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Tesla Model 3 vs. Chevy Bolt rivalry

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by tonybelding, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Everybody loves a fight, and it seems like some want to portray the Model 3 and the Bolt as gunslingers at the OK Corral. Two cars drive in, one drives out.

    But here's the problem with that view. . . It's becoming apparent that Tesla alone can't meet the demand for electric cars. Other companies have to join in this great undertaking, converting our automotive fleet away from petroleum fuel. The Bolt and Model 3 will be synergistic. The (presumed) success of each will validate the other, and their combined success will build a viable and growing market segment of mass-market BEVs.

    That doesn't mean it's going to be a love-fest between Tesla and GM, though. There's still the matter of. . . pride. Both of these companies have a lot to be proud of. GM is one of the biggest car makers in the world, with the most legendary history, inextricably intertwined with the culture of the USA, and they've accomplished much with the Volt. Tesla is a rock star among the staid automotive industry, crusading for electric vehicles, with a charismatic leader and the Apple-like aura of "technological disruption".

    So, this is not the OK Corral. This is more like an olympic event. This is the BEV event at the olympics, and there's going to be a pedestal at the end with gold, silver and bronze medals. And you know, both GM and Tesla have their eyes on the gold. They both feel like it's within reach, and neither of them wants to settle for silver.

    Bronze, I think, is somewhat up for grabs. Maybe Nissan? The only losers in this competition are the car makers who haven't invested in BEV powertrain technology. If Tesla wins this competition, GM won't be the loser. The loser will be Fiat-Chrysler. You have to play to win, man!
     
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  2. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    Only the Model 3 is capable of cross-country travel (superchargers). No other manufacturer seems to think of EVs as anything other than urban runabouts, so while I agree with your ranking, the gap between gold and silver is very large.
     
  3. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    I don't think most Americans will think of BEVs as good for long distance travel until we get easy 300-mile ranges and a sufficiently dense fast charging network (of various flavors) that you no longer have to "plan" your travel in an EV. So, while the supercharger network is a step in that direction, it isn't enough for most average Joes to treat either the Model 3 or the Bolt as anything more than city cars.

    As far as city/commuter cars go, though the Model 3 and the Bolt are just about perfect. 200 miles gets you to work and back, all around town, and even on some weekend day trips without worrying about relying on the public charging network at all.
     
  4. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    #4 Takumi, Apr 10, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
    There's 300k+ people you should ask on that. The 10% long range you talk about is still usually planned. I don't know about you, but I don't recall any long distance travel that I have taken that was never planned. Even if it's an emergency, it was still planned. With the TM3, especially with the tech it supposedly will come with, it takes less planning - Autopilot, software pre-mapped SC stops. Obviously, if they do not want to take it on long distance, they can op-out of those, but it is already built-in if they change their mind. If you want to argue time, then fly.

    Those "Joes" that you say will not plan for a long distance trip are the same ones running out of gas on that trip. It doesn't matter what type of vehicle they are driving. Those Joes you also talk about are also the ones neglecting maintenance. I know, they're the ones I have to nag about it because I end up doing the work when it breaks.

    A few times, they have asked to borrow my BEV because their ICE is out of gas and don't have time to go to the gas station. ...and that was when I was only using 110v for charging - go figure. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    #5 Az_Rael, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
    Well, by planning, I mean checking to see if you will be able to fill up along your route or not. Not just choosing which highway you are going to take. The long distance trip I used to make the most often when I lived in TX (and where I will be when my Model 3 comes) was to visit my parents in Snyder Texas from DFW. We would "plan" to take either I20 or Hwy 180 depending on traffic, etc. I didn't plan out fueling stops. There are towns every 30 miles along both those routes. We would stop and get gas once the tank got down to 1/4 left. We stop for lunch when we are hungry. I would argue that this is how most people "plan" trips.

    HOWEVER. In a Model 3, I would have to really plan out every single stop on that trip. If I took I20, maybe the superchargers have been built in Cisco and Sweetwater by then, but I will have to decide which one I am going to stop at (probably both), and I will definitely stop at the Sweetwater charger just to get juice to Snyder and back on 84, since I won't have destination charging at my mom's house. And only one place to charge in all of Snyder - an RV park. I have also added about an hour to the trip vs an ICE car. And that Hwy 180 route - pretty much undoable in an EV, so can't take the EV during Thanksgiving or Christmas when I20 is a mess.

    I just don't think normal people are going to consider that level of planning and extra time to be worth it to travel long distance with an EV. I'll be honest - we will probably take my Model 3 to Snyder once just to see if we can do it. But for the rest of the trips, it will be in the ICE Audi.
     
  6. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    Come back in a couple of years and tell us if that's still the case.
     
  7. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I've been taking long EV road trips for over 5 years now. True, the early ones on L2 left something to be desired. But once we started being able to use Superchargers, including an 11,000-mile trip around the country in Sep 2014 - things changed. I was no longer putting up with something to avoid gas; the trip was better because it was electric. Yes there was more planning involved - but there was more fun driving an EV, more room in a better-packaged car, less fatigue from noise and vibration, less cost. And my wife pretty consistently took longer to get ready at a stop than the car did, so the trip didn't take me any longer.

    When switching to something new it's common to worry about what you might have to give up. But don't forget to consider what you will gain.
     
  8. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    True. And the fact that the 3 will have autopilot is a huge bonus on long trips unrelated to its status as an EV.

    But the charging network in rural Texas will have to increase significantly between now and then. Right now it's very thin and is only for the "adventurous" EV wise relying on RV parks, etc.
     
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  9. vinnie97

    vinnie97 Member

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    You could offer to front the cost of a NEMA 14-50 installation at mum's. :) If that's not fast enough, then the more expensive wall connector might do. As the EV revolution gets cooking in 2018, this type of hardware could start becoming standard with new construction, and as more cars are sold, the number of private "destination" charging options will increase out of necessity.
     
  10. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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