1,100-Mile Road Trip In A Chevrolet Bolt – Video Summary

5 months ago by Steven Loveday 26

News Coulomb is at it again. He says he will have road trip videos posted soon. But for now, he gives us his usual video summary, focused in on the Chevrolet Bolt’s screen.

Chevrolet Bolt trip average was 3.5 mi/kWh (About 210 miles on a charge)

Chevrolet Bolt trip average was 3.5 mi/kWh (About 210 miles on a charge)

The trip was taken in clear weather, but cold temps. Keep in mind, he lives in California, so it is not cold by many of our standards. However, it seems that he does a good deal of mountainous driving and lives/travels in higher elevations. Remember, in one of the first videos, he was caught in a snow storm.

The video mainly focuses on his issues with the current charging infrastructure. He found many inconsistencies in prices, coupled with slow charging. The trip cost him about $40 total in charging costs. The trip in his previous Chevrolet Volt would have cost him well over double that with gas, plus two full charges.

Video Description via News Coulomb on YouTube:

I took my Bolt EV on my semi-regular 1,100 mile road trip. The Bolt EV was outstanding; the charging infrastructure… not so much. By comparison, my 2015 Volt would have burned through two full charges and roughly 25 gallons of gasoline to make this same trip. Videos of the actual trip will be posted soon.

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26 responses to "1,100-Mile Road Trip In A Chevrolet Bolt – Video Summary"

  1. Kdawg says:

    “Chevrolet Bolt trip average was 3.5 mi/kWh (About 210 miles on a charge)”
    ————-

    Remember when GM gave test drives in the Bolt EV and the reporters were getting results similar to this? Then some naysayers cried it was a hoax because it was a predetermined route by GM that would never represent the “real world”.

    Yeah…

    1. My memory must be bad! I remember that Coastal California trip was about 240 miles on a charge, with a bit left available!

      1. bro1999 says:

        One reporter said she had 50 miles of range remaining after her ~230 mile test drive.

        1. Andrew says:

          Yep. The 280 miles of range is what people were complaining about as an unfair course and rightly so… The 210 miles is perfectly reasonable for this car and should improve a bit in spring.

          1. Kdawg says:

            So when this Bolt EV owner does the same trip, or a similar one, and achieves the same results, can we conclude it wasn’t a hoax?

            1. Nix says:

              Kdawg. The problem is that none of the news agencies reporting numbers like 263 or 290+ miles of range actually drove that far themselves. They drove around 240 miles or so, and then tacked on the additional range on the Guess-O-Meter, and reported combined numbers that they had not actually observed.

              So how can somebody “duplicate” results that were never actually achieved in real testing by the sources reporting those combined numbers?

              http://insideevs.com/chevrolet-bolt-first-drive-reports/

              Will people beat EPA numbers in some cases? Absolutely. Just like some people regularly beat both ICE car MPG numbers from the EPA, and beat EV range numbers from the EPA with every single other car made by every car maker.

              1. Kdawg says:

                You’re missing the point. GM first said “200+ miles” in Jan 2015. Many doubters. Then we got the EPA rating of 238 miles. Still doubters. Then we had test drives with journalists. Still doubters. Now we finally have Bolt EVs in the hands of actual owners, and they are getting well over 200 miles. So I think we can finally put a fork in it. Unfortunately, we all had to suffer 2 years of the doubters.

                1. Nix says:

                  I’m still not seeing what you are complaining about.

                  1) “GM first said “200+ miles” in Jan 2015. Many doubters.” Why wouldn’t there have been doubters at that point? GM hadn’t even announced the battery size yet. Even you guessed well short on the EPA range over a year later when you speculated what it would be.

                  2) “Then we got the EPA rating of 238 miles. Still doubters.” When GM announced the initial 238 combined number, they left out the city and highway ratings and didn’t announce them until later. So yes, there were unanswered questions even then, because GM did not release the full information.

                  But both 1 and 2 were quite a while ago, and were resolved by GM eventually releasing the FULL set of city/highway/combined numbers.

                  3) “Then we had test drives with journalists. Still doubters.” There were a number of legitimate doubts about the results of that canned event that were legitimate doubts SPECIFIC to that event. Not about the EPA numbers that had finally been released in full with city/highway/combined numbers.

                  This 210 number actually validates the complaints that the canned drive with claims of 290+ miles of range did NOT accurately reflect real world range.

                  It seems that you are complaining that people who said the canned media drives reporting 290+ miles in range were wrong to object. But these 210 mile range numbers actually prove that 290+ was NOT an accurate representation of real world range, and they were correct to object to claims of 263 to 290+ miles of range being represented as typical.

                  I’m not sure you fully understand what the complaints were at the time, or don’t understand that 210 is well short of the 263 to 290+ miles claimed by those reporters.

                  1. Kdawg says:

                    1) “GM first said “200+ miles” in Jan 2015. Many doubters.” Why wouldn’t there have been doubters at that point?
                    —————
                    Why should there have been? GM has met every target on range they have have stated (unlike others). Because haters..

                    2) “Then we got the EPA rating of 238 miles. Still doubters.” When GM announced the initial 238 combined number, they left out the city and highway ratings and didn’t announce them until later. So yes, there were unanswered questions even then, because GM did not release the full information.
                    ————
                    People cried foul and said mfgs report their own #’s to the EPA, and in the “real world” this wouldn’t be the case.

                    3) “Then we had test drives with journalists. Still doubters.” There were a number of legitimate doubts about the results of that canned event that were legitimate doubts SPECIFIC to that event. Not about the EPA numbers that had finally been released in full with city/highway/combined numbers.
                    ———–
                    Yes, there were still people saying “YOU LIED” about GM’s #’s and saying the whole test drive was just a faked moon landing.

                    It seems that you are complaining that people who said the canned media drives reporting 290+ miles in range were wrong to object. But these 210 mile range numbers actually prove that 290+ was NOT an accurate representation of real world range, and they were correct to object to claims of 263 to 290+ miles of range being represented as typical.
                    ———-
                    No. I’m saying nothing short of an actual person owning a Volt and driving it would convince the naysayers it would go over 200 miles in the “real world”.

                    They are typically anti-GM people who love trying to spread the hate. They try to counter everything GM puts out. We are dealing with it now on the rollout plan. First there wasn’t going to be a Bolt EV. Then it was only going to be a compliance car (sub 200 miles). Then it was purposely being rolled out slow to prevent sales and it won’t be nationwide this year. .. And so on and so on. They just won’t take the information at face value, even with GM’s history w/the Volt (gen 1 and 2).

                    1. Nix says:

                      Kdawg — I’ve been a long time supporter of the Volt, and defended it against a ton of BS. But I think you are suffering from a bad case of revisionist history.

                      The Volt FAILED to meet the following promises:

                      1) Promise for Concept car was E85 that was running less in price than regular gas. 2011 Reality was Premium only.

                      2) Promise was 50 MPG in charge sustaining mode. Reality was 37 MPGcs

                      3) Promises ranged from 150 to 230 MPGe. Reality was 93 MPGe. (not entirely GM’s fault)

                      4) Promise was 40 miles of range. 2011 Reality was EPA rated 35 miles of EV range.

                      5) Promise was a sub-$30K price. Reality was $41K.

                      6) Promise range of 640 miles combined. Reality was 380.

                      7) Promise to save “up to” 500 gallons of gas per year (12 barrels equivalent). Actual EPA rating, 3.4 barrels, or about 150 gallons of savings/yr.

                      8) Glass roof from concept? Nope.

                      9) 3-cyl 1.0 liter engine? Nope.

                      10) Promise to qualify for California HOV stickers. Nope. Not until 2012.

                      11) Promise to be a Prius-killer in sales to enable GM to leap-frog Toyota? (would require 150K units/yr) Nope. Hit 45K lowered sales target? Nope.

                      http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=30980

                      Now I think the Volt is pretty impressive. But your repeated revisionist history of the Volt production version somehow meeting everything promised, so therefore nobody should ever doubt GM, is not at all impressive.

                      It is NOT a case of GM bashing to refresh your faulty memory with the actual reality of what really happened during the real Volt roll-out.

                      —————————

                      I went back and read the actual comments from stories on this website, just in case I missed something. And I didn’t find any of the items you listed in the stories I checked.

                      Now perhaps you are remembering comments from elsewhere, in which case I can’t say I would be surprised. So if that was what you are referring to, and you simply are trying to express happiness about these great numbers, then maybe you should stick to that instead of resorting to revisionist history.

                    2. Kdawg says:

                      I don’t know why you listed 10 things when I was referring specifically to range. (I believe your #4) As you know many (most?) Volt drivers did get the 40 miles of range, and we all know YMMV. Also the EPA rating of 37/38 miles wasn’t revised with the first battery upgrade. And on Gen2 we are at 53 miles. In my post, I was not referring to hitting targets of “glass roofs in concepts”. Range is the topic on the Bolt EV that was so hotly debated. This isn’t revisionist history. People have been downplaying the “200+” miles since day one, along with a bunch of other conspiracy theories. And yes, not just this site, but many others (you should read some of the comments at electrek). I don’t take these ppl seriously, but now that we have real-world Bolt EVs exceeding 200+ miles regulary, with the videos to prove it, I hope all the conspiracy theorist go away. Unfortunately it will take till at least September to kill the “GM will never sell the Bolt EV in my state/nationwide” people to be quiet.

                    3. Nix says:

                      Kdawg — I listed the promises from the Volt Concept that were not delivered, because you claimed that nobody had any reason to doubt GM. I gave you 11 reasons why it was absolutely reasonable in 2015 to doubt GM. Especially back in 2015, long BEFORE the GEN II was sold nationwide.

                      It is disingenuous to claim that since GM delivered a car with and EPA rated 35 miles of range in 2011 (not 37 or 38) when they promised 40, that we should ignore not only that miss, but every single other miss. I don’t see why we should artificially limit ourselves to looking at that one miss, and ignore all the rest of GM’s misses, and pretend that there was no historical justification to doubt GM.

                      That’s simply cherry picking one single aspect, and intentionally blinding yourself to all the other facts. Wanting facts to back up GM’s 2015 claims before simply believing their claims was entirely reasonable. Facts like battery size, etc that had not yet been provided.

                      ——————

                      Yea, I can absolutely relate to what you are saying about Electrek and to the wider picture of other sites, like ABG, etc.

                      If that was your original intention, and not just specific to this site, then I’m with you 110% on that level.

                    4. Kdawg says:

                      ” I listed the promises from the Volt Concept that were not delivered, because you claimed that nobody had any reason to doubt GM”
                      —–
                      I was always talking about range. That’s one area where GM typically delivers (unlike others). And the’re not “promises”. GM never “promises” anything. If you want another issue, take milestone dates. Many think GM is like Tesla and won’t believe the target dates when they come from GM communications. I don’t know why this is. If we look at history, they’ve come thru.

                    5. Nix says:

                      I have sympathy for you trying to fight against FUD about the Bolt. But as a friendly word of advice, you will do better relying on the facts, and not ignoring them.

                      OK, so everybody should have believed that what GM put into an early 2015 CONCEPT CAR would make it into production. For proof, we should ignore all the other things that GM failed to put into the production Volt from the concept Volt. We should just focus on battery range and delivery dates.

                      Even on that test GM fails.

                      GM fell short on Volt battery range, delivering 35 not 40. No, the fact that people beat ratings doesn’t change that fact. People regularly beat ratings in all kinds of cars, including Humvee’s.

                      Are you claiming that GM has NEVER missed a delivery date on the Volt? Because they failed on that too. They missed their CA HOV eligibility delivery date on GEN I Volt. They also missed the GEN II national availability date by an entire model year.

                      ———————–

                      “And they’re not “promises”. GM never “promises” anything.”

                      That’s right. They built a CONCEPT car in early 2015. It wasn’t a production version, and GM never claimed it was. And yet you find it outrageous that people speculated at what features that GM never promised would make it into a production version, would actually make it into the production version.

                      That’s actually how the automotive world works. It is a process that has been repeated over and over since at least the 1950’s. It goes like this:

                      1) GM or Ford or VW build concept car after concept car.

                      2) People react to each of their endless sets of concept cars, providing feedback to the car makers.

                      3) The car makers choose the popular bits that they can afford to put into actual production cars. The rest of the features may never be seen or heard again.

                      4) The production version ends up somewhat or not at all resembling the concept car.

                      So tell me again how people who debated whether features in a car that GM clearly labeled a “Concept” car were wrong to question what would make it into production, since that’s how the game works, and has always worked for decades?

                      Again, I’m not bashing GM, or the Volt or Bolt. I’m just laying out the hard cold facts. Your arguments against people actually bashing these cars will actually be STRONGER if you start from a factual basis.

                    6. Kdawg says:

                      Again, I don’t know why you are throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. No one was calling GM “LIAR” when the glass roof didn’t make it into the production vehicle. The topic is range. Stay on topic. Day 1 GM said 200+ miles, and many wouldn’t believe it. There were all kinds of rationalizations, but the fact was they just didn’t think it would happen. It would take nothing less than a real owner getting over 200 miles to convince some of these people. However if there weren’t as many real world results like this, I could see the conspiracy theorists gears spinning.

      2. Mad says:

        Yeah, but most of those routes were 2 lane roads or roads with a speed limit of 55 or 65 with a little AC use.

        Interstates going 75 and using the heater will reduce the range a lot. If I got it, I would only depend on around ~150 between stops for road trips.

    2. bro1999 says:

      Cue cmina troll response in 3, 2, 1….

    3. Nix says:

      Kdawg, I’m not sure who you are talking about, but the complaint I remember was that GM was tacking on the “miles remaining” computer display at the end of the run and pretending it was actual range remaining.

      But the pre-planned (canned) driving route ended in a long section of moderately downhill road, making the “miles remaining” display only valid if they continued downhill from their starting point.

      And nobody I recall was doubting 210 per charge. It was that the canned event was being over-generalized outside of the canned driving route as if it would be typical.

      1. Kdawg says:

        I remember having conversations with people saying the Bolt EV would never hit 200 miles in “real world” driving. Then Chevy did that test drive, and they said it was just a perfect-storm hoax put on by GM, and stuck to their no-way 200 miles in real world driving mantra.

        Now we have a guy who just put 1,100 miles on his Bolt EV in somewhat sh!tty weather, and his average was 210 miles/charge. So can we put an end to the doubters?

        1. Nix says:

          My memory may be fading, but are you talking about this, where the Bolt achieves 190 miles of range in an instrumented warm weather test when driving 75mph steady state?

          http://insideevs.com/instrumented-test-of-chevrolet-bolt-190-miles-of-range-at-steady-75-mph/

          Aside from that, the only time I remember debating the range was BEFORE GM announced the actual full set of EPA city/highway/combined range numbers, and most people were wrong on their range guesses.

          You guessed 210.

          I guessed a range that the final number fell inbetween, and when pressed, I guessed 221 miles for a single number.

          Aside from everybody making guesses before the official numbers were released, and the majority of people getting it wrong, I just don’t know what you are referring to?

          What *exactly* are you trying to “put to rest”? Speculation about range that GM already put to rest months ago when they released the full city/highway/combined EPA ratings?

          Because other than debating the validity of a single canned test route for reporters, that debate was already put to a rest by GM publishing their full official EPA numbers.

          1. Kdawg says:

            See reply above.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              Don’t worry about that guy Kdawg – I’m getting about 229.5 MPG on my used 2012 volt for the past year and a half. Lifetime (way before I owned the car (just 4 months now) is 250Plus.

              I find it illuminating that most of the young techs who ‘ranger serviced’ my Tesla Roadster actually wanted to purchase a GEN 1 Volt for themselves – one I let test drive it with me in the passenger seat, and although there was a bit of confusion about whether to use “D” or “L”, they said they were all very, very impressed – all of them – but then in 2011 volts were still rather rare.

              And how can you put a price on the safest car ever made?

  2. Well, it does give some hope to my Oshkosh, WI, Road Trip from Toronto, ON! CCS willing, that is!

    Still say GM could get on board with Ford, BMW & VW, to help expand CCS charging!

  3. Taser54 says:

    All these California road trips, yet no California women anywhere. It’s like Saturday night at the Gas n Sip.

  4. jdbob says:

    Or 177Wh / km for those of us more familiar with those units.

  5. Nix says:

    We have 3 data sets for Highway range that I know about now, all very impressive:

    1) 190 miles @75 mph in 70 degree weather

    2) 210 miles @70 mph in 40 degree weather

    3) 217 miles @50 mph average speed on EPA test cycle.

    We’re getting pretty consistent highway range numbers of about 205 miles +/-15 miles on the highway. Bolt owners, keep these numbers coming! Great info!

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