EV Shopping & My First EV

Very few brand-new automobiles in my past

The very first brand-new cars and truck I purchased was a Chevy Chevette, for which I paid $3,900 in 1980. I did not like it at all. I had purchaser’s regret and might not sleep the next night. Thankfully, 2 days later on I had the ability to return it to the dealership.

My 2nd brand-new cars and truck was a Renault Le Vehicle, which I purchased a week later on for $4,400. I liked this cars and truck and I drove it for 15 years, up until I offered it to a pal with near to 200,000 miles on the odometer and running extremely well. It constantly got 40 mpg on the highway.

My 3rd brand-new cars and truck was a Ford Taurus I purchased in 1987 for $12,000. 2 years later on, I took legal action against Ford Motor Business, and after another year, I won in court. They offered me my cash back with interest and I returned the cars and truck.

For the next 36 years, I drove just Hondas, Toyotas, and a number of Lexuses. I never ever offered a cars and truck; I simply drove them to the end of their life, or provided away while still running well. I never ever paid more than $12,000 for any cars and truck, brand-new or utilized. I never ever envisioned I would purchase an American cars and truck once again.

Till recently, when I paid $41,000 for a 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV.

Examining the EV Landscape

I began to take a look at EVs in 2015. Tesla was the apparent one, given that nearly everyone on my street owns one and the Fremont factory is just 20 miles away. I evaluate drove a Design 3 from the dealership, and I obtained one from a pal. I liked a couple of things, however the negatives were frustrating.

It appeared when Elon developed the very first Tesla, he forgot it required a control board. He pressed it into production with excellent decision, as he does whatever in life. Many individuals attempted to inform him: “Elon, how about a control board?” however he would not have time to listen. When the cars and truck was all set for production, he understood he slipped up. He took a tablet and glued it on the control panel. The rest remained in software application.

Focusing all the controls on the tablet is a ridiculous concept. I check out as soon as about a person who had a mishap with his Tesla and the tablet broken. He might not open the glove box, where he had his documents, since there was no release lock. You can do it just from the tablet. This is childish.

Contribute To this the cost, and the loss of the tax write-off, and you have a loser. Tesla was out. (Editor’s note: to be clear, you can presently get a United States tax credit on a Design 3 or Design Y You could not for a number of years, however the reward was restored with the Inflation Decrease Act of 2022)

Next I evaluate drove the Kia Niro EV. It was okay, however I might not release either the Lane Keep Help or the Smart Cruise. The dealership saleslady who helped me did not have any concept why. I relocated to the next on my list, the Hyundai Kona EV. They did not have it in stock, so I drove a Genesis, simply for enjoyable– I was not trying to find a $100,000 EV.

I strolled into a Volkswagen car dealership without a visit and drove the ID.4. The cars and truck was the quickest of all, however the “equipment shift” knob is positioned behind the wheel, in a blind area. You need to crane your neck 30 degrees to your right to see it. The dealership discussed that it’s simply a matter of time up until you discover how to utilize it without looking. I did not like the concept.

Reassessing a Chevy? Truly?

I began checking out the Chevy Bolt, and I kept trying to find bad things however might not discover numerous. The primary unfavorable was the “just” 200 HP– so the 0– 60 takes 7 seconds. Trivial, given that I will never ever do it in less than 20. I have a 100HP Suzuki motorbike which can do most likely 3 seconds, however I am not pressing it. The cost was extremely appealing, beginning at about $27,500 for the base design, less the $7,500 tax credit.

I evaluate drove the Bolt, and I liked whatever about it. The dealership requested $5,000 “market value modification” over the MSRP. I informed him to call me when the “modification” is out.

I went house and called 10 dealerships throughout a series of about 200 miles on the Chevy site. I sent out the very same message to all. “I desire a Blue Cobalt Bolt EUV Best with Super Cruise. Call me when you can offer one at MSRP.”

I got numerous calls, and they all desired $3,000 to $5,000 over MSRP, due to “market value.” Till Sunday, March 12th, when a dealership called and provided to offer one for the sticker price: $35,495. The dealership was 120 miles away, and a couple of hours later on I got my very first EV. I purchased 3 years of prolonged service warranty for $2,000, generally since the cars and truck has numerous electronic devices which might be expensive. After taxes and costs, the out-the-door cost was $41,000. Next year we’ll get $7,500 back from Uncle Sam, so our last cost will be $33,500.

Just how much it costs to drive the Bolt

The control panel revealed the cars and truck was completely charged, had 10 miles on board, had a projected variety of 241 miles, and notified me it runs 2.9 miles/kWh. I did a fast psychological computation. If the typical expense of kWh is 15 cents (in the house), this cars and truck would cost 5 cents per mile?!? Practically too excellent to be real. I understood the cost might be 2 or 3 times greater at quick charging stations, however still, the number was exceptional. My other cars and truck is a Lexus ES350, which gets 30 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in the area, and at $5/gallon it costs about 25 cents/ mile for gas. In the beginning look, the Bolt-equivalent mpg is undoubtedly over 100.

We drove house in down-pouring rain, with my spouse tailgating me in the Lexus. I kept the Bolt under 65 miles per hour, both since of the rain and to get utilized to it. The 120-mile journey house took about 121 miles from the battery. I got house with 120 miles left in the “tank.” Respectable quote.

The dealership provided either $500 money or complimentary setup of a Level 2 battery charger in the house. I went with the latter. I was a little dissatisfied the setup was set up 3 weeks later on, however we are nearly there.

My spouse and I both work from house. We purchased the cars and truck generally for shopping. The longest journey prepared would be 120 miles to Sacramento, where our 2 granddaughters live. When I got house, I plugged the cars and truck into a regular outlet, preparing our next journey to Sacramento on a complete charge.

Charging the battery

On a Level 1 battery charger (120V outlet), the Bolt includes about 4.5 miles of variety per hour. I do not see any factor not to set up a Level 2 battery charger, given that the factory is spending for it. The marketed charge time is 7 hours, which I have actually not examined yet, given that my battery charger is not set up. I see the charging time as no issue at all. You can drive 200 miles daily if you have a long commute and still charge easily over night.

In the next couple of days, I drove the cars and truck around town and discovered an enjoyable surprise. The completely charged variety began to approach. At the next charge, it increased to 250 miles. Today, the cars and truck has near to 1000 miles on board, and the variety reveals a massive 262 miles. I believe the cars and truck determines the typical based upon the driving history. The miles per kWh likewise increased from 2.9 to 3.9.

After the very first complete charge in the house, which took a number of days, we continued to our very first “long variety” journey to Sacramento. I prepared to charge as soon as at a quick charging station.

The cars and truck navigation has a practical “Charge Stations” tab, where it reveals the closest stations and the charging power readily available. After 150 miles, with 100 miles left, I picked a 50 kW Level 3 station straight off the highway. The marketed charging quote was 100 miles/hour. Another enjoyable surprise was that charging 80 miles took about thirty minutes and cost $12. At about 150 miles/hour, it was 50% much better than marketed. The 15 cents/ mile cost was more than in the house, however appropriate.

I discovered I can charge the cars and truck at 3 stations: ChargePoint, EVGo, and, yes, Tesla. Tesla is opening its Supercharger network to non-Tesla automobiles, and the app reveals where you can charge. I attempted ChargePoint and EVGo, and both are pressing about 150 miles/hour. I do not prepare to utilize them much, given that electrical power in the house is more affordable (or complimentary if you have solar, as I do). Both ChargePoint and EVGo charged $12 for 80 miles, consisting of 10 cents/ minute for parking.

Regenerative Braking

Driving the Bolt was another enjoyable surprise. All the EVs I evaluated previously, Tesla consisted of, had 2 moduses operandi, which you can alter from a switch. In one mode, when you take the foot of the velocity pedal, the cars and truck begins to brake, rather greatly, and charges the battery. In the other mode, when you take the foot off, the cars and truck is cruising and you need to utilize the brake pedal. Tesla was braking so greatly that my good friend notified me he never ever utilizes the regenerative braking, since it’s too irritating to have the cars and truck brake by itself. [Editor’s note: I find that surprising, as pretty much every Tesla owner I’ve ever communicated with loves the regen braking, and I can’t imagine not using it. It’s one of the best features of the car!]

Unlike all the others, the Bolt does not have a mode-switch. Rather, it has a practical lever behind the guiding wheel, ideal beside your left-hand fingers. When you take your foot off the velocity, the cars and truck is braking slightly and charging the battery, if it has enough momentum. If you need to brake harder, you can utilize the hand level and all the braking energy is utilized to charge the battery. If you need to brake even harder, then you press the brake pedal. Exceptional style, quite valued. Bravo, GM.

Blind Area Assist

The Bolt has electronic cameras in all instructions and does a great task utilizing them. Both mirrors have a little icon with a cars and truck and a star beside it. When a cars and truck is passing you on either side, the icon illuminate in orange. I discover this extremely practical and comforting, specifically in the evening.

Lane Keep Help and Cruise Control

In typical driving mode, if you guide off near to the edge of your lane, the Bolt pushes the wheel a little– simply a little shock, to notify you may lose control. This does not take place if you utilize the turn signal to alter lanes.

All the cruise control controls are easily put on top of the guiding wheel. There are 2 Cruise levels. When you release the very first one, the screen notifies you “Smart Cruise set to XX miles per hour.” Like all automobiles, you can change the accelerate or below a wheel. In this mode, it keeps continuous range from the cars and truck in front. You have 3 settings for the range: near, average, or far.

Suggestion: if you are brief on battery, go behind an 18 wheeler and set the cruise to “near.” The power usage goes from about 20 kWh to about 10 kWh, and your variety increases proportionally. Keep your eyes on the truck’s brake lights and your foot all set to brake, despite the fact that the Bolt will brake faster than the truck if required.

GM Smart Cruise is exceptional in high traffic. The Bolt changes the range to the cars and truck in front based upon the speed. If the traffic stops, it stops at about 15 feet behind. The only unfavorable I discover is that when it goes to a total stop, it does not begin by itself– you need to reboot it by hand. However perhaps this is a security function.

The next level of travelling is Super Cruise. Prior to releasing it, you need to remain in the center of the lane, and ideally not in a curve. When Super Cruise takes control of, a big area on top of the guiding wheel turns green and the cars and truck preserves the center of the lane.

I can compare the Bolt just with the Toyota Camry, which has a comparable function. In my quote, the Camry was looking ahead about 40 ft. When the roadway deviated, the cars and truck was approaching the side of the lane to nearly one foot prior to beginning to turn. The Bolt does a better task. It appears to be looking ahead a minimum of two times as far as the Camry. The Camry was driving in a zigzag, while the Bolt keeps the center of the lane nearly completely. Bravo, GM.

If you alter the lane while Super Cruising, the green area of the wheel diverts to blue. When the cars and truck is focused in the brand-new lane, it goes green once again, notifying you it will take control of the wheel. You do need to keep one hand on the wheel; else, after a couple of seconds, Super Cruise flashes a traffic signal and disengages. However all you need to do is touch the wheel, not guide it.

Little Information

On the left hand, behind the guiding wheel, right listed below the braking lever, I discovered 2 buttons with embossed markings. I evaluated and discovered they relocate to the next station on the radio. Great positioning, simple to manage. Then I believed, another set may be someplace to manage the volume. I did not need to check out the User’s Handbook or Google it. I browsed blindly with the right-hand man fingers and there they were. Bravo, GM.

And lastly, some negatives

My spouse is not pleased with the convenience of the seats. This is not a problem for me, however if you think about a Bolt, you need to evaluate on your own. The seats have heating and ventilation, trivial in our moderate California environment.

She is likewise not pleased with the size of the sun tones. I concur with her, they are too little. Likewise, I would quite like the tones to have an extension on the lower side, which you can take out when the sun is right in front of you. I have actually not seen this in any cars and truck, however I believe some may have it.

My spouse likewise believes the cars and truck is noisier than she anticipated. I believe her expectations were expensive. At low speed, the cars and truck is peaceful as a whisper, and even at 65 miles per hour, I discover it quieter than I anticipated. Other individuals appear to concur with me.


After I called OnStar and it switched on the navigation, I established the very first location and included it to the favorites. I invested a bargain of time attempting to determine how to provide it a name. Certainly, I understand the names of all my locations, however I do not understand the addresses. I might not figure it out.

I called OnStar from the cars and truck phone. The operator on the other end stuck with me for thirty minutes and he then concluded there is no other way to call your favorites.

I consider this simply mind boggling. I have actually never ever seen a GPS gadget, on the phone or in a cars and truck, where you might not call an area. How GM or OnStar or both might do this is beyond my creativity. I hope they repair it quickly– it must take a great developer perhaps simply one day of work. Please repair this, GM


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