably unchanged since it was sold in 2012. It was in beautiful condition. I immediately noticed that it would only charge to 10 or 11 out of a possible 12. Carmax was disgusting, so I, the second owner, took it straight to Mitsubishi. They immediately diagnosed the battery as bad and ordered a new one, which required a special winch from headquarters. No hassle. No argument. Needing the winch and the new battery, it took just under two weeks. Friendly...no charge of any kind. I picked up the 2012 Miev, in mint physical condition and now with a brand new battery from 2016. I know what happened to the first battery. It was merely allowed to sit in lots, for over 6 months, in the heat of NV, and never charged. I do not blame the Mitsu battery. I blame dealers, who must learn how to care for such vehicles. I have been doing every cycle, only charging to 80%, then doing a full charge every two weeks so it can remember polarizations. It runs great, and does all our local duty, dogs, shopping, going to local work, et al. Wonderful second car. It is called 2012 for tax purposes, but is really 2016 where it counts most. I have the Miev, a German CityEl 3 wheeler (https://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/31/its-electric-the-cityel-trike/) and the Bolt = all electric at our house.

If someone found a Bolt that had the same mismanagement, and it qualified for a new battery??? Go get it.
 

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Terry Hancock said:
...ordered a new one, which required a special wench from headquarters...
...Needing the wench and the new battery, it took just under two weeks...
I NEVE get a new wench when I take MY Bolt to the shop. :(
 

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I like the way it read, as the story was much better. However, I did change the spelling, which will ruin the post for future generations.
 

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I like the way it read, as the story was much better. However, I did change the spelling, which will ruin the post for future generations.
Oh, was a winch. Thought the autocorrect changed wrench! The Weber State guy used a special lifting fixture from GM to remove individual battery packs.
 

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hehehehe, "wench"...
 
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