Chevy Bolt EV: Hilltop Reserve Mode

This is a quick tutorial about how to activate Hilltop Reserve Mode in the Bolt EV and some of the reasons why you might or might not want to use it.

16 Replies to “Chevy Bolt EV: Hilltop Reserve Mode”

  1. Andrew Le

    Why does Bolt EV or any other EV that has liquid-cooling want users to limit their charge to 80%. I thought that restriction is needed for air-cool batteries, like that of Nissan LEAF?

  2. dieselgeekdotcom

    Love the videos, keep it up! I also own a Bolt EV and I have a GM GDS 2 diagnostic scanner as well. Something you might find interesting is that the Bolt EV charges to 4.17V per cell when at 100%. This is pretty close to the max of 4.20V for a fully charged lithium battery cell (group). My comfort level for leaving a battery sitting for long periods of time is 4.00V per cell. This is for longevity. The Hilltop Reserve setting on the Bolt EV finishes charging at 4.03V per cell. This is a perfect charge voltage for most situations not involving long distance travel. In my research and experience, the battery will last longer if it is charged only with Hilltop Reserve. One other tidbit that you might find interesting is that at the very bottom of charge the Bolt EV battery cell groups are around 3.43V per cell. This is much lower than a Chevy Volt's bottom of 3.60V per cell. The Volt charges to 4.07V per cell at the top. This is Cliff Klavin reporting.

  3. David B

    It would be nice if they allowed you to see the "hilltop" level that you'd like. So then when we are just driving shorter day-to-day trips you could set it to max out at 70% or 80% each night.

  4. A Alberto

    Thank you!
    I activated hilltop reserve after watching your 60k mile update video. There’s not too much info about bolts with high mileage and I’m glad you have not experienced tangible battery degradation after so many miles. I live in Canada so the weather here will be more severe but I do garage my 2018 Bolt when it’s home. I also have a 2019 premier on order as a second bolt coming later in the fall so me and the wife can enjoy driving around in pure electric. We will still keep one gas car for now though for long trips.

  5. wim timmermans

    Thank you for your very informative video’s . I have seen them al from the beginning and they were very helpfull for understanding and using my Ampera E, which I own half a year now.
    My question is also off topic, as I have no other way to put it.

    What could be the reason that GM doesnt want owners to tow even a small trailer with the Bolt? The motor seems powerful enough , though consumption will be a bit higher. Other ev manufacturers, eg Tesla, dont seem to mind.
    Is a trailer really too much a burden for the motor and battery or is GM just protecting itself from warranty claims? I am interested in your view on this subject. Could be an item for another plugside chat!

  6. Bob Cook

    Please forgive, but I don’t know how to contact you outside of YouTube. A couple of things perhaps the Bolt could be ideally suited for, always looking for ways to promote BEV.
    First, is there an easy way to use the Bolts battery to power an inverter so that at least a house refrigerator could be run during an extended power outage, such as hurricanes here in FL?
    My second idea is related. In Japan, BEVs are used to power their houses during the peak rate period which is usually evenings. The BEV is then recharged in the early morning hours when rates are lowest resulting in significant savings. Vehicle to grid is what they call this.
    Your thoughts about converting/using a Bolt in a similar matter would be appreciated. I can foresee a time when US utilities will rely on BEVs for load leveling to avoid high peak generation costs (Vehicle to Grid) and enter into a lucrative partnership with BEV owners.
    If anyone is on top of this, I figured it would be you.
    As always, excellent info, even though I only own a PHEV currently.

  7. Robert Aitchison

    5:00 I think you only get faster charging at low states of charge when you are using L3 (DC Fast Charging). With a L2 charge I don't think you're going to get significantly slower charging unless you are very close to full (already in taper).

    I don't see any different charging rate between 30% SoC and 80%

  8. Jeff Andrews

    I understand in your example that you would get faster charging if you used hilltop reserve because you would have a lower state of charge when arriving at destination. But wouldn’t that faster charge just get you back to where you would have been if you had hilltop reserve turned off? In other words, wouldn’t it be cheaper and faster just to get that additional 10% charge at home rather than using time and money at a fast charger? Thanks for videos, I enjoy your plug side chat format.

  9. IMHO

    Still need a long downhill using Torque Pro to measure cell voltage while doing 60 kw regen from 90% SOC. That combined with a full 50- 90% DC fast charge with Torque Pro monitoring cell voltage would probably reveal some clues about the battery charging limits.

  10. Fabian La Maestra

    You should do a detailed video on how to turn on and manage your time-of-charge settings on the Chevy Bolt. this section of the graphical interface can be quite cumbersome and would benefit from a video.

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