Chevrolet’s Bolt electric car is an excellent subcompact vehicle that’s gained much popularity in local markets. Part of the popularity undoubtedly comes from its affordability and its many well-liked features. But does this EV have fast charging?
Yes, the Chevy Bolt electric car does have Level 3 DC fast charging capabilities. Charging at that level adds 100 miles of range to the battery for every 30 minutes of charging. Fast charging offers plenty of convenience, but you should use it wisely. Too much fast charging will wear the battery out faster and cost more than slower charging methods.
Whether you’re a prospective buyer or a current owner of the Chevy Bolt, read through this guide to understand its fast charging abilities. You’ll also learn about the pros and cons of that feature to see if you should use it often.
Does Chevy Bolt Have Fast Charging?
Yes, the Chevrolet Bolt electric car does come with Level 3 DC fast charging capabilities. According to the manufacturer, the fast charging option will add 100 miles of range to the battery for every 30 minutes of charging.
Fast-charging a Chevy Bolt offers you plenty of benefits. Firstly, you’ll spend less time charging your Bolt, especially if you’re traveling long distances. Besides, you won’t have to worry about queues at fast charging stations, as people can get the power they need and leave quickly.
However, you might only be able to enjoy fast charging sometimes, even though the Chevy Bolt is capable of it.
The Chevy Bolt relies on the SAE Combined Charging Standard (CCS) Combo connector for DC fast charging. That differs from the Bolt’s connector for Level 1 and Level 2 charging.
So, you’ll have to find compatible charging stations with CCS Combo connectors if you want to enjoy the Chevy Bolt’s fast charging capabilities.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A Chevrolet Bolt?
Fast charging on a Chevy Bolt is an excellent feature offering plenty of convenience. However, that’s not the only charging method you can use. That’s why you should be aware of the different charging times for the Bolt before you decide to purchase one.
Here’s how long it takes to charge the Chevy Bolt electric car:
Level 1 Charging
Level 1 charging is the slowest option available through a standard household outlet. You’ll add approximately 4 miles of range for every 1 hour of charging at this level.
Level 1 charging is the slowest, but it also tends to be the cheapest option. Your home charger will likely fall under this category, allowing you to charge the Chevy Bolt battery overnight.
When you purchase a Chevy Bolt, you’ll receive a dual-level charging cable compatible with Levels 1 and 2.
Level 2 Charging
Charging your Chevy Bolt at Level 2 is significantly faster than Level 1. It replenishes approximately 39 miles of range for every 1 hour of charging. At that rate, you can fully charge a dead Chevy Bolt battery in around 7 hours.
As mentioned earlier, the Chevrolet Bolt EV comes with a charging cord that fits into Level 1 and Level 2 chargers for added convenience. That means you can charge at home and at public charging stations using the same cord.
Level 3 Charging (Or ‘Supercharging’)
Level 3 charging is the fastest, and that’s why people refer to it as ‘Supercharging’. Supercharging a Chevy Bolt will add approximately 100 miles of range to the battery in only half an hour.
Unfortunately, you won’t get this kind of charging at home because it requires high-voltage electric infrastructure to power it.
So even though the Chevy Bolt has fast charging capabilities, not all public charging stations can charge the car at Level 3. For those that do, the charging will likely cost you more than if you chose Level 1 or Level 2 charging instead.
Why Is Fast Charging A Chevy Bolt Not Always A Good Idea?
The Chevy Bolt’s fast charging capabilities are an attractive feature, and it’s likely one of many reasons you’d buy this model. However, you must also understand that using it all the time is not necessarily a good idea.
To get a complete and balanced understanding of fast charging on the Chevy Bolt, it’s crucial to understand the benefits and drawbacks that it comes with.
Here are some of the pros of fast charging on a Chevy Bolt:
- Quicker charging: Naturally, one of the most attractive benefits of the Chevy Bolt’s fast charging is the ability to top up the battery quickly. While slower charging methods might take several hours to fully charge the battery, fast charging gets it done in only 1-2 hours at most.
- Better for long-distance trips: Fast charging is beneficial if you’re taking long-distance trips. You won’t have to worry about being tied down to a charging station while making stops along the way.
- Less crowding: The faster someone charges their EV, the sooner they can clear the way for the next person in line. Fast-charging stations are less likely to be crowded.
Meanwhile, here are the cons of the Chevy Bolt’s fast charging capabilities:
- Not available at home: As you read earlier, fast charging requires a high-voltage power supply that you won’t find in residential areas. That’s why you won’t get fast charging available at your home. Instead, you’ll have to find charging stations that offer it, assuming your local area has any.
- Degrades battery faster: Fast charging is highly convenient, but that convenience comes at the cost of your battery’s life. Occasionally using Level 3 charging on your Chevy Bolt is perfectly fine, but doing it too much will speed up the degradation of that battery. In simpler terms, too much fast charging will cause the battery to wear out quicker.
- Highest costs: Last but not least, remember that fast charging also comes at the expense of your dollars and cents. Fast charging stations are costlier for providers to set up, and they’ll undoubtedly want to recoup their investments by charging customers a higher fee. So, while Level 1 and Level 2 charging costs less but takes more time, Level 3 fast charging takes less time but costs more.
Considering all the above, you’ll see that there is no clear answer as to whether the Chevy Bolt and its fast charging capabilities are worth it for everyone.
Instead, you should consider the pros and cons to determine whether or not it’s worth it. Besides that, it also helps to consider if you’ll get to enjoy the fast charging capabilities at all based on the infrastructure in your local area.
Despite the heavy adoption of electric cars like the Chevy Bolt, fast charging has yet to be rolled out to all corners of the country.
The Chevrolet Bolt electric car is an excellent vehicle all around. One reason for that is that it comes with fast charging capabilities, allowing you to add 100 miles of range to the battery with just 30 minutes of charging.
However, you should also consider the Bolt’s other specifications regarding charging. With Level 1 charging, the car adds 4 miles of range for every 1 hour of charging. In addition, the vehicle comes with a dual-level charging cord that allows for Level 2 charging at a rate of 39 miles per 1 hour of charging. While fast charging is convenient, it’s important to remember that fast charging costs more, wears the battery out faster, and isn’t available at all charging stations.