My 2017 Chevy Bolt “trickle charging” after an 82-mile trip from Littleton, Colo., to Estes Park, Colo. — complete with a 2,500 foot elevation gain — at the YMCA of The Rockies in Estes Park, Colo. The Bolt still had 140 miles of range after the trip. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

So, I drove my newly leased Chevy Bolt — a red LT — from my townhome in Littleton, Colo. to Estes Park, Colo. to attend a meditation retreat this weekend.

There’s another Chevy Bolt here at a weekend meditation retreat that I am attending at The YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colo. Guess meditators have similar tastes in cars 😉 [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

Like meditation, the Bolt calms me thanks to its 238 miles of range vs. 84 miles I had in my leased 2014 Nissan LEAF, which was my only car for three years. It’s 82 miles from Littleton to Estes Park + 2,500 feet of elevation gain.

I would have been super anxious driving up here in my old LEAF, which I turned in two months ago — after Nissan’s September announcement that the 2018 LEAF would only have 150 miles of range — so that I could lease a Bolt.

My old LEAF would’ve had to be charged once to make the 81-mile trip less anxiety provoking. This means I could NOT have made this 82-mile trip in a normal two hours, but would have had to add at least an hour of Level 2 charging in Boulder, Colo., which is on the way from Littleton to Estes Park.

Thank you, Bolt — my new and much more viable as an only car, car — for making longer trips easier, more realistic and anxiety free again

I drove the route outlined in blue here on Google Maps from Littleton, Colo. to Estes Park, Colo. I would have NEVER attempted this drive without a charging stop of one hour at a level 2 charging station in Boulder, Colo. in my old 2014 Nissan LEAF, which had an 84 mile EPA rated range. Meanwhile, my Bolt finished the trip with 140 miles left, and no charging stop necessary 🙂

2 Responses

  1. Andre Beaulieu

    Sorry buddy, you’re wrong. Your biggest mistake was not buying a short range EV but buying one without a fast charge. If you put things in perspective, some folks still think your 238 mile range Bolt is still insufficient. Some people will never be satisfied. I love my 2016 Leaf with the 24 kwh battery. But equipped WITH a ChaDEmo plug.

    • Christof Demont-Heinrich

      Fair enough. But when I leased my 2014 LEAF I was still married and had a gasoline car in my garage. With the gas car, the need for a QC port was virtually zero. Then my wife moved out after one year, and I was stuck. I don’t think I can be criticized for making a non QC port decision given my comfortable 2-car household at the time I leased my LEAF. 84 miles, even with a QC port, isn’t all that useful in Colorado once you get into the mountains — because there are only Level 3 chargers in the big urban areas here (which I think is lame). So, I would have still missed out on driving into the mountains even if my 2014 LEAF had a QC port. It is useless where there are no Level 3 chargers, which currently describes ALL non-urban areas of Colorado. I can do SOOO much more in terms of getting into, and out of the mountains here west of Denver with my 238-mile Bolt. Extra range makes a HUGE difference, it gives you way more options. And that will continue to be the case — until a QC charging infrastructure as dense as our current (long-distance) gas station infrastructure exists. Simple math…more miles of range = the further you can go, the more options you have — especially in a world with absolutely no fast chargers (except Superchargers) along vast stretches of interstate highway in the U.S. That’s the reality here in the American West, where even 238 miles of range wasn’t enough for me to decide to drive to Santa Barbara in my Bolt — essentially because there is not a single fast-charging station along I-70/I-15 between Denver and Western Utah, 511 miles away.


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