The Chevrolet Bolt EV has a lot of great features, the best of which may be its relatively low purchase price. However, one of its biggest shortcomings is its DC fast charging capabilities.
The vehicle has a maximum DC fast charge rate of only 55 kW, which is lower than every other EV sold in North America today except for the MINI Cooper SE and Mazda MX-30. However, those EVs have much smaller battery packs (32.6 kWh and 35.5 kWh respectively), than the Bolt EV's 66 kWh pack, so the lower charging rate doesn't affect them as much.
We got hold of a 2017 Bolt EV that recently had its battery replaced due to the recall, so we had a fresh pack to record a full 0% to 100% charging session on an Electrify America 150 kW DC fast charge station.
As always, we recorded the entire charging session in time-lapse, and then plotted out the entire charging curve as well as the time to charge chart where we explain how long it takes to add back miles based on our own Bolt EV 70 mph range test, as well as the EPA range rating.
It took us 19 minutes to get to 25% state of charge; 39 minutes to get to 50% state of charge; 73 minutes to get to 75% state of charge and after 2 hours and 26 minutes the charging station shut off with the vehicle still displaying 99% SOC.
The charging time was slightly slower than what we've witnessed in the past, before the Bolt EV battery problems, prompting us to consider that Chevrolet may have adjusted the DC fast charge rate down a bit on vehicles that have the battery replacement, out of an abundance of caution.
We will be getting a new 2022 Bolt EUV soon for testing, and we'll repeat the full DC fast charge recording on the vehicle to see if the charging characteristics are the same.
During the recording, it took 73 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%, which is very poor when compared to many other EVs available today. However, the Bolt's attractive price point make it a good value for those that don't need to frequently use public DC fast chargers.
Most EV owners charge daily at home or at work, and rarely need to use public DC fast charging infrastructure, outside of an occasional long trip. For those owners, the slow DC fast charging rate isn't really a major concern. But for those that do need to take frequent long trips covering many hundreds of miles at a time, the Bolt EV may not be the best consideration.
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