I had a fun week driving the Chevrolet Bolt electric car around. Want to know how it was driving an electric car for the first time? Read on for my adventures!
I had never driven an electric car before and was a bit concerned about what I was in for. I had so many questions. How different is an electric car than a standard car? How will it maneuver on the roads? Would I have charge anxiety?
Adventure with the Chevrolet Bolt at Qualusi Vineyards in Acworth GA
Oh my gosh, a winery in the metro Atlanta area? How cool.
But it gets even more interesting.
Qualusi Winery is located on land that has been in the owner’s family for generations. They sold a majority of the land to become a neighborhood BUT they kept a piece of the property to build their winery on. How cool is that? Yes, this winery is located in the back of a neighborhood!
It felt a bit like I was driving the Chevy Bolt to a speakeasy and not a winery. You have to drive a bit on gravel to get to the winery but the Bolt handled it quite well. Oh and you can bring whatever food into the winery you want. So, I thought while I was headed up that way why not head to Tacos del Chavo? In case you don’t know, it is one of the highest rated taco spots in Atlanta. They are so friendly there! Sometimes when a spot gets wildly popular staff can be not the friendliest, but I told the young man at the window that it was my first time and he couldn’t have been nicer. I highly recommend checking them out!
Speaking of handling things well, I had a great appreciation for the compactness of the Chevy Bolt. Even at 2 in the afternoon on a weekday, well after the lunch crowd, the restaurant was busy. Plus, their “parking lot” is more like a gravel / dirt driveway where you make your own spot. But luckily with the Chevy Bolt I was easily able to maneuver into a small open spot.
After ordering way too many tacos and one burrito (I told the order taker to surprise me with the filling”) later, I was on my way in less than 10 minutes.
You can still use it for hauling projects for materials.
Don’t let me sell the electric car short. In the midst of having this car we were in full renovation mode for our guest bathroom. We decided to go the we-buy-the-tile-hire-a-contractor-to-install route. Well color me surprised to find out that there wasn’t enough tile in any one tile store (we went to Floor and Decor), to fulfill a small, guest bathroom. We went on a wild goose chase driving all over Atlanta in our electric car to four different locations (Buford, Brookhaven, Kennesaw, Roswell) to find enough wall tile for our project. Luckily, there was plenty of room in the trunk for the boxes we had to pick up. Also, we had to pick up long metal strips for the tile edging that were able to fit easily in the car too!
Full disclosure: Our contractor picked up the majority of our order but he wasn’t going to drive all over Atlanta (thanks, Floor and Decor)!! We had plenty of mileage left even with all the driving we did. See the pictures above that displays a maximum, minimum and average number of miles with the Bolt Electric car. So you know that you have “at least” a certain number of miles.
We even drove to a new restaurant in Peachtree Corners we were dying to check out – Taste of Greece. It was quite a drive from where we live, but we didn’t mind. For those keeping score, that’s about 30 miles each way!
No need to worry about charge anxiety with this Electric Car
What I was most interested in with the Bolt Electric car is how it charged and how long that charge lasted. I was talking to a friend of mine who had one of the original electric cars. In the old days of electric cars he said you could get maybe 60 miles on charge. He said he’d have to keep a list of charging stations en route to his final destination.
The Chevy Bolt electric car gets 259 miles when it is fully charged. For many, you might be able to and from work to home during the week without having to charge it.
How do you charge the Bolt Electric Car?
You have 3 different options for charging.
The first (Level 1) electric vehicle charging is when you plug your charging cord which comes with the car into a regular outlet in your home. As you may have guessed this will be the slowest charge. You can expect anywhere for 4-8 miles per hour. So, I’d use this if your car is desperately low.
Level 2 electric vehicle charging – You can get a special plug your home to charge your car faster than the Level 1 charger. Or you can find these at locations around the area for charging electric vehicles.
Level 3 electric vehicle charging – This is the fastest way to charge the Bolt Electric car, and I suppose other electric cars. It gets about 90 miles in 30 minutes of charge. I was wondering how close I would be to a charging station, but by downloading the Chevy app I could find a charging station nearby (about 7 minutes from my house).
You pull up to the charging station much like you would a gas pump. Then you’ll tap your loyalty card (set up through the Chevy app) and you are good to go. Just remove the cord and insert it into the charging port on the drivers side of the car. It was super easy to hook up.
The display tells you how much is charged and how much more time you have to go before the electric vehicle is fully charged. For reference, I got quite a bit of charge in about 20 minutes, enough for the remainder of my weekend (after charging it on a Friday).
Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground – one of the largest residential gardens in the country is right here in Georgia
All these years living in Atlanta and I hadn’t been to Gibbs Gardens and was surprised to learn we have such beautiful gardens right in our backyard. As you may have guessed, spring is most likely the best time to visit these Atlanta gardens, when everything is in bloom. But you can still have a lovely visit in the fall like we did.
According to the website, it takes 3-4 hours to tour the entire gardens. I’m sure that must be when everything is in bloom in the spring. But we were able to walk around the gardens and see the house in just over 2 hours.
Fun fact: Art lovers will appreciate the EXACT replica of Monet’s Giverny bridge at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, GA. Want to see more of Gibbs Gardens? Check out my Instagram video from my visit there.
Tickets (not including tax) are $20 for adults, kids are $10.
Protip: The Gibbs Gardens website states you cannot buy tickets on site, but that can be dicey if you are trying to make plans based on weather. I mean, the weather forecast is a joke – wouldn’t you agree? When we arrived, there were plenty of visitors buying tickets on site.
My favorite features of the Bolt electric car
- Acceleration – Delivers power when you need it!
- No need to pump gas (obviously) think about the money you can save
- Always know how much mileage you have – no charge anxiety