Chevy Bolt EV vs Tesla's Model 3, Model S: CNET, Consumer Reports compare electric cars


Five years ago, the only true battery-electric cars on the market were the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf, while the Chevrolet Volt offered a plug-in hybrid solution.

A lot has changed since then, and choices for those interested in an electric car have become more abundant.

Specifically, the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt EV have captured much attention recently.

DON'T MISS: Chevy Bolt EV: looking at electric car's long-term challenges

Two publications explored how the Chevrolet Bolt EV stacks up to Tesla's newly-introduced affordable sedan and the Silicon Valley's staple sedan.

CNET's Roadshow pored over data and spreadsheets to compare the Bolt EV to its more direct rival, the Model 3, and the data shows some interesting differences.

Foremost, when looking at the proportions of the Bolt EV and the Model 3, the Tesla is by far the larger car from the outside.

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3

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Its wheelbase measures 20.8 inches longer the Bolt EV and it's three inches wider, too.

The Bolt EV is taller, however, by six inches total.

Despite the Model 3's size, it hauls slightly less cargo; the Bolt EV carries 16.9 cubic feet of cargo, while the Model 3 makes do with 15 cubic feet.

READ THIS: 2017 Tesla Model 3 prices, features, details, specifications from Handover Party

As for the powertrain, the Bolt EV wins and loses here.

The base Tesla Model 3 arrives with an EPA-estimated 220-mile range, which falls short of the Bolt EV's EPA-estimated 238-mile range.

However, the Long Range Model 3—the only Model 3 in production right now—offers a larger battery pack with an EPA-estimated 310-mile range; the Bolt EV does not offer additional battery options.

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3

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Additionally, the Model 3 is compatible with Tesla's Supercharger charging station, which adds 130 miles of range in 30 minutes.

The Long Range Model 3 adds 170 miles of range in 30 minutes, however.

When charging the Bolt EV, customers will have to opt for the optional DC fast charging compatibility, which adds 90 miles of range every 30 minutes.

CHECK OUT: Does Tesla Model 3 compete with Bolt EV and Leaf, or BMW 3-Series?

Turning to range entirely, Consumer Reports pitted the Chevrolet Bolt EV against its more indirect Tesla rival, the Model S.

In this comparison, a Model S 75D and Bolt EV fought for range dominance with a longest continuous electric range as the metric.

Here, the Bolt EV traveled 250 miles and exceeded its EPA-estimated range; the Model S 75D fell short at 235 miles of range.

2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

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The Model S 75D boasts an EPA-estimated range of 259 miles.

Both the Tesla Model S and Model 3 offer distinct advantages over the Bolt EV, but a significant premium is present over the Chevrolet.

It underscores the need for potential electric-car buyers to do their homework and seek out all relevant information before ditching internal-combustion engines for good.

[hat tip: Xiaolong Li]

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