Thanks to the data collected by Eric Way, we now have a real picture of what the 2020 Bolt charging curve looks like.
The primary thing to notice is that they have done away with the artificial charging taper that was previously employed in 2019 and earlier models. I have overlaid that in the graph for comparison. I assume that all of the data that GM collected showed them that it was an unnecessary precaution.
What’s really nice about this is it exactly matches what I expected: the artificial taper was designed to trigger at the point where the natural taper would have started to drop the current below that level. In other words, for example, as soon as the natural taper reached 100 amps, they would drop it down to 60. Now they don’t do that second part; they just left the battery naturally decrease the current drawn once the charging reaches full voltage.
What’s the net result of this?
Comparing as if both batteries were the same size, Before from 50 to 85% it would have taken 45 minutes (using only the new 55+kW DCFC Chargers). Now it’ll take about 35 minutes. From 50 to 95% it would have taken 65 minutes, now it’ll take about 50. So you’ll save 10 minutes on charging if you drive between 10 and 85%.
This makes it a lot more palatable to charge up to 80% when you’re on a road trip, and topping up is also faster.
But don’t forget, you get 8% more range too!
Taking everything into consideration, on a long road trip where you drive 65mph and assuming that you still drive between 10 and 85%, ideal circumstances in a 2020 you will average 45.5mph (including charge time) as opposed to 43mph before, saving you ~5% on your trip time. Driving 430 miles will take 9.5 hours, saving you a half an hour from the 2019 and earlier models.