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Katie

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I'm thinking about replacing 2007 Toyota Corolla, which is needing several minor repairs. The car itself is barely worth as much as the repairs.

I decided to check electric vehicles. There are only two EVs with more than 200 miles of rated range and under a gazillion dollars: the Tesla model 3, and the Chevy Bolt. I don't like the model 3 for several reasons. First, its not a hatchback, and I find hatchbacks much more practical. Second, its rear wheel drive. Even though I drove a Mustang GT for several years in the snow and ice, and it did amazing with the Nokian Hakka tires, I have grown fond of the practical ease of front wheel drive. No need for sand bags, and I can get around with studless winter tires just fine without the added noise of studs.

The other competitors in the market, like the Hyundai Kona Electric, are not sold anywhere close to my state. So, my focus narrowed to the Chevy Bolt. It's a simple FWD compact 4 door rated at 269 miles.

I'll write more tomorrow about that 269 mile range. Spoiler alert: what I am experiencing is nowhere close to 269 miles.

Overall, I like the car. What I find challenging is the charging infrastructure. I have charged twice tonight on a 150-ish mile trip. The first charging station had one charger out of order, another blocked by snow plow piles, and I barely got close enough to the third to plug in due to snow piles. It charged at an abysmal 20 kilowatts.

I just stopped to top off before I park for the night. This charging station seems better, but the first charger I pulled up to had a malfunctioning credit card reader. I moved to the charger next to it, and it works flawlessly. I am getting 52 kw and gaining range fairly quickly.

Because I am still recovering from orchiectomy surgery and sitting for long periods gets uncomfortable, I bought a $10 foam pad at Walmart, folded down the seats, and made an area for myself to lie down while thr car charges. It also made a handy place to eat my dinner rather than eat inside a restaurant around potential Covid spreaders.

I have the trip back home tomorrow still, during which to see how the car does now that I know what to expect with charging.

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Donica

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@Katie, I would have bought a hatchback had I found one in my price range before I bought my current car. Definitely more room and options with a hatchback. If I may ask? What are the charging cost for your new Bolt?
 

Katie

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@Katie, I would have bought a hatchback had I found one in my price range before I bought my current car. Definitely more room and options with a hatchback. If I may ask? What are the charging cost for your new Bolt?
It depends on whether you are a member of the charging networks. I had to charge as a guest on the Electrify America chargers we have around here, and the guest rate is $0.43/kw, which ends up being the same cost per mile as a gas car getting about 30 mpg. If you are a member, it's closer to $0.30/kw. If you're charging at home with a 240v level 2 charger, it would be much less. I'd have to look at my utility bill to see what I pay per kw. It's not much.
 
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