Chevy bolt heater

Chevy bolt heater DEFAULT

Recently, Motor Trend spoke with a few of the engineers responsible for the Chevrolet Bolt and asked the team to reveal some cool, mostly unknown facts about the new electric car from Chevy.

Chevy Bolt Interior

Chevy Bolt Interior

Here's a brief synopsis of some of those "cool" facts:

  1. Pedal to the floor range at top speed of 93 mph is 160 miles
  2. Bolt has asymmetric front seats. Outboard bolster is bigger to house airbag, while inside bolster is smaller.
  3. A push of the Start button on a Bolt EV sets in motion a diagnostics test of 1,400 items. This occurs in less than 0.5 seconds.
  4. Bolt EV uses a resistance heater that circulates coolant through a heater core
  5. Smart shifter - the Bolt EV's has no creep in the highest regen settings, so it would be easy to leave the EV in gear and exit the car...but not so with the Chevy, as the car knows to shift into park if the seat belt is unlatched and the door opens
  6. Bolt's body weighs 815 pounds, or 134 pounds less than the battery pack
  7. Pull a rear seat cushion to access the emergency battery disconnect
  8. Onboard fast-charger can only handle 60 kW
  9. There's a charge setting that ends battery charge at 90%. Especially useful for those in hilly areas who wish to have regen available right away
  10. Rear camera has its own washer, which is activated every time you shift into reverse
  11. Bolt charge-indicator LED on center of the dash blinks while charging and glows solid green when full
Now you learn more about each individual feature, check out the informative piece over at Motor Trendnow!

Re: Heater = 9kW

Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:52 am

I can't believe the heat will use 9 KW. This is out-of-whack with the power my LEAF uses. I am able to display heat and A/C KWs on an Android app using data from the OBD-II connector. Here is what is am seeing. And it just happens to be 47 degrees in my garage tonight. This power doesn't include the 12V fan and I am not using recirculate. The power is provided in 0.25 KW increments.

Peak power with heat blasting: 2.75 KW (this was only momentarily and the power started dropping.
72 F setting: 1.75 KW (I don't think I ever got the temp stabilized, but stayed at this temperature for maybe 5 minutes)
66 F setting: 250-500 KW (It seemed to have stabilized to this power. The car had been preheated to 72, but this was the power after being at 66 for about 10 minutes.)
2019 Chevy Bolt LT w/ FC & DC II, named Orion L-ion
2013 Nissan LEAF S w/ QC, named Leafy McLeaf Face
2014 Toyota Prius v/5
Schneider EVlink L2 charging
EV driver since March 2013
  1. Spark examples jar
  2. City national 2cal
  3. 2006 escalade hp
  4. Fnaf plush pattern

Chevy Bolt EV electric car range and performance in winter: one owner's log

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car after snowfall, Glacier National Park [photo: D Gadotti]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car after snowfall, Glacier National Park [photo: D Gadotti]

The arrival of the first affordable long-range electric car on the market has naturally led some owners to push the car in a way that they might not do with a plug-in car offering just 80 miles of battery range.

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, EPA-rated at 238 miles combined, removes most daily range anxiety and allows owners to cover predictable commutes for several days before plugging in, if they choose.

But what about more strenuous usage? Our reader D Gadotti of Western Canada put a white Bolt EV through its paces in some of the snowiest weather any electric car may have seen.

What follows are Gadotti's words, lightly edited by Green Car Reports for clarity and style, and photographs.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car: owners' impressions after a year

Around Christmas, there was a cold snap here in Western Canada, accompanied by abundant snowfall. I decided to take a break from plowing and shoveling and go back-country skiing for a couple days at Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park.

It's a trip of 300 km (186 miles) from my home in the Kootenays to Rogers Pass, but there are no charging stations there—so I would need enough range to continue on or return to Revelstoke, a minimum of 370 km (230 mi). 

I was curious to see how my Bolt EV would perform in cold weather. I had equipped it with the meanest studded winter tires I could find.

So I tossed my warmest sleeping bag on the back bench, put some food and drink in an insulated chest, loaded my ski equipment ... and off I went.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car showing snow accmulation in windshield trough [photo: D Gadotti]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car showing snow accmulation in windshield trough [photo: D Gadotti]


The trip to Rogers Pass is one I could have done on a single charge earlier in the year.  Throughout the summer and fall, I got more than 400km (250 mi), confirming reports that the EPA range rating of 238 miles (383 km) is conservative. 

Once I started using the heater to keep the cabin warm and, presumably, condition the battery, my Bolt’s range dropped alarmingly to around 250 km (155 mi) or less.  The number varied depending on outside temperature, desired cabin temperature, and fan speed. 

I truly wish I could read KWh rather than projected range remaining, but alas Chevy does not provide that information. 

If I don’t have far to go, or if the outside temperature isn't extreme, I’ll pamper myself and set the car to 21 degrees C (70 deg F), but on this frigid-weather trip I kept it to a more frugal 17 deg C (63 deg F). 

While rating agencies give “combined” ranges, meaning city and highway driving—a bad habit inherited from cars with engines—a much more relevant datum for EVs would be to give ranges in temperate and cold conditions. 

Some of us live where winter takes four months or more of the year.  Knowing how far our vehicles can take us in winter is a crucial consideration when buying. 

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car after snowfall, Glacier National Park [photo: D Gadotti]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car after snowfall, Glacier National Park [photo: D Gadotti]


The morning of December 24, I drove to Rogers Pass, where I got my ski permit. The car's built-in thermometer showed  -20C (-4F) in the sun. I planned to spend Christmas Eve at the Asulkan cabin in the back country, skinning a 900-meter (3,000-foot) elevation gain on my skis. 

Meanwhile, my Bolt EV would be parked in the notoriously shady parking lot, right where a pocket of cold air often stagnates in that bend in the valley. I had no idea how cold it would get there overnight. 

When I returned, late in the afternoon of the 25th, the Bolt had been parked in temperatures below -20C for 30 hours.  It had used up almost 40 km (24 mi) of range to keep its battery conditioned, and had 80 km (48 mi) of range left, just enough to get back to Revelstoke. 

READ THIS: Driving BMW i3electric car in winter: tips from experienced owner

Good thing that route is mostly downhill.

I was just grateful that the doors opened; I had read horror stories of owners being locked out when the 12-volt accessory battery failed.

There is a backup way to unlock the car, of course—but the owner's manuals, both on paper and the electronic version on my tablet, were of course inside the locked car!  (EDITOR'S NOTE: They're available online too, if you have internet connectivity and a smartphone or laptop.)

Upon turning the car on, I immediately got a warning message about "reduced propulsion”, likely due to the cold battery. 

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car charge port with accumulated snow [photo: D Gadotti]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car charge port with accumulated snow [photo: D Gadotti]

With so little extra range, I was scared to use up precious energy even to defrost my windshield fully, so I sprayed it with isopropyl alcohol instead, since the windshield washer was freezing on the glass. 

Once on the road the battery began to feel better, my range improved a bit, and I think I reached Revelstoke with 48 km (30 mi) to spare—thanks also to the downhill.


The charging port of the Bolt EV opens sideways. When it snows while charging, the recess fills with snow, some of it turns to ice, and that makes it hard to open next time. 

I sometimes put a plastic bag on the handle. It ain’t chic, though it helps, but a door that swings upwards would be much better.

Someone suggested the side opening is best in case you forget to close it, but no, the car will give you a warning if you try to drive away with the charge port open.

CHECK OUT: Electric Cars In Winter: Six Steps To Maximize Driving Range (Jan 2013)


It was -16C (3 F) in Revelstoke, so cold the local car wash was closed due to the frigid weather. But I was able to recharge at the Greenlots DC fast-charging station. 

It's well-known that charging is faster with an empty battery, and slows down as the pack approaches its full capacity. The Bolt EV, in fact, is notorious for an early and sharp tapering down of fast-charging.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car charging at home after snowfall [photo: D Gadotti]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car charging at home after snowfall [photo: D Gadotti]

It took a full 90 minutes to load the first 40.65 kilowatt-hours into the 60-kwh pack, after which I was disconnected.  Wanting to top off to 100 percent, I started a second session.

This time it took almost another hour (53 min) to load a mere 9.93 kwh. The display showed a charging rate of just "6 kw," no better than a 240-volt Level 2 station.

I had never seen a "fast" charger slow down that much, so I presume the temperature was affecting the rate the battery could accept.

WATCH THIS: Electric-Car Battery Energy: Why Waste It On Cabin Heating? (Video)


The Bolt EV is a front-wheel-drive vehicle, and equipped with good tires, its purchase on ice and snow is as good or better than any car I have ever had. 

Alas, however, it does not offer all-wheel drive nor does it have high clearance—despite Chevy's occasional claims that it's a "crossover"—and those are two factors are what I’ll be looking for in my next electric car. 

Right now My Bolt is “snowed in” and I have to drive out my steep, 1.2-kilometer-long drive with my work truck.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car after snowfall, Glacier National Park [photo: D Gadotti]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car after snowfall, Glacier National Park [photo: D Gadotti]


I left from home in relatively balmy temperatures around -10C (14F).  My first stop was going to be Nakusp where about an hour at the Level 2 public charging station would add some safety to reach Revelstoke and the DC fast-charger there. 

The road along the way was white with compacted snow, nice and even, having been plowed recently. 

Nevertheless, the Bolt's steering was squirrely, as if I were driving on a deeply rutted road surface. 

I finally figured out that ice had built up in all four wheel wells to such an extent that the front wheels could not pivot to turn without shaving this ice. This can't be good for the longevity of the car's expensive Nokian Hakkapelliitta studded winter tires. 

The ice was rock-hard and impossible to  dislodge by hand, so I hatched a plan to hose it off in a car wash and then spray some kind of hydrophobic coat on the wheel wells. 

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

However the Nakusp car wash was closed due to the frigid weather and none of the local stores had a suitable compound. I continued my trip with my clogged wheel wells.


In Revelstoke, I was able to buy a liquid ski wax, which I intended to use to coat the wheel wells. (I do this to my aluminum snow shovel in the winter so snow won’t stick and freeze on the cold metal.)

Alas it hasn't yet been warm enough that I could dry out the wheel wells, so I can’ t report on the effectiveness of this hack. 

Why didn't General Motors anticipate the problem, or discover it during testing in Kapuskasing,and avoid it in the first place by coating wheel wells with hydrophobic materials? 

Electric cars are particularly vulnerable to this problem, as there is no engine heat bleeding through the inner fender walls to help melt ice blocks so they let go of the car body.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car showing snow accmulation in windshield trough [photo: D Gadotti]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car showing snow accmulation in windshield trough [photo: D Gadotti]


The area at the base of the windshield where the wipers sit tends to fill with ice that's very difficult to remove entirely.

Alas, winter is hard on all vehicles, but this trough is a particularly persnickety recess.


I anticipated some limitations using a Bolt EV for hard winter driving, but I find that so far, the car is performing better than my expectations. 

A major limitation would be the scenario when it has to be left for a week or more in very cold temperatures, away from any place to plug it in to keep the battery conditioned.

That's not as far fetched as you may think: Here in British Columbia, spending a full week in a remote ski lodge is quite common.

Over to you, GM Canada!

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV - When You Can't Stand the Heat!

My Chevy Bolt EV Sat Unplugged in the Cold: Here's What I Learned

Our Chevrolet Volt needed a chance to plug in for a while over Christmas week, so that meant that my Chevy Bolt EV needed to spend some time unplugged in during freezing overnight conditions. I’ve been attempting to track the Bolt EV’s battery thermal management behavior, so this gave me a great opportunity to spy on the inner workings of the Bolt EV using Torque Pro (an app that reads the car’s sensor data through the OBD2 port.

Chevrolet Volt Frozen

Before I start, I want to mention that while these winter conditions aren’t particularly harsh, they are cold enough to limit electric vehicle battery performance and trigger many of the Chevy Bolt EV’s thermal management systems. In this story, I will describe what I learned about the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV’s battery thermal management systems after leaving it unplugged in freezing overnight conditions for two days.

Chevy Bolt EV Vampire Drain
When I don’t have a long trip lined up, I prefer to leave my 2017 Chevy Bolt EV with “Hilltop Reserve” mode on. This mode was originally designed for Bolt EV owners who started their drives as higher elevations, and it provides full regenerative braking and additional battery capacity to recapture energy (which is otherwise limited when the battery is full). Hilltop Reserve limits the car to charging the battery to 88.2% (according to Torque Pro readings), so when I unplugged my Bolt EV and sent it to pasture, that’s how much capacity it had.

Chevy Bolt EV Torque Pro Cold Soaked Battery

Just for reference, Hilltop Reserve was replaced in later model Chevy Bolt EVs. In 2019, GM introduced a new feature to the Bolt EV that enables the owner to set a “Charge Limit” in 5% increments.

For those who are unfamiliar, “vampire drain” is a term used to describe the power draw by an electric vehicle’s onboard electronics that slowly deplete battery capacity over time. Over the years, I’ve been able to confirm that whatever the Chevy Bolt EV’s vampire drain was, it was very low. When I first got the car, I hit a rock and blew out the tire, so my Bolt EV was left at about 4,000’ overnight in January while I picked up a replacement tire. The vampire drain was low enough then, that by the time I returned, the estimated range hadn’t changed.

Thanks to Torque Pro, I can now quantify just how much the battery capacity drained after two days with freezing overnight temperatures. When I turned on the car and checked Torque Pro, it displayed 87.8% battery capacity. So in two days, my Bolt EV had consumed less than .5% of its total capacity.

Chevy Bolt EV Internal Battery Temperature
In addition to checking my Bolt EV’s battery capacity when I started it up, I also checked the core battery temperature. Because the Bolt EV had been left out overnight without being plugged in, Torque Pro displayed that its core battery temperature had dropped to 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not unusual because I had seen similar internal battery temperatures on previous occasions when I had left the car unplugged. To contrast, with similar overnight temperatures but with the Bolt EV plugged in, it had maintained an internal battery temperature of 59 F.

Chevy Bolt EV Temperature Sensor Off

I did notice something peculiar this time around when I had left the Bolt EV unplugged, however, and that was that it appeared to fine with the battery at 35.6 F. Previously, when I had left the Bolt EV unplugged (letting the battery temperature drop to the low 30s), the moment I turned the Bolt EV on, it started the battery heater. The only difference I can identify is that in the previous case, the car was still registering an outside temperature in the 30s.

This time, though, the outside air temperature sensor was exposed to the sun, and it was registering an ambient air temperature of 76.1 F. My guess is that something in the Bolt EV’s programming is telling it to not bother running the battery heater if the outside temperatures are high enough that it will eventually warm on its own.

Chevy Bolt EV In Gear Cold Battery

However, the moment I shifted the Bolt EV into drive, the battery heater immediately engaged.

Chevy Bolt EV Battery Heating
The reason I was plugging my Chevy Bolt EV was that I was getting ready to make a 150-mile trip to do some shopping, so I wanted to start warming the battery and adding a little extra energy. As I drove over to our plug, the battery heater started drawing 2,333 watts (about 2.3 kW). By the time I made it to our charger, my Bolt EV had consumed 0.1 kWh with 64% of that energy being used for battery conditioning.

Chevy Bolt EV Battery Conditioning Energy

I turned off the Hilltop Reserve mode, plugged in the car, and shut it off. I knew I had about 30 minutes before we were going to leave, so I wanted to see how much the Bolt EV’s battery would warm while it was shut off and charging. To my surprise, the Chevy Bolt EV didn’t appear to run the battery heater aggressively when it was off and charging. The battery temperature had leveled off at 41 F when it was charging.

Chevy Bolt EV Battery Heater On While Charging

When I turned the Bolt EV back on, however, the battery heater immediately started, and it was now drawing 2,407 watts (2.4 kW). It continued to warm the battery until I unplugged, but I stopped monitoring it with Torque Pro at that point. What I could tell is that it continued to warm the battery as I was actively driving, which resulted in significantly lower efficiency than normal during the first 20 miles or so of driving.

Chevy Bolt EV Trip Complete Efficiency

By the end of the trip, the battery temperature had warmed to 62.6 F compared to an outside temperature of 47 F, and all of the energy consumed for battery conditioning no longer even accounted for 1% of the 43.5 kWh expended to complete the 160 mile trip.

While this is still just a snapshot of the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s battery warming parameters, it can still inform Bolt EV owners on how they should operate their vehicles during cold weather. The Bolt EV will not suffer significant vampire drain; however, it will consume a significant amount of energy warming the battery after it is turned on. For that reason, Chevy Bolt EVs should be left plugged into the charger during freezing conditions.

Chevy Bolt EV Return Trip

In addition, the Bolt EV will not warm the battery as aggressively when it is turned off, even if it is plugged in and charging. To properly warm the battery during harsh winter conditions, it might be necessary to actually turn the car on while it is still plugged in. This might also be more effective than “preconditioning” the car because the Chevy Bolt EV will only stay on for 20 minutes during precondition, but it will stay on for approximately 1 hour if turned on from inside the vehicle using the FOB.

Still, the Chevy Bolt EV’s onboard battery heater appears to be limited to 2.4 kW, so it still might not be capable of maintaining the battery’s ideal operating temperatures in very harsh winter climates.

See you in my next story where I am discussing Chevy Bolt trip planning issues and tips for better route planning.

About The Author
Eric Way focuses on reporting expert opinion on GM brand electric vehicles at Torque News. Eric is also an instructional designer and technical writer with more than 15 years of writing experience. He also hosts the News Coulomb video blog, which focuses on electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and renewable energy. Eric is an active member of the EV Advocates of Ventura County, a volunteer organization focused on increasing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. You can follow Eric on News Coulomb Youtube, on Facebook at @NewsCoulomb as well as on Twitter at @eway1978.


Heater chevy bolt


Chevy Bolt EV à moin 20 Celsius chauffage Heater


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