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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my Bolt about a month, put about 1000 miles on it and thought I would share impressions. Fully loaded premier. Compared to my Volt the biggest difference is the visibility. I think I would be very comfortable in this car without BLIS the visibility is great, better than my Volvo V60. Second is the acceleration. I have a gen 1 Volt and the Bolt is another magnitude of fun especially if you floor it going 30 or so. The center console is much easier than the Volt and I like using the Smart Phone for navigation.

I never bothered with a level 2 charger, but realized pretty quick I'd need one for the Bolt. I'm glad MD has a rebate. The two main complaints about the car I read about are front seat comfort and glare off the dashboard. So far I'm fine and have done a 200 mile drive.

My only real dislike is the look of the Bolt, but I knew that going in. the handling could be a bit better but it is plenty good for me. I really do hope that GM can do something with this model or future ones so they can charge faster. I plan on using it only for a city car and I can't imagine doing a long trip in a Bolt, but then I get frustrated stopping for gas every 500 miles.

I have no regrets so far, other than my spouse is putting pressure on me to sell the Volt...I'd like to keep both.

Madmike
 

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Isn't the Bolt EVSE the same as the Gen 2 Volt? If so, it should be L2 capable with a plug adapter though it might only max out at 12A, same as the Volt unit. Definitely should be fine to top off the battery overnight unless you use most of the battery daily.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here is info from the Bolt forum. I can't confirm the details, but it is about what I experienced.

Typical home Plug - 120 volts on a 15 AMP circuit - derate by 20% - 12 amp continuous load

120 volts * 12 AMPs = 1440 watts or 1.44 kw - do this for one hour at you get 1.44 kilowatt hours

charge the Chevy Bolt from empty with this charging rate and you divide 60 killowatt-hours / 1.44 kilowatt hours = 41.667 hours - that's best case and there is about a 10% loss with the chargers so 41.667 * 1.1 = 45.8 hours - we add a 10% fudge factor to deal with various in-efficiencies in the whole charging infrastructure.

so it will take 46-48 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt from a normal house hold plug @ 12 amps on a typical home 15 AMP circuit.

The Chevy Bolt Default 120 volt setting - 8 AMPS - since many homes were never built with continuous loads in mind - Chevy has taken a conservative approach and defaults the Bolt's 120 volt charging rate to 8 AMPS (or about 50% of a 15 AMP break's load - this is to account for poor plug quality and potentially poor wiring in some homes) - so the math for this default setting to fully charge a Bolt from empty is

120 volts * 8 AMPs = 960 watts or 0.96 kw
60 kwh (volt battery) / .96 kw = 62.5 * 10 % fudge factor = 68.75 hours or there about

some homes/garages have 120 volt / 20 AMP circuits - these are typically used for engine block heaters and use a different plug from the normal household plug - 20 amps * 80% - 16 amp continuous load

120 volts * 16 amps = 1920 watts or 1.92 kilowatts
60 kwh / 1.92 kw = 31.25 hours * 10% fudge factor = *1.1=34.375 hours or about 35-36 hours to charge from a home 120/20 amp circuit - you'd need to find a EV charger for this however because Chevy's charger that comes with the car doesn't support this type of plug/circuit

as you can see 120 volt house hold circuits really don't do the job - to properly charge an EV you typically want to use a 240 volt circuit. To do this there are lots and lots of choices for various EV charges are all sorts of different AMP Ratings. Typically you want to buy an EV charger who's maximum AMP rating matches or exceeds your EV car's charging capability.

The Chevy Bolt can handle up to a 40 AMP circuit, with a 32 AMP continuous draw. So any EV charger up to 40 AMPS will charge your Bolt much faster than your typical 120 volt house hold circuit. Typical 240 volt breakers are: 16 AMP, 24 AMP, 30 AMP, 32 AMP, 40 AMP, 50 AMP, and in increments of 10 AMPS upto 200 AMP circuits (typically a 200 AMP breaker is on most homes for the entire house, most US homes have 80, 100, 125, 150, 200, 400 AMP main whole-house breakers)

Math for charging at 240 volts for various AMPS are:

16 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 12.8 AMPS = 3072 watts or 3.072 kw = about 22 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
20 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 16 AMPS = 3840 watts = about 17-18 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
24 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 19.2 AMPS = 4608 watts = about 15-16 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
30 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 24 AMPS = 5760 watts = about 12-13 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
32 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 25.6 AMPS = 6144 watts = about 11-12 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
40 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 32 AMPS = 7680 watts = about 9-10 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
 

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Isn't the Bolt EVSE the same as the Gen 2 Volt? If so, it should be L2 capable with a plug adapter though it might only max out at 12A, same as the Volt unit. Definitely should be fine to top off the battery overnight unless you use most of the battery daily.
Here is info from the Bolt forum. I can't confirm the details, but it is about what I experienced.

Typical home Plug - 120 volts on a 15 AMP circuit - derate by 20% - 12 amp continuous load

120 volts * 12 AMPs = 1440 watts or 1.44 kw - do this for one hour at you get 1.44 kilowatt hours

charge the Chevy Bolt from empty with this charging rate and you divide 60 killowatt-hours / 1.44 kilowatt hours = 41.667 hours - that's best case and there is about a 10% loss with the chargers so 41.667 * 1.1 = 45.8 hours - we add a 10% fudge factor to deal with various in-efficiencies in the whole charging infrastructure.

so it will take 46-48 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt from a normal house hold plug @ 12 amps on a typical home 15 AMP circuit.

The Chevy Bolt Default 120 volt setting - 8 AMPS - since many homes were never built with continuous loads in mind - Chevy has taken a conservative approach and defaults the Bolt's 120 volt charging rate to 8 AMPS (or about 50% of a 15 AMP break's load - this is to account for poor plug quality and potentially poor wiring in some homes) - so the math for this default setting to fully charge a Bolt from empty is

120 volts * 8 AMPs = 960 watts or 0.96 kw
60 kwh (volt battery) / .96 kw = 62.5 * 10 % fudge factor = 68.75 hours or there about

some homes/garages have 120 volt / 20 AMP circuits - these are typically used for engine block heaters and use a different plug from the normal household plug - 20 amps * 80% - 16 amp continuous load

120 volts * 16 amps = 1920 watts or 1.92 kilowatts
60 kwh / 1.92 kw = 31.25 hours * 10% fudge factor = *1.1=34.375 hours or about 35-36 hours to charge from a home 120/20 amp circuit - you'd need to find a EV charger for this however because Chevy's charger that comes with the car doesn't support this type of plug/circuit

as you can see 120 volt house hold circuits really don't do the job - to properly charge an EV you typically want to use a 240 volt circuit. To do this there are lots and lots of choices for various EV charges are all sorts of different AMP Ratings. Typically you want to buy an EV charger who's maximum AMP rating matches or exceeds your EV car's charging capability.

The Chevy Bolt can handle up to a 40 AMP circuit, with a 32 AMP continuous draw. So any EV charger up to 40 AMPS will charge your Bolt much faster than your typical 120 volt house hold circuit. Typical 240 volt breakers are: 16 AMP, 24 AMP, 30 AMP, 32 AMP, 40 AMP, 50 AMP, and in increments of 10 AMPS upto 200 AMP circuits (typically a 200 AMP breaker is on most homes for the entire house, most US homes have 80, 100, 125, 150, 200, 400 AMP main whole-house breakers)

Math for charging at 240 volts for various AMPS are:

16 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 12.8 AMPS = 3072 watts or 3.072 kw = about 22 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
20 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 16 AMPS = 3840 watts = about 17-18 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
24 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 19.2 AMPS = 4608 watts = about 15-16 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
30 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 24 AMPS = 5760 watts = about 12-13 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
32 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 25.6 AMPS = 6144 watts = about 11-12 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
40 AMP 240 volt breaker - 240 volts * 32 AMPS = 7680 watts = about 9-10 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt
And what freshcut was saying is, get an adapter and plug your stock EVSE into a 20 amp 240 volt ckt and charge at 240V 12 amps.

For my Volt for the first 5 hours (it takes 5.5 hours total) it gains 10 miles of range per hour calculated at the EPA efficiancy of 3.79 miles per kWh. Using those numbers it would take you about 25 hours including the battery balancing at the end of the charge to fully charge your Bolt from dead flat empty to full with the stock EVSE on a 240V ckt.

How much do you typically drive in a day? If it is less than 140 miles (on average) and you are away from home 10 hours between work and commute time leaving you 14 hours to charge, there is no need for you to spend any $$$ on an aftermarket L2 EVSE when you can use your stock EVSE as a 12 amp L2 setup.


Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll add I also wanted to be able to charge from empty to full overnightish if necessary and not worry too much about a day with side trips. Living with a full EV is for me at lest very different from with a Volt in that you do have to plan and think about how long you will be driving.
 

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I'll add I also wanted to be able to charge from empty to full overnightish if necessary and not worry too much about a day with side trips. Living with a full EV is for me at lest very different from with a Volt in that you do have to plan and think about how long you will be driving.
How much do you drive? With 14.0 kWh usable battery on my 2016 I can commute and run errands without ever burning a drop of gas... how far is your daily commute? I guess if you have a 100 mile round trip commute and want to run errands after work it would be uncomfortable using the stock EVSE.

I am not telling you to not purchase an aftermarket EVSE, I am just surprised that you need one. Then again, if you didn't need a long range EV you could have gotten an i3 or Leaf :)

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My situation is pretty unique. I have a daily commute of zero miles, buts its not unusual for me to drive 100-200 miles in a day to do whatever reason. I need my current outlet for my Volt, which does 40 miles a day so I needed to put a new circuit in anyway and once I learned MD would pay for 40% decided to go with a 50 amp circuit and a 40 amp level 2. Even if I didn't have my Volt I probably would have gone this way as my general philosophy is that if you buy a car with X range your should be able to charge it from about 0 to full in 12 hours or so...or else you may as well get a car with a smaller battery. I cant really say that is what I "need" but I like knowing I can get my full charge back.
 

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A Bolt is in our future, but short of longer road trips I'm not stressing about the need for reaching 100% charge every single night when in reality we will rarely use or need it all - if my wife drives 300KM one day but can only recharge to say 60% that night on our 16A level 2 here at home, in the grand scheme of things so long as it yields enough to get her the 150KM to and from work the next day (her "usual" drive) with a reasonable buffer, that's good enough - it can reach 100% SOC the second night.
 

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<SNIP>


so it will take 46-48 hours to fully charge an empty Bolt from a normal house hold plug @ 12 amps on a typical home 15 AMP circuit.
Having a Volt I looked into the 12 amp charging via a 120V line. I think it needs a 20 A line to be able to use the 12 amp continuous for long periods like recharging the Volt.

Luckily I had the wiring applicable for a 20 amp line so all I needed to do was to change the 15A outlet with a 20A one; I ended up changing the box to a 4-gang from a 2-gang just due to ease of using the outlet for other electrical devices.

I think that the original builders just got cheap on their outlet install and installed a 15A outlet instead of a 20A one.

Maybe a 15A outlet on a 20A capacity line is OK for the 12A charging but from what I read, its not recommended.

Not wanting to get into a pissing contest in case of a fire with the insurance co., I switched the outlets to 20A.
 

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My situation is pretty unique. I have a daily commute of zero miles, buts its not unusual for me to drive 100-200 miles in a day to do whatever reason. I need my current outlet for my Volt, which does 40 miles a day so I needed to put a new circuit in anyway and once I learned MD would pay for 40% decided to go with a 50 amp circuit and a 40 amp level 2. Even if I didn't have my Volt I probably would have gone this way as my general philosophy is that if you buy a car with X range your should be able to charge it from about 0 to full in 12 hours or so...or else you may as well get a car with a smaller battery. I cant really say that is what I "need" but I like knowing I can get my full charge back.
This is the way I see it also. Once you have spent the money to get a 238 mile BEV, you might as well have the proper charging equipment to get full use out of it if/when necessary. Being able to recover a full charge overnight seems like a reasonable standard for that. It doesn’t make sense to me to save a few hundred bucks on charging equipment, only to reduce the capabilities of the car. I would want at least a 30A 240V circuit with a 24A EVSE.
 

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I would be curious on people's electric bill increase after charging the Bolt every night. I know that when I charged the Chevy Volt with a 240 volt charger my electric bill increased $40 / month. So I can only imagine that the increase would be higher having to charge a Bolt every night. I have a 70 mile round trip to work, 4 days a week.
 

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IF you are driving on electricity only, the Bolt is cheaper to drive per mile than the Volt. The EPA rates the Bolt at 28 KWH per 100 miles and the Volt at 31 KWH per 100 miles. In your commute (unless you are charging at work) some of it is done on gasoline. In your case the Bolt would be a lower cost alternative to drive regardless if you charged at work or not.
 

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I would be curious on people's electric bill increase after charging the Bolt every night. I know that when I charged the Chevy Volt with a 240 volt charger my electric bill increased $40 / month. So I can only imagine that the increase would be higher having to charge a Bolt every night. I have a 70 mile round trip to work, 4 days a week.
In the end, if it's cheaper than gas (which it almost certainly is for most, by a wide margin) I can't possibly see the issue. Yes, your electricity bill is going to go up, that's a foregone conclusion, but your gas bills are going to drop to zero and only a fraction of those savings will go towards the hydro bill instead.
 

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I would be curious on people's electric bill increase after charging the Bolt every night.
Depends on what your commute is, right? If the commute is beyond the range of the Volt, then using a Bolt will allow all electric driving. So of course your electric bill will be higher, you are using more of it. Still less expensive than gas. Plus, have you seen the Bolt maintenance schedule?
 

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After a month with the Bolt, what do you think of the white lower instrument panel trim. I test drove a Bolt yesterday and was actually unable to use the outside mirrors in bright sunlight due to the reflections of the panel and the chrome air vents in the mirrors. If I didn't know I could paint the panel a dark color, that would be a deal killer for me. Don't any of the people who style and specify the colors for the trim ever drive the end product? I have seen complaints about reflections of the chrome trim piece by the touchscreen but the dash takes the cake as far as being a distraction. Maybe its just cloudy in most of the country.
 
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