How to Charge a Chevrolet Bolt EV
When it comes to electric cars, the Chevrolet Bolt is one of the best EVs on the market today. Its price is on the affordable side of the electric vehicle cost spectrum and the Bolt has a respectable battery range compared to the competition. Charging in this compact EV is somewhat quick and very simple. And there may be discounts and incentives available to better your charging experience.
Chevy Bolt Charging Times
The Chevy Bolt can handle all three EV charging levels, from the slowest Level 1 to the DC fast charging of Level 3. There is only one battery available. That means there is no long-range model, unlike some other popular EVs. The estimated range for the Bolt is 259 miles on a full charge. Chevy also offers the Bolt EUV, a slightly larger variant with 247 miles of range. Below are the Chevrolet Bolt charging times for each charger type.
- Level 1 – Adds about 4 miles of range per hour
- Level 2 – Adds about 39 miles of range per hour, or requires 7 hours to recharge the battery fully
- Level 3 – Adds about 100 miles of range in 30 minutes
How to Charge a Chevy Bolt
Charging your Chevy Bolt is a straightforward process. The same rules for charging apply, whether it’s a Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 charger. The equipment may look different, but the process of using each charger is the same.
The most convenient place to charge your Bolt is at home. You can do this in two ways: with a basic Level 1 charging cable or an installed Level 2 charger.
The Level 1 charger is easy to use, especially if it’s your first time charging an EV. Bolts come standard with the Level 1 charging cord, and setting up this charger may seem familiar. All you need is access to any 3-prong, 110-volt household outlet for this option. Plug the charging cable into a wall outlet, then insert the J1772 connecter on the other end into the Bolt’s charging port. While it’s easy to set up and use your Level 1 charger, it’s also the slowest type of charging. Chevrolet recommends this option for “topping off” your vehicle overnight.
The second at-home option is using a Level 2 wall charger. These chargers require installation on a dedicated 240-volt circuit by a qualified electrician. At the time of this writing, Chevrolet offers free Level 2 wall charger installation to eligible customers buying or leasing a new Bolt.
After installation, using a Level 2 wall charger is similar to plugging in with a Level 1 charging cord. It’s the best option for recharging after daily driving or when charging to capacity before a longer trip.
Chevrolet also has a dual-level charging cord, which is technically a Level 2 charger that does not require wall installation. The charge cord is compatible with both 120- and 240-volt outlets, making it portable. This option adds about 25 miles of range per hour of charging. Chevy recommends this for your everyday charging needs.
The fastest way to charge your Bolt is to plug it into a Level 3 charger for a dose of direct current (DC) to its battery. These charging stations, called DC fast chargers, are located primarily in urban areas and locations near interstate highway exits. This is the fastest charging option, but it’s also the most expensive way to charge an EV battery. Using DC fast charges is the best way to replenish a car’s battery quickly when away from home. The type of plug the Bolt uses for Level 3 charging is a CCS Combo connecter.
There are more than 6,000 DC fast charging stations — often with multiple chargers — in the United States. For comparison, there are nearly 45,000 Level 2 public chargers. Many are located in shopping center parking lots, apartment complexes, hotels, and workplaces for employee use.
Plug in your Bolt at a public station and initialize charging. The cost of charging the EV is applied to your charger network account when the session is complete.
Where to Charge
Most EV owners regularly charge their cars at home. Still, finding a public charger in most regions isn’t difficult. The Bolt’s onboard navigation system can locate nearby stations. If you’re planning a road trip, the Chevrolet app can help map out charging stations along your route.
One of the perks of buying a Bolt is charging station discounts. Chevrolet and charging network EVgo have a partnership to bring drivers savings. Bolt owners can receive a $500 credit at EVgo stations for fast charging when out and about.