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I keep thinking of things. Note that the charge rate for the Bolt steps down as the battery takes on more charge (actually, all EVs do). Because of this, most people rarely charge over 80% because it just takes too long. For best efficiency, drive until your battery is a low as you're comfortable with, then charge up enough to get you to the next charger.
With the Bolt EV, if your Range Estimator isn't in the Orange by the time you arrive at your charging stop, you're not making the best trip time possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
No vehicle's range is...
You are technically correct (I guess that's the best kind of correct?) but practically, the difference in my ICEV between 55 MPH and 75 MPH was going from 36 MPG to 33MPG. And the amount of time taken to replace the extra fuel used was trivial. With the Bolt, it's not quite so easy.

To give a concrete example, a few years back I did the drive from San Mateo to Mammoth (Devil's Postpile actually) in 5 1/2 hours, including stops. Getting to Lee Vining last week was 6 hours of driving time. Add at least another hour for the drive down to Mammoth, plus nearly an hour for charging. It adds up. The Bolt is a great travel vehicle, but I do miss cruising along at 75 MPH without having to feel guilty or wonder where the next charging stop is gonna be.
 

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You are technically correct (I guess that's the best kind of correct?) but practically, the difference in my ICEV between 55 MPH and 75 MPH was going from 36 MPG to 33MPG. And the amount of time taken to replace the extra fuel used was trivial. With the Bolt, it's not quite so easy.

To give a concrete example, a few years back I did the drive from San Mateo to Mammoth (Devil's Postpile actually) in 5 1/2 hours, including stops. Getting to Lee Vining last week was 6 hours of driving time. Add at least another hour for the drive down to Mammoth, plus nearly an hour for charging. It adds up. The Bolt is a great travel vehicle, but I do miss cruising along at 75 MPH without having to feel guilty or wonder where the next charging stop is gonna be.
Yes, that is the area where ICE vehicles are superior, but it is due to their inherent inferiority. ICE vehicles have such high overhead in terms of parasitic losses (which are a constant load) that you have to be going fairly fast before the additional energy to overcome drag becomes noticeable. As an example, a typical ICE vehicle needs to be going ~45 mph before the energy to overcome aerodynamic drag balances with all other energy consumption (powertrain losses, rolling resistance, parasitic losses, etc.). For an EV, that speed occurs around 20 mph. So if an ICE vehicle takes 20% more energy to overcome drag at 75 mph versus 55 mph, it seems less significant because that was only a 20% increase to maybe 60% of the total energy being consumed, and that other 40% remains static as a constant load in the background.

What I will say, though, is that what you're describing is the reason I drive the same 70 to 75 mph in the Bolt EV as I did in my Volt, my EVO, or most of my other cars. It's the driving time that makes the difference in trips. The time spent charging only exacerbates it unless you have a use for that time.
 

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I would like to say that the difference between 65 mph and 75 mph is about 24 mins range over let’s say 150 miles of distance. The question that is still out unanswered is the following: at the start of a trip, would you drive slower to let’s say... go 230 miles and skip a charge at 130 miles, or just run faster and do 150 miles legs when it’s possible ?
IMO, the first leg I would try to skip a charger if possible. If not, I’d definitely just drive the fastest possible... and maybe slow down there where I can skip a charger towards my destination. Or else, what good is it to have a bigger battery when you drive like having one of half the size ?
 

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I would like to say that the difference between 65 mph and 75 mph is about 24 mins range over let’s say 150 miles of distance. The question that is still out unanswered is the following: at the start of a trip, would you drive slower to let’s say... go 230 miles and skip a charge at 130 miles, or just run faster and do 150 miles legs when it’s possible ?
IMO, the first leg I would try to skip a charger if possible. If not, I’d definitely just drive the fastest possible... and maybe slow down there where I can skip a charger towards my destination. Or else, what good is it to have a bigger battery when you drive like having one of half the size ?
I think the answer to that will vary by situation; however, keep in mind that 150 miles in the Bolt EV at 75+ mph is farther than many other EVs can travel on a full charge, even at 65 mph, so you're already taking advantage of the bigger battery. To me, the area where it makes the most sense to drive the fastest is in the first leg, but the difference between skipping and not is less than 50 miles.

For example, at 65 mph, I can comfortably travel 220 miles before my first stop. At 75 mph, I can comfortably travel 180 miles before my first stop. At 65 mph, I'm on the road for about 3 and a half hours to travel 40 miles farther. At 75 mph, I'm on the road for about 2 and a half hours. That's a one hour difference when driving 75 mph will cover the 40 miles of distance in only 30 minutes of additional driving. So that's a 30-minute time advantage when driving 75 mph. Even in a Bolt EV, that mostly offsets a charge session.

Now, perhaps you could make an argument that going 70 mph and making your first stop at 200 miles is better than either of the other scenarios, but that goes back to what I was saying about the best course of action varying by situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
As usual, things are smoother the second time around.

On the way out from San Mateo to June Lake, by driving a bit above the speed limit, I cut about 45 minutes from my driving time compared to 2 weeks before (despite hitting a bit of traffic). I also cut half an hour of charging time. Overall the 270 miles to June Lakes took me 5h45 driving, 1h20 charging (20 minutes in Oakdale, 1 hour in Bridgeport).

The return trip was even faster - 5 hours driving, 30 minutes charging (stopped for 15 minutes in Bridgeport and 15 minutes in Tracy. I reached home with 12% charge (my lowest of the whole trip). That's pretty close to what I did in my ICEV. The only minor annoyance was when I was driving back up over Sonora pass and trying to keep pace with a classic BMW (an E30 touring - my favorite car). I had no trouble on the straight sections but on the sharp turns, I probably was going half his speed to avoid losing traction. Still, I did eventually pass him on the way down - maybe because I wasn't worried about smoking my brakes.

Two more weeks and I'll be going all the way down to Independence. Now that's a long drive...
 

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Worked out pretty well. I did the same route out and back over Sonora Pass (decided Tahoe was too long a detour). In total I spent ~2h25 charging, at the Oakdale and Bridgeport DCFCs both on the way out and back. I had no charging difficulties. I drove more conservatively than usual and never dropped below 35% charge, except on the very last leg going home. My concerns about range over the pass were not realized. I expected to see better efficiency going westbound over Sonora Pass (vs. eastbound) but on the whole I don't think there was a big difference. I guess both sides are fairly steep.

I really like Bridgeport as an EA location. It's a pleasant small town - walkable, scenic and fortunately when I went through not too hot. The gas station with the DCFC installation has some tables outside to sit at, if one prefers to use the time for lunch. The Oakdale DCFC is just okay - functional (though one charger has been out for months) but not my favorite. The town is just too spread out and too hot in the summer. It'd be awesome of Groveland's DCFC finally opened, or if Sonora got one.

When I was coming back through Bridgeport, I was annoyed to see a Tesla parked in the middle DCFC, not charging. Eventually I noticed it had a very flat tire. Still not great behavior, but I guess the tow truck is more to blame than the (clueless) owner. I did not see anybody else charging while I was in Bridgeport.

Here's the breakdown of the trip:
  • 0 miles, 100% charge - left San Mateo
  • 115 miles, 61% charge - arrived Oakdale
  • 115 miles, 86% charge - left Oakdale (ChargePoint DCFC, ~40 minutes)
  • 215 miles, 37% charge - crossed Sonora Pass
  • 250 miles, 35% charge - arrive Bridgeport
  • 250 miles, 83% charge - left Bridgeport (EA DCFC, ~55 minutes)
  • 285 miles, 65% charge - reached trailhead (south of Lee Vining)
  • 320 miles, 55% charge - arrived Bridgeport (returning)
  • 320 miles, 78% charge - left Bridgeport (EA DCFC, ~30 minutes)
  • 450 miles, 45% charge - arrived Oakdale
  • 450 miles, 67% charge - left Oakdale (ChargePoint DCFC, ~20 minutes)
  • 555 miles, 22% charge - reached San Mateo
This is incredibly helpful! We're going to be driving between SF and Mammoth Lakes a fair bit over the next year. We got a Model Y, in addition to our Bolt because of range anxiety (and snow concerns). The Supercharger infrastructure in just better and faster. That said, we do need to get our Bolt to Mammoth (and from) at least once. I was looking seriously at going over 50 because of the plentiful DCFCs, but 108 is much more direct. You've really put my mind at ease. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
This is incredibly helpful! We're going to be driving between SF and Mammoth Lakes a fair bit over the next year. We got a Model Y, in addition to our Bolt because of range anxiety (and snow concerns). The Supercharger infrastructure in just better and faster. That said, we do need to get our Bolt to Mammoth (and from) at least once. I was looking seriously at going over 50 because of the plentiful DCFCs, but 108 is much more direct. You've really put my mind at ease. Thank you!
Sure - enjoy your trip. It's a beautiful drive (at least, without the recent smoke). The Bridgeport EA location has been a life-saver, especially now that you can't drive through Yosemite without a reservation. Main thing is to charge to ~75-80% in Oakdale. Also, if you have time, stop at the solar pavilion in Lee Vining. It's a nice park for a pit stop and they have an L2 to charge from.
 

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This is incredibly helpful! We're going to be driving between SF and Mammoth Lakes a fair bit over the next year. We got a Model Y, in addition to our Bolt because of range anxiety (and snow concerns). The Supercharger infrastructure in just better and faster. That said, we do need to get our Bolt to Mammoth (and from) at least once. I was looking seriously at going over 50 because of the plentiful DCFCs, but 108 is much more direct. You've really put my mind at ease. Thank you!
This is my biggest issue with the current EV media. They are literally convincing EV owners and prospective EV owners that they cannot travel in a non-Tesla EV, which is simply untrue.
 

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This is my biggest issue with the current EV media. They are literally convincing EV owners and prospective EV owners that they cannot travel in a non-Tesla EV, which is simply untrue.
Agree Eric. Now that EA has those stations on the East Side and CalTrans may be finally getting their stations in that route north and south is doable--barring any payment glitches. ;)

BTW. Eric, do you know anyone with the 2020 Bolt? Are they getting the full 66 kWh. Hmmm. Does the Korean web site have their listing for the 66 kWh Bolt. Our lease is up soon.

Paul
 

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Agree Eric. Now that EA has those stations on the East Side and CalTrans may be finally getting their stations in that route north and south is doable--barring any payment glitches. ;)

BTW. Eric, do you know anyone with the 2020 Bolt? Are they getting the full 66 kWh. Hmmm. Does the Korean web site have their listing for the 66 kWh Bolt. Our lease is up soon.

Paul
The 2020 Bolt EV I tested had at least 64 to 65 kWh usable.
 
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