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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Bolt owners!

Have you taken a road trip with your Bolt where you've had to charge? Want to share with other Bolt owners?

I am working on an innovation project/challenge from GM centered around the EV ownership experience. I believe EV owners should be known for their sense of freedom and adventure - with that in mind we're collecting road trip routes from owners. Wherever you call your home charge port, we're interested in the routes you've taken and the adventures you've had. Was the trip based around finding the fastest way to get there safely? Maybe you stopped at some charging stations where you knew you could check out the area or grab a bite to eat even if it might have been out of the way.

Feel free to reply or message me on here if you have any questions or if you have interest in further participation in this project.

GM believes in an all-electric future and you are a part of shaping that future. I've been reading as many of your comments as I can to learn about your struggles and triumphs and am thankful for anything you're willing to share. As we work towards growing the EV ecosystem, we'd love your input. Perhaps your route will be of use to a fellow user.
 

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Hi bquinta92: I tried to get the site administrator to start a thread like this, but it didn't take. There are lots of road trip stories on the forum. I hope others will add their's here. My road trip, originally posted on 9-30-17 follows:

I completed my round-trip from Northeast West Virginia to the Detroit area successfully, 1058.9 miles on 220.9 kwh, about 4.79 miles per kwh. Left WV with full charge. A 30 minute stop at an EVgo combo charger near Pittsburgh replenished 75 miles and a full hour near Cleveland another 144. That was enough to get me to Detroit with the guess-o-meter showing 51 miles left. This was achieved at speeds of 65 mph along with slow-downs to 60 or 50 through construction areas. I was pretty happy.

Unfortunately the two EVgo chargers I tried in Michigan--1 in Ann Arbor and 1 in Belleville--were not working much to the surprise of the EVgo staff. A third was inaccessible because of road construction in the area. Had to plug into my brother's 120v house current and let the Bolt sit, kind of disappointing.

Never did get it fully charged in Michigan which led to a bit of a harrowing ride home. Arrived near Cleveland with warning chimes ringing and Bolt switching into reduced power mode. Made it though and did two 30 minute charging sessions. Another double session near Pittsburgh looked like it would get me home, but I forgot about how much power the mountains would consume. Projected miles dwindled rapidly and I had visions of needing to be towed. I began to dial back on the speed, to 60 then 55, no doubt pissing off a lot of other drivers. I was never so happy to see construction areas where slowing down didn't make me a bad guy. Nevertheless, downhills after the PA Turnpike tunnel added regen enough coupled with reduced speed to get me home with 30 miles left.

The lesson for me: never leave on a long trip without a fully charged battery. Had I had that extra cushion the trip home would have been much less nerve-racking. And EVgo needs to step-up with better maintenance and more charging stations.
 

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I'd be in for a road trip thread. I guess it could go in the Regional sections but those seem to be mostly ignored.
 

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Hey Bolt owners!

Have you taken a road trip with your Bolt where you've had to charge? Want to share with other Bolt owners?

I am working on an innovation project/challenge from GM centered around the EV ownership experience. I believe EV owners should be known for their sense of freedom and adventure - with that in mind we're collecting road trip routes from owners. Wherever you call your home charge port, we're interested in the routes you've taken and the adventures you've had. Was the trip based around finding the fastest way to get there safely? Maybe you stopped at some charging stations where you knew you could check out the area or grab a bite to eat even if it might have been out of the way.

Feel free to reply or message me on here if you have any questions or if you have interest in further participation in this project.

GM believes in an all-electric future and you are a part of shaping that future. I've been reading as many of your comments as I can to learn about your struggles and triumphs and am thankful for anything you're willing to share. As we work towards growing the EV ecosystem, we'd love your input. Perhaps your route will be of use to a fellow user.
I’d have a better sense of freedom and adventure if GM partnered with Chevy dealers to provide accessible charging at dealerships. Chevy has an extensive nationwide dealer network, which is unfortunately not being leveraged to provide convenient charging for Bolt owners. Other manufacturers do this (e.g. Nissan, BMW, VW, Tesla) why not GM?

Many Chevy dealerships with accessible chargers are not even listed on any of the available charging network apps, as if GM and Chevy want to actively discourage any dealership charging. That’s just bad business.
 

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Not much to tell. Had one road trip that I had to use my gasoline powered car because there was DCFC lacking along the 4th longest interstate, I-10.
 

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Oh, I'd love to take one of those road trips, but OP, take a look at the plugshare map of Michigan. Level 3 chargers can't be found north of a Flint-Grand Rapids line and there's precious few south of that.
For that matter, look at the national map. Would you go adventuring in a gasser if there were like, 100 filling stations in the whole country?
 
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Feb 8 - 9 Roadtrip Annapolis MD to Wilton CT and back

Thank you for the comments!

I very much enjoyed reading here about other people's fun :) We are currently actually on a road trip as I write this (SO is driving ) from Annapolis Maryland to Wilton Connecticut this weekend and currently on the way back to Annapolis.

We have had many of the same experiences mentioned above but in particular I'm laughing because no one mentioned the fact thay I'm freezing my ass off at this moment driving down 95 after a full charge in New Jersey and now looking at about a hundred and nine miles of range before we get to the Chesapeake or Maryland house with the wonderful high speed free chargers. So far this morning after starting with a full charge of only a hundred eighty miles (wondering where my 230 mile range went!!) in New Jersey at the Wyndham just off of the turnpike. We've only gone about 50 miles and we have used another 30 miles of charge trying to stay warm! Currently it's about 25 degrees out.

Frequently turning off the heater to extend the range.

Probably the most exciting part of our trip occurred last nightat around midnight when we went over the GW Bridge and Waze instructed us to take the lower level. Only to find out that it was actually closed right before we got on to the bridge and we were then routed on to the Henry Hudson parkway. This would have been anxious under any circumstances but in this case, we had calculated our distance almost to within 15 miles of the Molly Pitcher rest stop so naturally we freaked out!!!! Fortunately the detour was relatively brief (less than 5 miles) so we were able to make it to the New Jersey Turnpike charging station without a tow truck!! But with 10 miles of electric fumes remaining.

Shame on Waze for not knowing that the lower-level was closed!

Lesson learned needed more margin of safety! Which we would have happily had had the Chevy dealer in Wilton CT had had a functioning DC charger . The charging station we ended up using in Darien Connecticut seemed exceedingly slow. We gave it about 45 minutes and still had barely enough range to get to Molly Pitcher. Some of the other big lessons learned had to do with the fact that you only get 30 minutes of charging at the evgo stations and then they turn off.

Also that some Stations don't reliably finished charging even for 30 minutes and will cut off prematurely. Additionally pretty disappointed in the Chevy dealer charging Network. All in all evgo was our savior, their stations worked reliably and in particular last night's Tech was wonderfully supportive.

Clearly the only way to know what is possible is to attempt it. But... there were some surprises. First that 30 minutes doesn't get you anywhere near full charge we typically saw about 50 miles of range in 30 minutes at the fast Chargers just to be clear these are the level three DC Chargers I'm talking about! The next challenge was that waiting for the Chargers to complete especially the ones that failed caused us to end up in much worse traffic than originally anticipated so our trip from Annapolis to Wilton Connecticut which frequently takes us about three and a half hours ended up taking us over 6 hours. But I guess we should be happy that we made it at all without freezing our butts off or a tow truck!!!

Probably the biggest surprise was fortunately that there was no competition for the charging stations they were all readily available. I suspect that will change! I also cannot imagine doing this in a vehicle with any less range than the bolt. For example my understanding is a Nissan Leaf is about a hundred miles of range that would have literally doubled the number of times we would have had to stop for charging and we might not have been able to go from point A to point B at all without significant detours and or relatively fast charging. Also a quick look at plugshare shows me that there are no fast charging stations currently available on 95 basically from Richmond to Florida. Definitely some work needed there! Kudos to Royal Farms by the way they clearly have an impressive number of DC charging stations already operational in Maryland. Based on our observations adding charging stations would definitely be a competitive advantage for hotels. We specifically picked the Wyndham for that reason and have never stayed in one before. The other big surprise was that we could not specify more than 30 minutes of charge at one time on the evgo charging stations. We understand that will change but for now that's a biggie because after our experience we really wanted to get some sleep at 1:30 a.m. understandbly after our challenging day! But had to trigger the charge for the second time in the middle of the night.

Just arrived at Chesapeake House... charging station available!!!! Yippee! But seriously looking to get warm and breakfast! Arrived here with 95 miles of charge remaining.

We stopped at Maryland house on the way up and ended up only getting about 10 minutes of charge initially because the station cycled off prematurely. Switching to a different charger did the trick but cost us an extra 30 minutes. Definitely hoping we won't have that experience again!

I just went back out into the cold to double-check all is fine this time. Whew!

Another lesson learned, plugshare is a wonderfully impressive app also the evgo app works quite well too. But Chevy definitely needs to do more to make their stations both accessible and fast.

Here is a photo of the two bolts ( mine and a stranger's) currently charging at the Maryland house stations.

My SO is trying to make a 9:30 meeting in downtown Baltimore so rushing to make it with fingers crossed!! All in all it was a fun adventure and I am very appreciative that my SO was willing to give this a try. Part of our logic was that it would be fun to compare our experiences this time with the same trip 2 years from now! I’m excited about this future and love my Bolt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I’d have a better sense of freedom and adventure if GM partnered with Chevy dealers to provide accessible charging at dealerships. Chevy has an extensive nationwide dealer network, which is unfortunately not being leveraged to provide convenient charging for Bolt owners. Other manufacturers do this (e.g. Nissan, BMW, VW, Tesla) why not GM?

Many Chevy dealerships with accessible chargers are not even listed on any of the available charging network apps, as if GM and Chevy want to actively discourage any dealership charging. That’s just bad business.
This is a great point - do you worry about what you would do in the dealer or is it just important to have charging stations regardless?
 

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This is a great point - do you worry about what you would do in the dealer or is it just important to have charging stations regardless?
Every dealership has a customer lounge area and most have WiFi, so a short wait to recharge shouldn’t be an issue.
 
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