Chevy Bolt Charging Cost Calculator


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Chevy Bolt is Chevy's new all-electric car. It started production in 2017 and had 200+ miles, price under $40K ($37K before tax credit), and it can recharge to 80% of full charge in 30 min on DC fast charging (included in the base model).

It will also have Chevy's new Supercharger-like fast charging capability, but Chevy hasn't disclosed any information about it yet.  We need to use the total average daily driving distance for that calculation: 60 mi per day is 22.2% of the 200-mile range and 30 minutes / 80% recharge would be ~0.5% of the total range, so we can assume that the Chevy Bolt will have similar or worse charging characteristic, which is comparable to the current BEV models on market:

  • Tesla Model S: 270 miles range, 35 kWh battery pack, 135 kW peak charging speed
  • Nissan Leaf: 84-mile range, 24 kWh battery pack, 3.3 kW peak charging speed
  • Chevy Volt: 53 miles range, 16 kWh battery pack, 1.4kW peak charging

Let's assume it will have Chevy Volt's 120 miles range gain in 40 min and charging cost as Nissan Leaf, which is $12.5 per charge ($1 per Wh) with its lower battery capacity (24 kWh vs Chevy Bolt 60 kWh). Chevy Bolt's longer-range makes the shorter charging time more significant: GM seems to be focusing on higher capacity batteries, because of their ability to absorb power faster than smaller packs, and a faster-charging car will provide a better user experience in case of long-distance travel.

Price = 60k * 0.37 / 201 ~= $21K tax credit

Recharging Cost Calculation

Recharging Cost = 21k * 1 / 22.2% daily driving distance * 80% recharge rate / 30 min * 24 kWh ~= $2.6 per day, which is < $10 monthly ( Chevy Volt's electric bill ).

Is Chevy Bolt a game-changer? It is not as futuristic in its design as Chevy concept cars we see at auto shows every year, but it is hard to beat Chevy's other selling point about lower price tag and GM's brand image of solidity and trustworthiness in the US market. Other factors like longer range, smaller battery capacity, less charging speeds, etc will help Chevy Bolt gain more sales than Hyundai or Nissan BEV models since there are so many gasoline vehicles already on the road and people don't have a big incentive to replace their older vehicles with new ones. Chevy Bolt will most likely gain a decent market share (2% of the US passenger cars) and it will be Chevy's EV product that ensures Chevy's leadership role in the all-electric car market in the next few years, but Chevy still has to wait for Tesla Model 3 which is expected to be cheaper ($30K before tax credit), able to charge faster (~160 miles range gain in 20 min Supercharger at higher 120kW charging speed) and have a better design than Chevy Bolt.