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My lease on my 2017 Bolt Premier with all the packages is up in October. It is a 39 month lease and I've been wrestling with the decision on what to do. Should I buy my Bolt, buy a new 2020 (or 2021) Bolt, wait for the new RAV4 Plug-in hybrid (I am able to do without the car for 6 months or more), go with the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid, or bite the financial bullet and buy a Tesla Model Y? I finally got the opportunity to test Drive the Model Y, and I have to say I was disappointed. I already knew that all of the Teslas lacked the blind-spot monitor tools present in virtually every other modern car. No warning lights in the side-view mirrors, and the monitor with the pictorial representation of the car and the lane on either side did not show overtaking traffic until it was at the rear bumper. Worse, along with no warning of overtaking or any other traffic to the side, the rear window seems like a ship's porthole, rendering the view to the rear from the interior mirror virtually worthless. The Bolt's camera-based rear-view mirror looks really good in comparison.

The Model Y (dual motor all-wheel drive) is certainly faster in acceleration, roomier, and more "gee-whiz" tech. However, the no birds-eye view and the horrible visibility pretty much disqualifies it for us. I'm really glad I took the test drive, as when I got in the Bolt to drive home, I patted it fondly.

I'm currently leaning towards keeping my Bolt, as I know it intimately, have had absolutely no problems with it in 3 years and 30,000 miles. There are no real advantages over the 2017 in the 2020, other than the 21 miles of additional range. I know how mine has been cared for, specially in the way most of my charging has been done using the hill mode, so only going to 80%, never draining below 30%, and never using level 3 charging. I charge at home using my JuiceBox 40, and given the range, I only charge about once/week (retired so no regular commute). The only potential downside is that I live in AZ, and, although garage kept, she has been subjected to some extreme temperatures.

Financially, many will say that keeping is a bad move. I got one of the first Bolts delivered in Tucson, and there were no incentives available with the exception of the $7,500 tax credit. As I get closer to my turn-in or buy for $25,000 date, I'll keep looking for a 2020 (or 2021) for $30K before tax, allowing me to get a new Bolt for a $5,000 difference.

Interesting times.

Ron
 

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Ron, the Bolt really does compare favorably with lots of more "sophisticated" EVs. Depending on your needs, if you have any intention of doing some travel with your EV I'd hold out till the Bolt replacement, with more rapid fast-charge speed comes out. I think it's in 2021.

Just a thought.

Rich
 

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I had an oddly similar experience. When I went to the LA Auto Show last year, I only had one day to check out all of the EVs (unfortunately, I could only make it for the last press day), so I was walking from EV showcase to EV showcase with gear and a camera bag. And because a lot of automakers actually separated their EV lineup from their standard lineup, I had a lot of walking to do. I got to sit in almost every EV that the press were allowed to sit in, though I had to pass on the Mach-E and Taycan because the lines to sit in them were too long.

With everything from direct Chevy Bolt EV competitors, such as the Niro and Soul EVs to luxury cars like the EQC and e-Tron, they all felt clumsy, cluttered, confined, and really difficult to get in and out of. The EQC was probably the best, but for both it and the e-tron, they were surprisingly cramped for how big the vehicles were. Because I was doing my due diligence, I also went to check out the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV. I opened the door and slipped right in despite having camera bags and an active, motorized three-axle gimbal. Everything just fit. I wasn't cramped, and the seating position was just so much better. I took an extra moment or two just to appreciate how much better the Bolt EV's cabin design and space were. The contrast with the other EVs at the show was stark, to say the least.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thans, Rich. I've come to the conclusion that as of right now, an electric car is not ideal for trips beyond the range of a 100% charge. For longer trips, it becomes more of a charging strategy "game", taking way too much attention. It can certainly be done, specially as the EA network becomes more reliable. I know we will get there, and I agree that more rapid charging and more charging locations is coming, and at that point, travel in an electric vehicle will become more about enjoying the trip and less about the charging game.

Ron
 

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If you've considered the Model Y then financially, you're not too limited. Based on your needs, the Y is way more car than you seem to need unless you road trip a lot.
Have you considered the Kona EV (not hybrid)? Here's a review of the Bolt vs the Kona from a motorhead that's never driven either.


Road trip in Kona
 

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Given that you seem to be ok with spending a bit more, maybe consider a Model 3? If I were moving on (up?) from a Bolt and didn’t care about getting more cargo space as much, a Model 3 would likely be the next EV for me and I believe rear window visibility is much better in it versus a Model Y.
 

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I don't think this applies to the Model Y yet, I could be wrong , but the Model 3 got an update to add the side repeater cameras to the rear camera view. And I'm sure this will be added to the Y soon if it isn't already. This greatly helps when parking and helps with blind spot viewing while driving. It certainly isn't the surround type view that the Bolt Premier or Nissan Leaf have. I actually bought a Premier rather than LT because I wanted the surround view (and also the heated rear seats.) So I totally understand wanting this feature. I had a hard time finding a good pic that showed how the repeaters help on the Model 3, but in the one I attached you can see much more of the cars in the blind spot. And I can report that is is easier to park the Model 3 now because you can see curbs, although it is from a rear view. Parking is much easier with a surround view like on the Bolt or Leaf, that's for sure.

The rear view out of a Model 3 isn't great, and the Y certainly isn't any better. I totally understand your gripe there.

It is disappointing that Tesla doesn't have cross traffic collision warning like the Bolt, I do like that feature a lot when backing up. I don't find the Bolt's blind spot warning lights on the mirrors helpful, I never see them. Maybe it is because I haven't trained myself to pay attention to them yet. But it is nice to have if that is something that helps you.

The lack of a surround view on the Model 3 was a big detraction, but not enough for us to not purchase one. And then later Tesla added the repeater camera view, which helped narrow the gap. If they'd add the B pillar camera view Tesla would be close to having a surround type view. My point is that Tesla added things to make the car better and it was because their customers asked for it. Good luck getting something like that done on the Bolt. You'll have to buy a new one to get a feature update like that.

There's a lot of things I like about my Bolt, but I'm going to look to replace it with a Model Y once the 7 seat version is available. I need the extra space and towing ability the Y will offer. If the rear seats on the 7 seater Model Y are totally worthless, my decision to replace the Bolt will become harder. I'm going to wait about another year before I look at the Y.

I wouldn't replace my Bolt with a Model 3. But having a Model 3 as our other car is just fine as it fits my wife's needs, and a Bolt wouldn't have been right for her.

29991
 

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FWIW.. the new Model Y does get criticism in the Tesla communities for it's poor, counter intuitive implementation (making you look at the center screen vs your side-view mirror) for blind spot traffic notifications. It also gets knocked for it's lack of 360 overhead coverage while backing up/parking, but they recently added the side view camera feeds (via OTA update) as is shown in the screen cap in the above post to sort of simulate the 360 deg view.

I have enjoyed my 2017 Bolt since the day I purchased in in April 2017. I now have logged 47K trouble free miles on it and I am somewhat saddened by the realization that it will be gone in a few days. I sold it to Vroom a few days ago and the carrier is due to puck it up in the next few days. I have a Model Y on order and expect to schedule delivery sometime in August when the new Tesla Service Center opens less than 10 miles from my home.

As awesome as the Bolt has been for me for 3+ yrs, here's a few of my personal reasons for switching to the Model Y:
1) Much more comfortable seating
2) All Wheel Drive (important for NY winters)
3) Longer battery range (315mi vs 238mi)
4) Supercharger Network (makes trips to upstate NY possible now)
5) Autopilot included (basically Radar ACC and precision Lane Keeper, I did not pay for $8K Full Self Drive option but I can add that at any time via OTA update)
6) All glass roof!!
7) Once/Month software updates (fixes bugs and introduces new features)
8) Dual zone climate control
9) Factory 2" tow hitch available ($1K option)
10) Built in 24/7 Dash cam and Surround cam surveillance
 

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Thans, Rich. I've come to the conclusion that as of right now, an electric car is not ideal for trips beyond the range of a 100% charge. For longer trips, it becomes more of a charging strategy "game", taking way too much attention. It can certainly be done, specially as the EA network becomes more reliable. I know we will get there, and I agree that more rapid charging and more charging locations is coming, and at that point, travel in an electric vehicle will become more about enjoying the trip and less about the charging game.

Ron
I somewhat agree, and I feel there are a number of culprits to why that is. Tesla has done a lot in terms of route planning and ease of use for their chargers (i.e, payment and activation), but frankly, that's not 100% of the problem. As you noted, some people just want to drive and stop to fuel only when convenient or necessary. Even Tesla's system does very little to support that.

Part of it is on the cars. Frankly, 220 miles of freeway speed range on a full charge isn't enough. Even the Tesla Model Y's ~250 miles of freeway speed range isn't enough. And that's just the first full charge. After that, you're literally planning your trip around your charging stops because your subsequent charge range (what I refer to as the range you have after a reasonably timed recharging stop) is a fraction of your starting range (maybe 100 to 150 miles of freeway-speed range). An EV with a base range of 400 miles would be far more convenient and capable.

The other fault with current EVs is their charging speeds. It's nice to have a really fast peak charging rate, but if you can't more than 150 to 200 miles before that charging rate starts to really slow down, it forces you back into that model of planning your entire trip around your charging stops. Having the capability to charge to 80% in 10 to 15 minutes will be key. To be clear, you won't always use that capability because you might want to make a more relaxed stop where charging up over the course of 30 minutes to an hour makes more sense. Again, giving the driver a choice and option for which they would prefer to do.

The other part is the charging infrastructure coverage and distribution. This is where I think Tesla loses the script a little. I understand the economics behind building larger sites (it costs far less per charger to install when you're putting in fewer sites with more chargers); however, economics and convenience do not always align. Along a 200-mile corridor, I'd rather see five sites with four chargers each than one site with 20 chargers. Again, giving the driver options and a choice. Maybe you just want to refuel really quick, use the bathroom, grab a snack, and go. Maybe you want to sit down to a nice meal and catch part of the game on TV. Maybe you need to stock up on supplies for your camping trip. Having all of those choices in a 50-mile section of road makes traveling a lot more flexible (especially when that 50 miles only represents 12% of your total battery range.

People can poo-poo the public charging infrastructure all they want, but as someone who's logged over 100,000 miles using the public charging infrastructure, I can say that the one area where it is stronger even than the Supercharger Network is in options and flexibility. Now yes, this is a "California" perspective, but it is a good demonstration of what could be possible for the rest of the country (and what, to your point, needs to happen). The fact that I can drive the length of the state a dozen times or more in my Bolt EV without ever using the same charging site twice (while having a choice between charging speeds ranging from 24 kW to 350 kW) is a testament to how just how flexible and convenient it is.

Basically, there are several hurdles that still need to be overcome before EVs are as convenient on long trips as gas cars. I'm not talking speed of travel (EVs are getting close to that now); I'm speaking purely about convenience. And most of that convenience will be the result of flexibility and options when traveling.
 

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I looked at Tesla, considered many aspects of available EVs. Although I was initially take by the tesla energy as I looked into individual owner experience and generic feedback it just seem that you had to join the TESLA club if you bought a their car. Reminds me a bit of Apple computers and for some unknown reason I've always attracted towards open architectures.
Yeah, I got PCs and androids. My wife loves and has apple thought. The whole idea of buying into a new company with lots of hooopala and lots of unhappy customers having no recourse. That alone left me feeling that tesla was a risk. I did want an electric car and although I would have preferred and would of spend a little more to get an upgraded interior rather than an economy one. I wanted a reliable electric car. Maybe I'll upgrade to something a little more fancy in a few years when there's lots more to choose from and I'll consider a Tesla then also. Assuming by then they have their manufacturing process worked out. BTW I spoken to a couple of local tesla owners around here (Los Angeles) and once they breaks down and let go of the facade they both are a bit frustrated with tesla for some reason or another. I would like to see improvements to the Bolt in the area of creature comfort, but so far it hasn't disappointed me. It's exactly what I expected. It's a nice electric economy car.
 

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Hey Ron, I was in the same boat at the beginning of the year. Do I keep/buy out my 2017 lease or move to a 2020 Bolt. Like you and many of us, I had ZERO issues with the 2017, it was a great reliable car. However comparing to the 2020 offers, I jumped on the deal for a 2020 model. You'll get a bit more range( always a good thing), some new features(better cameras, etc), fresh battery pack and new warranty all in the same package we've come to know and love. I don't regret going with the 2020. I also own a 2017 Tesla Model X 75D. Range wise similar to the Bolt but obviously a totally different car.
From a reliability perspective, The Bolt Wins. Tesla is a good car, Leading the way in tech & performance but somewhat lacking on quality and reliability. Don't get me wrong I love my Model X, but you need to be prepaired for the "Tesla Ownership Experience". Every Tesla off the line has to teethe a bit, once you get through that, you get used to how to handle it's quirks. Now that we've shaken out the issues on my Telsa Model X over the years, It's a good car and very Fast.....

Would I trade it for say the Hummer EV or a GM EV based Pickup Truck? Very Tempting knowing how the 2017 Bolt has been over the 3yrs and that at the time it was a brand new production model car.
If GM can get the range up above the 300 mile-400miles, No brainer.
My 2 cents..;-)
 

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My lease on my 2017 Bolt Premier with all the packages is up in October. It is a 39 month lease and I've been wrestling with the decision on what to do. Should I buy my Bolt, buy a new 2020 (or 2021) Bolt, wait for the new RAV4 Plug-in hybrid (I am able to do without the car for 6 months or more), go with the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid, or bite the financial bullet and buy a Tesla Model Y? I finally got the opportunity to test Drive the Model Y, and I have to say I was disappointed. I already knew that all of the Teslas lacked the blind-spot monitor tools present in virtually every other modern car. No warning lights in the side-view mirrors, and the monitor with the pictorial representation of the car and the lane on either side did not show overtaking traffic until it was at the rear bumper. Worse, along with no warning of overtaking or any other traffic to the side, the rear window seems like a ship's porthole, rendering the view to the rear from the interior mirror virtually worthless. The Bolt's camera-based rear-view mirror looks really good in comparison.

The Model Y (dual motor all-wheel drive) is certainly faster in acceleration, roomier, and more "gee-whiz" tech. However, the no birds-eye view and the horrible visibility pretty much disqualifies it for us. I'm really glad I took the test drive, as when I got in the Bolt to drive home, I patted it fondly.

I'm currently leaning towards keeping my Bolt, as I know it intimately, have had absolutely no problems with it in 3 years and 30,000 miles. There are no real advantages over the 2017 in the 2020, other than the 21 miles of additional range. I know how mine has been cared for, specially in the way most of my charging has been done using the hill mode, so only going to 80%, never draining below 30%, and never using level 3 charging. I charge at home using my JuiceBox 40, and given the range, I only charge about once/week (retired so no regular commute). The only potential downside is that I live in AZ, and, although garage kept, she has been subjected to some extreme temperatures.

Financially, many will say that keeping is a bad move. I got one of the first Bolts delivered in Tucson, and there were no incentives available with the exception of the $7,500 tax credit. As I get closer to my turn-in or buy for $25,000 date, I'll keep looking for a 2020 (or 2021) for $30K before tax, allowing me to get a new Bolt for a $5,000 difference.

Interesting times.

Ron
Unfortunate timing on your lease. I think next year you'd have more interesting options with the Mach-E and Ariya as well as possibly two updated Bolt versions and an outside chance at VW ID4.
 

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Part of it is on the cars. Frankly, 220 miles of freeway speed range on a full charge isn't enough. Even the Tesla Model Y's ~250 miles of freeway speed range isn't enough. And that's just the first full charge. After that, you're literally planning your trip around your charging stops because your subsequent charge range (what I refer to as the range you have after a reasonably timed recharging stop) is a fraction of your starting range (maybe 100 to 150 miles of freeway-speed range). An EV with a base range of 400 miles would be far more convenient and capable.
Eric thank you for that thoughtful overview of the reality of distance travel via EV. "Great minds think alike" (or so I told myself) as I came to the same conclusion as you did some time ago. The "range" of an EV is of limited utility once you have depleted the initial full battery. The real-world distance that can be traveled in a 300 mile EV is somewhere around 200 miles between charges (weather and temperature dependent). I have my fingers and toes crossed that Tesla will be coming out with a 400 mile Model Y after September. Hope springs eternal. Furthermore, I am under no illusion but that should a 400 mile Tesla be announced, it will be 400 miles as measured by Tesla... :sick:

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Eric thank you for that thoughtful overview of the reality of distance travel via EV. "Great minds think alike" (or so I told myself) as I came to the same conclusion as you did some time ago. The "range" of an EV is of limited utility once you have depleted the initial full battery. The real-world distance that can be traveled in a 300 mile EV is somewhere around 200 miles between charges (weather and temperature dependent). I have my fingers and toes crossed that Tesla will be coming out with a 400 mile Model Y after September. Hope springs eternal. Furthermore, I am under no illusion but that should a 400 mile Tesla be announced, it will be 400 miles as measured by Tesla... :sick:

Rich
My thinking exactly. In our current situation, we need a "grab and go" car that can accomplish our local trips without and ICE engine. Yes, for the environment, but also for being able to accomplish short trips (less than 5 miles) without the engine starting and never fully warming the oil. Perhaps I'm still operating on 30 year old conventional wisdom that its bad for the engine, but there you have it. I've looked at the available Plug-in hybrids, and the RAV4 is the one with the best range (but not generally available for at least another 6 months. We have 2 ICE cars, a leased 2018 Lexus NX300h and a 2007 Lexus SC430 (used for top-down excursions). I looks like the Lexus lease will be complete in time for the 2022 NX plug-in hybrid using the same power-train as the Toyota RAV4 plug-in. So I could turn in the Bolt and wait for a plug-in or a more capable EV. But I have to agree with Eric. For the immediate future, long-distance travel in an EV, while certainly doable, comes with compromises. For us, the combination of a Bolt for extended local travel. and a plug-in hybrid for a combination of EV-only local travel and fairly fuel efficient hybrid travel for longer trips.

Having said all of that, I think that unless some lower-cost EV or attractive plug-in becomes available in the next few months, we'll keep the familiar, reliable 2017 Bolt.

Ron
 

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@ronr9286t
I too was trying to decide what to do with my 2017 lease early this year. Couple of potential options.
1) depending on the lease terms, ask for an extension, defer your decision

2) I actually discovered that I could get a 2020 Bolt with more features, and the larger battery for a lower lease payment, no money down. You need not get 39 months again, you could get 36. And my lease is less than 1/2 the lease payment of a Y.

With Battery prices continuing to fall while range & charge speed improve, it was still difficult to turn in my 2017 for the 2020, like yours it was such a perfect vehicle, but it was the right choice for me.

As a side note, after running through auction and ending up on a another dealer's lot, my 2017 is currently still advertised for retail sale at about $5k less than I could have purchased it for at lease close out.
 

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Ron, people need to procure the type of vehicle which is most practical for their requirements and needs. At this stage of our lives (mid to late 70s) my wife and I would like a comfortable EV that can practically travel back and forth to Cape Cod and AZ, two times a year, as well as an occasional run from the Tucson area to the San Diego area.
As I’ve stated in earlier posts, I’m not a “Tesla Bro.” My observation is, too many people, for reasons I do not understand, refuse to examine Tesla products in a critical light, and attack others who do. This is regrettable, as I think the end result does more harm to the company than aids it.

My take on Tesla products is as follows:
  • The company’s technology is excellent
  • Their execution of their products falls short of their potential
  • At the moment their fast-charge system is very convenient and from my readings on the matter is reliable
I have no doubt that non-Tesla DCFC systems are going to be at least as convenient as the Tesla system in the pretty near future. Indeed, if there were a suitable EV currently on the market, which met our need, I would have little hesitation in purchasing such an auto.

But there isn’t.

This Fall my wife and I will be driving our Bolt from Cape Cod to Tucson (to reposition the car). It will take us 6 days (which is not a complaint) as we will travel during mostly daylight hours, and limit our daily distance driven to about 500 miles. As I’ve planned out the route (almost all stops being at Electrify America stations) I figure that we will need three to four stops a day, each taking close to an hour of time (pulling off the highway, locating the site, charging, getting back on the highway, this all takes time!). So, our travel days will be in excess of 12 hours each day. It will be an adventure.

I don’t think the Tesla we want to buy (the Model Y) will speed things up appreciably. I do think that vehicle will be more comfortable and our charging stops will be shorter.

Anyway, that’s our current plan. Keeping in mind “There’s many a slip twixt cup and the lip.”

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rich - a bit off topic, but where are you in Tucson? We are in Oro Valley. Moved here 3.5 years ago from the SF Bay area, and we love it. Retired at the end of 2019, and turned 78 in July. Love to get together with you in the Fall.

Ron
 

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Having said all of that, I think that unless some lower-cost EV or attractive plug-in becomes available in the next few months, we'll keep the familiar, reliable 2017 Bolt.

Ron
You also hit on a really important point here: Cost.

Right now, the lowest priced new EVs come in at the average cost of a "do anything" ICE vehicle. If you need to go cheaper on an EV, you can look to the used market, but the cheap used EVs are typically compromised (extremely short battery range, limited availability, no DCFC, etc.). For ICE, on the other hand, even a couple thousand dollars will get you a reasonable used car that pretty much anyone would be able to drive across the country solo in two days with little to no planning. If an EV breaks down, you need a specialized mechanic with specialized tools. If an ICE breaks down, any of your local mechanics can fix it for a couple hundred dollars and a ready supply of replacement parts. Obviously, ICE -- used especially -- are far more likely to break down than an EV, but the point is, it's far cheaper and easier to fix them when they do.
 

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Rich - a bit off topic, but where are you in Tucson? We are in Oro Valley. Moved here 3.5 years ago from the SF Bay area, and we love it. Retired at the end of 2019, and turned 78 in July. Love to get together with you in the Fall.

Ron
Ron, we're in Green Valley. Leaving for the Cape (flying) Tuesday, Aug 4th. Will return late October. I'll PM you with my personal contact info.

Rich
 

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Ron, people need to procure the type of vehicle which is most practical for their requirements and needs. At this stage of our lives (mid to late 70s) my wife and I would like a comfortable EV that can practically travel back and forth to Cape Cod and AZ, two times a year, as well as an occasional run from the Tucson area to the San Diego area.
As I’ve stated in earlier posts, I’m not a “Tesla Bro.” My observation is, too many people, for reasons I do not understand, refuse to examine Tesla products in a critical light, and attack others who do. This is regrettable, as I think the end result does more harm to the company than aids it.

My take on Tesla products is as follows:
  • The company’s technology is excellent
  • Their execution of their products falls short of their potential
  • At the moment their fast-charge system is very convenient and from my readings on the matter is reliable
I have no doubt that non-Tesla DCFC systems are going to be at least as convenient as the Tesla system in the pretty near future. Indeed, if there were a suitable EV currently on the market, which met our need, I would have little hesitation in purchasing such an auto.

But there isn’t.

This Fall my wife and I will be driving our Bolt from Cape Cod to Tucson (to reposition the car). It will take us 6 days (which is not a complaint) as we will travel during mostly daylight hours, and limit our daily distance driven to about 500 miles. As I’ve planned out the route (almost all stops being at Electrify America stations) I figure that we will need three to four stops a day, each taking close to an hour of time (pulling off the highway, locating the site, charging, getting back on the highway, this all takes time!). So, our travel days will be in excess of 12 hours each day. It will be an adventure.

I don’t think the Tesla we want to buy (the Model Y) will speed things up appreciably. I do think that vehicle will be more comfortable and our charging stops will be shorter.

Anyway, that’s our current plan. Keeping in mind “There’s many a slip twixt cup and the lip.”

Rich
We are in our 70's as well and at this stage of life we appreciate comfort and convenience. Our trips are planned well in advance and I also consider driving as part of the adventure. Our longest drive is a 315 mile trip from MA to PA two to three times a year which I find pleasant and doable however, twelve plus hours/day is probably more than I would/could attempt but if you feel up to it then I wish you well. Let us know about your experience and especially if you encounter any problems with charging, etc.
 
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