Chevrolet Bolt Marketing Manager Answers Some Bolt-Related Questions


Kathy Beslic, marketing manager for the Chevrolet Bolt, sat down for a brief questions & answers session with Brand Channel (full Q&A here).

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Beslic gives us the impressions that General Motors believes the Bolt can go mass market. Quoting Beslic:

“It’s no small job. It’s a great product and a great design at an affordable price. New consumers are willing to look at an EV more than before. Bolt is a new option.”

Beslic added that GM is proud to be first (beating out the Tesla Model 3 by six months or more) to market with a long-range, affordable electric car. Brand Channel then asked Beslic the following quesiton:

“Where do you think Bolt’s on-schedule launch leaves the Tesla Model 3?”

Beslic responded:

“We can’t comment on a vehicle not in production yet.”

A stripped down Chevrolet Bolt EV was on display during a recent media event and drive that InsideEVs’ attended in Palo Alto, California

As for marketing, Beslic made a comment that caught our attention:

“I can tell you that you’ll see Bolt EV in quality TV commercials.”

As for the marketing message, Beslic says that Chevrolet will mostly focus on the Bolt’s range and will emphasize the fact that the car can be driven for days and days (in normal scenarios) without the need for a recharge. Beslic added that most charging will be done at home or at work. Perhaps another indication that General Motors has no intention of committing to a public charging infrastructure.

Beslic concluded the interview with this comment on the Bolt:

“It can be an everyday vehicle but you won’t have to plug it in every night.”

Source: Brand Channel

Categories: Chevrolet


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121 Comments on "Chevrolet Bolt Marketing Manager Answers Some Bolt-Related Questions"

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Can the charge level be set manually on the Bolt?

(I am a Bolt owner): There is a “priority charging” option (charges to 40%, then you can set it to charge according to TOU rules you set up.

“Hilltop Reserve”, when enabled, will charge a Bolt to ~90%. While it’s mainly for leaving a buffer so those that live on top of….a hill can regen down that hill they live on, it can also be used by someone living at the bottom of a hill to limit charging to 90% (and possibly increase battery life)

And of course the default “charge to 100%”.

is it fixed 40 or just example?

It’s fixed.

So it’s 40%, 90%, or 100%.

I also have a JuicePlug that allows to to set whatever charge % setting I want. 🙂 I can set it to 30% or 69% or whatever I want.

A juice plug? So the charger reads it?

That’s nice that they have the 40% option. Would be nice if you could set it to whatever desired % you want but having a 40% option is better than nothing!

I agree. 70, 80% options would be great for long term battery health.
A heat pump would be great for cabin heating.
360 view cameras could be improved by being able to use them in a ‘gear’ selector other than ‘R’.

I could really use “Hilltop Reserve” on my C-Max Energi. During the summer I can easily gain 10% charge going down into town, a lot of the time, unless the A/C is roaring the battery fills up and I have to use friction braking.

Eewwwwww. Mechanical braking. Gross.

Why only 50kW charging. Such a low number on such a big battery seems a bit intentional. 🙂

Bolt EV user manual states that the car can handle 80KW CCS stations (likely based on a 500VDC 160A rating).

However most out in existence today are currently limited 50KW.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

We’re going to need bro1999 to hitup a CCS station capable of 80KW and test it for us.

The last I knew there weren’t any 80’s publicly available in the US yet, and not likely until summer. Did I miss some news?

Thought the limit is 60KW from the ‘gm-engineers-reveal-top-11-cool-chevrolet-bolt-facts-to-motor-trend’ article and motortrend site’s version of the story.

80KW would be nice to look forward to, if it will allow.

“It can be an everyday vehicle but you won’t have to plug it in every night.” is a terrible marketing pitch; goal should be to get into a mindless routine of plugging it in everyday…Plus if someone doesn’t plug in for a few days, gets fairly low on range and an emergency happens now they’re going to be mad they need to both find and wait at a public charging station…

Has GM offered any QUALITY Chevy commercials? GM’s best commercial was ironically the Lego commercial because it’s making fun of its own annoying “real people, not actors” commercial and doesn’t advertise any of it’s products…

I’ve had my Bolt for 3 weeks now, and on average I only have to plug it in every 3 days or so. If have a r/t commute of 40 miles, you literally don’t need to plug it in every day.

Saying it can go days before needing to plug in to charge only helps mitigate the “range anxiety” some people may have.

“What if my power goes out one night?? What if I forget to plug it in one night??”
Answer is “Don’t worry, you’ll probably have plenty of charge for normal driving the next day.

Does not needing to plug it in every night deserve to be highlighted?

The better approach would be show a worst case scenario at a gas station, a versus the three seconds it takes to plug in…Gas station equals waiting in unfavorable weather, pump card reader is broken, walk inside, wait in lane with undesirables, rude cashier, clusterf@ck to leave the station once done vs the three seconds it takes to plug in…

They just need to throw out this whole idea and have a famous race driver autocross the thing…

The “don’t need to charge daily” statement also gives some confidence to apartment dwellers that they could get by without having a dedicated charging station at their apartment complex.

Apt dwellers have known about this for years via Tesla…Absolutely waste of advertising efforts to highlight that you don’t “need” to charge it daily…How many complex dwellers will be mad once they see how long they have to wait at the DCFC or how much it actually costs?

Rather than just whine, I offer a solution, just have a race car driver drive the Bolt EV on an Autocross track…That would make it sell…

Seeing as range anxiety and the “annoyance” of having to plug it in daily are what put a lot of EV buyers off I’d say that highlighting the need to only plug it in every few days is key to the mass market…

So people HATE plugging in daily but are in LOVE with plugging in every second or third day? Not plugging in daily causes additional anxiety, (“did I plug in today or was that yesterday?”) just got to do it daily and after 21 days straight it becomes a habit and you even have to think about it again…

Well, it helps when you are doing the Saturday morning “walk of shame”, and you don’t have to worry that you didn’t plug your car in the night before…


Uhm, no that isn’t what I said whatever.

Are you in love with filling your car up with gas, what if you had to do it every day, or once or twice a week. Which would you prefer?

You can go to the grocery store every day but what if you got a fridge and only had to go once or twice a week!

Get it? the general public is wary of the plug (for one reason or another) and comforting them and saying you don’t have to plug it in every time you see one is a good thing. Maybe not to you but you clearly aren’t the person that has an issue with plugging your car in to charge…

It should not be an issue to plug in your car…Do it 21 days straight and odds are you’ve trained yourself to do that automatically without giving it a second thought…Or buy a wireless charger once becomes available…

Bolt EV has been out for roughly six weeks in two states and many dealers have them on the lots…The Tesla TM3 has less range than the Bolt EV, Musk has always been a vocal proponent of “plugging in everynight like your cell phone” and is rewarded with 400K-ish pre-orders…

Overall point being, you have 30 seconds to showcase a car, of all the possibilities, heck, look at the other article on here about the 10 greatest features and notice plugging in frequency wasn’t addressed and further proof that it should not be marketed…

bro1999 said: The “don’t need to charge daily” statement also gives some confidence to apartment dwellers that they could get by without having a dedicated charging station at their apartment complex.” That’s absolutely the wrong approach. It may be good for advertising, but it’s going to be horrible for the public image of PEVs (Plug-in EVs) once the buyer realizes the truth: That if you can plug in at home or at work, then the only “waiting time” is the 30 seconds or so it takes to plug the PEV in at night, and the 30 seconds it takes to unplug it in the morning. As has been pointed out many times, the important thing isn’t the charging time, it’s the waiting time. If you are an apartment dweller who can’t charge at home or at work, then you’re going to have to wait for 30-60 minutes at a public charger every few days… longer if there’s a waiting line… and quite possibly pay a price higher than that for gasoline! Apartment dwellers who can’t strike a deal with the landlord to install a dedicated EV charge point next to their parking spot… should seriously re-consider any decision to buy… Read more »

If your goal is to try to convince potential customers that gas station trips are actually a terrible experience that they all hate, you have already lost. Most drivers consider it an extremely minor inconvenience.

In contrast, the idea of being stranded without fuel (running out of gas) or having to wait 30+ minutes to refuel… these are considered MAJOR inconveniences, and are significant roadblocks to EV adoption. GM is choosing to assure customers that the car has enough range that you don’t have to jump up in the middle of the night worried that maybe you forgot to plug the car in.

Agreed that it’s lost, focusing on the fuel…

Which is why I said to autocross it…

I don’t think that would be helpful, either. The Bolt isn’t actually fast; it’s just quick enough to be not slow.

I doubt anyone would look at the list of cars that would put up similar autocross numbers to a Bolt and come away impressed.

That’s marketing though…No thought the Prius would make a good getaway car but it was the #1 most remembered commercial for the 2016 super bowl…

Maybe for some, but I hate, hate, hate going to gas stations. Maybe you live in a sleepy town where jerks aren’t fighting for a pump like it’s Mad Max, but I find the experience heinous. I’d also be curious to see how much weight America would lose by getting rid of that weekly stop at a convenience store.

Yes, but you aren’t going to convince any gasmobile driver that it’s much better not to have to visit the gas station once a week or so. They’re used to it, and don’t consider it an inconvenience.

In a commercial, it would be better to concentrate on those things that a test drive would demonstrate: Instant response to the accelerator, smooth and quiet ride, lack of stinky exhaust. And of course, the savings for using electricity over gasoline should be highlighted… savings you are not likely to get if you can’t plug in at home or at work.

I agree that advertising the average driver wouldn’t need to charge it up every day, is a good way to fight public perception of range anxiety. But to extend that to a claim that it makes the Bolt practical for an apartment dweller who would have to depend on public EV chargers… that would just lead to a backlash and bad publicity for the Bolt, and for PEVs in general.

All just my opinion, of course.

No joke. I did that in my leaf just last week. Realized I hadn’t put it back on the drive after rmy wife was out. Woke at 3am to plug in 🙁

Undesirables? You mean actual people?

Add: Nicely dressed person pumping gas and it gets overfull and gas comes flying out the tank and sprays on them so they go to their business meeting smelling like gas. NJ is full service only. When someone suggests to allow self service gas stations it is arguments like this that get brought up.

I’ve been using self-service for my entire adult life and never even seen this, much less had it happen to me.

Some of these anti-ICE arguments are pretty flimsy. There are plenty of real, legitimate benefits to driving an EV; I don’t think it’s necessary to try to present trips to a gas station as some sort of suppressed abuse.

I’ve had much worse experiences with, say, public transportation than I have at any gas station ever. That doesn’t mean we should demonize public transit.

All depend on individual I guess.

Last time I went for gas for filling a jerry can for my snow blower, I spill a bit and it did stink all the way to my house.
But the gas station smells all around anyway.

In fact the can smell long after I refill the snow blower, because it’s impossible not to spill a few drop and the gas in the nozzle does not get it back in the can completely.

I use to leave the can outside all night to evaporate, and it still smell kraftstoff.

In short it stinks and I hate that.

I think what they are trying to suggest is that if you forget to recharge on occasion you won’t be out of luck.

It also is a plus for those in a city center if you rely on public charging or a shared charger at an apartment complex/condo building.

i doubt that GM is targeting the Bolt for apartment residents. the problem is that when the owner does have to use public charging, he may find the time that he has to stand around waiting to be unacceptable. that might be fine for an EV enthusiast, but among mass market consumers, this could lead to negative product experiences, which is bad for the reputation of the product. GM has an interest in avoiding that kind of thing.

for that reason, i would expect that GM would provide guidance to salesmen as to how to qualify good prospects for purchasing a Bolt. for example, i would expect that anyone who expressed interest in the Volt would also get a pitch on the Bolt as being a good complementary vehicle choice (i would expect the obverse to be true as well). if a person did say that he lived in an apartment, i would expect that the qualification guidance would have the salesperson discuss the issues of how the vehicle would be charged.

I agree, GM is not specifically targeting this demographic yet. But I think it will become more frequent soon. I just finished an apartment search last November (I’m moving next week!) and in my area, most apartment complexes constructed within the last few years have dedicated EV chargers now. From now on, DCFC will be the emergency backup or trip option.

But since you have to share these chargers with other residents, having a longer range makes it much less stressful. If a charger is being used for the night and you need to wait a day, no problem with a long range EV.

you must live in a city which provides incentives to entities that support electric vehicle adaptation. if there were so many electric vehicles that all of the allocated spaces were being regularly used by residents who are charging their vehicles, i would think that the apartment might allocate more spaces. assuming that the apartment is charging for use of the chargers, they could conceivably realize more revenue per space from electric vehicle charging than they would realize from renting regular parking spaces.

I’m not really a fan of 95% of commercials. I usually mute the TV, if I’m actually paying attention, when commercials come on. I didn’t even bother to watch the Superbowl commercials this year.

Maybe Chevy should continue to “Find new roads”, when it comes to advertising.

Agreed. I plug in at every available opportunity. It’s not only charging but it is conditioning the pack as well when needed.

The last thing we need is for a dead Bolt on the side of the road in cold weather by a first time EV driver or a journalist to cast a negative spin (remember Broader? In the Model S?) because”GM” says I don’t have to plug in every day.

Yup… altho li-ion battery packs don’t need to be “conditioned”. Only NiMH packs need that.

The ability to limit the Bolt to 40% charge puzzles me. I’ve read that it’s best for li-ion battery life to charge them to 80%, as often as possible. Charging every day should be the normal practice.

What’s the purpose of only charging to 40%? I don’t get it, unless it’s to limit waiting time at a public charger. And if you’re hanging around waiting, you’re likely to be deciding for yourself when you’ve waited long enough, not depend on the car to decide for you.

Correction to my post: I see Kdawg mentioned “pre-conditioning” in cold weather, to keep the battery pack warm. He is, of course, right on that point. If that’s what Daniel meant by “conditioning”, then it was incorrect for me to argue the point.

if indeed, the Bolt is going to become a “mass market” vehicle, that means that most of the people buying it are not going to be EV enthusiasts. from that perspective, you *must* be able to recharge the vehicle using home and/or work charging. so the marketing message being communicated seems correct and is an indication that GM understands the market.

it would be an extremely hard sell to tell people that they can recharge the Bolt by standing around at a fast charging station for 30 minutes or more while waiting for the battery to recharge. the reason being that to most car buyers only a fool would stand around for 30 minutes waiting for a BEV to recharge when they can buy an ICEV that refills in 5 minutes.

so you can see why GM made the fast charging feature an add-on option. because that is a feature directed specifically to the EV enthusiast. the reason for making it an option instead of being standard is that the feature has little value to the mass market customer.

You make a good point however I think that once there are a bunch of them out there and competition stiffens up (model 3, next gen LEAF and so on) GM probably will make the DC fast charger as standard and probably also increase the power to 100 kW. At that time people will compare it to the other 200+ mile vehicles and if the fast charger is an option on the Bolt but standard on the model 3 and LEAF that doesn’t look good for the Bolt.
At the current time however you analysis is probably right.

DCFC is standard in Canada, just the states…Bolt EV was also fast-tracked…

Once we have the Bolt’s mid cycle refresh in a few years let’s see if it remains an option or if it’s made standard…

i would take that as evidence, once again, that GM understands the market. BEVs are not particularly well suited for conditions in canada, so i would presume that GM figures that the canada is going to have a higher percentage of EV enthusiasts in the total potential market for BEVs in canada than would be the case in the US. after all, in the US, the biggest market for BEVs is in canada and no canadian province has climate conditions like those in california.

Midcycle refresh will be when we find out for sure if having DCFC optional is a smooth move or not…If it becomes standard we’ll then know they got it wrong…

Why a mid cycle refresh? It doesn’t require a redesign or new equipment at the factory. I can imagine they add it as standard for the nationwide 2018 rollout. It’s already standard in Canada and Europe. They’re probably looking at the data and seeing what the uptake rate is on that option. If it’s slow it will remain an option. If it’s high they’ll make it standard to remove the variability in manufacturing.

Right. I think GM just decided to make DCFC optional because that would save them a bit of money on the MSRP, and they seemed pretty intent on making the car as inexpensive as possible.

Personally, I am expecting them to make DCFC capability standard equipment next model year. I’m not sure enough to call it a “prediction”, but I’ll be surprised if they don’t.

“…Can the charge level be set manually on the Bolt?…”

Only as regards 110 volt charging. Chevy also makes a big deal that it remembers the 110 volt setting from location to location (either .9 kw or 1.4 kw)

At 200-250 it tries to get as close to 7200 watts as it can, within the 32 ampere limitation – such that if you don’t have 32 amps nor at least 225 volts you won’t get 7200 watts.

But like the VOLTs, when plugging in at high voltage there is no choice at all other than what you can adjust your wallbox to outside the car.

Why would you want to limit the L2 charging rate? Unless you had some shoddy EVSE install, I don’t see the point. Limiting to say 3.6 kW vs 7.2 is not gonna do anything for battery life, that’s for sure.

Most Tesla owners with the old Dual charger (80 amp) option need to at some point limit their charge rates.

A surgeon in the area who had the only other Roadster was well healed in other ways. He was going to eventually have 5 dual chargered teslas (he built a heated garage for 3 of them) so now he has the capability to charge all 5 cars at once.

With only a 300 amp service there is built in throttling in the new HPWC’s.

Other times could be at “DRIVE ELECTRIC” events where all kinds of cars are plugged in at the same time to 14-50 outlets and with various 2-fers, etc all the wallboxes cannot be supplied at full power all the time.

I run into this kind of thing all the time, and the Tesla was the easy way around the problem. The only other way to do it is to make sure you have plenty of 15 or 16 amp wallboxes to lessen the load.

Bro1999 I just gave plenty of examples where the need to throttle exists. Many of the comments here sure show a lack of experience and/or imagination.

Its rather like the fast charging issue. Someone wants it therefore they say IT HAS TO BE STANDARD.

I DON’T want it and don’t want to pay for it. Where would that leave me? My BOLT I put down a deposit on does not have the option.

“I want it, therefore it should be standard,” isn’t the reasoning of anyone I’ve seen (including myself) advocating for DCFC as standard. It’s more like, most people are going to want it, but — particularly if they’re new to EVs — they may not realize that, until it’s too late.

“My BOLT I put down a deposit on does not have the option.” Congratulations, you’ve probably reduced the car’s resale value by more than you’ve saved.

Demand charges. I throttle all the time. Also good for matching solar generation which is variable.

Demand charges make sense and I suspect we will move that way. I am a residential customer who has demand charges.

Hi David – Just out of curiousity, what do you pay for demand charges and, where precisely are you? In other words, who is your utility. I assume you don’t charge your Teslas at a ’20 kw’ rate if you can help it. It is an interesting issue to me since where I am in Western NY, years ago residence rates were much cheaper than commercial rates, but then about 15 years ago the utility started really ‘beefing up’ the ‘grid’ in residence areas (every area except the neighborhood my house is in, where the electricity is worse than 3rd world – gets down to 202 volts at the beginning of August with nothing else on in the house (I don’t want the refrigerators and freezers to run an anything less than 100 volts since I’d be afraid of burning out the compressors) – and then to PAY for all that infrastructure they really raised the residential rates and dropped the commercial rates to the point that, anyone with a moderate demand pays less with commercial than residential. Sounds like you are defacto commercial – maybe your utility doesn’t make a big deal as to what particular classification any customer… Read more »

if you’re going to put in a 240v circuit for recharging your car, you probably want to make sure that you get 40a service and not 30a service.

No. There is no choice. Any installed (instead of portable) EVSE should be sized to the circuit it is on. So you can’t reduce the charge rate.

Tesla has an adjustment because they started out on a ‘hunt the plug’ system where you carried a portable EVSE and so might have to adjust to someone’s wonky dryer outlet.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

All EVSE’s and your vehicle will negotiate the rate of best charge rate. The EVSE will have a hard upper limit of de-rated amperage (80%) of line/wire capacity. You should never get higher than that.
On some EV’s (Tesla) you can throttle down. But why would anyone throttle down?

Older homes may not be able to support EV charging and other household loads simultaneously. Limiting charge rate is one way to avoid an expensive panel upgrade. Maybe you are renting and an upgrade isn’t going to happen. More options is always better than just one.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I have many coworkers in the hills with older homes. The dryer socket (10-30R) is what they use. A typical EVSE operating continuously at only 24A will more than suffice.
At worse case, the slow trickle charge AC L1 will work. Takes much longer and less efficient but can get you the charge.

Then you buy an EVSE with a lower charge rate. If you have dynamic power limits then get an EVSE that has an adjustable charge rate. This isn’t a function of the car.

But it can be which is kind of nice. Tesla remembers where you are and what throttle you have done. The L2s at work are not adjustable and sometimes shut down at 30 amps. I leave mine on at 27 and they don’t shut down.

Just because you don’t see the value in a car that can throttle itself doesnt mean there aren’t several good reasons.

I have 6 years in 2 different EVs. Throttle by car is best and honestly I wish Tesla let us change it by app.

Here speaks the voice of experience. We ought to listen!

“Voice of Experience” (!!!!)

What a knee-slapper !!

I have over 10 years (2 cars at a time) and soon to be on my 5th EV (not 6 and 2)

and I’m sure FourElectrics beats me by a wide margin, and you sure wouldn’t consider any of the things that happened to either of us.

Initially you claimed I didn’t even own anything until I made a video of my ownership.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Bolt EV is that it’s the first affordable EV for apartment dwellers. Many could use it all week long and just charge on the weekends, if need be, for example. Home-based charging is no longer a requirement to maximize daily EV usage.

Yes and no…If you have a super short commute then maybe a lower range EV could work for you…But if you cannot charge at work (or home) you may need to spend as long as two hours to charge the Bolt weekly on DCFC, forget L2…The problem is DCFC tends to be more expensive than gas and you still may need to find something to do while charging…

Maybe GM should look into a program like Nissan’s “No Charge to Charge”.


Last thing we need is Bolt owners clogging up DCFC charging stations like Leaf owners are doing. Charging to 100% just because they can.

@bro1999: “Leaf owners . . . Charging to 100% just because they can”


No Charge to Charge is limited to 1/2 hour for DCFC. After this it costs!
I don’t think ANY Leaf in the known universe can charge to 100% in 1/2 hour at a ChadeMo site (unless it’s at 99.5% already!).

@SparkEV: Things could be worse!
And BTW, it takes a 1/2 hour charge for a 24kWh Leaf to limp from DCFC to DCFC anyway!
Message: Be kind to early adopters!

I have the 30kWH battery in my 2016 Leaf and I usually can charge using DCFC from 10% to 100% in 30 mins.

You want to give SparkEV a heart attack? 😉

Incoming SparkEV rant on Nissan’s/BMW’s free DCFC charging in 3, 2, 1….

Now THT was funny….

That program is the biggest disaster for public infrastructure. People go charge in DCFCs just because they can instead of needing the range. A few months after is started I stopped trying to drive long distances in my LEAF. Because the chargers were always full of people topping off.

Tesla just got rid of unlimited free charging for the same reason.

Maybe they could create a universal card/login that works at all the CCS chargers for a pre-negotiated rate, thus removing gouging and allowing people to plan for their EV costs.

They need something to calm early adopters’ nerves other than just saying “You’re on your own!” in the wild west of EV charging.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

That won’t work. It would be like asking GM, Ford and Nissan to standardize on battery form factor…….lol

I’ve seen some dude do a DCFC their 30 minutes then reholster the handle and swipe another card to start the charge again.

That’s fine because he’s paying for it.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

yeah but the other dudes behind him were pissed……lol

Bacardi, what do you define as short or long?

If they have a 15 mile one way commute, that’s 30 miles daily and they would still use only 150 miles of the 238 miles range, plenty of additional left over for errands.

Most people commute 40 miles or less a day, so most people should be able to have a Bolt EV and charge only once per week.

That’s why it has a lot of potential (to me anyway).

Marketing is “why would you want one?” Telling me that the commute within range of the Bolt or any other EV is not a compelling reason…I could probably commute to work, go out to lunch and run my weekly errands in a Spark EV without needing to charge more than once a week (long trips excluded)…

Again, use the advertising resources to showcase the Bolt is a fun car such as showing it autocross…

don’t forget that “238 miles” means that there are going to be times where you get a lot more than 238 miles and other times when you are going to get a lot less than 238 miles. you should plan for the worst case scenario.

it is difficult to determine your worst case scenario because the stuff that you see posted on blogs like this are typically going to be from EV enthusiasts who will run unrealistically low cabin temperatures in cold weather so that they can get more range. as a rule of thumb, i take about 60% of the epa estimate as being the worst case scenario.

Of course. The main point to me is that the Bolt doesn’t require daily charging for your daily commute. And that opens it up as a viable vehicle for many apartment dwellers.

“no comment” commented:

“…the stuff that you see posted on blogs like this are typically going to be from EV enthusiasts who will run unrealistically low cabin temperatures in cold weather so that they can get more range.”

Well I don’t know if it’s “typical”, but I do find it irritating to see drivers of either gasmobiles or PEVs (Plug-in EVs) brag about their mileage without acknowledging that they’re using hypermiling techniques. I’ve even seen articles written for auto review websites — not even dedicated EV websites — that start out claiming they were not hypermiling, then later in the article they describe exactly the hypermiling techniques (such as “drafting” behind a truck or other large vehicle on the highway, or in a PEV shutting off the car’s heater in cold weather) that they were doing!

I wish that those who write reports and reviews of any car would just be upfront about any special techniques they’re using to get more out of the car than the average driver will. Using those without acknowledging them just leads to disappointment when the average driver can’t, and doesn’t, get as much out of the car as the reviewer did.

Exactly! I already do this with a Spark EV. But I have to charge twice a week. Once at my mrs college campus, once while going out to a movie or to grab a bite to eat. But there have been occasions where the charger I need has been occupied – that throws plans out of whack.

I’m moving to a new apartment complex that has multiple EV chargers already installed. That will make my life easier! But going 200+ miles of range provides a lot of breathing room and would remove that last bit of stress in case my apartment charger is full one night.

Wait a minute! There was mass market mentioned in the text and there is still no mention of “battery supply constrained”?

No whacky, back of the napkin, calculations how LG can’t produce more than 12 cells a day?

No one mentioning that they’d need a cell factory as big as exactly 14.3789 football fields, to build 60k Bolts?

I am deeply disappointed…

Haha well I’m sure there is *some* limit in how much LG will produce a day. But I think that limit is quite a bit higher than 30,000 considering how many countries are getting the Bolt this year. 😉

In addition to the US, Canada, South Korea and parts of Europe, Mexico is next up for this summer!

I was really hoping to find something here.

Well those calculations are pretty hard, I always mess up where you have to multiply it by the guesstimation constant to the power of personal believe. Maybe they are still calculating.

R.S said: “Wait a minute! There was mass market mentioned in the text and there is still no mention of ‘battery supply constrained’? … “No one mentioning that they’d need a cell factory as big as exactly 14.3789 football fields, to build 60k Bolts?” Did you even bother to read the article? There isn’t a single word there about the possibility of GM making more than a bit over 30,000 Bolts during this first year of production. Nothing at all to support your assertion that auto makers can depend on commodity batteries for their PEVs; an assertion which runs counter to every single historical example we have, from BYD, and Nissan, and Tesla. And are you the one who responded to one of my posts, in an earlier discussion, where I was very careful to say that auto makers will need to build “large” battery factories; a response in which you (or someone) countered that they don’t need to build ones the size of Gigafactory 1? I didn’t bother to refute your comment (if that was yours) then, but I did carefully choose the word “large”, as in a large volume of output. “Large” does not have to mean tens… Read more »

I’ve had a Bolt for weeks and the marketing person is right. Even though I have a charger in my garage because plugging it in to add 25 miles range when I have 175 left seems pointless. Sure, if I might go somewhere tomorrow I’ll plug it in. But most of the time I know I won’t drive over 100 miles the next day so I don’t bother unless there are 50 miles or more to add.

Congratulations on being an EV owner.

I’ve owned one for years and the maxim ‘always be charging’ is good advice.

If you wait until tomorrow to charge if you decide to go somewhere after all, you’ll be waiting on a cahrge cycle to complete.

Treat your EV like a cell phone and plug it in at night. The days you need the full range on short notice, you’ll be very glad you did keep it charged.

For battery longevity, the hill top 90% charge mode sounds ideal for routine overnight charging.

I had a LEAF for 3 years. I Was able to manage the range on that car, I’m fully capable of managing it on this car.

If I find I unexpectedly need to go somewhere on short notice I can go to a DCFC or take my gas car.

Trust me, I got this worked out.

Might be good to keep it plugged in for pre-conditioning in the winter, but I don’t think you live in a cold state like MI.

JP, I agree on the “always be charging” idea with a BEV/EREV. It only takes 4 or 5 seconds to plug in or to unplug your car. If you plug in every time you park at home, you stay in the habit of always doing so. That way you don’t forget to plug in when you REALLY need to plug the car in.
I seldom forget to plug my phone in and plugging my car in is no more difficult.

GM is one of the only companies out there pioneering for new, electric drive customers. I cut them some slack, here. Tesla’s on board range estimation, and charging flexibility still breeds “Broders”.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


I predict we will hear about more “Broders” as the Bolt sells more and more.
Many will opt out of the DCFC and even as the ICE has a fuel gauge, we STILL see peeps walking on the side of freeways with gas can in hand.

I think we need to understand that “broderizing” (as it’s called) a PEV (Plug-in EV) has more to do with unfamiliarity with driving a PEV, especially in cold weather, than it has to do with range limitations.

It’s really unfortunate that Broder was so inaccurate in the facts in his article, because there really is an issue with the rather significant discrepancy between what Tesla claims is the car’s range, and what its range really is in very cold weather, if you leave the car parked outside overnight without being plugged in. A PEV really does need to have the battery pack kept warm for long-range driving. On very cold nights, that probably will require making sure the car remains plugged in overnight.

A road trip in a PEV does need more planning ahead, and better understanding of the car’s limits, than road trips in a gasmobile. That is something we EV advocates should acknowledge and should be upfront about. Trying to hide the reality is only going to cause backlash against mass adoption of PEVs.

The Bolt gives the owner far more flexibility charging than the short range EVs, it should not be expected to charge every night.

Unless you get wireless charging 😀

Well, this is good. If they actually market the Bolt EV… then that will also help sales of the Volt as people go to dealers and wind up seeing both vehicles. Maybe they should consider some ads that focus on both vehicles in their lineup.

Rode my electric assist bike to the local GM dealer dealer yesterday, to check out the seat in a Buick Encore. Somebody said it is the same as the seat in the Bolt, which many are complaining about. The young salesman told me the Bolt would be available probably next year, and I should check out the Volt. I said that his boss had told me the Bolt demo would be in this month. He said the Volt was better because when you “run out of electricity” you won’t have a 3000 pound paper weight, like the Bolt.

I suspect those who only have 120 volt outlets to charge from at home will charge every night, just to make sure they have a topped-off battery for the weekend, and then use the weekdays to fully replenish the battery.

I suspect the ratio of home charging at 120 vs. 240 for both gen1 and 2 volts is 70% to 30%. More than that percentage charge at 240 but I suspect alot of that is public charging which is heavily 240.

I expect that 30/70 ratio will reverse for the bolt – the majority I would think would want to install a 240 volt wall box or outlet, such that 2/3 of Bolt owners can charge quickly at home and only around 1/3 will be satified with the default trickle charging rates (8 or 12 amps at 110-120 volts).

But, I could be mistaken – it could be that people do just as I’ve stated and as long as they have a full charge for the weekend they could care less about 220 charging.

i think you are mistaken. but there is a model to test this hypothesis: what percentage of tesla owners use 120v charging?

120v is fine for the Volt because you don’t have the pressure of relying solely on the battery. but for a car like the Bolt, relying on 120v charging seems like a foolish proposition.

as you know, “238 miles” is not a guarantee with the Bolt, and if you live in a cold climate area, it is *definitely* not a guarantee for winter driving. if you tried to get by with 120v charging, you could realistically find yourself in a fix where you are using up more range than you can recover each day using home charging.

No comment –

Apples and Oranges – 2 big differences between GM products and Teslas.

1). Teslas are NOTORIOUSLY inefficient at 120 volts, whereas I’ve assigned efficiency numbers on the volt chargers at 135,150,160 for 8, 12, (on 110-120) and 15 @ 220 respectively. In other words, in the VOLT, the car does cost less to charge up the faster you charge it, but its not a stupendous change as it is in the Teslas.

2). Tesla owners usually are more , shall we say, ‘interested’ in ‘charging infrastructure’, and are willing to spend much more money on it than most ‘built down to a price’ bolt owners.

(Yeah Mr. Wozniak owns as many BOLTS as he feels like, but I suspect he has a bit more cash to play with than the average Bolt buyer.)

As a humorous side note, the huge Columbus, Ohio service center at the time I owned my Roadster did not have ANY 200 volt charging facility for my Roadster. They could only charge it at 110 volts.

Looking back through the logs of my Roadster’s charging history, there would always be an entry of ’70 hours’ (almost 3 days straight) of charging after they test drove it and depleted the battery testing one thing or the other.

LOL! That is insane.

The fact that a Big service center didn’t have either:

1). A HPC (70 amp Clipper Creek)
2). A MC or UMC (30 amp or 40 amp with TSL-01 (Roadster) end.
3). A J1772 adapter and wallbox

wasn’t really a big deal…

The big deal was all of their EXPERIENCED Tesla mechanics had quit.

Their best guy in my area (he came to my home several times) was a 26 year old EXPERIENCED guy from Green Bay, WIS to fix the mess the SC got themselves into.

I would imagine now Tony is the new manager of the Detroit SC if they’ve opened one there yet.

Yep, average Tesla owner is not a good comparison for average Bolt owner. Tesla owners are almost uniformly ‘well-off’ enough to where a $1000+ charging station installation is inconsequential to their monthly bills. That will not be true for Bolt owners.

Bill: Commenting further on your series of posts, it is true that many would be Bolt EV owners will be satisfied with using only 120V charging, for the reasons mentioned. If you have 238 miles to play with(ideally), then the average daily drain would be well within what you could replenish overnight even with a 120V set up. In fact my Gen I Volt gets 35 miles every night in the winter and close to 50 or so in warmer months. That suffices for my regular work place commute and the odds and ends type of little driving I might do when I get home. Where the 120V falls short is when I come home very low and have additional(longer) trips to make(eg to our local mall). I hate using the generator, but of course have no choice when the battery range is depleted. Having access to a 240V(even just at 20 amps—which is all the Volt can do anyway—would make up a lot of the gap in available miles versus desired miles). I’d imagine a lot of Bolt EV owners will make do and if they are able to, eventually install a Level II EVSE. Would not need to… Read more »

I can’t speak from personal experience, not owning a PEV, but I’ve read more than one claim that a L1 (110-120 volt) charging connection is inadequate for bitterly cold nights; that an L1 charge can’t keep up with the need to both run the battery heater and charge the car.

So I’d be interested to know, for those regions where it sometimes gets bitterly cold on winter nights, what percentage of PEV drivers depend only on L1 charging.

My guess is that it would also depend on what other cars were, or were not, in the garage. If the garage also has a gasmobile, that would make it much less of an absolute necessity to have a L2 charger for those very cold nights.

Tesla says 110V/15A isn’t necessarily enough for bitterly cold nights. They say you can plug in all night and still have less range than you started with. It’s unclear what portion of whether it is temporary capacity loss due to cold pack or whether it’s spending more energy heating the pack than it gets from the wall. No other company has gone on record.

I don’t think any other car maker has gone on record about it.

LEAFs don’t even all have pack heaters though, so not every car is the same.

There are Bolts in Ontario and Quebec now, right so we should find out some info on them soon.

This is a key difference between Tesla and GM products as Ive stated. The roadster, as arranged for North America could charge at 12 or 15 amps at 120 volts, and either setting was enough.

An “S” could charge at a maximum of 12 amps (unless using a speciallized wallbox or adapter with the UMC (which is a portable wallbox) using the default 5-15 adapter, and in cold weather it apparently was *NOT* enough.

A volt seems to work just fine at 8 amps @ 110 volts in either the coldest or hottest weather, although charge times will be greatly lengthened. Mine at home craps out at 100 volts, but it is still charging at 101.

i’ve never had a problem recharging my Volt. it might take a bit longer and you get fewer miles per full charge in the winter, but it does seem to recharge. then again, according to bill howland (who has also had tesla’s in his stable at times, in addition to his benz-o’s), tesla’s are extremely inefficient when charging at 120v.

For independent confirmation, look at the charge times of a RAV4EV (which used a tesla charger) at the 120 volt rate and compare them with the 240 rates.

As I’ve said before: Kudos to GM for marketing a compelling long-range BEV, but no way does a $37,500 MSRP car qualify as “affordable”.

That price range, which also includes the Tesla Model 3, is best described as “semi-affordable”.

Now, I can see the argument that if you get the full Federal income tax credit plus the full California State credit, then that might bring the base price down into the truly “affordable” range of, let’s say, $28k or less. But many, many people are not going to qualify for those rebates.

Yeah, the Bolt is still a niche car, for a couple reasons including it’s price and it’s lack of viable long-range travel over most of the country at this time.

Is PEV a term now? I thought it was just Hybrid and BEV (battery) and FEV (fuel cell). Why refer to the plug?