Page 1 of 3

New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 12:54 am
by testingwithfire
The topic says it all!

I just started researching today, so I don't know much, but I do know that I'll want a Level 2 charger. Will I get a Level 1 as part of the package with a used Bolt?

I'll probably be purchasing in the Tucson area FWIW.

Thanks in advance,

Amy

Re: New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 9:01 am
by SparkE
testingwithfire wrote:The topic says it all!

I just started researching today, so I don't know much, but I do know that I'll want a Level 2 charger. Will I get a Level 1 as part of the package with a used Bolt?

I'll probably be purchasing in the Tucson area FWIW.

Thanks in advance,

Amy



I suggest going to edmunds.com and pretend you are buying a new Bolt. It will tell you all the available options on a 2020, so you can at least have an idea of what options are available, and decide which ones you think are important.

If you ever plan on driving further than 200 miles away from home in the Bolt, you will want "fast charge" capability, also called DCFC (DC Fast Charge), or CCS (the name given by the standards body to the plug/charging type).

The Bolt was delivered new with a level 1 "charger" in the U.S., so you should get one with a used vehicle. (The proper name is EVSE, not "charger". It's technical.) If there isn't one, *after* you have argued the price to the "final", point out that you will have to buy a new EVSE, and that will cost about $400, so the seller should knock $400 off the price. The seller may suddenly remember where the EVSE got "lost" in the garage. ;) Also, the EVSE delivered with the Bolt can actually be used as a level-2 EVSE : although it doesn't say so, many people have made an "extension cord" that plugs in to a 240V socket, and provides a "120V" socket that the Bolt EVSE will plug in to. It will "only" charge at 12 amps, but at least it will charge twice as fast as at 120V. That will provide about 2.8 kW , which will push about 30 kWh ("a half tank") in a 12 hour period (i.e., a full overnight). So if you don't think you'll generally be driving more than 75 miles a day, it should be enough. And if you have DCFC, on those few days when you are "low" and need a fill, you can add 20-25 kWh in 30 minutes. MAKE SURE that the EVSE you have was the one shipped with the Bolt : check the model number on the unit before plugging it in to a 240V feed.

Check that the driver's seat is comfortable for you - some people don't like the seats/cushions in *some* Bolts (but might be fine in a different Bolt, even the same year). Set the seat up for driving comfortably, test drive it, then sit in the car for 45 minutes as if you were driving it (hands on steering wheel, foot on accelerator, etc.). If you aren't getting cramps or in pain, you will probably be OK. There are many threads on this site about the seats. (Some people have post work arounds, such as how to add extra padding.)

The Bolt doesn't have true "adaptive cruise control" (you set the speed to say 65 mph, but if you get "too close" to the car in front of you, it would slow down until a safe distance was obtained, then speed back up to the set speed if safe) - the Bolt does NOT have this feature. Different trim levels have different tech bells and whistles : you need to see which ones interest you.

Re: New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 11:49 am
by theothertom
I won't go into the packages you need (backup camera, blind spot monitor, etc). These are pretty much the same for all cars. There is one option (described below) that is worth considering.

For charging, you have to consider how you will be using your car. The Bolt is supplied with a charger (technically an EVSE) that will operate on 120V or 240V. If you plug it into your regular household outlet (120V), you'll get about 3-5 miles of range per hour. Using an adapter and plugging it into a 240V outlet, you'll double that.

A lot of people purchase a separate 240V charger (so called L2 charger) that will add 25-30 miles range per hour of charging. A good one will cost around $400 and you'll probably have to get an electrician to install it unless you're very handy. There are a lot of public L2 chargers at places you're likely to spend a few hours , say malls and restaurants, for example. These are mostly free to use.

The other option for charging is to use a public DC fast charger (DCFC). You usually have to pay to charge but these will add up to ~150 miles per hour. Most people only use these for road trips and you MUST have the DCFC option on your car to be able to use it. A lot of people will say to get the DCFC option just in case you ever want to take a road trip. It also should help with resale value. (Terminology: DCFC uses a CCS connector).

Note that your range will decrease if you use A/C in the summer (Tuscon!!) and decrease if you use heat in the winter. Using heat can cause around a 30% range reduction, so plan accordingly. This is true for any EV, not just the Bolt.

There are two apps that will help with charging. Plugshare and abetterouteplanner (ABRP). These will show chargers near your location and will help you plan routes. ABRP is also has a website which makes route planning easier. They sometimes tend to be optimistic with their planning, so keep that in mind.

Re: New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 3:03 pm
by PackardV8
Decide if your use is around town, 200 miles per day or less; or if you want to learn the drill to take a BEV on road trips. As mentioned, if road trips are planned, then yes, a DCFC option is required. For many, it's not a requirement.

We knew we don't consider today's BEVs to be western states, 80 MPH, 500 -700 miles per day road trip reasonable, so we had no problem buying our Bolt without the DCFC.

If your use is local, it's entirely possible the supplied L1 charger would be sufficient. It would have been for our use, seldom exceeding fifty miles per day. Our utility offered a free L2 charger, so we took advantage of that, but it really isn't required for some daily use.

Bottom line - buy the Bolt; you'll love it.

jack vines

Re: New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 5:39 pm
by AyeJay
A Bolt EV? -- What A Great Choice!

The LT model with the 'comfort & convenience' package is everything I needed. The DCFC option is a must have.

Make sure you get both (2) key fobs, owner's manual, wheel lock key (if it's a premium model) when you purchase.

I would suggest the 25ft cord version when you get a level 2 charging station.
Having some extra length coming from the EVSE has worked out well for me.
I've hardwired it into my home's electrical system as I had problems with cheaply made 32 Amp, 240V wall outlet connections heating up.

enjoy! .. AJ

PS: Local EV associations (not an endorsement of this group) can be good resources too:

https://www.tucsonelectricvehicle.org/

Re: New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:32 am
by BoltEV
AyeJay wrote:The DCFC option is a must have.

Enough time has passed to once again point out that because this "must have" is optional, we ALL pay more for it, than if it were just installed as a basic feature!

It has been optional since Day 1, so that GM could advertise the Bolt EV (with full federal tax credit) as "under $30,000"

Re: New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:16 pm
by PackardV8
BoltEV wrote:
AyeJay wrote:The DCFC option is a must have.

Enough time has passed to once again point out that because this "must have" is optional, we ALL pay more for it, than if it were just installed as a basic feature!

It has been optional since Day 1, so that GM could advertise the Bolt EV (with full federal tax credit) as "under $30,000"
We've got a perpetual motion circular discussion going here. The DCFC is not a must-have for a large percentage of Bolt owners. Not having to pay $750 for a DCFC we'll never use was an easy choice.

For those who make the claim it will be impossible to sell a used Bolt which doesn't have DCFC, last I checked KBB, there was no deduction for not having DCFC.

jack vines

Re: New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:12 pm
by BoltEV
PackardV8 wrote:
BoltEV wrote:
AyeJay wrote:The DCFC option is a must have.

Enough time has passed to once again point out that because this "must have" is optional, we ALL pay more for it, than if it were just installed as a basic feature!

It has been optional since Day 1, so that GM could advertise the Bolt EV (with full federal tax credit) as "under $30,000"
We've got a perpetual motion circular discussion going here. The DCFC is not a must-have for a large percentage of Bolt owners. Not having to pay $750 for a DCFC we'll never use was an easy choice.

For those who make the claim it will be impossible to sell a used Bolt which doesn't have DCFC, last I checked KBB, there was no deduction for not having DCFC.

jack vines

Jack: Are you saying that YOU purchased your Bolt EV without a DCFC?

Where are you getting your evidence that the "DCFC is not a must-have for a LARGE percentage of Bolt owners?" And what does this evidence say is a "large percentage?"

If indeed KBB makes no deduction for not having DCFC; I would suspect that there have not been enough sales information to them of used Bolt EVs missing that feature.

If someone is trying to sell their used Bolt EV without a DCFC, it is irrelevant what KBB values that feature at zero; as then they MUST find a knowledgable buyer who does not want that feature.

And you better disclose to the buyer that this feature is missing!

Reminds me of back in 1984, my Honda Accord was totaled and the insurance company told me how much they were going to pay me.

I then informed them that I had installed a state of the art Kenwood AM-FM-Cassette Tuner/Player and they still offered the same amount of money to me.

So I went to the car yard where the Honda had been stored, and took out the Kenwood and handed the man behind the desk, a box containing the original Honda AM-FM radio.

Soon afterwards I received a phone call from the upset insurance adjuster. I had to remind her, if she gave no "extra" value to the Kenwood radio, my only obligation was to provide the original radio, which would then cause NO reduction in the payment!

I put that Kenwood radio into my my replacement car: a 1983 Volvo Turbo Sedan and enjoyed listening to it for the next 13 years!

Re: New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:35 pm
by PackardV8
And you better disclose to the buyer that this feature is missing!
??? by what logic is it "missing"? That implies the seller removed an integral part of the car. Not so. DCFC always has been an option on the Bolt. Some Bolts came with it, some didn't. Is it the seller's responsibility to go over the features and option list of the used BEV? "Where's the spare tire and jack?" "Didn't come with one." If asked because the buyer is not knowledgeable to know from a glance at the charge port, and should ask about it, "No, this one didn't come with DCFC."

Where are you getting your evidence that the "DCFC is not a must-have for a LARGE percentage of Bolt owners?" And what does this evidence say is a "large percentage?"
Per US DOT statistics, the average US driver goes 29 miles per day. The Bolt range is sufficient for 99% of US daily driving POV trips. Only 1% of US daily use would require recharging. That we have a few early adapters here on the forum who are determined to road trip BEVs is not indicative of the real world daily uses of BEVs.

Anecdotes make for good discussion, but poor decision making. I've got a neighbor who daily drives a humongous Suburban. He's alone going to his office ten miles away 220 days a year. "But I need it to be able to haul three kids, two dogs, tow the boat to the lake." That happened two times last year.

So yes, our Bolt did not come with DCFC and in three years, there's been no need for it. If we did not already own an ICE, for the 2-3 times a year we'll need one, we'd rent. I mentioned this to my neighbor with the Suburban. He couldn't imagine not having the unused utility; he just feels good knowing he can go anytime anywhere and is willing to pay the substantial daily cost and ignore the carbon debt.

jack vines

Re: New to EVs, buying a used Bolt in a few months. Which accessories / equipment do I need?

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:45 pm
by AyeJay
For me the DCFC capability is important in that it potentially eliminates having to compromise and use an ICE car (owned or rented) for longer trips, or when colder temperatures, lower efficiencies become an issue.

For most of us the main point of driving an EV is to eliminate that 'carbon debt', ie: reduce our fossil fuel dependence. I don't believe when faced with a longer range trip that matters less .. probably more so.

AJ