Ever since the Chevrolet Bolt EV debuted in 2017, it's been a great value proposition considering its long range and a relatively low base MSRP. However, in 2017, its DC fast maximum charge rate of 50 kW was acceptable. It certainly wasn't industry-leading, but acceptable nonetheless as most public DC fast charging infrastructure was capped at 50 kW at the time.
A year before the Bolt EV launched, I spoke to the Bolt's chief engineer, Josh Tavel about the decision to limit the fast charge rate to 50 kW, and Tavel explained to me that they could increase the rate if they feel it necessary and if public charging infrastructure matures to deliver higher power.
The 2022 Bolt EV
Nearly seven years have passed since that interview and Chevrolet has upped the Bolt's DC fast charge rate to 55 kW, but that's woefully inadequate compared to the other EVs available today. Perhaps the problems with the LG Chem battery pack which led Chevrolet to recall all Bolt EVs and replace the packs played a role in why they haven't increased the max DC charge rate more over the years.
“We’re still figuring out how fast we want to go. We’ve over validated a lot of our components just in case, but were still figuring out if we want to limit it to say, 50kW or 60kW or possibly higher. That decision hasn’t been made yet but I can promise it won’t be lower than 50kW.” - Josh Tavel, Bolt EV's Chief Engineer at the 2016 North American International Auto Show
The good news for Bolt EV owners is that many electric vehicle owners rarely need to use public charging infrastructure, provided they have the ability to plug in at home. The 259-mile EPA-rated driving range is more than enough for the daily driving needs of most customers. The exception would be on the occasions when they need to travel further than the single-charge range of the Bolt EV, which is somewhere between 200 and 270 miles, depending on weather conditions and driving style.
Additionally, Chevrolet will pay the installation costs for your home charging equipment on all new 2022 Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs. Chevrolet's charging partner, Qmerit, will come to your home or business and Chevrolet will cover the cost of a standard installation. However, if a more complex installation is required, the customer will have to pay the difference.
However, for those that do want to take the Bolt EV further than its single-charge leash provides, it's good to know how long the vehicle will take to add back miles on the trip. Therefore we've put together this DC fast charging video analysis, which demonstrates what Bolt EV (and Bolt EUV) owners should expect to see when they DC fast charge their vehicles.
We should point out that all EV charging, and especially DC fast charging can be influenced by a number of factors, including the power delivery from the charging equipment and most importantly the battery temperature. Therefore, this video is meant to serve as a guide for what you should expect to see in similar conditions, not the exact example of what you will experience every time you charge the vehicle.
We have the entire 0 to 100% DC fast charging session in time-lapse included in the video along with the full charging curve plotted out and the time to charge chart, which demonstrates how long it takes to add back 100 and 200 miles of driving range.
|State Of Charge||Time Needed||Miles added|
We also took a look at how many miles per minute the charging session added back and from 0 to 80% state of charge, the Bolt EV added back 2.57 miles of range for every minute of charging. Then from 80% to 100%, the charging rate dropped precipitously, to an average of one mile of range added per minute of charging.
To put that into perspective, our charging king, the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range, averaged 10.81 miles added per minute of charging from 0 to 80% and 2.86 miles per minute from 80% to 100%. However, you can buy five Bolt EVs for the price of one Lucid Air Dream Edition, so that has to be taken into consideration.
So check out the video and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.