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Discussion Starter #1
And just put a deposit down on a Chevy Bolt. Haven't ordered one yet, as I'm having second thoughts and was wondering if anyone can convince me.

So yeah, I'm a driving instructor in Ontario and drive about 65,000 KM a year. The bolt is the only electric car with the range to do my job, as I usually use 200-300 tops KM worth of gas a day.

Currently my car is a Ford Cmax hybrid and I fill up at around 45 bucks every 3 days. My main question is for cost...reading around, it seems that it would cost around 7-8 bucks to fully charge the Bolt with Ontario rates, and I'd have to charge it every day (although not from absolutly drained) That gives me decent savings, but does anyone else charge theirs every day or every other day?

Any other concerns I should have while planning on driving that much with a fairly new kind of car?

I know this is all over the place, thanks for any help!
 

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Translating this into American:

He drives 40K miles per year, and his daily commute is 125 - 185 miles each day.

Sounds like you're going to use roughly (very roughly) 40 kWh each day, which is 2/3rds of the battery. Looks like charging rates in Ontario vary depending on when you are charging, and I can't really tell what off-peak is, but according to this link mid-peak rates are 10c per kWh, that's about $4 per day. Off peak would be less, on-peak more.

So about $12 per 3 day period instead of $45.

I think it's very common to charge the car every night at home.
 

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The Bolt should handle that easily.
You should even be able to set the charge level to 90%. (Hilltop mode) Which should give you over 200 miles of range each day, and still not overcharge the battery. In colder weather, if you need more range for safety, you could set it back to full charge in the winter.
 

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The Bolt should handle that easily.
Might be a bit marginal in an Ontario winter, especially if there's snow or slush on the roads and he still needs to pile on the same mileage. If I'm interpreting his post correctly, these aren't commuting miles but rather driver instruction miles - so it's not like he can park the car and charge it during the day while he works.
 

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Might be a bit marginal in an Ontario winter, especially if there's snow or slush on the roads and he still needs to pile on the same mileage. If I'm interpreting his post correctly, these aren't commuting miles but rather driver instruction miles - so it's not like he can park the car and charge it during the day while he works.
But, it may also be true that, with instruction miles, he does not stray far from home or office and could charge over his lunch break. Level 2 charging could add 40 km (25 miles) over lunch and make even a busy day easily "do-able".
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I'm interpreting his post correctly, these aren't commuting miles but rather driver instruction miles - so it's not like he can park the car and charge it during the day while he works.
This is true. I work weird hours, (So say, after taking a student on a road test, I might have a two hour break between lessons I could top up somewhere), but other days I'll work straight through the day and other days I might have two students in the morning, two students at night.

Also, how much would you guys say speed and acceleration alters battery life? Much of my driving is slower city driving with more turns, traffic lights and lots of parking. We do teach students freeways (100km/60mph) and emergency breaking (accelerating up to 60km/40mph and slamming on the breaks).

Does freeway eats the battery a LOT more than starting and stopping? Would practicing parking for 5 minutes be better for the battery than driving 60km/40mph for 5 minutes, or worse?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I like the idea of youths being introduced to driving in an EV. Perhaps a positive experience will have them consider an EV when they are able to afford a new vehicle.
Man, kids get freaked out when they drive the hybrid I currently have because of how quiet it starts, I can't imagine the EV!
 

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Battery life is impacted by high speeds (65 mph and over) and using climate control. The cold winters in Ontario will impact mileage more than hot weather. You can expect mileage of 150 miles in the cold winter months and up to 300 miles in ideal conditions travelling at 45 mph. There has been a lot of uber drivers that say the Bolt is a top 5 choice for their vehicle of choice. I think it could work as driver's education car, but on those longer days you might need a 30 minute supercharge or a few hour level 2 charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
One more question, guys, thanks for the input so far!

My in-laws (dun dun dunnnnnn) brought up maintenance issues and certain things related to buying a new, unproven (long term) car.

Obviously there's no oil changes (no break changes either, correct?) but has GM promised long term support? I assumed maintenece would be cheaper than a gas car, but they've got me wondering if I was correct.

How are things like lights and tires? Because I drive so much me I tend to get flats and have headlights and signals go out quicker than normal. Are these things easy to replace, or is this one of those "Bring the car into the dealership because your car is so unusual" situations?

Lots of questions I know, but I'd rather guy people who own it than the dealership, and it's how I make my living so I want to make sure I'm gonna do the right thing. Thanks again!
 

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Not sure a Bolt is a good car for a driving instructor in Ontario. Students will need to learn on the Bolt with the car in D, so that they use the foot brake to stop and the car creeps when they take their foot off the brake. You will loose a lot of regenerative braking with the car in D and hence range, and the brakes will wear at a rate similar to an ICE car. Driving more slowly will help range, but that will be totally obliterated by winter temperatures and the need to heat the cabin. I have had a Leaf for 4 years in Ontario and only heat when it is below 0, and have the temperature set on minimum so the windows stay mostly clear. My range drops by almost 50%. Nervous students likely do not learn as well when their teeth are chattering from the cold even with the heated seats on, and you will not be their favourite instructor. Likely 160 to 180 km/day on a full charge for 4 months/year. If you could do a midday quick charge then it is totally doable. I think the students would love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not sure a Bolt is a good car for a driving instructor in Ontario. Students will need to learn on the Bolt with the car in D, so that they use the foot brake to stop and the car creeps when they take their foot off the brake.
Ah, thanks. I forgot about this question. So D does indeed allow the car to creep, and L doesn't, right?


I have had a Leaf for 4 years in Ontario and only heat when it is below 0, and have the temperature set on minimum so the windows stay mostly clear. My range drops by almost 50%. Nervous students likely do not learn as well when their teeth are chattering from the cold even with the heated seats on, and you will not be their favourite instructor. Likely 160 to 180 km/day on a full charge for 4 months/year. If you could do a midday quick charge then it is totally doable. I think the students would love it.
Holy ****. The winter question was the first one I asked the dealership guy, and he said something about losing maybe 60km of range in the winter, which would keep me pretty safe. But half? I may need to look into that one a little more.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Is it really true that using the brake pedal only uses the friction brakes, and doesn't engage regen?
I assumed the brake pedal regens the brakes the same way as it would in the hybrid. Which is a little bit. I didn't think it was none at all.
 

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from the manual:

The hydraulic disc brakes will become active and work to slow the
vehicle once the energy generated from the regenerative braking has been maximized, or if the battery is
fully charged.
ie, when you hit the brake pedal, regen engages first. this can be verified by looking at the regen icon when you brake.
 

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Per year fuel/electricity costs (simple generalization):

Bolt: $346.64
CMax: $3899.70

Oil change cost (factoring 5k mile changes with synthetic) @ $40 if self changed:

40k miles a year / 8 oil changes: $320

Not going to factor in tires/brakes.

Per year, you'll save roughly ~$3873.06


Roughly a $10k-$12k cost difference on sale price so after ~3 years you're about even (at which point you're at 120k miles).


Considering the factory battery warranty is 8y/100k I would honestly say that the Bolt probably isn't as smart as getting an 'econobox' car. I'm sure the batteries are going to last well beyond their warranties but it's still a very expensive gamble after that 100k miles.
 

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Per year fuel/electricity costs (simple generalization):

Bolt: $346.64
CMax: $3899.70

Oil change cost (factoring 5k mile changes with synthetic) @ $40 if self changed:

40k miles a year / 8 oil changes: $320

Not going to factor in tires/brakes.

Per year, you'll save roughly ~$3873.06


Roughly a $10k-$12k cost difference on sale price so after ~3 years you're about even (at which point you're at 120k miles).


Considering the factory battery warranty is 8y/100k I would honestly say that the Bolt probably isn't as smart as getting an 'econobox' car. I'm sure the batteries are going to last well beyond their warranties but it's still a very expensive gamble after that 100k miles.
$40 for self changed oil? Jiffy Lube is like $25, and I do oil changes with Mobil1 synthetic for no more than $30. The C-max should be able to go 10,000 miles between oil changes.

If cost is really the main concern, then it's probably cheapest to buy two Leafs at $7,000 each, and trade off at lunchtime. $14k for 2 vehicles is not too shabby, especially if you have multiple people in your household who need to drive.
 
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