Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Getting ready to buy EV. Moving from A GMC Sierra. I definitely want a hatch back with 200+ range. I am narrowed down to Leaf Plus and Bolt / Premier. I know this forums is pro Bolt and I am leaning that way too. I am a 30 mile daily commuter with a 600 rt drive to see kids and grand kids every 3 months. I am not worried about the charging logistics for this as we would have gas vehicle if needed.

So my question may have been asked but I can find thread if it exists. I see many threads that address Bolt pros and cons. But, to ask a direct question:

1. What are the down sides of EV ownership?
Is Full battery Replacement costs a concern, ever? I hear ~$12k.
2. What are the downsides of the Bolt Premier?


Looking for your thoughts before I decide to EV or Not to EV.

Thank you in advance for your time, thoughts and opinions.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
The Leafs are a good car but don't have an active battery cooling system, which can be detrimental if you live in a hot climate. The Bolts have an active cooling system, and other battery protections which are resulting in long lives for the battery. I guarantee you that with either electric car, you won't want to go back to an ICE ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I have test driven every EV available. The Leaf feels higher quality inside. It's a better "car" than the Bolt. It also has more tech features.

However ...the Bolt is a better EV. The lack of thermal battery management in the Leaf will destroy the battery in anything but perfect climates. If you are leasing for 3 years, then yes you might want the Leaf +, so long as you don't go on long trips (charging speed is crippled with fast charging due to overheating). You will be getting rid of it by the time the battery is going out.

If you plan to keep it long term, or do road trips, get the Bolt. GMs EV tech is ahead of Nissan's. Look at 2011 Volts vs 2011 Leafs. All the leafs with original batteries will have degraded to the point where the car can't be driven anywhere. The Volts will show very little drop in range because of the conservative charge management and thermal regulation.

TLDR, Leaf+ is fine for a lease, get the Bolt if you plan to keep it 3+ years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
But, to ask a direct question:

1. What are the down sides of EV ownership?
Depending on how you charge (work, home, public) that's the biggest issue I see. I have free charging at work and have zero need to charge at home. I take advantage of public charging when I'm out and about on the weekends. Otherwise I haven't seen a downside. I have a 80 mile (round trip) daily commute, I'll have 10,000 miles on the car in less than week (4 1/2 months of ownership) and wish I had dumped my 2011 Cruze ECO (38+ MPG) sooner now.

Is Full battery Replacement costs a concern, ever? I hear ~$12k.
Not concerned. Battery life with the thermal management system GM has provided shows to be good for long term ownership. I fully plan to get 200,000+ miles out of this car. I had 246,000+ on my Cruze when I traded it in.

2. What are the downsides of the Bolt Premier?

Very personal decision here. I didn't need/want the roof racks, or the options (LT) which are standard on the Premier. In the end I still got options on the LT that I didn't want (Diver Confidence II package), but I told the dealer I wasn't going to pay for them so either remove them from the cost or dealer trade for a car that didn't have the option. In the end I walked out with the price I was willing to pay for the LT without the options so I took it.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
There may be a psychological downside: The lack of a starter noise. My present car is a 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid (I am still waiting for GM to build a better and larger EV) and some of my passengers are scared when the car move forward without ever listening to a normal engine start or even any engine noises when I drive with electricity.

The second psychological downside in a hybrid is to hear the engine shutdown when you stop or when the battery has charged enough by the engine or by regenerative braking. You may panic a bit since a "dead engine" is terrible while driving or at a stop from some past experiences, but as all of us who drive electric, you will get used to it and accept the new quietness. BEV owners are already used to not hearing any engine noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
If there are any downsides to owning a Bolt, we haven't discovered them in two years of ownership. We prefer the Bolt so much, the battery on our ICE failed because it was getting driven so seldom and I didn't get around to putting it on a trickle charger.

Moving from A GMC Sierra.
Going from driving a pickup to driving the Bolt feels like taking off cement overshoes.

jack vines, who drives a Ford F250 work truck and knows whereof he speaks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
What are the down sides of EV ownership?
My family drives two EV's over 40,000 miles a year and I can't think of one. Just plan out trips with charging networks! If you don't have a good charging network in your state that could be a huge negative.

Is Full battery Replacement costs a concern, ever? I hear ~$12k.
The battery is warrantied for 8 years or 100,000 miles. Why would this be a concern? I am at 56,000 miles and I have seen about 5% less mileage. I have 90,000 miles on my Tesla Model S and it is at 93.2% of its original capacity. I am also in the Central Valley in California which puts a higher strain on batteries with temperatures. If you have a thermally managed battery you can enjoy for car for somewhere between 200,000 to 500,000 miles these days.

I would not touch the Leaf and its passively cooled battery. It has been hit or miss with the Leaf. Some versions of the Leaf have had great success passively cooling their batteries and some have been the worst degrading batteries of all EV's. I would not trust the 60 kWh Leaf until we see the data.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
1. What are the down sides of EV ownership?

A: You have to find something to do with the money you will save on oil changes and miscellaneous maintenance of the GMC.


I speak from M3 experience. You will enjoy driving the BEV. I think the only real adjustment will be the size issue of going from Sierra to a Bolt. Everything else will be a positive. Perhaps the size adjustment will be positive too - depending on your needs, desires and how often you need to haul 2 x 4's and appliances.

As far as the bolt goes, I don't think you will find a better value.
I would definitely choose it over Leaf for the battery issues mentioned.
The Bolt is a better value than the M3. Tesla has some cool features you pay up for. Sits too low to the ground for my taste. The "Y" won't be out for a good while.
Never driven a Hyundai BEV. powertrain sounds anemic with 0-60 in the 7's range - which is bad for a BEV. (part of the fun of the BEV is the instant torque)

I like minimalist approach to the "LT" model vs Premiere. Sort of fits the car better to me. - You are buying an electric powertrain - not a luxury car.

good luck and enjoy whatever you decide to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
2. What are the downsides of the Bolt Premier?
Downside, it costs more. Same drivetrain as the LT.

Some of the safety features that were exclusive to the Premier are now available for the LT. i.e. driver confidence II package.

I like the leather as it's easy to clean the back seats from the dogs.

I like the rearview mirror they took from the Cadillac. Some older folks struggle with it because the focal point is at the mirror and not in the distance. i.e. needs bifocals to see.

Bird's eye view is sweet. Use it daily. i.e. makes parking and backing up much easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
You asked about Premier vs LT,

I agree with XJ12.

I have the Premier only because I got a screaming good deal on it. The roof rails are useless without expensive (not included) cross beams, and the added cost is not worth the few features that you can't add to the LT via options packages. The heated rear seats came in handy last winter when my wife's niece from Japan was visiting and we did a bunch of road trips, I like the mirror and birdseye view... but for the money if I hadn't got an awesome deal on the premier I would have gone with the LT.

Keith
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
I just purchased a used 2017 Bolt Premier for a very good price (probably because it is "orange" but it grows on you and I like the VW commercial..) and other than how the seats fit me, I absolutely love it.... (I am 6'+ and over 200lbs) It is quick and fun, lots of room and I know I can drive 200 miles with a lead foot and not worry about the range. My advice is if you like it when you check it out and everything looks good, just buy it. Also it has the Bose sound-system with a sub-woofer which is pretty nice. Cars need woofers........
Seats on the 2017 are the only downside (not real firm and they are narrower than normal seats) but if they fit you well, your golden. (More padding on the 2019 model) I added some foam to the bottom seat myself in less than 10 minutes and it is now much better. I would still buy the Bolt over the Nissan just because the battery is conditioned....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
When I bought my Bolt, I seriously considered the Bolt, Leaf Plus, and Tesla Model 3. Ignoring the Tesla (you said you want a hatchback), the main reason I bought the Bolt was for the thermally managed battery. I live in Syracuse, NY, and it hardly gets all that hot here. It goes above 90F maybe 5-10 days in a year. Yet my previous EV, a 2012 Leaf, had lost about 20% of its capacity in 5 years. That's unacceptable, and I wasn't willing to take the risk on the 62kWh battery.

Other niceties about the Bolt:
* Slightly longer range
* Slightly faster DC fast charging in practice. The Leaf nominally charges faster, but there are no CHAdeMO chargers around that go above 50kW. Meanwhile, Electrify America is quickly rolling out a robust network of charging stations that can charge the Bolt at its fastest rate (55kW).
* Sportier driving. This may or may not matter to you, but the Bolt is quicker and has tighter handling. It's just part of what I enjoy about the car.

I bought the Premier over the LT for two reasons:
1) Roof rails. I often carry kayaks or a cargo box, and the clip-on bars always end up sliding and scratching up the paint. I just feel more confident with the rack bolted onto the car.
2) Heated rear seats. This wasn't even an option in the LT when I bought (maybe it is now). I have kids who are frequently in the back seat (far more of my driving is trips/errands with the family compared to commuting alone). As I mentioned, I live in Syracuse, and we have long, cold, snowy winters. Yes, it's a luxury for them, but one that they use frequently.

Finally, the biggest concern about your first EV is how you are going to charge it. If you have a garage, or even just a driveway, you'll have access to convenient overnight charging. If you don't drive many miles (fewer than say 40 miles/day), you may be just fine with a simple 120V outlet and the EVSE (charge cord) that comes with the car. More than that, and you should consider having L2 (240V) installed. Once you are set up with convenient charging, you will find that day-to-day EV ownership is far more convenient and stress-free than ICE ownership!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
OP, where do you live? On another thread you mentioned "Buffalo", is that NY?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
... Premier ...roof rails are useless without expensive (not included) cross beams
I would need at least side rails. They are needed for hauling a Christmas tree every year. I also have a shapeless canvas roof pod that could be carried without cross rails for light stuff - sleeping bags etc. I've only used it in the past a few times but it was a lifesaver then, for example taking home unexpected inherited stuff from a distant city after the closing of an ancestor's estate. For a car that small, I think the rails extend its cargo capacity to a useful degree.

I probably would add the cut-down Cadillac cross rails that were described here as a less expensive alternative to the OEM ones.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,552 Posts
1. What are the down sides of EV ownership?
The down sides are-
  • Higher cost. They just cost more than their ICE equivelents.
  • Charging times and locations. No where near as fast and conveinient as an ICE car, but if you charge every night at home and don't plan to use the car fro long distance travel, this nearly a non-issue. In fact it's nice having a "full tank" every morning and never having to go to a gas station.
  • Poor choice of vehicles, brands and body styles. For some, it's tought to get the car you really want in an EV.
  • Battery degradation over time. The longer you keep and charge the car, the less range it will have. In this area, the cars with active battery themal management do much better, but they too will eventually get worse and worse range. GM and Tesa seem to be doing pretty well so far. You should still see 90% health in 8-10 years time.
  • Kind of nit pick, but the potential for a spontaneous fire to erupt even when parked and not in use. This is of concern to those that park their car in an attached garage. Once a battery fire starts, it's very difficult to put out. To my knowledge there has never been the loss of a house to an EV fire, but the potential exists and IMO, it is a greater likelihood than an ICE vehicle that is parked and not in use.

    There is little concern when you're driving because the car will give you plenty of notice and it burns slow and steady. However you do need to mindful of the toxic fumes. Thankfully, to my knowledge, the Bolt has never had a fire. GM seems to be taking a very conservative approach to their batteries and the battery health.
1.5 Is Full battery Replacement costs a concern, ever? I hear ~$12k.
I think the Bolt battery pack is around $13,000. To my knowledge, nobody has ever bought one yet as they are covered under warranty for 8 years. Many hold out hope that the cost of replacement will come down as battery cell prices drop. This has been the case with Prius batteries. There is also the potential upside that when you do have to replace the battery, you might be able to put in a bigger battery than came with the car and actually get greater performance.

2. What are the downsides of the Bolt Premier?
Basically just cost. It is a big step up. The only other things I can think of, are if you don't like leather seats, or the black wheels. Cost is what kept me from getting a Premier. Had I waited until now, I could have easily had a Premier for what I paid for my LT, but I couldn't wait! :laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
I absolutely love our two Bolts. But to be honest with you, my biggest concern is long-term. Not the battery, which is well protected by it's cooling system, etc; but the life of the electronics. Chevy is pretty notorious for having poor or unreliable electronics. Since the car is run by computers, failure of various modules will probably be very expensive to replace after warranty. Those Bolts that are used for hard service or live in extreme climates that involve heat and humidity are most likely to encounter problems first. I'll be watching for examples of those cases on this site...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks to everyone who spent time answering this post. Great comments and enthusiasm. Test drives went well and getting close to go time. Any other thoughts and opinions are welcomed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
[*]Kind of nit pick, but the potential for a spontaneous fire to erupt even when parked and not in use. This is of concern to those that park their car in an attached garage. Once a battery fire starts, it's very difficult to put out. To my knowledge there has never been the loss of a house to an EV fire, but the potential exists and IMO, it is a greater likelihood than an ICE vehicle that is parked and not in use.
This sounds opposite to reality to me. Batteries are not flammable by nature (requiring just a small spark to ignite them) like gasoline. All it takes is a tiny hole in one of many gas lines to end up with a gas leak and at that point, any spark and you have a runaway fire. Any vehicle has to have a large repository of energy stored in it somewhere, and under the right conditions (heat, chemical, electrical) you can set off that "vat" of energy and get a runaway reaction no matter what the fuel.

I just think it's harder to get a runaway fire with a battery than ~15 gallons of gasoline. Add that to the fact that ICE cars appear to have a much higher car-b-cue rate than EV's.

Mike
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top