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Thread: Chevy Bolt EV

  1. #1
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    Chevy Bolt EV

    Being the first in line isn't necessarily the best thing. Gotta experiment on every little thing we normally take for granted, as in what works/what doesn't work, etc. It's almost like starting all over again.

    So, I sold my Prius C which had been my biking car and got the electric Chevy Bolt.

    Believe it or not, Curt made a hitch for it even before the car is available nationwide. I bought the hitch and patiently waited as the dealer with whom I had a deposit sold my car to someone else. I ended up getting the top trim model at another dealership.

    I installed the hitch and thought that was that... but unfortunately, I didn't like how low the hitch receiver hung from the car.

    Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

    I though it was too low. Ground clearance was about 7".

    So, I went back and forth with Curt, who reassured me that it was safe. Still... I did not have the warm and fuzzies given past experience with low hitches / damaged racks / bikes.

    My riding buddy said he knew a guy. A metal fabricating genius who is an artist with metal. The hitch seems easy to modify. The square receiver is sandwiched between two vertical plates. Just remove the receiver, cut the plates then re-weld, right? So my buddy took it to his buddy, and my hitch is finally ready to hit the trails with.

    Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

    It's not all peaches and cream though. I tried to install my Saris Thelma 3 and found that the hitch is more recessed into the car compared to my last car, so I can't fold the hitch up without the wheel trays hitting the bumper. I suppose I could have made it work by installing / removing the hitch in the down position but I'm going to keep experimenting.

    The Thule T2 is heavy and bounces around. I don't want to use support straps.

    Next up, a Highland Sportwing with the $20 accessory riser shank. I replaced the rubber wheel straps with bungee ball cords and added another set of neoprene foam sleeves for each of the "V" arms.

    Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

    Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

    The first bike is still kinda close to the hatch so I'll have to be really careful not to scratch up the car. I'm thinking of ordering the 1.25" hitch extension (6" length extension) but the extra leverage would make everything bounce around more and since I'm still set on not using support straps, I'll pass on that.

    At least the extra rise came in handy.

    Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

    There is an added bonus to using this rack. I can disassemble it and put the entire rack in my hatch/trunk. I no longer have to store it in the garage.
    Last edited by tk1971; 05-15-2017 at 12:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    OK, I confirmed my suspicions on using a heavier rack. For fun, I tried out my Thule T2. Aside from the fact that it doesn't fold up either (wheel tray will hit the bumper skin), it bounces around like crazy just driving around regular streets (with dips, etc).

    Here's my rack after getting back from the trail:

    Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

    Notice the angle of my bike from the vertical line.

    My riding buddy and I then pulled up on the T2 rack until everything straightened out again:

    Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

    I'm going to replace the Curt hitch with a Draw-tite. In the meantime, I'm going to use the lighter Highland hitch.

  3. #3
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    Love your car and agree with you the original hitch looks terrible!

    I would differ with your opinion on straps...I use a Curt strap always with my Sonic/1Up just for Xtra stability. It requires <1min put on/off.

    https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...FQQbaQodLNoNgg
    whatever...

  4. #4
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    Question about the Bolt. I read an article in one of the car mags that stated the Bolt takes 60 hrs. for a full charge on regular, household current. Is this true?

  5. #5
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    Chevy Bolt EV

    Quote Originally Posted by casey View Post
    Question about the Bolt. I read an article in one of the car mags that stated the Bolt takes 60 hrs. for a full charge on regular, household current. Is this true?
    The free 110v charger that came with the car charges at a rate of 4 miles per hour. So yeah from 0% to 100%, it would be really slow. 238 miles... yep 59.5 hours.

    I have a 220v level 2 charger at home (free with the wife's Nissan Leaf). With the L2 hardware, I recharge at about 25 miles per hour.

    I charge Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a daily round trip commute of 80-85 miles. The car is set to charge to 90% capacity and I have set up restrictions to charge only after 10pm for lower rates.

    I've never shorted myself in charging. Every two days is 160-170 miles so that means 6.4 - 6.8 hours to replenish what I used every other day.

    By the time I get home on a charge day, I still have about 80 miles range left and I didn't even start off with 100%.

    Unlike the Leaf, this car eliminated range anxiety.

    Going forward here's my mitigation strategy for battery degradation:

    1) charge to 100% instead of only 90%
    2) charge every day instead of every other day.
    3) slow down and cut AC use

    Even with more electricity use I'm saving at least $40 per month over a Prius C and I can drive as fast as I want with the AC on.


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  6. #6
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    Received my Draw-Tite hitch. Here's a picture showing the extra support at the bottom of the car's subframe.




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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk1971 View Post
    3) slow down and cut AC use
    What fun is that

    I've heard the so-called one-pedal driving mode is addictive (i.e. fun to drive) and can add up to 5% range. What's your take?
    --------------

    [WTB] 1987 Cannondale SM800, 20", Pink with airbrushed graphics.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    What fun is that

    I've heard the so-called one-pedal driving mode is addictive (i.e. fun to drive) and can add up to 5% range. What's your take?
    I love it. It just gets weird when I get behind the wheel of a different car.

    No more gas stations. That's a major plus. Politics aside, I'd rather spend my money on domestically generated energy.

    I used to wait in line at the Costco gas station once a week. No more.


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    Here are some short videos (few seconds long each) of different bike racks bouncing around on the back of my Bolt.

    Draw-tite hitch on my Chevy Bolt EV sporting a Saris Thelma 3 bike hitch rack. The two bikes: 2016 Lynskey Ridgeline and a 2013 Giant XTC carbon 29er.

    https://youtu.be/n_xuBoEMt_Q


    Curt hitch on my Chevy Bolt EV sporting a Thule T2 2 bike hitch rack. The two bikes: 2015 Niner Jet9 and a 2013 Giant XTC carbon 29er.

    https://youtu.be/IENoMQXRf1U


    Draw-tite hitch on my Chevy Bolt EV sporting a Reese/Highland Sportwing 2 bike hitch mounted rack with riser shank. The two bikes: 2014 Lynskey Pro 29 singlespeed and a 2013 Giant XTC carbon 29er.

    https://youtu.be/vLUNydpYtDw

  10. #10
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    Getting a new rack soon. Got the Saris Freedom Superclamp 2 when Nashbar had the 30% off deal. Can't wait to try it.

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    Got my rack and finished my first outing with it. Here's the final video:

    https://youtu.be/IYZTMfdv7m0

    It's the same piece of road that caused the bending of the bumper support (my assumption) holding the Curt hitch (100 lbs limit) in the video with the much heavier T2 rack. The Draw-Tite hitch (200 lbs limit) has supports bolted to the car's sub-frame, so I don't expect any more bending. The 31 lbs 11 oz of the Superclamp rack also helps in reducing the leveraged weight on the hitch.

    All in all, the Saris Superclamp rack is very easy to load bikes onto. The only concern I have is with the ease (or lack-thereof) with which I will experience with adjusting the wheel trays whenever I ride a different bike. I'll keep the front tray locked in a single position while trying to only adjust the rear tray. To facilitate this, I've been marking the positions of the rear tray for each of the bikes I ride with White-out. So far, so good.

    Untitled by tk_1971, on Flickr

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk1971 View Post
    1) charge to 100% instead of only 90%
    I think you meant charge to 90% instead of 100% right? EV batteries are most stable when kept between 30% and 80% charge.

    If you take the front wheel off are you able to fit a size L MTB in the back with the seats folded down? In my e-Golf my handlebar goes down to the floor behind the passenger seat and the fork is behind the driver seat. I really like having the bike inside.

    PS Thanks for pioneering this one and posting the helpful info!!

  13. #13
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    I went through hitch issues when I first got my MB GLK350. The hitch that was listed on all the hitch web sites states 2010-2013 BUT not go. The rear of the vehicle underside had changed in 2013.

    In working with Curt I found out that one company makes all the hitches for most retail companies like Curt, UHaul, etc and they just put different stickers or minor design changes as needed.

    My car had a bar that went inward to the rear diff and was attached by a single bolt. After giving them pictures and them doing a design change they were able to build the correct hitch. The manufacture was very good to work with and I would be able to talk directly & openly to the factory.

    The problem I had was the forward attaching bolt would snap off leaving no support for the rack to stop the bounce. After trying many different bolts like grade 8, etc., I determined that it was never going to stop breaking. The rearward portion of the rack was secured right to the frame but that front bar to the diff would move being that the whole assy was rubber mounted.

    It was able to handle a two bike rack without an issue until the bolt would break off again. It was to the point where I carried a spare in the car .

    Long & short of this story is to call Curt and discuss the issues your having. I would think after how well they worked with me , that they could make that drop down a lot shorter (higher off the ground) for you and all other sales going forward.

    Finally sold the car so I don't have to deal with that any more
    "We'll ride it until they pave it."

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    Dirttreaders.com

  14. #14
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    Nah... I was saying I'm currently charging to 90% now. If I start seeing a reduction in range due to ambient temperature or battery degradation, I can always up the charging to 100%. Besides, there are many posts on range for this car. People have depleted 60kWh which leads me to believe the actual capacity of the battery is slightly bigger.

    With the false floor removed and the back row seatbacks folded, a L MTB can fit inside with the front wheel removed and the front passenger seat scooted up. My car has light interior, including the carpets. No way I'd put my MTB inside without it starting to look real dirty, real fast.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtrider127 View Post
    ...(snip)...
    Long & short of this story is to call Curt and discuss the issues your having. I would think after how well they worked with me , that they could make that drop down a lot shorter (higher off the ground) for you and all other sales going forward.
    (snip)...
    I communicated with Curt via email. They were very responsive to the receiver height issue I was experiencing. They went so far as to promise a V2 of the hitch, but to date, the hitch currently on the market has remained unchanged (AFAIK).

    I neeeeeeeed to bike, so I couldn't wait. One of my riding buddies is an industrial electrician who has worked with a guy who's a professional metal worker who happens to owe him a solid. So, my Curt hitch got cut down and rewelded which raised the receiver height. But the real problem with the Curt hitch is that the bolt-on design on a single plane for support did not hold the weight of my rack/bikes very well. This resulted in something getting bent either on the car or the hitch when I mounted my T2 with 2 bikes. There's no way to fix this without welding new supports to the hitch and attaching it to the frame of the car. About this time, someone on the Bolt.org forum bought a Drawtite hitch which had addressed both flaws of the Curt hitch (receiver height and extra supports attached to the subframe). It was in stock and cost $120 shipped from etrailer.com.

    Compared to MTB parts/accessories, the hitch is actually one of the least expensive purchases, so I bit the bullet and bought the better (IMO) hitch.

    It's been more than 6 months of use with the Drawtite hitch. I've had zero problems so far.

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