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Bolt EV Range Impressions

3072 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Billtphotoman
As most of you know, I purchased my Bolt EV in December, and I've put many, many miles on it.

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There was recently a bit of a stir as some Bolt EV owners started posting 300 miles on a charge, and some of the less fair publications started to refer to "perfect conditions." However, that had not been my impression up to this point. Southern California has had some rather wonky weather since the Bolt EVs have been released, and at best, we've seen a handful of days that approached ideal conditions. So, I decided to intentionally drain my battery pack on a weekend with very close to an even split of high-speed freeway, mid-speed country roads, and city driving.

Data video:

Sample (non-freeway) driving video:

This weekend has brought some warmer temperatures, and it just so happens that I have to drive about 500 miles from Friday to Sunday. So I'm doing some more testing. We are getting about 8 to 10 hours of 70 F weather, which I am trying to take advantage of, but my schedule doesn't always allow that. For instance, it had already dropped to the mid 50s F on Friday night by the time I was driving home. Still, with 80-90% high-speed freeway driving (65-70 mph), I was on track to hit 280 miles on a single charge.

So my impressions of the Bolt EV's range and efficiency so far are that it is actually more efficient than the first generation Volt at freeway speeds up to 70 mph. Steady state driving of 50-55 mph under ideal conditions should net 300 miles of range or 5 miles/kWh. And steady state driving of 67 mph (+/- 2 mph) under ideal conditions should net about 4 miles/kWh. I think that between spring and fall, we will be seeing many Bolt EV owners reporting 300 miles out of a charge on their daily driving. And I think that if ari_c can ever get his hands on a Bolt EV, he could be flirting with 500 miles on a single charge.
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The EPA changed their testing for 2017 to reflect a more Joe Q Public aggressive acceleration, HVAC use and high speed driving style...It should be noted that NEDC rates the Ampera-E at 500km range which is 310 miles...Therefore, maybe those who plan on driving conservatively should ignore the "aggressive" EPA rating and follow the NEDC...

Drive a 707hp Hellcat with the HVAC off, never speed and never press the accelerator down beyond 10% and you'll probably get an extra 20% over the EPA rating...
What fun would that be?

In Florida we would get 45-48 miles on our 2013 Volt. In AK in the summer and with the summer tires back on we could see 40. (Even on the hottest days where we live here it's only 70+ for part of the day). A smooth, flat, good condition road is something that Alaskans believe exists in theory only. Certainly doesn't exist anywhere here. (I was spoiled by Florida roads). I'm concerned with winter range, not perfect condition range. How bad of a hit will the Bolt take when it's super cold out. We took a big hit here with the Volt. Winter, studded tires, cold temps, mountain grade roads, and heater use. I was hoping to see some real world mileage in super cold temps this year, but I have a feeling I will have to wait until next year.
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