Chevy Bolt 200 Mile EV: What to Look for in the Upcoming Reveal

2 years ago by George Bower 161

Chevrolet Volt Concept EV - Production Intent Model Officially Debuts Tuesday At CES In Las Vegas

Chevrolet Volt Concept EV – Production Intent Model Officially Debuts Wednesday At CES In Las Vegas

GM CEO Will Give The Keynote Speech For CES This Year, With The Bolt EV Front And Center Again

GM CEO Will Give The Keynote Speech For CES This Year, With The Bolt EV Front And Center Again

We are days away from the production Bolt reveal at the Consumer Electronics Show Jan 6th. Inside EVs will have a representative at the show, and while all specs might not be revealed, we should at least be able to answer the first question: Will the interior room in the production Bolt live up to the concept?

The new Chevy Bolt with 200 mile range will be the first EV offered in this range class. Gen 1 EV’s like the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3 and the Chevy Spark all had less than 100 mile range.

With a 200 mile range one ends up with a usable vehicle. Not Tesla Model S range, but close, and for a promised price of slightly less than $30,000 USD after tax incentive; which is one third the price of the Model S. GM will also beat the Tesla Model 3 to market with this vehicle, as the Model 3 is still years in the future.

How much interior room will it have?

Not a sub compact like the Chevy Spark EV, the Bolt is a compact none the less, with the same wheel base size as the Chevy Sonic and the BMW i3. The wheel base is shorter than the Nissan Leaf which is classed as a mid-size.

Comparison of wheelbases of the Chevy Sonic, BMW i3 and the Nissan Leaf

Comparison of wheelbases of the Chevy Sonic, BMW i3 and the Nissan Leaf

Taking A Peak In The Back Of The Bolt Concept EV (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughny)

Taking A Peak In The Back Of The Bolt Concept EV (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughny)

The Bolt concept that was shown one year ago had exemplary interior room for a compact.

Interior room is maximized by placing the battery pack in the floor just like Tesla and the BMW i3. Also in the concept, the body shape is somewhat ballooned out like the i3 to maximize room inside the cabin-very important in such a small wheel base vehicle.

Will it be as roomy as the concept?

What 0-60 acceleration time will it have?

The BMW i3 and Chevy Spark are fun to drive, zippy little cars. Both the Spark EV and the BMW sport 0-60 times in the low 7 second range. Based on the Chevy Spark EV, it is a safe bet that the Bolt will be a spirited ride also, with acceleration times equivalent to or slightly higher than the Spark EV’s mid 7 second range.

How fast will it charge?

DC charging

SAE combination charging plug

SAE combination charging plug

Some prior statements by GM hinted at 45 minutes to 80% charge-160 miles in 45 minutes.

If one needed to pick up a few extra miles in a pinch, a 15 minute stop would net 53 miles of range-pretty decent. That implies charging powers higher than the typical Chademo DC charger of 50-60 kw. More like 80 kw, which is easily achievable on the vehicle side, the problem will be to find an SAE combination charger that will put out 80 kw, as most USA DC fast chargers are closer to 50 kw, and that most also have Chademo plugs and not SAE combination plugs.

Expect the Bolt to accept DC charging powers of around 80-90 kw.

AC charging

GM received a lot of criticism for limiting the Gen 2 Volt to 3.3 kw charging on the AC side. The Nissan Leaf as a comparison has a 6.6 kw AC onboard charger.

While level 2 AC charging (per the spec) will allow powers as high as 19.2 kw, we expect GM to offer only 6.6 kw. Why? Cost is the answer. GM’s $37,000 price target is a challenge, and bigger on board chargers cost more.

What gearbox configuration will it have?

The Chevy Spark EV has a very unique and compact gear reduction set called a co-axial gearbox. Like most EV’s it is a single speed reduction set. However the Spark uses a planetary reduction set breaking tradition with most other manufacturers. The co axial gearbox set up results in a very compact power system.

Spark EV co-axial gearbox is compact

Spark EV co-axial gearbox is compact

 

EV1 helical-parallel gear set

EV1 helical-parallel gear set

On the other hand, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, BMW i3 all use simple helical-parallel gear reducer sets. Also the EV1 used parallel gear set reductions. Parallel gears are lower cost.

We are inclined to think that GM will stick with the Spark co axial gear box configuration.

What cabin heating scheme will the Bolt have?

The Chevy Volt uses resistive heating. Resistive heating is the most inefficient way to heat the cabin. Newer Nissan Leaf’s use a heat pump to heat the cabin which reduces the deleterious effect that resistive cabin heating has on EV range.

Tesla uses a very practical approach to cabin heating not used by any other manufacturer. Their system uses the waste heat from the electronics and the drive motor to supplement battery power reducing the hit on EV range for cabin heating.

Will the Bolt have purely resistive heating, a heat pump, or perhaps some version of Tesla’s approach?

Will the Bolt’s battery cooling use liquid cooling or will it use refrigerant directly in the pack?

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Interior

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Interior

Of all the EV manufacturers, BMW is the only one that uses refrigerant directly in the pack. As discussed in this article direct cooling-DX- offers many advantages: the first being that liquid is completely eliminated in the pack and instead refrigerant from the car’s air conditioning system is used directly in the pack. Other potential advantages of direct cooling-DX- are lower weight and lower cost.

We think there is a very good chance that the Chevy Bolt will adopt DX. Why? Because LG Chem also makes refrigeration systems, LG Chem has a patent on just such a system and LG makes the battery pack and many other components in the Bolt.

GM has confirmed production in 2016. Sounds like next year’s Christmas present may be a new Chevy Bolt!

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161 responses to "Chevy Bolt 200 Mile EV: What to Look for in the Upcoming Reveal"

  1. taser54 says:

    IMHO, GM will not release the final range or 0-60 time until July (similar to Spark EV intro).

    Also, I believe that the Bolt will be longer than the Sonic, so interior room will be very good given the skateboard battery config.

    1. David Murray says:

      yeah the final EPA range on these EVs seems to often not get established until the cars are basically showing up at dealerships.

      1. Josh says:

        I am pretty sure the EPA numbers have to come from a vehicle off the production line, so the number/sticker do have to coincide with dealership deliveries.

        But GM should have no doubt about what the EPA range numbers will be at this point, give all their experience. If they do not repeat a “200+ mile EPA” this week, I will be concerned the goal posts have inched in.

        Either way, I would be shocked for the range to be sub-150 mile, so it will be in a land of its own at launch. I just hope nationwide availability doesn’t slip a year like Volt 2.0.

          1. Josh says:

            thanks for the link. this is the part that concerns me after the Volt rollout.

            “Whether the Bolt will get a staged roll-out as the Volt has in California and other states following its emissions rules, or nationwide has not been said. The Bolt is however to be a 50-state car.”

  2. CDAVIS says:

    I very much like the Chevy Bolt…but…

    Chevy Bolt sans Supercharger Network

    vs.

    Tesla Model 3 with Supercharger Network

    Who wins?

    The traditional car makers need to get serious about providing some type of supercharger network to compete against Tesla.

    1. David Murray says:

      Well, for me the Bolt wins. The supercharger network is nice, but I rarely drive out of town. I live in Ft.Worth so the furthest I ever drive is to Houston or Austin. If they could just put in a handful of DC fast chargers down the interstates between the “Texas Triangle” I would be fine. But honestly, as rarely as I make those trips I’d still prefer the Bolt and then use a different car for those trips.

      1. Josh says:

        Houston to Austin is my main trip out of town to see family (160 miles). I am not sure my wife would let us take a Bolt if there was not a single charger between those cities. But we will likely have an ICE/PHEV SUV as a second vehicle for the foreseeable future.

        Hopefully the infrastructure will follow once there is a vehicle that can use it. I would have never considered taking the LEAF from Houston to Austin even if the DCQCs were in place.

      2. Kumar Plocher says:

        but then why the Bolt? If you are not driving very far, it would make sense to get a cheaper car with lower range, right?

      3. Epicurus says:

        I thought I was the only Cowtowner reading this site. Midland is my destination. We need fast chargers along all the interstates, preferably solar-powered.

        This could be an opportunity for a company like Starbucks to sell more of their overpriced coffee and finger food but the private sector won’t do it until there are a lot more EVs on the road. Like the interstates themselves, it will probably take a federal government project.

      4. Robb Stark says:

        The Bolt likely will have zero advantages over Model 3.

        Price,Interior Space, Design, Specifications,Comfort,Range,Performance, Charging Speed.

        There is one exception.

        Rural folks that have Bolt certified service at a local Chevy dealer whereas their nearest Tesla Service Center is 100 plus miles away.

        1. Anon says:

          And will Johnny Hayseed mechanic in Mayberry USA, actually be TRAINED AND CERTIFIED to work on these new, non-gasoline burning EVs?

          Probably not right away. Probably not quickly, when they do.

    2. Dan says:

      I’m not a big fan of high power charging. It provides a capability that only a few people really need or will use, while introducing battery quality and potential safety issues. With a 200 mile range, I might need a level 3 charge maybe once in two years, if that? The last time I drove more than 200 miles in a single day was…maybe 8 years ago?

      This is more about changing mindsets. We are so used to gassing up on the go that we forget that EVs are more like smartphones. The point is to charge it up the night before, drive the 200 miles, and then charge it up the following night – all at level 2 rates of charge.

      1. SJC says:

        The convenience of adding 40 miles more in 10 minutes could be popular. Think a quick charger at every Starbucks.

        1. ziv says:

          SJC, I don’t think most of us need a 120 kW charge rate, but 40 miles in 10 minutes is around 60-65 kW charge rate. That would get you 80 miles in 20 minutes or 120 miles in 30 minutes. I think a 30 minute “fill up to 80% of pack capacity” is about as slow as most (not all) people would find acceptable.
          I would want a charge rate that is a bit faster but not much. I figure 90 kW charge rates would get you 30 kWh in 20 minutes, which would get you 100 miles of additional range (or 45 kWh in 30 minutes for 150 miles of additional range) and that would be acceptable for most drivers, I believe. It ain’t as fast as pumping gas, but the electric car is better in just about every other way. Stopping for a bite and a stretch every two hours is no huge problem.
          But given the fact that most of us won’t want to drive with less than 30 miles of range left, and we won’t to continue charging after the pack hits the 80% mark and starts to slow the charge rate, it would seem that a 240 hwy mile pack would be a lot more convenient than a 200 mile pack.

      2. Brandon says:

        We know from the Japanese experience that when range is increased, people have the confidence to drive further afield. This in turn increases the need to charge on the go. I believe that in the future with longer range EV’s that reliable DCFC infrastructure will play an important role. Yes, I do believe the mindset can be changed, but the majority of people will want a car that has the freedom to go anywhere even tho it be a small percentage of the time.

        1. arne-nl says:

          Spot on.

          With the roll-out of the Fastned stations here in The Netherlands (soon there will be one co-located at every petrol station along our motorways), fast charging is quickly replacing destination charging. L2 charging always has risks and you need a plan B and plan C. The charger could be occupied and the owner of the vehicle away for the rest of the day, or it could be ICEd or out of order. The Fastned stations they resemble petrol stations and so: no ICEing. They have a minimum of two chargers, so if one is out of order or occupied, there is a backup. L2 charging always needs planning and most people (including me) don’t like that. They just want to hop in and drive.

          The longer the range, the bigger the battery, the higher the charging speed (in km/h), so it costs less time to fast charge. And you have to stop less often. The bigger batteries will indeed increase fast charging because it will be more convenient than L2 charging.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Brandon said:

          “…the majority of people will want a car that has the freedom to go anywhere even tho it be a small percentage of the time.”

          Yes. And a larger battery pack offers other advantages:

          1. Potential for faster charging

          2. More “safety margin” on range, especially in cold weather

          3. Less loss of range as the years pass

          4. Less chance for needing to pay for a replacement pack during the lifetime of the car

          5. With short-range EVs, drivers tend to start charging immediately when they get home from work. With a longer range, there is better potential for home charging late at night when electricity rates are low, because EVs with larger battery packs will have plenty of range left even after driving to work and back.

          Frankly, it seems strange to me to continue to see people advocate for EVs with small battery packs. There are many, many advantages to having a bigger battery pack. The only advantage to a small one is lower cost, and that becomes less important as battery prices continue to drop.

          1. Ambulator says:

            The smaller batteries weigh less, so the cars that use them use a little less energy.

            That’s not a very good reason, but it is true and I see it cited frequently.

          2. Michael says:

            WRT your point 5. For myself, a larger battery pack wouldn’t change my charging routine since I need to recoup my day’s energy consumption. However, it would give me the confidence to occasionally run a “deficit” knowing that I could fully recharge over the next few nights without flirting with a low battery warning.

      3. kdawg says:

        Dan said “I’m not a big fan of high power charging. It provides a capability that only a few people really need or will use, while introducing battery quality and potential safety issues.”
        ———–

        What are you basing this on? Regarding range, there has already been a study done showing DCFC doesn’t affect the battery any more then slow L2 charging. And is your safety concern based on just that 1 recent Tesla fire that we still haven’t heard the results of the investigation on?

        1. kdawg says:

          Forgot to mention, if you think they aren’t needed or rarely used, read about how many EV miles have come from Tesla Superchargers or about the long lines at some of them in CA.

          DCFC also provides an insurance blanket whether you need to use it or not. I assume you have health insurance, but probably don’t go to the hospital every day.

          1. Dan says:

            If you make supercharging free, I would charge there even if I could charge at home. It is simple economics.

            1. kdawg says:

              Not me. Time = $. I’d rather let my car charge at home while I’m asleep.

              And technically they are not free since the cost is baked into the car.

              If you want a different example, look at usage rates of Chademo around the world. This will only increase as more plug-ins arrive, and batteries get bigger.

              Ideally, IMO, you want L1/L2 destination charging (this is work parking & home parking), L2 charing at public places where your car may sit for 2hours (say a theater), and DCFC along the expressway for long-range traveling.

            2. Speculawyer says:

              I’m sure Tesla is going to change their Supercharger agreement such that people cannot abuse it. Probably limit the number of times you can access the Superchargers and very much limit the number of times you can access the Superchargers that are close to your home.

              They are designed to allow for long-distance travel. If cheapskates clog up their local Superchargers because they don’t way to pay for electricity at their homes, it will screw up the system by clogging up the superchargers. So I would hope they would limit access to the super chargers. If you access the local SC once a month, that is no big deal. If you camp out there most days, that is a problem.

          2. Djoni says:

            Except that supercharger are “free” to those who have paid up front with their purchase of Tesla.
            I guess, it wouldn’t be so overcrowded if they were charging directly for it.

            1. John in AA says:

              I think you are mistaken in that guess.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                I don’t see how he can be mistaken. If there was a per-use fee, there wouldn’t be anybody using a Supercharger just because they’re cheapskates who don’t want to pay for charging their Tesla car at home. I don’t know how often that happens, but it happens often enough that Elon felt the need to send out a not-all-that-polite e-mail letter to all Tesla Model S owners about the problem.

                A per-use fee would actually be better for all EV owners, because if you had to pay every time, then only those who actually needed to use a Supercharger would do so.

                But I understand why Tesla advertises it as (supposedly, at least) “unlimited free use, forever, after paying the access fee”. That’s a much more attractive selling point for Tesla cars.

                1. John in AA says:

                  I guess it depends on how you read parent’s comment about “so overcrowded”. I took it to be in reference to Tejon Ranch type multi-hour waits, not mild congestion (“I had to wait a bit before I got a spot to charge”). In the latter case then yeah, sure. But it’s quite obvious that local freeloaders have little-to-no impact on newsmaking events like the recent Tejon Ranch backup. The population of that area is about 1,500. How many local freeloaders could there even be? But leave that aside, even if it were in the middle of a large population, a local freeloader might be there at the beginning of the backup, occupying a stall, or maybe even first in line for a stall, but no sane person would drive up, see an hour-plus line and say “yeah, I think I’ll join that line to save five bucks on my power bill”. The only motivation for a person in their right mind to do it would be if it’s their only way to get home. Q.E.D. the line is built up by and persists because of people who have no choice but to be there, by definition non-locals, and so holiday peak-travel crowding has little or nothing to do with whether the chargers are free or not.

                  Now, if there were some other for-fee (or free, for that matter) DCFC nearby, that might well have alleviated the crowding, but that isn’t what we were talking about.

      4. Yup says:

        Remember that a 200 mile range means you can only drive 100 miles away from home. Factor in a 10% safety buffer, and you’re down to 90 miles away from home. God forbid that it’s cold, and you’re down to 60 miles from home.

        Do you honestly never drive 60 miles away from home and back in the same day? I mean, yeah, we can all make big sacrifices and just stop going places, but that’s not going to sell many EVs.

        Fast charging is absolutely essential, even if you only use it a couple times a month.

        1. Dan says:

          I never drive 100 miles and turn around just to head home. If you drive a 100 miles out, plug in to a level 2 charger while you’re out having dinner, shopping, having your late night rendezvous, or whatever. You won’t even have to stop for a fill up on your way back. That’s what I’m talking about when it comes to changing the mindset. The goal is to not have to charge when you’re actually driving. With a 200 mile range, I really wouldn’t think to stop and recharge while on the go on a 350 mile round trip.

          1. Brandon says:

            One way of looking at the functions of Level 2 charging and fast charging that I thought of is this: Being able to charge at a Level 2 destination charger makes it possible to spend less time charging en route with a fast charger. That is of course if there are those options. I agree that it’s not desirous to have to stop and fast charge.

          2. kdawg says:

            But what if you are not parked for 12 hours at a place with L2 charging (which seems very likely)? What if the L2 charger is being used, or even worse, ICEd? What if you are going to Grandma’s and she only has 120V plugs? Lot’s of what ifs. A dedicated DCFC network solves these problems.

        2. jelloslug says:

          This is not a fuel cell car we are talking about. Electricity is EVERYWHERE.

          1. John in AA says:

            Sure it’s everywhere, but not in equal measure. Do the math on how long it takes to fully charge even a lousy 40 kWh battery off a household 110v outlet. It’s not pretty.

        3. CDAVIS says:

          @Yup said: “…Fast charging is absolutely essential, even if you only use it a couple times a month…”
          ——

          I agree with that. Owning an EV without access to a supercharging network one must have:

          1) Secondary Travel Car

          2) EV-Hybrid (i.e. Chevy Volt)

          3) Rent a car when traveling long distance.

          It seems the traditional car makers don’t get just how important access to a fast-charge network is to be competitive against Tesla. I drive a Model S90D (~260miles real-world range) and cannot imagine owning that car as my primary car without access to a fast-charge network…it would be like only being able to fill your ICE car with gas at home and hope you don’t need to go further than the gas tank allows.

      5. Kumar Plocher says:

        I suppose my situation is unique, but the main reason why supercharging appeals to me, and why I am strongly considering a used Tesla despite my budgetary preference for a Bolt, is that my family makes regular trips to visit friends and family that are 100 miles away. This is very challenging in our Kia Soul EV, but we can do it (there’s a DCQC in between). However, we are required to stay overnight because there are no DCQC’s at the destination. Additionally, if we want to leave early in the morning, we need at least Level 2 charging which isn’t always easy to come by.

        1. Brandon says:

          Dan, I consent that there are some drivers like yourself that may be willing and able to adjust to a shorter range travel mindset (I have done so too), but IMO the majority of drivers will not be willing to have their range freedom restricted, and additionally the masses will not buy a longer range EV in large numbers until there is a robust reliable nationwide fast charge network. When this happens sometime in the 2020s EV adoption will begin to go mainstream IMO. Even tho the percentage of trips that require DCFC is low, people do not want their freedom restricted, and therefore the freedom factor will need to be in place for mass adoption. Think about why people want a car. Freedom.

      6. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        You don’t need quick charging every day, but saying that most people don’t need it is a bit delusional. I don’t drive more than 20 miles from home most of the time, but yesterday I had made 150 miles round trip, it was raining and cold, and both heater and A/C were on all the time. I doubt I would had felt easy in just 200 miles range car. I also do 300 miles roundtrips once or few times a year. Rent a car just for that? No thanks, I don’t want that hassle. Keeping/maintaining second gas car just such trips defeats whole purpose of buying electric car.

        My neighbors are retired, but they still go to some other state many hundreds of miles for visits, unless it is across the country when flying makes sense. Spending an hour at some charging point in some place you have nothing to do on such trip would not be fun either.

    3. EVcarNut says:

      You know…? Sometimes By some sort of Fluke 0r Unknown Phenomenon GM will build a Real Good Reliable Car…It’s Happened in the Past., & Not that they Tried To… l o l

      1. Kumar Plocher says:

        An optimist!

      2. Scott Franco says:

        Its really hard to build an unreliable electric car. But if anyone could accomplish that, it would be GM.

    4. Lindsay Patten says:

      If GM is still planning on producing 30,000 per year I doubt they will have any trouble finding that number of buyers/leasers without having a charging network.

      There were more than 16 million cars sold in the US in 2014 so if you meet the needs of even 1% of those buyers that’s 160,000 cars. Forget about one-car households and households without garages and the market is still many many times larger than current EV sales.

      1. Dan says:

        Exactly. In fact, I would argue that you can satisfy more than 80% of car buyers with only a limited level 3 network. Tesla is coming from the highest end of the market where expectations are quite different. Most people don’t buy cars with the express intention of zooming around cross country. The big market is for a car that is predominantly idling in school dropoff lines and sitting in office parks during the day. While Tesla needs superchargers to become a “3 series killer”, Chevy just needs to find a way to pick off and slay the VWs, Subarus, and CR-Vs that are puttering around.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Dan said:

          “Most people don’t buy cars with the express intention of zooming around cross country.”

          Most people buy cars they think will serve 99% of their needs, and that most certainly does include the occasional long trip.

          If people bought cars with the idea that they only need to serve 90% (or less) of their needs, then most people would buy cars without a back seat. You may notice that very few Americans buy two-seater cars.

          Don’t make the mistake, Dan, of thinking most car buyers don’t buy with an eye towards an occasional long-distant trip, just because you don’t. On this subject, you’re an outlier.

          1. Lindsay Patten says:

            But how many people buy a second or third car for commuting that they don’t ever expect to drive cross country? Roughly one third of households have three cars, that’s a huge market.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Yes, absolutely true.

              But the EV revolution is never really going to take off so long as EVs are perceived as only suitable for being a second car; a car with less flexibility and functionality.

              If we want EVs to make gasmobiles obsolete, then they need to be fully competitive with gasmobiles. The industry standard for gasmobiles is a gas tank that will take the car 300 miles without stopping to refill. Even aside from the problem of long recharge times, EVs are never going to be really competitive with gasmobiles so long as their real-world driving ranges are significantly less than 300 miles.

        2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          No you can’t.

          limited L3 network / Lots of buyers => L3 network useless for travel.

          The options are:
          – long-distance BEV on a network with good coverage and capacity (Tesla approach).
          – long-range BEV with an emergency-only charging network + rental or other vehicle for travel beyond range

    5. Murrysville EV says:

      “The traditional car makers need to get serious about providing some type of supercharger network to compete against Tesla.”

      On the contrary, I think the other EV makers (particularly Nissan) need to cozy up to Tesla and find a way to cooperate on the Supercharger protocol. Long-range EVs are the future, and so far the Supercharger has a wide lead in supporting a long-range EV.

      As far as billing goes, I’m sure the Supercharger could easily distinguish between a Tesla and other makes, so that the Tesla continues to be free. That is, unless the others decide to adopt the free approach as well.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Tesla has said they are willing to license access to the Supercharger network. But I wonder if Not-invented-here syndrome will prevent them from signing up for a license.

        A Chevy Bolt with a $2000 option for lifetime Supercharger network access would be great.

        1. Anon says:

          Sad truth: Mary would never pay Tesla directly for “fueling” any of her cars. Never. I can’t put into words the ‘dislike’ GM has for Tesla, with their cloak and dagger attempts at blocking sales and actively lobbying against them.

          I would much rather see GM create their own ChaDeMo to CCS Adapter, to prove their long-term commitment to the prospective BEV consumer. To my mind, that would be a singularly positive and significant development for GM.

    6. Epicurus says:

      The traditional car makers aren’t even trying to sell their plug-in products. How many commercials do you see for plug-ins? The salesmen at most dealerships try to steer customers away from plug-ins. I don’t see them ponying up the money for fast charging networks.

      How about a government project to build a solar-powered fast charger network along the interstates and put people to work?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Government project equals no profit equals no incentive for the fast-charged stations to be maintained. We’ve already started seeing lots of complaints about exactly that problem; EV chargers that are out of order, and never repaired.

        What we need from the government is to force the EV makers to agree on a single charging standard, so that there will be greater opportunity for entrepreneurs to make money by operating for-profit EV charge stations. EV chargers which are out of operation should be as rare as seeing an “Out of order” sign on a pump at a gas station. Yeah, it happens… but not often!

    7. Speculawyer says:

      Yeah . . . I would have a hard time buying a Chevy Bolt with a 200+ mile range if I could instead buy a Tesla with a 200+ range that can use the Superchargers. The Supercharger network really is a huge advantage that GM & LG Chem need to address. If they don’t, I don’t see how they’ll do better than a Model 3 (assuming they both get delivered and both cost around the same price +/- 15%).

  3. Bob says:

    This article reads like a paid GM ad.

    There is a lot of “I’ll believe it when someone other than GM proves it” with this car – like 200 actual miles on a charge in real world use, whether or not a “slightly less than $30,000 USD after tax incentive” version will actually exist on dealer lots and if the car will be heavily subsidized like Volt Gen 1.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      This article doesn’t read like an ad. It reads like an informed opinion (i.e. educated guesses) based on the pieces of information out there.

      1. Bob says:

        The pieces of information out there have been provided by – you guessed it – GM. The author cites them as fact, despite the actual fact that GM’s performance claims regarding this car are not yet measurable.

        Sounds like an ad to me.

        Will this car go 200 miles at 65 MPH with the A/C on? Maybe. Heck, I hope it does – but I’m not going to take GM’s word for it.

        1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          The only things GM has said are:
          – range (which people have pressed on)
          – it will have DC CCS charging.

          The rest is speculation based on the concept and the test vehicles that have been seen.

    2. Tom says:

      Plus one

    3. ClarksonCote says:

      Heavily subsidized? I’m not sure where you get this stuff. The Volt was no more subsidized than Tesla, Nissan Leaf, etc.

    4. Breezy says:

      At least you’re open about your anti-GM bias. 😉

      I’m quite confident it will offer at least 200 miles of EPA range. Whether you consider that real world use I’m not sure.

      1. ziv says:

        Considering the fact that my 38 mile EPA range Volt consistently gets 45-46 miles 9 months out of the year, I will take a 200 mile EPA range BEV any day. Admittedly, when it is below 40 degrees the AER goes down and when it is really cold and slushy/snowy I average around 26-28 miles of AER on the cold days. But even in the winter I have 30 mile days frequently.
        EPA range for electric cars is a tough thing to explain.

    5. kdawg says:

      Your post reads like one from those people who claimed the Bolt was vaporware. Haven’t heard too much from those people lately.

      1. Brian says:

        Yeah, this is their last chance. In two more days, they can’t shout “I’ll believe it when I see it!” Instead, they’ll have to mumble “I’ll believe it when it is delivered”.

        1. Dan says:

          Don’t worry. Most of them have diversified their portfolio to include hydrogen fuel cell bashing. They should emerge from this crisis unscathed.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Some, fortunately rather few, people frequently posting to InsideEVs seem to regard pointing out actual facts, actual science, and actual economics regarding the utter impracticality of hydrogen fuel (for any vehicles other than rocket ships) to be “bashing”.

            “Inconvenient facts” are not “bashing”.

            1. Anon says:

              +1000

              The physics, economics, safety, and lower efficiencies of Hydrogen are not the product of some liberal plot against it, but based simply on empirical data.

              Deal with it, y’all. Hydrogen Sucks(tm) for cars. Battery Electric Vehicles have all the advantages.

      2. Bob says:

        Please cite a post in which I suggest that the Bolt will not exist.

        1. Anon says:

          Don’t worry. The Bolt wouldn’t / couldn’t exist without the massive technical assistance and engineering expertise by the talented people of LG. GM clearly couldn’t make a BEV on it’s own based on the timescale to market that they’ve been quoted at. We’ll see how close to target they actually get…

          From battery, onboard computer and electric drivetrain; the Bolt is an LG Engineering Exercise merely wrapped in a GM (Sonic Based) shell. GM’s contribution is mostly the car bits– something they actually know how to do.

          Already upset how different the production Bolt looks (more GM bait and switch?). I liked the looks of the original Prototype MUCH better.

  4. Alan says:

    That’s the thing I like most about Tesla, they didn’t go about building electric EV’s half arsed, they built out the charging network at the same time and they are doing it all over the world.

    1. Kumar Plocher says:

      Definitely puts them way ahead of the game

    2. theflew says:

      They just can figure out how to do it for under $100k. The Model 3 will be a challenge for them. How do you make it a “Tesla” for 2/3 less than your current average selling price?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        By making a car which is smaller than a Model S, with lower range (and thus a smaller battery pack); by making it with a mostly steel body instead of an all-aluminum one; by using cheaper-per-kWh batteries from the Gigafactory; and of course, by including fewer luxuries and using cheaper materials for the interior.

        In other words, very much like any other auto maker builds cheaper cars.

        1. Anon says:

          I’d be OK with plastic (recyclable) body panels that are light, don’t dent easily, and don’t rust. We get lots of salt here in the winter.

  5. Breezy says:

    Article says debut is January 6. Caption says Tuesday. So which is it? 🙂

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Sorry there was a bit of confusion there.

      Originally we thought the Bolt production-intent concept would be a “regular” reveal car, and thus able to be viewed on press day (Tuesday), now it is apparently part of a ‘walk and talk’ show.

      We actually have timing now. Production Bolt will debut at 1 PM (PT)/4 PM (ET) on Wednesday January 6, 2016.

    2. Lindsay Patten says:

      Car related keynotes at CES:

      Tuesday 5 January 2016
      7.30am Pacific Time (GMT – 8.00): Ford may announce a driverless car partnership with Google

      8:30(pm?) PT: Volkswagen will announce new electric car concept

      Wednesday 6 January 2016
      1pm PT: General Motors CEO Mary Barra talks connected cars

      Thursday 7 January 2016
      11am PT: Future of Urban Mobility

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/ces/12078267/CES-2016-preview-whats-on-and-when.html

  6. Phatcat73 says:

    Is the gearbox supplied by LG as well? If that’s the case it may not follow the Spark architecture.

    1. Paul Stoller says:

      Supplied by LG but designed by GM, I’m thinking it could still be co-axial.

  7. Chris says:

    With regard to the charging network, this is where GM COULD have an advantage. It has all these crazy relationships with entities called “dealers” and there are TONs of them out there, and not just in big cities either. Modest little towns in America have a Chevy dealer (or at least one of the remaining GM brands). GM could “strongly suggest” these dealers implement fast chargers. No negotiating with miscellaneous third parties like Tesla has to do, etc. Now, sure these dealers are all independent entities and DON’T WANT to install these chargers, but none of them wanted to remodel all their Chevy showrooms to look identical either…GM basically required they “play ball” and do it. Time to get the big stick out GM.

    1. kdawg says:

      But then you have to go to a dealer to charge. That’s the last thing I want to do. How about dealer/GM sponsored chargers along the expressway (but near restaurants, etc). And multiple chargers, not just onesie-twosie stations.

      1. Exactly. Will Chevrolet and Chevrolet dealers capitalize on the branding and advertising opportunity?

        Hard to imagine they are not going to figure that out sooner or later.

      2. Lou Grinzo says:

        I’ve been saying for years that as EVs and PHEVs grow in marketshare we’ll see more inventive business and infrastructure solutions, like mini-marts that have some gas pumps, some QC slots, and a cafe where you can grab something to eat while your Bolt or Leaf sucks down electrons in the parking lot.

        Joint ventures between car companies and hotels, shopping centers, and air ports also seem inevitable.

        We focus in places like this site on the tech — what energy density does the latest battery deliver, etc. — but the business developments are just as important when it comes to furthering the electrification of transportation.

        1. kdawg says:

          It seems like Tesla has figured it out. Amazing how many destination chargers there are now.

        2. MTN Ranger says:

          We have several Sheetz gas stations in our area that have EVGo CHAdeMO and CCS charging. They are the nicest gas stations around with a restaurant and seating.

          1. Ziv says:

            That is kind of cool! “Sheetz: We supply all your automotive fuel needs, and we do a pretty good hogie as well!”
            Ok, I am fibbing about the hogie.
            😉

            1. kdawg says:

              How are the bathrooms?

              (yeah, I went there)

              1. Ziv says:

                Survivable?
                My standards are pretty low. I spent a couple months in China and traveled on the Siberian Railroad a couple times.

                1. Anon says:

                  OMG! Nothing worse than Chinese Squatter Style Public Bathrooms!!!

                  Wet boards to balance on… FUN! 😉

            2. Steven says:

              If you want a hogie, try Wawa.

          2. Steven says:

            Oh, Sheetz!

            I’m guessing another Pennsylvania resident?

            1. MTN Ranger says:

              No, NC. Sheetz has done a major expansion into our state. Wawa is good too, but they are not in our state.

      3. Kumar Plocher says:

        Why is that an issue? There are dealerships everywhere. I charge my EVs at a dealership all the time, and am so thankful for it because it’s free DCQC, which is a rare thing.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          No, kdawg has it right.

          There are few if any dealerships spaced out along the long lonely stretches of highway between cities, which is where EV fast-chargers, and eventually super-fast-chargers, are most needed.
          That is exactly where you’ll find most Tesla Supercharger stations.

          With few exceptions, dealerships are located only in urban areas, for obvious reasons.

    2. Brian says:

      There are tons of CHAdeMO QCs at Nissan dealers, particularly in CA. How is that working out? Well, most are behind locked gates, only available during business hours, and some are only available if you bought your car at that dealer.

      No, GM needs to team up with BMW, who is probably doing the most right now to proliferate CCS infrastructure.

      1. Kumar Plocher says:

        I agree that the lot closing times suck, but these DCQC’s are still incredibly helpful.

    3. John says:

      I doubt that would work out well for drivers. Nissan did something very similar, but as a Leaf owner for almost three years now I can tell you that dealerships are unquestionably some of the least convenient and most unreliable places to charge.

      1. Murrysville EV says:

        @John – Agreed.

        This is why Tesla correctly argues that the traditional dealer network doesn’t work for EVs. My Nissan dealer was clueless about my Leaf while I had it.

    4. Tech01x says:

      Apparently you don’t own an EV?

      Dealerships don’t want you on their lots after business hours. That means chargers at their locations have dealership business hours, which means if you want to charge on Sundays or late at night, you’re out of luck. It’s a terrible model for charging.

  8. Lou says:

    You know, the article covered most of the questions that I(and probably just about everyone else)had. If the car is a little longer than the current Sonic, that would suggest a relatively useable trunk area as well as a roomy interior. That’s a big deal for many of us. Ditto for the 6.6 on board charger. Actually that is quite important, as it would allow the car to go from completely empty to completely full in about 10 hours, which is a reasonable amount of time. Most of us charge overnight at home and probably most would only be topping off overnight. Even on my busiest day of driving my Volt I do not exceed 65 miles(OK, I drove to Montreal from Philly this past summer, but that was just ONCE!). But the biggest question does concern the ability to quick charge the car while on longer trips. Anyone who lives in SE PA or South Jersey typically drives to the South Jersey shore every summer for vacation. Our favorite spot, Wildwood, NJ has only a handful of charging locations, a few Level II’s and some Tesla destination chargers. The Level II’s will do in a pinch but if they are occupied, it could be a real problem for vacationers in a Bolt. GM needs to address the current lack of quick charging locations(and not just for Wildwood, NJ, but all over). If they come up with legitimate opportunities to charge conveniently, there is no reason that I can think of right now that this car will not be very popular. As others have so clearly stated, Tesla got it right by building out the network from the get-go, forget that they made access to the SC’s free. Most of us would pay for a QC if we are on a long trip, it’s the cost of taking a vacation. But the fast charge stations are critical. The other details of the car are less important to me, others may disagree. I am anxiously waiting for the 6th!

    Lou

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      I guess it depends on the state. In NC, we have a network of DCFC with both CHAdeMO and CCS being rolled out across the state. This will help with trips to the mountains and trips to the beach. I last counted 20 CCS for the state. There are now CCS charging stations in Myrtle Beach and Wilmington beach areas.

    2. Bill Howland says:

      Its a small point, but I was told the BOLT would get a 7.2 kw charger as opposed to the ‘6.6’ mentioned here. It will be interesting to see whose sources are better.

      Details like what is the current limitation, we’ll just have to wait until they mention it, or more likely, what is found during actual testing.

      The new Leafs are good that way since they apparently can pull around 33 amps if they have to. Even the original ‘3.6’ leafs (they changed the nomenclature for those of you who thought you had a 3.3 leaf) can pull much more power from a public charger than either of my GEN 1 GM Products.

      1. Lou says:

        Funny, Bill, that my Volt has shown a battery/range increase of 15 miles in the first hour of a Level II charge. I rarely charge at Level II, but have always been surprised that I got more than the 10 miles I was expecting. Of course, you have plenty of experience with your Volt and then the ELR. Is this phenomenon common? A function of the battery being depleted ?

        Lou

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Oh no Lou I didn’t mean to imply that a 3.0 kw rate was ‘slow’. nor that with careful driving of an efficient volt that you could get 15 miles per hour charging that way. I just mean to say it would be easy to get 10 % more, and then, if Chevy had provided a ‘6.6 kw’ charger then you would get even double that. But no argument that 15 miles per hour charge rate is fine for many people.

  9. EVcarNut says:

    Yes! 1/3 the Price of a Tesla Model “S”…AND..1/10th The “CAR”of the Model”S”…More Affordable Yes!….& That’s Good!…Let’s stop trying to F00L 0urselves & 0thers…Now Let’s Compare Apples To Melons, Bananas , Peaches, oranges, Bricks & Whatever! …well you get my drift….

    1. Kumar Plocher says:

      This is a very weird statement. BTW, a used Model S can be had for under $50K, so getting into a similar ballpark. I would say that the Bolt, if it delivers what is promised, would be more like 85% the car that the Model S is.

      1. pk says:

        Back when the Model S was introduced the CDN$ was at par with USD$. I’d be all over a $50k used model S.

        But at the current exchange rate of 1.4 that’s $70k. On top of that we pay 13% tax on used cars here in Ontario. So now it’s nearly $80k

        It will be interesting to see how GM prices the Bolt in Canada. Same goes for the Model 3.

        1. Nix says:

          Interestingly, the reason the Tesla is so expensive in Canada, is partially because the drop in oil prices has crushed the value of the Canadian dollar. Darn oil!!

    2. MarkN says:

      1/3 of the price of a Tesla Model S, 2/3 to 4/5ths the car of the Tesla Model S, more reliable with far fewer repairs than the Tesla model S, and if it matches the Volt, higher owner satisfaction than the Tesla Model S.

  10. pjwood1 says:

    Guesses
    -“Bolt” <6 seconds (Goodbye i3)
    -Heat pump – not enough mass for Tesla's approach, but they'll pony up extra $$ hundred(s)
    -3.3kw charging, stubborn GM won't pony up

    Needs
    -Front windshield defrost element(s)
    -optional rear seat heat
    -6.6kw charging, as the most popular L2 BEVs actually use

    So glad we're getting away from those "simple helical-parallel gear reducer sets." I like it when GB writes. He puts my inner car guy in check.

    1. Lindsay Patten says:

      I hope your guess regarding the charger is wrong, 15 hours to recharge 50kWh at 3.3kW is too long. I think GM will see that.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Again, I was told it would be a 7.2 kw charger.

    2. Djoni says:

      Right on everything except (I hope)
      –Heat pump – not enough mass for Tesla’s approach, but they’ll pony up extra $$ hundred(s)-
      It doesn’t have to be a substantial mass but just any amount of heat that you can recovers.
      Motor, inverter and battery are all heating a bit. In my Leaf this could be as much as 4 kW at highway speed.
      Seems little but it could be enough for most of the heating need and that would also avoid impairing more range in adverse condition.
      But it would be a challenge to do it in an sub 40K$ car.

    3. Jeff Songster says:

      Guesses seem right… but I sure hope they all go to at least 7.2kW chargers… as did VW in eGolf… eGolf also has the windshield heat array to save the battery from the blower.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      pjwood1 said:

      “-3.3kw charging, stubborn GM won’t pony up”

      I find it almost inconceivable that GM will stick with a 3.3 kW charger. The Bolt will likely have approximately three times the Volt’s battery capacity, but you think they won’t increase the charging speed? You think GM will make the Bolt so it requires three times as long to fully charge as a Volt?

      Not unless GM plans to deliberately cripple the Bolt to make it a “compliance car”, as BMW did with the American version of the i3 REx.

  11. Leaf Owner says:

    Why not partner with some of the major gasoline chains to put in chargers at their off-highway gas stations? I would think that would be great for their business model — i.e. to get customers into their stores where they can buy food, drinks, etc….??

    1. mhpr262 says:

      YOu don’t seriously expect them to butcher their own cash cow, do you?

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Leaf Owner said:

      “I would think that would be great for their business model — i.e. to get customers into their stores where they can buy food, drinks, etc….??”

      No, it’s a very poor fit.

      Ask gasmobile drivers if they want to hang out in a convenience store for 20-45 minutes. Ask gas station owners if they would want the average car to sit at a pump for that long.

      The reason they’re called “convenience stores” is that you can go in, grab something, and get back out quickly. For longer waits, you need a different kind of business adjacent to the charger, like a restaurant, hotel, or a shopping mall.

      1. Epicurus says:

        Right. Convenience stores, particularly those along the interstates, are about as inviting as public restrooms.

        A business that is actually pleasant to spend time in like Starbucks would work–places that sell food and drink and provide wifi–but the private sector won’t build them until there are a lot of plug-ins on the road (which will be years from now).

  12. Chris C. says:

    Great article, George! When I got to the short reduction gear discussion, I thought “hey, who wrote this?” and scrolled back up to check the byline. Good review of the questions going into the reveal on Wednesday.

    I do think the wheelbase comparison is misleading, because interior volume and usability (and feel) is heavily dependent on how the drivetrain is packaged, windshield rake, seat design, etc. For example, the Sonic (standing in here for the Spark) and the i3 look to be comparable in your dimensions table, but the i3 is much nicer inside.

    I’m the most excited to hear of any DCFC announcements paralleling the Bolt reveal. Higher power, beyond 50 kW? Station rollout partnerships (BMW?), hopefully NOT just at dealers?

    This is a potential Model 3 killer right here. Some commenting above have compared the two and found the Bolt lacking (e.g. supercharger network), but the key point most are missing is that of AVAILABILITY. The Bolt will be here in just under a year. Model 3? Two full years, and likely longer for volume production. That’s a huge difference in timeline. GM demonstrated with the Gen1 Volt that they are consummate pros at launching new cars on time — the Volt launch was virtually flawless, and had only the fierce political headwinds to contend with (a period that you and I both have direct experience with).

    GM is really setting themselves up for success with this. To paraphrase Dan Neil, let’s savor some American pride and enjoy watching GM execute this over the next 12 months.

    1. Josh says:

      I really don’t see the Bolt as a Model 3 killer with a 30k annual sales goal. The market will be easily large enough for both vehicles (and a 60 kWh LEAF).

      GM will have a full year of Bolt before the LEAF 2.0 goes toe-to-toe. After that Model 3 will arrive, but will have been piling pre-orders.

      I do wonder how many people (myself included) will drop their Model 3 order for Bolt or LEAF at the first signs of a Tesla delay?

      And regarding GM awesome Volt 1.0 rollout, I consider the Volt 2.0 a total bust. Looking at a few thousand 2015 sales after promising Nationwide rollout in Summer 15. Now nationwide availability won’t come until Spring 16.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Josh said:

        “I really don’t see the Bolt as a Model 3 killer…”

        Yes, it’s really strange to see that claim being made over and over and over… to see it repeated so often that I think a lot of people accept it as a truism, probably without actually thinking through the real situation.

        Tesla isn’t trying to steal customers from the approx. 1% of the market that belongs to other EV. Or at least, that’s not its primary goal. Tesla is trying to steal customers from the 99% of the market that belongs to gasmobiles!

        Regarding the question of Tesla’s continued growth, I don’t think it makes the slightest difference how soon or late the Bolt goes on sale. The real questions for Tesla are these: Will Tesla be able to sell every single Model ≡ it makes, as it now sells every single Model S (and X) it makes? And how many years will Tesla be able to keep growing its sales at the astounding rate of about 45-50% per year?

        The potential for Tesla to expand future global sales is tremendous. In fact, it’s almost mind-boggling to think of how big Tesla can grow, and will grow, so long as other EV makers continue to fail to offer compelling EVs in large numbers. So long as GM limits production of the Bolt to approx. 30,000 per year, its existence or absence will be almost completely irrelevant to the potential for Tesla’s growth.

  13. tom911 says:

    6.6 or higher as an option, please! I’ll pay for it. The lack of anything higher than 3.3 in the Gen 2 Volt kept me from upgrading my current Volt.

    1. theflew says:

      For the Volt faster charging doesn’t make a a lot of sense because it can generate (parallel or serial) it’s own juice as needed. Why wait for more charge when you can just drive off?

      1. ziv says:

        theflew, chargin at 3.3 means the vast majority of chargers are irritatingly expensive because on the East Coast chargers bill by the minute. Also, I have an electric car in my Volt and I can use the generator to add AER but I would MUCH rather add 20 miles of AER while I am eating lunch. Getting just 10 miles in an entire hour of charging is ridiculous. Especially since changing the parts from 3.3 to 6.6 would only cost a couple hundred dollars more.
        It is the second most irritating thing about the Volt, after the ridiculously cramped rear seats.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        Yeah, its often even worse than that since the GEN 1 products are usually 2.9 – 3.0 kw in public since they have a 15 ampere limitation not shared by the Leaf.

        I was told 7.2 kw would be the standard charger, but was not told the current limitation: I vote for 30 amps.

        SO that would mean you’d get around 6.0 kw at most public chargers anyway, and 7.2 kw usually at home.

        It would be fun if they goosed the current limitation a bit, since some old chargepoints in the field while saying they’ll only put out 30 amps actually can put out 32, at least the old – non TV – models.

  14. Phr3d says:

    I forsee a subscription model/dealership QC for the Bolt roll-out:
    12 free charges over 12 months included in price of car, then an annual fee based upon number of uses, rather than monthly.

    Easy to determine what you have left, know the cost up front and larger dealerships are Usually easily reached from major thoroughfares.

    Mary & co have thrown a Lot behind this little guy, I think the chargers will come, based of course upon sales, but five years from now the QC debate will be forgotten history. 6.6 L2’s will be at every conceivable hotel and many ‘gotta stay there for 30min anyway’ shops and stores.

    and to let a bit of my fanboi out, it’s because Tesla Made ’em do it.

    Things are lookin’ Bright out my rosie-colored windows..

    1. Brandon says:

      Level 2 has its place in destination charging, but it will really only be a plus where available so as to minimize the time spent fast charging. For one it will not even help on a longer trip, except at the destination. Then there has to be a charger there where you are going, and one that functions and is available. With millions of EV’s in the future this becomes even more of an issue.

      Then there is the cost of the charger, which is more for Level 2 than it is for a fast charger per number of cars charged! Amazing!! Quoting from the Fastned Freedom Plan By Michiel Langezaal, co-founder and CEO of Fastned in the Netherlands:
      “A fast charging station can charge hundreds of cars per day. Expensive hardware is shared between a lot of cars. When the speed of charging increases further the hardware is shared with even more people and the economics continue to get better.
      Higher charging speeds allow stations to deliver more kWh’s per day to our customers with only minor increases in operational expenditures (such as lease of land, cleaning, customer support, cost of capital). Tripling the charging speed from 50kW to 150kW will result in 3x more capacity per station, with only a modest infrastructure cost increase. Faster charging is therefore key to driving down costs of recharging large numbers of electric cars.”

      It just simply will not be near as possible to meet future charging needs with Level 2 as it will be with a reliable nationwide multiple chargers per location DCFC network. Period. We need a company like Fastned here in the US. It may not be viable right away now, but it will get there, and not in the too distant future. Hopefully somebody is planning.

      Here is a link to the whole Fastned Freedom Plan article:
      http://fastned.nl/en/blog/post/the-fastned-freedom-plan

      1. Phr3d says:

        if this Was a reply to me, I’m gathering that I was unclear? Did I need to say DeeCee QC?
        My only L2 ref Was destination, preferably Everywhere, so you get 15-30 miles wherever you shop or sip. If your FastNED reference was to GM dealers not being Enough to match a Supercharger network -that is a given-
        but it Is a relatively inexpensive way for GM to support the Bolt for NOT cross-country travel, i.e., the land and sufficient electrical service are already There.

  15. Seth says:

    Hmmm, a 100 inch wheelbase really isn’t special, even a i-Miev has a 100.4 inches.

    I really hope the charger is atleast a 11kW 3 phase charger for the EU, it just makes way too much sense. The whole of the European continent is pretty much 3 phase, and 3x25A grid circuit is well suited for a 3x16A charger breaker (3x16x230 ~= 11kW)

    Most public Mennekes Type 2 plug chargers in the EU (by far the cheapest) are 3 phase 11kW, that would give real world recharge times within 5 hours for most occasions.

    I doubt the accelleration will be close to 7 seconds, the physics just doesn’t add between the added weight and power output of the engine. Should be able to end up somewhere around 10 seconds, still faster then a i-Miev 🙂

    The charging time of 45 minutes for 80% seems to come out quite well to a 50kW charger and a ~50kWh battery. I think they are giving the charging time for the current gen chargers, because that’s what we have. Could also be limited to battery chemistry limiting to 1C charging. Doesn’t sound awful though, you still add more miles per minute for longer because of the bigger battery.

    I don’t think the battery cooling is much of a issue, with a 100kW motor and a 50kW battery that would be a 2C load, that’s quite a bit less then the 3-4C we are doing today with half the battery size.

    They have the space for the straight gears, they’ll ditch the co-axial gearbox for the cheapst sort, corners to be cut to make the price. The vehicle doesn’t get any worse for it.

    The interior heating could be up in the air, literally, since with a bigger battery they might care less. A heat pump makes sense, but is another grand. A relatively simple 3 way valve would make quite a lot of sense, and considering the vehicle drag it would make sense to utilise this or the heat pump.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Seth said:

      “I doubt the accelleration will be close to 7 seconds, the physics just doesn’t add between the added weight and power output of the engine. Should be able to end up somewhere around 10 seconds, still faster then a i-Miev :)”

      Good heavens, 10 seconds would put it in relatively poky Leaf territory! With about twice the battery capacity of a Leaf 1.0 in what I think is a smaller car, the Bolt should certainly have more pep than a 10 second 0-to-60 time. I won’t be at all surprised if it’s about 7 seconds… nor even surprised if it’s closer to 6.

  16. ffbj says:

    Related GM news regarding their partnership with Lyft:
    http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/04/technology/gm-invests-lyft-uber/index.html

  17. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The article says:

    “…direct cooling-DX- offers many advantages: the first being that liquid is completely eliminated in the pack and instead refrigerant from the car’s air conditioning system is used directly in the pack.”

    Liquid cooling offers many advantages: Low pressure means less stress, less expensive components, and far less maintenance problems; antifreeze and water are much, much cheaper than refrigerant; and the water pumps used to circulate the liquid use much less energy than the condenser required by a refrigerant-based system.

    Liquid cooling requires a larger, more bulky system, so that does give a certain potential advantage to a refrigerant-based system, which can be more compact; but this is offset by the liquid having more mass, and being water-based; both contribute to it being a better heat/cold sink.

    “Other potential advantages of direct cooling-DX- are lower weight and lower cost.”

    The claim of lower cost for a refrigerant-based heating/cooling system seems rather dodgy to me. I’d like to see that addressed by an actual automotive engineer, because I think the opposite will be true.

    1. 2013VOLT says:

      Considering the refrigerant cooling for the battery pack is piggy backed off of the existing air conditioning system which is present in virtually every car already I think the lower cost is probably correct. Really the only additional components are the cooling grid in the battery pack and an additional refrigerant valve to divert or block refrigerant flow to the battery pack cooling grid. Everything else is preexisting.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        You make a good argument, altho if it’s really that simple, then one wonders why more EV makers don’t use that system.

        At the very least, extending the cabin A/C system to the battery pack will need a larger condenser (the equivalent of a radiator), or a second one.

        * * * *

        Edit: In my post above, I wrote:

        “…the condenser required by a refrigerant-based system.”

        That should be compressor, not condenser.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          More comedy hour:

          “…It’s the compressor in an A/C system which takes all the energy to run. That’s the energy hog which makes the water/glycol system, by comparison, much more energy efficient.”.

          And then, in the same breath, assuming that the compressor is OFF: “…The condenser works passively, needing no energy input from the battery pack.”

          Uh, Chief, sorry to break it to you, but these systems in hot weather also must use the compressor. I know you’re the big expert but the condenser is usually only needed when the compressor is running and doesn’t do much without the compressor running since there isn’t any gas flowing through the compressor when it is stopped, and the two are piped in series.

    2. Bill Howland says:

      OH, C’mon, you’re talking through your hat. You have no idea how this stuff works.

      I have no idea why IEVs splits hairs on such a small point, DX or CW cooling could have either been done.

      Its rather like me worrying about whether appliances in my home have high or low voltage hot surface ignitions or sparklers. Intermittent pilots or not. Neither has any effect on gas consumption nor efficiency.

      Whenever you get specific on this subject you tell me you are clueless. Such as worrying about a bigger condensor and then correcting yourself by saying a bigger compressor. When both would have to be larger.
      The ‘lower pressure’ you talk about would be mostly dependent on the outside air temperature, with either method, and the refrigerant pressures would be very similar.
      In Hot weather, they are not low in automotive applications.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Bill Howland said:

        “Whenever you get specific on this subject you tell me you are clueless.”

        Well, you seem to think that about everyone, so that means nothing except that you are incapable of recognizing when someone knows more about a subject than you do.

        “Such as worrying about a bigger condensor and then correcting yourself by saying a bigger compressor. When both would have to be larger.”

        It’s the compressor in an A/C system which takes all the energy to run. That’s the energy hog which makes the water/glycol system, by comparison, much more energy efficient. The condenser works passively, needing no energy input from the battery pack.

        So now I think everyone reading our posts knows which of us is clueless.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          “compressor takes all the energy”. No. you’re just contradicting a point that I thought you had made and therefore I apologized and corrected myself. But now you seem to be saying you didn’t understand the point you were making.

          Lets take an example to see if this clears things up a bit.

          First, an 80 year old mechanical refrigerator where both the condensor and evapoator are convection cooled and heated, respectively. Here, it is an ADVANTAGE that the compressor is the ‘only’ thing drawing juice. We don’t have to add anything else since the liquid refrigerant is pumping itself, and would do so from a tank of liquid refrigerant just the same if we didn’t feel the need to rejuvenate it (recycle it).

          Now in a car, we have, besides the nowadays electric compressor, a condensor fan, and an evaporator fan in a direct system, but in a chilled water system we also have a chilled water pump that takes additional electricity, albeit not much.

          In commercial systems the chilled water pumping electric requirement is substantial, and to this might be added Cooling tower water pumping, and also cooling tower fan loads, and might be more than half of the compressor load when you add it all up. Its not so bad since some of these auxiliaries can improve the refrigeration effect of the liquid thereby keeping the overall electric consumption reasonable.

          It would be easier to talk to if you weren’t totally arrogant all the time.

        2. Bill Howland says:

          HAHA!

          More Knee Slappers!

          Per you, “..The condenser works passively, needing no energy input from the battery pack.”

          Please tell every car owner that has working air conditioning in the past ten years how his ELECTRIC CONDERSER FAN has no electricity consumption.

          My definition of Pupu’s Cluelessness: He doesn’t have an EV, so has never seen the ELECTRIC CONDENSER FAN which every EV that has air conditioning has in every vehicle.

          This characterization is FOR CAUSE…. Now I know what Modern Marvel Fan goes through with you.

    3. Bill Howland says:

      PUPU, sorry to break this to you, but liquid flow in a refrigerant system is FREE. The condensor supercools the liquid so that it does not flash due to the pressure drop in the liquid line, so that Adiabatic Expansion can occur in the evaporator.

      In other words, the liquid line pressure has to be reduced (throtled) by the expansion valve, and all this pressure forms a resistance drop which is unavoidable. It is adiabatic since the heat generated by the throtling is immediately readsorbed by the refrigerant and it is in effect adiabatic since no work effectively is done on the gas with the simple throtling mechanisms used.

      1. GSP says:

        Adiabatic expansion?

        Really? If that were possible, then wouldn’t the “cooling” have exactly zero heat transfer, eliminating the purpose of the A/C system?

        Also not possible, since to takes heat to expand the refrigerant from liquid to gas state.

        GSP

        1. Bill Howland says:

          I was just describing what was happening at a properly operating expansion valve (i.e. no flashing). Yeah you’re obviously right that just after this, plenty of heat is ‘added’ to the refrigerant.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            “supercools the liquid”. Proper term is “subcools the liquid”. Sorry.

    4. Bill Howland says:

      PUPU I appologize, I just re-read your post.

      IF you mean that a chilled water system MINIMIZES the exposure of a refrigerant system just to a few parts, and that all the fittings then take place at WATER pressure, then you are absolutely correct and your point is valid.

      However, what you are calling an advantage is actually a slight DISADVANTAGE, since the water must be pumped but the refrigerant does not. See my other post.

      However chilled water has the advantage in moderate weather that refrigeration is not always needed much of the year as it is mandatory in DX systems, – besides the added complication of many more fittings at liquid line pressures causing dangers of leaks, and the concern for proper oil return under all temperatures and compressor capacities.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “However, what you are calling an advantage is actually a slight DISADVANTAGE, since the water must be pumped but the refrigerant does not.”

        I look forward to seeing the Howland patent for a perpetual motion refrigerator, which needs no electricity to run the compressor. [/snark]

        The compressor, Bill, is the the thing inside a refrigeration system which pumps the fluid. Apparently you didn’t know that. Here, this will help:

        http://home.howstuffworks.com/refrigerator.htm

        In the real world, Bill, a typical home’s refrigerator is one of the biggest consumers of energy, of all its appliances. That’s because the compressor is an energy hog. I doubt the compressors used in cars are significantly more efficient in moving BTUs of heat from the interior to the exterior.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          No, not everyone, just you and one other guy here… The vast majority of the rest here seem to know what they are talking about.

          I just appologized since I realized after rereading your post that ONE of the things you said was very true and I appologized for that.
          You on the other hand, usually start off you comment to me with an unfairly deserved insult, calling me an idiot or whathaveyou, certainly a more intense word than clueless, which I use for cause.

          In fact a compressor is *NOT* the only energy consumer in a refrigeration system, in most cases, although on a few systems these days it CAN be. Without knowing it, your are proving my point in that, since a compressor and condensor just ‘rejuvinate’ the refrigerant back to its original liquid state, that no further pumping is required at all, and cooling would take place if it was just released from a tank of liquid refrigerant and not recycled, as it used to be with those old deoderant cans, as an example.

          Jeez, I thought you at least knew how to take a complement.

        2. Bill Howland says:

          WRONG… wrong. “Compressors” DO NOT “pump the refrigerant fluid”.

          The compressor works only on a gas, since a ‘fluid’ (implying at least a partial liquid) is incompressible, and will destroy the compressor.

          You should try reading your own links, – at least THEY were pretty accurate.

        3. Bill Howland says:

          More inaccuracies: “…I doubt the compressors used in cars are significantly more efficient in moving BTUs of heat from the interior to the exterior”.

          Refrigerators have less efficiency since it is more difficult to pump 1 btu of heat at 25 degrees F to 105 degrees F than it is to pump 45 degrees f to 105 degrees F.

          This is why your home air conditioner (if you have one) is much lower cost PER BTU of heat moved since the temperature difference is usually not as great as in your refrigerator.

          You already said the refrigerator is the most expensive appliance in the house to run… Ever wonder why?

          Many new refrigerators simply steal cold from the freezer, making the evaporator temperature around -5 deg F, so making it even harder to pump the heat out.

        4. Bill Howland says:

          Regarding the perpetual motion nonsense, the only reason you mentioned it is that you have no idea how this stuff works. The compressor DOES NOT directly make the system work. The compressor works only on GAS.

          Liquid refrigerant, under high pressure, is throtled to a low pressure area, called the evaporator because that is what the refrigerant does. This boiling operation absorbs much heat and we feel it as ‘cold’.
          The compressor and condenser in the end makes liquid refrigerant.

          The reason you don’t get cooling INSTANTLY on cars without the compressor running, is that there is a dearth of liquid refrigerant. On larger commercial systems, there are liquid receivers that WILL provide cooling until the thing runs dry. The compressor and condenser combination just rejuvenates the gas to make liquid refrigerant, which is the only thing that has the propensity to cool.

          You are making yourself look so silly – since you present yourself as some Big Expert, and you need to school me how things work with really kindergarten explanations (How Stuff Works, etc), and then you don’t even read your own links and do not understand even at a Kindergarten level how the stuff works because you didn’t bother to read your own LINK!

  18. Nix says:

    The efficiency of a refrigerant system varies greatly depending upon how well the refrigerant system matches the cooling demand.

    Most folks have already learned about that when they have looked at replacing their refrigerant-based A/C systems in their homes. If you oversize your A/C system to be way too large, then it is very inefficient at cooling your house. That isn’t controversial at all at this point.

    Similarly, how efficient a refrigerant based EV battery cooling system will be, will vary greatly depending upon how well the system is matched to demand. I really don’t know how well matched any A/C system might be to the job of cooling a battery pack. Too many variables to give a blanket answer for all cases, for all cars.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      The 21st century has come to the refrigeration business. Hybrids, PHEVs and BEVs can’t depend on an engine running when air conditioning is needed, therefore they have variable frequency semi-hermetics, which, not only eliminate one potential leak point (the shaft seal), but also allow a control system to match compressor capacity to the cooling load.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Nix said:

      “I really don’t know how well matched any A/C system might be to the job of cooling a battery pack. Too many variables to give a blanket answer for all cases, for all cars.”

      Indeed, and I pointed out the same in comments on the previous article on this subject; a link to that article by the same author is in the article above. I was surprised to see the same author ignoring that and making the same blanket statement in this article about a refrigeration system supposedly being “better” for battery pack cooling than a glycol/water cooling system.

      There are a lot of variables there, most of which the author ignores.

  19. ModernMarvelFan says:

    “The Chevy Spark EV has a very unique and compact gear reduction set called a co-axial gearbox. Like most EV’s it is a single speed reduction set. However the Spark uses a planetary reduction set breaking tradition with most other manufacturers. The co axial gearbox set up results in a very compact power system.”

    Yup. Even a single speed reduction system uses planetary gearset, Just as I have mentioned before on the argument with “one particular person” who keeps talking about the so called “complexity” of Voltec vs. BEV single speed reduction gear box.

    Now, compare this to the Voltec 1.0. The gearbox is just as simple or just as complex. The only difference are power input sources with second motor and an engine which require couple more clutches.

    But the “gearbox” portion are absolutely similar in complexity!

    1. JakeY says:

      “The only difference are power input sources with second motor and an engine which require couple more clutches.”

      That is a pretty major difference in complexity. The Spark EV’s planetary gears is a step up from the parallel gears used by others but they still involve no clutches and only a single power source.

      For the Volt in both generations they have three power sources to deal with and they can’t really go around the complexity. It had 4 modes of operation in the old version and 5 modes in the newest version. All the EVs only have one mode.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “For the Volt in both generations they have three power sources to deal with and they can’t really go around the complexity. It had 4 modes of operation in the old version and 5 modes in the newest version. All the EVs only have one mode.”

        Power sources aren’t “transmission” or gearboxes as some other people have tried to mix them up. Power sources are power plants that gives you capabilities.

        ICE is designed to extend your range. 2nd motor is designed to lower main traction motor rpm and improve efficiency.

        Modes are just software and clutch setting which are “mechanically” very simple.

        The entire point was that calling Voltec 1.0 complex is just wrong. Compared with multiple speed transmission, it is vastly simpler.

        1. JakeY says:

          I’m not attempting to mix power sources up with the gearbox (although there is nothing wrong with people bringing it up as an example of mechanical complexity, that is not what we are discussing here).

          My point was because they had three sources to mechanically blend, they can’t avoid having a complex transmission.

          The modes are not simply software. They have different levels of clutch engagement and gearing for each one. If it was only software, GM wouldn’t have to make major mechanical changes for Voltec 2.0 to enable the additional mode.

          As for the talk about complexity of an automatic transmission, that seems irrelevant to the comparison to a single gear EV. The Voltec transmission may or may not be more mechanically complex than an automatic transmission, but it certainly is significantly more mechanically complex than an EV gearbox.

  20. Bill Howland says:

    Well, getting the 2016 volt’s gearbox to work smoothly certainly isn’t a trivial job, what with the engine 100% of the time connected to the wheels (MMF it is *NOT* through a clutch, it is a DIRECT geared connection).

    THey went from 3 hydraulicly operable clutches to 2 of them plus one very low tech ‘overrunning brake’ (like a coaster bike) that I don’t consider a clutch, and in any event isn’t hydraulically operable.

    But getting it to work so that the driver doesn’t notice when the engine is starting or stopping (I don’t know this for sure, its just that no-one has said they ‘felt’ it yet), and that the engine is started by overspeeding the top motor to get the top ring gear to start spinning the engine, and then to back off the torque of the motor while the engine compensates for it seems to be quite a marvel of control tweaking. Mechanically ‘simple’ or not.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Voltec 2.0 is slightly more complex in terms of mechanical complexity due to 2nd planetary gearbox. But they are still far less complex compared with a multiple speed automatic transmission which is something that Volt critics often brings up with a poor understanding of how systems work.

      The so called complexity added in the Voltec transmission are mainly there to do 2 jobs. 1. To increase the efficiency of the main traction motor and reduce rpm. 2. To allow ICE to extend the range and do it as efficiently as possible.

  21. Steven says:

    Philadelphia to Nassau County is about 100 miles each way. Plus local driving at each end…

    I’ve already looked up the Superchargers.

    I’m afraid to check for Frankenplugs.