(Source: www.forbes.com)

White Model 3 release candidate.

Credit: ‘inamachineshop’ Reddit user

What follows is a quick back-of-the-envelope cheat sheet for the two highest-profile, mass-market, long-range EVs.

It’s crunch time for both vehicles. Tesla needs to prove that it can crank out tens of thousands of high-quality Model 3s while Chevy has to prove that it can survive the Model 3 tsunami.

Both the Model 3 and Bolt fix two of the biggest obstacles for EV buyers — price and range:

The Model 3 starts at $35,000 (though buyers are expected to opt for add-ons that kick up the price into the $40,000-plus range).

The Bolt is listed at about $37,500 but in Southern California (where I live) dealers are offering big discounts and, in some cases, throwing in $500 “certs” on top of that (what GM calls Instant Value Certificates.)  In addition to the federal incentives, California will cut you a check for $2,500 if you buy or lease the Bolt or Model 3, though you’re put on a waiting list now for the standard $2,500 rebate.

The price of the Model 3 and Bolt combined with the 200-plus-mile range makes both almost irresistible for prospective EV buyers sitting on the fence.

The vehicles address two different consumers: the Model 3 is a sporty sedan while the Bolt is marketed as a more practical crossover/hatchback.

For smaller screens: slide table with finger or use slider bar at bottom of table to see full table.

Car Range Charging Autonomous driving Buying Experience Safety Performance Pass./Cargo Space

Availability

Price

Tesla Model 3 Vs. Chevy Bolt Model 3 215 miles Tesla’s vast Supercharging network Necessary hardware Good IIHS Top Safety Pick (1) Zero to 60 mph u

nder 6 seconds 

N/A (2)

2018 (in volume)

$35,000

Bolt 238 miles Spotty DC fast-charging stations (3) Not available currently Fair (4) N/A Zero to 60 in less than 6.5 seconds / top speed 91 mph 95 cubic feet, 5 passengers / 17 cubic feet

Now

$37,495 but hefty discounts

(1) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

(2) Reports say seating for 4 adults, 14 cubic feet front and rear trunk cargo volume

(3) In Los Angeles (where I live) and surrounding areas, DC fast-charging from vendors like EVgo is a mixed bag: the fast-charge experience is smooth and pretty much works as advertised but fast-charging stations can be few and far between — even in greater Los Angeles. And note that Chevy says “up to 90 miles of range in about 30 minutes of charge” for DC fast charge but real-world charging can be slower. Bottom line is, the Chevy Bolt-compatible fast charge network pales in comparison to the reach and convenience of Tesla’s Supercharging network. The countervailing argument is that most Chevy Bolt owners will charge at home.

(4) Fair to bad: I’ve experienced never-say-die hard sells for the Bolt. And most of the Chevy sales people (I’ve met) are woefully unschooled in EVs.

Chevy Bolt at dealer in suburban Los Angeles. It got a top rating from the IIHS in safety.

Brooke Crothers

More Info: www.forbes.com

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