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Bolt EV Range Impressions

3064 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.

Volt Stats

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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Our experience with first generation Volts was that 50 miles was reasonably achievable by most drivers with a little effort at moderate speeds (<60 mph) and good temperatures/terrain. That's a 42% increase over the 35 mile EPA rating.

All things being equal, that would seem to imply a Bolt driven from full to empty in similar fashion could manage ~340 miles.

(Of course, they are different cars, with different ratios of rolling resistance to aerodynamic drag, so all things might not be equal in this case.)
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