I owned a Nissan Leaf for 3.5 years. Because of the area we live in, there are few chargers, other than my local small town. With the 84 mile range, almost any time I left town, I would need to plan for recharge time. Until recently, the nearest L2 charger (aside from the 16 in my beach town resort area, was 40 miles away in Dover, which I traveled to weekly and have to charge to make it home. The nearest L3 charger is 64 miles in a different direction. As a consequence, the longest daily drive I ever made was 145 miles. This required 2 charges, due to the spacing, and my driving and appointment needs. Thus, as many Leaf drivers do, before starting a drive, I would check the status of the chargers I might need to get there and back.
In early April, all this changed! I took delivery of my Bolt EV. My first trip was home from the dealership, 80 miles away. I had all of the Bolt specifications in mind, and “knew” there would be no range issues, but I still closely watched range remaining, just to verify the estimate, and not be unpleasantly surprised. I knew there were 3 new L3 chargers available along my route just in case. I was still in the Leaf trip planning mode. I drove home on the freeways, at my normal 5-10 mph over the posted speed limits (55 or 65). I made it home with about 70% of the battery left. But in my new car excitement, I didn’t check the numbers closely.
Yesterday, I had to return my daughters dog to her house, 82 miles away in Annapolis. The roads from here are mostly 2-lane country roads with speed limits of 50, 3 towns to go through of 1 mile at 25mph (Really strictly enforced), and an 18 mile stretch of 60+mph or get run over. It is a nice mix of town and highway driving on level ground. On paper, I “knew” the Bolt ev should make the roundtrip easily. But I also had a strong headwind to deal with, which usually dropped my Leaf miles/KWH in the leaf by 0.2-0.4. There was also rain, and running the AC (to keep the dog cool). All of these played with my planning thoughts.
Dropping back to my Leaf mindset, I checked the availability of the lone L3 along the road (which I would pass at about 100 total miles on the return). There are no L2 chargers on the route, and new L3 charger 12 miles from home. I saw a number of chargers in Annapolis area, but I wasn’t familiar of their level of use or comfort of the location. But they were potential backup stops if I thought I might need them.
I shouldn’t have worried. Even driving my normal 5-10 mph over the speed limit (except in the towns!), I arrived in Annapolis having used only 19.8 KWh from the 60 KWh battery. The return trip took 19.6 KWh. I arrived home with a 78 mile estimated range. In other words, the Bolt EV did exactly what it was designed to do, right down to the EPA estimate of 238 mile rage, which I had just replicated. Your real-life mileage may vary, but for this particular trip, the Bolt EV performed its job easily and comfortably. And exactly as advertised.
Needless to say, I am very happy with my new Bolt!
Kinetic Blue Bolt EV
Third Bold In Delaware!
2013 Leaf expired lease and in lease heaven