Miles Per kWh
2 min read

Miles Per kWh

On the Bolt forum I asked how people got so much higher m/kWh than I did. The discussion starter said he got 4.4 to 4.6. I almost never see more than 3.9 so I was wondering if something was wrong with my Bolt.

Several people answered that they were getting numbers like 5 and 5.2.

So this morning I ran an experiment. (I'm a research engineer I do things like that.) It was a lovely late spring morning and I figured I could do without the A/C, so I turned the car on and turned off the A/C, I then plugged the charger back in and as I hoped, it thought it was a new full charge and reset the "since last charge" numbers. I reset the trip meter and the efficiency report screen. The GOM read 212 (I have the charge limit set to 90%).

I then drove as conservatively as I could stand to work (50 miles). I did not go over 60 mph, I did not go above the speed limit, I did not accelerate hard, I did not use the breaks (just the regen), I drove in L the entire time.

The first entry on the efficiency graph was less than 3. This was not unexpected because there is a hill called "the divide" that I have to climb and for about a mile the car has to expend about 60-65 kW to maintain 60 mph. After that things improved and I was at times getting graph entries of 5.5 to 6. The trip meter efficiency number went up as I drove I saw as much as 5.4 and finished at work with 5.3.

At one point the GOM started counting up. I finished after 50.2 miles with 203 on the GOM after starting with 212.

So, there is nothing wrong with the car. The problem is obviously the driver. I had to really concentrate to maintain the rules I set for the test and I felt in danger of being run over by a giant pickup truck by only doing the speed limit (it's Texas after all).

If I drove like that all of the time, I could apparently get more than 90 additional miles out of a charge. And die of boredom. I normally drive a car for all it's worth, my daily driver has always been a sporty car and I drive the Bolt the same way. When I pull out on a road I generally accelerate as hard as is safe until I am at the speed of traffic. I believe that no one should have to slow down because you entered the traffic stream (either don't pull out or accelerate hard enough you don't interfere with other drivers). I do drive 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit if traffic permits. (I actually don't think they give speeding tickets in Texas anymore, the last several times I was stopped, I just got a warning.)

So, now I know the Bolt is fine. But, I think I will just be happy with my 3.9 m/kWh and drive like me.

(Nothing here is meant to be derogatory about other drivers, those who get high mileage are probably safer, happier, more content drivers that I am.)