Video: I Drove & Charged the Cheapest New EV For a Week ONLY Using 120 Volts

Here's what happened!

Images: TFLcar

Tommy recently bought a 2023 Chevrolet Bolt, the cheapest new EV on the market.

What’s it like spending a week with only 120-volts for every charging session?

If you had to buy the cheapest new EV in our market, chances are, you’re on a budget. Taking your car’s charger and simply plugging it into a 120-volt outlet for a charge may be your only option. If that’s the case, Tommy did some research for you. Sure, a Level 2 and a fast charger are (much) quicker options, but not everyone can use one.

Many homes that have an EV, may not be able to support Level 2 charging. Several people live in arears where there is no access to 220-volts. The reality is: if you live in an apartment, you’ll be lucky to find an outlet that gives you eight to 12 amps. Still, many of us are able to plug in while at work, or home.

In addition: another TFL Studios’ team member has almost exclusively used 120-volt charging for his 2016 Nissan Leaf. While it is a slow process, it has worked surprisingly well. In fact, by charging at home and at work, the long distance commute is fairly easy – depute the Leaf’s short range.

Tommy charges the cheapest new EV to 95 percent on Monday…

It’s safe to say, getting a fairly full charge at the beginning of your work week seems logical. Plugging your vehicle into a 120-volt outlet for a majority of Sunday, into Monday morning should give you a decent charge. Now, for the rest of the week, Tommy put some miles on the little Bolt. In fact, on Monday – he drove over 100 miles AND took the Chevrolet Bolt to the drag races! The 250+ mile range his Chevy Bolt could achieve was drawn down to 113 miles.

Over the next few days, he elected to only charge at home using 120-volt set at 12-amps. In fact, the amps were a bit of an issue with the Bolt as it appears to default to eight-amps when its reset. Tommy had to tell the Bolt that he wanted to charge at 12-amps each time. One day, he did opt to keep it at eight-amps being that he needed to charge an electric snow blower. He didn’t want to blow the circuit with too much demand.

Over the week, amid snowy weather and cold temperatures, the Bolt EV performed well, and it commuted brilliantly. Tommy comments on (and even shows us) the benefits of using Level 2 charging, but the 120-volt charging was a success. Check out this video and see how it worked day to day!