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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:22 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Mon May 25, 2020 3:16 pm

So, charged my Bolt up last night, but since I didn't drive it today, I haven't unplugged it yet. The car is parked in the driveway, and with summer kicking in with full force yesterday, it's been rather hot here the last two days. As we were cleaning up from the day's activities, the Bolt started making a racket. Turns out, that even after it has finished charging and the EVSE is in standby mode (plugged in, but contactor off), if the battery gets too warm or cold, the car will engage thermal management. The racket it was making was the battery cooling system running (car was off, locked, and key inside the house, but was plugged in).

So, I have a new recommendation for Bolt owners where the car is parked in extreme weather (although I'm sure I'm not the first to figure this out, and it's likely in the owner's manual). If the car is going to sit exposed to extreme heat, enable hilltop reserve (or set a low charge limit on newer Bolts) and leave it plugged in. Hilltop reserve limits max charge to 90% of usable, but newer Bolts have a slider to limit max charge even lower, I believe down to 70%. Given that we can limit charge and the battery won't sit at full, we can gain from active thermal management in hot weather, as the car cools the battery once it gets to about 90 F.

On another note, I'm not so sure about towing trailers. The rear springs are a bit soft and the back end of the car squatted a good bit with a 1,000 lb. trailer hooked to it, more so than my friend's LEAF with the same trailer.
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"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015
"Photon" - 2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

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