Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Bolt is Mine

So the words a lot of you guys following my blog have been waiting to see: I got my Bolt!!

On Sunday, I got the call from the truck driver saying he would be stopping in my area in the evening for delivery. I had to meet him at a parking lot near a big box store a couple of miles from my house, since his truck would not be able to drive into the residential area I live in. No problem! I took a Lyft to the meeting area (whatever happened to those rumored Lyft Bolts they were supposed to get first? Whatever).

Upon arriving in the parking lot, I could see a huge transport truck with a bunch of cars on it. As I got closer, I made first contact with my Bolt in Maryland!

 photo IMG_20170115_195819975_zpsdoosiqle.jpg
There's my Bolt!

The driver, Max (not Brandon, it turned out), hopped out and told me it was a long drive from CA. He encountered plenty of rain and snow on his trip, and I could tell as my Bolt was covered in road grime and dust. Aside from being a little dirty, my Bolt had made it to Maryland unscathed. The unloading process was pretty cool to watch, as Max needed to raise up the vehicles on the 2nd level via hydraulic lifts in order to drive my Bolt off the trailer.

After doing a walk around inspection and finding no damage, I signed off on the delivery papers, handed Max 600 bucks, and wished him luck with his other deliveries. I had complained a bit about the shipping process in earlier posts, but it got to me roughly within the original time frame, so I really have no complaints about the shipper. Most people also aren't able to track their vehicles with an app, so a lot of the angst was self-inflicted.

 photo IMG_20170115_201616079_zpsphb5qs05.jpg
Dirty but arrived safe and sound.

I hopped in my Bolt for the first time, and noticed right away the range was very low (not a surprise since the dealer said they couldn't charge it before my shipper showed up). The GOM said 32 miles of range. After a few miles of driving, the range estimate hit 25 and I hit Propulsion Power Reduced mode, which triggers when the battery state of charge drops to under 10%. Despite being in PPR, I was still able to squeal the tires at a stoplight. 😊

First destination? A car wash! My Bolt was filthy, and that grime needed to be washed away ASAP!
I went to the Exxon a few miles down the road, and had to go into the store to pay for a car wash since I couldn't purchase one at the pump (can't buy a car wash without buying gas!). Made for a good photo op I just couldn't pass up.

 photo IMG_20170115_202435271_zpskdl6b6ca.jpg
Won't see many Bolts at gas stations like this

After washing off all the road grime, I parked my Bolt at home to feed it some much needed EV-juice and also get acquainted with my Volts.

 photo 3044146a-ee40-47f1-9568-997c23c107e4_zpshnksmguu.jpg
Bolt, meet Volt. And other Volt.

I plugged the Bolt in overnight with my Clipper Creek LCS-25. It is rated at a max theoretical output of 4.8 kW, but I found that it only reaches a rate of around 4.5 kW while monitoring the charging status with my JuicePlug. No biggie, as the Bolt will rarely be fully depleted, and even if it is, an overnight charge of "only" 180 miles or so will be plenty for everyday driving.

The next day, I took a day trip to Baltimore! Stopped by the science center, and afterwards recharged MY batteries with some Shake Shack. Finding street parking is always a hassle in downtown Baltimore, but I managed to find a spot my Bolt squeezed in. A larger car would not have been able to park in the spot, but the Bolt was no problem with its small footprint. The 360 degree birdseye camera coupled with the rear vision camera + front camera made parking a breeze.

 photo 7ad62d6f-f314-4c48-b3b8-4e961607c941_zps43vail19.jpg
Squeezed into a tight spot in downtown Baltimore no problem

 photo 1a0b91b8-a710-4e62-820a-d1052bdb9ddb_zpsuxolquar.jpg
Shake Shack! nom nom nom

For those of you with kids, I took a few shots of the back seat with two Graco Turboboosters in the rear. I found that my 6', 190 pound self had room to squeeze in the middle, though I wouldn't want to do that for a long period of time. Still MUCH better than my 2017 Volt's "middle seat" though. Very similar space in the rear to my old, larger C-Max Energi. Moving one of the boosters to the middle would likely make a trip much more comfortable for an adult.

 photo IMG_20170117_001735221_zpsf0nktpo8.jpg
Love that foot space

 photo IMG_20170117_001619203_zps95ynj9xs.jpg
Still a tight fit for an adult in the middle, though at least it's a real middle seat.

Here's a shot of my Bolt almost 100% fully charged. As it seems my Bolt spent a lot of time on while sitting idle during the shipping process, that number will surely improve towards the EPA figure (and likely above) once it gets used to my driving style.

 photo IMG_20170117_001813374_zpskddgistn.jpg

That's it for the time being. Now that I actually have my Bolt, I'll soon be able to post more detailed hands-on experiences.  😊

p.s. here is the route my Bolt took to get to me in Maryland. 5,401 miles in all of travel before I could drive a single mile, from the train ride out west to the truck ride back east.

 photo tracking_map_zpsyoevpnpn.jpg
Would have been a much simpler trip direct from MI to MD, eh?


  1. Glad you have your Bolt! Looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

  2. Congratulations to your third EV and the Bolt EV! I have been waiting since 2009, and I haven't even SEEN one. But I can wait a bit more and I expect GM to allow my local dealer to sell and service the Bolt EV maybe by September. Enjoy the new ride and drive gas free!

  3. wow! your back seat shot with the two car seats looks almost exactly as mine does :-)
    my kids love the new car.

  4. Good to see you Raymond - we need the EV and EREV community to sign a petition to get you the EREV and EV you desire sent right to your door! Of anyone I know you are the longest suffering EV customer. This needs to change. Now I need to submit this idea over at GM-Volt, GM Authority and InsideEVs.

  5. What a beautiful driveway full of zero and low emissions cars! GM needs to make a poster out of your driveway!

    That back seat does look tight for 3. When my wife rides the middle seat in our Prius between our two kids, I feel sorry for her the whole way. Thank God we don't have to do that very often. In the Prius, the view from above shows the car is wider at the windshield than at the back seat area for aerodynamics and I'm sure lightweighting.

    We look forward to the future when there will be EVs with generous room for 5, 6 and 7 passengers that a good deal of our population can afford.

  6. Your little Bolt has sure had a tour of the country! I'm so glad your car has started it's service as an ambassador to the east coast of happy EV motoring!

    That photo of your new Bolt EV at the gas station is hilarious! :)

  7. EV driving is the best! Good luck with your new Bolt EV! It's a beauty!!