Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I live just outside of Memphis in an eastern suburb called Lakeland. Yesterday I had a brunch date (2nd date! She’s awesome) planned in Jonesboro, Arkansas, which is about 92 miles each way. I normally use hilltop reserve, but knew for this one that I might need the full battery so I charged to full on Saturday night.
Speed limits vary between 55 and 70 for the entire trip, but most traffic goes 5-15 above the limit. I left with the GOM at 265 miles or so and feeling confident. The trip there went smoothly. I stayed at just about the speed limit, maybe 2-3mph above, drafting a bit here and there when I could. Because of the high speeds and because my daily commute is 40 miles at barely above 40mph, the GOM generally sees me at around 4.4 miles/kWh but for the trip was probably seeing me at around 3.3. I was trending down from the predicted efficiency based on my usual commute. I was seeing the dreaded yellow bar and halo around the display for most of the way. Along the way, my date texted and asked if I would come to her place to pick her up, so I happily did so, adding a few miles to the trip. When we parked at the restaurant, I was seeing one bar above halfway and around 130 miles on the GOM. I was feeling good.
Brunch was great, and we decided to extend the date at bit. We drove around Jonesboro and checked out the Arkansas State campus (go Red Wolves), settled on seeing a 4:15pm movie (Ad Astra) and decided to hang out and drink beer and watch football at Buffalo Wild Wings for a few hours. After the movie, I dropped her off and headed home for the 90+ mile journey with 120 miles-ish on the GOM. I was feeling pretty good to have 25 miles of predicted buffer to make it home. Then the rain started. I was also kicking myself for not airing up the tires a bit since they were at 37psi or so due to the cooler Fall weather coming in.
Through the trip, the GOM kept adjusting down. I turned off the HVAC to fan only, just running the compressor periodically to defog the windows. Air temp outside was about 68 degrees. Rain definitely puts a ton of drag on the car at high speeds, and I slowed down to about 5 mph below the 70 and 65 speed zones. I drafted behind a big rig for a bit, but the spray was pretty gnarly and I hate all those tiny rocks that get pulled up in the dirty air and sandblast the paint and windshield. Once I got back across the bridge to Memphis, I decided to change my route to a slightly shorter distance on slower roads and go through the city. By this time, the display had changed from green bars to amber bars and the miles-to-empty prediction just read “Low”. I had about 20 miles to go and the rain wasn’t letting up. The last stretch of my trip was about 10 miles of Interstate 40, and with about 3 miles left to go on I-40, the display announced that things had escalated to “Reduced Propulsion Mode”. I made it to the exit ramp and only had about 3.5 miles left of 35mph two lane road. Rarely have I been so happy to see my driveway and garage, but I made it.
It’s always interesting being an early adopter, and this trip reminded me of it. Should I have tried to find a charger someplace in Jonesboro to give myself a safety margin? Maybe, but I didn’t want to nerd out on my date and inconvenience us. I’m not sure exactly how close I was to being dead in the water, but I made it home just fine, and was able to even charge up overnight on L1 to be able to make it to work today and hopefully home too. It was a fun adventure though, and I’ll definitely do it again in the Bolt. Just maybe not in the rain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
Sounds like a great trip, minus the range .... but the rest of it sounded wonderful. I wouldn't have done it any other way than how you did it. Obviously environmental variables will always play into every drive, but what was the total miles from start to finish? For my personal definition, you left with a full tank of electrons and you came back hobbled in critical condition. I've done the same btw. I also turned off the heat which just adds to the inconvenience for me and my passengers. My GOM tells me each day I can go 400+ miles when I believe the truth to be a number that starts with '2'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
First of all charging to full was the right move. Imagine what the trip would have been like if you hadn't! There doesn't appear to be any DCFC between your location and Jonesboro according to Plugshare so your range is limited to the initial charge at home. For your next trip don't exceed the posted speed limit. Even 5 mph makes a difference. Also, be aware of decreased range as colder temperatures set in. Even if you don't use the heater the lower temps will affect range. You might even consider an ICE rental for the day if you think you will have a problem making it back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Slid into home! I've twice coasted to a gas pump with just the barest of momentum, but haven't even gone below a quarter charge yet on my Bolt. 150 mile day so far has been my longest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
I'm not as brave as you! Tomorrow I'm taking the wife on a Western MA leaf peeping vacation. The B&B is around 220 miles from home, but I'm going to stop off at a charger en-route (at a service station on Route 90) and put in perhaps a thirty mile buffer (there's a level 2 charger at the B&B).

Returning home on Thursday, I'll stop around 70 miles from the house and put in a buffer of around thirty or so miles, just because.

Life's an adventure!

Rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Nicely done. I don't think I'd have been as brave. I certainly was not prepared for the 25-30% drop in efficiency that the Bolt experiences going from 55 to 70mph.

That said if you do find yourself on the wrong side of the trend line in the future, leaving the interstate and sticking to slower roads (even with traffic) can make a big difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
I'm not as brave as you! Tomorrow I'm taking the wife on a Western MA leaf peeping vacation. The B&B is around 220 miles from home, but I'm going to stop off at a charger en-route (at a service station on Route 90) and put in perhaps a thirty mile buffer (there's a level 2 charger at the B&B).

Returning home on Thursday, I'll stop around 70 miles from the house and put in a buffer of around thirty or so miles, just because.

Life's an adventure!

Rich
Sounds like a good plan. If you are going to be using the Charlton Service Area charger on the Pike they only have one unit, and if it's not available for some reason, I recommend the Holiday Inn Express in Sturbridge. It's right off the highway and they have four units.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Sounds like a great trip, minus the range .... but the rest of it sounded wonderful. I wouldn't have done it any other way than how you did it. Obviously environmental variables will always play into every drive, but what was the total miles from start to finish? For my personal definition, you left with a full tank of electrons and you came back hobbled in critical condition. I've done the same btw. I also turned off the heat which just adds to the inconvenience for me and my passengers. My GOM tells me each day I can go 400+ miles when I believe the truth to be a number that starts with '2'.
I think the total from start to finish was 200-205 miles. Forgot to check it specifically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
We went from ABQ NM to Mt. Taylor (near Grants NM). I figured plenty of range because the trip is 95 miles. We went at 70mph with AC running. Took more power than I planned on. GOM said little or than 100 miles when we got to Grants. So we turned back before getting up the mountain. Went back at 60mph, but with AC still going. We had about 40 miles left when we got home, so I had chicken out for nought. We would have made it–probably. There is a DCFC charger in Grants, we should have recharged there before or after going up the mountain and would have been fine. Next time...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Thanks for that story. I too drive often on Tennessee interstates and my efficiency absolutely tanks when I set the cruise control at 75 mph. I'm now approaching the need for new treads and as much as I would like to ride on a more comfortable tire, I'm planning to purchase another set of the OEM Michelin's because I don't dare do anything which will result in ANY loss of range. Until we get a decent network of public charging stations here in the deep South (which will like take a while), I consider the Bolt range of 238 miles to be the bare minimum for an EV...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
James1 - don't do as I did - took a 20% hit in range switching to Quiettracks Bridgestone tire.
In general, when faced with an immediate range issue, abandon the interstate in favor of a slower surface arterial or back roads...range about doubles at 40 mph vs 70 mph.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
The minimum speed on a US Interstate highway is 40 mph. No one gets upset if you drive (in the right lane) 62 mph on a 70 mph road (or 58 mph on a 65 mph limit road). I would have either: a) driven more slowly on the outbound leg (saving juice for a normal speed return trip); b) looked for ANY AC Level 2 EVSE at any of your stops (20 range miles {48 minutes plugged} added to your buffer was all you needed); or, c) found an outdoor 110VAC plug during the movie OR the BW3 visit (AC Level 1 "generally" gets you 4-5 RMPCH {range miles per charging hour}. Even 10-15 miles added to your buffer reduces anxiety. Hyper-inflating your tires, on dry OR wet pavement, does not gain you much range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
No one gets upset if you drive (in the right lane) 62 mph on a 70 mph road (or 58 mph on a 65 mph limit road).
Thank you for saying this. Too many people seem to think that they "must" drive 5-10 MPH over the speed limit or get run over. The truth is, people go around slower drivers. I usually set my cruise control to the posted speed limit on longer trips. You would be surprised how many cars I pass, which means they are going under the speed limit. Doesn't bother me; I just wait for a safe opportunity and go around them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Glad to see you made it home!
When I saw the thread title
Pushed it. Tales from the interstate
I imagined the worst.....

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The minimum speed on a US Interstate highway is 40 mph. No one gets upset if you drive (in the right lane) 62 mph on a 70 mph road (or 58 mph on a 65 mph limit road). I would have either: a) driven more slowly on the outbound leg (saving juice for a normal speed return trip); b) looked for ANY AC Level 2 EVSE at any of your stops (20 range miles {48 minutes plugged} added to your buffer was all you needed); or, c) found an outdoor 110VAC plug during the movie OR the BW3 visit (AC Level 1 "generally" gets you 4-5 RMPCH {range miles per charging hour}. Even 10-15 miles added to your buffer reduces anxiety. Hyper-inflating your tires, on dry OR wet pavement, does not gain you much range.
Thanks for the thoughts. No doubt I could have taken additional measures, but one of my main points to share was the significant impact of heavy rain (it was a deluge) on range at interstate speeds. I've made the trip once before in the Bolt, driving at higher speeds and made it there and back with no problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Thank you for saying this. Too many people seem to think that they "must" drive 5-10 MPH over the speed limit or get run over. The truth is, people go around slower drivers. I usually set my cruise control to the posted speed limit on longer trips. You would be surprised how many cars I pass, which means they are going under the speed limit. Doesn't bother me; I just wait for a safe opportunity and go around them.
Same here. I am ok just going the speed limit when my goal is to reach the next DCFC with about 10-15% left in the tank.
For what it is worth, I traded in a mini cooper S for the Bolt and hardly ever went the speed limit in that car so ... habits can be changed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
The minimum speed on a US Interstate highway is 40 mph. No one gets upset if you drive (in the right lane) 62 mph on a 70 mph road (or 58 mph on a 65 mph limit road).
You clearly don't live in California (yes, your profile states that explicitly). Lollygagging in the slow lane at 58 on a California multilane will get you lots of nasty looks, and (unlikely) a ticket or (more likely) suspected of DWI.
 
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Top