Green Technology

Bolt EUV Month 2: Testing The Extremes of Charging, Highway Journeys, Pace, & Off-Freeway Driving


A few month in the past, I shared my experiences from the primary month of possession of my Bolt EUV. I believed I had given it a reasonably good take a look at, however I managed to check a number of vital facets of Bolt EUV possession to a lot better extremes since then.

Most individuals wouldn’t do the entire issues I’ve executed with a Bolt, however for everybody else with extra sane plans for an EV, I hope that what I’m going to share on this collection of articles will assist you be taught concerning the limits. It will in all probability offer you a good suggestion of whether or not the car would suit your wants, or if you must discover one thing else (or look forward to one thing just like the Equinox EV).

On this collection, I’m going to cowl:

  • Having GM and my native utility pay for 48-amp (11.5 kW) charging set up (a continuation of this story)
  • A Texas-Sized Highway Journey
  • The Yee-Hawtobaun (The quickest highway within the Americas)
  • A grueling off-highway drive

Half 1: GM Charging Station Set up (Continued)

One of many actually cool issues GM does for 2022-23 Bolt and Bolt EUV patrons is present free charging station set up. The explanation for that is fairly apparent: putting in Degree 2 charging at house makes it so much simpler to personal an EV, and it isn’t at all times low cost to get the job executed proper. You may be taught extra about GM’s program and my expertise with it up to now right here, at my first article about it.

Greater packaged Bolt and Bolt EUVs include Chevrolet’s Twin Degree Cost Wire Set, and it may be added through the buy of base package deal Bolts that don’t embody it (for a small payment), or bought afterward from GM components departments. Like Tesla’s Cellular Connector, Chevy’s wire set has detachable ends to plug into 120v NEMA 5-15 shops or 240v NEMA 14-50 shops, such as you’d discover at an RV park. I’ve learn right here that they’re going to supply extra plugs, maybe for TT-30, 5-20, or dryer plugs. 240v charging maxes out at 32 amps with this wire set, permitting for roughly 7.7 kW charging underneath very best situations.

For most individuals, that’s ok, and GM will rent Qmerit to only set up a 14-50 plug in your storage or driveway that you need to use the wire set to cost with. When leaving city, you may at all times unplug it and pack it underneath the false ground within the trunk. It’s additionally potential to repair the unit to the wall or cling it up securely when it’s getting used again and again in the identical place, which makes for a horny and protected state of affairs.

M0AR!

For me, 7 kW simply wasn’t sufficient. I wished to cost my EUV on the most energy its onboard charger can settle for. I paid for 11.5 kW, and I would like my 11.5 kW. It’s not an enormous distinction in charging pace (6 vs 10 hours from lifeless to full), however the place I stay, the one DC quick charging stations stay on vendor heaps and might solely be used throughout enterprise hours. Having the ability to get a couple of extra miles on a day once I do an uncommon quantity of driving is value it.

Plus, I had an Emporia sensible EVSE readily available, and it made sense to make use of that charging station and hopefully take a look at it with another Emporia energy administration gadgets. So, I opted for Qmerit’s “non-standard” set up, the place they cowl the primary $1,250 ($1000 labor/components, $250 allowing), and invoice you for the steadiness.

To run 6 AWG wiring from my electrical panel, underneath my manufactured house (sure, it’s a double-wide trailer, however that’s the flamboyant time period), underneath a part of my entrance yard, and onto a publish in my driveway, the electrician quoted nearly double what GM and Qmerit would pay. However, I took benefit of El Paso Electrical’s rebate program to cowl the opposite half of the set up price.

The electrician who got here out was skilled, did an important job placing in a handsome set up (even when most of it is going to be buried or hidden underneath the home), and did it multi function afternoon. The following day, I acquired a invoice from Qmerit for the remaining steadiness, which I’m going to pay utilizing a reimbursement examine El Paso Electrical goes to chop quickly.

The one factor left is to attend for the inspector to come back by so I can bury the conduit and button issues up, however I’ve been by means of sufficient right here to know that GM and Qmerit actually will put in Degree 2 charging at your home, even should you don’t need the “normal set up.” There was one level the place the electrician and Qmerit didn’t perceive one thing, nevertheless it was a misunderstanding that was comparatively simple to iron out. For those who don’t want something uncommon in your charging set up, it must be fairly easy.

Sellers Want To Perceive The Scenario Higher

Whereas GM and my utility are doing issues proper, there’s a weak level: sellers.

Whereas I’m fairly pleased with the vendor I finally purchased my EUV from, the gross sales personnel didn’t appear to grasp EVs, charging stations, and out there native incentives very properly. They knew concerning the GM/Qmerit deal, however I used to be shocked that they didn’t supply loads of details about house charging.

At a minimal, I believe sellers must be not solely able to promote you a automotive and ship you an e-mail with details about the GM charging set up, however they need to additionally bury new EV patrons with details about tax credit, native incentives from governments and utilities, and even perhaps have some contact data for native electricians. You must come away from the vendor with a plan for getting charging put in, in different phrases, or the data you must make a plan with ease.

They need to additionally inform you the place to search out native charging stations, the best way to plan highway journeys, and plenty of different issues they’re not telling you proper now. I do know some sellers have EV specialists who do that stuff very properly, however they’re in all probability discovering that almost all patrons at this early a part of the adoption curve are “energy customers.”

The whole “n00bs” who know subsequent to nothing about EVs aren’t going to do very properly except their wants are completely coated by a regular charging set up and so they by no means drive out of vary of it.

In Half 2, I’m going to cowl my Texas-sized highway journey, adopted by the opposite issues I promised on the high.

All photographs by Jennifer Sensiba.


 

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