eurosteve
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:18 pm

5 months in winter storage

Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:16 am

Hi

I'm in the process of buying a Bolt and I just want to make sure that I won't be damaging the car by leaving it in my unheated garage for 5 months each winter (mid-December to mid-May). I live in upstate New York so it will likely have periods of time below freezing (although not below zero). I see in the manual it says to leave the car unplugged, with only a few bars of charge, and to leave the 12 volt battery on an appropriate charger. Are there any concerns about the car automatically trying to warm up the battery if it gets too cold and in the process depleting the battery? Can the car (battery) handle being left each year for 5 months?

Thanks for any input on this.

eurosteve
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:18 pm

Re: 5 months in winter storage

Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:30 am

Update: I just read the thermal management thread in this "Ask Chevrolet" section. So the question is whether being left in below freezing temps for an indeterminate period (very likely above zero F), damage the battery? Can I assume that if the car is unplugged with only a few bars of charge that the car won't use energy to try to warm the battery?

Would it be better to leave the car plugged in - set to hilltop setting (max 90%) - so the thermal management can warm the battery as needed? Does leaving the car at 90% charge for an extended period damage the battery?

Any insights or advice on this are greatly appreciated.

eurosteve
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:18 pm

Re: 5 months in winter storage

Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:59 am

Ok, so it looks like whoever is monitoring this thread from Chevrolet isn't able to chime in on the topic of winter storage. I did buy the Bolt and I've had it for a few months if that help Chevrolet decide to respond to this thread. After researching as best I can on the internet, I've decided to leave the car at a higher SOC (State of Charge) than the manual suggests, because 2 bars (as recommended in the manual) is only a 10% SOC. I've decided to leave the car at around 30%. What I've read suggests that the battery should always be kept between 30 and 80% if possible and 10% is awfully low. Any help from Chevrolet on this topic of storing the Bolt in cold weather for extended periods is greatly appreciated.

portable
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:08 pm

Re: 5 months in winter storage

Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:10 pm

We can also be reached at (800) 222-1020 and socialmedia@gm.com.

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Note:
The above is copied from a previous "ask Chevrolet" corespondence . The person answering was named "Amber"
It doesn't appear they are taking the time to read the questions on this form anymore. maybe you could reach out through these listed sites and get an answer .

DNAinaGoodWay
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:19 am
Location: Central Massachusetts

Re: 5 months in winter storage

Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:33 pm

I think your plan is reasonable. Unplugged, at 30%, even 40%, should be fine. The battery heater isn’t likely to kick in much if it’s in a garage. It would have to be exposed to long periods of sub-zero temperatures for the battery conditioning to suck up all your kWh. But it’s a real drag that GM can’t give us this information, and we have to compile it ourselves.

Do you have anyone that can check in on it if needed?
Leaf SL 2012-2014
Leaf SV 2014-2017
Bolt LT 2017-
6.72 kW Solar

DucRider
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:25 pm

Re: 5 months in winter storage

Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:35 pm

eurosteve wrote:Ok, so it looks like whoever is monitoring this thread from Chevrolet isn't able to chime in on the topic of winter storage. I did buy the Bolt and I've had it for a few months if that help Chevrolet decide to respond to this thread. After researching as best I can on the internet, I've decided to leave the car at a higher SOC (State of Charge) than the manual suggests, because 2 bars (as recommended in the manual) is only a 10% SOC. I've decided to leave the car at around 30%. What I've read suggests that the battery should always be kept between 30 and 80% if possible and 10% is awfully low. Any help from Chevrolet on this topic of storing the Bolt in cold weather for extended periods is greatly appreciated.

There is a difference between usable and actual pack capacity. The 60 kWh usable on the Bolt does not include the buffer at the bottom and top of the cell when SOC indicates 100%. (0% is NOT completely discharged, nor is 100% completely charged). GM/LG have not released the specs on the cells used, but it is very likely that the actual pack capacity is between 65 and 70 kWh.
I may be in the minority, but I believe that GM and LG know the capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of the battery pack and base their recommendations on those characteristics and not from some "rule of thumb" generalizations garnered from from old data on different battery chemistries.

Chevrolet has given you their recommendations for storing the Bolt in the manual. I doubt very much that a response on a forum would recommend anything different.

It probably won't harm the battery (at least not significantly) to store it at a slightly higher than recommended SOC, so if it makes you feel better, go for it.
Gary

2014 Honda Fit EV - lease ends Jan 2019

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