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Typo . . .

In the article, used "Volt" instead of "Bolt" in the 2nd last paragraph:

"At least on operating costs. A Bolt owner will have to drive it upwards of 200,000 miles before reduced operating costs cover the extra $10,000 he shelled out at purchase, and that doesn’t account for the huge expense of a battery replacement. The decision to buy a Volt cannot be rationalized strictly in economic terms. It requires emotional, social or political considerations, which people apply to car purchases every day."​

So the name confusion spawned by the similarity of the "Bolt" name to the "Volt" continues.
 

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Very well written. I hope more mainstream publications post such articles. People need to be made aware of these vehicles, especially after the dis-service they got from vested interests.

A few minor issues in the article ... (and this is not specifically related to the Bolt but applies to any PEV charging, in general)

For most people (who drive about 40 miles per day), a nightly top up is possible even with L1. And for those that take the occasional long trip, additional charging is typically done on the road (using L2 or DCFC). So, an L2 EVSE at home is not an NEEDED unless the car is being driven over 40 miles a day (or even 80 miles, if work place charging is available). I know a Tesla owner who commutes about 50 miles a day but only does L1 charging at home!

Secondly, the cost of home L2 infrastructure has come down a lot. One can install a well equipped 40A L2 EVSE at home for about $800 ($600 for the EVSE and $200 for parts/labor). Even if the cable has to be drawn from a location farther away, it can still be done for under $1000. Mind you .. this is only required for people that drive longer distances every day (say 100 miles per day), and the cost of the L2 EVSE can be recouped in less than a year from fuel savings.
 

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Seems like the reviewers love this vehicle. I have to question a couple of their numbers though. While it's interesting to know you can drive on the West Coast using CCS chargers, it's hard to believe there are 10,000 CCS combo chargers installed. Seems very high. There are a couple near me but I live in SoCal where the electric car penetration if very high. The other number is the number of Spark EVs sold. No way did GM sold more Spark EVs in 2016 than Tesla sold Model Ss. Maybe they're referring to ICE Sparks.

In any event lots of interesting information about the Bolt EV. Great article.
 

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Couple of things don't sound right in this article. The title says 'Landmark' but the article has sound bites going the other direction.

- Claim that Bolt is a gas car with a battery. False. It is a ground-up EV.
- Claim that a Bolt will not save enough 'fuel' over a smaller gas Sonic and is therefore not worth it. False. Many EV characteristics, even ones outlined in the article, make Bolt much more valuable than a Sonic. TCO is never quoted only 'fuel' savings. (Which, by the way, fuel cost is less than half by their own calculations.)
- The old 'battery replacement' argument again. Bolt will need a battery when Sonic needs an engine and transmission. It's a wash.
- Really? Confusing Bolt with Volt in the last paragraph?
- offhand remark here: "..in the moment it feels like the tipping point where (for better or worse) mainstream electric cars get real traction in the marketplace."

Really? For better or worse? Gearheads still don't get that EV is better than ICE. Even after Tesla soundly trounces nearly everything in the great American drag race.
 

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@telveer

Not only that point, but, once you install an EVSE the installation won't go 'bad' anytime soon. The EVSE may wear out eventually (I'm on my second EV with the same EVSE), but the wiring will be serviceable for decades.
 

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@telveer

Not only that point, but, once you install an EVSE the installation won't go 'bad' anytime soon. The EVSE may wear out eventually (I'm on my second EV with the same EVSE), but the wiring will be serviceable for decades.
My CC LCS-25 is over 4 years old and still looks, feels and performs as new


And for 18 months it easily feed TWO Volts.


Back then my total cost came to just at $900 ($518 for the 240V/30amp circuit that needed 85 feet of wire and $390 for the CC EVSE) plus first class installation. Today that same set up would probably cost me less than $800. And I didn't qualify for any tax credits, ran into the AMT the year I installed mine.
 

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Couple of things don't sound right in this article. The title says 'Landmark' but the article has sound bites going the other direction.

- Claim that Bolt is a gas car with a battery. False. It is a ground-up EV.
- Claim that a Bolt will not save enough 'fuel' over a smaller gas Sonic and is therefore not worth it. False. Many EV characteristics, even ones outlined in the article, make Bolt much more valuable than a Sonic. TCO is never quoted only 'fuel' savings. (Which, by the way, fuel cost is less than half by their own calculations.)
- The old 'battery replacement' argument again. Bolt will need a battery when Sonic needs an engine and transmission. It's a wash.
- Really? Confusing Bolt with Volt in the last paragraph?
- offhand remark here: "..in the moment it feels like the tipping point where (for better or worse) mainstream electric cars get real traction in the marketplace."

Really? For better or worse? Gearheads still don't get that EV is better than ICE. Even after Tesla soundly trounces nearly everything in the great American drag race.
I didn't see where they claimed it was a gas car with a battery, only that it was about $10k more expensive then a premium compact hatch, which is an accurate statement.

I agree with their assessment that the Bolt EV will not save the user money vs an inexpensive gas car.

The battery statement does tend to show up from people fearful of the new technology. Hyundai is going to offer a lifetime battery replacement warranty for the original owner of the Ioniq BEV. They didn't dwell on it and mentioned it in passing. It is like mentioning engine replacement costs at end of life in an ICE.

Bolt EV vs Volt is an easy typo to make. I have done it numerous times in posts, usually I catch it.

Overall, I think their assessment is very fair and I think the author enjoys the Bolt EV a lot. Maybe more than expected.

This was their closing paragraph:
All things accounted for, including what can’t be accounted for, the Bolt is a landmark because it’s a very good car, and the best pure electric car yet, and because in the moment it feels like the tipping point where (for better or worse) mainstream electric cars get real traction in the marketplace.
Sounds pretty positive to me.
 

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I agree with their assessment that the Bolt EV will not save the user money vs an inexpensive gas car.
Funny this "save money" requirement is never brought up when discussing most other cars or trucks, only EV's.

I have yet to see an article about a Camaro, Mustang, etc. that then questions the value based on saving money.

At the same time, the "saving money" question never goes beyond the initial price, never looks at Total Cost of Ownership over 3, 5 10 years. It reminds me of all the people railing against LED's upfront cost vs. "cheap" incandescent bulbs but never considering lifespan, energy cost or added air conditioner load. Same for granite counters vs. Formica, where is the cost savings? If you ONLY look at the initial purchase price, you are a poor buyer. Anyone looking at the Bolt's maintenance schedule will understand there is more to buying a Bolt EV than the initial price.
 

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I have yet to see an article about a Camaro, Mustang, etc. that then questions the value based on saving money.
In fairness we haven't seen commercials promoting the Camaro as a good way to save money on gas whereas we have seen GM run some commercials like this for the Volt. Saving money is not much of a motivator for me and until the price of batteries drops to $100/kWh I'm thinking that saving money is not a good marketing message.

Funny you mention incandescent bulbs. I have a friend who bought a huge number. He thought he was quite smart until I pointed out that his bulbs would cost him five times as much as if he had just bought some LEDs. Not sure BEVs and ICEs are so clear cut. My guess is TCO is close with the edge going to the BEV. On the other hand, if you need to deduct miles it's a no-brainer.
 

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Funny you mention incandescent bulbs. I have a friend who bought a huge number. He thought he was quite smart until I pointed out that his bulbs would cost him five times as much as if he had just bought some LEDs.
There is the loss of safety and increased bulb replacement cost involved with the older, 19th century incandescent bulbs when they fail, either in the home or in the car. My home is 100% LED for over three years, and I have completed a 100% LED replacement on my 2009 Chevy Equinox (every lamp in it is a LED) that cost me about $230 from a single dealer (Formula-J87). I have also done a LED replacement on my previous car, a 1995 Buick Regal (listed in my signature until December 2015).

One may say that this was a very expensive investment, and it took a lot of work and some parts modifications (the LED head lights have a huge heatsink behind the bulb that affected the mounting in the housing), but it was all done in less than 48 hours. But the main reason I did this was for safety reasons. Since the Equinox is metallic blue (the same blue that GM uses in the Volt and many other Chevy cars) it is almost invisible at night. My wife drives it when she visits her mother, and if she returns late, the Equinox needs all the lights it can get so she may see the road better, and other can see her better, too, from a distance. The bulbs are Sylvania, Phillips, and CREE brands so they are the best in the market and will last the life of the vehicle.

What I like best are the LED turn signals that have no warm-up delay (a fraction of a second) before getting bright. The LED light hits you with 100% brigtness immediately and really gets your attantion! The local vehicle laws allow LED replacements as long as they follow Federal regulations, too, and not blind the incoming traffic, so the headlights still has the metal cap that prevents excess light from "splashing" the road, and the twin beams are height limited by the housing design. I need to check if I can add LED lights below the body line (under the floor pan) so the Equinox' body line can be recognized from afar without violating any rules or color codes (no blue lights allowed anywhere!). The factory bodymarkers are bright LEDS but I wish to add more.

Although we are writing about savings with electric driving, using LEDs on a car is electric which saves energy, has a longer life and increases visibilty for a safer drive. Here is the site I buy from: http://formulaj87.com/

Just give them your vehicle make, model, and year, and they can offer a package deal for all the lights at the same time, They also sell on eBay, but a direct purchase is easier, and quicker.
 

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Very fair article...And the payback period along with TCO, everyone may use their car differently and it's ever evolving since charging rates and gasoline prices are volatile...Even the author notates for CCS, "$8 to $10 access fee and .10 per minute" and those are LIKELY 50KW-ish, once the 150KW or even the 350KW come online expect them to be even more expensive with ever increasing rates are likely during the Gen1 Bolt EVs lifetime due to limited charging competition...Case and point, if you plan on taking frequent trips which will exceed the Bolt EVs range where you have to rely on DCFC, a Volt or even a Spark EV as a weekday commuter and an ICE as a weekend/long trip hauler, may be cheaper...

Seems like the reviewers love this vehicle. I have to question a couple of their numbers though. While it's interesting to know you can drive on the West Coast using CCS chargers, it's hard to believe there are 10,000 CCS combo chargers installed. Seems very high. There are a couple near me but I live in SoCal where the electric car penetration if very high. The other number is the number of Spark EVs sold. No way did GM sold more Spark EVs in 2016 than Tesla sold Model Ss. Maybe they're referring to ICE Sparks.

In any event lots of interesting information about the Bolt EV. Great article.
And in regards to the 10K chargers, he specifically states 150KW...If how google "how many EV charging stations are in the united states" several top answers are around 10K, best guess is that's what the author did, found some source that there's 10K total stations (including L2) and wrongfully assumed they were CSS...
 

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Press reports continue to be unanimous in praise of Bolt EV. When national advertising begins sales should take off, but with only a fraction of dealers carrying the car (along with Volt) the numbers will be far short of potential sales.(for both Bolt and Volt) Bummer. C'mon Chevy, give the dealers the EV service equipment and subsidize their DC charging setup. Then double production capacity......
 

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And in regards to the 10K chargers, he specifically states 150KW...If how google "how many EV charging stations are in the united states" several top answers are around 10K, best guess is that's what the author did, found some source that there's 10K total stations (including L2) and wrongfully assumed they were CSS...
Quite possibly. I don't have any numbers but 10K CCS chargers of any type seems way too many. That leaves the question of why he thought GM sold almost as many Spark EVs as Tesla did Model S. My guess is confusion between Sparks of all types and Model S.
 
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