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Tesla Model 3 against Chevy Bolt -Cars Automobiles

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The Model 3 and the bolt are both long-range electric vehicles, but that's where the similarities end.

The Tesla model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt are the two leading compact electric vehicles that deliver more than 200 kilometers of range with a load. The Model 3 and Bolt are also theoretically the first two battery-powered cars to offer this range at a price that is affordable to mainstream consumers and translates to less than $ 40,000. Apart from these similarities, the comparison of the premium sports model 3 with the practical, familiar Chevrolet Bolt hatchback is fraught with challenges.

The Bolt comes with two trim options but a single battery size option.

The biggest challenge is that the Model 3 is not a single model from the perspective of its electric drive and its battery. The versatile configurations and price points of the Model 3 are a moving target. Just last week, Tesla has the long-haul $ 49,000, 310-mile version and introduced a $ 44,000, 260-mile variant, Our task will become easier when Tesla starts selling the long-promised $ 35,000, 220-mile Model 3 next year. The specifications for this version and its price tag are more like the Chevy electric car.

Nonetheless, we are unimpressed by the head-to-head challenges of the Model 3 over the Chevrolet Bolt. It's great to make such worthwhile decisions for EV buyers. Both high performance electric cars are at the forefront of our collective move away from combustion and the victory of vehicle electrification.


How far can you drive with electricity?

The Bolt carries a 60 kilowatt pack with a range of 238 miles.

BOLT: The Chevy Bolt comes with a single choice for battery size: a 60 kilowatt-hour package, which is estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide 238 miles of single-charge range. Remember, American commuters usually drive about 40 miles per day, so the Bolt's big battery can be serviced for at least a few days before it needs recharging. The magic number for a liveable amount for the daily ride, with a pillow for improvised errands, is about 200 miles. The bolt exceeds this threshold.

What is even more impressive is, like General Motors, the Bolt with a Post-incentive Price as low as about $ 30,000. This milestone in long-term affordability was well ahead of the competition in early 2017. The Bolt is rated by the EPA with a fuel efficient efficiency of 119 miles per gallon for combined city / highway traffic.

MODEL 3: One of Tesla's many innovations is that the cars are available with several, different sized battery packs. The sale of the 310-mph model 3 – the only version to date delivered – is about seven times higher than the bolt purchases in 2018. This fact alone should silence Tesla Zweifler immediately and any discussion about a range advantage for the model 3. The Tesla compact EV is the winner with its 75 kWh package, which is larger and more efficiently used than the bolt's 60 kWh battery.

The power version of the Model 3 has a 75 kWh battery pack.

The EPA rates the efficiency of the rear-wheel drive model 3 at 130 miles per gallon equivalent in combined city / highway driving. (The AWD version reaches 116 MPGe.)

Of course, the 310-mile model 3 can cost tens of thousands of dollars more than the bolt. But Tesla is not finished with model 3 variants. The mid-260 mile version of the Model 3 will be available later this year at a price close to the Bolt sticker. And early next year – if all goes according to plan – Tesla will sell its 220-mile version of the 50 kWh model 3 at a price that could match the cost of the Bolt premiere. For a real comparison of similarly capable and expensive models we have to wait a bit longer.

WINNER: TESLA MODEL 3
Depending on which version you buy, the model 3 is either similar to or better than the Bolt.


Which car is more fun?

The Chevy Bolt is fast and capable.

BOLT: No one would mistake the upright bolt hatchback for a sports car. But thanks to its electric powertrain sprints the Bolt in 6.5 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h. It might look like a typical compact commuter, but the 200-horsepower powertrain of the bolt, which gives 266 pound-feet of torque over a one-speed automatic transmission, is an explosion to drive. However, the top speed of the Chevy EV is only 91 miles per hour.

There is no secret sauce to power the bolt – unlike the inherent advantages of the electric drive. The heavy battery pack under the cabin floor offers a low center of gravity and a desirable weight distribution from front to rear for solid handling and cornering. The fun of driving a bolt is also derived when you switch to low gear and sport mode. The result is the coveted one-pedal EV driving experience, which features surprisingly fast acceleration as you step on the scooter and release a deceleration when lifting your foot.

Acceleration, steering and handling of the model 3 are comparable to German luxury sedans.

MODEL 3: Tesla vehicles are not only known for their groundbreaking range, but also for breathtaking power. That's certainly what you would experience in the performance dual-engine version of the Model 3, which allows sprints from 0 to 60 mph in supercar-like 3.3 seconds. If speed is your thing, then the Tesla Model 3 can deliver it safely. However, given the cost of using two engines and our duty to make a reasonable comparison with the Bolt, let us look at the single-engine rear-wheel versions of the Model 3.

In this regard, the Model 3 258-horsepower electric motor is the key metric compared to the 200-pony engine of the bolt. The upcoming mid-range Model 3 will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, while the 220 mile version of next year will take another second to reach that speed. Regardless, the Model 3 is a faster car with a higher top speed of 155 mph for dual-engine version and 125 mph for the upcoming mid-range, rear-wheel variant. The automobile press rightly compares the acceleration, steering and handling of the model 3 with German luxury sedans. Edmunds says "the power transmission is perfectly smooth and accurate" and the steering is "well weighted to make it a joy on winding roads."

You can not ignore this superlative – or the state-of-the-art, self-driving features of the Model 3. However, the Bolt earns points for its one-pedal ride and a curb weight that's about three hundred pounds slimmer than the Model 3.

WINNER: TESLA MODEL 3
The electric motor from Tesla is simply more powerful and its platform with rear-wheel drive is designed for driving pleasure.


Loading times for the model 3 and bolts

With a quick charger, the Bolt can add 90 miles to reach within 30 minutes.

BOLT: With Bolts' 7.2-kilowatt on-board charger, you can add up to 40km of coverage in an hour when you're charging at home with a 240-volt juice supply. On the rare days when you drain the 60-kilowatt-hour battery, it would take a full nightload of eight to nine hours to recover every 238 miles of range. After a typical 40-kilometer ride, it takes less than two hours to replenish the backpack.

Road trips over more than 200 miles require a highway quick charger. Chevy offers an optional $ 750 quick charge port for this purpose. If you are equipped with this port, you can add approximately 90 miles to reach with 50 kW DC chargers in about 30 minutes. Chevy Quick Charging works with charging stations that use the CCS standard, which is still hard to find even on popular routes.

The Model 3 has access to Tesla's large network of superchargers.

MODEL 3: The relative charging speed for an EV is based on the specifications of its on-board charger. The long-range Tesla Model 3 can handle 48 amps to achieve 11.5 kilowatts of charging power. This means that when charging through a 240 volt source, at least about 40 miles of range are added per hour. The faster rate makes sense for the 75 kWh battery of the longer-term Model 3, which needs an eight-hour session to load from empty.

The 220-mile Model 3, when it arrives, will have a 32-amp (or 7.7-kilowatt) on-board charger. This is faster than the Bolt onboard charger, but only slightly. Still, it's fast enough to add nearly 30 miles in an hour of charging time.

Where the Model 3 has a decisive advantage is the access to Tesla's 120 kW Superchargers. The Superchargers can add 150 to 170 miles of range in a 30-minute highway pit stop compared to the 90 miles of the Bolt while connected to a 50 kW station. (The actual time for a specific load event depends on a variety of factors.) Tesla has strategically located Superchargers as part of a thoughtful and coordinated campaign to connect to target cities, so you will not have to search long to find a compatible charger.

WINNER: TESLA MODEL 3
The profit margin depends on the version of the model 3, which is either a little or much faster than the loading of the bolt. The huge Tesla Supercharger network is the icing on the cake.


Compare dashboards and cargo space

The dashboard of the Chevy Bolt is not upscale, but it works.

BOLT: The Chevrolet Bolt is a compact hatchback with a deceptively large interior. Its interior measures 94.4 cubic feet. With the seats up, there are 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space, but the capacity expands to an SUV-like 56.6 cubic feet when the seats are knocked down. Drivers also enjoy a high seating position with excellent visibility.

The most consistent complaint about the Bolt interior are his seats, which, according to Rezzenern are too small and have no adequate padding. The dashboard design has a convincing gizmo aesthetic, and the interior uses enough hard plastic to get criticism as well. But these complainings did not stop the Bolt from receiving the 2017 Car of the Year award Motoric trend. Detroit Free Press, and Popular mechanics, These shortcomings are compensated by the generous passenger compartment and generous cargo space.

Minimal.

MODEL 3: Compared to the bolt, the Tesla Model 3 is almost two feet longer, three inches wider and half a foot shorter. These sportier dimensions result in the Model 3 providing 97 cubic feet of passenger volume and beating the bolt by nearly three feet. However, the 15-cubic foot Model 3 cargo space is nearly two feet smaller than the Bolt.

These measurements are likely to go unnoticed compared to the radically different aesthetics of the two EVs. While the Bolt offers traditional buttons and a decently sized 10.2-inch touch screen, the Model 3 takes dashboard minimalism to a new level with almost no physical controls or gauges. The center-mounted 15-inch horizontal-directional touchscreen takes care of almost all the functions of the vehicle. Combined with the vehicle's optional panoramic glass roof, the Model 3 creates a futuristic atmosphere that many riders love, while others find it annoying and confusing.

WINNER: CHEVY BOLT
It's almost a toss-up based on personal taste, but the extra cargo space and familiarity of the dashboard give the Bolt a slight edge.


The price for a bolt against model 3

After incentives, the bolt can be bought for around $ 30,000.

BOLT: The Bolts LT socket with 36,620 US dollars comes with a 60 kWh battery. So the Bolt delivers even at its lowest price the advertised 238 -mile range. Considering that most buyers qualify for a US $ 7,500 federal tax credit and some state and local incentives based on where they live, the Bolt is the EV most likely to offer long-term affordability.

That said, it does not mean that the Bolt, even in the form of the $ 40,905 Premier Trim (before incentives), is the most luxurious and comfortable EV.

That's not it, but the Bolt is not an Econobox either. The Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier includes leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as surround vision (for a bird's eye view of the car environment), blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic warning and rear parking sensors. Unlike the Model 3, the Chevy Bolt is available in a variety of colors and packaging for same-day sales from dealers in the United States. There's no waiting for the 238-mile Chevy EV.

MODEL 3: Although you've probably heard of how the Tesla Model 3 brings long-haul electric vehicles to the masses, the 3s that were produced in 2018 are typically sold for over $ 50,000. This is based on the 310-kilometer long-range version, which starts at $ 49,000 and boasts a $ 5,000 premium upgrade, a $ 5,000 autopilot package and special $ 1,000 colors. Dual-engine configurations mean even higher prices; We have seen prices rise to nearly $ 80,000.

To make matters worse, Tesla has sold a total of more than 200,000 cars. The $ 7,500 car tax credit will be lowered to $ 3,750 in January 2019, and will be reduced to $ 1,875 by the end of the year.

Despite these factors, the Tesla dream of EV dominance is alive and well. One step at a time. The company will soon offer a lower-priced mid-range rear wheel Model 3, starting at $ 44,000. Better yet, Tesla promises that its $ 35,000, 220-mile variant will go on sale in the spring of 2019. This is the version that will best compare in features, range and price with the Chevy Bolt. We will repeat this comparison with this version of the Model 3, if it is available.

WINNER: CHEVY BOLT (today)
Things will change when Tesla delivers its $ 35,000 model. But for the time being, purely on the basis of economics, the bolt is a better deal.


Model 3 versus bolt: By the numbers

*** Note: Ignore red text in the following table. Technical difficulties are to blame.

Tesla model 3 Chevrolet Bolt
Driving range 220 – 310 miles 238 miles
battery size 50 – 75 kilowatt hours 60 kilowatt hours
board charger 7.7 – 11.5 kW 7.2 kW
inner space 97 cubic feet 94.4 cubic feet
hold 15 cubic feet 16.9 cubic feet
Starting price (before incentives) $ 44,000 (middle version) $ 36,200

The Tesla Model 3 is faster, prettier and goes further.

BEST TOTAL: TESLA MODEL 3
The Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model are both big EVs. But the Tesla Model 3 is a better vehicle overall. It's faster and has a better styling. The Model 3 is available with greater range, faster loading and greater access to highway pit stops. While the passenger and cargo space of the Bolt and the Model 3 are competitive, the Tesla compact EV is more comfortable and offers a driving experience that fully embodies the innovative spirit of electric cars. The main problem with Model 3 is its price and availability, which will be fixed by cheaper versions from 2019 onwards.

BEST VALUE AND AVAILABILITY: CHEVY BOLT

Best to impress: TESLA MODEL 3

The best for an EV owner: BOTH

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