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Discussion Starter #1
My max range so far is a steady 133! A pretty steady 1.9 mi/kWh, guess I don't get high marks for efficiency. Had the pleasure of meeting Sir DucRider at the Portland Auto Show and he indicated it's probably normal for my cold climate, snow tires, always on Sport mode, heated seats, and steering wheel. Still, something to be aware of for those expecting more range without understanding the things that compromise it. Very prescient for me, as my return commute is an uphill grade through a mountain range, and often against the wind. Had to charge before heading home as the 133 was going to be cutting it close in these conditions, not what I want on a cold, late Sunday return home with sleeping kids in the car. FWIW, I'm not even driving the car hard yet, on snow tires, and I'm always in Low mode. I generally cruise between 72-76 on the highway, but it's easy to sneak up on 90 in this car!

Guess I thought range reduction wouldn't be *that* much of a factor, though I fully expected cold weather, snow tires, heated everything, etc. to decrease the range. Over a hundred miles less per full charge is a lot, and I think others should be aware of it before their purchase. For those of us coming from the ICE world, it would be like your car getting about half the mileage it was rated for. Not everyone's commute is the sunny California coast in 70 degree weather that Chevy sent journalists on. I realize it's a computer estimation, and it will change over time with weather, etc., will be interesting to see how it changes when it warms up. It's been about 20-35 degrees since I've had the car, snowy, etc.

Nice work Señor DucRider and the others in the Oregon EV assn group at the auto show!
 

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For your trip was the a net change in altitude? If you started low and ended high, that would greatly affect miles/kW-hr. 1.9 seems really low, but as you said there were temperature issues and you were running well above 70 at times. I see huge difference going up and down the hill we live on, but it balances out on a round trip.
 

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Going 72 to 76 in cold weather and using the heater is going to cut your range. Any way you could try your commute using the cabin heater less and not stomping on the accelerator as much and see how that effects things? Also, the snow tires probably aren't helping either.
 

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Hmmm... didn't you change the tires for more traction and install a new stereo involving new amps and a stronger sub woofer? Perhaps these mods and the way you like to use your car do effect range?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Absolutely, you're all right so far. I know the car tries to "learn" you over time and give you an estimated range that's accurate. It's essentially a long downhill grade though for the first 25-30 miles of freeway (and uphill on the return). I drive it as much like a regular car as possible, not babying it, and part of getting the wife's acceptance is nice warm seats. (Yes, they have just enough extra padding in them now that they're the way they should be.) Snow tires weren't optional and were installed before I left the dealer (they are designed as an "eco conscious" snow tire with lower rolling resistance than is typical for the type. And I do intend to put some dedicated summer tires on it as soon as possible.

Because my car went directly from the dealer to the mod shop for a new stereo, etc., I didn't give the computer a chance to estimate range without the new stereo, or winter tires. It's been pretty much one blizzard after another since, so we're not talking ideal conditions by any means. (The Bolt is pretty predictable in snow so far, at least with proper winter tires on).

Kind of wondering how other winter tire shod Bolts are doing in colder temps for range? Trying to get a sense how much the new stereo system might be affecting range. I know it will some, but it was set up as a very efficient system. I'll have to enquire how much it might be drawing even if it is off. I usually have it cranking though! Fortunately, I have a fellow Bolt owner down the street, we'll see how he's averaging out -- he doesn't have winter tires or an optional stereo dragging on the battery, so we'll see, he just got his. For now, I'll keep it in Sport mode, in preparation for my 2020 Bolt SS AWD!
 

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My max range so far is a steady 133! A pretty steady 1.9 mi/kWh, guess I don't get high marks for efficiency. Had the pleasure of meeting Sir DucRider at the Portland Auto Show and he indicated it's probably normal for my cold climate, snow tires, always on Sport mode, heated seats, and steering wheel. Still, something to be aware of for those expecting more range without understanding the things that compromise it. Very prescient for me, as my return commute is an uphill grade through a mountain range, and often against the wind. Had to charge before heading home as the 133 was going to be cutting it close in these conditions, not what I want on a cold, late Sunday return home with sleeping kids in the car. FWIW, I'm not even driving the car hard yet, on snow tires, and I'm always in Low mode. I generally cruise between 72-76 on the highway, but it's easy to sneak up on 90 in this car!

Guess I thought range reduction wouldn't be *that* much of a factor, though I fully expected cold weather, snow tires, heated everything, etc. to decrease the range. Over a hundred miles less per full charge is a lot, and I think others should be aware of it before their purchase. For those of us coming from the ICE world, it would be like your car getting about half the mileage it was rated for. Not everyone's commute is the sunny California coast in 70 degree weather that Chevy sent journalists on. I realize it's a computer estimation, and it will change over time with weather, etc., will be interesting to see how it changes when it warms up. It's been about 20-35 degrees since I've had the car, snowy, etc.

Nice work Señor DucRider and the others in the Oregon EV assn group at the auto show!
Very nice to meet you as well.

Always fun to talk about EV's and help educate the public - and cold weather range reduction is near the top of the list.:crying:

But to be fair, you're not losing 100 miles of range. Hwy rating is 217 and based on this:



Test is run at ~70 degrees - in laboratory conditions - on a dyno, then the result multiplied by .7 to better reflect real world range. Higher speeds and cold weather will both reduce it drastically. I would expect that you will approach (or even exceed) 200 miles in 70 degree weather even with your elevated speeds (but not the 90 mph figure) and performance vs LRR tires.

A loaded car (passengers/cargo) will also reduce range.

When I leased my Fit EV, I was required to sign a piece of paper acknowledging that I could get 50% or less of the rated range in winter.

Dealers (and sometimes even the internet) can be pretty poor sorces of information. EV owners and owners groups are usually the best source. The local EAA (Electric Auto Association http://www.electricauto.org/) chapter will usually have meetings and events where you can learn from those with experience. Better still is to join and share after you start driving an EV :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's interesting that Honda had you sign to acknowledge an expected reduction in range. I wonder if Leaf owners were informed or had to sign something? It's not that I didn't expect range reduction in cold weather and with winter tires of course, but you can understand how it would certainly feel like a loss of 100 miles of range to see a 133 mile fully charged estimate. For better or worse, Chevy's apple pie americana audience - in addition to not fitting in these front seats : ) is not going to understand the range reduction calculations and graphs, and will remember the 238 miles they were promised in the advertising. My hope is that they don't get sued, and that they find a way to educate prospective owners without turning them off to EVs. Prospective customers like me will think about our driving needs, look at tools like the one Chevy provided online to estimate range vs. our commute and think, "no problem, I can make it without recharging en route in the Bolt", only to be disappointed and finding a charger in the cold to get home.

Again, I look at this as an enthusiast and advocate at least somewhat educated about the technology. Because I'd love to see it adopted more widely, there needs to be a better effort to educate consumers (like the OR EV assn is doing) because apparently the manufacturer is going to do it via asterisks and fine print only.

FWIW, there was no discussion or education from my dealer at any point to expect the loss of range in the cold. Shouldn't the battery conditioning help mitigate that more? Is it more a function of cold air being more dense to drive through?
 

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Yesterday I decided to see how it would do if I turned off all environmental loads - AC/Heating, lights, radio etc.

I got it down to 3% environmentals and amazingly, every time I went down a long hill it bumped me up quite a bit.

I drove in a lot of heavy traffic for a lot of miles and then on the open road kept it to between 70 and 75 Mph using cruise control.

I got 280 miles out of it driving like this.

With AC and usual stuff on I am getting 194 miles till the yellow stuff comes on.

Yesterday was overcast but no rain here so it was perfect if a bit murky - not quite fog but wispy type stuff.

I was impressed, if I really need it to it can go a long way it would seem.

It seems to use very little power in city type driving or usual 680 freeway traffic below 40 mph if you shut off all the electrical load.
 

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FWIW, there was no discussion or education from my dealer at any point to expect the loss of range in the cold. Shouldn't the battery conditioning help mitigate that more? Is it more a function of cold air being more dense to drive through?
There are a lot of factors, and the higher density of colder air is one of them. This is even more pronounced as speeds rise. Plus rolling resistance increases (more so with your tires).
The primary 2 factors for the reduced range are the physical/chemical properties of the battery that result in lower capacity and the use of heat in the cabin, but you've got the trifecta of high speed, sticky tires and a fully loaded vehicle as well.

There has been much discussion about GM's decision to forgo a heat pump and use resistance heating - looks like that may start to be an issue for folks that have an actual winter.

Also useful to note - Tesla owners have reported better range (they have resistance heat, but also scavenge waste heat from the electronics and motor conditioning loop) when they drive continuously. When they stop and the pack gets cold(er) again, it take more battery juice to get it up to operating temp when they restart. You'll get more range in a single trip than multiple shorter trip (if the stop times are enough for the battery to cool). Chevy does recommend keeping it plugged if temps are cold
Keep the vehicle plugged in, even
when fully charged, to keep the
battery temperature ready for the
next drive. This is important when
outside temperatures are extremely
hot or cold.
Usually not practical if you are away from home, but even plugging in (L2 240 VAC) for a few minutes to pre-warm the car and condition the battery may prove useful.

From Honda's FAQ:
Q: How does cold weather affect the performance and battery life?
A: The available driving range for the Fit EV may be significantly reduced when the vehicle is operated in hot or cold conditions, due to some temporary battery capacity loss and increased use of air conditioning and heating. This is particularly true with cold temperature operation. Batteries work by chemical reaction, and the speed of the reactions decrease as the temperature drops, resulting in a temporary decrease in total battery capacity. Driving range is further reduced by increased heater and other accessory use. The Fit EV's cabin is heated by an electrical coolant heater, which warms the cabin quickly but uses a lot of power in the process. The heater, and all other accessories, draws power from the car's high voltage battery unless the car is plugged into a Level 2 (240V) charging system. Reducing accessory drain will improve overall driving range. In extreme cases, some Fit EV drivers have reported driving range reductions of 50% or more in cold weather. In hot weather, drivers have reported range reductions of 10% or more. As the cold temperatures subside, these reductions in driving range should subside as well.
The best way to gain range will be to slow down
Playing with the range calculator on Tesla page, a Model S 60 has a range of 231 @ 32 degrees and 60 mph. Bump that to 70 mph and range drops to 189. Since it is inverse squared relationship, the rate of range loss (per mph increase) grows even faster as speed continue to rise.
Speed is the one factor most in your control. Going slower will likely make your trip faster. Not having to stop and top off will save more time than going faster. The difference in averaging 60 mph and 75 mph on a trip (Portland to Hood River ~ 60 miles) is 12 minutes. The range penalty is about 25% (and likely more when running east along the gorge into the wind - you could very well have the aero drag equivalent of 90+mph). Your choice. Does it take longer to stop and charge? Or drive 70+?

I'm not trying to downplay the fact of reduced range, but you've just about described the worst case scenario - high speed, cold temps, uphill, into the wind, fully loaded, at night, starting with cold car/battery from being parked outside and not plugged in. If you add in a wet or snowy/slushy road you've just about got it all.
 

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You realize that if I have an ICE with same conditions I can have a 10-20 mpg losss also?? No one ever sees that, they just see on it's below a 1/4 and fill up. I have always looked at how
Many miles per tank to see if I have a problem mechanicaly.
 

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You realize that if I have an ICE with same conditions I can have a 10-20 mpg losss also?? No one ever sees that, they just see on it's below a 1/4 and fill up. I have always looked at how
Many miles per tank to see if I have a problem mechanicaly.
There are studies that show that the $$ cost in loss of efficiency is HIGHER on ICE vehicles (mostly done on fleets), but the issue here is not cost, but range.

Range loss in an ICE is very unlikely to render common commutes/trips too far, and fueling is much more available and faster even if required.

People need to be very aware of the limitations of EV's as well as the benefits they provide. Winter sucks a**s!! (that would be amps :D).
 

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My stock Bolt EV Premier tops out at an estimated 195 miles when fully charged. I'm in the Northwest. I'm hoping that summer time will yield a higher range.
 

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There are studies that show that the $$ cost in loss of efficiency is HIGHER on ICE vehicles (mostly done on fleets), but the issue here is not cost, but range.
Are these studies talking about ICE vehicles? Or just the ICEs themselves? I mean, I can imagine that an ICE as such looses more of it's efficiency than an e-motor. But an ICE vehicle does not need an electric heater in winter time. Plus it does not suffer from reduced performance of the battery.

In my Outlander PHEV I can do 45 km in summer time (70s). In winter time, I do not get better than 30 km (just above or below freezing). This is 1/3 less, caused by temperature and winter tires. I am pretty sure none of my previous ICE cars showed such deterioration. Ever.

I do agree with you that range is more relevant than cost ;-)
 

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Are these studies talking about ICE vehicles? Or just the ICEs themselves? I mean, I can imagine that an ICE as such looses more of it's efficiency than an e-motor. But an ICE vehicle does not need an electric heater in winter time. Plus it does not suffer from reduced performance of the battery.

In my Outlander PHEV I can do 45 km in summer time (70s). In winter time, I do not get better than 30 km (just above or below freezing). This is 1/3 less, caused by temperature and winter tires. I am pretty sure none of my previous ICE cars showed such deterioration. Ever.

I do agree with you that range is more relevant than cost ;-)
Cost to operate ICE vehicles vs Electric in cold weather
http://www.fleetcarma.com/cold-weather-fuel-efficiency/
 

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Cost to operate ICE vehicles vs Electric in cold weather
http://www.fleetcarma.com/cold-weather-fuel-efficiency/
I would say, this backs up what I was saying. Their bottom line is:

Gasoline cost goes up by little more then 20% when temp drops from 73 deg F to 0 deg F.
Electricity cost goes up by almost 50% when temp drops from 73 deg F to 0 deg F.

Yes, fuel cost for a gasoline car is much higher than it is for an electric car. So, a much smaller loss in efficiency can amount to many more cents per mile. Reasoning this way, you can also state that a big ass V8 is impacted more than a small 4-in-line from a cost perspective. Right.

The study says that even looking at cost, the gasoline powered car seems to do much better (or less bad) percentage wise. And that says much more about impact on range than absolute numbers do.
 

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Great post I like the article. However part of my point was ( not addressed in the article) most people also warm up their car 10-15 min. Not saying ev's are better but people using ICE's don't think about that. But very noticeable in ev's and ev's affected more.
 

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That is so true. In my current phev, my daily commute is at roughly 90 - 95% of my EV range (in summer). When leaving the office to head home, I actually check wind direction and speed in order to assess how 'aggressive' I can drive the car and still make it home without burning up some dinosaurs. Never checked wind conditions with my previous ICE cars, although following laws of nature, they must have been equally affected by wind. ;)
 

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Leaf owner

It's interesting that Honda had you sign to acknowledge an expected reduction in range. I wonder if Leaf owners were informed or had to sign something? It's not that I didn't expect range reduction in cold weather and with winter tires of course, but you can understand how it would certainly feel like a loss of 100 miles of range to see a 133 mile fully charged estimate. For better or worse, Chevy's apple pie americana audience - in addition to not fitting in these front seats : ) is not going to understand the range reduction calculations and graphs, and will remember the 238 miles they were promised in the advertising. My hope is that they don't get sued, and that they find a way to educate prospective owners without turning them off to EVs. Prospective customers like me will think about our driving needs, look at tools like the one Chevy provided online to estimate range vs. our commute and think, "no problem, I can make it without recharging en route in the Bolt", only to be disappointed and finding a charger in the cold to get home.

Again, I look at this as an enthusiast and advocate at least somewhat educated about the technology. Because I'd love to see it adopted more widely, there needs to be a better effort to educate consumers (like the OR EV assn is doing) because apparently the manufacturer is going to do it via asterisks and fine print only.

FWIW, there was no discussion or education from my dealer at any point to expect the loss of range in the cold. Shouldn't the battery conditioning help mitigate that more? Is it more a function of cold air being more dense to drive through?

I was a 2013 Leaf owner, well actually I leased. My salesman knew me well and he said two things to me;

1: Charge it to 100% each time instead of the optional 80%, because I know that you won't be buying it and won't care about the battery degradation after two years of that abuse.

2: You're going to get crap for range, especially in the Winter, because I know that you'll drive it 80 mph and run the heater too.

I posted before that I only had a 40 mile commute, but my Leaf would be flashing "low battery" or "very low battery" almost every day when I was a few miles from returning to my home. Also, I charged it to 100% every day since day one, because I wouldn't have made it otherwise.
 

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I charged mine (hill top reserve) to 200 mi, drove from Berkeley to Palo Alto and back (round trip 100), had 120 miles range left. Charged it over night (off peak rate) on my level 2 home Charge Point, which reported that it added 24.99 kWhr, at a cost $3.38. (Off peak in Berkeley is $0.12/kWhr and the Charge Point said it add an estimated 99 miles of range. Better than my old Jetta, which was getting about 25 mpg and using premium ($3.00 per gallon in Cali). So roughly 100 miles in the Jetta would have been 4 gallons x $3.00= $12.00. Ok probably slightly over estimated the cost on the Jetta. So I saved $8.66. Only $45,000 to go! Not counting the Level 2 charger and some other costs.
Most impressive on the trip, my wife didn't complain about the seats or my driving. Actually, it is really easy to drive in the jammed traffic mode on the freeway, but I some roads I miss shifting gears for some reason.
 

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I have to laugh when I read EV owners who (not always, but most likely) bought an EV 'for the planet' and they say the equivalent of "hey, it's a lease: the abused batteries won't be my problem". What do you think will happen with the battery? The battery fairy comes and takes it away to sugarland? While it might (probably will) get recycled, there is still an environmental cost to shipping it, stripping it, discarding what can't be re-purposed, and rolling what can be recycled into a new product.

I treat my batteries gently, so that they will last longer even though *I* won't be the person getting that advantage directly. I try to not to FC very often, I don't FC over 70% if I can avoid it (don't need those miles TODAY), I try to charge to under 85% (except for once every 4 weeks or so, and pretty much just before a drive, when I L2-charge to max and leave it plugged in until I drive it; I figure there might be some balancing going on during a full charge and I don't want to leave it at 100% SoC for long)
 
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