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When I purchased this 2017, I screwed myself. NO heated seats or heated steering wheel.
For goodness sakes, the Spark EV had heated seats... As a matter of fact, this one I have is about as basic as you can get a Bolt. We should have looked around, and we did a bit but when the ink dried, we got what we have—pretty much stripped base Bolt. Grrrrr...what was I thinking? . . . . .
I enjoy driving an EV. But let's face it boys and girls, if you tell your neighbor that you got to plug in a 12V electric heat blanket, drive slower than traffic (you'd get run over driving 60 on I71 north to Cleveland) and then, depending on the wind, you aren't going to make it to Cleveland and back on a cold January day. I bet he's not going to run to the Chevy dealer and get himself a new 2020 Bolt anytime soon. COVID-19 aside, if my wife and I want to go watch a Browns game, I'll need to drive my ICE car, because the Bolt won't make it.

Think about that. While I didn't buy my Bolt new, at $36000, you can't drive it over 130 miles in the winter (okay perhaps a bit more after the battery issue is resolved) But still?

It's not that I go to Cleveland every other day, it's my standard for range. While Ohio has plenty of level 2 chargers, we seriously lack high speed DC charging. There is one, count'em one in my county. And none along I77, I71 north or south bound. There are a few located closer into the Cleveland, but you have to get off the expressway and go find them. What PITA!
For true. You bought the wrong car twice over, but that's on you. All of the answers to your complaints were readily available here and myriad other sources. Sorry you've been disappointed, but sell the Bolt and buy something suitable to your needs.

Agree with your rant; life's too short to have to resort to add-on diesel heaters and plug-in lap robes just to accomplish regular car tasks.

jack vines
 

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Discussion Starter #22
For true. You bought the wrong car twice over, but that's on you. All of the answers to your complaints were readily available here and myriad other sources. Sorry you've been disappointed, but sell the Bolt and buy something suitable to your needs.

Agree with your rant; life's too short to have to resort to add-on diesel heaters and plug-in lap robes just to accomplish regular car tasks.

jack vines
Egads!

I am certainly not ranting about anything. I purchased the Bolt, and most likely if I'm still kicking in the next several years, I'll upgrade to the newer Bolt with the new battery chemistry. I am mad at myself of not looking at other Bolts on the lot. I wanted a 'white' one and I purchased it. I should have purchased the red one, it was the premier model stuffed with all kinds of goodies. I wanted the white one and I got it.
 

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I'm afraid the premium model is just marginally better than the LT. The seat and steering wheel heaters just make the cold more bearable, but it is still cold. The efficiency / range still degrades greatly during winter. I would definitely put in a diesel heater.

How well do solar panels work where you are BTW? We have a 5kw unit on our roof, generating 25 kWh daily year round. We are in southern California with plenty of sun even during winter. I was rather surprised to see solar farm as north as in New Hampshire. I doubt it makes much sense, but it is there.

-TL

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Discussion Starter #24
I'm afraid the premium model is just marginally better than the LT. The seat and steering wheel heaters just make the cold more bearable, but it is still cold. The efficiency / range still degrades greatly during winter. I would definitely put in a diesel heater.

How well do solar panels work where you are BTW? We have a 5kw unit on our roof, generating 25 kWh daily year round. We are in southern California with plenty of sun even during winter. I was rather surprised to see solar farm as north as in New Hampshire. I doubt it makes much sense, but it is there.

-TL

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The solar panels have been working great. We haven't had an electric bill in a year. I have 6kWp grid tie and 7kWp battery system. The house is 90% on battery (off the gird) and the other 10% is grid powered. Except for the deep well pump, washer/dryer and some odds and end lighting, we run on battery power. This lets the grid tie system take care of any loads, and of course charges the EV when the sun is out.

I'm going to add another 4kWp this spring to take care of the extra load of the Bolt. The Spark EV would charge from the 6kWp array and have enough to still run the washer/dryer and so on. The Bolt sucks up all of this array now and still pulls some from the grid.

Fall/winter sucks for solar in ohio. So far I've done 590kWh back to the grid in November, and I have a week or so left to go.

Right now as I type this, batteries are at 92% and the bolt is fully charged. Life is good!
 

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Thanks. How many kwh does your 7kw system generate each year? We got about 9000, or 24.7 kwh per day. There is figure of merit, yield ratio or something. Ours goes

24.7 / (24 x 5) = 20.5%

which is considered pretty good.

We don't have battery, so are paying $10 per month to the utility to use their the grid as one. We basically break even yearly. That include everything from cooking to keeping 2 EVs running. The system took 5 years (this year) to break even, subsidies included. So it is making $2k for us per year from this point on.

Just wondering, do you need to keep clearing the snow / ice on the panels during winter?

-TL

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Qrper,

What type of battery system do you have? Approximately how much did it cost?

I've invested in a 6000 kW inverter/charger and a small battery bank. Trying to figure out the right battery system and a bit of (likely used) solar to supplement.

ga2500ev
 

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Qrper,

What type of battery system do you have? Approximately how much did it cost?

I've invested in a 6000 kW inverter/charger and a small battery bank. Trying to figure out the right battery system and a bit of (likely used) solar to supplement.

ga2500ev
I think a 6Mw plant would require a proper license. You must mean a 6kw one.

-TL

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GJETSON said:
If the windshield fogs up, hit the Max button. It will blow hot air at high fan on the windshield.
Does the MAX button also bring-on defrost (heat + a/c compresor)?

When I purchased this 2017, I screwed myself.
NO heated seats or heated steering wheel.
We had a LEAF S without heated rear seats. I bought a couple of $19 12v Sojoy seat covers off Amazon for the kids in back.
I was surprised to find that their 45w seats were hotter than the 65w OEM ones in front!
(no endorsement: I chose them mostly because they published their current draw in the description).

My experience with the LEAF was that you'd spend 5kw while heating the car up, but once it was warm, it would settle down to under 2kw. Nook reported here (Total Consumption for PreWarming?) that a Bolt's 20-minute preheat cycle took 1.28kw, which is about 3.84kw draw. If you can preheat twice while plugged-in, then that could save you 2.6kwh on the road.

I've seen lots of numbers given for percent range loss in cold weather. Like your house, energy to heat the car is based on hours and ambient temp... not miles. My commute is 10 miles and takes 45 minutes (55 min. PM). I can spend 2.75kwh heating and 2.2kwh propulsion (55% range reduction)! But it's the opposite on the freeway: if you're flying at 80mph, using 25kw for propulsion, then adding a constant 3kw load for heating would only cut range by 12%. The faster you drive, without stops, the less % range loss you should experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks. How many kwh does your 7kw system generate each year? We got about 9000, or 24.7 kwh per day. There is figure of merit, yield ratio or something. Ours goes

24.7 / (24 x 5) = 20.5%

which is considered pretty good.

We don't have battery, so are paying $10 per month to the utility to use their the grid as one. We basically break even yearly. That include everything from cooking to keeping 2 EVs running. The system took 5 years (this year) to break even, subsidies included. So it is making $2k for us per year from this point on.

Just wondering, do you need to keep clearing the snow / ice on the panels during winter?

-TL

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
Both of our solar arrays are ground mounted. 90% of the time, the snow slips off the panels and is no big deal. However once or twice a year, we get some heavy snow, and just because I can, I used a push broom and remove the snow. I don't need to the the entire panel, just down to the glass in a few places. Once the sun heats those bare spots, the entire panel warms up and the snow falls away.

There certainly isn't anything wrong with using the grid as a battery. During Dec and Jan, our worst solar months, we fall back onto the grid as well. I never let the battery's capacity fall below 80% (i.e. only using 20% of the battery capacity) although 50% is nominal. If the bad guys are coming over the hill, then 80% depth of discharge is possible, but that really hits the battery bank hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Qrper,

What type of battery system do you have? Approximately how much did it cost?

I've invested in a 6000 kW inverter/charger and a small battery bank. Trying to figure out the right battery system and a bit of (likely used) solar to supplement.

ga2500ev
I've been using solar and designing/selling PV systems since 1976. I still dabble in it once in a while for smaller systems. IN the last ten years, everyone has become a solar expert. Heck they're advertising on TV now! There are a lot of scammers out there so buyer beware.

Because I was and still am, old school, my battery bank is lead-acid deep cycle cells. I use US Battery 440 Ah 6V batteries. There are 8 of those is series for a 48V nominal system and a second series set in parallel. So the combined amp hours is 880 for a combined total of 42kWhs of storage.

Lead-acid batteries don't like to be discharged below 50% (80% is permissible with shortened battery life) so about 21kWhrs of usable storage at 50% discharge. I watch these like a hunger cat at a mouse, and I expect 10-14 years of life.

Why not lithium ion batteries? Longer life, deeper discharges, takes up less space, and yada, yada, yada.

Every time someone compares lead-acid to Lithium, they bring up cost of time. Yes, lithium batteries in the long term are less expensive than lead-acid.
However that being said, the initial cost can sometimes cancel the project before it begins.
My lead-acid battery back set me back $5k. I can charge it as 100+ A without issue, and discharge up to 400 A for a couple of hours. I don't need to worry about a Chinese BMS taking a crap and allowing the batteries to explode and catch fire, and I don't need to worry if the temperature the batteries are living in is too low to charge or discharge the lithium batteries.

The biggie for me was cost. A battleborn 100Ah lithium ion battery was $1k plus for each battery. I'd need 4 to meet the 48V need of the inverter. SO, that's $4k for 48V @100Ahr.
To meet the 50% discharge of my lead acid batteries, I'd need four series strings of battleborn batteries—$16,000—Ouch! (Okay before the hate mail comes, the prices have dropped since I installed my batteries)

Now all of that being said, If I had the money, I'd look at one of the power wall from Tesla or any of the other lithium ion battery packs. Depending on location, you'd get approval easier than a couple of rows ofexposed batteries. (Code requires that the batteries be located in a battery coffin. I didn't choose to do that.)

If I lived way off grid, I'd go with a 48 V lead-acid forklift battery rated at 2000 Amphrs or so. These are brutes, you need a forklift to move one, and with a bit of care, 20-25+ years is quite doable.

I've seen some rather impressive battery banks made of Tesla and Leaf batteries that could/would have higher capacity and with a lot less money. I decided I didn't want to go that route.

the battery bank that lives in the garage. And the 7.5kWp array that charges them.
IMG_1726.jpg IMG_1960.jpg
 

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****, when you put it in numbers, that kinda sucks!

That means, I'd have to sit in a cold car and even then, I don't have the range to drive from my house to cleveland ohio ( 65 miles one way) and back on a cold january day.

I've always wanted an EV, that's why I purchased the Spark, wanted to dip my toes in the EV world. And did like it enough to drop the $$$ on the Bolt.

That's going to be a hard sell for EVs in the northern part of the country if the cold weather knocks the snot out of them that much.
Here's my take. I live in NEO like you. One thing I don't do, is drive 80 - 90 mph like everyone else around here seems to want to do. I keep more to the old Malaise Era limit of 55. Even this month, I'm showing 4.0 mi/kw on my efficiency average. I don't feel that you would have an issue with your round trip if you eased off of the speed and simply drove more efficiently. I'm expecting more range loss as we progress into winter. I'm keeping my target charge to 80% (2020 Bolt), and beginning a winter regimine of charging at home and utilizing the grid for my initial startup from home to precondition the interior as we have 6.6kw L2 charging ability at home. I think you will find that you'll mitigate much of your concerns by doing something similar.
 

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I enjoy driving an EV. But let's face it boys and girls, if you tell your neighbor that you got to plug in a 12V electric heat blanket, drive slower than traffic (you'd get run over driving 60 on I71 north to Cleveland) and then, depending on the wind, you aren't going to make it to Cleveland and back on a cold January day. I bet he's not going to run to the Chevy dealer and get himself a new 2020 Bolt anytime soon. COVID-19 aside, if my wife and I want to go watch a Browns game, I'll need to drive my ICE car, because the Bolt won't make it.

Think about that. While I didn't buy my Bolt new, at $36000, you can't drive it over 130 miles in the winter (okay perhaps a bit more after the battery issue is resolved) But still?

It's not that I go to Cleveland every other day, it's my standard for range. While Ohio has plenty of level 2 chargers, we seriously lack high speed DC charging. There is one, count'em one in my county. And none along I77, I71 north or south bound. There are a few located closer into the Cleveland, but you have to get off the expressway and go find them. What PITA!
Plugshare diagrees with this, and I've made stops at DC chargers along both routes, so know they're correct. There are several options for DC charging along both I71 and I75, so I'm not sure where you're coming from that has none.
 

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I'm afraid the premium model is just marginally better than the LT. The seat and steering wheel heaters just make the cold more bearable, but it is still cold. The efficiency / range still degrades greatly during winter.
I'm on a long drive I dress warmly so that I can get away with less cabin heat. A couple of years ago I made a trip to the Rockies through subfreezing weather with no cabin heat at all. By dressing warmly, using a warm hat, gloves and a lap blanket I was nice and toasty - the heated seats and steering wheel made a huge difference.

It's too much effort to do that for trips around town, but it's worth it for long legs measured in hours.
 

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I enjoy driving an EV. But let's face it boys and girls, if you tell your neighbor that you got to plug in a 12V electric heat blanket, drive slower than traffic (you'd get run over driving 60 on I71 north to Cleveland) and then, depending on the wind, you aren't going to make it to Cleveland and back on a cold January day. I bet he's not going to run to the Chevy dealer and get himself a new 2020 Bolt anytime soon. COVID-19 aside, if my wife and I want to go watch a Browns game, I'll need to drive my ICE car, because the Bolt won't make it.

Think about that. While I didn't buy my Bolt new, at $36000, you can't drive it over 130 miles in the winter (okay perhaps a bit more after the battery issue is resolved) But still?

It's not that I go to Cleveland every other day, it's my standard for range. While Ohio has plenty of level 2 chargers, we seriously lack high speed DC charging. There is one, count'em one in my county. And none along I77, I71 north or south bound. There are a few located closer into the Cleveland, but you have to get off the expressway and go find them. What PITA!
When I lived in Ohio, I drove I-71N to Columbus three times a week and several times to Cleveland. I used the right hand lane going 55-60mph and never had any problems. People may not realize but anything over 60mph drops your mileage like a rock! It doesn’t matter what kind of engine or Electric Vehicle. Back then, I was driving a Volkswagen diesel Rabbit that got 55 miles per gallon on the highway at those speeds. Here’s what I’m getting now with my 2020 Bolt with mostly in city driving.
6062915A-363B-4F5C-B5DB-85B1FBEEB9DB.jpeg
6062915A-363B-4F5C-B5DB-85B1FBEEB9DB.jpeg
EA90F1B5-9B1B-485B-8D4E-AD33E3AE5A94.jpeg
 

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Both of our solar arrays are ground mounted. 90% of the time, the snow slips off the panels and is no big deal. However once or twice a year, we get some heavy snow, and just because I can, I used a push broom and remove the snow. I don't need to the the entire panel, just down to the glass in a few places. Once the sun heats those bare spots, the entire panel warms up and the snow falls away.

There certainly isn't anything wrong with using the grid as a battery. During Dec and Jan, our worst solar months, we fall back onto the grid as well. I never let the battery's capacity fall below 80% (i.e. only using 20% of the battery capacity) although 50% is nominal. If the bad guys are coming over the hill, then 80% depth of discharge is possible, but that really hits the battery bank hard.
If you replace what you have and use LiFePo4, you can discharge them much lower without any damage and charge them to 100% without any damage. They will last 20 to 25 years or more and they charge up faster than any other battery. You also don’t have to worry about keeping them cool like most other batteries such as the other lithiums.
 

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When I lived in Ohio, I drove I-71N to Columbus three times a week and several times to Cleveland. I used the right hand lane going 55-60mph and never had any problems. People may not realize but anything over 60mph drops your mileage like a rock!
The more efficient the engine/motor, the bigger the impact of speed. Which is why in general, ICEVs see a smaller impact than EVs.

Certainly my experience has been that the difference between 55 and 65 on my ICEV is almost negligible - less than 10%. On the Bolt it’s quite a bit more.
 
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