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My wife and I, are considering our first EV, we are a one car family so this will be our only/main vehicle. I have tried talking to the local dealers but they are all clueless. We live in Northern Virginia. We currently drive a Ford Fiesta 5dr so the Bolt would be an upgrade in size.

My questions are:

For charging, at L2 what does the EVSE do? from my reading it goes between the wall socket and the car, does this replace the charging cable the car comes with?

The metro station and my office have EV chargers, do people feel concerned about the EVSE/cable being stolen, as it does not Lock into the car.

We love to kayak, can the roof take the weight of 2 kayaks, (100 Lbs total with the bars.) There was some discussion on this.

Does anyone have any information on battery degradation. I know the leaf lost a lot of battery capacity pretty fast?

Outside of the, Bolt and Tesla M3 (We have an reservation) are there any other EV we should be considering? The range on the new 2018 leaf is too short for us?
 

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A L2 EVSE replaces what your Bolt would come stock with. Some are hardwired, some are still portable. It really depends on what your electrical panel can handle and breakers are in place. I have a Clipper Creek HCS-50 which can charge at a max 40A. That's a bit faster than the highest amount the onboard Bolt charger can take. But no worries because the Bolt will only ask for what it was designed for. If there are chargers at the Metro Station or office those are hardwired there. You don't use the L1 charger you would get with the car. Personally I'd only carry it for an extreme emergency... It's too darn slow. It can only charge about 4 miles an hour, while my ClipperCreek L2 can charge 25 miles an hour.

I'll let others expand and answer your other questions.
 

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My wife and I, are considering our first EV, we are a one car family so this will be our only/main vehicle. I have tried talking to the local dealers but they are all clueless. We live in Northern Virginia. We currently drive a Ford Fiesta 5dr so the Bolt would be an upgrade in size.

My questions are:

For charging, at L2 what does the EVSE do? from my reading it goes between the wall socket and the car, does this replace the charging cable the car comes with?
L2 indicates a higher charge rate than L1 - L1 is typically 120 volts, and L2 is typically 240 volts (like electric ovens, electric water heaters, air conditioners, electric dryers) - If you have an L2 charger you would use it instead of the L1 charger that came with the car.

The metro station and my office have EV chargers, do people feel concerned about the EVSE/cable being stolen, as it does not Lock into the car.
don't know what type of charger you're speaking bout a the Metro stations, but most public chargers are "installed' and not be stolen. You'll simply plug into the charger using the cord/connector at the metro station - it's not something that can be stolen. It plugs into your car like a gas hose plugs into your gas car - the hose/nozzel are attached to the gas pump, same thing for an EV charger, typical public installs are a "fixed" hard wired "pump" that has a cord/hose that plugs into an Electric Vehicle.[/QUOTE]

Does anyone have any information on battery degradation. I know the leaf lost a lot of battery capacity pretty fast?
don't worry about this - the leaf did not properly manage the Batteries thermals with active cooling and heating and they paid the price with accelerated wear on their battery longevity. The cars like Tesla and Chevy Bolt have active thermal management of their batteries and that greatly reduces wear/tear on the battery making it a non-issue except in extreme conditions that you're not likely to encounter. Battery longevity for a properly designed car isn't a concern.[/QUOTE]


Outside of the, Bolt and Tesla M3 (We have an reservation) are there any other EV we should be considering? The range on the new 2018 leaf is too short for us?
progress with EV's is going to be rapid over the next 3-7 years - recommend you find a favorable leasing rate and consider upgrading in 3-5 years as EV's are going to have more choices and better features and may cause some accelerated depreciation based on rapid feature set development for newer models. The Bolt is the only sub-40k EV worth considering that you can actually buy right now - I"m a big fan of Tesla and own their product and the Bolt -o both cars are great in their own ways…I wouldn't hold my breath for the Model 3 as Tesla has yet to actually ship any units to the general public, but I would consider a used Model S/X or even a new S/X if you can handle paying that much for a car - otherwise the Bolt is kinda the only game in town right now for the range/price point.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the info, I understand the public chargers now, i thought it was an outlet you put your cable into but clearly its the other way around!

A follow up, does anyone actually use the DC fast charger? Seems useful but I don't know how frequently it would be used.

The depreciation is certainly a concern, we have always bought our cars, as we tend to destroy them, (1 Burnt to the ground along with a house fire, the current is full of scratches and the seats/trunk have stains from tuna fish (My wife is a commercial fisher woman).) So leasing has always been an issue as I think we would be hit with a lot of damage related costs when we return it. I would plan on keeping the bolt to the 100000 mark or beyond if it is in good working order.
 

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My questions are:

For charging, at L2 what does the EVSE do? from my reading it goes between the wall socket and the car, does this replace the charging cable the car comes with?

The metro station and my office have EV chargers, do people feel concerned about the EVSE/cable being stolen, as it does not Lock into the car.

The EVSE is basically a smart extension cord that communicates with the car's charger to ensure safe(r) transfer of electrons. The one that comes with the car plugs into a standard outlet and is considered L1. L2 operates at 240 volts. You can buy one for yourself, but whether you need to depends on how much you drive and how quickly you need to recharge. The ones you see at places like your office or parking lots will be hard-wired and can't be stolen, although it is possible for someone to unplug you without your consent. That's a big breach of charging etiquette and should be quite rare, but it can happen. If you're somewhere that just provides an outlet, it is possible for someone to actually steal the EVSE. At this point the demand is low so there's not much theft, but as EVs get more common it could become more of a problem. Some people park on their cords or run them through the window and steering wheel to prevent theft.

We love to kayak, can the roof take the weight of 2 kayaks, (100 Lbs total with the bars.) There was some discussion on this.
The roof of the car can certainly handle more than 100 pounds - it's tested for supporting the car in a rollover accident. Thule and Yakima provide weight ratings for their roof racks, which I'm too lazy to look up right now but I seem to recall are below 100 pounds. There is certainly some engineering safety margin in there and I personally wouldn't worry much about 100 pounds, but you need to determine your own comfort level with this. And of course you need to be aware that you'll take a big range hit (just like you'll get much lower mpg in your Fiesta) with two kayaks on the roof.

Does anyone have any information on battery degradation. I know the leaf lost a lot of battery capacity pretty fast?
The Bolt is too new to have good data on degradation, but GM's other EVs generally have a very good reputation in this regard. If you're concerned it's likely a better option for you to lease rather than buy, as degradation won't be much in 3 years. And in 3 years there should be other options out there in the <$50k, >200 mile segment, but for now it's only the Bolt and a used Model S.
 

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A follow up, does anyone actually use the DC fast charger? Seems useful but I don't know how frequently it would be used.

The depreciation is certainly a concern, we have always bought our cars, as we tend to destroy them, (1 Burnt to the ground along with a house fire, the current is full of scratches and the seats/trunk have stains from tuna fish (My wife is a commercial fisher woman).) So leasing has always been an issue as I think we would be hit with a lot of damage related costs when we return it. I would plan on keeping the bolt to the 100000 mark or beyond if it is in good working order.
DC Fast charging is a life saver if you want to travel beyond the range of your battery - DC Fast charging can almost fully charge the car in about an hour vs. 9 hour for the maximum L2 charger rate. However this is tempered by the availability of DC Fast chargers on your route - DC Fast charger infrastructure is still being built out - so it's not yet universally available - this is likely to get better over time as there will be more DC Fast chargers in the future rather than fewer - but it will vary regionally for some time and may not be a benefit to you personally until infrastructure comes to your area.

the typical long range driving plan for an EV is as follows:

leave home 100% full
plan stops at DC Fast chargers along your route (stay for 30-75 minutes at each charger) - blending the stop with a meal-break makes this a no brainer.
do 2-3 DC Fast charger stops in a day - this yields 400-600 miles a day of driving (a good day's driving for even a gas car)
stay overnight at a hotel with a good L2 charger - charge overnight at hotel
leave hotel in the morning at 100%
repeat the DC Fast charger story for the remainder of your trip until you get home

(in a pinch you also carry with you a good mobile L2 charger that can plug-in to 240 volt RV hookup and what not - now this still takes 7-9 hours for a full charge, but is a life saver if you travel to places with no DC Fast charging infrastructure - or excellent for camping with RV hooks up at camp sites)

long distance driving with just an L2 charger is possible, but not efficient or enjoyable as full charging sessions can take over 6-9 hours…

if you plan to drive the car down to zero value then yeah - just keep the car and don't worry about depreciation - be aware EV's other than wear/tear on interior are more likely to be mechanically sound for much longer than a gas car - EV's are expected to last at least 500,000 miles from a drive train point of view - far fewer moving parts lead to a greater expectation of longevity.
 

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DC Fast charging is a life saver if you want to travel beyond the range of your battery - DC Fast charging can almost fully charge the car in about an hour vs. 9 hour for the maximum L2 charger rate.
it should be noted that 1 hour at a typical DC Fast charger is not enough time to fully charge a Bolt from 0-100% - but it _IS_ enough typically to charge enough to get to the next DC fast charger - when traveling with an EV the mind set changes a bit from "filling up" to - getting enough charge to get to the next charging location - given that charging gets slower the closer to full the battery gets the last minutes of a charging session provide less power than the 1st minutes of a session, so the longer you stay charging the less distance you are actually adding to your driving range…

I've done a lot of traveling and fast charging - and typically I find 40-60 minutes to be the sweet spot to get enough charge + buffer to make it to my next stop - rarely if ever do I hold out for absolute 100% full - as that takes forever.....

to fill a Bolt to 100% would likely be a full 90++ minutes - with the last 10% of battery capacity being 20 of those 90 minutes of charge…

also not all DC Fast chargers are created equal - some are slower than others…so you need to also research how fast they are when planning a trip.
 

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I don't see a response about kayaks. I too have kayaks and I have not bought the rack for them yet. You have two options (and both would work). First, you can put a hitch on the car and get a light duty trailer. This would allow you to haul kayaks or whatever easily. Lot's of conversations on this forum about hitches, tow payloads.. but it would easily accommodate a pair of kayaks.

I am looking at roof racks currently. Thule makes a set of aero bars that fit the Bolt. I can't seem to find the part numbers, but I remember distinctly that I saw the entire set for $509. That includes bars, pillars, and special foot/mounts. I have an LT so I need the mounts that fit into the door jambs. If you have a Premier, then you can get the mounts that mate to the existing rails. Currently, there do not appear to be Chevy-produced cross bars, so I suspect that the Thule set for the Premier and for the LT is basically the same (although the foot mounts are different). I don't remember the total weight limit for the Thule set, but it should be able to handle 100lbs. Even if Chevy produces cross bars for the Premier rails, they will have a lower payload limit (usually around 75lbs).

Note that the price above does not include the cost of the actual kayak mounts (J-bars, cradles, etc), only the bars and method of mounting.

The Bolt is a great EV (and it is my second after a 2015 Leaf). The range is great.. more than sufficient for 99% of what people do with cars. With a couple charging accounts, you can extend your trips to hundreds of miles comfortably. It's a car that happens to be powered by electricity.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have no space for a trailer so I would get some bars, but this is not an issue as we don't go far with them. I am also looking at the LT as i don't see the benefit justifying the cost of the Premier. Just weighing up the different packages. There seems to be a lot of inventory left on dealers lots around here, so I am hoping for a year end bargain! The one I want is the LT + DCFC + Driver confidence and the convince package. The lowest I have seen so far is $33,500 for this, not sure how much lower they can go, just wished VA still had state incentives, CA have some sweet rebates/credits available.
 

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I have no space for a trailer so I would get some bars, but this is not an issue as we don't go far with them. I am also looking at the LT as i don't see the benefit justifying the cost of the Premier. Just weighing up the different packages. There seems to be a lot of inventory left on dealers lots around here, so I am hoping for a year end bargain! The one I want is the LT + DCFC + Driver confidence and the convince package. The lowest I have seen so far is $33,500 for this, not sure how much lower they can go, just wished VA still had state incentives, CA have some sweet rebates/credits available.
I paid about $35000 for an LT with same configuration in FL. I do believe that they have shut down manufacturing of 2017 models to start producing 2018 ones. So your best bets may be end of Oct or Nov. I agree with you on the LT vs Premier. I'd have liked to get a Premier but in a non-CARB state, there just isn't thousands of dollars of incentives to offset the $5K increased cost.
 

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I paid about $35000 for an LT with same configuration in FL. I do believe that they have shut down manufacturing of 2017 models to start producing 2018 ones. So your best bets may be end of Oct or Nov. I agree with you on the LT vs Premier. I'd have liked to get a Premier but in a non-CARB state, there just isn't thousands of dollars of incentives to offset the $5K increased cost.
The price difference between dealers is massive, some are still asking MSRP, just a few miles from others offering $5K + in discounts. I will have to act fast if the 2017 deliveries are done. I wonder if the dealer gets some incentive to move them, in the form of discounts on other cars/trucks so the dealers can take a loss on the Bolt.

My wife is still wanting to hold out for the Tesla but i don't think ours would be delivered in time for the tax credit, also the maintenance of the M3 is crazy for an EV. Guess I will need to do some more selling on the Bolt!
 

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I have no space for a trailer so I would get some bars, but this is not an issue as we don't go far with them. I am also looking at the LT as i don't see the benefit justifying the cost of the Premier. Just weighing up the different packages. There seems to be a lot of inventory left on dealers lots around here, so I am hoping for a year end bargain! The one I want is the LT + DCFC + Driver confidence and the convince package. The lowest I have seen so far is $33,500 for this, not sure how much lower they can go, just wished VA still had state incentives, CA have some sweet rebates/credits available.
I opted for the LT + DCFC + confidence + convenience. I think it's a good level of options and I doubt you'll be disappointed.

On etrailer.com they list the Thule options for both the LT and premier for the same price, but the LT is listed as 88 pounds capacity while the premier gets 110 pounds. I looked into the roof rack but decided that I can rent a truck for a lot less than $500 for the few times I'll actually need to haul something that won't fit inside.
 

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Leaf battery degradation.

Does anyone have any information on battery degradation. I know the leaf lost a lot of battery capacity pretty fast?
I kept a lot of data concerning range vs. temperature for my 2015 leaf. The curve from the first year reasonably matched the curve for the third year. There was certainly no significant change over three years and 20,000 miles. Location is Midcoast Maine where it is seldom hot in the summer. Most charging was done with the L1 that came with the car. We know that quick charge does more harm than the L2 so perhaps the L2 does more harm than the L1 . When it is convenient to use the L1 with the Bolt I do so which covers most charging. The Bolt is a wonderful car but I do miss my Leaf a bit :crying:
 

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You can view my other post in this forum to determin if the additional maintenance costs of the Model 3 compared to the Bolt justify the expense. I too still have a M3 reservation but I highly doubt I will use it.
I've owned the Bolt for 2 months now and just clocked 7000 miles. The car has performed flawlessly. I am still a Tesla fan but truthfully, GM deserves alot of credit here. The amount of thought, energy and technology is truely astounding in this vehicle.
I am a member of the Model 3 owners club and you can view their latest full review of the Model 3. They go into good detail on the car. It is on youtube and lasts about 1 hour.
That should help you decide.
For me, after viewing the video, my decision was only further reinforced. The Bolt is very practical and everything fits. The headroom, backseat room and commanding view out the front and sides makes it a winner for me.
As far as tech, they are both alot closer than you think. Tesla fanboys will try and tell you otherwise but if you look closely at the video and pause it, you will see that the Bolt closely mirrors almost every function except autopilot..which I have no use for.
As for batteries, GM has a long reputation for being conservative and this Bolt battery will be no different. This is not a leaf battery...and all the problems associated with it.
The Bolt is a pleasure to drive. Range anxiety is non existent.
Tesla has the Bolt beat on supercharging but the Bolt has Tesla beat on cost of maintenance and repairs. The new leaf is nice, but not comparable until a bigger battery is released, and only if it has thermal management which I doubt.
So you have options...but the most important one of all is that they are all pure electric.
And thats a good thing.
 

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Thanks for the info, I understand the public chargers now, i thought it was an outlet you put your cable into but clearly its the other way around!

A follow up, does anyone actually use the DC fast charger? Seems useful but I don't know how frequently it would be used.
Unless you NEVER, EVER, EVER drive more than 100 miles from home, I say get the $750 fast charging option. There are actually a decent # of CCS (Bolt compatible) stations in the DelMarVa area, so if you wanted to go to the beach in OC/Rehoboth, or Va Beach for example, you'd want the fast charge ability for sure.

I'd also recommend checking out some Bolt dealers in MD. Criswell, Ourisman, and Win Kelly come to mind. You'd have to drive a little further, but MD's doc fee is $300 compared to VA's $600+.

And as for your Model 3 reservation? Uh, well you should read this: http://gm-volt.com/2017/11/01/model-3-bottleneck-blamed-chaos-incompetence-tesla-gigafactory/
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Unless you NEVER, EVER, EVER drive more than 100 miles from home, I say get the $750 fast charging option. There are actually a decent # of CCS (Bolt compatible) stations in the DelMarVa area, so if you wanted to go to the beach in OC/Rehoboth, or Va Beach for example, you'd want the fast charge ability for sure.

I'd also recommend checking out some Bolt dealers in MD. Criswell, Ourisman, and Win Kelly come to mind. You'd have to drive a little further, but MD's doc fee is $300 compared to VA's $600+.
Thanks for the link, I have been following the Model 3 closely. It looks like a great cat if they ever build any!

I have found a couple of the Bolt in the configuration that i want. Just time to pull the trigger.

We live in VA would we not then have to pay the VA fees to register in VA or can we drive in MD plates?
 

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Virgina and Maryland have this agreement where MD dealers can submit VA registration on behalf of VA residents, and vice versa. So basically, being a VA resident and buying at a MD dealer would be the same as buying at a VA dealer. Maybe you can leverage VA dealers, saying the MD doc fee is $300+ cheaper, and see if they will bring the price down to match the cheaper MD fees.
 

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Virgina and Maryland have this agreement where MD dealers can submit VA registration on behalf of VA residents, and vice versa. So basically, being a VA resident and buying at a MD dealer would be the same as buying at a VA dealer. Maybe you can leverage VA dealers, saying the MD doc fee is $300+ cheaper, and see if they will bring the price down to match the cheaper MD fees.
Nice! Thanks for the info, this is really helpful.

So I have found some DCFC on I95 Near Richmond, one is at a Hilton the other at a Hampton, do you know if anyone can turn up and use these, or do they only allow guests to use them?

Thanks for all the advice.
 

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Congratulations on considering making a big move to all EV on a one car family!

I LOVE my Bolt EV! I have to admit California makes driving one so much easier.

You will not experience the same battery loss, as GM has engineered maintenance into its design as shown by the experience of Spark EV drivers' experiences.
 
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