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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
First timer here on this forum. I've been shopping around since my commute to work will be a lot longer now. It will be from Fairfax, VA to Baltimore. About 50-55 miles each way.
My questions are:
1. Would it make it round trip each day? I plan to just charge at home overnight. I understand 238 is not the true MPG since it didn't factor in the weather and other things the car will be utilizing.
2. What's the monthly spike on the electricity bill like?
3. If I charge every night...what happens if the battery is full while i'm sleeping. Would it have an effect of the electricity cost if the battery is fully charged but still plugged in?

Thanks in advance!

Regards,

Andy
 

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Hi Andy,

1. You are looking at 110 miles daily, I think even in the worst case (extreme cold, heavy load, uphill), you'd be completely safe each day (but you would want to charge nightly). Someone else can probably provide an actual worst case range from your neck of the woods.

2. I'll leave this one for one of the experts - there are a few posts about this topic as well if you search.

3. The car is smart - it will only charge when it needs to - once the battery is topped-off, it will only pull more if the car needs to condition the battery (to keep it from freezing or getting too hot). You can also program the car to charge at times when you pay the lowest utility costs.
 

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1) Easily.
(238 is the EPA range rating and not MPG or MPGe). 238 is a pretty good estimate for a mix of city/hwy driving. People easily exceed that in mild weather, and get less in hot or cold (cold has a bigger impact). Like any vehicle, physics dictate that higher speeds take more energy and will reduce range as well, so if you routinely do 80 mph on a freeway commute, your range will drop (just like the mpg and range of a gas car).
2) Depends on the incremental cost of your electricity. A good rule of thumb for a rough estimate is 4 mi/kWh. It looks like Fairfax runs about $.11/kWh, so 110 miles RT would be about $3.
3) An EVSE will cost about $.25 to $.50/mo in "vampire draw" - a fraction of your TV or DVR. The exception will be in very hot or cold conditions when the car will use power to cool or heat the battery (but still likely less than $1/mo)
 

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My wife drives our bolt ~80 miles a day. A good portion of it is highway at 65-70mph. One thing that helped us save a little in miles and range is that we google/mapquest'ed her commute to find more efficient ways. We ended up finding a route that was 6 miles less, a minute slower, but mostly streets so it help conserve energy. Even with hilltop reserve on she has no problems making it to work and back with plenty of range left. Temperatures haven't dropped below 20 degree here but she hasn't had a problem with range yet. You will need to charge each night though.
 

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To hit the question that fourtytwopointtwo skipped:
Your monthly power bill will go up, but you'll have a bigger drop in your monthly gasoline spending. However, the math depends on all sorts of variables, like the MPG of your current car and your local cost for power.

The basic math looks something like this: Divide your daily miles (110) by your expected efficiency in miles/kWh (3.9) = ~28kWh per day. Multiply by the cost of power in your area (for me, $0.10/kWh) = $2.8 per day. Do that drive 20 days a month, and you're up around $56.
Note that 3.9 miles/kWh is a mid-range estimate, fast driving in cold weather can drop you to 3.2 miles/kWh, slow driving in mild weather can go above 5 miles/kWh.

If you drove a gas car that got 30MPG, you'd use 3.6 gallons of gas, if prices were $2.60/gal then you'd spend $9.36 for the same daily trip, or $187 for a month.
 

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I mostly drive in Northern Virginia and have gone a few times to DC and to Baltimore ... yes, the Bolt will do the 110 daily miles you need. Even twice. Matter of fact, the Bolt is ideal for that kind of terrain and traffic type.

Your electricity bill of course will go up, but your gasoline costs will go down. I think in the US an electric mile is at least 2 times cheaper than a gasoline mile.
 

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I have a 100 mile round-trip commute and my worst case thus far was a 30F overnight snap and I had the heat running for both the morning and evening commute. There was no rain so the roads were dry. I used 35 kWh. Interestingly enough, that's the same I get when it's about 50F but raining a lot. The water being thrown by your wheels "feels" heavier to the car.

The calculations of gas vs electric commute are fairly straight forward. For me, it's 35 kWh x $0.13 = $5. Even with a Prius that gets 55mpg, at gas prices where I'm at now ($2.80), the Bolt wins. Don't forget about the charger costs, though. I made do with the OEM EVSE and a 240V adapter until my Leviton 20A charger came ($290 used off Amazon), but expect to spend $500 on a good EVSE unless you can wait for a good used one. That's like 10 oil changes on an ICE car if you have your dealer do it.
 
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