Might The Chevrolet Bolt Not Be Successful? – Video Thoughts

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 103

The Electric Israeli

The Electric Israeli

The Electric Israeli uploaded a rather interesting video to YouTube in which he discussing why the Chevrolet Bolt might not be successful.

The vast majority of us probably think the Bolt will be a major success, but as The Electric Israeli points out, General Motors’ lack of commitment to installing a fast charging network may indeed lead to the failure of the Bolt, at least when the Tesla Model 3 comes to market.

Video description:

“My thoughts on the Chevy Bolt & Tesla Model 3.”

Tags: , , ,

103 responses to "Might The Chevrolet Bolt Not Be Successful? – Video Thoughts"

  1. SparkEV says:

    Thank you Eric Loveday for brining more attention to charger issue. When I pointed out the shortcoming of Bolt charging especially against Tesla, I was called a troll in forum. But this is a real concern for all potential mass market EV, and I’m glad insideevs is highlighting it.

    I hope guys at GM are listening, and change their mind. If their #1 EV fan (me! πŸ˜‰ ) is doubting their success due to lack of chargers, imagine how poorly the masses will feel.

    1. jmhays says:

      SparkEV,
      This is no concern for me. GM has spoken and so has Tesla, I will be buying the car that comes with a built in charging infrastructure. I am on my second Volt and would love to buy the Bolt. But I also want to drive to Chicago to see my family and not have to waste money on gasoline. As the Electric Israeli stated, Tesla is an electric car company.

      1. martinwinlow says:

        Right… but you do know you’re not driving an EV, don’t you!! MW

        1. Ziv says:

          Martin, 90% of the time, he is driving an electric car. And an electric car that can drive all day on gasoline when he needs it. That is a better combination than even Tesla can offer with less than a thousand Superchargers in the entire US.
          Sometimes purists miss the obvious in the near-messianic zeal to obtain the ‘perfect’ answer.

    2. ffbj says:

      Who hasn’t been called a troll in this forum?
      That word gets bandied about all too much.
      Though I was thinking that insideevs should build a Hall of Trolls where stone statues of banned commenters ensconced in niches therin, with simply their
      Name: Join date: Banned date:

      Maybe that is going too far.

    3. Moshe says:

      Thank you Mr. SparkEv and Mr. Loveday for posting my video on Inside EVs. EVs will rise or fall on this issue alone. There should a synergy between government and the privet sector to create fast charging network. then, gas prices will not matter anymore.

      1. SparkEV says:

        I didn’t do anything other than complain in forum. Thank you for making the video. I’m not sure about government synergy; Tesla network is largely free of government. I’m not saying GM should go Tesla route, but they should do something. As GM, they have lot more resources to bring to bear on this issue than Tesla.

      2. Dave K. says:

        I think this goes back to no DCFC standard. This was a serious lack of foresite from the beginning and should have been addressed 8-10 years ago. If all cars used the same connector there would be way more useable infrastructure for everyone.

      3. Mister G says:

        As long as demand for EVs stays at a pitiful 1%…no government or private entity is going to spend money on an adequate fast charging network. If we want an adequate charging network, we must increase demand for EVs today not in 2017,2018 2020…carpe diem

  2. evcarnut says:

    They should make an Alliance to use Tesla’s infrastructure for a fee .

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      In theory that would be great. But realistically, no manufacturer will use the Tesla network due to it being proprietary and for being reliant on a competitor. Hubris comes into play too.

      1. ffbj says:

        Most probably correct. The old line auto manufacturers have already lost enough face, and been repeatedly embarrassed by a company they could not succeed, try as they may to prevent it.
        To go hat in hand to Tesla would be a bridge too far for them, and mores the pity.

        While Tesla’s ace in the hole an already built sc network, GM has a nice hand with with 3 Queens of come out first, aw well engineered ev with range and pep. Of course the Model III will probably have the later two in spades, and joker with the update ability with which the software endows the vehicle.
        I would be inclined to think of the Bolt as a city runabout or commuter car. Then you have the Volt as the primary vehicle for long trips.

        Additionally will not need to go on long trips and as early adopters of Tesla’s found it was not hard to find places to charge.
        Plenty of find a charge point software out now.

        Just trying to give fair consideration to the Bolt, though the lack of charging infrastructure is sort of an “Achilles Heel,” Achilles killed a lot of guys before he was finally brought low, struck in the heal by Paris’s arrow

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        MTN Ranger said:

        “…realistically, no manufacturer will use the Tesla network due to it being proprietary and for being reliant on a competitor.”

        Indeed. Especially not a large manufacturer like GM. Tesla can do whatever it wants with its Supercharger network. If GM slaved its cars to that system, those cars would become hostages to Tesla’s whims and corporate strategy.

        Before we start demanding anybody, either auto makers or the government, build out a nationwide network of fast chargers to rival or outgrow the Supercharger network, we need to get EV makers to agree on a charging standard; one that can be upgraded to the point that 300 mile EVs can be recharged in 5 minutes. Even if that level of charging is never reached, there needs to be a set of standards in place in case it actually does.

        Only when we have a set of EV charging standards that most of the major auto makers making EVs agrees on, and only when that standard takes into account the fact that charging will become faster and faster over the coming years, does it make sense to start investing money in a nationwide fast-charging — and eventually super-fast charging — EV charger network.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          Major automakers have already agreed on either CCS or Chademo and no, their agreement is not restricted by some 50 kW or 80 kW now anymore. Sometimes they even cooperate installing dual standard chargers, e.g. BMW & Nissan, and being dual raises price by few percent only as far as I heard.

          The major obstacle to common battery car charging network is Tesla proprietary way to do things.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            zzzzzzzzzz said:

            “Major automakers have already agreed on either CCS or Chademo…”

            Yes, exactly. Competing formats, not a single standard. Your basic BetaMAX vs. VHS war, which is bad for everyone. What we need is the equivalent of DVD.

            “The major obstacle to common battery car charging network is Tesla proprietary way to do things.”

            Only a Tesla basher like you would claim it’s an “obstacle” that Tesla was forced to create its own charging format. Forced to because the other auto makers wouldn’t agree to a standard which would work for the more powerful Tesla Superchargers.

            1. Jay says:

              DVD? What what about VCD, Blue-Ray, Laser Disc, HD-DVD, CBHD, MD. MOD, UMD. etc.? It seems standards wars are inevitable with the market as final judge (if we get the opportunity to buy.).
              The EV driver’s solace is that transformers and conduit installation are the largest cost, and those standards are set. Replacing the box at the end of the wire is a far smaller problem once the dust settles.

            2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              Only blind Musk cult zealots can claim somebody forced Tesla to use proprietary plug. The same Chademo and CCS plugs can handle higher power just fine as was proven in practice*, and Tesla itself uses Type 2 plug in Europe – even without extra 2 CCS connectors it handles all the power just fine. Nobody forced Tesla to go proprietary way and fragment charging infrastructure but the same “walled garden” business approach they use everywhere. It always was possible to use the same Chademo plug in backwards compatible way even if using proprietary negotiating protocol extension and higher power.

              Yes, the world would have been better place without extra competing CCS plug “invention” and with Chademo only. But at least they are not closed standards and get along in existing open chargers together.

              *
              http://arcticroads.com/nyheter/opens-120-kw-ev-charger-to-the-public/
              http://www.evtec.ch/files/7114/2523/5982/espressocharge_EN.pdf
              http://www.autoblog.com/2007/05/30/aerovironment-successfully-quick-charges-altair-nanotechnologie/

              1. Ryan H says:

                Sorry but Tesla owners PAY for the Supercharger network… and people already have to wait in line at times… suggesting that Tesla should have adopted a generic standard and then been the ONLY manufacturer to legitimately invest in infrastructure is absurd… so Tesla owners pay for the Supercharges and then sit in line behind 9 LEAFs waiting to charge?

        2. SparkEV says:

          “we need to get EV makers to agree on a charging standard”

          If that means adopting either CCS or Chademo, one will lose, rendering existing network obsolete; not likely to happen.

          “upgraded to the point that 300 mile EVs can be recharged in 5 minutes”

          This would probably mean adopting a new standard, then there will be three with third one even more rare than anything else. That would make infrastructure problem even worse.

          Best IMO would be to have adopters for CCS/Chademo, and slow rollout of higher power chargers using industry agreed one over time. If they can’t agree, both may have to continue. While they may not all be 150kW, at least they can use 50kW while upgrade to higher power is in progress, probably over many years.

    2. Dragon says:

      Elon Musk has been quoted as saying he will let other auto makers use the SC network, but not on a pay-per-use model. In other words, other auto makers must find a way to get a one-time payment for unlimited SC use the same way Tesla currently does. This has been a deal breaker for other auto makers so far.

  3. MTN Ranger says:

    Some people forget that this is not a zero sum game. 200+ mile BEVs increase the market size; more available options will help the whole EV movement. I don’t see Model 3 causing all other options to fail. Even the Leaf has done pretty well without a organized network of charging infrastructure.

    That said, GM should contribute some amount of money and join BMW and VW in building a CCS network. They don’t have to be the leader, but at least do something.

    Another issue is that a long distance CCS charging network may need to wait for the next version that will support up to 150-175kW. Will this new version be ready in the next year or two? I would hate that the car companies spend all that money on 50kW when it is already outdated. I’m assuming a 150-175kW fast chargers will require significantly more infrastructure (heavier gauge cables and access to more powerful electric substations) than 50kW.

    1. Rebel44 says:

      My problem with “waiting for a new standart” is that it will likely take another 1-2 years to get agreement and after that another several years for it to be deployed.

      Meanwhile Tesla SC network will be increasing number of locations as well as number of SC plugs per location.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        The alternative to waiting for a real charging standard is to pressure each EV maker to build out a network to rival Tesla’s Superchargers. Not only would that be wasteful, it’s hardly realistic. Tesla has a motive to build out such a network because it helps promote sales of all their cars. 100% of Tesla’s cars are BEVs.

        Contrariwise, for other auto makers, the piffling 1-2% of their sales which are long-range EVs simply does not justify expending that kind of money on building a charge network. Even Nissan, global leader in BEV sales, outside China, had only about 1.1% of its sales from the Leaf in its best year.

        (BYD is an exception; a large portion of BYD’s cars are BEVs. But BYD doesn’t sell a significant number of cars in North America or Europe, so has no incentive to build a charging network in those regions.)

  4. Alex says:

    Plan to produce 30.000 is not much, so GM has no intention to sell more…
    Think the Bolt will not sell really well, for trips no infrastructure and with 37.500 DOllar more expensive than Model 3, for 20 miles – 50 miles to work also cheaper EVs function for 7.000 dollar less.

  5. DonC says:

    Maybe if you live in Arkansas this will be an issue but in California there will be plenty of CCS chargers. Once the utilities start their pilots there will likely be more CCS chargers than superchargers.

    Also depends on the demographic targeted by the Bolt EV. Once you get beyond BEV nuts most people won’t care. The people I know who own a Model S won’t take it beyond the range where they can get there and back without charging.

    The more interesting question will be how much people will pay for a supercharger option. Superchargers use the CCS standard so a prospective Model 3 customer could pass on the supercharger option and just use an adapter to access CCS charging.

    Charging infrastructure will ultimately depend on the electrical utilities. They have the money, access to the grid, and the right of eminent domain, the latter two really being the key.

    1. Dragon says:

      SSC chargers are currently in no way comparable to the SC network. If you look at plugshare.com, the SAE Combo fast chargers installed along the west coast (ie http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/73333 ) are only 24kw (as opposed to 120kw superchargers) so they’re dog slow for long trips. I thought they were supposed to be 50kw so maybe they’ll be upgraded but I’ll believe that when I see it. They also charge $0.14 per minute to park and $0.25 per kWh. The Bolt has a 60kwh battery, so it needs 42kwh to charge from 10% to 80% and 42 * $0.25 = $10.50 which is already more expensive than gas for any comparable ICE vehicle. Charging at 24kw it would take 42/24 = 1.75 hours for a parking fee of 1.75 * 60 * $0.14 = $14.70. So you’re looking at paying $14.70 + $10.50 = $25.20 for every 42kw (about 140 miles) with a 1:45 wait time.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Keep in mind that a for-profit EV charge station owner needs to pay for installation and maintenance of the chargers. Every minute the charger is sitting there not charging anything, it’s not earning him any money.

        With newer EV chargers charging cars faster, and the number of drivers using the chargers increasing, the need to charge that high a fee per kWh will be reduced.

        Bottom line: There is good reason to hope the average per-kWh charge for using an EV charger will go down over time. So using current charge pricing as a model for pricing with upgraded EV chargers may suggest prices higher than the average price actually will be.

        1. Rebel44 says:

          Well, my plans to buy a long range EV will certainly NOT be based on “maybe” and hopefully” and I will rule out any cars, that are not viable for my intended use.

      2. DonC says:

        Paying $10 for DC charging on a per event basis seems like a good deal. The supercharger network option will be pricey.

        On the charge rate, those will go up in time as battery capacity goes up. Don’t assume just because there are some 44 kW CCS chargers out there that this will be the standard.

    2. Brian says:

      Arkansas? This video was shot in Westchester NY. Our CCS support is pitiful here. California may be the leader but we need EVs to succeed outside of your state to really make a difference.

      1. Brian says:

        Actually it was probably Rockland, but either way it is in the metro area of the largest city in the US so my point still stands

      2. Moshe says:

        Correction. This video was shot in Morris County NJ.

      3. DonC says:

        California is Tesla’s main market. If CA has a robust CCS charging network, that takes care of the argument that the supercharger network is a great advantage.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      DonC said:

      “The people I know who own a Model S won’t take it beyond the range where they can get there and back without charging.”

      Yes, we see lots of people posting to InsideEVs who never drive their plug-in EV farther from home than the point at which they can still return without recharging. GM should have no problem selling 20k-30k Bolts to that market segment.

      Of course, as an EV advocate, I’d like to see GM adding fast-charging capacity to the Bolt, but GM is in business to make money, not to cater to the desires of a relatively few hard-core EV enthusiasts.

    4. Get Real says:

      Well Don, I see you have not lost your serial anti-Tesla/Elon Musk zeal.

      Your statement that the Model S drivers you know “never” drive farther then 1/2 their range so they can make it home is highly suspect. You are probably confusing them with you and your Leaf.

      I have personally talked to over 20 Model S drivers and all of them have used Supercharging to extend their trip’s ranges. It is such a great feature that you would be foolish not to use it as necessary. For the same reason and because the Model S is such a great car, most owners prefer to take their Tesla’s over any other cars they own for trips.

  6. Akarius says:

    Did GM invest in gas station “network” ? … no. So every car they sell has a 0 mile range. Other compagnies will develop the network.
    As for the Model 3… no one said it would take the supercharger network, maybe it will only work on combo/chademo stations. If they want to bring the cost down, they have to cut somewhere. Yes maybe it will be an option but a costly one, and Γ  pay-to-use one also

    1. Akarius says:

      And what I forgot was… Tesla made their own network because they are the only ones that can use it. If GM invest in the CSS network… every electric car will use the CSS at the expense of GM. Why should GM develop Γ  network for other compagnies????

      1. Rebel44 says:

        1. Model 3 will have access to SC network – it has been confirmed by Tesla

        2. Tesla created their own proprietary standart (and build SC network on that) because getting agreement on industry wide standart for 100+KW chargers proved to be impossible in short term (its now 4 years and those idiots still didnt approved such standart).

        1. mr. M says:

          According to Wikipedia:

          CCS:
          The prototype implementations for up to 100 kW were shown on the EVS26 in Los Angeles in May 2012.[4] Specifications for DC charging in the IEC 62196-3 draft give a range up to 125 A with up to 850 V.[

          125*850 = 106kW. Which is indeed above 100kW. The current protocoll allowes already for up to 150kW with 350kW CCS in the works.

          1. nakedChimp says:

            Draft =/= Finalised Specification you can use

            1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              You can always use a draft and update software protocol negotiation later to final version if changes are software only. This is done all the the time in industry.

              Now if you want to make some Microsoft style excuse to lock down customers no matter what, you can always launch “right to innovate” public relations campaign and continue your own way ignoring standards.

      2. R.S. says:

        Maybe because they are part of the CCS initiative and their charging stations are currently built by BMW and VW? Even by Nissan, because of their charging infrastructure joint venture with BMW.

        To be honest, if they decide not to take part in building an infrastructure its ok, but they will have a disadvantage. And thats what the video is about, he sad that GM will have a disadvantage because they won’t have the infrastructure to support their car. I wouldn’t say its unfair, or mean, just stupid, because they developed a car that will not bring in the required sales and that could have been easily solved by a pay per use charging network.

    2. Akarius, Per your statement of: “As for the Model 3… no one said it would take the supercharger network”, … Google Much?

      See: http://insideevs.com/elon-musk-confirms-free-supercharging-for-tesla-gen-3-model-e/

      “Musk confirmed to the crowd of gatherers that Gen 3 will get free access to the growing network of worldwide Superchargers.

      This, of course, will be a huge selling point for future Gen 3 buyers.”

      And the line – ” Tesla made their own network because they are the only ones that can use it.” Nope – you have that wrong too! A Bit of History. Tesla Looked at the AC Only J1772, and the CHAdeMO and realised it was too big and ‘ugly’, and the coming (at that time) CCS – was also the same. So – they created a slim and sexy plug – that could do both AC AND DC, all in one plug.

      Since that time – they made it available to any and all Mfg’s that want to support its growth, and offer it free to their own, and Tesla users!

      1. Braben says:

        It is always the same story: Foregoing standardization and using a proprietary system can give you a time-to-market advantage. On the other hand, early proprietary systems tend to die off once a proper standard comes along.

        And no, Tesla is not just giving away their charger network for other manufacturers to “offer it free on their own”. There is more to it than just a plug and charger. There is also a proprietary authentication protocol that is controlled by Tesla. A car has to authenticate itself before it’s allowed to use a supercharger, otherwise anybody could simply build a plug adapter and charge up for free at Tesla’s expense. No car manufacturer in their right mind would make their cars dependent on another manufacturer’s charging system.

        In the long run, there will also have to be some kind of pay-per-use billing system, since Tesla’s “free” charging (which really means the cost is rolled into the price of the vehicles) is not a generally applicable and sustainable business model.

        BTW, what does it matter if a charging plug is “slim and sexy”? Has anybody ever cared what the nozzles at a gas station look like?

        1. Rebel44 says:

          1. You need to read his post again (or English isnt your primary language) – Tesla offered access to SC network to other car makers (if they contribute money to SC network) and provided it for free with their own (Tesla) cars.

          2. Car makers will always depend on some 3rd party for EV charging, unless they build their own network – whether customer pay upfront lump sum, or per use, or per KWh, is up to owner for each charging network.

          3. if approving and deploying “standart” takes ages and is done in chaotic way, while proprietary network is built reasonably fast and deployed in appropriate locations + is offered to other manufacturers, its a real possibility, that such proprietary standart will be at least sustainable, or even kill of “official standart”.

          4. CSS and Chademo are both bulkier and heavier, than Tesla connector – this makes them slightly harder to use by people who are for reason physically weak – elderly, women etc.

        2. Texas FFE says:

          I agree with your arguments. Unfortunately I think the Tesla fanboys are going to use every twisted argument they can to shoot you down. They are elitist zealots, don’t take it personal.

        3. ffbj says:

          You are comparing apples to oranges regarding standards and proprietary systems. For one their is no competing standard that matches the Tesla’s, i.e. no alternative or competing standard that is even comparable. Your prognostication that the sc charger network, a modern marvel, will simply die out is just silly.
          There are just too many flaws in the progression of logical thought in your arguments for me to really spend much time bothering with them, or to lend much credence to your conclusions.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            ffbj said:

            “Your prognostication that the sc charger network, a modern marvel, will simply die out is just silly.”

            LOL! Not only is it not a “silly” prediction, it’s inevitable. Once EV makers finally establish a realistic charging standard, one that takes into account future upgrades for faster and faster charging, every EV maker will have to fall into line. Claiming that the Supercharger system will last forever, or even that it will last 20 years, is as silly as claiming BetaMAX players are still being made.

            You can bet that the time will come, sooner or later, when Tesla starts selling adapters so that its older cars, equipped with Supercharger plugs, can use the new, standardized EV chargers.

            1. Rebel44 says:

              At the rate of current “large carmaker discussions”, that will be around year 2653….

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                LOL!

                Well, it may take government intervention to create an actual standard for EV charging. Just as it took government intervention to switch from leaded to unleaded gasoline, and to get auto makers to make seat belts and air bags standard equipment.

            2. DonC says:

              The standards are the same so doing this will not be difficult.

            3. ffbj says:

              Forever is a long time. Apparently for you there is nothing in between forever and dying out, in you world though for most thoughtful individuals there is quite a bit of room between the two.
              Telsa sc = Betamax, I don’t think so dude.
              Poor counter argumentation, little factual evidence and simply conjecture on your part to support your claims.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                It’s not conjecture; it’s looking at the lessons of history. Tesla didn’t build out the Supercharger network because it wanted to; it did so because it had to. Once it’s no longer necessary, once the Supercharger network is superseded by a larger for-profit network of super-fast chargers, Tesla isn’t going to throw money away on continuing to build out an outmoded network. Why would Tesla do such a thing? It makes no business sense. It would be like Apple continuing to build Walkmans.

                All gasmobiles have the same type of receptacle for a gas pump nozzle. Saying that each auto maker should contribute to building out competing formats is crazy. That’s like saying that gasmobile makers should have had to build out two competing sets of filling stations, nationwide.

                Ain’t gonna happen.

                1. nakedChimp says:

                  And the others have no incentive to agree or built any SCs as their target numbers for selling EVs is so low still, they’re not (yet) EV manufacturers. 99% of the cars they sell are ICE, why should they agree/design/built a standardized SC now, who is pushing them? Their hsareholders? The Government?
                  And while they sit and twist their thumbs Tesla is creating facts.
                  And Tesla couldn’t wait on them as it needed the tech working on the road 4 years ago.

                  1. Rick Danger says:

                    And 4 years from now… and 4 years after that…

      2. Akarius says:

        An article from 2 years ago… wow….
        Dont get me wrong but I hope that the model 3 is SC capable…. but it WILL be an option… and not a free one.
        Like when you buy a Model S.. you pay 3000$ to be able to use the SC network. Musk is not gonna give free electricity to 100 – 200 – 300 000 cars.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Wrong on several points, Akarius.

          The Supercharger access fee was $2000, and that’s now included in the price of all Model S’s and X’s. It’s no longer optional.

          And Elon has said multile times that the Model ≑ will have “free” access to the Supercharger network, by which of course he means free after paying the initial lifetime access fee.

          It’s not like it was only said once two years ago. You haven’t been paying attention.

      3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        And look how great this “slim and sexy plug” looks with Chademo adapter $450 a pop. Or how great it works when somebody moves from Europe to US or vice versa and finds that his Model S is worthless when moved as even this slim proprietary plug is different across the pond.

        I have seen this story many times before, nothing new here. As always, “new and brave” engineers are too high changing the world or too dumb and inexperienced to investigate what was done in the field before them, so they just invent their own “superior” thing, and who cares that it is not backwards compatible with anything. A generation of users afterwards is stuck in a mess and the market is damaged.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Akarius said:

      “As for the Model 3… no one said it would take the supercharger network…”

      Lots of people, including Elon Musk, have said the Model ≑ will be able to use the Supercharger network. You can count on that being true, because it’s a great way for Tesla to promote their cars.

  7. Assaf says:

    Haha, I guess with 2 EVs and living in New Jersey, he handily beats me to the title “The Electric Israeli” here in America πŸ™‚

    Unfortunately back in Israel EVs are still six feet under, buried by the Better Place fiasco. Given Israelis’ super-short attention span to anything except “The Situation”, it will take a few more years to even start recovering.

  8. Texas FFE says:

    The video has a pretty narrow minded opinion. First off you can drive non-Tesla EVs almost anywhere, I proved this when I drove my FFE from Texas to Colorado and back, about 1800 miles around trip.

    Sure the trip took a long time but much of the lost time was due to having to charge during business hours at RV parks. I believe I could have cut my travel time if half with the 200 mile range of the Bolt because I could have been much more selective where I charge. I could have charged overnight at hotels or campgrounds.

    The lack of the CCS/CHAdeMO charging infrastructure is only acute in middle America. there’s a fairly well developed CCS/CHAdeMO network up and down both the east and west coasts. New charging stations are getting added every day and by the time the Bolt hits the mass market next year the CCS network should be much more developed.

    And, as I’ve pointed out before, Chevrolet is saying one thing and doing another. Chevrolet IS investing charging infrastructure with the EVgo Recharge For No Charge program. I think Chevrolet is reluctant to be to vocal about their support for charging infrastructure but I also think we will hear a lot more from them on charging infrastructure as the Bolt reaches the market.

    1. ffbj says:

      I agree. It’s not as big a deal as some people make it out to be. The SC network is cool no doubt, but there are many more options for charging than there were a few years ago, and will be even more in the near future.

    2. Michael Will says:

      Gm should put chargers in their dealerships – it will bring customers in on a regular basis that may shop for other things. I think bolt will be a success because it had the go to market advantage, especially if they fix the serious compromises they made for that in the next generation of it like no blended brakes meaning no stop and go traffic automatisation, tesla clearly has the advantage in features once they make it to market.

      1. Texas FFE says:

        I spoke to my local Chevrolet dealership about putting in CCS chargers. I told them that if they are going to be selling the Bolt they need to put in CCS chargers so that they could at least test the CCS charging system of the Bolt. The dealership assured that they already had L2 chargers and expected to get CCS chargers when the Bolt came out.

        I’m surprised that a lot more BMW dealerships don’t have CCS chargers. I know that if I owned a car that had CCS capabilities I would be pushing my local dealership to install a CCS charger. It doesn’t make any sense for a dealership to sell vehicles that they don’t have the equipment to test.

        That’s one I’m going to be looking for when Bolt becomes available in all fifty states. All the Chevrolet dealerships across the country should be getting CCS chargers. Nissan has done a pretty good job of putting in CHAdeMO chargers and even a few dual chargers with CCS at their dealerships, Chevrolet should follow the Nissan example only at a lot more dealerships.

  9. ffbj says:

    He just miffed that GM is not building a sc network like Tesla has done. I think it would be great if they did so, but they are putting a lot of money into their Volt and Bolt product lines, being big should not presume competence, capability, or innovation. In fact the opposite is often true. The Bolt is coming to market at that is enough, for now.

    Auto line says the Bolt will kill the sales of other evs sans Tesla:

  10. Someone out there says:

    Tesla’s supercharger network is a great selling point that’s for sure but I don’t think it’s a make or break thing. Other factors will matter too and as long as it is possible to charge it with some system many people will still consider the Bolt. One should also realize that GM can’t sell just any amount of Bolts, there aren’t enough batteries produced to do that. GM is expecting to sell 30k cars, that is probably limited by the amount of batteries LG can produce (and deliver, as LG has other customers too).

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Exactly.

      Those who claim that LG Chem can ramp up to match whatever volume of batteries GM wants, are ignoring the lessons of history. Nissan remained very production constrained on its Leaf until it built two new battery factories, in Tennessee and the UK. Even Panasonic, which makes significantly more EV batteries than any other manufacturer, has not ramped up production of batteries as fast as Tesla needed. That’s the main reason Tesla is building the Gigafactory; despite what you may have read, lower battery price is a secondary consideration.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        You fans are choosing to ignore reality again. Look ouside, gas is $1.5/gal in the US, few people are buying even plain hybrids that are $25k MSRP for 56 mpg car. Now you are talking about limited range (yes 200+ miles is a lot for Bolt and it is great car, but the range is still limited), $37k MSRP (minus tax credit that you may or may not be able to use) car? It would be great it they will sell 30k of it in 2017. Nobody is going to buy it in hundreds of thousands at that price, just like Volt didn’t sell in big numbers despite all the advantages.

  11. SJC says:

    EV makers could do a consortia to deploy standard fast chargers. Everyone benefits, the utilities and other private sector corporations might even participate

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      As always, the important question is not what legacy automobile makers could do; the question is what they want to do.

      Gasmobile manufacturers have a strong disincentive to build out a network of EV chargers to rival the Supercharger network for exactly the same reason they have a strong incentive to build compelling EVs in large numbers.

      The reason that neither GM nor Nissan nor any other legacy automobile maker has started building a charging network to rival Tesla’s, isn’t because they haven’t thought of it. It’s because they don’t want to promote sales of compelling long-range EVs, which would cut into sales of their own best-selling gasmobiles.

      That’s also why GM has no intention of making or selling the Bolt in numbers to rival even a modestly selling gasmobile.

      1. SJC says:

        Government could help with tax incentives. China and other countries have shown that when public and private sectors work together advances can be made.

  12. Larry4pyro says:

    This video parallels the opinion of many pure EV owners who feel manufacgures should force electrification for the good of society. Lkke it or not GM’s approach to electrification is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Their belief is it is still too early to commit to an electric infrastructure with so much technology being developed. So their approach is EVs for local driving and use the readely available public gas infractructure, which is orders of magnitude more available and faster than any charging network out there now, or in the near future, including the Tesla Supercharger network. Just because you can travel the nation’s interstate highways if you are willing to alter your route to get to sparcely located chargers, and once their take the chance that there is no queue of vehicles a heads of you so you can spend a half hour or so recharging, is not what the majority of the public is willing to endure.

    While you may think GM’s evolutionary approach with extended range EVs is timid, remember gen 1 Volt drivers drive almost as many pure EV miles as drivers of the pure electric Leaf.

    The Bolt’s role is one of an urban commuter. That’s where the bulk of the mikes most people drive. They go to work and recharge at home. For longer trips GM will soon offer a variety of extended range vehicles based on their Voltec II power train.

    As I said, you may not agree with GM’s evolutionary approach, but I think most would agree that it has some merit.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      I don’t like the dual car or dual engine approach. So I’m clean and sustainable when I travel to work during the week but I’m a dirty air polluter when I need more range on the weekends. It’s funny but I didn’t come to this realization until I purchased a PHEV and ended up cringing every time the gas motor turned on.

      I still burn gas when I must but I’m also willing to make sacrifices as needed to be smoke free. The EV charging infrastructure is getting better and I’m getting better at managing my EV every day. The sacrifices I have to make get smaller and smaller and I can now foresee the day when I no longer produce fossil fuel emissions.

      I don’t agree that the Bolt is primarily an urban commuter. My FFE is a very, very good urban commuter, as far as urban commuting goes I need nothing more. I want an EV that will also help keep me from being a dirty air polluter on the week ends and on longer trips and I think the Bolt would be able to fill this roll nicely.

    2. Ambulator says:

      While the Leaf could be characterized as an urban commuter, I think the Bolt moves up to suburban commuter. It’s not so much the lack of charging infrastructure, although that is a problem, as it is the limitation of a 50kW to 60kW maximum charge rate. That’s never going to make an ideal long distance vehicle.

      I’d still like a Bolt, but others may want to wait for the Model 3.

  13. Texas FFE says:

    Right now the BMW i3 is the only car sold in all fifty states that have CCS capabilities. Within 24 months we are going to see Chevrolet and Ford models and maybe VW, Audi and Porsche models come on the market in all fifty states requiring CCS chargers. I think with the pressure behind all these manufacturers, dealerships and owners we will see a rapid build out of the CCS charging infrastructure over the next 24 months.

  14. jmac says:

    Before a large gas station infrastructure could be built, petrol was often sold at the hardware stores and drug stores. When people wanted to go on a long trip, they threw a few extra cans of gas in the trunk.

    Development of the electric car infrastructure is just beginning and there will be mistakes like Better Place and debates over which system or format is best, CCS or the Tesla Supercharger network.

    It will take a while for the dust to settle. As far as I know, the early car manufacturers pretty much stuck to building cars and let the oil companies and wannabe gas station owners handle the distribution and sales of petrol. I don’t see why GM should be tasked to build a nationwide fast charger network as Tesla is attempting to do or why the Bolt must necessarily fail if GM doesn’t run out and build one.

  15. kubel says:

    He’s correct. CSS/CHAdeMO infrastructure is clustered in certain areas and barren in others. SC, on the other hand, is nicely spaced out.

    I’m confident that the Bolt and Model 3 will both be very good EVs, but the charging infrastructure backing the Model 3 is far superior.

    The biggest question for me is when to pull the trigger. I can pull the trigger on a 2017 Volt now, or wait and get a 60kWh Bolt in about 10 months, or wait even longer and get a 60kWh Model 3 with SC in about 22 months.

    I NEED A CAR WITH A PLUG! I don’t know how much longer I can keep driving this gas guzzling Crown Victoria. I miss my LEAF!

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Superchargers are on few cross country highways only outside California, especially in the middle of the US. You can travel coast to coast if you travel on specific corridor only, but you will not be able to choose your own route anyway. Much denser network would be required for widespread battery car adoption. Hopefully cars like Bolt will trigger open charging network expansion, so far it wasn’t really needed outside metro areas.

  16. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    There is no binary, either/or situation, where the Bolt either succeeds or fails. GM plans to make the Bolt in only modest numbers; 20k-30k, at least in the first year of production. That should be a pretty easy target to reach, so in that sense, there seems little doubt that the Bolt will be a “success”. Now, if you measure success by the yardstick of a typical gasmobile model, or by the volume in which Tesla plans to make the Model ≑ — something like 400,000 per year — then the Bolt won’t look like much of a success. But Tesla plans to reach that ~400k level only in 2020, and more realistically they likely can’t reach it until 2021 at the earliest. GM has some time to increase Bolt production, if it really wants to.

    However, there are two indications that GM has no real plans to ramp up Bolt production to rival that of a popular gasmobile:

    1. Lack of fast-charging capability

    2. Dependency on LG Chem for battery cells

    The first limitation can easily be dealt with, by an upgrade to the next model year. But battery supply is another matter. Nissan and Tesla have had ongoing problems with battery supply; that’s a problem which has no such easy fix.

    We’ll know that GM is serious about building long-range EVs in large numbers only if and when they start building their own battery cell factories, as Nissan and BYD have done, and Tesla is doing.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Tesla won’t sell 400K model 3 in first year. Also unknown is LG capability; so far, they seem to be doing well, able to meet the demand as they arise.

      But fast charging issue is two problems. First is the lack of them. Second is their speed compared to superchargers. Given a choice between Tesla (120kW, can drive coast to coast) vs CCS/Chademo (50kW, drive in CA, maybe few other states), I don’t know why anyone would go for CCS/Chademo if the prices are comparable. For now, CCS/Chademo is due to low cost EV using them, but not with Model3.

  17. Don H says:

    The dealership charging idea will have to include guaranteed 24 hr availability, as up till now I have found them blocked in Delray Beach FL and Wakefield RI. The salesman said he would remove the ice car if I needed to charge, but they locked it at night. The three chargers at the dealership in Wakefield were all iced and I took a picture of it. For apartment and condo dwellers it will be imperative to have fast charging nearby as waiting at the mall for 2-3 hrs to charge is not a fun activity.

  18. The Bolt is going to fill a huge void in the market. Even if the Bolt was only sold to former Leaf owners, it would still be an immediate success. Of course, it will also be sold to Ford Focus Electric drivers, Fiat 500e drivers, Volkswagen e-Golf drivers, many PHEV drivers, Prius drivers and a whole lot of people who have been sitting on the fence waiting for a reasonably priced 200 mile BEV.

    Yes, GM should invest in a city-pair fast charge network. It should, ideally, be 100+ kW.

    I believe such an investment is inevitable, because I just can’t imagine GM ceding that ground to every other automaker who figures out what a fantastic branding and relationship building opportunity it will be.

    It’s like Microsoft opening retail stores in high end malls. They can’t not do it, eventually.

    1. SparkEV says:

      I agree Bolt will take some from Leaf, eGolf, etc (~$25K to $40K post subsidy EV) if their leases are up before model 3. But I suspect many will wait for Model 3 if they can. I guess that’s where leases would come into play; it could be that Bolt leases are to wait for Model 3.

  19. jmac says:

    I wish the Electric Israeli would give us some actual EV news from the Mideast instead of speculating about the Bolt’s deficiencies before the car even hits the streets.

    Hey, Electric Israeli, what’s actually going on in the State of Israel ? There are already 3 three Tesla superchargers installed in Jordan.

    1. Moshe says:

      Hey, Jmac, I don’t know. I live in the USA. πŸ™‚

      1. jmac says:

        Okay Moshe,

        I thought you might know someone in Israel, or be from Israel originally. We don’t get much EV news from the Middle-east after Better Place went out of business.

        1. Moshe says:

          I grew up in Israel and I go there every year. Israel uses solar power for hot water use, since the 1960’s. I grew up on seeing how much sun light we had every day. Too bad Better Place fail. I know why, but it’s a long story.

  20. jmac says:

    The main goal should be to build out a robust charging network. Most EV fans would welcome any infrastructure contribution from GM as long as it’s not divisive. Digital finally streamlined it down to passing data mostly through the Buss and HDMI connectors. What we DON’T need in EV recharging is a repeat of the the electric dryer plug fiasco.

    We have already sorted through the Better Place concept and even Musk has apparently given up on his battery swap notions. What remains is to create a world-wide standard for electric vehicle fast charging. Imagine if the nozzle on your gas pump was a different size at each gas station and you had to drive all over town trying to find a hose that would fit your car.

    Computer engineers figured out long ago, that arguing & competing over which proprietary plug deserved to win probably hurt computer sales and was actually hindering mass adoption. We hope EV manufacturers will soon start figuring that out.

    1. nakedChimp says:

      When did that happen?
      Anyone remember Superdisks?
      Or Mini DVI vs Display Port?
      Or Firewire vs USB?
      Or Memory Sticks?
      Engineers are pretty nice people, the guys leading them and telling them what to do are the ones who try to corner/dominate a market are the ones who are to blame.

      As for Tesla and their proprietary SC plug – they could not wait for standardization. They needed a working, high power delivery system 4 years ago on the road and at least 6 years ago in the lab, maybe even earlier.
      No other EV manufacturer had this pressure to deliver something that works. They had to roll their own.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        They didn’t needed proprietary plug even if they needed proprietary protocol extension for higher power. It is lame excuse. They proved it themselves by using standard Type 2 plug in Europe, even if their chargers there remain “walled garden” as business decision.

  21. Rebel44 says:

    This survey indicates, that SC network will be quite important in deciding which EV will people buy:

    http://cleantechnica.com/2016/01/31/electric-car-buyers-hugely-attracted-to-tesla-supercharger-network/

  22. Stretch2727 says:

    I think GM’s whole strategy is wrong. They are giving us an econobox medium range EV. This car should have been a $50K Cadillac Sedan with 300 mile range and sub 5 second 0-60. They are missing the point that an EV can be the ultimate Luxury option. Silence and Performance.

  23. Fabian says:

    I don’t think this theory about the charging infrastructure issue is right. The Bolt will sell like hot cakes, end of story. Just look at the comment volume every time there is a Bolt or Model 3 story. People are practically falling over themselves to buy a 200+ low cost EV @ ~30k. I will probably wind up owning both if I can afford it. Goodbye ICE.

  24. JakeY says:

    Depends on definition of success. If success is selling out the ~30k annual volume estimated, I think that should be easy to accomplish regardless of what happens with Model 3. If success is matching or exceeding Model 3 volume (meaning 100k annual), then I agree without quick charging it’ll be tough for GM to do.

  25. Walt says:

    The point of the Bolt is to claim first to market with “affordable long range” with the hopes of siphoning future market share from Model 3. Bolt is unsustainably cheap because it is LG’s component showcase, licensed (initially) to GM. Contrast to Model 3 which is majority in-house made.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I seriously doubt LG Electronics is going to lose any money building powertrains for the Bolt. LG Chem may be selling battery cells at or near cost, in order to get GM’s business, but it makes no sense to suggest the entire powertrain is a loss leader. It doesn’t even make sense to suggest LG Electronics won’t make a per-unit profit on the powertrains.

      Loss leaders are only sold where the business thinks it can make up for the loss elsewhere, by increased volume of sales. Businesses don’t make an entire product line with the intention of losing money on it!

  26. Just_chris says:

    IMO the bolt will be a success if gm build enough and sell it at a reasonable price with a reasonable lease deal. EV’s make up around 1% of the market there is plenty of room for growth. If there are enough bolts then the dcfc’s will come via gm, state governments or private companies. There is also at lot of sense in building 50 kW dcfc’s around urban centres and the larger 100kW+ chargers for longer trips.

    1. Just_chris says:

      Ps there is no reason why u can’t build 100kW ccs charger the current cars can’t use that power so would charge slower but there is absolutely nothing that means you cannot exceed the standard as it stands provided you engineer the device correctly.

  27. LOL says:

    Should Tesla build out SC stations in only three city centers – Miami Chicago San Francisco then it would lead to unparalleled promotion of EVs. Of course it woyld be just a probe and small token for the upcoming Model III based on pay per use stations containg at least 100 stalls each. Only then can you have immediate rise in sales, Tesla.

  28. HVACman says:

    The California Energy Commission just awarded some big contracts to install Combo and Chademo FCDC chargers along I-5 on the major N/S corridor from Mexico to the Oregon border and are soliciting bids for addressing 101, 99, and some east-west routes. Also, BMW hs been working on numerous 25-50 kW Combo stations quietly installed throughout the state. We have a 25 kW station at the local Carls Jr here in Redding. I suspect by 2017, we’ll see GM, VW, etc. all working the Chargepoint, EVGO, etc. to continue fleshing out the networks in CA and elsewhere.

    Oh, and it is a lot tougher than one would think to build in 100 kW charging in a 60 kWh battery pack. Lots of thing get bigger and costlier – the TMS, the charger controller, the conductors, etc. 50-60 kW is the “sweet spot” for cost effective FCDC’s at that kWh range. Tesla can do more because the S battery, AC system, TMS, and power electronics are all designed to both handle both the high kW charge rate and the high kW electric motor draw. And it costs $$$$.

  29. Kevin Z says:

    I could own a Bolt, charge only at home, and be 100% content.

  30. Mxs says:

    Yes you could, but than this site and others wouldn’t get the bandwidth traffic it needs to exist free of charge.

  31. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Yes, Bolt won’t do well.

    All the EV lovers hate GM so they hate the Bolt and will be buying Tesla 3 and LEAF 2.0 instead.

    All the EV haters, well hate EVs. So, GM got no chance of selling the Bolt, despite how good it is.