Range indicator said "Low" then Bolt immediately died.

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Active member
Mar 17, 2019
Right before new year, just under 36k miles, I was driving to a fast charger (4 miles away), as I pulled up to an intersection, my range meter went from 14 estimated miles, to LOW, and then immediately told me it was out of energy and to pull over. I've been to three different dealers (including the one i bought it from, 500 miles away), I've called GM's "customer support," and to this day, there really hasn't been any resolution.

I drove back across country, weeks prior to the incident, from Bakersfield, CA to Charlotte, NC, using only fast chargers. I'm wondering if the cells didn't balance, and that imbalance is what caused the occurrence. I use torque pro, and from the lowest SOC I've been to, I didn't see any glaring cell voltage differences (granted I'm no expert). I spoke to 2 GM EV engineers at fully charged live in February, who recommended a battery test at the dealer. I took it to the dealer i purchased it from in March (500 miles away), and they told me their tech looked it over thoroughly, that there were no problems, and I would have to pay for the battery test, if it yielded no results. Given GM's less than confidence inspiring performance to date, I declined, because the vehicle is driveable, and I now have documentation from two dealers stating the vehicle is operating as designed.

I plan on doing a final test, while with a generator for backup (GM's road side assistance is a cruel joke from my experience), and if the vehicle repeats the problem, or has significant variation in min range being achieved (as measured from right before it displays LOW), I plan to invoke Lemon Law, as I've given GM adequate opportunity to diagnose and repair. Lawsuits suck, but sometimes there's no other reasonable option. I hope the test will end with not running out of juice, and give validity to my cell balancing theory.

I just wanted to throw this on the forum, incase anyone has good insight, etc.
theothertom said:
I sent you a private message pointing to other sources for help.

I don't know why, but I didn't receive it. If it's in your outbox and you can easily resend it, Is greatly appreciate it. Thank you!
I don't see a record of the PM being sent. Try this link:
Thanks again Tom. I'm fortunate to not have an issue nearly as bad (for now), as the person in the other forum. I've driven 20,000+ miles since the night it died (right before the new year), but I won't push it and go below 20 miles of range anymore. I'll test it at some point when I have access to a generator, unless it happens again before. The attitude of GM corporate and dealerships I've interacted with is truly disheartening, which means the Bolt and my Spark EV, are the last GM product(s) I will own, at least for probably an extended period of time.
It nearly happened again the other day. I was traveling, stopped for an hour, had 31 miles of range left. Picked out a charging station 12 miles away. Took back roads instead of the hwy which cut the distance, and was more efficient than I had been driving prior to the stop, and looked like I was going to end up there with 23 miles of range remaining.

I was slowing down at a traffic light a third of a mile away from the charger, and happened to look down at the dash... 16 miles of range remaining.... WTF (not, Wow That's Fantastic!). Still regening as I'm slowing down, and the figure falls to 15 miles of range remaining. Now at a stop, range goes to low and propulsion reduced. Think I might be forked, but soldier on. Fortunately make it to the charger without entering limp mode.

Hook up to the first charger, a new Electrify America Signet unit (the one right next to it is powered down, already broken...great), dash reads "Can not charge." It's raining of course, fortunately not torrential. I power the car to the on position and try again, charge initiates, but no power is being supplied (never seen this before), then it faults and ends the session. I begin mentally preparing myself for unpleasant options, being 200 miles from home.

There are two more chargers, so I move to them, leave the car on, plug in, and fortunately it charges flawlessly. I take several minutes to try to unwind and decompress. Forgot to mention, I had the sense to check Torque Pro for individual battery voltages upon arrival to station, and there were no significant deviations. Didn't have the sense to put a load on (heater perhaps) to see if that changed things. Maybe it's a software issue? I know GM forked around and changed at least a few things in the battery control module, as 2019's give a nonsense number for the battery capacity estimate.

I've been to 3 dealers on 4 different occasions for this issue, and feel like I'm out of good options to resolve the issue.
JDuke said:
I’m not trying to be a jerk, but is there a reason you don’t just recharge sooner?

A better question, why is my range indicator not accurate? It's spot on with my Spark EV, and other people with Bolts don't seem to have an issue. If I had to guess, I'd say my Bolt has a "failing" battery cell as opposed to a "failed" cell, which you read about people having their full charge range being severely diminished.

This is your first post, so welcome to the community. Fast chargers aren't as plentiful as gas stations, they are much further spread out, and EVs take longer to "refuel." If you have schedule obligations, you plan accordingly and charge when you can. Should I have to pretend on a year and a half old vehicle that empty is ~25 miles of indicated range? Would this be acceptable for the same age ICE vehicle? The answer to both is no.

I generally don't like going below ~30% battery, but occasionally it happens. Just like with my gasoline car and truck, occasionally I'm on or near empty before getting to a gas station.
TheLondonBroiler said:
2015 Spark EV w/ DCFC 47,XXX miles
Purchased 1/20/18 w/ 16,5XX miles

2019 Bolt EV w/ DCFC 62,XXX miles
Purchased 3/16/19 w/ 87 miles

Have you really put 62K miles on your Bolt in 18 months? Or is that a typo?
SparkE said:
Have you really put 62K miles on your Bolt in 18 months? Or is that a typo?

Need to update it, I just past 65k yesterday.

I did 4k miles in 5 days or 8k miles on it in 3 weeks when I did the cannonball run and subsequent zig zagging across the country on the way back. I've driven back and forth to Philadelphia 6 times I believe (probably 10k miles there). I'd still have all 4 original tires if not for a pothole, which took out both right side tires (they are about to need replacing though).

I do a fair amount of driving, but I have seen a 2019 for sale with over 100k already.
My lifetime efficiency is 4.7 miles per kwh, but the tripometer itself reset to zero after 100,000km (62,137 miles I think), but it restrains the efficiency.