key west

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2020-06-30 | Chevy New Roads Magazine

Re-Charging in the Keys

It’s not just beaches and sunshine: With Bolt EV, it’s possible to unlock even more of Key West’s secrets.

 

Connected to mainland Florida by 42 bridges, Key West dangles into the Gulf of Mexico like a tendril hanging from the United States. With sun and warm temperatures year-round, plus beaches and coral reefs to explore, it’s a destination that seems farther away than the 113-mile drive down the Overseas Highway.

 

Key West’s allures for tourists are well documented. Whether you’re there for recreation, entertainment, or just to take a selfie at the Southernmost Point Buoy on the island’s southern coast, the big venues are well known. Yet we’re more interested in the unconventional, lesser-known side of this vacation paradise—the destinations you never expected to put on your agenda.

 

One thing that might surprise travelers is how accessible Key West is for drivers of electric vehicles like the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV. For starters, the car’s EPA-estimated driving range of 259 miles is more than enough to reach the island from many major cities in southern Florida. But equally notable is that the tiny island has as many as 10 hotels and resorts with electric vehicle charging stations for Bolt EV drivers to recharge their vehicle as they recharge, mentally, in this vacation destination.

The Details Matter

BOLT EV

259 MILES

DRIVING RANGE ON A FULL CHARGE

200/266

HORSEPOWER/
LB.-FT. OF TORQUE

56.6 CU.-FT.

MAX CARGO CAPACITY  

WHERE CAN YOU GO?
Bolt EV’s EPA-estimated range of 259 miles allows for easy runs to Key West from many South Florida destinations, including West Palm Beach and Marco Island.

You’ll find two EV chargers outside city hall, plus others at hotels, resorts, and bed-and-breakfast locations across the island. It’s a testament to the growing national interest in EVs that even this relatively remote, relatively small island city is ready for drivers to plug in.

 

“In the last 10 years, the city of Key West has seen a rise in the demand and interest in electric cars,” says John Wilkins, the city parking director. As a result, he says both government and private buildings across the island have been adding electric vehicle chargers. “Nowadays, I think that people are expecting to find one at the airport, at the resort, even at the shopping center,” he adds.


INSIDER KNOWLEDGE
U.S. Highway 1 starts in downtown Key West (look for the “Mile 0” marker at Whitehead and Fleming streets), crosses the bridges to mainland Florida, and runs a total of more than 2,300 miles north to the Canadian border.


History Meets Electricity

Our home base for a weekend of Key West exploration is The Mermaid & The Alligator, a bed-and-breakfast in Old Town. Built in 1904, the mansion became a B&B in 1985 and continues to delight visitors with its elegantly decorated rooms, gorgeous garden, and, of course, lemonade and cookies every afternoon. Better still, it’s just a short walk from some of the island’s best tourist spots.

 

Despite its history and classical flourishes, there’s no need to sacrifice modernity when staying here, thanks to the electric vehicle charger installed by The Mermaid & The Alligator’s previous owner. The charging station is used by guests about once a month, says current manager Maura Gannon, and it allows a Bolt EV driver to start the next day’s adventures with a fully charged battery.

A HOUSE WITH HISTORY
The Mermaid & The Alligator is named for a statue of a mermaid kissing an alligator that was purchased by the B&B’s previous owners and can still be seen next to the pool. The mansion was initially closer to the street, but was blown off its foundation to its current location (and subsequently restored) during a 1909 hurricane.

Open Waters

It’s only a short drive to the starting point of the first of those adventures, as we head to the Key West Historic Seaport. From there, dedicate a few hours to a boat tour farther out from the coast to discover hidden coral reefs. Their visual beauty unleashed only to snorkelers who gaze beneath the bright blue waves, Florida’s reefs contain over 50 species of coral. The barrier reef tract starts as far north as Miami, wraps around the Keys, and extends all the way to the Dry Tortugas, almost 70 miles west of Key West. Fortunately for divers and snorkelers alike, the waters are usually warm, owing to the island’s latitude just 24 degrees north of the equator.

 

Even if a boat trip doesn’t fit into your schedule, there are ample places to unwind on dry land. Key West has beautiful beaches of its own, but with the Bolt EV at your disposal, it’s simple to find a quieter, more untouched spot in nature. Head back up U.S. Highway 1 and pull in at almost any of the Keys to find parks, lakes, or waterfront vistas. Whether you’re picnicking, snorkeling, or just taking a dip to cool off from the heavy humidity, they’re idyllic and tranquil spots. Stay for a dramatic sunset before getting back on the road to return to town for the night.


INSIDER KNOWLEDGE
The “Conch Republic” moniker (it’s pronounced “conk”) started in 1982 when the mayor of Key West declared a mock secession from the United States to bring attention to the economic hardship caused by a U.S. Border Control roadblock set up between the mainland and the Keys. It worked, and the nickname stuck.


Cuban-Tinged Cuisine

No trip to Key West is complete without sampling the island’s Cuban-influenced fare, whether it’s Cubano sandwiches, roast pork, paella, or any number of other dishes.

 

For a morning pick-me-up, we’re starting at local landmark Cuban Coffee Queen, which has three locations on the island. The original cafe, near the Historic Seaport, is a popular place to grab a bite to go. As the name suggests, it’s known for Cuban-inspired café con leche and cortado espresso drinks, as well as smoothies, all-day breakfast options, and an assortment of Cuban-inspired sandwiches.

40,000 Ways to Recharge

The Energy Assist feature within the myChevrolet mobile app makes traveling with Bolt EV even easier. And now, the app has been updated with more ways to assist drivers on their next all-electric journey.

More Charging Stations

Energy Assist now shows more than 40,000 charging stations in North America, and 30 percent more DC Fast Chargers than in 2019.

Dynamic Info

The app offers real-time information on charging station availability on select charging networks.

Pay Seamlessly for Charging

At select charging stations, EV owners can activate and pay for charging right through the myChevrolet mobile app. 

The Mysteries of the Ocean

As might be expected of a city surrounded on all sides by water, there’s no shortage of places to learn more about aquatic wildlife, naval history, and more. While you’re waiting on your order at Cuban Coffee Queen, wander next door to Mac’s Sea Garden to browse for souvenirs. Dating back to the early 1900s, the store offers everything from kitschy memorabilia to genuine sponges, as well as conch, whelk, and cowrie shells.

 

For a deeper dive into history, check out the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. It’s part treasure museum, with collections of treasures recovered from two Spanish galleons—the Nuestra Señora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita—that were shipwrecked off the coast of Key West. But the museum also has historical exhibits, marine archeological artifacts, and a ship from the 1700s called the Henrietta Marie, as well as replica artifacts for sale in the well-stocked gift shop.

 

In other words, it’s a great stopping point for parents looking to inject some educational value into a family trip. “People come here to ogle the gold and the silver and the emeralds. But when they leave here they’ve learned more than they realized,” says museum CEO Melissa Kendrick.

Back to the Mainland

When it’s time to return home from a Key West weekend, the 2020 Bolt EV can easily make the journey back up to mainland Florida; a fully charged Bolt EV has enough driving range to get back to Miami or Fort Lauderdale without stopping to recharge. And if your destination is farther afield? There are a handful of other charging opportunities before you leave the Florida Keys.

 

With a long battery range, and ever more charging stations popping up across the country, vacations with Chevrolet Bolt EV are simpler and more appealing than ever—and destinations like Key West are more accessible than ever.

 

Has the freedom of an electric car allowed you to take a new road trip with Bolt EV? If so, share your EV experiences with Chevrolet for a chance to have your story shared with other owners, and to help encourage other drivers to make the switch to electric. Simply visit ChevroletElectricOwners.com to get started.

STORY: JAKE HOLMES / PHOTOGRAPHY: MYLES MCGUINNESS / ILLUSTRATION: TINA ZELLMER

*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA-estimated 259 miles on a full charge. Your actual range will vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age, and how you use and maintain your vehicle.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Available on select Apple and Android devices. Service availability, features and functionality vary by vehicle, device and the plan you are enrolled in. User terms apply. Device data connection required. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.

     

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • EPA estimate for Sonic with available 6-speed automatic transmission.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Connected Services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan, and 1 month/3 GB of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to User Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell service and GPS signals. OnStar links to emergency services. Visit onstar.com for more details.

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • Connected Services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan, and 1 month/3 GB of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Data plan offered by AT&T. Services subject to user terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell service, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  Visit onstar.com for more details.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. Sirius, XM, SiriusXM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and driving technique.

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and conditions.

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain and driving technique.

  • EPA-estimated 1.5L engine 29 MPG city/36 highway.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for vehicle and smartphone compatibility.

  • Available late 2018.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, your selected subscription plan will automatically renew thereafter. You will be charged at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. ©2018 Sirius XM Radio Inc. All rights reserved.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • EPA-estimated 28 City/39 Hwy MPG

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Read the vehicles Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android (TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active service plan and paid AT&T Data plan. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • EPA-estimated 18 MPG city/ 27 MPG highway 3.6FWD.

  • With second and third row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated with available 3.6L engine (FWD).

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The system wirelessly charges one mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • EPA-estimated 22 city/27 highway MPG for 2.5L FWD engine and 20 city/26 highway for 3.6L FWD engine.

  • With second and third row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Available on all trims and standard on RS and Premier including 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Requires AWD model. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. Map Coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

  • Dependability based on longevity: 1987–July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan, and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • Requires Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab 2WD DRW with fifth-wheel hitch and available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • EPA-estimated 15 MPG city/ 20 MPG highway.

  • Requires short box. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android(TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

     

  • EPA-estimated 15 city/20 highway for 4x4 with 4.3L V6.

  • Requires Long Box. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • 910 lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm with available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age, and how you use and maintain your vehicle.

  • Read your vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Certain features require a SiriusXM subscription and the Chevrolet Connected Access plan. See siriusxm.com and onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/chevrolettires or see your dealer.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on all trims:  Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Intellibeam Headlamps. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints.  Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint.  See the Owner's Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • On LS models with available front-row split-bench seat.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity to some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires AWD and 3.6L engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models

  • Available on Crew Cab models

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Equipment from independent suppliers is not covered by the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. GM is not responsible for the safety or quality of independent supplier alterations.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some phones have built-in wireless charging technology and others require a special adaptor/back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, see my.chevrolet.com/learn or consult your carrier.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

     

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    Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some phones have built-in wireless charging technology and others require a special adaptor/back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, see my.chevrolet.com/learn or consult your carrier.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/bluetooth to find out which phones are compatible with the vehicle. Full Bluetooth feature functionality varies by device, model and software version.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android™ 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information. 

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.  

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models.

  • Available on Crew Cab models.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

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