Chevy Bolt EV Owners On Rural Texas Ranch: This Car Has Got Guts

Chevy Bolt Cargo Hauler On Texas Ranch

OCT 21 2018 BY WADE MALONE 43

“I want to be a cowboy baby! Where my Chevy Bolt’s charged by the sunshine shinin’.”

Harry and Elizabeth Akers are proud new owners of the Chevy Bolt EV. The couple lives in rural Merkel, Texas about 20 miles from Abilene and 200 miles west of Dallas. They own 200 acres of land and 40 cattle on their property.

And now the Bolt is their primary mode of transportation for errands and hauling cargo. So far, Elizabeth Akers loves the range of the Bolt and its 56.6 cu ft of cargo space:

It’s about a 55-mile round trip to pick up feed for the cattle. We got the Bolt EV mainly for that reason—to go into town, run errands, and pick up what we need. We can go into town three times on a single charge, and it’s got more than enough room.

Chevy Bolt Texas Ranch

Hauling feed for the cattle or other items they need from town is a daily trip. So the cost of driving to and from town on gas was becoming a burden. Now with their new electric, their fuel comes from geothermal power and a solar panel installation. Hopefully they took advantage of the $2,500 Texas Plug-In rebate as well. The switch to a greener lifestyle is going to pay for itself in no time. According to Harry Akers:

The numbers just made sense when I looked at what we’d save with the Bolt EV. Bottom line is that we invest in things that reinvest in us, and we can put the money we’re saving back into things we want to do—like going on vacation and taking cruises.

The long range of the Bolt means a trip to Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin/San Antonio and Midland/Odessa are all more than do-able thanks to their centralized location. As charging infrastructure fills in, travel will become even easier. In fact, the Akers purchased their Bolt from Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, TX near Dallas. The dealership is well known for Electric Avenue, a section dedicated solely to sale of hybrid and plug-in vehicles.

But it’s not just the energy savings, range and cargo capacity the couple appreciates. The electric Chevy is also fun to drive. Of the vehicle’s performance, Harry says “This car’s got all kind of guts to it.”

Thanks to electrics like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt, people all over are starting to see the value of electric cars.

Source: New Roads Magazine

Categories: Chevrolet

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43 Comments on "Chevy Bolt EV Owners On Rural Texas Ranch: This Car Has Got Guts"

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ffbj

Farmers/Ranchers if they are anything it is practical, and the Bolt is practical. It makes sense, and it works, it’s silent and non-polluting so it doesn’t bother the livestock.

William

Chevy Bolts are for the Bovine Breeders also!

Imagine how a 200 mi. + EV Chevy Acadia would complement this Coyboy Ranch!

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

If Bolt could tow a small trailer, you woldn’t need Acadia. Gawd how I wish Bolt could tow so I can make 4×8 plywood runs to Lowes…

Dimitrij

I’d give up the battery section that lives in the hump under the rear bench in exchange for the flat floor there (the bench would fold forward) and a taller tailgate. I imagine a lot of people would, because like this TX family or myself, they mostly need 2 seats and can live with a 20% shorter range.

Terrible Tim

That would be a winner, for the Model 3 too.

Doug B

Dealer will install a 1.25″ hitch for you, tho not with the lighting harness, but should still be able to pull a small trailer.

Bernhard

And I thought cattle food grows on the country side, not in town…

John-EU

May be with the freaking fracking Texan oil industry just around the corner they prefer to go safe and buy fresh vegan food for their cattle everyday.

Some Guy

I doubt that a single run with a bolt can carry enough grass/hay to feed 40 heads of cattle for a day, as cattle tend to consume about 2% of their body weight per day in feed (unless they are lactating, then it is more). Considering the body weight being a wee bit higher than even the fattest humans, that adds up quickly. If you think supplementary grain feeding, that would translate in about 80-240 kg of grain per day when considering recommended dosage. Likely that is what the trips to the feedstore are needed for.

Will

This FUD guy^^^

Tony Belding

If a Texan says “cow feed” he’s referring to protein cubes, which come in 50-pound sacks. However, driving a 55-mile trip to the feed mill ever day seems awfully wasteful of time. We always had a whole truckload delivered and stacked in our barn, then we hauled out a few sacks to the cows every day.

Some Guy

Interesting, I did not know that about protein cubes. A distant relative of mine was a farmer for several decades, who also had a few cows, that were fed the traditional way with hay from the barn only and never left the shed.
I also stumbled about the daily trip necessity, because the logical decision would be to invest in onsite storage to minimize transportation cost. I can think about many potential explanations, starting from wanting to see other people, to lack of a suitable storage facility on the ranch. It’s cool that they are using an EV and geothermal power.

Doggydogworld

I doubt 200 acres is enough for 40 head near Abilene.

Not sure why they buy feed daily, though.

Dimitrij

For better or worse, modern agriculture is highly industrialized, centralized and specialized.

But, even homestead-style farms do not necessarily grow everything they need to feed what cattle they may have, and not every homestead that grows cattle food has the cattle to eat it up.

If you drive in rural areas, you will often see feed mills that store animal feed and sell to the local farmers. Some are old and battered, others are new and shiny. Of course they will be “in towns”, because that’s how many towns grew – around feed mills, markets, hardware stores etc.

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swamplife

A nice little story about a Bolt EV. All EVs promote other EVs.
No need for those that worship at the sign of the T to be critical.

Robert Weekley

Even a Bolt EV would be Overkill for Some Buyers, so for sure a Model 3 would be, even the new Mid Range choice! However – some people Do Road Trips, more than once a year, and sometimes more than one year in a Row! For those folks (Than don’t go for Long Range EV’s, but want to move to some form of EV), there are two choices, if they have only room for One Car in their driveway: Buy a PHEV/EREV, or Buy a City EV, & Rent an ICE for Long Trips, as needed!

Stimpacker

Yup, all BEVs have their niche roles.
I don’t go to Home Depot with my Tesla. I use my Nissan Leaf. Fits 10′ piping just fine. 😁

antrik

Taking unprovoked shots like this one doesn’t exactly help peaceful coexistence…

Kent

Awesome story! Great car, very practical, yet fun too at an attractive price. I am getting one myself for those very reasons.

wavelet

These folks’ usage would seem better suited to an LCV van/small pickup than to a compact hatchback. Yes, I know the US doesn’t have any sold commercially yet, but I do hope this changes soon. Think something like an e-NV200 or electric Transit Connect (the Workhorse / Bollinger offerings will be overkill for this and much too expensive.)

Cypress

The Bolt has about as much cargo space as a small pickup. The Chevy Silverrado short bed has about 60cu-ft of volume, for example.

But I would guess that if there was a 200+ mile range electric pickup for similar MSRP as the Bolt, these folks would jump on it.

wavelet

Not really. The Bolt (numbers quoted for the Ampera-E badged version) has 381 litres of cargo space with rear seats up, 1274 when they are folded down.
The 5-seater version of the e-NV200 has 2270 litres of cargo space rear seats up (5x the Bolt’s), or 3100 if folded (2.5x the Bolt’s). If you buy the 2-seat only version of the van, cargo space is 4200 litres, >3x the Bolt’s space.

So, not even close. The Bolt is not primarily a cargo vehicle, so that’s no surprise.

Andy

45cu-ft for a fully loaded Bolt vs 60cu-ft for a load up to the sides of the bed. With a cap that’s 120 cu-ft and without it’s realisitically somewhere between 60 and 120 depending on what’s being carried.

So no, no where near. The pickup also has the benefit of being able to be loaded by a fork lift, with a pallet slid into the back, unlike the Bolt.

Beat

Nice story, but. If saving gas on an ICE car is to use that money to go more on planes and boat cruises, both big polluters and CO2 emitters too, it doesn’t help anything to our ongoing climate catastrophe.

Remember: burning 1 gallon of gas has net long term effect of melting 6 metric tons of arctic ice! And even 10 metric tons if you count extracting, refining and transporting shale oil!

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

So why do we still have any ice left on this planet when we’re burning millions of gallons per day? This kind of hyperbolic nonsense is why some people think climate change is a hoax. In reality, arctic ice is subject to other forces and they don’t melt just because of gas burning in Texas.

Remember, Tesla (except base X), SparkEV, BoltEV on sale are great whether climate change is an issue or not. Other EV are not so because they are too expensive compared to similar gassers.

Terrible Tim
Because there is a LOT of ice on the planet and it is the LONG TERM effect of burning a gallon of gas, not 6 metric tons of ice melting next week or year due to burning a gallon of gas. That increased CO2 doesn’t just disappear a year or two after you burn a gallon of gas. Some simple math: Just the ice in Antarctica is estimated to be 6.4 million cubic miles. A cubic mile of ice weighs approximately 4.6 billion metric tons. An order of magnitude estimate of oil/natural gas “burned” since we started burning the stuff is 100 billion tons or 40 trillion gallons. Long term effect, if Beat is correct, would be that would result in 240 trillion tons of ice melt LONG TERM. Antarctic ice CURRENTLY estimated at 30,000 trillion tons (6400000 * 4600000000 / 1000000000000) So, it would appear, that you prefer to just label other people’s claims as nonsensical based on your bogus assertion that if Beat’s was correct all the ice in the world would have already melted. Do note that my estimate of 100 billion tons of oil is probably a bit low, doesn’t account for natural gas but also… Read more »
Rightofthepeople
You are totally missing the bigger picture here. I don’t know for sure, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Harry and Elizabeth lean to the right in their politics and voting patterns. They own a ranch in Texas for crying out loud! They likely own guns and belong to the NRA, probably voted for Trump, and may actually believe Global Climate Change Warming Disaster (or whatever it’s called today) is a Chinese hoax. AND NONE OF THAT SHOULD MATTER! What matters here is that they have purchased an EV and have invested in renewable energy, full stop! You shouldn’t care what their reasons are. Based on the article one can conclude they did these things because they make financial sense. If they go take a cruise, that ship was sailing anyway, with or without them! And more importantly Harry and Liz (I don’t think she’ll mind if I call her Liz) will be sharing their story with other ranchers and people they know in their community, and those people are likely right leaning politically as well. So the message of EVs and renewables will spread through this community and begin to spread throughout West Texas even… Read more »
Tracy

Thank you! I have been saying the same thing (your last sentence) for a long time. There are plenty of reasons to do the right thing, and if the climate change folk could get past requiring the label, and move on to the environmental (clean air, water and soil), health and financial reasons (including lowering health care costs), as well as national security (decentralized grid less susceptible to attack, or damage in natural disaster), we could actually make real progress on these issues.

Rightofthepeople

100% agree with every word in your post! I am taking delivery of a Model 3 today (or next week, depending on if Tesla gets their act together or not) for most of the reasons you listed. I am a HUGE fan of clean air and no one I know, not a single person, would argue that the stuff that comes from the tailpipe of a car isn’t bad for people. Many would say climate change is a hoax, but they all agree the emissions are bad for people. There are so many things we all (left, right, and middle) can agree on, why spend time fighting over the one thing we don’t.

antrik

It’s not like “saving the planet” and “being right” are mutually exclusive…

Andy

TBH they’re farming beef so their Bolt is like farting into the wind considering the amount of CO2 generated to farm it.

antrik

AIUI the major issue with beef is methane (i.e. literal farting 😉 ) rather than CO2?…

Cypress

Great write up!

Brian

Hopefully GM will make a small electric pickup in the near future.

Quiviran

A Chevy Colorado-sized BEV would seem ideal. Many, many would be sold. You wouldn’t even have to make them very fancy, just very smart. It would eat into Silverado sales, but it would probably pick up (so to speak) some F-150 buyers, if GM gets to market first.

James

Nice! He can use his gas savings to buy a Bollinger B2 for his ranch truck!

throwback

Depending on the price, a B1 would probably work even better for them.

Shaun

Is buying feed daily by the bag really cost effective for a farmer? I would think having it delivered by the truckload would be cheaper.

antrik

That’s precious: every suburban cowboy thinks he needs a pickup truck, and here we have *real* cowboys running their farm with a small city EV 🙂

Bill Howland

This is the rehash of the article in FIND NEW ROADS that all recent Chevy purchasers get.

They say that ‘Electric Vehicles are Everywhere!’. Perhaps upper GM management should try reading the magazine so that they come out with something new.

Ford lately is downsizing everything, especially their white-collar guys and no more sedans for North America. This is getting Mike Jackson – head of the huge dealership chain AUTONATION to not even want to speak their name.

I wish FORD would start making more ev stuff since that would like a fire under Mary Barra’s Can.

Danno

Sure would like to know the details behind “powered by geothermal power and a solar panel installation”, and if they are on or off grid. Details matter, otherwise just another pro EV fluff piece.

Elons_Best_Friend

Teach’n the BoltEV to rope and ride! Yee Haw! I’m lov’n it! The sun is shining; the Bolt’s charg’n. The Western Lifestyle at it’s best !! Western skies are callin’ me home!

Raymond Ramirez

GM now has to transfer the Bolt EV technology to the Colorado (or the future Blazer) so buyers who need a pickup or CUV can get an electric powered model.