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Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:31 am
by pbui19
I mis-quoted yesterday, my final cost was $32K for the LT after the $7500 fed, $2500 CA, PGE (electric util) $500. I've heard that the leather seat is not as comfortable due to the stiffer feel of the seat edges, digging into your legs.

PV1 - my daughter never really pays attention to her range, she just drives it. We also lives at 2200-ft elevation and always use the Hilltop charge stop which is about 90% SOC. When it gets hot here, I actually try to stop charge at 75%, albeit manually.

I do very much prefer the 6.6kw L2 charging than the iMiev/Volt2 lousy 3kw rate.

I've heard reports of people in LA getting 300-mile, given the traffic there.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:03 pm
by PV1
I got my Eaton charging station wired for Bolt charging. 6/3 copper on a 50 amp breaker to handle that 7.2 kW charger. It fits nicely between the man door and garage door so it can reach the port on the front left fender.

It's nice to see the battery still charging while pre-conditioning. Speaking of that, you can simply power up the car while charging and use the HVAC while in the car without using remote functionality (good if you're car-camping at a charging station).

I set up departure charging so that the car holds off charging until it reaches a calculated start time in order to finish charging at a certain time. There is also a priority charge function that immediately takes the car to 40% if it's lower than that. Unlike the 1st gen Volt's (confusing) dash light, the charge status light blinks based on SoC. One blink at a time is 0-25%, two is 26-50%, three is 51-75%, and four blinks is 76-100% charge. A solid green light means fully charged.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:57 am
by PV1
I'm going back through this forum and trying to tally up wishlist and some standard items for the I-MiEV to compare to the Bolt.

Here's what I have so far (forum members with Dropbox accounts can add to it as well): ... Kula6yORxp

A blank box means not included/unavailable. An X marks that feature as standard.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:43 am
by PV1
I'm also pleased to share that the Bolt does not cause much, if any, driver fatigue. We went on a 170 mile drive yesterday, only getting out of the car once to try a quick charger and use the restroom, and it felt like we only went a few miles.

Cruising the highway at 65-70 MPH with the A/C on doesn't seem to make a big impact on range, as it's still calculating at least 20 miles over EPA. It's so nice to travel outside of my norm and not even worry about charging. That quick charger was broken and would've been game over in the i-MiEV as there is no other charging around it except campgrounds (then again, I would've likely not even attempted it in the i-MiEV unless PlugShare indicated it was stable).

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:58 am
by PV1
Took the Bolt on a 524 mile drive yesterday.

The first leg of the trip was 166 miles, and when I stopped to charge I had 67 miles left for a total possible range of 233 miles. I charged up at a ChargePoint Express unit for just over an hour and got back to 90% charge (the Bolt counts down time to 80%, but it will keep going to full if you and the station let it).

Leaving the first stop, I continued to my destination and back to the same charger at a sum of 184 miles and arrived with 42 miles left. I charged up to around 90% again, this time with 231 miles of range and set off for home. The trip back was at speeds between 70-77 MPH depending on what traffic was running at, drafting other vehicles to keep a 20-mile margin between my Minimum range and distance to go. When I got home, I had 41 miles of range left, traveled 524 miles, and used 128.5 kWh at the battery. EVSE meters report a sum usage of 140 kWh, which include charging losses (overhead, charger losses at home, and battery cooling).

I'm nowhere near as fatigued as I was driving the Volt (or other ICE vehicle). I hardly had to adjust my driving for range (staying 5 MPH below the speed limit on the expressway except for about 5 miles of 10 MPH below when there was no other traffic to and from destination between charges). Having a windbreak allowed me to drive faster on the home stretch and not affect my range. However, I noticed something interesting. It seemed that the Bolt got better range at 65 MPH than it did at 60. When going at 60 MPH, the range coach was falling below the average range, but once I sped up to 65 MPH, it came back to the average range (this is a small bar that goes up or down depending on if you're doing better or worse than the average range calculation). Following another car, I could speed up from 70 to 75 MPH and not affect my range.

It was a long and boring trip, but doing it in the Bolt made it a much more pleasurable ride. As a final note, the regen paddle and one-pedal driving are amazing 8-) .

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:01 am
by JoeS
PV1, thanks for the writeup. I think that less fatigue when long-distance EV driving (compared with ICE) stems from the silence, lack of vibration, and stops to recharge and stretch one's legs every 150 miles or so. I think that the 60mph vs. 65mph predicted range discrepancy you saw was perhaps due to a local anomaly (wind? slope?). Drafting a truck at 75mph probably results in better range than driving alone at 60mph (good math problem).
PV1 wrote:...drafting other vehicles to keep a 20-mile margin between my Minimum range and distance to go.
Isn't it wonderful that we have the instrumentation available to allow us to control this variable so easily!
PV1 wrote:As a final note, the regen paddle and one-pedal driving are amazing 8-) .
I had asked for these features on the Aptera forum ten years ago, and am really jealous! I hope that Tesla and all other EV manufacturers implement a paddle (or some other fingertip-control scheme), more regen options, and perhaps implement a cruise control which provides the option of constant power or constant speed or some blending of the two. That constant power option would do away with the incessant small surges and regens as the cruise control compensates for every road undulation. Now, if we could get it to mimic hypermiling by reducing power (coasting) without kicking in regen on every little downslope...

PV1, do you have Cruise Control on the BoltEV and have you used it much?

The BoltEV paddle is time-dependent: the longer you hold it the higher the regen. Edit: wrong - it's an on/off switch - see subsequent discussion. What if the amount of regen was dependent on how far you pull it toward you - I'm awfully curious why GM implemented the time-dependent rather than this distance scheme - anyone have any thoughts on this? It's a human-factors issue to accomplish the same end-result, the difference being is that one has a time delay whereas the other is instantaneous. My reason for asking is that I drove my hacked Insight for almost ten years with a joystick whereby the amount of regen (or electric motor applied power) was proportional to how far I pushed or pulled the joystick.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:44 am
by PV1
I think the lack of fatigue is mostly due to low frequency rumble and vibration (I know, arguably the same thing) caused by the ICE. I'm not sure how much of a role stopping and charging plays. I drove straight home from the charger. In the Volt, I did the same drive but with a gas stop in the middle.

I really like how the car gives 3 values for range and shows a graphical bar that moves toward either extreme based on driving versus a single number that moves all over the place. It's much easier and quicker to judge any gains or loss in efficiency. As for the 60 to 65 difference, I thought it could be slope, but the timing was too convenient that range improved immediately after accelerating and stayed that way for the next 30-40 miles.

As for the regen paddle, I haven't noticed any time-dependency. It seems to engage the strongest regen available and hold it there. What might contribute to the time-dependent feel is the fact that a flat 70 kW of regen makes up more of the kinetic energy as you slow down, and thus causes harder deceleration as speed drops. Regen power actually decreases as speed decreases, but the strength gets stronger.

Holding the paddle and floating the throttle pedal will accomplish variable strength regen. In most situations, I think it's best for the paddle to immediately engage full-strength regen (yes, it eases into it over less than .5 seconds and doesn't slam you into the steering wheel :lol: ). There were several instances yesterday where I needed to slow down quickly and could do so without touching the brake pedal.

Yes, it has cruise control and I use it mostly on highways. Regardless of drive mode, cruise acts similar to L mode, where it will use as much regen as necessary to maintain speed (D mode is limited to 15 kW or so of regen unless you pull the paddle or push the brake pedal).

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:29 am
by JoeS
Hi PV1, thank you for correcting my perception of the paddle. What you're saying is that it is an on/off switch, and the amount of braking effect (retardation using regeneration) is simply a function of vehicle speed and which mode is selected. I'd go to the Chevy dealer for another test drive to play with it some more, but don't want to raise the salesperson's hopes.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:42 pm
by PV1
Yes, the paddle is on/off. With no pedal input and pulling the paddle, you're getting as much regen as the motor can generate, all the way to a stop, regardless of which drive mode you're in. If you want, you can modulate paddle regen strength with the throttle pedal if you need something in between L and full regen, but I tend to just pulse the paddle.

What's cool is that if you stop the car with the paddle in Drive, creep stays off until you tap the throttle pedal. However, Drive keeps creep engaged if you use the brake pedal to stop.

The annoying thing is that most of this is disabled unless the driver has their seatbelt fastened. If you're at a stop in L mode and unbuckle your seat belt, the car applies the parking brake. If you release the parking brake and continue to drive without a seatbelt, you lose one-pedal driving as creep mode is turned on in L. If you're creeping along in L and buckle your seat belt, creep turns off and one-pedal is restored. A few people on the Bolt forum (I've had mine do it once) report that creep in L without a seatbelt also causes the car to lug (it pulses power/regen back and forth) once it's rolling.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:39 am
by NeilBlanchard
We just got our Bolt EV about 2 weeks ago. In general, it is wonderful. Two EV-centric niggles: no light in the charging port, and no coasting in D.

We are a tall family, and we fit in the Bolt EV better than any other car (let alone any other EV!), so there's that. It is the longest range EV that we can afford - it is expensive, but with the incentives we get, we can do it.

It is practical - we require a hatchback. It is nimble. One general niggle: on some bumps cause a noticeable jounce, that may be a from a slight under-dampening in the rear suspension?

Having an EV with this much range - is a revelation! Even with the "hilltop reserve" setting, we see a range of ~290 miles. Which is amazing.