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Hello,

I'm just about to go through with either the purchase or lease of a 2020 Bolt LT. It's time to trade-in my 2005.5 Jetta now that it is having some electrical problems. I have a few questions.

Charging: I am currently renting so was planning to either use the L1 charger in a regular outlet or use the dryer plug that isn't too far from my carport. The dealer says that this would work, but I'm somewhat skeptical of their technical expertise. I'm less concerned about charging at home since I have the option to charge at work ($1.5/hr).

Heat: I live in Phoenix and it's get pretty hot in the summer (117 today!). I have a shaded car port, but will have to park my car out in the sun when I'm at work. Is this something that I should be concerned about? How well does the battery handle this kind of heat?

Lease vs buy: I know this is a financial decision, but was wondering if folks are keeping their Bolts for many years.

Thanks in advance and fingers crossed that everyone works out on my purchase or lease. Honestly the dealers in Phoenix have been quite a pain to work with -- especially given the COVID situation, I'm suproised how resistant they are with giving me information before I come in.
 

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Welcome to the forums.
Many folks do just charge from 120V with the included EVSE (charge cord). It is very slow, about 3 or 4 miles per hour. Building or buying an adapter to charge from the dryer plug sounds like a much better option.

Heat, GM has designed in a great thermal management system for the bolt battery, it recommends leaving it plugged in to allow it to cool the battery when temps are above 90.

Lease VS buy, folks on the forum are split on this, I am on my second bolt lease, I turned in my 2017 and got a 2020, lower payment, bigger battery, more safety features. I personally feel that you will see the field of EV's change pretty rapidly here in the next few years, options increase exponentially, cost drop, that's why I choose to stay with leaseing.

The valid counterpoint to that is if the vehicle suits your needs today the cheapest way to purchase it is outright, who cares what's available in the next 3 years as long as it meets your needs today and in the future.

searching the forum on 120 volt charging, lease vs buy, etc.... should gives you lots of reading material on the questions you ask.
 

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..... planning to either use the L1 charger in a regular outlet or use the dryer plug that isn't too far from my carport. The dealer says that this would work, but I'm somewhat skeptical of their technical expertise.....

Honestly the dealers in Phoenix have been quite a pain to work with ...., I'm suproised how resistant they are with giving me information before I come in.
If that dryer outlet is on a 40 amp circuit you are set to get the full 6.6-7.2 kW of charging the Bolt is capable of.
Your local driving may work fine with the stock L1 @ 12 amp.
Your work @ $1.5 hr is a more expensive way to pay for your electrons.

But, as said, when living in 117° heat, ideally the poor EV should always be plugged in at home and at work.

Maybe you could plug in at work 1 hr before leaving just so the battery is in a good temp range for your commute home. A Buck and a Half a day, just to make the battery happy.... But, it's seasonal, right?:cool:

As for the dealership....
Why do they want you to walk into the dealership, wipe your boots, have your hat in your hands and sit down and be talked to?
They are not the final word on all things EV. They want you to sign TODAY. "ABC" =always be closing.
You know how to tell when a car salesman is lying, right?:sneaky:

That is the old-school model of car buying. It's not like trying on shoes. You are not stuck with the local yocals.
There are many ways to buy a car.

I bought my last 2 EV's sight unseen. Flew to one and drove it home. The Spark EV I had to dolly 800 miles home.
A used Bolt can be delivered to your home. 1 week trial period.

Pace yourself. And don't believe those turkeys.

What's the advantage of Renting a Car?
I don't understand leasing......
 

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Our 2019 Bolt is our first ever electric car. We absolutely love it! We plan on keeping it (as long as it remains reliable) for our foreseeable future (we're both 75, so who knows...)

We paid cash for our car. We got $3750 back on our 2019 fed tax return plus $2000 back from the state of TX, which helped ease the financial pain.

We live in West TX where it gets pretty hot, but not as bad as Phoenix. I can tell you the air conditioner on the Bolt is VERY effective on our hottest 100+ degree days.

We have (so far) only used our Bolt for local running around (no trips). Our normal trips to town are 50-60 miles round trip, but usually only once or twice a week.

Our car is parked inside a garage. We use the supplied L1 EVSE which works fine for us. I keep the car plugged in all the time it is not being driven. I charge to 100% every night. I do not concern myself with the ongoing debate over "what is the best way to manage the battery". I figure GM built sufficient safeguards into the BMS to protect the car from idiot owners like me. The thermal management system will sometimes activate during the hottest part of the day, when our garage temp gets up over 100 degrees. IMHO, the car is smart enough to take care of itself, as long as it is left plugged in.

The Bolt is one of the most satisfying and entertaining cars I have ever owned. I think you will not be disappointed, regardless of how you acquire the car.
 

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As others have said you should expect to get 30-40 miles or so out of a 110V outlet overnight. If that, combined with charging other places meets you needs you should be good to go from a charging perspective. As far as charging outside at your apartment as long as you are not worried about charge cord theft you should be OK. You can also buy some do-hickeys to help secure your charging cable. From everything I have read you should be fine in the heat.
 

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Welcome. Unlike Nissan Leaf, Bolt has a liquid cooled battery management system. It works well, better when plugged in to the grid.

GM strategy WRT conditioning is to generally try to keep battery temps below 100F (and above 32F). When plugged into the grid, conditioning runs more often, when unplugged, less so in order to preserve range. BMS will be limited when state of charge is lower than 40% as I recall. As for battery health, sitting at 100% state of charge in high temps can be rough on the batteries. So, during summer months, best to set target charge level to 80-90%, less if your range needs allow.

Cabin HVAC and battery management share compressors and heaters, but have separate loops for circulating the heated or cooled liquid. So, If you can plug in while at work, conditioning will occur more frequently, and when you get in the car and turn on AC, the fluids will generally be cooler than ambient air. Either way, AC will rapidly bring cabin temps to comfortable levels, maybe a little longer if the car wasn't plugged in. And if plugged in, running preconditioning while grid connected can get the cabin comfy without sacrificing range.

Generally, if you can park in shade, and\or crack the windows a bit to vent the cabin while parked, it should be more comfortable when you get in. Tinting the windows could help.

For home charging, 240V L2 would be preferred. Battery conditioning will consume much of what a 120V outlet can provide, meaning you will get limited range from charging on 120V. So, figure out how to use the dryer outlet for charging.

Lastly, Level 3 charging is great for trips. But in hot temps, the charging rate will be slower and potentially cause more battery deterioration. As a rule of thumb, L3 charging should be used only when necessary, use L2 or L1 when they are sufficient. Part of the slower charge rate is chemical reaction, but part is the need for more battery cooling to keep temps more optimal.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Read up on pre-conditioning the cabin just prior to your departures. In hellhole-temps, it's such a luxury to be able to get in a cooled car.

Also, read up on leaving the AC on in the locked car when you're running a quick-in-and-out errand. Again, a real luxury to have the car quietly cooling itself.

jack vines
 

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We live in Tucson so we get to enjoy cooler temps. It was only 110 here when you hit 118. The Bolt will do battery conditioning when not plugged in. You can download the owners manual in PDF format to research this. It is better to be plugged in when hot, but GM engineered the car for non plugged in condition.

I normally charge to 85%. Driving in Tucson, this give a typical range of 270 miles (on a 2019 with a smaller battery than the 2020). But the main reason I don't charge to 100% is so I have good regenerative braking. Once you are used to one peddle driving, it is hard to go back.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, thanks everyone. I just bought a used 2019 Bolt LT with 16k miles on it. Should be here on Thursday. I'm super excited.

I feel a little better about the heat. While I won't be able to plug in it at work all of the time, there are some charging optoins. I appricaite the tip on charging up to 80%.

The Chevy website sates that only the original owner of the car get free access to the MyChevrolet app. Carvana suggested that I call Chevy to see if they will transfer the services. If you bought your car used, do you purchase access to it?
 

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From L1 charging the Bolt can charge from 4 to 6 miles an hour depending on the charge setting in the car. The lower rate is a good idea if the house electrical system isn't in good shape. If it is and there isn't much else on the circuit, then the higher setting will get about 6 miles an hour. Figure 4 though. Then figure how much time you typically spend at home in a day. If it is around 12 hours, then that will get you 48 miles of charge a day, or about 330 miles a week. More if you charge more. For many people this is fine. It likely isn't enough if you make a couple of long weekend trips. That's where a nearby fast charge can help if you don't have L2 charging. L2 charging is nice when you arrive home late with a nearly depleted battery and you want to have a full charge for another long drive the following morning. The Bolt manual suggests plugging in the car when the temperature is above 90 or below 32. Not everyone can do this and the Bolt seems to weather extreme temperatures quite well, though. If you go with the dryer outlet, you will need 1) an appropriate adapter, 2) an L2 EVSE (which should be adjustable if the dryer outlet isn't 40 amps, and many are not) and possibly J1772 extension cord if the dryer outlet isn't close enough to the charge port of the car. Usually the type of electrical outlet for the dryer plug will indicate the amperage of the circuit. You can easily look up the plug type on the internet and the corresponding amperage. If the EVSE is not adjustable, then it will try to feed the current that the EVSE is rated for (typically 32 amps) and that will trip the circuit if it isn't designed to continuously handle that much load. Some EVSEs are adjustable so they will draw less current. Of course, that will result in somewhat slower charging.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We live in Tucson so we get to enjoy cooler temps. It was only 110 here when you hit 118. The Bolt will do battery conditioning when not plugged in. You can download the owners manual in PDF format to research this. It is better to be plugged in when hot, but GM engineered the car for non plugged in condition.

I normally charge to 85%. Driving in Tucson, this give a typical range of 270 miles (on a 2019 with a smaller battery than the 2020). But the main reason I don't charge to 100% is so I have good regenerative braking. Once you are used to one peddle driving, it is hard to go back.
Thanks for the feedback about charging in the festive southern AZ temps... Although I am jealous of your much cooler temps. I understand what you are saying about one peddle driving. Just from test driving the Bolt and Leaf, it was odd to have to use the breaks on my car.
 

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.... If you bought your car used, do you purchase access to it?
If you paid $20 / month for the most basic plan, what do you get with it?
Remote 'Precondition'? Your key fob is free if you can see the car.
State of charge / Time to Full charge? So what? You'll soon know about when it will have enough for the next use.

You bought it to save money, and to not pollute so much, correct?

Then I may be confusing Onstar with the Chevy app. They go hand in hand, no?

Figure out the 12A and Home location charging setting if you will only be using the stock L1.
And as said, use Hill Top Reserve / 80% charge most of the time. If you plan on a road trip then go to 100%.
A Li-Ion battery is stressed the most when it's at 100% and then allowed to get hot when not plugged in.

You won't be sorry! (y)
And if you are you can return it!!!

Welcome to the future !!
 

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We live in Tucson so we get to enjoy cooler temps. It was only 110 here when you hit 118.
LOL, "cooler"!

To 99% of the world, even 110 is extreme! But, I get your point, having lived in AZ for a number of years, and once acclimated, the 8-10 degree difference certainly makes Tucson an attractive alternative to Phoenix.
 

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Whew! You guys must be used to baking! I moved from the Bay Area out to the Central Valley of CA. We get to the low 100’s and even after the 17 years I have lived here it still is HOT! Arizona is a beautiful state, I have an uncle that lives at Lake Havasu. Awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I haven't made it out to Tucson or Lake Havasu. One COVID cools down, maybe I'll make one of those my first Bolt road trip.

My 2019 Bolt LT in Shock (yellow highlighter?) should be here on Saturday if everything goes smoothly. I'm so excited. Thanks everyone for the tips/info!
 
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