GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
Those of you who are members of the facebook Bolt EV Owner's group might already be aware of this, but I decided to take a weekend trip to Zion National Park this last weekend. I'll post up some of the videos as they become available, but I wanted to give you guys a summary of the trip.

I started in Ventura, CA missing some charge from my 30 mile work commute, but I was heading straight to Victorville, which was only 130 miles away. That leg of the journey didn't worry me because it was so short, but I knew I needed to charge up in Victorville.

It's 180 miles from the Victorville charger to Las Vegas, so I made sure to charge up to close to 90%. Sticking mostly to the speed limit, I arrived in Las Vegas with significant charge left (this nearly bit me later). I was pleasantly surprised by the number of fast chargers available in Las Vegas, but most are only 100 A. And some are either unreliable or in questionable areas.

I was staying the night in Saint George, UT, which is only 120 miles from Las Vegas, and my motel had a L2 charger and two Tesla destination chargers. It turns out that all the Best Westerns in Saint George have this setup, which is quite nice. I charged to 100% over night and didn't think any more about it.

In the morning, I headed the 45 miles up to Zion, were I went on a 10 mile hike and had a nice lunch with a wonderful view. Also, the park has L2 chargers, so my car was topped off when I was ready to leave. I made it all the way back to Las Vegas with about 1/3 of my battery range left.

This is the part where I screwed up. Based on my trip from Victorville to Las Vegas, I thought I would be safe with only an 80% charge. Well, it turns out that the drive from Las Vegas to Victorville is more taxing than the drive from Victorville to Vegas. I had to slow down for the last 10 miles or so, and I arrived in Victorville with only 2% battery capacity left. My suggestion is to make sure you leave Las Vegas with at least 85-90% charge.

The drive back from Victorville to Ventura was another cakewalk. So many fast chargers as a safety net. I was so unconcerned that I took a longer route back home, just so I could beat my current VoltStats daily record. :p

To sum it up:
  • The drive was very easy in the Bolt EV. I mostly stuck to the posted speed limits. Sometimes I went faster, and very rarely did I have to go slower than I wanted.
  • Many of the Terrible Herbst convenience stores in Vegas have EVgo chargers, though they are only 100 A with very limited amenities.
  • The Baker charger is unnecessary unless you are really wanting to exceed the speed limit.
  • The trips were 450-500 miles, and I did them both in about 10 hours. So the Bolt EV's average trip speed was about 45-50 mph.
Finally, while I'm getting my videos together, I'll leave you guys with this gem. I had completely forgotten about it until I decided to go on the trip. How far we've come in less than five years.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
Sounds like it's quite easy to do longer trips in a non-Tesla EV. That's been my biggest concern about going full BEV and a lack of charging infrastructure at this point without careful planning. I can attest to the more taxing part of the Vegas leg coming back. I've done it from Vegas to Bakersfield a couple times and the first time I was actually somewhat shocked that I actually used over an extra gallon coming back than I did going.

Just to compare "apples to apples" so to speak, How much was the estimated cost for DCFC access for the trip? I realize there was some L2 thrown into the mix, but just wanting to get a general idea as to estimated cost vs. what a traditional ICE would roughly cost. I figure with a respectable 35mpg one could likely do it for about $40 each way. I guess I'm just curious if there is much cost savings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I pay a $15 a month membership fee for EVgo, so I don't get charged by the session. That can mess with the math a bit, but it leaves me with a very clean $0.10 per minute fee. Outside of the $15 monthly fee, the entire trip cost me $24 worth of DCFC fees ($12 at Victorville and $12 at Las Vegas).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
WOW, that's actually less than I thought. I don't have any experience with DCFC but my take is that they charged a $10 fee each time you connected plus a per minute or KWh charge....Didn't realize there was a flat monthly fee option. Even with the fee added in, that's still a whole lot less than I imagined. Based on what I came to understand, I figured it would be comparable to running on gas, but your figures come out to about half, even with the public charging costs.

Thanks for the info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You're welcome! EVgo is by far the cheapest option if you drive a lot, which is why I'm not sure whether those prices are sustainable. Long term, I see the costs being similar to ChargePoint's model, where you pay a fee per kWh used and occasionally pay a session/time fee.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,156 Posts
I believe the Tesla estimator makes allowances for vertical drops. Hopefully GM will adopt this approach as more people use the Bolt EV for longer trips (would not be my choice). In the extreme case, going from Phoenix to Flagstaff will not use the same amount of energy as going from Flagstaff to Phoenix. The use cases will be totally different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
I was getting sporadic "hey you might like this" alerts on my phone from youtube, and I did... so I ended up subscribing to your channel :D

After watching most of your video's I have two questions and one comment.

Question 1: Has Nicky of TEN stopped spouting her political crap? I was already disappointed with her anti GM bias, and then when she went off the rails into political commentary I unsubscribed from her channel. I was disappointed when she started bashing anyone right of center, and closed her comment section when right of center EV drivers didn't drink her kool-aid. I liked her content when it was actually about transportation, EV's, and charging infrastructure but when she went political I dropped out.

Question 2: From what I have seen in your video's Bolt charging starts out around 40KW and rapidly ramps up to 45KW to 46KW until it reaches 55% SOC where it tappers down to 35KW until it reaches 70% SOC where it tappers to 25KW until it reaches 90% SOC where it tappers down to 16KW. 2a. Do I have those numbers right? 2b. Have you charged from 90% to 100% to see if it how much more it tappers and at what SOC? I doubt it holds 16KW for the entire last 10% but I would like to know :)

Comment: Body roll has nothing to do with structural or torsional rigidity of a vehicle... it is 100% the measure of how much the body rolls on it's suspension in a cornering maneuver. Not having driven a Bolt, I don't know if Nicky was incorrect in her assessment of body roll, but she has the correct interpretation of what body roll is. I did like your demonstration of the torsional rigidity of the Bolt body structure. I have only had one car that could match that, the EVO VIII I used to own a few years ago.

Later,

Keith
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,352 Posts
You have an adventuresome soul 8^)

Last summer, on my x-country road trip, I stayed in St. George at the Motel 6 for two nights. I don't know the price differential with Best Western in the summer months, but a comparison today shows about a $20 premium over Motel 6. This Motel 6 has been re-furbished with Pergo wood floors, new bathrooms, new furniture and fresh paint - real value here.

I started out the day driving to Kolob Canyons and the red colored walls were breath-taking in the morning sunshine. I had an impulse to hike while there but quickly disavowed myself of that idea after reading a warning of a mountain lion on the prowl. I then drove to Bryce Canyon and spent a few hours viewing the magnificent sights. By the time I reached Zion, there was too little time to do it justice and I was famished, to boot. So, I decided that I would visit the park during this year's x-country trip. I drove back to St. George and had a great meal at Sakura Japanese Steakhouse on East 100 North street.

The Volt is a terrific road car!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
To me this report is something of a testimony to range anxiety. If precision trip planning is part of your trip fun, great. I'll stay with Volt for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
Thanks for the report.

I would guess the reason the economy from Vegas to Victorville was worse, was due to the normal wind patterns? Sun heats the desert, and the air rises, and draws in the from the coastal regions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Approximately how much time did you spend waiting to charge at each stop?
I didn't have to wait at any of the chargers. As the Bolt EV and others become more numerous, that might change. Now, in terms of charging time, I spent about one hour at each fast charger.

I was getting sporadic "hey you might like this" alerts on my phone from youtube, and I did... so I ended up subscribing to your channel :D
Thanks!

After watching most of your video's I have two questions and one comment.

Question 1: Has Nicky of TEN stopped spouting her political crap? I was already disappointed with her anti GM bias, and then when she went off the rails into political commentary I unsubscribed from her channel. I was disappointed when she started bashing anyone right of center, and closed her comment section when right of center EV drivers didn't drink her kool-aid. I liked her content when it was actually about transportation, EV's, and charging infrastructure but when she went political I dropped out.
I've started to ween off of watching her stuff, so I can't say. I know I questioned some of her obvious biases at one point, and she replied with, "I'm not biased. I own a Volt." Then crickets. I think her heart is in the right place, but she, electrek, and a few others seem to be ignoring any facts that don't fit their narratives.

Question 2: From what I have seen in your video's Bolt charging starts out around 40KW and rapidly ramps up to 45KW to 46KW until it reaches 55% SOC where it tappers down to 35KW until it reaches 70% SOC where it tappers to 25KW until it reaches 90% SOC where it tappers down to 16KW. 2a. Do I have those numbers right? 2b. Have you charged from 90% to 100% to see if it how much more it tappers and at what SOC? I doubt it holds 16KW for the entire last 10% but I would like to know :)
Those numbers are very close. The 35 kW taper happens about 55% SOC. The 25% taper starts at about 65%, and it ends at about 85%.

I haven't charged to 100% on DCFC. Last time I ended a session at 80%, the charger did estimate 1 hour to 100%, so I don't want to spend my time (or money) on that.

Comment: Body roll has nothing to do with structural or torsional rigidity of a vehicle... it is 100% the measure of how much the body rolls on it's suspension in a cornering maneuver. Not having driven a Bolt, I don't know if Nicky was incorrect in her assessment of body roll, but she has the correct interpretation of what body roll is. I did like your demonstration of the torsional rigidity of the Bolt body structure. I have only had one car that could match that, the EVO VIII I used to own a few years ago.

Later,

Keith
That's true, but torsional rigidity can improve your body roll because the weight gets spread more evenly across your entire suspension system. Of course, if the springs are to soft, you'll still have roll regardless.

My issue with Nikki's comments were that they weren't based on any real performance driving or metrics. She just offhandedly said, "The body roll on the Bolt EV is terrible." Now, I also can't provide specific metrics, but based on my experience, the body roll in Bolt EV is no worse than the Volt. And it's much better than many cars that Nikki has not levied the same complaint against.

To give her the benefit of the doubt, it could feel more severe because the seating position in the Bolt EV is higher. But in my experience, it is fine for a stock car.

To me this report is something of a testimony to range anxiety. If precision trip planning is part of your trip fun, great. I'll stay with Volt for now.
Other than Victorville to Las Vegas (and back), there wasn't a whole lot of precision about it. That leg is 180 miles, which represents about 80% of the Bolt EV's capacity. It's not that different than filling up your tank when you know you have to drive 400 miles.

Thanks for the report.

I would guess the reason the economy from Vegas to Victorville was worse, was due to the normal wind patterns? Sun heats the desert, and the air rises, and draws in the from the coastal regions.
You're welcome! I think the main difference is the overall elevation change. I got a bit too fixated on Mountain Pass, but getting over the elevations weren't the problem. Victorville is 2,700' and Las Vegas is 2,000', so the net elevation gain sapped more energy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,352 Posts
I guess I asked the question wrong when asking how long did you wait to charge.

I meant..... How long did it take to charge at the various stops?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I guess I asked the question wrong when asking how long did you wait to charge.

I meant..... How long did it take to charge at the various stops?
I couldn't tell, that's why I added the part about one hour. For the most part, it was just two half hour sessions on the EVgo stations. So Ventura to Victorville, and one hour charging. Then Victorville to Las Vegas, and one hour charging.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top