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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Aug 09 2017 5:17pm
by Hillhater
Its just a personal opinion, but i think the Bolt is the "best looking" EV currently available. !
Most others are either too radically styled (i3), odd (Leaf) , plain uninspireing (eGolf) , or becoming dated ( Tesla)

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Aug 09 2017 9:36pm
by LockH
`Kay. In ES tradition it's MODs TIME!

My vote? For a "range extender". Apparently vehicle has one operator ("driver") plus up to three (empty) seats?

So I say pick up hitch hikers if you have to, but put all the vehicle occupants to work!

The new, enhanced ES Chevy Bolt "Plus" features four bits as add-ons! Get extended ranges PLUS help keep occupants warm! (One "down side"... in small print... may burn calories as foods w/unfortunate "side effect"...)

At NO EXTRA COSTS provides "exercise" too! (Saves hundreds in annual "gym" fees.)

Each kit adds a small pedestal at the feet of occupants that supports (two) pedals, such that by pedaling one can actually GENERATE ELECTRICITY! (At starts and up hills, etc to shave off peak power outputs from the batteries! Get more ranges per charge... AND (maybe) make those batteries last "longer" before EVentual recycling and replacement. (The bit that Chevy doesn't want you to know...)

Ya heard it on ES Newz first folks. :shock:

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Aug 09 2017 10:11pm
by Warren
That has been a standing joke in our family for decades. I hate riding in the car, and on most long rides I end up saying we should have pedals...and pedelec for the driver. It would quickly end speeding, as most folks are lazy as hell.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Aug 24 2017 9:14am
by Warren
Just a quick update. The car has 1,082 miles on it now. As before, my wife has put 90% of those miles on. I will be driving to two Drive Electric events in September. I have a little slide show, and some video, of my bikes, to run on the infotainment screen. I seriously doubt I will get any e-bike converts, but it will be fun trying. When not in cruise control, I really like the one pedal driving mode. We drive the speed limit, but are always the first across the intersection. So far, we are averaging 230 Wh/mile. Pretty amazing for a boxy, 3,569 pound car. Since the crash, most of the electricians around here have either quit, or have gone to work for a big company. Still trying to find someone trustworthy to swap the 90 amp breaker, for a 40 amp, in the garage welder circuit. Until then, we are using the portable charge cable that came with the car.. It turns out these are all dual voltage units 100-260 volt, just different plugs. Having seen the cords made up by Terry Hershner, and others for guerilla charging, I bought 25 feet of cord, and two male, and one female plugs, from Lowes. It took about a half hour to have it all up and running. The 120 volt outlets, in the garage are on different legs of the 240 volt service. Initially I tried one on the south wall, and one on the north wall. It all checked out with the VOM. But when I plugged the charge cord in it didn't work. Checking the outlets, the south one was dead. The breaker in the box was fine. Then the lightbulb came on. That outlet was wired inline with the ground fault outlet outside. Switching to the outlet on the west wall dealt with the problem. I have the adapter cable clearly labeled "240 volt only", if some stranger were to wander into the garage. We have around 246 volts, and the charge cord/car defaults to 12 amps. The dash display shows 3kW going in. But the resolution is in 0.5kW increments so probably 2.8kW actually getting in. It easily puts over 100 miles back in overnight. We have yet to do a 100% charge. I have the car set to accept the 90% "hilltop" charge. This is about 233 miles. I will probably do a 100% once a month, for balancing.
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Aug 24 2017 10:09am
by speedmd
Nice Warren. Not sure why you don't use the 90amp welder circuit as is. You could always add a gf cable mounted breaker-fuse box- outlet if your looking to protect the car- charger.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Aug 24 2017 4:12pm
by neptronix
I drove one the other day when i was in California. Felt like driving a small SUV with a 6 cylinder engine.. good ride, good power.. looks could be better though! i'd rather hold out to see how the Model 3 does.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Sep 02 2017 12:39pm
by Warren
It has only been a week since I took the recycling, and trash to the recycling center, on my cargo bike. But the raw chicken, in the garage trash can, was getting rank, and my wife insisted I go to the dumpster. It’s been raining for several days here. It’s 58F, with steady, slow rain. So I was forced to take the Bolt out. :-) I zeroed out the trip odometer. I turned the temp to 70F, turned on the seat and steering wheel heat, turned on the wipers, turned up my favorite Sirius radio station, and headed off in L, driving at the 55 mph speed limit. The steady drain of the heat and accessories dragged the miles/kWh down to 3.0 for the first mile. It was only 6.7 miles round trip, but the efficiency estimate improved steadily, until it was up to 4.0 back in the garage. I’ve got my EV grin. The Bolt was the right choice for our last car.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Sep 23 2017 5:04pm
by Warren
Some bad cells in a few hundred cars, causing several stalled cars.
Some poorly plugged connectors in the shifter, causing several stalled cars.
A tranny O-ring leak, drivetrain returned for analysis, now car computer won't recognize new drivetrain.
Several cars with failed modules of one sort or another, at least one led to a stalled car.

Reminds me of Tainter's Collapse of Complex Societies. I am constantly amazed how many people insist we will tech our way out of our current dilemma. We picked the base model, with none of the high tech "safety and convenience" options. Still way more complex than any car needs to be. With 2,222 miles so far, I have all my fingers and toes crossed. Computerized cars, like computers themselves, are magical...until they are not.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Nov 04 2017 10:54am
by Warren
OK, here we are into the first week of November. October 15 is the average first killing frost. We haven't even gotten below 35F yet. Oh, well. Let's talk about cars.

We went to visit a relative last week. Couldn't take the 362 miles of interstates from Virginia to Tennessee, because of one missing charging spot. There were two, 240 volt slow chargers there. But they were from the bankrupt Blink outfit, and were offline. So we took a 500+ mile scenic route, to catch a fast charger in the North Carolina mountains. We went through Boone, which has a bit of history.

Beautiful weather for the outbound, sunny, light winds. The return trip was very different...cold, pouring rain, fog, strong winds. The Bolt handled like my old sports cars...flat, firm, and not too much power assist on the steering or brakes. The regen was amazing. We climbed over five miles each way, but the approximately equal amount of descending made up for a large portion of it. Only one deer, a turtle, and a chipmunk in the road, thankfully.

Coming back, not only was the weather bad, but Blacksburg had a home game. The only fast charger in 100 miles was ICEed by an SUV. Talking to the the police we learned that since the EVs ONLY sign didn't say Towing Enforced, they couldn't tow the vehicle. But best of all, the town had sold the charging spot to the SUV owner for game days! There wasn't a room to rent within 50 miles, so we asked if we could improvise. The police were very helpful, and gracious. We ended up driving onto the sidewalk from the lot entrance. We just fit between a tree, and a sign post, with the mirrors folded.

1012.9 miles, 236.12 kWh, 4.29 miles/kWh

29,760' climbing going

29,177' returning
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Jan 21 2018 5:44pm
by Warren
We hit 7,500 miles, 50% further than our old gassers, in six months, proving the Jevons paradox. It is so fun, cheap to run, and not spewing smoke, it makes you almost believe it is "green." With the frigid weather we have been having, running the heat, we got the lifetime Wh/mile to go from 250 Wh/mile to 300 Wh/mile.

I rotated the tires last week. That, and changing wipers and the cabin air filter, are about all I will be doing. Oh, and I have now washed it, by hand, three times. Which is two times more than I washed my last car, in 23 years.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Jan 21 2018 11:48pm
by craneplaneguy
I did a bit of that today, the Jevons Paradox thing, running around town in my PluginPrius, in a way I wouldn't consider doing in my conventional strictly ICE powered rigs. Needed and useful, but not absolutely required, I justified it because I was on (mostly) my own PV power.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Jan 23 2018 11:25am
by Warren
We are, in theory, on renewable power. Some energy trading scheme our electric coop found. We are paying 10% more to support somebody's "green" energy. Still waiting to be able to "buy" PV panels, that our coop will be installing, to offset all future energy use for this house, in their "solar garden."

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Jan 23 2018 11:44am
by speedmd
Nice looking battery. Image

Nice low profile of cells will allow fit into many secondary apps. Hoping some come along on the salvage market soon.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Jan 23 2018 5:01pm
by Warren
I already missed my opportunity. They crashed one up the road from us at the Insurance institute. The local salvage yard had all parts. I missed all the good stuff. Car has enough "modules." ... userPage=1

[edit] Looking at their site, it is clear they crashed at least three, red, orange, and charcoal grey.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Jan 25 2018 11:52am
by Warren
Yesterday, I drove up to the other co-op 5 megawatt installation.
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i need to try buffing the lens on my old flip phone. It has gotten so scratched that it looks like I am shooting through gauze. :-)

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: May 28 2018 11:39am
by Warren
Thought I'd do another update. We finally got our 250 kWh per month of PV from our electric coop's "solar garden" this month. Hardly anybody has signed up for this, so we will get a chance, at some point, to opt for more 50 kWh chunks of PV power.

I got my second battery management system software update Friday, 05-18. The first was 04-20.

I had never done a serious full-to-empty range check. It had been drizzling here for a week. I couldn't ride my bicycle, so I was going nuts. In the morning I switched the setting from hilltop to full, and at ~12:30 pm I left home. Website showed 100%, 244 miles GOM.

It was 67F, light wind, and drizzling on and off. It stayed that way until I pulled back in the garage at ~6:30pm. It was 71F for about 15 minutes when the sun peeked out while I was at lunch at 2:30 pm in Dillwyn. It was down to 65F when I got back. I had the climate set to 70F, fan on 2, def/face/feet buttons on, radio volume on 20. Wipers were on intermittent only, and probably 1/3 of the time. I ran the speed limit or 2-3 above the whole way. Nobody passed, or rode my tail. I drove through eight towns: Charlottesville, Scottsville, Fork Union, Dillwyn, Farmville, Goochland, Mineral, and Gordonsville...state highways, no interstate...highest speed limit was 65 mph. The Rivanna, James, and Appomattox rivers were all over their banks. I went through standing water on Rt 45.

I pulled in the garage with 240 miles, 4.4 mi/kWh, 54.5 kWh used. Driving and accesories was 93%, climate was 7%. DIC said the average speed was 41.8 mph. I left the car and accessories on for 15 minutes while I unloaded, and got on the internet. The website showed 2% and 6 mi GOM. I went back out and turned off the car, got out, closed the door and reopened it. The DIC showed 5 miles remaining. The data suggests that my total usable capacity is 55.9 kWh or ~93% of a 60 kWh supposed total capacity.

I reset the charge to hilltop, and plugged in. The DIC showed full by 2:45 am. The next morning the Juicebox showed 49.7 kwh from-the-wall, to 88% per the website.
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: May 28 2018 6:19pm
by Hillhater
Thanks Warren,... thats impressive .,....less than 230W/mile whilst averaging over 40mph on non highway driving in what sounds like crap weather.!

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Jul 16 2018 12:54pm
by Warren
Wednesday will be one year since we drove our new Bolt home. We now have 13,310 miles on it. Lifetime efficiency has been 3.4 mi/kWh from the battery. The charger is 93.5%-94.0% efficient, so just over 3 miles per kWh from the wall.

There has been some discussion online about the total capacity, and usable capacity of the Bolt. GM calls it a 60 kWh battery. The battery is labeled 57 kWh by LG, and GM has explained that that is government mandated "worst case" defined as 95% of average. This would suggest the battery is 60 kWh total, but lots of folks are seeing over 59 kWh usable. From EPA tests, it is clear they weren't leaving much to spare to get their 238 mile rating, but some batteries are clearly well over 60 kWh new.

GM doesn't show you battery capacity on the dash. You can see usable kWh pretty accurately from doing a full range test, as I did in May (55.9 kWh). From partial range tests, it appeared we never had more than 58 kWh usable.

Our Bolt was built in December of 2016, so ours had been sitting for six months when we got it. Last month I got a $20 OBD2 adapter, and a $4.95 Torque Pro app. This would have been useless to me, if not for the efforts of some computer wizards on the Bolt forum. They worked out a list of PIDs to load to the app to translate the car code to gauge readings. Our total battery capacity reading has ranged between 57.7 kWh to 58.3 kWh. It has been sitting at 58.0 kWh for several weeks now.
Bolt at one year.jpg
This morning I drove to our local GM dealer to sit in a 2018 Bolt LT that is about as close to what ours was when we got it as I could hope for. It was built in January of 2018, so has been sitting for 5 months versus our 6 months. Both cars had 20+ miles on the odo.

I popped the OBD2 reader in and took a reading.
new Bolt 1-18 build 1.jpg
You can see from the air temperature that it was sitting in the showroom.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Jul 21 2018 8:39pm
by Warren
I really love the look of full moon wheel covers. The fact that they appear to actually work is making it hard to say no. :-)
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Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Aug 02 2018 12:46pm
by craneplaneguy
I've been noticing more and more of similar "hub caps" on the big rigs rolling down the highway. Less drag is always better! The rig I saw the other day had what seemed to be the full drag reduction package for 18 wheeler's these days, no exposed stacks, under trailer fairing, the hub caps, the rear of trailer fold out fairing to break up the suction of the trailer, and a super clean look tractor. I paced him for a bit in the PlugIn Prius......

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Aug 17 2018 3:23pm
by Warren
The Bolt, like many new cars, doesn't have a spare. They have five pounds of goop, in the tread area, to seal holes. It seems to work most of the time, but not always. And sidewall punctures get no help. There is a well under the cargo area carpet that looks like it would fit a crappy mini-spare, but it doesn't. It is actually a place to put a Bose sound system on the Premier model.

I got a deal on some factory tires and a rim, at the scrap yard that gets the Insurance Institute wrecks. I followed the lead of other Bolt owners on the site.
jacks and spare.jpg
I wrapped a Chevy S-10 scissors jack, lug wrench, wheel chocks, and the bumper tow hook in an old piece of carpet, and stashed them in the well below the cargo area carpet. I put the spare, in a tire cover, on top of the carpet in the cargo area.

My one original idea was to make a wing bolt from a piece of 8 mm threaded rod and a big nylon wing nut. This passes through a hole in the carpet to a convenient threaded hole in the well. This hopefully will hold the spare solidly to the floor in the event of a wreck.
full size spare.jpg
Some folks have a second fake floor, that comes with the Premier, over the spare, but I prefer the extra tall storage space.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Dec 30 2018 10:58am
by Warren
It has been seventeen and a half months since we drove home in the Bolt. The odo sits at 18,486 trouble free miles. I have rotated the tires twice. It is the first car I have owned since I was a kid that I have cared enough about to wash.

Back in May I did a battery capacity run, and was disappointed that the car only had ~56 kWh of usable capacity, instead of the 60 kWh claimed by GM, and actually seen by some. Yesterday I did a second test...this time with the addition of the Torque Pro app, that has become available thanks to the efforts of a fellow Bolt owner. I am happy to report that it remains about the same at ~57 kWh usable.

I headed out at 9:27 am on this warm, sunny Saturday planning to drive up to the Skyline Drive. The Park Service website said some parks would be closed, due to the government shutdown, but it appeared the Skyline Drive would be spared. A lot of other people on bicycles, motorcycles, and sports cars had the same idea. I took parts of the 76 Bike Route to Batesville for lunch on the way. When I arrived at the south entrance, the gate was closed. There was quite a crowd. I drove down into Waynesboro, and headed up Rt 340 which parallels the Drive on the valley floor. After turning onto Rt 211 in Luray, I headed up the mountain on one of the few roads that crosses the Drive. A few miles from the top I reach 50% battery. Fortunately, there was a driveway just when I needed it, so I could pull off and upload the screenshot. A hundred yards further on it dropped below 50%. Heading down to Sperryville the charge went up about a percent. From Sperryville, I took Rt 522 through Culpeper, then Rapidan Road to Orange. From Orange I took lovely back roads to Montpelier. I was about ten minutes too late to catch a coffee. But I did see a Model S, and my second Model 3 of the day. I headed to Barboursville, then Ruckersville and down Rt 29 to Charlottesville, and several more Model 3's. In Charlottesville, the sun was low, and I still had a 25% charge, so I decided to speed things up. I set the heat to Hi/90 F, and the fan to 3. This settles at about 6 kW continuous, which pulls the charge down pretty quickly. Without running the heat up, I could have reached Short Pump. I still needed to pass our road, and continue on for about eight miles, before turning around and heading home.
At this point the center screen showed 28.4 kWh used.
This shot is a hard to see. It sat at 4 miles remaining, at 1.6% charge.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Jan 25 2019 10:26am
by Warren
Yesterday, I made my usual round of the bike shops, chatting with old friends. At the first shop I saw a dark grey Bolt. At the second shop I saw a new Model 3 plugged into a 16 amp public EVSE. I guess I just don't understand why anybody with a long range car would bother charging at 10-12 mph, especially when Tesla has Destination chargers, all over town, that are over twice as fast.

I headed over to the third bike shop on my circuit, and lunch of Asian dumplings. I had seen on PlugShare that someone had gotten the Greenlots DC fast charger at the hotel to work recently, so I thought I'd check it out again. I was at 66% SOC, and had no need of more juice. But this would be my first chance to fast charge since I got the Torque Pro, back in June. I had to use my coat as a shade to be able to read the nearly opaque screen. I swiped my RFID card, and pressed the appropriate spots on the touch screen, and everything worked as it should.

I gobbled my lunch, and still didn't get back to the car before it passed 80% SOC.
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After disconnecting, Torque Pro showed 11.0 kWh last charge. Greenlots emailed saying they had delivered 12.50 kWh. I assume the missing 1.5 kWh went to the battery heater.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Feb 01 2019 12:39pm
by Warren
All the Bolt owners up north are bragging about driving in -10 to -30 F temperatures. We will probably never see that here.

I charged the last 12% yesterday morning at 6:30 am, and then did a 20 minute precondition, which heated the battery, and cabin. I left the garage at 8:08 am, 36 F in garage, 10 F on the house thermometer. Outside temperature was 12 F going down Rt 250, rose as high as 24 F by the time I arrived at Walker's Diner in Farmville. Varied a few degrees with location, and elevation. Ran outside air, with heat and defrost set to 61 F.

Arrived at 9:25 am, 17.3 kWh, 58.6 mi, 3.4 mi/kWh.
Left for home, with detour for bread, at 10:30 am. Set temp to 70 F, and recirculate. Used same amount of power over all for 9 F warmer ride, and no window fogging.

Rode with a thermometer sitting on the front passenger seat. The cabin air temperature is read from right behind the rear view mirror. The temperature at seat bottom level is 10 degrees cooler, in this weather. Love the seat heater.

Arrived home at 12:18 pm, overall averaged 3.5 mi/kWh, 8% for cabin heat. Saw battery modules as cold as 42.8 F with no battery heating. Could have done almost 200 miles at this rate.

Re: Chevy Bolt first drive

Posted: Mar 14 2019 6:32pm
by Warren
VW Dieselgate is opening this site eight miles up the road from our house!!