Comparing Heating Effectiveness: Tesla Model 3, Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf
Is it hot in here or is it just my EV?
It’s that time of year again. Winter is coming. The temperatures are dropping, and so is the range estimate on your electric car. So for those looking to purchase a new plug-in in the coming months, YouTube channel The Electric Israeli has provided us with his experience owning three of the most popular plug-in vehicles on the market. It might help you decide if the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, or Tesla Model 3 is the best option for you.
The first gen Nissan Leaf has an immediate edge thanks to its available heat pump. The car is able to rapidly heat the cabin and sustain that temperature. Compared to his previous non-EV vehicles, he calls the speed of the Leaf’s heating “mind-boggling.” The only major criticism with the Leaf is the steering wheel. It gets too hot! To the point where he has to toggle it on and off while driving.
The Chevy Volt takes longer to heat the cabin than the Leaf. The plug-in hybrid has difficulty evenly sustaining that temperature for long periods of time. Running the heater takes a significant chunk out of range as well. A 30%+ drop in electric range is not uncommon, but with a backup engine range is not as much of a concern. Of course, the Volt has some positives for winter performance. The heated seats and steering wheel work incredibly well, with more options than the Leaf.
The Tesla Model 3 sits in-between as far as winter options go. For cabin heat, the Model 3 does not warm up as quickly as the Volt or the Leaf. But it does sustain the temperature well. The heated seats are great, with multiple temperatures similar to the Volt. However, the Model 3 inexplicably does not have a heated steering wheel.
This is The Electric Israeli’s first year with a Model 3. His channel will be performing range tests this winter to measure how efficiently the newest Tesla heats the cabin compared to the Volt and Leaf.
This is just one owner experience, however. How does your electric vehicle fare in the winter months? Let us know in the comment section below.