Chevy Bolt first drive

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Hillhater » Aug 05, 2017 9:44 pm

Any faults, failures, breakages, niggles etc yet ?
What is the service recommendation for it .
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Warren » Aug 06, 2017 8:05 am

I wish it was a 3 door, two seat, 2,500 pound hatch, with manual windows and locks, and the same range on a pack two thirds the size. But we will never see a car like that for sale from a viable company. Other than that, I hate the fake black grille. The concept car had no grille.

http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/ ... mlarge.jpg

Even god Elon was afraid to build his first in-house production car without one, so I can't be too hard on stodgy GM. Frankly, I don't get it. There have been many cars without a big angry mouth. The 1962 Studebaker Avanti was a great example.

http://www.conceptcarz.com/images/Stude ... -GC_01.jpg

Maintenance: Rotate the tires every 7,500 miles. Wipers as needed. Cabin air filter every 22,500 miles. Drain and refill coolant at 150,000 miles. Needless to say, not a big profit source for GM, or its dealers.

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Warren » Aug 06, 2017 8:50 am

The 240 volt charge cord arrived Friday. Need to move from 90 amp breaker, down to 40 amp, on my old welder circuit in the garage. Going from .9 kW to 7.2 kW max charging is claimed to be slightly more efficient on this car. Mainly, it will mean we can leave the car at a lower state of charge most of the time, as it will take much less time to top up, if we need to go a long way on short notice.
120v-240v charge cords.jpg
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Hillhater » Aug 06, 2017 5:32 pm

Warren wrote: Maintenance: Rotate the tires every 7,500 miles. Wipers as needed. Cabin air filter every 22,500 miles. Drain and refill coolant at 150,000 miles. Needless to say, not a big profit source for GM, or its dealers.
Is there no lubricant in the transmission/differential ?.. It cannot last forever or not need a level check sometime .
I know the brakes dont get a lot of work, but they must need an inspection occasionally,..and a fluid change at some time ?
Tesla monitor their battery condition remotely i believe, ...does GM have that ability, or is there no need to check condition/balance, etc of the battery after some period ?
Not being critical or picky here, just curious as to what these vehicle actually need in the real world.
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Warren » Aug 06, 2017 10:42 pm

Nope. The motor, and gearcase are in an oil bath, sealed for life. This is a great video. Drive unit starts at 6:30 in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLFOxgB ... e=youtu.be

https://my.chevrolet.com/content/dam/gm ... hedule.pdf

Fluid levels...sure. There are translucent reservoirs for brake fluid, and coolant under the hood, just like any other car. Visually inspect that they are up to the full line. There is a small lead acid battery, for 12 volt stuff, run off a DC-DC converter. We have been getting over five years out of the batteries in our cars, here in central Virginia. The battery in the Bolt is not cranking over an engine. All the 12 volt system info is here.

http://www.chevybolt.org/forum/119778-post20.html

The car does a bazillion point check every time you hit the on button. It will put up error/problem messages if anything is amiss. The Bolt has over the air diagnostic capability.

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Hillhater » Aug 07, 2017 1:58 am

" sealed for life". is a marketing phrase, not a auto engineers favorite expression.
Many cars have "sealed for life" transmissions with no obvious drain/fill features., but most auto mechanics agree that the "life" term usually extends as far a the "life" of the warranty !
Common practice through out the real auto mechanic world to change those sealed in fluids occasionally to extend the "life" period !.....But, yes, its no big deal either way especially if it saves a few hundred $$$s on dealer service charges.
Im an Engineer by profession, and as soon as someone suggests reducing maintenance periods, time, or costs, my ears perk up. Its usually a cost saving effort or a sales pitch from an equipment supplier, and i have been burned by this more than once
Servicing on most modern cars is mostly inspection and checking, rather than repair or replace, so i guess i am a little concerned that some non tech owners could be using a car with leaking fluids, shot shocks, damaged tires, dead lights, loose suspension bolts ( it has happened to me !) etc.
I know there is no ICE to change oil, filters, belts , etc, but the rest is a typical car (and a complex one) so i an surprised there is not at least an annual "inspection" recommended !
As an aside, it is amusing to think that possibly the first thing that will fail on this Electric car ...is the Battery ..12volt !
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Warren » Aug 07, 2017 7:06 am

My main concern is the electronic components. Everybody is so thrilled with electronic stuff....zero maintenance....no moving parts. CREE is on their third generation of completely redesigned LED bulbs, to replace the humble filament bulb, in the couple years since we bought two dozen, replacing all the CF bulbs that were failing in our house. The electronics is what failed on must of the CFs. It is what failed in four of the LED bulbs, so far.

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by speedmd » Aug 07, 2017 11:09 am

First thing to change out is the lead acid brick. Unless you need the bit of weight up front for traction. :lol: Typical GM Bean counter move to save a few bucks per car. Motor -drive unit and battery pack looks nice. Would love to see a corvette version of the tech.

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Warren » Aug 07, 2017 11:53 am

It isn't just GM. As far as I know, every EV maker uses a lead acid for 12 volt stuff. I will bet GM did a better job of charging/maintaining it than Tesla.

http://www.teslarati.com/why-tesla-12v- ... thium-ion/

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by speedmd » Aug 07, 2017 7:54 pm

Interesting they are using lead acid on the EV's for the low voltage sub systems. Wonder if it is to extend the temperature range.

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Hillhater » Aug 08, 2017 12:17 am

In the video Warren linked, the GM tech guy said the choice of lead Aux battery was purely a cost thing.
+ i doubt that lead is much use at -30 deg C is it ?
It may be better suited to being constantly "floated" at 12-14v ?
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Chalo » Aug 08, 2017 12:42 am

Hillhater wrote:In the video Warren linked, the GM tech guy said the choice of lead Aux battery was purely a cost thing.
That's pretty pathetic. It might be slightly cheaper than a DC-DC converter, but it's heavier, higher maintenance, and thoroughly less satisfactory to live with. It would be like adding a small coal fuel system to a gasoline car to run a few of the accessories, if it were slightly cheaper that way. Why would you do that?
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Punx0r » Aug 08, 2017 2:41 am

I believe there's also a redundancy aspect to have a separate 12V battery (although it doesn't have to be lead) rather than just a dc-dc converter running off the main traction pack. It means there's always power to control safety systems even if the BMS or main fuse has disconnected the traction pack.

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by drewjet » Aug 08, 2017 5:13 am

I was told it is a law that there must be a 12 volt lead battery

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by speedmd » Aug 08, 2017 8:02 am

Hillhater wrote:In the video Warren linked, the GM tech guy said the choice of lead Aux battery was purely a cost thing.
+ i doubt that lead is much use at -30 deg C is it ?
It may be better suited to being constantly "floated" at 12-14v ?
I bet it was cost and a place to understand and attach jumpers under the hood for the masses when things go dead. At least then you will get the onboard service checks if every thing else fails or is switched off due to short or other major issue.

Temp range is also claimed to be better, but having dealt with older frozen batteries, I don't think its much.
lead acid -40 - 70C
Li-Ion -20 - 60C* (* damaged if stored fully charged)
NiMH -20 - 60C
http://www.batterypoweronline.com/image ... xtreme.pdf

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Warren » Aug 08, 2017 9:28 am

Chalo,

"It might be slightly cheaper than a DC-DC converter, but it's heavier, higher maintenance, and thoroughly less satisfactory to live with."

All OEM EVs have a very sophisticated DC-DC converter already. That is how they charge the 12 volt battery. Why not just use it to drive the 12 volt systems? I suspect the quandary is: How do you use sensors, and computers to protect a traction battery, when the whole safety system runs off that very battery. I think speedmd has it right. Lead acid batteries are well understood, and readily available everywhere, should the systems battery fail.

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by billvon » Aug 08, 2017 11:46 am

Chalo wrote:That's pretty pathetic. It might be slightly cheaper than a DC-DC converter, but it's heavier, higher maintenance, and thoroughly less satisfactory to live with. It would be like adding a small coal fuel system to a gasoline car to run a few of the accessories, if it were slightly cheaper that way.
Or adding a small electric motor to a purely gas engine to start it, when push-starting the car was easier, cheaper and simpler.
Or adding a mechanical parking brake to a car when the PARK gear position worked perfectly well.
Or having a very low tech ram air turbine on an airplane instead of relying on engine power.

Having a secondary power source means that the primary (and dangerous) power source can be disconnected during a crash or other safety problem. A small aux battery is merely the cheapest way to do that. Lots of people replace them with lithium-ion (or even ultracap) batteries if the battery chemistry offends them.
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Chalo » Aug 08, 2017 12:17 pm

Cheapest way to do that-- sure, for the manufacturer, for one moment. But toting 40 pounds of battery for years to do a 3 pound battery's job is lame-- and that's before you add toxic metals, caustic liquids, risk of leakage or bursting, and short service life. When those things make it into the cost analysis, it's not actually cheaper in any way.

It is, however, symptomatic of car driver thinking. "Harm caused to someone else, or everything else, doesn't matter. What matters is that this seems easiest right now."
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Warren » Aug 08, 2017 1:33 pm

"toting 40 pounds of battery for years to do a 3 pound battery's job"

Actually, it is 9.5lbs vs. 27lbs for the lead acid.

https://www.battmobilebatteries.com/

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by billvon » Aug 08, 2017 1:36 pm

Chalo wrote:Cheapest way to do that-- sure, for the manufacturer, for one moment. But toting 40 pounds of battery for years to do a 3 pound battery's job is lame-- and that's before you add toxic metals, caustic liquids, risk of leakage or bursting, and short service life. When those things make it into the cost analysis, it's not actually cheaper in any way.
Lead acid batteries are recycled far more effectively than lithium ion batteries. All the metals are recycled - compared to lithium ions, where none is.

BTW the SLI battery in my Leaf is 26 pounds, not 40. It's pretty small. I've never needed to replace it (6 years old now) so I haven't.
It is, however, symptomatic of car driver thinking. "Harm caused to someone else, or everything else, doesn't matter. What matters is that this seems easiest right now."
I'd say people who use lead acid batteries vs lithium ion batteries (all other things being equal) care more about the environment - and act on that. ICE car owners tend to recycle their car batteries - I have never met an ebike owner who did that.
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Chalo » Aug 08, 2017 1:52 pm

Whatever you say. At the end of the day, you're using power from a battery, to carry around another battery, so you can do, um...? I guess I can't answer that to my own satisfaction. To me it feels like an artifact of having different engineering management teams working on elements of the same problem, but not working together.
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by billvon » Aug 08, 2017 1:58 pm

Chalo wrote:Whatever you say. At the end of the day, you're using power from a battery, to carry around another battery, so you can do, um...?
Starting
Emergency braking after safety disconnect of traction battery
Safety monitoring of traction battery
Collision reporting services
Convenience lighting/radio/map operation with vehicle off
Alarms
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Alan B » Aug 08, 2017 6:03 pm

The reviews of the Bolt have stated that above 50% it cuts back the fast charge rate significantly, more than the Leaf. Hopefully they will improve that with firmware updates.

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Warren » Aug 09, 2017 6:24 am

Yeah. They definitely are being conservative. I am fine with less than maximum possible charge rates. We do one long trip a year to visit kids, so no hurry. What I want is fast chargers in every town, so you can drive pleasant routes, and not have to get on our soul sucking interstate system. If there were fast chargers everywhere, like gas stations, you could get in the car with a 90% charge, drive 200 miles without worrying about finding a charger, eat lunch, and repeat. We drive almost 500 miles to see our daughter, in the ICE. We drive scenic roads, but even then think about getting a motel half way there. I know there are people who love to drive, but I find it much harder than bicycling.

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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Post by Warren » Aug 09, 2017 12:23 pm

Dealt with the ugly, black grill.
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