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Hi everyone!

I'm new to the forum and I was hoping to get some opinions about whether you think the Chevy Bolt would be a good fit for me. I will try not to inundate you with too much information but I want to give you as much information as needed for you to give me an informed opinion.

-I live in Ontario, Canada. The avg. hottest temps in the summer are 27c(80f). The avg. coldest temps in the winter are - -7c(20f). On the odd night it can get down to three times that cold.

-I drive a total of 200km (124m) to get to work and back home each day. My drive is 90% highway/ 10% city driving (mostly flat terrain) with on and off traffic congestion. I drive an avg of 40,000km (24,854m) per year. I'm off work and drive very little during July and August.

-I plan to install a level 2 charger at home and can precondition the car in the morning, but at work it will sit unplugged for 8 hours/day in an open parking lot.

My biggest concerns are:

1 Battery life- I understand the battery warranty covers it against a 40% loss of capacity or more for 8yrs/160,000km (100,000m), which I will burn through in 4 years of driving. At 100% capacity I have about double the required driving range but... if I lose approx. 30% range due to cold weather and say another 30% battery capacity after 4 yrs, I'm afraid I will no longer be able to make it to work and back! And this car will be my ONLY way to get to work.

2 Heater/AC drain- My drive each way can vary greatly in length from 1h 10m up to 3+ hours depending on weather/accidents/congestion and although I plan on getting the heated seats and steering wheel I'm curious as to how much battery power I will use up if I use the AC or Heater during this time?


I would appreciate your experiences and opinions.

Thanks,
Mark
 

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I haven't had mine for very long, but the heating really eats into the range. Definitely use the seat warmer as (per the manual) that is more efficient than blowing air. You will want to precondition your car while on the AC, then use the seat heater. Speaking of which, I wish they would had offered a heat pump cabinet heating option over the stock resistance heating. I'm sure they didn't include it stock due to costs, but an option would have been nice. AC doesn't use nearly as much, being a one way heat pump.

So 250 miles? What about traffic jams, do you get many? You are mostly freeway, the Bolt will do best at 50-55mpg, can you drive those speeds? Avoid going above 60 mph at least. Anyhow, it looks like to me you could do it but are on the edge, depending on traffic conditions, weather and and such. What's your comfort zone? One guy who drove a Bolt 1100 miles found that he got uncomfortable at 30 miles left of range, at 20 he started to panic. You have to see what your comfort is.

I'd consider if there's a place you can park near work and charge, and maybe pick up a hop somehow to work (Uber or something maybe).
 

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Hi everyone!
My drive is 90% highway/ 10% city driving (mostly flat terrain) with on and off traffic congestion.
Only on and off congestion? I guess it's pretty likely you're not in the GTA! ;)

I can't speak from experience as I don't yet have a Bolt, but the story of the Volt owner with 300,000 miles without battery capacity loss is probably the best clue on how the Bolt's battery would fare in your usage. They have similar thermal management systems and, I'm assuming, similar overall engineering. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1102736_durable-2012-chevrolet-volt-300000-miles-no-battery-loss
 

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You will not lose 30% capacity in only 4 years. While the Bolt is new and the longevity of the battery is unknown, the car employs the best system thermal management techniques and should prolong the range of the battery. Heat is the real killer of batteries, but since temperatures are mild in your climate, this won't be a problem. Even in hot weather, the battery cooling system will protect it.

I don't have a Bolt, so I cannot comment on experience. However, I would be purchase a Bolt if I had your commute. 200 km should be easily achievable without having to be concerned about range, and in the coldest parts of the year, there are things you can do to preserve the range.
 

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So 250 miles? What about traffic jams, do you get many? ...
I'd consider if there's a place you can park near work and charge, and maybe pick up a hop somehow to work (Uber or something maybe).
Professor, I think you misread the OP mileage requirement: it's 124 miles ROUND TRIP. EZ, I'd think.

I'd definitely use the heated seat and steering wheel plus a really thick lap robe or down parka, but then I'd imagine Canadians know how to deal with the cold stuff!

You may find you'll need to use the heater, for a short time, to make the car comfortable after work. Is there any chance you could park in an enclosed building anywhere near to where you work?
 

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I haven't had mine for very long, but the heating really eats into the range.
In general, I would guess that the Bolt would work for OP's use case. But it's not just cabin heat that will affect the range. The thing I'd watch out for is snow or slush on the roads. If the OP is commuting early in the morning on uncleared roads (or in conditions where the roads can't be kept clear) then the added rolling resistance can also have a big impact on range - perhaps even more so than cabin heat.
 

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Bolt range...a non issue.

Hello markhab.

I think i can answer this question for 3 reasons...first, because I am originally from Ontario, second because I commute 162 miles each day and third because I own a Bolt.

I know the weather well which is why I do not live there anymore. That being said the short answer to your question is YES. Your Bolt will safely make this round trip.

Now in more detail. My commute is 90% highway and 10% city driving. I drive farther than you but the only difference is that I now live in a warm climate as oppose to where you live. Running AC in the Bolt is not an issue. On a 220 mile trip I would conservatively guess a loss of about 15 to 20 miles but that is with the sun beating down at 100 degrees since I live in Texas. Heating however is another matter. On the outbound trip you must precondition the car while it is still attached to the charger and warm the cabin to the maximum. Once you disconnect you will need to turn the heat down substantially as the cabin heat uses alot of energy. You do all this through the Chevy app so this is not inconvenient. On your return trip, you will need to keep everything to a minimum until you "learn" the best routine. My suggestion is use the seat warmer as much as possible. They work great! The middle setting is best and does not use too much juice.

On your coldest days, some energy will be diverted to battery conditioning on your return trip to warm the battery up on the coldest days. I do not know how much energy this will use but i do not think more than 10 or 15 miles. Your worst months will be January and February. The rest of the year is not anything to concern yourself with.

So with a range of 200+ miles you basically have 50 to 70 miles of buffer battery devoted to heating in January and February. Don't worry about cooling as it is a non issue in the summer months. My 162 mile commute includes AC at 73 degrees and I consistently return home with 50 to 60 miles of range left.

When I bought the car I had the same range concerns as you. Clearly misinformation abounds. The battery goes farther than advertised. I know this now.

Battery degradation is a non issue also. GM just puts that in there to cover their ass. I freaked when I read that but there is nothing I could find to back that up. The Volt battery has very conservative parameters and I have never seen one degrade to anything more than 10% and that was on a car that had 300,000 miles on it. The Bolt should be no different as it is also made by LG on a GM design. GM cannot afford to go up against Tesla with that kind of battery loss. GM has big, big plans for this platform which is why they are only planning +/- 20,000 units this year. They are losing money on every unit. China is the real prize! With LG now committing to a battery and motor plant in Detroit...you kind of understand what GM is thinking longterm and how they plan to get the costs down to turn a profit.

You should have no issue. Additionally, stuck in traffic is good, not bad. The Bolt is great in these stop and go conditions. You will love the brake paddle on the steering wheel and your foot will never touch the brake pedal. I was stuck on the highway last week for almost 2 hours waiting for a wreck to clear with the AC on and lost less than 10 miles of range. Remarkable.

I am regularly moving at between 70 and 75 mph. If you stay closer to 60 or 65 mph (100-110 km) you will have more range.

I am assuming you are somewhere close to London or the Kitchener/Waterloo area which would be to your benefit compared to living in Ottawa. There is a post on you tube of 2 Quebecers driving highway in a Bolt around Trois Riviere with the heat on. Search that out as it is very informative.

Roll resistance is not an issue. With front wheel drive and traction control, the Bolt should do very well in the snow. Road manners are excellent witn that heavy battery down low and wheels oushed to the outside corners.

Make sure you get a Bolt with the optional DC fast charge option. Ontario will most likely get DC fast chargers soon...especially on the 401. Tim Hortons stop and a fast charge...what could be better! Now you know I am a Canadian...and not an imposter...maple glaze...and timbits for the road...mmmm.

Finally a trip to Toronto would be in order. Go to the Toronto EV Discovery Center at 1126 Finch Ave W. I think they have a Bolt there you can drive. They should be able to give you additional information..free of charge. A great organization and valuable resource.

If for some reason you decide not to purchase the Bolt, then I would highly recommend the new Volt as 40 to 50 miles of range is better than nothing at all.

The Bolt is an unbelievable car. I am not a Chevy man but I have to say GM hit this one out of the park. It even caused me to cancel my Model 3 reservation...not a decision I took lightly. But I now know I made the right decision. I look forward to driving this car everyday. It is just plain fun.

Knowing what gas costs in Ontario, either way, you can't lose.

Good luck!
 

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I live in the GTA and drive my Bolt 100km round-trip to work with 90%+ on highways.

You will not have an issue with your commute requirements if you choose the Bolt.

Pre-conditioning will help. If you are anywhere close to the GTA, speed likely won't eat into your range. I generally stay around or below 110 and regularly beat the range estimates.

Any chance of a 110V plug in at work? If so, you can get a bit of charge, but also allow for the pre-conditioning for your return trip. My work installed a few level 2 chargers for the 4 or 5 of us with EV's.

The comment above about making sure you order the fast charge option - I think all Canadian cars have this standard, and as mentioned it is great. There will be more and more DC fast charge installations coming to the major routes.

I have almost 10K kms on the Bolt so far and have really enjoyed the car.
 

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Hello markhab.

I think i can answer this question for 3 reasons...first, because I am originally from Ontario, second because I commute 162 miles each day and third because I own a Bolt.

I know the weather well which is why I do not live there anymore. That being said the short answer to your question is YES. Your Bolt will safely make this round trip.

Now in more detail. My commute is 90% highway and 10% city driving. I drive farther than you but the only difference is that I now live in a warm climate as oppose to where you live. Running AC in the Bolt is not an issue. On a 220 mile trip I would conservatively guess a loss of about 15 to 20 miles but that is with the sun beating down at 100 degrees since I live in Texas. Heating however is another matter. On the outbound trip you must precondition the car while it is still attached to the charger and warm the cabin to the maximum. Once you disconnect you will need to turn the heat down substantially as the cabin heat uses alot of energy. You do all this through the Chevy app so this is not inconvenient. On your return trip, you will need to keep everything to a minimum until you "learn" the best routine. My suggestion is use the seat warmer as much as possible. They work great! The middle setting is best and does not use too much juice.

On your coldest days, some energy will be diverted to battery conditioning on your return trip to warm the battery up on the coldest days. I do not know how much energy this will use but i do not think more than 10 or 15 miles. Your worst months will be January and February. The rest of the year is not anything to concern yourself with.

So with a range of 200+ miles you basically have 50 to 70 miles of buffer battery devoted to heating in January and February. Don't worry about cooling as it is a non issue in the summer months. My 162 mile commute includes AC at 73 degrees and I consistently return home with 50 to 60 miles of range left.

When I bought the car I had the same range concerns as you. Clearly misinformation abounds. The battery goes farther than advertised. I know this now.

Battery degradation is a non issue also. GM just puts that in there to cover their ass. I freaked when I read that but there is nothing I could find to back that up. The Volt battery has very conservative parameters and I have never seen one degrade to anything more than 10% and that was on a car that had 300,000 miles on it. The Bolt should be no different as it is also made by LG on a GM design. GM cannot afford to go up against Tesla with that kind of battery loss. GM has big, big plans for this platform which is why they are only planning +/- 20,000 units this year. They are losing money on every unit. China is the real prize! With LG now committing to a battery and motor plant in Detroit...you kind of understand what GM is thinking longterm and how they plan to get the costs down to turn a profit.

You should have no issue. Additionally, stuck in traffic is good, not bad. The Bolt is great in these stop and go conditions. You will love the brake paddle on the steering wheel and your foot will never touch the brake pedal. I was stuck on the highway last week for almost 2 hours waiting for a wreck to clear with the AC on and lost less than 10 miles of range. Remarkable.

I am regularly moving at between 70 and 75 mph. If you stay closer to 60 or 65 mph (100-110 km) you will have more range.

I am assuming you are somewhere close to London or the Kitchener/Waterloo area which would be to your benefit compared to living in Ottawa. There is a post on you tube of 2 Quebecers driving highway in a Bolt around Trois Riviere with the heat on. Search that out as it is very informative.

Roll resistance is not an issue. With front wheel drive and traction control, the Bolt should do very well in the snow. Road manners are excellent witn that heavy battery down low and wheels oushed to the outside corners.

Make sure you get a Bolt with the optional DC fast charge option. Ontario will most likely get DC fast chargers soon...especially on the 401. Tim Hortons stop and a fast charge...what could be better! Now you know I am a Canadian...and not an imposter...maple glaze...and timbits for the road...mmmm.

Finally a trip to Toronto would be in order. Go to the Toronto EV Discovery Center at 1126 Finch Ave W. I think they have a Bolt there you can drive. They should be able to give you additional information..free of charge. A great organization and valuable resource.

If for some reason you decide not to purchase the Bolt, then I would highly recommend the new Volt as 40 to 50 miles of range is better than nothing at all.

The Bolt is an unbelievable car. I am not a Chevy man but I have to say GM hit this one out of the park. It even caused me to cancel my Model 3 reservation...not a decision I took lightly. But I now know I made the right decision. I look forward to driving this car everyday. It is just plain fun.

Knowing what gas costs in Ontario, either way, you can't lose.

Good luck!
Thank you thank you thank you for this.
My situation on distance etc is exactly the same as yours and I too cancelled the deposit on a Tesla Model 3. The size is not for me or my family. We fit in a model x but so far we do not have that kind of money. I put down a deposit and ordered my 2018 bolt ev premier and I cannot wait to get it. I’m spending way too much money on gas and this car will really help the finances.,, :)
 

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We have a Bolt and live in Ontario. We use the heat and air conditioning as needed and it works great. Right after you recharge the car with the climate control system off, it shows a projected range. Then when you turn on the climate system, the range drops. It looks big when your range is 430 km but if you're almost out of battery and have 80 km left, it only drops 8km or so. So the expected range is if you drive with the climate control on for the whole drive. Turn it off some of the time, and it gets better. Car does not show reduced range for steering wheel heat, seat heat, or just running the fan.
We keep ourselves comfortable. If I have the range, we treat the Bolt like an ice car. Since fuel is much less expensive, there is no need to be uncomfortable just to save some kWh, and it's always full and ready to go the next day. I like speed and comfort and the Bolt is just fun to drive quickly.
 

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In general, I'd say yes, the Bolt should be perfect for you, but there are a couple of things that I don't think others have mentioned. I've only had my Bolt a few weeks but I've had a Spark EV for four years. I spent most of my life in Michigan, so I know the climate.

Will you use winter tires? They will eat into range compared to the stock tires. You should still be able to make the drive, even on the coldest days and with several years of battery degradation, but you may have to be careful sometimes.

How risk averse are you? If you're going to freak out when the car predicts you'll get home with 10 miles of range remaining, it may not be time for you to get a Bolt yet. If you can be comfortable with that and understand that you can take measures to extend your range, then you'll be fine.

Yes, the battery will degrade some, and because the Bolt has a different battery usage profile than the Volt, you can't directly extrapolate. It's likely to lose more than the Volt. That said, there are things you can do to limit the degradation. When the weather is milder, you can use hilltop reserve to only charge the battery to ~90%, which will help extend its life. In bad weather, turn it off to take advantage of the full battery range.

The heater will eat into your range, but not as much as driving too fast - you'll go farther at 100 with the heat on than at 120 with it off. If you're worried about the range, slow down a bit and just use the seat and steering wheel heaters and your range will go up noticeably.
 

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Hi Markab,

Get the Bolt. I live in Boston, have about 5500 miles on mine now. Your daily commute is only half the EPA battery distance. Yes, using climate controls and/or having winter tires will modestly reduce your max distance but I would be surprised if the battery drainage reached 60% instead of 50% with your commute The seat and wheel heaters are quite effective and efficient. I'm in the process of buying snow tires right now and am not concerned about the change in mileage/ road resistance. Real-world experience with Volt and Tesla batteries suggests that battery deterioration will likely be substantially < 10% over 100,000 miles, not the crazy 'cover my rear end' 40% GM came up with. You'll be fine.

Prior poster is quite right. Power needs go up exponentially as you go above 60 mph / 100 kph. Having said that I drive, er, quickly, here unless I am driving a long distance and have to get a fast Level 3 charge on the way.
 
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