Annoyed that Bolt EV "LOW" range estimate comes on too early?
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Thread: Annoyed that Bolt EV "LOW" range estimate comes on too early?

  1. #1
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    Default Annoyed that Bolt EV "LOW" range estimate comes on too early?

    So for those of you Bolt owners that have driven it to near depletion, you probably noticed that the GOM switches from a number estimate to just “LOW” as it approaches 10% SOC (not sure the exact SOC % it switches to “LOW”). You may have another 20+ miles of EV range, but now you’re stuck with just “LOW”! What’s a hypermiler to do?

    In the owner’s manual, there is a setting where you can adjust when the Bolt automatically prompts whether you want to turn off the radio to preserve battery charge (does the radio use that much power??). You can choose when this warning prompt appears, 2% to 10% SOC in 2% increments.

    So if you are on a Boltstats “longest drive on 1 charge” record run or something, you can set the warning prompt setting to 2%....once the warning pops, you know you definitely need to get your ass to a charging station ASAP, as you're probably down to 5 miles of actual range or less.
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    Mine is set on the defaults, and when I was testing things a couple weeks ago the last number of estimated miles I saw was '19' and the it changed to 'LOW and then when it got to a single bar remaining (I estimate that was with about 10 miles left, based on the distance I'd gone since I had seen the number 19 showing) it started flashing.
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  3. #3
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    WTF. That sounds so annoyingly/infuriatingly stupid.

    Does any other BEV behave like this? (Some quick internet searching shows that Teslas, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and Ford Focus EV all do NOT.)

    What could be GM's rationale for denying the driver such basic information?

    I guess maybe denying people this information would have the effect of encouraging people not to try to cut it too close to "zero", thus reducing battery degradation and reducing the likelihood of getting stranded. But it also treats the driver like a child who can't handle basic information, even though in some instances that information can be absolutely critical.
    Last edited by jsmay311; 2 Days Ago at 10:54 AM.
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  6. #4
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    It sounds like a smart move to me. People push them too far and run out of charge. You really shouldn't push it until it reaches down near 0. I have seen my Volt suddenly change from 1 or 2 miles to 0 in much less than that distance, the estimate for my Volt gas range does this around 20-30 miles. Seems to me that 20 miles is a reasonable point to do this in the Bolt EV (less than 10%). If the cells are unbalanced at all it could die relatively suddenly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmay311 View Post
    WTF. That sounds so annoyingly/infuriatingly stupid.

    Does any other BEV behave like this? (Some quick internet searching shows that Teslas, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and Ford Focus EV all do NOT.)

    What could be GM's rationale for denying the driver such basic information?

    I guess maybe denying people this information would have the effect of encouraging people not to try to cut it too close to "zero", thus reducing battery degradation and reducing the likelihood of getting stranded. But it also treats the driver like a child who can't handle basic information, even though in some instances that information can be absolutely critical.
    Same deal with any gas car. The gas tank gets low enough, and the range estimate will just display as "LOW".
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    Quote Originally Posted by viking79 View Post
    It sounds like a smart move to me.
    No, it is stupid and annoying as jsmay says. It's easy enough to provide an appropriate warning without withholding potentially useful information from the driver. I would not assume the range estimates are very accurate at low SOC, but it's not nice to take them away from a driver who's probably already stressed about finding his next charge. Sounds like something a lawyer would do.

    I suppose you can still use onstar or mychevrolet app to get your SOC to within 1 percent as your battery runs down. I would not expect that to be 100% accurate either, but at least as useful as the range meter. Still, it is not nice to make your customer wrestle with phone apps while driving just to get more detailed range info.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by viking79 View Post
    Seems to me that 20 miles is a reasonable point to do this in the Bolt EV (less than 10%). If the cells are unbalanced at all it could die relatively suddenly.
    Seems like it may be good to avoid a specific number, example that comes to mind is if someone has 15 miles (number shown) remaining and aims to get to a charge station 12 miles away then finds that there is a big hill 5 miles out and they get stranded -- so reverting the value to "LOW" maybe aims to prevent someone relying on the firm number so much?

    Below (quick 5-second clip) is what I saw when the battery meter got down to only a single bar, which I think should have been at around 10 miles remaining but thankfully this was at a known location where the L2 station was 2-3 miles away.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdHGZMaOEF4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bro1999 View Post
    Same deal with any gas car. The gas tank gets low enough, and the range estimate will just display as "LOW".
    Only the Chevy gas cars AFAIK. I had a Chevy Cruze and when it gets below 20 miles, it just says low fuel. Not in my Corolla, Sienna, Matrix, Volvo, Subaru...

    Didn't happen on my Chevy Volt yet, it's still on its first tank of gas.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeReal View Post
    Only the Chevy gas cars AFAIK. I had a Chevy Cruze and when it gets below 20 miles, it just says low fuel. Not in my Corolla, Sienna, Matrix, Volvo, Subaru...

    Didn't happen on my Chevy Volt yet, it's still on its first tank of gas.
    On the 2016 Volt, the gas range will show "LOW" when the level gets down to about 1-1.5 gallons (only my guess), but the EV range will stay in numbers right down to zero.
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  13. #10
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    Very annoying on the volt. The way my tdi did it was better. It would simply switch to showing miles left instead of whatever else it was showing when it got to 50 miles left.

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