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The New Chevy Bolt vs Tesla Model 3: Which is better EV?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by dgindio, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. dgindio

    dgindio dgindio

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  2. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    #2 Jeff N, Sep 16, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
    We don't know the full specifications of the Model 3 and even though we know much more about the Bolt EV, GM might still have some surprise details to announce.

    That said, the cars have many basic overlapping powertrain similarities in their base trim.

    The Model 3 will have a somewhat less than 60 kWh battery and will have at least 215 miles of driving range. The Bolt EV has a 60 kWh battery and is EPA rated for 238 miles of range.

    The Model 3 will do 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds. The Bolt EV will do 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds.

    However, there are substantial differences. The Model 3 is a BMW 3-Series style sedan with a trunk. The Bolt EV is a hatchback with a somewhat taller ceiling so it has spacious room for taller drivers and good legroom in both front and rear seating positions. The Model 3 is likely wider so it will have slightly better rear seating for 3.

    Unlike the Bolt EV, the Model 3 will have an option for a larger battery pack that may approach near 300 miles of range. The Model 3 will also likely have performance trims with more powerful motors or inverters. The Model 3 is RWD but will also have an AWD option. The Bolt EV is only available in FWD.

    The Model 3 also has an option for AutoSteer and Advanced radar-based cruise control which the Bolt EV does not have, at least in the 2017 model.

    Tesla uses OTA or over-the-air software updates to improve existing functionality and also to add new features to existing cars. The Bolt EV will also have OTA, a first for GM, but it isn't yet clear how they will use it and whether new features will ever be added to older car models through updates like Tesla does.

    The Bolt EV's interior is conventional and shared with other GM models although it uses a computer display for the driver and a larger than typical center infotainment display. The Model 3 will use a larger center display with fewer or no physical buttons for controlling air conditioning etc. The final interior design of the Model 3 has not yet been shown in public and may differ substantially from the prototype models they revealed earlier this year. Elon Musk has teased that there may be innovative steering controls and displays. The Bolt EV supports close integration with SmartPhones supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Tesla has not supported that level of integration in the past.

    Both the Model 3 and the Bolt EV (via an OnStar subscription) support remote access to vehicle statistics, climate controls, vehicle locking and unlocking, and similar controls. The Model 3 supports limited remote "summoning" under close visual driver supervision. In past vehicles, OnStar remote access was slow to initiate and sometimes unreliable. It remains to be seen if this will be improved in the Bolt EV.

    The Model 3 will be longer and have a frunk for extra storage. The Bolt EV has a shorter front end and shorter overall length even though both cars may have similar interior passenger room. The Model 3's longer front end may have frontal crumple zone safety advantages but this remains to be seen in eventual crash safety tests. The Model S has exceptional crash safety but GM's Volt and smaller Sonic cars are also 5-star rated.

    Many people think the Model 3 looks sexier although some question the beauty of its frontal snout. Most observers view the Bolt EVs appearance to be bland and to have a "cheap econobox hatchback" aura.

    The Model 3 will have far better roadside fast charging infrastructure and capability. The Bolt EV's documented charging capabilities are usable on longer trips but are more limited so charging times will likely be somewhat slower. GM may or may not announce more charging details before retail sales begin. There appears to be a path for funding widespread higher speed SAE CCS DC charging compatible with the Bolt EV but it will take several years before it matches the national availability of today's already existing Tesla Supercharging stations.

    The Model 3 is likely to be very aerodynamic so energy consumption will rise more slowly at high freeway speeds than for the Bolt EV which has average aerodynamics for cars of its general form factor. However, the Bolt EV has excellent EPA efficiency ratings for both the city and highway test cycles. The EPA ratings for the Model 3 are not yet known.

    In a future world with many different 200+ mile BEVs the Model 3 and Bolt EV would not be cross-shopped and compared but in today's world with hardly any 200+ mile BEVs under $40,000 some customers will compare them as possible competitors.

    The Model 3 is expected to begin retail production in late 2017. The Bolt EV is expected to begin retail production within the next several weeks. Ultimately, production of the Model 3 may have a lower CO2 Impact due to vertical manufacturing integration, and planned renewable energy use at Tesla's factories in Fremont, Calufornia and Soarks, Nevada. The Bolt EV has battery packs and a number of other core components manufactured in South Korea before final assembly at a GM factory in Michigan. Tesla is planning for hundreds of thousands of Model 3 car production. GM has said they have supplier arrangements in place for building up to 50,000 Bolt EVs although first year production may be less than 30,000.

    The GM Orion Assembly Plant has a large 350 kW solar array along with nearby landfill methane collection allows the factory to obtain 54% of its electricity from "clean" sources. Tesla plans to integrate an enormous rooftop solar system on its Nevada battery factory along with some other carbon-free sources and aims for 100% renewable electricity. The energy sources used by LG in Korea are unclear.
     
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  3. HookBill

    HookBill Member

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    I can already see where this thread is headed and who the major contributors will be. I think I will pass and move on to something more positive. There has been far too much noise around this subject already.
     
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  4. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Nobody will know until there is a comparison test of the 200 class BEVs in 2017/2018. Car companies are normally in a state of continuous improvement, so the Model 3 will compete with the other cars that are available. How many will there be is anybodies guess, but it not likely to be just Chevy and Tesla in the comparisons.
     
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  5. doublejj

    doublejj Member

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    At least now the "Model 3 should be a hatchback" crowd have a car to make them happy.....& they can buy a Bolt & be happy. Leave my Model 3 alone!!
     
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  6. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    I stopped after this:

    Every sentence in that second paragraph is not true.
     
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  7. DameDePiques

    DameDePiques Member

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    On all the topics concerning the Bolt, it seems there is only one consensus : the Bolt should not be compared to theModel 3 (not the same market, not the same category, not the same utility...)... and now this topic. :rolleyes:

    Not to mention that we are comparing an unfinished car with hypothetical caracteristics with a car we don't know much about yet.
     
  8. h2sux2

    h2sux2 Member

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    @Jeff N Thanks for the nice comparison.

    In world where the two cars are readily available for purchase, and what we currently know, the Model 3 is the better EV. Hands down.

    However, I think that starting January 2017, with some Bolt reaching the dealers and the Model 3 not even hitting production yet, that the better EV will be the Bolt. Time-to-market is everything. I think GM will try to capitalize on this advantage as much as they can.

    Also, there must be plenty of prospect buyers that didn't put a deposit for the Model 3, and now they know it's a bit late after 400k reservations. So for them the Bolt will be the better (only) EV.
     
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  9. h2sux2

    h2sux2 Member

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    And... I really liked the video vlog, but the blog article is just crap - grammatically incorrect and just plain incorrect in many areas.
     
  10. N5329K

    N5329K Member

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    Ask yourself, "Which is the better car? The Nissan Versa or the BMW 320i?" Answer that and you'll know if the Bolt or the Model 3 is the better EV.
    Robin
     
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  11. EXOTIC1

    EXOTIC1 Member

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    Buying a Government Motors car is a post fail. Nothing to see here.:cool:
     
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  12. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I had the same reaction. However, I guess you can interpret it as comparing only the EV parts and not the general car parts, in order to be more narrow. Which I suppose would be comparing electric range, charging speeds (AC and DC), power output, efficiency, drivetrain packaging, etc. As pointed out already, the Model 3 would presumably have different options that would change those parameters, so a comparison even of those would be more complicated.
     
  13. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    This post reminds me of the claims that 'The worst [BLANK] is better than the best [BLANK] any day of the week!' as stated by members of political parties. Rhetoric should not be the replacement for logic.
     
  14. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The premise of that article is absurd. We know very little about the Model 3 at this point, so far in advance of it going into production. It is far too early to make any kind of useful comparison.
     
  15. N5329K

    N5329K Member

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    image.jpeg image.jpeg No arguing this point, not now, not even after production begins, because the OP left out "better for what mission?" As little as I know about the Model 3, I would hazard the uninformed opinion that the Bolt would make the better cab. Beyond that, it's a bit like asking, "Which is the better airplane?"
    The Shorts Skyvan?
    Or the Learjet?
    Both have two turbines. Both fly. One is ugly as sin but great at carrying stuff. The other has more limited cargo capability, but is gorgeous and stylish and quick.
    What's the mission? Choose accordingly.
    Robin
     
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  16. LectrikPower

    LectrikPower Member

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    I'm excited about the Bolt. I will certainly go test drive one. It is unlikely that I would buy one. This is exactly what Musk wants. Competition. Each new EV that comes out will help move us closer to sustainable transport. Even better that the Bolts range is good. Good electric cars will help us get to all sustainable transport quicker.
     
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  17. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    I like hatchbacks as they're practical. The Bolt fits my desires in a car more closely than a Model 3.

    On the other hand, we don't know how Tesla has changed the rear of the 3 yet, as Musk says they have in response to the criticism of the small rear opening.

    Where the Bolt falls down though is the lack of fast charging infrastructure. The infrastructure that is there is extremely slow vs. Tesla's Supercharger. GM has openly said they have no intention of building a charging network whatsoever. No fast charging, no road trips for me. No road trips, I ain't buying it.

    In terms of quality of product, I think GM will have to lower the price once the 3 comes out. One of the things noted in the video is the cheapness of the interior.
     
  18. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    People think the war is between EV models, or different EV auto manufacturers when it comes to EV adoption.

    That has NEVER been significant problem in terms of EV adoption. It's the electricity itself.

    The war is between what an EV driving experience is really like, and consumer misconception and reluctance to even test drive one. Tesla knows this, and so does at least Chevy, if not others. Fewer than 1% of American drivers have driven an EV at all. Their opinions of EVs are based on the media and fear of the unknown.

    I would offer that if 10% of Americans would drive an EV, one of them would buy an EV. That's roughly 80,000 EV's a year for the US alone. That's how big these numbers are.
     
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  19. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Is the interior comfy? Is it roomy? Are the ergos good? Control placement and actuation?

    Yes, the Volt has a shiity interior compared to the CT6 Platinum, but so does everything BMW and Mercedes sell at any price.

    But the Volt interior is comfy, IMO, better than our CTS-V.

    Do you want jewelry or intuitive controls and comfort? Truth? Most BMW folk don't care about the ergo or operational features. It's got to have that Euro look. The seat could be a bed of nails as long as it looks like a Recaro.

    Test drivers from a dozen mags failed to say the comfort and controls of the Bolts were shiity. Some did say they looked like ass (ie - does not look Euro).
     
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  20. lianregnif

    lianregnif Member

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    Tesla Model 3 - superior based on one reason. The supercharging network.
     
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