Real world range?

Discussion in 'Bolt EV' started by Bendar, Dec 18, 2018.

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  1. Bendar

    Bendar New Member

    Surprised to see no discussion of how far people are actually getting in the Bolt. I just got mine, but does not look like anywhere near 238 miles so far.
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  3. Tom Moloughney

    Tom Moloughney InsideEVs Staff Subscriber

    There's a lot of factors in determining range. What's the temperature where you're driving? Is a lot of your driving at 70MPH+, do you drive in mountainous areas or is it mostly flat, are you using the heater? All of these factors can really have a big effect.

    In my experience, under ideal conditions (~70 degrees f, flat terrain, no heat or A/C use, 60 mph) I could easilly get 250 miles of range in a Bolt. But in the winter (under 30 degrees, hilly terrain driving 75mph), the range was around 200 miles. If course, YMMV
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  4. rgmichel

    rgmichel Active Member

    There is a great deal of discussion of this in many forums. Generally, in summer the range is 238 miles or better with no problem. In winter, the range is reduced by about 25% if the heater is used. There are other details that can be read in various forums.
  5. I don't own a Bolt, but one of the InsideEVs guys shared his results.

    With the temperature around 54 F, and the heat set to 68, the car says he can get 202 miles. Half of his commute is highway at about 70 mph, the rest city is streets at 40-45 mph. That, to me, seems like a pretty great result.

  6. rgmichel

    rgmichel Active Member

    At 54F I don't use the heat, just the seat heaters if necessary. Thus my range is at least 4 mi/kWh under those conditions. The range shown as the middle number in the dash does not mean much, as there are too many short term variables affecting it. The best calculation uses the miles traveled and the kWh used. I note this down before fully charging either in hilltop reserve or fully topped off, and so I have data that show the variation I see with odometer miles, and mostly journey by journey, see below

    Note that most of the time, the efficiency is about 4 mi/kWh, but the dip shows the drop in winter 2017/8 due to use of the heater. The big spikes are mainly due to the resetting of the numbers when a software upgrade was done by Chevy. Also, note the variability is quite high, so any individual number can only be interpreted in the context of the overall picture. These data were obtained to Oct 2018. Since then the trend into this winter 2018/9 has continued the same.

    mIles per kWh from car display Oct 2018.png
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  8. racerx2005

    racerx2005 Member

    I got my Bolt 4 days ago and so far I’ve driven 62 miles and the myChevrolet app says I have 143 left. I did most of it locally, with heat on and off and a 10 mile highway stint at 65mph; I live in New York, which was 22F this morning, so I’m not expecting a stellar range during winter.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  9. jaybobbolt

    jaybobbolt New Member

    I live in LA and have had my Bolt for 2 years. Don't use the heater much, but the short version on "real world range" is if you drive like Magoo-like Prius drivers, you can get over 250 all the time, easily. My wife gets that much or more -- and she's not even full Magoo.

    Those of us who bought the car for its speed, quickness, and torque -- well, let's just say it's nice when you get 175 out of it. I average about 160.

    But I also invested in solar panels so the fuel in my car is free.

    Too bad the Bolt has a governor!
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  10. 160 miles is impressive! Someone isn't sparing the ponies. :cool:
  11. Keith Moon

    Keith Moon New Member

    Never go full Magoo.
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  13. Keith Moon

    Keith Moon New Member

    Unless, of course, you value having a drive axle.
  14. rgmichel

    rgmichel Active Member

    There is lots of discussion on this topic on many Bolt EV related BBS. The use of the heater in winter is the biggest hit on the range. There may be a hit on the battery, but I have not been able to prove that to myself yet, as clearly as I see the effect of the heater when I switch it off for a whole journey. Right now, with use of the heater, I have about 190 miles range as readout on the dash. In summer, using the A/C I easily have ranges between 220 and 250 miles. With Hilltop reserve, my range in winter goes down to about 155 miles, while in summer it goes down to about 200 miles. You have to bear in mind that extreme cold around 0F does appear to affect the battery significantly, but I have not experienced these temperatures for long enough to really come to a conclusion. Also, there is a large day-to-day variability in these numbers that depend on just about anything to do with driving around up and down hills, speed, and other driving details, that you cannot base your conclusions even on a few days of driving. If you scroll up a bit in this discussion, you will find a graph of mine that illustrates the magnitude of the variability.
  15. sniwallof

    sniwallof Active Member

    There are hundreds of posts about winter reduction in range at the Bolt forum (as well as for all battery EV driving, such as here in the Clarity forum). Upstate, NY, winter, I have fallen as low as 130 to 135 miles range in hill top mode (about 80%, so you have available battery capacity for max regen leaving home, especially down hill, when you don't need full range). I expect to see my full range go over the nominal 230 miles come summer (based on past Volt and Clarity experience).

    Not a complaint (I am so happy with the Bolt), but the more significant problem for winter trips is that the "fast" chargers generally limit you to 45 minutes max, which may or may not get you to 80% charge (the max practical charge for most fast charges). So, depending on how you are able to space out your charging stops and where the CCS fast chargers are available (and actually working), a 400 mile round trip, for example, can be a lot of fun as an occasional adventure with food and nap charging stops, or total F*ing agony, taking way longer than a PHEV or ICE trip would with an occasional 5 minute stop for gas. I am seriously looking at second car for longer trips, but so far, it makes no economic sense. Otherwise, Bolt is a fun and agile fast little car that works perfectly for my needs 90%+ of the time.

    Despite all of its minor foibles, I kinda wish I had kept my Clarity as a second car, instead of trading it in :)
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
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  16. rgmichel

    rgmichel Active Member

    When I started fast charging my Bolt EV in 2017, the charge stops were limited to 30 minutes, as they were designed for LEAFS, but now they are limited to 45 minutes. However, I was always able to "top up" to 80% be restarting the charging. I usually obtained another 10 to 20 minutes of charging depending on how low I started. I have not yet tried to restart under the 45 minute regime, so I can't attest to being able to restart, but I suspect you can do so.
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  17. rgmichel

    rgmichel Active Member

    I thought I would show you the range I achieve with my 2017 Chevy Bolt. I calculate the range on any one day to be the miles driven added to the range left on the dash, read with the HVAC off, although I would have used the HVAC on most journeys. These data were obtained by readout from the car before every charge, every day, over a period that covers Fall 2017 on the left at around 6000 miles, to Spring 2019 on the right around 16000 miles.

    You can see from the graph that the range varies between 150 and 250 miles as a function of the odometer reading.The dip on the left is winter 2017/2018, while the dip on the right is winter 2018/2019. The middle is summer of 2018, where the range is highest.

    One thing is clear, and that is the variability over time that is caused by heater use in the winter, a/c use in the summer, and driving conditions throughout. Secondly, the official 238 mile range is indeed a summer range at the car's best, as my summer range peaks at ~238 miles. In winter my average range is a minimum of just less than 150 miles, and averages a bit better than that. The 150 mile range is about 3 miles per kWh, while the 238 miles range is about 4.1 miles per kWh. My median miles/kWh calculated over winter and summer is 3.88. My median range calculated to include both winter and summer is 201 miles, with an average of 194 miles.

    I live in Connecticut where the temperatures are about 27 F in winter and 85F in summer with some days colder or hotter. So, these data do not reflect extreme temperatures experienced by some in the north, or in the Arizona desert!

    These numbers are in line with most that are reported on this and other BBS concerning the Chevy Bolt EV.
    Range winter and summer.jpeg
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  18. rgmichel

    rgmichel Active Member

    In my discussion above, I omitted to indicate that most of the time I was using hilltop reserve, which means that the actual range for a fully charged battery is higher than indicated. This is not a very important factor, because when doing long distance driving you can't fast charge more than 80% anyway, so the above graph is a good indication of range for both winter and summer and long distance driving. In the winter, I do sometimes charge fully in my garage if I think I am going to do around 120 miles on a particular day. Indeed, some of the large swings around 16000 miles are caused by fully charging in the winter. Hence, in winter its possible to do well over 120 miles in a day while using the heater at full blast.
  19. racerx2005

    racerx2005 Member

    It’s 74F in New York City today and I’ve got 260 miles fully charged ... that’s better than usual 195 miles during winter temps


    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  20. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    curious as to what the Bolt performance is in hot weather with need for A/C such as Arizona in summer?

    BEOFGOD New Member


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  22. racerx2005

    racerx2005 Member

    306 miles? wow ... it’s 84F in NYC and I’ve got 281 ... my best yet


    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  23. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Active Member

    We did this several times:

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