Being a die-hard Minnesotan, I’ve developed some habits that I need to break. Many of these are stubborn/stupid habits that simply come from getting old and always doing things the old way.

One of them is my insistence on not using seat warmers in cars. Mostly because my first encounter with them was unknowing. I was riding in someones fancy car (Lexus) and it detected that a butt was in the passenger seat. Combined with the outdoor temperature, the climate computer decided it should activate the heated seat. About a minute later I was wondering if I had peed my pants ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ”ฅ

I decided then and there that it would be the first and last time I used a heated seat… But was it really?

Driving my Chevy Bolt in winter, the range is reduced due to several factors: batteries don’t like the cold, the factory heater is a resistance unit instead of an efficient heat pump like on the newer Teslas. Combined with the fact that my car is currently limited to an 80% charge, the juice gets used up much faster in the winter.

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I knew having two electric-powered vehicles in the garage would initially present some charging problems. We have a garage fridge and an air compressor that already like to trip the circuit breaker when both are running full-tilt. Charging two vehicles from that same 120V circuit was going to be tricky.

Offset Charging Schedules

Until we could add a dedicated 240V circuit, the first thing I did was set charging schedules for both vehicles. I set the Bolt to charge from Midnight to 4PM. Because I work from home, I tend to drive my car (usually to rehearsal) after work.

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There’s a terrible article from the Detroit Free Press making its rounds – claiming to be a “study” comparing EV charging costs to gas costs. It has been picked up by USA Today and other news outlets. There have also been several rebuttals, most notably one from Car and Driver.

I took a road trip earlier this year in my new Chevy Bolt. While it’s not a study, I hope you’ll find my personal story and anecdotal evidence compelling.

TL;DR? I drove from Minneapolis to Chicago and back, and it cost me $45.90 in energy for the whole trip.

  1. $11.15 – Tomah, WI
  2. $14.62 – Rockford, IL
  3. $5 – Hotel
  4. $9.31 – Madison, WI
  5. $5.82 – Eau Claire, WI

Here are all of the details…

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That’s a click-baity title. But seriously I bought a Chevy Bolt without ever driving one. However, I had ridden in one and it seemed perfectly fine. It also met all of my criteria:

  • Is it all-electric? Yes โœ…
  • Does it have a good range? Yes โœ…
  • Does it look like a normal car? Yes โœ…

Great! I’m sure whatever other quirks it has I can get used to. Even with an open battery recall, I think it’s a fantastic car.

I got a great deal on a new 2021 Bolt from an out-state dealer, and they just dropped it off at my house. My first “test drive” was picking my daughter up at school. After driving it for a couple of months I’ve gotten used to it. The number of settings that you can configure is rather daunting, so I put this reference together ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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It’s fairly well known in the Bolt EV community that you can plug the included 120V charger into a 240V outlet and double the charging rate. I was wondering if the PHEV Pacifica could do the same thing ๐Ÿค” I did some research and found a Pacifica forum post that says you can.

We recently got a 240V outlet installed in the garage so we could buy a Level 2 charger, so I decided to make an adapter to test it out. The adapter instructions from the Bolt site recommends 14 gauge wire or bigger. I had some 12 gauge wire leftover from another project so I used that. All I needed to buy were the plug ends. I got a convertible 14-50 / 14-30 power plug and a female 5-20 end.

Pro-tip:

If you’re starting from scratch and don’t have 14+ gauge electrical cable laying around, you could just pilfer a short 14+ gauge extension cord.

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