Chevy Bolt EV DCFC Cold Battery

After my long trip, I let the car sit unplugged overnight in cold temperatures to test the charge rates. It appears that GM initially restricts the charge rates to 100 A, at least when the battery is about 40 degrees F. It could have and even more restrictive setting, but I haven’t been able to test it yet.

14 Replies to “Chevy Bolt EV DCFC Cold Battery”

  1. Vincent Jolin

    32kw at the begenning is very good, in real cold temp, we can charge at 14kw for 10 to 20 minutes before the battery heater(2.5kw) help to charge at 32 kw. The most effective way is by let the car shutoff completly. With a shutoff car the pack on DCFC will heat up tp 22 Celcius. Under that temp the speed will be slower than full speed available. WIth a running car the heater will stop at 15 celcius.

  2. AlainHubert

    Until charging stations can accommodate more than one vehicle at a time for fast charging, and battery technology evolves enough that it can cut down that time to a few minutes for a full charge, not hours, electric vehicles will not take over the gasoline engine any time soon.

  3. T Jam

    I bought a bolt a few months ago. There is NO F’n way the public will put up with this type of waiting.
    People are always running behind schedule. Something must drastically change to compete with the time it takes and availability to fill up a gas tank.

  4. John Brown

    If you would have used up more power by battery conditioning prior to charging. Would this have allowed you to charge faster ? This is something that you may want to try on a cold day.

  5. Don Miller

    I thought EVgo was considering going to longer (45? 60 minute?) sessions. Seems like when there is only one dual head charger at a location it'd be better to stick with 30 minutes sessions. Also could the Leaf owner extended his session using the App, or did your you plugging in prevent that?

  6. Aaron Z

    In my city EV go stations just have a single DC charger , the ABB with chademo and CCS. No dedicated chademo. No level 2 at their location either. We had a EV go station go down and it took 4 months to fix this one DC charger. They said they were waiting for permits from the city.

  7. Dennis Lyon

    NC – I have yet to see my Bolt EV charge at more than 35 kWh rate, since purchasing it in December (Michigan). It seems like my typical 30 min stint delivers 15 to 16 kwh (50 kw DC charger) which isn’t very good when you’re are charged by the minute and not the kWh. Our local rate for EVgo subscribers is $6 for 30 minutes, which works out to 40 cents per kWh at this charge rate, plus a monthly $20 fee whether you use fast charging 1 or 10 times in a month – the price we pay for a quick charge! At home charging here is around 13 cents per kWh (plus the cost of inefficiencies) and home charging is used for the bulk of my miles driven. At home charging (if 100% efficient) works out to about an 80 miles per gallon equivalent rate assuming 4 mi/kWh (I’ve rarely seen this number for miles driven to date, but warmer temps are coming!) and $2.40/gallon, so that certainly helps to offset the occasional need for a fast charge. If a 15 kwh 1/2 hour DC fast charge session will take you 60 miles (4 mi/kWh avg) – $6/60 miles is 10 cents per mile, which reverses to about 24 mpg assuming DC fast charger is being used for the fuel stop – ouch for a longer trip that’s significantly longer than the range of the Bolt EV battery capability! Hopefully this cost per kWh will improve as more cars are sold and more chargers are put online. The miles per kWh rate can get much worse when it’s truly cold out, since the combined load of cold car and heat requirements can lower the efficiency to 2.5 mi/kWh for shorter trips, 3 mi/kWh for longer ones. Not much incentive to use DCFC when it’s truly cold out, which makes EV’s a harder sell to those in the northern climates. But I’m sure the efficiency will improve as time goes on if increased car sales lead to more extensive research. Thanks for your enlightening videos and opinions! Keep it up!

  8. TRY to HELP you

    Not bad man. My spark EV starts at about 20 kW and works its way to the 125 amps eventually in sub freezing temps. Its a beast. My leaf gets real slow and stays slow… Its not a beast. To your comment about those chademo peeps choosing the combo stations… Its sad that many people dont care… Frequently.. even when you let them know. Just yesterday our local mall had both fast chargers ICEd? by freeking EVs not plugged in. We need to be able to fork lift their cars out the way!

  9. Bruce Kackman

    Thanks for these fresh charging thoughts.  

    Certainly there is a spectrum of new to veteran EV owner/chargers.  I appreciate your prefacing your remarks as having no harsh intent, and offered to educate.  Some of us, including me at times I'm sure, make charging decisions that inadvertently impact others out of ignorance or lack of thought.

    On a slightly different thought, last night my girlfriend and I were returning from Sacramento headed to San Jose.  The trip to Sac had used half the car's charge and then we did some wine tasting that took another 30 miles of range. So I needed additional charge to make it home.  

    I had picked out several charge locations for the return trip.  One of them was at the Vacaville Premium Outlets strategizing that my girlfriend could do some shopping/browsing while we took a quick charge.  Unfortunately we arrived at 9 pm just as the outlets closed.  She was very unhappy being stuck in an empty, dimly lit parking lot  (there was a much larger and better lit Tesla charging area very near by).  I tried to distract her with some extended window shopping, but with little benefit.

    Had I realized the outlets would be closed, I would have stopped at the earlier Dixon Walmart. I hadn't stopped there in the first place because I wanted a lower battery charge for a more efficient charging session.  My greediness cost me some of my girlfriend's EV vehicle tolerance.  Live and learn. 

    You perspectives are always useful and appreciated.

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