Bolt Backpack Redux 225 Mile Mountain Trip 25 Percent Charge Remaining

By Paul Gipe

Our intrepid little group hit the trail again on the Kern Plateau 27 June. This trip was more adventurous in many ways than that before. For one, the hike was longer.

And, unlike the earlier adventure, (see Chevy Bolt 225 Mile Roundtrip with 21 Percent Charge Remaining), this trip required us to leave the paved road. The Jackass Peak trailhead was some nine miles from the Blackrock Fire Station and a good three miles of that was down a Forest Service dirt road.

Ok, this wasn’t a four-wheel drive only access road or OHV route. It was a graded Forest Service road. However, these days you don’t know what that means exactly. What with funding problems, Covid-19 restrictions, late spring weather, you don’t know what the roads are like till you get on them.

When I asked the ranger handling our permit at the Blackrock Fire Station if the Bolt was suitable she said, “You probably can make it.” That wasn’t as reassuring as I was hoping to hear.

As on our previous trip, we were all driving our own vehicles because of Covid-19. Everyone else in our party had 4×4 SUVs. I was on my own in the Bolt.

I needn’t have fretted. The road was dusty and rutted in places, but I never got high-centered and handily navigated the rough spots. When I arrived at the trailhead the rest of the party looked a bit surprised at how easy the Bolt made the trip in appear.

We suited up and hiked into the Golden Trout Wilderness. Three days later we hiked out and it was a true pleasure to sit down in that Bolt seat so many people have complained about.

The long drive back to Bakersfield was uneventful. I stopped at the Sherman Pass Vista and in Kernville to log my mileage for comparison with the last trip and ABRP.

There were no surprises. The Bolt performed well. The Bolt’s consumption from Sherman Pass to Kernville and Kernville to Bakersfield was nearly identical the trip a week before. I arrived home with 24.7% capacity remaining according to Torque Pro. This was even better than the last trip.

This trip I used 43.9 kWh to drive 225 miles versus the 46.4 kWh on the previous trip.

We have more than 26,000 miles on the Bolt and Torque Pro is reporting that we’ve lost a little battery capacity. Comparing the charge remaining with the amount of energy used, it appears that the Bolt has a little less than 59 kWh of full-charge capacity after 2.5 years of operation and more than 26,000 miles on the odometer. (The 24.7% charge remaining is comparable to that calculated from between 58 to 59 kWh capacity after 43.9 kWh had been used.)


The trip was successful. The Bolt performed well. I was able to keep up with the group. We were a congenial bunch. The weather was good. And there was no 7.1 M earthquake as there was last year!