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Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:49 am
by PV1
This thread is split off from the Chevy Bolt Production Version thread, which mainly highlighted details from unveil to production start.

This thread is meant to report experiences and comparisons to the i-MiEV from owners/leasers.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:06 am
by PV1
I decided to purchase a new Chevy Bolt. It is an LT with quick charge, comfort and convenience package, and confidence package in Orange Burst Metallic.

I left the dealer with a full charge and 236 miles on the dash (regarding range, unless I specify otherwise, I'll use the median number, since the Bolt gives a Max, Min, and Average that all dynamically adjust). It was a 50 mile drive home, nearly all on the highway at 60-65 MPH. When I got home, I still had 210 miles left. After an 11 mile drive to work on main roads, I only used 4 miles (206 remaining). After driving all week and charging up over the weekend, I had a full charge range of 279 miles. After charging for the second time, I'll be enabling the Hilltop Reserve to extend battery life.

I'm loving L mode and the Regen paddle. I can judge distance to engage regen in L fairly well. The paddle still needs some getting used to, as the car slows down way faster than I anticipate (at least both L and the paddle engage brake lights). When I got off the highway the first night driving home, I didn't even touch the brake pedal, regen alone brought the car to a complete stop at the end of the ramp.

The headlights are great, though they are aimed a tad higher than I'd prefer. I should be able to adjust that, though. The tail lights are really neat, as is all exterior lighting on the car. The dome lights are very bright compared to the I-MiEV. No interior light addition is necessary.

The radio sounds good with full range and a deep sound. I'm still trying to find my way around the head unit. So far it seems fairly intuitive, except for the next/previous buttons on the steering wheel being backwards.

Cruise control is really smooth and keeps the speed right on without overshooting on the highway. I'll need to test this more on rolling hills on main roads.

As for why I bought the Bolt, although I explained this a bit in the Model X thread, is that I want to keep the I-MiEVs for a long time. While Koorz gets driven 3-4 days out of the week, it only does about a 5 mile round trip. I've had it two years and haven't put 6,000 miles on it yet. It will remain as a backup for me and for friends/family to drive. Bear was my daily driver up until now, getting 10,000-12,000 miles put on a year. The Bolt will become my daily driver to save miles on Bear, but I'll still drive it occasionally. Because it has the hitch receiver on it, I'll still need to drive it when I haul bikes around. The I-MiEV is still the car I'll take to many events. It may also still be my winter car; that depends on how the Bolt handles snow. As some members here know, a simple fender bender can total an i-MiEV

Overall, I'm impressed and astounded at how similar the Bolt and I-MiEV are, with the Bolt improving on most aspects especially range. It checks nearly every checkbox on the i-MiEV wishlist. It's exciting to think about all the places the Bolt can go to and back on electric without public charging. Hopefully I don't regret being one of the first in the Pittsburgh area to get one.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:53 am
by Don
Could you fill us in on some of the purchase details? What you paid, what discounts or rebates you were able to take advantage of and so forth

We also have two iMiEV's and are very interested in getting something which has a longer range for those occasional trips beyond the iMiEV's range. Being retired, I don't think any of the rebates would be available for us, as our taxable income isn't high enough to qualify for much, if any, of the federal rebate and Mississippi has no state program

I *think* if we had something like a Bolt, we would probably use it more like Joe is using his Tesla - Stored in the garage for those times we really need the extra range and it probably wouldn't change the miles we put on the iMiEV's much



Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:19 am
by PV1
Sticker was $40,225. They got me supplier pricing and credited me the cost of the extra level 1 cord which I have no use for.

All said, the Bolt cost me about $39,000 out the door with taxes, fees, and extended warranty. Then we get home and find a paper in the mail from GM that knocks and additional $3,000 off, which I'm trying to get applied after the fact but no luck so far :evil: .

PA still has an EV rebate of $1,750, plus whatever I'd get of the FTC.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:30 am
by JoeS
PV1 wrote:...Then we get home and find a paper in the mail from GM that knocks and additional $3,000 off, which I'm trying to get applied after the fact but no luck so far :evil: ...
Ouch! :shock:

Been lurking on the mychevybolt forum and see that their threads also occasionally get derailed off-topic. :( Guess I'm old school as I distinguish between the randomness of social media postings vs. trying to maintain some type of structure on forums so we can hopefully find what was said at some point down the line. (sigh)

Anyway, PV1, a question for you: unlike the i-MiEV, the BoltEV's back seat does not fold completely flat (although it's pretty good compared to most other cars). Inasmuch as I keep my i-MiEV in 'station-wagon' mode almost all the time, with three containers wedged in directly behind the front seats, can you comment on the effects of that sloping floor and how it affects your ability to carry 'stuff'?

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:10 pm
by pbui19
thought I chime in. We got our BoltEV on Jan 1 and my daughter has been the main driver. My plan was to purchase the Bolt in the spring as there was a waiting list. We were at the dealer to test drive one and there was one available because the reservation was canceled. So we paid a little more for the pre-ordered: $800 or so for the Orange Burst color and the silly rear compartment shelf $100. Our final cost after all licensing/tax/credit/rebates would be about $35K, , including the $750 for the DCQC. We would get the federal $7500 credit next year upon filing 2017 tax.

It has about 12Kmiles now, that's a lot miles in 8 months. The driving will slow down in the coming months as she's going back to school. She just really loves the Bolt, but she has been eating up my solar production.

I am looking to finally get to drive it. A couple of pointers: the GM mobile app is kinda cool, it can control charging etc, but it can also give a rough location where the vehicle is (we didn't tell our daughter this feature); the 120vac charger, as similar to the Volt2, can be used as 240vac to get a level 1.5 amp, at around 3kw. Don't bother paying extra for navigation, as the infotainment system can be linked to your mobile phone and used for navigation

I have a few work travel trips coming up to Palmdale, about 365 miles away. There are enough CCS stations now along hwy 101 to get to LA. I usually stay at my sister in Culver City and commutes to Palmdale daily. Unfortunately her place does not have easy plug access. I really wish there is a Chamedo-CCS adaptor as there are a few Chamedo stations near by.

I haven't try to carry much cargo in the Bolt, but i think a hitch and an external luggage rack are in the future. It is just awesome to see the 200+ available range.

I am toying with the idea of morphing my 2014 iMiev to serve as power wall.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:23 pm
by pbui19
Don - if you lease, you sort of indirectly get the fed tax credit, as the dealer includes the credit in the lease calculation

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:34 pm
by PV1
Right off the bat, you'll need the optional false cargo floor to get anywhere near a flat cargo floor. Although it is a window sticker option, it can be added later (just need to make sure you get the brackets).

The rear seats lay at about a 10 degree angle. The cavity is about the same depth and width, but not quite as tall.

Pbui, what's the average range your daughter's getting? My first charge advertised 279 miles, and this charge so far is adding up to 292 miles.

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:24 pm
by sandange
Congratulations PV1 ,
I can see how happy you are with the range improvement over the I Miev.
My brother traded his i 3 BMW with extender for his Bolt and loves it.
He usually gets 265 mile RR and is very happy with it.
Only problem is his wife keeps stealing it.

Keep us in the loop on how your experience pans out -
Curious minds want to know

Re: Life with Chevy Bolt EV

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:19 pm
by PV1
Thanks. That's what this thread is for, to lay it all out.

The thing that's exciting about having a big battery isn't that I'm getting 200+ miles on a charge, it's that I'm doing so much better than the EPA rating, which seems to be pretty common with the Bolt. The only thing I can figure is they drove the car hard during testing. There's a picture on the Bolt forum showing 314 miles on a full charge.

That's one thing I knew but didn't really think about at first. A full recharge would absorb a full Summer's day of solar production :shock: , where the I-MiEV could recharge on less than what I generate on a rainy day. On the other hand, so far I'm only charging once a week :lol: .

sandange wrote:Only problem is his wife keeps stealing it.

Where have we heard that before? :lol: