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Discussion Starter #1
There are three or four Bolt's at my workplace and all my colleagues who drive them tell me they easily get 300+ miles, as has been reported here and online. The question is, why?

With the Bolt we can see indications that they over designed the car. First, the 12V charging inverter is a 1600W unit, far greater than it needs to be. Second, another engineer mentioned that they didn't know what DC fast charge they'd settle at (ended up at 50kW), but they made it chunkier than it needs to be. Third, consider the resistance heaters for the cabin, 6kW is my understanding, that's some resistance heating! You can see a trend here because they could, or because they wanted design headroom since this is a new segment, they oversized a lot of components.

So for the extended range there could be several things going on

  1. The team is conservative with their range estimate, not wanting a nasty PR problem when not everybody gets it
  2. The battery has reserve not shown for the calculation for how charged the battery is. Conversely, the mile estimate starts more conservatively than it needs to
  3. The regen, aerodynamics (0.308 drag coefficient) and such are that people are capturing far more then expected.
I suspect 1 is true, I'm sure they went conservative on this spec. This implies they put a chunky battery in there, so if nothing else they weren't conservative on how big they could do the battery, e.g. they made it as big as they could. This would jive with the other over designing we see.

I believe 3 is true also. In my small experience so far, I made a 30 mile trip and only lost 8 miles of range. Impressive.

On 2, I'll guess battery doesn't have a true hidden reserve, but I also wonder if there's something else going on. It seems to be performing better than expected.
 

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"The team" did not make a "range estimate", the Federal Government EPA did, with the understanding that only with strict criteria can an EPA range serve its only purpose: for comparison to other vehicles. EPA range is not intended to show how far YOU can drive your car. Always driving an EV at or below 35 mph (unreasonable) will always give you a longer range. Always driving an EV at or above 80 mph (unsafe) will always give you a shorter range.

Ranges of per gallon estimates for ICE vehicles vary much with driving habits, but perhaps not so much as range per kW estimates for EVs. It is not unusual that "some people" always get 300 miles per full charge. One person even documented a >400 mile range. Duplicating that is antithetical to the purpose of a vehicle.

I am sure GM made some conservative moves when designing/building the Bolt. It's much more fun for people to be delightfully surprised than terribly disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"The team" did not make a "range estimate", the Federal Government EPA did, with the understanding that only with strict criteria can an EPA range serve its only purpose: for comparison to other vehicles.
Car and Driver
The Truth About EPA City / Highway MPG Estimates

While the public mistakenly presumes that this federal agency is hard at work conducting complicated tests on every new model of truck, van, car, and SUV, in reality, just 18 of the EPA’s 17,000 employees work in the automobile-testing department in Ann Arbor, Michigan, examining 200 to 250 vehicles a year, or roughly 15 percent of new models. As to that other 85 percent, the EPA takes automakers at their word—without any testing—accepting submitted results as accurate. Two-thirds of the new vehicles the EPA does test are selected randomly, and the remaining third are done for specific reasons.
The EPA is involved to keep automakers on their toes for emissions. What are the odds they spend much time on BEV's, which are as green as you can get? Not high.
 

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"The team" did not make a "range estimate", the Federal Government EPA did, with the understanding that only with strict criteria can an EPA range serve its only purpose: for comparison to other vehicles.
It's actually GM who does the test and publishes the number. And if the EPA tested the Bolt and found that it performed better than GM's figure I'm sure they wouldn't complain about it.

So I don't think it's inconceivable that GM could have "derated" the stated fuel economy. I'm reminded of the Space Shuttle, whose main engines are operated at throttle settings up to 109%.

But it seems to me that it's more likely that GM merely chose to err a bit on the conservative side when they did their range testing.
 

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Agree, the worst thing which could happen to a new EV is for customers to be complaining it won't meet range estimates. The better choice is to have them bragging about how much more range they're getting.

And again, how any vehicle is driven drastically alters the range estimates, EVs more so. Only slightly OT, but a fleet manager keeps records on every vehicle and driver. He says the same drivers always use the most fuel and others always have the most repairs/downtime. I have a Ford diesel pickup which gets 17 MPG. I accused one Dodge diesel owner of exaggerating, claiming 22 MPG, until he admitted he stays at 55 MPH and under, no matter what the posted limit. For me, whatever the ride, I drive it like I stole it. The Bolt is just so much giggles, I'm punching it when appropriate and going the usual five-over until I get to the 80 MPH areas; that's enough cruising speed, even for me.

Your opinions and results may vary.

jack vines
 

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Car and Driver
The Truth About EPA City / Highway MPG Estimates



The EPA is involved to keep automakers on their toes for emissions. What are the odds they spend much time on BEV's, which are as green as you can get? Not high.
True, and I should have stated that GM did the testing USING criteria developed and mandated by the EPA. All the other Forum member's comments are true, and I, for one, am glad that GM was conservative in their reporting.
 

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Anyone getting "over 300 miles easily" has a very different driving situation/style to most people. To do that you would need to almost never hit highway speeds. I've been driving electric with my volt, now Bolt, for almost 5 (over 250,000km) years. If I drive normally, I typically get a little less than the EPA range (on electric) - If driving aggressive probably about 80% range. I have "hypermiled" my 2011 Volt for over 80km electric which is 160% range, but I was not driving 'sustainable-ly'. Don't forget that the story also changes drastically if you are in an area that sees snow and cold temperatures. The Bolt has way more range than most people need on a daily basis; why drive around like you are constantly running on 'fumes'?

I don't fully understand why people that drive so little (ie. less than 10km to work - no highways or 10,000km/year) (admittedly an assumption here, as to if it relates to the OP) buy such a car. Yes, it's fun, and it's got the tech and it's green, but you don't get the savings from fuel, maintenance etc. and there are some very nice rides that can be had for the same money.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Wait till winter hits, you won't be seeing 300mi range in the snow... :crying:
 

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there are some very nice rides that can be had for the same money.
Agree completely. I knew we wanted an EV two years ago and I ran the calculations every which way. We drive so few miles fuel costs are ant-****. An EV never made bottom line sense for us. But then no new car purchase could ever be justified on ROI. The first-year depreciation is the killer. It's always more cost-effective to continue to repair the paid-for one already in the garage.

Finally, we just decided to ignore ROI and buy what we wanted to drive.

jack vines
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't fully understand why people that drive so little (ie. less than 10km to work - no highways or 10,000km/year) (admittedly an assumption here, as to if it relates to the OP) buy such a car. Yes, it's fun, and it's got the tech and it's green, but you don't get the savings from fuel, maintenance etc. and there are some very nice rides that can be had for the same money.
Because it's a nicer ride than any other ICE you happen to find. People all have their own ideas, but ICE cars are such a huge burden for me that just going to the grocery store in my BEV is a joy. One, I hate gas stations. Hate, hate hate. They're ugly, noisy, too cold/too hot and ugly. The chances of getting gas on your hands, car, shoes or pants is high. BEV's 'gas up' for free at work, or at home, easy and clean.

Second, every time I turn on a ICE car in the back of my mind I'm thinking of the burden of that. The stupid engine roars to life, I know all the crap that spews out initially until it warms up, and it's loud. Moving my car is a big bother. With a BEV I happily turn it on and move it or whatever, because it's flipping a switch. Almost zero resources are used in that operation, and it's nearly silent.

Three, the pleasure of the torque, and the lack of 'mush'. ICE cars are mushy, I tell them to do something and it happens, reluctantly. They accelerate poorly and brake poorly.

Four, my engineering sense is outraged by the pure ridiculousness of internal combustion. You take an incredible energy source, pop it off to just push some cylinders, to move a car which doesn't really want to do it and needs complicated mechanisms, waste half of it in heat and more in losses through the gear train. Nothing is recaptured into a viable energy store, not the momentum in braking, nor the heat, or anything.

It's a nightmare. Preaching to the choir I know. This is my first new car because I've hated ICE so much, and was waiting for the first mass market BEV that wasn't a compromise. Took me 30 years of driving to get here, finally made it.
 

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Because it's a nicer ride than any other ICE you happen to find. People all have their own ideas, but ICE cars are such a huge burden for me that just going to the grocery store in my BEV is a joy. One, I hate gas stations. Hate, hate hate. They're ugly, noisy, too cold/too hot and ugly. The chances of getting gas on your hands, car, shoes or pants is high. BEV's 'gas up' for free at work, or at home, easy and clean.

Second, every time I turn on a ICE car in the back of my mind I'm thinking of the burden of that. The stupid engine roars to life, I know all the crap that spews out initially until it warms up, and it's loud. Moving my car is a big bother. With a BEV I happily turn it on and move it or whatever, because it's flipping a switch. Almost zero resources are used in that operation, and it's nearly silent.

Three, the pleasure of the torque, and the lack of 'mush'. ICE cars are mushy, I tell them to do something and it happens, reluctantly. They accelerate poorly and brake poorly.

Four, my engineering sense is outraged by the pure ridiculousness of internal combustion. You take an incredible energy source, pop it off to just push some cylinders, to move a car which doesn't really want to do it and needs complicated mechanisms, waste half of it in heat and more in losses through the gear train. Nothing is recaptured into a viable energy store, not the momentum in braking, nor the heat, or anything.

It's a nightmare. Preaching to the choir I know. This is my first new car because I've hated ICE so much, and was waiting for the first mass market BEV that wasn't a compromise. Took me 30 years of driving to get here, finally made it.
I couldn't agree with you more on the gassing up.
Probably save good 1 hr or so each month not to mention the hassle of getting to a gas station.

The only thing I miss on ICE cars are engine revving sound on a high performance cars but heck, I can live without it and I feel better reducing my carbon footprint during my lifetime. :D
As for source of my electricity, it is now 50% renewable and plan on getting solar shortly.
 

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How many of the people claiming this 300+ mile range actually drive their car that far on a charge? I think people are reporting on the range estimate, not actual range driven. It is actual range driven that matters, and probably the time required to drive the distance.

If I drive on the highway at 65 to 75 mph, I never get more than than 3.7 or 3.8 miles per KWh (220 to 230 miles per full charge). When I stay on suburban streets at 35 to 45 mph, I routinely get 5.1 or 5.2 miles per KWh (300+ miles per full charge).

I have no desire whatsoever to drive 300+ miles at 35 to 45 mph. That is approaching 9 hours!
 

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I don't fully understand why people that drive so little (ie. less than 10km to work - no highways or 10,000km/year) (admittedly an assumption here, as to if it relates to the OP) buy such a car. Yes, it's fun, and it's got the tech and it's green, but you don't get the savings from fuel, maintenance etc. and there are some very nice rides that can be had for the same money.
If everyone who bought cars based their decisions solely on total cost of ownership then there are an awful lot of high end cars out there that would disappear.

Nobody scratches their heads at why someone would buy a top-of-the-line Mercedes to drive 10,000km a year. Heck, nobody would question someone that bought a Tesla Model S to do that either. Why should they be any more puzzled about a Bolt that was bought for that purpose?
 

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Yeah I'm not buying the 300+ mile range. Not saying it isn't possible, but that it takes some pretty extreme hypermiling. There's no way it's "frequent".

Over the last 5000 miles, I'm averaging exactly 4m/kWh, or 240 miles. This is with no heating ever, occasional AC, and very little highway driving.
 

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Right now I am averaging over 4 miles per kWh. However, I could see people averaging well over 300 mile range. My highway commute everyday is 130 miles. I use about 30 kWh to do this drive, so I am over the 238 mile range with highway driving around 70 to 75 miles per hour and the occasional highway traffic. I also am not afraid to use my air conditioner. During the weekends I drive around the little city I live in driving about 30 to 35 mph. I sometimes average over 6 miles per kWh without air conditioning and 5.5 kWh with. That is about 360 mile range if you drive under 40 mph without air conditioning in a flat area. So I could easily see someone getting these numbers with slower city driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I'm 5.3 mi/kWh (320 mile range) in my first 1k miles. Country/city driving, I avoid freeways. So far I'm seeing that it loves this kind of driving, 45 m/h max, speed up/slow down no problem around corners and hills. I'll get out to the coast, 30-40 miles on 8 miles of range.
 

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:)With 1600 miles, and three months use, I'm averaging 260 plus miles per full (100%) charge. Most of my driving is interstate, but I set the cruise for 63. I drive conservatively and other than bragging rights for actually getting 300 miles on a single charge, I don't see the need or worth the effort.
 

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With 1600 miles, and three months use, I'm averaging 260 plus miles per full (100%) charge. Most of my driving is interstate, but I set the cruise for 63. I drive conservatively and other than bragging rights for actually getting 300 miles on a single charge, I don't see the need or worth the effort.
Averaging 260 miles per charge for a total of 1600 miles, means you have only plugged it in six times in three months. I plug mine in every night, even on days that I only drive ten miles. Today I drove two miles, plugged it in, drove 8 miles, plugged it in, drove 30 miles, plugged it in. The most I have gone on a single charge is 210 miles. It was not completely discharged, but I plugged it in anyway.
 

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Averaging 260 miles per charge for a total of 1600 miles, means you have only plugged it in six times in three months. I plug mine in every night, even on days that I only drive ten miles. Today I drove two miles, plugged it in, drove 8 miles, plugged it in, drove 30 miles, plugged it in. The most I have gone on a single charge is 210 miles. It was not completely discharged, but I plugged it in anyway.
:eek:Fascination with charging? I've been charging my PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Elect Vehicle) and two EVs for almost five years. With home charging it's effortless, but I only charge as required. I'll charge my Bolt once it drops below 60 miles range, and as low as 30 miles. My Prius Plug In gets 10 miles EV and I charge it after each use, but it's a big boost to MPGe. No right or wrong answer to charging, but when I charge, I make it worthwhile.
 

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:eek:Fascination with charging? I've been charging my PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Elect Vehicle) and two EVs for almost five years. With home charging it's effortless, but I only charge as required.
The advantage of always plugging in whether your need it or not is that:

a) The vehicle always has the maximum range available in case something unexpected comes up, and

b) You get into the "plug-in habit" and are less likely to forget to plug in when you need to.
 
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