how long does it take to charge a bolt ev


How Long Does It Take to Charge a Bolt EV?

Electrification has been rapidly transforming the automotive industry, with an increasing number of people opting for electric vehicles (EVs). The Chevrolet Bolt EV is one such vehicle that has gained popularity among environmentally-conscious individuals. But one question that often comes up for potential Bolt EV buyers is, "How long does it take to charge a Bolt EV?" In this article, we will delve into the various factors that impact charging times for the Bolt EV, the different charging options available, and tips to optimize charging efficiency.

The Impact of Battery Capacity

The battery capacity of an electric vehicle plays a significant role in determining the charging time. In the case of the Bolt EV, it comes with a 66 kWh battery pack. The battery capacity directly correlates to the amount of energy it can store, which affects the time it takes to charge. To put this into perspective, a Bolt EV with a fully charged battery can travel up to an estimated 259 miles on a single charge.

Charging times for the Bolt EV are influenced by two key factors - the level of charging and the power output of the charging station. Let's explore each in more detail.

The Different Levels of Charging

The Bolt EV supports three different levels of charging, each with its own charging time characteristics.

Level 1 Charging:

Level 1 charging is the most basic charging option and involves plugging the vehicle into a standard 120-volt household outlet. This is typically the slowest method of charging, providing an average of 4 miles of range per hour of charging. Therefore, if the vehicle has completely run out of charge, it would take approximately 64.75 hours of continuous charging to achieve a full charge. Level 1 charging is often used as a backup option or for occasional charging when a faster charging option is not available.

Level 2 Charging:

Level 2 charging is the most commonly used charging option for Bolt EV owners. It requires an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) or charging station that provides a 240-volt power supply. The Bolt EV has an onboard charger capable of charging at a maximum rate of 7.2 kilowatts (kW). Level 2 charging can add approximately 25 miles of range per hour of charging, allowing for a full charge in around 10.36 hours. Level 2 charging stations are becoming increasingly accessible, with many public charging stations and options for installation at home or work.

DC Fast Charging:

DC Fast Charging, also known as Level 3 charging or DC quick charging, is the fastest charging option available for the Bolt EV. It utilizes much higher power levels, often exceeding 50 kW, to quickly charge the vehicle's battery. The Bolt EV has the capability to charge at a maximum rate of 55 kW using DC fast charging. Charging speeds can vary depending on factors such as the state-of-charge of the battery and external temperature. Generally, DC fast charging can offer approximately 100 miles of range in just 30 minutes.

Factors Affecting Charging Times

Several factors can affect the actual charging times experienced by Bolt EV owners. It is important to consider these factors when planning charging sessions to ensure optimal charging efficiency.

Battery State-of-Charge (SoC):

The battery's state-of-charge, or the current charge level, can impact charging times. Charging rates tend to slow down as the battery approaches a full charge. Therefore, charging from 0% to 80% may be considerably faster compared to charging from 80% to 100%. It is worth noting that most electric vehicle manufacturers recommend charging between 20% and 80% for daily use to maximize battery longevity.

Ambient Temperature:

The outside temperature can influence charging times, particularly when using DC fast charging. Extreme hot or cold temperatures can cause the battery to heat up or cool down, which affects the charging process. To mitigate this, Bolt EVs have a battery thermal management system that helps maintain optimal battery temperatures for efficient charging.

Charging Infrastructure:

The availability and power output of the charging infrastructure used significantly impact charging times. Public charging stations, both Level 2 and DC fast chargers, vary in terms of power output. Higher-powered DC fast chargers generally provide faster charging than lower-powered ones. Additionally, the number of charging stations and their accessibility in a given area can affect convenience and potential wait times.

Optimizing Charging Efficiency

While charging times are determined by various factors, there are ways to optimize the charging process and maximize efficiency for Bolt EV owners.

Utilize Off-Peak Charging Hours:

Electricity rates often vary based on time of day. Taking advantage of off-peak hours, typically during late evenings or early mornings when energy demands are lower, can result in lower electricity costs and potentially faster charging. It is worth exploring utility programs that offer discounted rates for electric vehicle owners.

Precondition the Cabin:

One unique feature of the Bolt EV is its ability to precondition the cabin temperature while still connected to the charging station. By preheating or cooling the cabin prior to departure, less energy from the battery is consumed while driving. This feature can help optimize overall energy usage and potentially extend driving range.

Plan Charging Stops During Longer Trips:

For longer trips, it is important to plan ahead and identify charging stations along the route. Utilizing mapping services or mobile apps that display charging station locations can make the journey more convenient. It is advisable to stop at charging stations strategically to optimize time spent charging and minimize travel disruptions.


Charging times for the Bolt EV can vary depending on the level of charging, the power output of the charging station, battery capacity, state-of-charge, and ambient temperature. Level 1 charging, while the slowest, can add approximately 4 miles of range per hour. Level 2 charging, the most common option, provides around 25 miles of range per hour and takes approximately 10.36 hours for a full charge. DC fast charging, the fastest option, can offer approximately 100 miles of range in just 30 minutes. Factors such as battery state-of-charge, ambient temperature, and the charging infrastructure used can impact actual charging times. However, by optimizing charging sessions and utilizing available features, Bolt EV owners can enhance charging efficiency and maximize the vehicle's range.


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