Woz got a Tesla, not a Chevy Bolt EV: Supercharging may be why

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Steve and Janet Wozniak with new 2016 Tesla Model S, December 2016  [source: Steve Wozniak Facebook]

Steve and Janet Wozniak with new 2016 Tesla Model S, December 2016 [source: Steve Wozniak Facebook]

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In September, Chevy scored quite a publicity coup for its Bolt EV long-range electric car.

The car's chief engineer, Josh Tavel, took a pre-production 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV to show Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple Computers—universally known as "Woz."

He's a big electric car fan, and had driven a Tesla Model S since he picked one up his first one in October 2013.

DON'T MISS: Apple's Woz likes Chevy Bolt EV better than Tesla Model 3, he says

Woz seemed quite impressed after Tavel gave him a ride.

"I expect to be switching cars soon," he wrote on Facebook, posting a photo of himself next to a white Bolt EV, giving a thumbs-up sign.

Sadly for GM, though, Woz hasn't switched to a Chevy Bolt EV after all. Instead, his wife Janet gave him another Tesla Model S.

Steve Wozniak and a Chevrolet Bolt EV

Steve Wozniak and a Chevrolet Bolt EV

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The news came last Thursday in a Facebook post from Woz (via Electrek), with a photo of the couple in front of a new white 2016 Tesla Model S.

A few months earlier, Woz had replied to comments on his earlier post by saying that "Tesla will have a difficult time selling me a Model 3," and that the Chevy might replace his Model S.

Many things that were "wrong" about the Tesla Model S, he suggested, "are done correctly (in my opinion)" in the Bolt EV.

And he specifically praised the "functionality" of the Bolt EV's interior, noting he had been interested in the Model S primarily for its range, not the array of tech and luxury features.

Concerns over the Bolt EV's ability to do longer trips may have tipped the balance, in fact.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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Woz wrote in comments on the new post that he is still considering the Chevy electric car as a daily driver.

But I’m concerned about how it would work on our favored road trips. So far, Tesla’s the only game in town for that.

That likely refers to the Bolt EV's lower maximum DC fast-charging rate (80 kilowatts against the Tesla's 135 kw)—combined with the even lower limit of 50 kw at any DC fast-charging stations today that use the Bolt EV's Combined Charging Standard (CCS) protocol.

It's now possible to travel along various routes across the U.S. in a Tesla, using the company's network of free Supercharger fast-charging sites.

While their numbers are rising quickly, the patchwork collection of CCS sites is still sparser—and far from master-planned for travel along the U.S. Interstate highway system.

Chevrolet's Steve Majoros (R) accepts Green Car Reports 2017 Best Car To Buy award for Chevy Bolt EV

Chevrolet's Steve Majoros (R) accepts Green Car Reports 2017 Best Car To Buy award for Chevy Bolt EV

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Even if Bolt EV owners can patch together a longer route that combines CCS sites with slower 240-volt Level 2 charging, the Bolt EV will take at least twice as long (at 50 kw) to fast-charge to the same range as a Tesla.

General Motors has said firmly that it is not interested in funding the development of fast-charging sites for its first long-range electric car.

In January, CEO Mary Barra told Green Car Reports that the company was "not actively working on providing infrastructure [for the Bolt EV]."

CHECK OUT: GM Won't Fund CCS Fast-Charging Sites For 2017 Chevy Bolt EV (Jan 2016)

"We believe all our customers should benefit from any infrastructure spending," added electrification executive Pam Fletcher at the same event.

We reached out to GM to see if the company had a comment on Woz's decision, following all the attention it got from his thumbs-up photo.

Fred Ligouri of Chevrolet Communications responded quickly, with a terse, "No comment."

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