Consumer Reports weighs in, giving the nod to purpose built EVs like the Leaf and Tesla.  Complaining that with non-purpose built (NPB) models like the Volt and FFE the battery intrudes on passenger or cargo space.

CR also observes: “Since batteries are heavy, they lower the center of gravity and spread it out, aiding handling, braking, and even the ride. Carrying that much weight around in the trunk can't do much for handling.”

That would be an obvious shot across the bow at the FFE.  Most mags actually drive the car before they speculate about handling.  In fact, the FFE is almost perfectly balanced front to back and the reviews out so far have been very favorable to the handling.  Also consider that the NPB Volt can substantially out corner the purpose built Leaf.

And yes the Tesla is a purpose built EV, but interestingly for the battery they went with non-purpose built cells, ending up with 6831 cells versus 288 cells in the Volt.  Whether that is good, bad or indifferent only time can tell, but fewer cells and fewer connections does strike one as less chance for failure.

Another factor to consider is that having an EV that shares parts with a popular gas cousin is the wider availability of parts years down the road, and presumably at a lower cost.

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