EV Comparison: Tesla Model 3 Vs. Chevy Bolt


The Model 3 and Bolt are both long-range EVs, but that’s where the similarities end.

The Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt are the two leading compact electric vehicles that deliver more than 200 miles of range on a single charge. The Model 3 and Bolt are also, in theory, the first two battery-powered cars to offer that amount of range with a price tag that’s accessible to mainstream consumers, roughly translating to below $40,000. Beyond those similarities, comparing the sporty, premium Model 3 with the practical, familiar Chevrolet Bolt hatchback is fraught with challenges.

The Bolt comes with two trim choices but a single choice for battery size.

The main challenge is that the Model 3, from the perspective of its electric powertrain and battery, is not a single model. The Model 3’s multiple configurations and price points are a moving target. Just last week, Tesla discontinued the long-range $49,000, 310-miles version and introduced a $44,000, 260-mile variant. Our task will become simpler when Tesla next year begins selling the long-promised $35,000, 220-mile Model 3. The specs for that version and its price tag bear more resemblance to Chevy’s electric car.

Nonetheless, we are undaunted by the difficulties of a head-to-head look at the Model 3 versus the Chevy Bolt. It’s great to see such worthwhile choices for EV shoppers. Both of these highly capable electric cars represent the vanguard of our collective shift away from internal combustion and a victory for vehicle electrification.

How Far Can You Go on Electricity?

The Bolt carries a 60 kilowatt-hour pack delivering 238 miles of range.

BOLT: The Chevy Bolt comes with a single choice for battery size: a 60 kilowatt-hour pack that’s estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide 238 miles of range on a single charge. Let’s remember that American commuters commonly drive about 40 miles per day, so the Bolt’s ample battery pack can provide service for at least a few days before needing to be charged. The magic number for a livable amount of range for daily driving, with a cushion for impromptu errands, is about 200 miles. The Bolt surpasses that threshold.

What’s arguably even more impressive is how General Motors made the Bolt available with a post-incentive price as low as about $30,000. It achieved that milestone in long-range affordability in early 2017, well ahead of competitors. The Bolt is rated by the EPA with a thrifty efficiency rating of 119 miles per gallon equivalent in combined city/highway driving.

MODEL 3: One of Tesla’s many signature innovations is making its cars available with multiple battery packs that vary in size. Sales of the Model 3 with 310 miles of range – the only version delivered to date – are about seven times the volume of Bolt purchases so far in 2018. That fact alone should immediately silence Tesla doubters and end any discussion about a range advantage for the Model 3. The Tesla compact EV is the winner with its 75-kWh pack, which is bigger and utilized more efficiently than the Bolt’s 60-kWh battery.

The performance version of the Model 3 has a 75-kWh battery pack.

The EPA rates the efficiency of the rear-wheel-drive Model 3 at 130 miles per gallon equivalent in combined city/highway driving. (The AWD version achieves 116 MPGe.)

Of course, the 310-mile Model 3 can cost tens of thousands of dollars more than the Bolt. But Tesla isn’t done rolling out Model 3 variants. The mid-range, 260-mile version of the Model 3 will become available later this year at a price that’s in striking distance to the Bolt’s sticker. And early next year – if all goes according to plan – Tesla will begin selling its 220-mile, 50-kWh version of the Model 3, with a price that could match the cost of the Bolt Premiere. For a true head-to-head comparison of similarly capable and priced models, we’ll have to wait a little longer.

Depending which version you buy, the Model 3’s range is either similar to the Bolt’s or greatly exceeds it.

Which Car Is More Fun To Drive?

The Chevy Bolt is quick and capable.

BOLT: Nobody would confuse the upright Bolt hatchback with a sports car. Yet, due to its electric powertrain, the Bolt sprints from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a sprightly 6.5 seconds. It might look like a typical compact commuter, but the Bolt’s 200-horsepower powertrain, which gives 266 pound-feet of torque via a one-speed automatic transmission, is a blast to drive. The Chevy EV’s top speed, though, is governed to just 91 miles per hour.

There’s no secret sauce to the Bolt’s performance – that is, other than the inherent benefits of electric propulsion. The heavy battery pack beneath the cabin floor provides a low center of gravity and a desirable front-to-back weight distribution for solid handling and cornering. The fun of driving a Bolt is also derived when you shift into Low gear and Sport mode. The result is the coveted one-pedal EV driving experience, characterized by surprisingly quick acceleration when you step on the go-pedal and prompt deceleration all the way to a full stop when you lift your foot.

The Model 3’s acceleration, steering, and handling is comparable to German luxury sedans.

MODEL 3: Tesla vehicles are known not only for ground-breaking range but breathtaking levels of power. That’s certainly what you would experience in the Performance Dual-Motor version of the Model 3, which is capable of sprints from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a supercar-like 3.3 seconds. If speed is your thing, then the Tesla Model 3 can certainly provide it. But given the cost to deploy two motors, and our task to make a reasonable comparison with the Bolt, let’s restrain our gaze to the single-motor, rear-wheel versions of the Model 3.

In that regard, the key metric is the Model 3’s 258-horsepower electric motor, compared to the Bolt’s 200-pony motor. The upcoming mid-range Model 3 will zip from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 5.6 seconds while next year’s 220-mile version might take nearly another second to reach speed. Regardless, the Model 3 is a faster car with a higher top speed of 155 miles per hour for dual-motor version and 125 mph for the upcoming mid-range, rear-wheel variant. The automotive press rightly compares the Model 3’s acceleration, steering, and handling to German luxury sedans. Edmunds says “power delivery is impeccably smooth and accurate” and the steering is “nicely weighted to make it a joy on winding roads.”

You can’t ignore these superlatives – or the Model 3’s cutting-edge, self-driving features. However, the Bolt earns points for its one-pedal driving capability and a curb weight that’s slimmer than the Model 3 by about 300 pounds.

Tesla’s electric motor is simply more powerful and its rear-wheel-drive platform is built for driving fun.

Charging Times for The Model 3 and Bolt

Using a quick charger, the Bolt can add 90 miles of range in about 30 minutes.

BOLT: The Bolt’s 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger means you can add about 25 miles of driving range in one hour when charging at home with a 240-volt supply of juice. On the rare days when you run the 60 kilowatt-hour battery down to empty, it would take a full overnight charge of eight to nine hours to restore all 238 miles of driving range. After a typical day of 40 or so miles of driving, replenishing the pack to full takes less than two hours.

Road trips beyond 200 or so miles require using a highway-based fast charger. Chevy offers an optional $750 quick-charge port for that purpose. If equipped with that port, you add about 90 miles of range in about 30 minutes using 50-kW DC chargers. Chevy quick charging works with charging stations using the CCS standard, which can still be difficult to find even on popular routes.

The Model 3 has access to Tesla’s vast network of Superchargers.

MODEL 3: The relative charging speed for an EV comes down to the spec of its onboard charger. The long-range Tesla Model 3 can handle 48 amps to yield an 11.5-kilowatt charging rate. That means adding at least about 40 miles of range per hour when charging via a 240-volt source. The faster rate makes sense for the longer-range Model 3’s 75-kWh battery pack, which needs an eight-hour session to top up from empty.

The 220-mile Model 3, when it arrives, will have a 32-amp (or 7.7-kilowatt) onboard charger. That’s faster than the Bolt’s onboard charger, but only slightly. Still, it’s plenty fast to add nearly 30 miles in an hour of charging.

Where the Model 3 takes a decisive lead is in having access to Tesla’s 120-kW Superchargers. The Superchargers can add as many as 150 to 170 miles of range in a 30-minute highway pit stop compared to the Bolt’s 90 miles while hooked up to 50-kW station. (The actual time for any specific charging event depends on a lot of factors.) Tesla strategically located Superchargers as part of a thoughtful and coordinated campaign to connect destination cities so you won’t struggle to find a compatible charger on a road trip.

The margin of victory depends on the version of the Model 3, which is either a little or a lot faster than charging the Bolt. The vast Tesla Supercharger network is icing on the cake.

Comparing Dashboards and Cargo Space

The Chevy Bolt’s dashboard design is not upscale but it works.

BOLT: The Chevrolet Bolt is a compact hatchback with a deceptively large amount of interior space. Its interior measures 94.4 cubic feet. With the seats up, there are 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space, but the capacity expands to an SUV-like 56.6 cubic feet when the seats are knocked down. Drivers also enjoy a high seating position with excellent visibility.

The most consistent complaint about the Bolt interior is its seats, which reviewers say are too small and lack sufficient padding. The dashboard design has a compelling gizmo aesthetic, and the interior uses enough hard plastics to also receive criticism. But those gripes didn’t stop the Bolt from earning 2017 Car of the Year awards from Motor Trend, Detroit Free Press, and Popular Mechanics.  Those shortcomings are made up for by the ample passenger room and generous cargo space.


MODEL 3: Compared to the Bolt, the Tesla Model 3 is nearly two feet longer, three inches wider, and a half-foot shorter. These sportier dimensions result in the Model 3 offering 97 cubic feet of passenger volume – beating the Bolt by nearly three feet. However, the Model 3’s cargo space of 15 cubic feet is nearly two feet smaller than the Bolt.

Those measurements are likely to go unnoticed compared to the two EVs’ radically different interior aesthetic. While the Bolt provides traditional buttons and a decently sized 10.2-inch touchscreen, the Model 3 takes dashboard minimalism to a new level with nearly no physical controls or gauges. The center-mounted 15-inch, horizontally oriented touch screen handles almost all of the car’s functions. When combined with the car’s optional panoramic glass roof, the Model 3 creates a futuristic vibe that many drivers love while others find it distracting and confusing to use.

It’s nearly a toss-up based on personal taste, but the extra cargo space and familiarity of the dashboard give the Bolt a slight edge.

The Price For a Bolt Versus Model 3

After incentives, the Bolt can be had for around $30,000.

BOLT: The Bolt’s base LT trim, at $36,620, comes with a 60-kWh battery pack. So even at its lowest price, the Bolt delivers the car’s advertised 238-mile driving range. When you consider that most shoppers will qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit, as well as some state and local incentives depending on where you live, the Bolt is the EV that best delivers on the promise of long-range affordability.

That said, it doesn’t mean that the Bolt, even in the form of the $40,905 Premier trim (before incentives), is the most luxurious and comfortable EV.

It’s not, but the Bolt is also not an econobox. The Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier includes leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel, as well as Surround Vision (for a bird’s-eye view of the car’s surroundings), blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. Unlike the Model 3, the Chevy Bolt is available in a variety of colors and packages for a same-day purchase at dealerships throughout the United States. There’s no waiting for the 238-mile Chevy EV.

MODEL 3: Although you’ve probably heard about how the Tesla Model 3 will bring long-range EVs to the masses, the 3s produced in 2018 commonly sell for more than $50,000. That’s based on the long-range, 310-mile version starting at $49,000 and the price ballooning with the addition of a $5,000 Premium upgrade, a $5,000 Enhanced Autopilot package, and special $1,000 paint colors. Dual motor configurations mean even higher prices; we’ve seen prices climb to nearly $80,000.

To make matters worse, because Tesla has sold more than 200,000 cars in total, the federal $7,500 tax credit its cars are eligible for will be cut to $3,750 in January 2019 – and will be further reduced to $1,875 by the end of the year when it entirely goes away.

Despite these factors, the Tesla dream of EV domination is alive and well. One step at a time. The company will soon begin offering a more affordable mid-range, rear-wheel Model 3 that starts at $44,000. Better yet, Tesla promises that its $35,000, 220-mile variant will go on sale in spring 2019. That’s the version that will compare most closely in features, range, and price to the Chevy Bolt. We’ll redo this comparison using that version of the Model 3 when it’s available.

Things will change when Tesla delivers its $35,000 model. But for now, purely based on economics, the Bolt is a better deal.

Model 3 vs. Bolt: By the Numbers

***Note: Ignore red typeface in table below. Technical difficulties are to blame.

Tesla Model 3Chevy Bolt
Driving Range220 - 310 miles238 miles
Battery Size50 - 75 kilowatt-hours60 kilowatt-hours
Onboard Charger7.7 - 11.5 kW7.2 kW
Interior Space97 cubic feet94.4 cubic feet
Cargo Space15 cubic feet16.9 cubic feet
Starting Price (before incentives)$44,000 (mid-range version)$36,200

The Tesla Model 3 is faster, prettier, and goes further.

The Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model are both great EVs. But the Tesla Model 3 is a better vehicle overall. It’s faster and has better styling. The Model 3 is available with longer range, faster charging, and greater access to highway pit stops. While the passenger and cargo space of the Bolt and Model 3 are competitive, the Tesla compact EV is more comfortable while providing a driving experience that fully embodies the spirit of innovation represented by electric cars. The main gripe against the Model 3 is its price and availability, which will be remedied by less expensive versions in 2019.




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190 Comments on "EV Comparison: Tesla Model 3 Vs. Chevy Bolt"

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To 100 comments…and beyond!
But seriously, a $10k pricier vehicle is deemed “better”. I am absolutely shocked.
And why is the MR 3 listed at $44k when it actually starts at $46k?

I would’ve said Tesla 3 is better even at $10K premium (or $14K premium going by Tesla pricing model). But with free charging Tesla 3 and resulting frustration, it’ll be no better than Bolt. Save your $10K (or $14K) and get a Bolt until Tesla stops free charging lunacy.

Free charging SUCKS!!!!!

Same old refrain. Only the perf model of the Model 3 gets unlimited free supercharging. That’s a small percentage of overall orders. As for Bolt over the Model 3. I’ve owned both and imo the Bolt’s rear-view is much better, blind spot warning actually works well and is effective, and Android Auto/Apple Carplay are a much better phone integration experience. Pretty much everything else the model 3 is better imo. The Bolt’s highway efficiency is not great, charging network terrible. Where it exists the lack of multi-charging stations at locations means they are likely in use and I can’t count how many times I’d reach a station and find it was down. The suspension/ride of the Bolt is also worse. That solid axle rear setup is terrible. The Bolt is a local runabout, the model 3 can truly be your only car for most people. Price is a negative on the model 3 in comparison, but that’s getting closer and for what you get and how you can use it vs the Bolt, if you can afford it, it’s more than work the extra cost. Two other Bolt owners I know have switched to the model 3 and are much… Read more »

According to this article, ALL Tesla 3 are eligible for free charging. That’s not “small percentage”. In fact, free chargers will become majority since Tesla will be producing more cars/month than in previous years (exponential growth).


If not for this crazy policy, Tesla 3 is very well worth the extra. But when one has to sit and wait at supercharger for 10 or 20 car long waits even on normal days (not even holiday), paying $10K more is just not worth it. I’d use that extra money to buy a gasser for long trips to avoid waiting for some tapered to hell free charger at supercharger.

For 6 months. Get over it already!

That’s Tesla time, which is probably 12 to 18 months in real time. That’s not much different than Leaf and i3 free charging for 2 years. But in that time, there will be about 10 times (or more!) the number of free charging Tesla 3 than Leaf and i3 COMBINED.

Model 3 driver here. I generally charge at home but paid for supercharging 2 weeks ago. Do what you will with that.

You will sing a different tune when you really need to use the supercharger and it’s clogged with bunch of free chargers trying to charge to 100%.

I suspect Todd lives in the real world, fortunately for him… unlike certain people. 🙄

In the real world, people almost always charge to full free allotted time even if the car’s tapered to less than L2 power. With unlimited, they’ll try to get to 100% even if that takes hour or more since there is no time limit.

In the real world, you can look on the Nav map and see plenty of open Super Charger spaces.

Most Tesla owners do NOT charge to 100%, unless they have the older, smaller battery packs and really need to. We know it takes a long time and is bad for the battery.

Not when there’s plenty of stalls and vehicles move in and out like clockwork. Praying for failure is a lot different than it actually being true. Enjoy your Bolt, you’re gonna be ok.

“According to this article, ALL Tesla 3 are eligible for free charging. That’s not ‘small percentage’.”

Good grief, Sparky! Get over your obsession, already. Only a small percentage of Model 3’s are going to get unlimited free charging, so your point that all of them are “eligible” is meaningless.

How fast Tesla continues to build out new Supercharger stalls is going to be much, much more important in terms of what really concerns you: Ability to access a public charger without waiting. How fast Tesla expands the system will affect access far more than the small percentage of Model 3’s which have unlimited access.

Time to climb out of that plastic bubble you’ve locked yourself into, and join the real world, where every human being is a person, one who has just as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as you do.

These are roughly Nissan Leaf demographic who choose to waste away 30 minutes of their lives at tapered to hell Leaf only adding 5 kWh (or less!) out of 50kW charger just to get free. In the real world, almost everyone will try to get referrals. And unlike Leaf 30 minute free, Tesla 3 is unlimited free, which means many will sit there trying to get to 100% day after day.

Most people are using home charging and only stop at a supercharger while traveling. Our local supercharger is almost always empty, or at most 3-4 Teslas, and we have a LOT of Tesla owners living in our area. I’ve only once met a local owner charging there when I’ve stopped to ask.

that price is closer than most people think. The Bolt that Chevy had at Milwaukee Auto Show was $44,000.

Hardly anyone pays MSRP for Bolt. Truecar shows $34K on average. With tax credit and CA subsidy, that’s $24K. Average Tesla “friends and family price” hover around $55K, $45K post subsidies.

Cheapest Bolt on sale I saw was $32K, post subsidies of $22K in CA. Granted, you can’t always get this price while Tesla price is always fixed ($35K post subsidy?), but Bolt can be had for almost 50% less than average Tesla.

The one that’s half price it’s also half the car compared to that $55k model 3…but yes, you are right about the price.

Bolt is about 75% of Tesla 3 now that Tesla advantage of paid supercharging is gone. In fact, with more Tesla 3 on the road than all other free charging EV combined, Bolt might be equivalent to $55k Tesla 3 (still better supercharger locations even with coming longer waits).

At about double the price, Tesla is now way overpriced. What really sucks is that people who bought Tesla 3 before free charging has to pay AND deal with free chargers. But this begs the question if I’ll ever buy Tesla since they can offer free charging to new buyer at any time on a whim.

You were comparing a base Bolt with a loaded TM3…jeez, man…do i have to spell it out for you?

I’m comparing average to average. Loaded TM3 is upwards of $70K, almost triple the price of average Bolt.

I have never had to wait to charge while traveling in my Model 3. I do not have any free supercharging, and even if I did, I’d almost never use it.

The Bolt takes twice as long to charge (on DC “fast” charging), and usually charging stations are 2 plugs, and often in use, for an hour or two.

I don’t know where you get your numbers, but the base Bolt even with discounts is $34k+, but no one buys a base model. The Bolt people buy is more like $40k ($45k MSRP). when the $35k Model 3 comes out in the spring, and GM also loses half of their tax credit, they won’t be able to give away the Bolt (not that it sells well now anyway).

Yep, Tesla updated the price to $46k this week.

no free charging on model 3s

While most model 3s can’t supercharge for free they do have access to Tesla destination chargers that are almost always free. I have almost 10k miles on my Model 3 and much of those miles were from long road trips. The car does a wonderful job of routing you to your destination and/or a charger. After numerous supercharger stops I still haven’t had to wait a single time.

Another fact to point out is Tesla’s over the air updates. They are free (as was my premium Internet connection), quick and effortless to install, and it’s like getting a new car with more/better options every couple weeks.

This article didn’t point out the superior mobile app that the Tesla Model 3 has. You can control many functions of the car or even summon it all from your phone.

If you bought Tesla 3 before Sep, you will continue to pay. But if you buy after and use referral code (almost everyone will), you get free charging.


What sucks for those who bought earlier (if you have to pay), is that you will suffer the waits for free chargers AND pay.

There is no waiting at superchargers except at some locations in California, or on a holiday at some of the other busier areas. Free supercharging now is a 6 month deal, and almost no one will use it.

I don’t know why so many people down voted this… I fully agree, free charging is a very bad idea. This is the biggest mistake Tesla keeps doing. I though it was finally over when they replaced it with a $100 charging credit but I still can’t believe they brought it back. It would have been preferable to increase the credit to $1000 or even more. When something is free, some people will inevitably try to exploit it to the maximum, which means locals parking their car at a supercharger and going to eat at the nearest restaurant. Supercharger congestion will very likely become a sore spot, something the media will latch onto and use to show how electric cars will never replace gas cars because unlike EVs, gas cars can be filled in 5 minutes. It doesn’t matter that 95% of charging is done at home, if the one time regular “Joe” wants to go on a road trip and has to wait at a supercharger for even 30 minutes before he can start charging, this will simply be unacceptable. In Quebec Canada, there is no free charging (other than Tesla) and quick chargers are charged by the minute.… Read more »

For now Model 3 is pricier but just the fact that one wouldn’t be driving the sort of model and brand people like yourself support is probably worth it for many.

The sales numbers speak for themselves.

Try and keep up, Mid range model is $44k.

It’s actually detailed in the article.

No, I just looked at the configurator. Mid rang RWD is $46,000 plus $1,200 destination plus $1,500 or $2,000 for a color or white. So call it $49k plus tax ($53.5 in Calif.).

Haven’t we done the whole TM3 vs Chevy Bolt comparisons enough?

That was my thought… how many times to we need to beat this issue. How about M3 vs BMW3, Bolt vs Honda Fit. Trashing one EV over another is not progressing EV adoption.

Bolt vs Golf would be the better comparison, but yeah, I get your point.

LOL…why exactly? Just to show how bad the eGolf is?

Okay, eGolf compared to the Leaf, since both lack an active battery thermal management system.

But there’s still no need to present it as a “contest” with a “winner”. Everybody who drives a plug-in EV with good electric range is a winner!

eGolf is pretty much unavailable.

so agree

True, in ICE land nobody would stack up a Fit against a BMW 3 Series so this is sort of pointless.

i know. they have been doing these comparisons since 2016 when the model 3 was not even out. Yes we get the 3 is a better car then the Bolt. How about write an article to make the Bolt a better car

I actually thought this was a six-month old article that had somehow accidentally made it’s way to the top of today’s Insideevs site . . . . I had to check the date to convince myself that somebody had actually just done a new article on this subject . . .

Yes, the invented competition of the TM3 “versus” the Chevy Bolt — as though there is some zero-sum game competition between BEVs — is pretty old and tired by now.

EV advocates should be glad that both cars are on the market! Good as Tesla cars are, Tesla alone can’t possibly make gasmobiles obsolete. It’s going to take an effort by many auto makers to replace every gasmobile on the road with a plug-in EV which has decent range.

Also, failed to mention that deals below MSRP are available for the Bolt, and can get it on lease. Saw an internet ad for a $150/mo lease for Bolt, for example. That’s affordable transportation.

I’m betting that lease offer had lots of fine print that includes a hefty amount of cash due at signing.

I think it was like $7k at signing. I’m not really familiar with leases, so is that considered a hefty amount?

Holy crap. To put that in perspective, I signed a 24 month lease deal for a ’16 Chevy Cruze that, adding up all the monthly payments and everything, cost less than $2k total.

Outrageous! Much better deals than that out there. And i bet you need to qualify to all rebates to get that….which is unlikely.

Anything more than $0 on a lease is a hefty amount because it’s not insured in the event that the lease ends prematurely (like you total your car or it gets stolen).

If you are the one putting $7K on the hood of a lease, you are taking a HUGE risk with that money in exchange for very little interest saved.

And in a couple months the Bolt will also get another $3750 decrease since it will be eligible for the full $7500 tax credit and Tesla will not.

In Texas it would be a $10,000 rebate vs $3750. It not fair but that’s the fact.

Yes but by then GM is going to be hitting its 200,000 cap on the tax credit and just like Tesla is now go to only 6 months of full credit before the wind down and god only knows if the Republicans will finally kill the tax credit which their fossil fuel overlords are demanding.

GM/Ford et al. will be the major reason the tax credit does not go away and possibly the main lobby behind extending the count or the date of the tax credit. They cannot keep losing money on these compliance cars.

“They cannot keep losing money on these compliance cars.”

Sure they can. They’d much rather lose what’s comparatively a little on building a few thousand compliance cars per year, than take the plunge into actually building and selling compelling long-range PEVs (Plug-in EVs) in large numbers, because the #1 competitor for those PEVs will be their own gasmobiles.

Legacy auto makers want to drag that out as long as possible. Of course, some of them will drag it out too long, and fail. Some of them perhaps already have made their failure inevitable, altho in most cases that won’t become apparent for a few years.

That is the sad thing about this, the big car makers have chosen to build BEVs/PHEVs that are each compromised in some significant way. None of the big guys have built a CUV/BEV until recently, and most of the vehicles have had no back seats or tiny back seats, or they are ugly as sin, or they have short AER.
Only Tesla is building BEV’s like they want to sell a lot of them. I think Tesla may end up with so much brand equity that people who think about buying a BEV and do their research will want a Tesla rather than a legacy automaker plug in for the next 3 or 4 years. And that may give Tesla the advantage they need to break into the top 3 or 4 automakers in the US. And possibly in the top 5 world wide.

So far Tesla’s/GM’s lobbying has had any kine of affect. Even if it did, I highly doubt Trump would sign it.

you realize GM hits 200k this quarter so their tax credit will decrease to $3750 in April too, right?

That is with $7k down dude! Jeez!
I did see one pays for around $11k which is pretty good considering in CA you also get $3k in credits after.

No. 1 Reason to Get a Bolt: Cannot or do not want to afford a Mod 3. The best features of the Bolt to me are (1) you can lease it, sometimes at a decent rate, and (2) Cheaper by 10k.

Live within your means. Get a Bolt if you can’t get a Mod 3. It’ll still be a blast to drive. At least now there’s a decent LR option to a Tesla . . . With more options on the way.

And all this coming from a Mod 3 owner too . . .

Wanted to go all EV after driving a used Leaf for the past two years. I drive very little and the Leaf with its crap batteries will be fine. I’m at 22k miles with all 12 bars on my 14 Leaf.

Wife has 60-mile RT commute and there are days she needs to go 120 miles. She does not care about cars. Perfectly happy with her Prius, now 11 years old. The Bolt for her was the better deal. After the fed tax credit a fully loaded Premiere Bolt cost $35k. Gambling the LG Chem Bolt will be a solid car.

The margin of victory depends on the version of the Model 3, which is either a little or a lot faster than charging the Bolt. The vast Tesla Supercharger network is icing on the cake.”

I agree with the verdict but for exactly opposite reasons, standard home charging its a tie, supercharger network makes it a clear win for Model 3. If I’m slow charging odds are I’m at home and its overnight, or I’m at work. An hour or two either way is of little consequence. Being able to find fast chargers and not have them ICEd a clear Tesla win.

How about a comparison of paint options?

TM3: 5 color choices
1 standard, no cost color, black
2 non-metallic options for $1,500
1 metallic option (white pearlescent) $2,000
1 metallic option (red) $2,500

Bolt EV: 9 color choices
5 no cost metallic colors
1 no cost standard color (white)
1 optional metallic color for $395
2 optional colors for $395.

Good comparison of a feature that has little to do with the ownership experience and capability of the cars.

color is a big part of ownership experience. Do I want to look at a car I spent 10’s of thousands on every day and regret not getting the color I really wanted? Becuase it wasn’t available or the mfg was asking too high a premium for it?

So, if the color is good, but ev range stinks, you can charge it, it’s unreliable, can’t hold your stuff, etc, etc. you are fine as the color is great and was free? I agree Tesla’s color options are too highly priced, but if you were to do a ranked scoring of features in ranking a car, color would have a pretty low value in my opinion. When all other characteristics are good, then it can be important I suppose, but there are too many other differences between these two vehicles to have color be a big factor. Maybe if all I did was look at the car. Then again, there are those that would not be caught dead in the Bolt due to it’s look. I don’t understand that either.

Say what you will, color is very important for many buyers. Henry Ford’s famous attitude, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black,” is one of the reasons why Ford lost the 90% monopoly it had on the automobile market at one time.

Value is discussed in this article and value is subjective. Color availability and cost for colors is factored into the value of a car for most owners. Per a PPG study, 40% of buyers would actually switch to another vehicle from another brand if the model they want is not available in the color they want.

If you have to pay THOUSANDS of dollars more for a color option on one car but not on the other, it’s going to have an impact on value and thus the purchasing decision process.

The (not yet available) Audi etron apes Tesla’s color scheme offering black as standard but offering numerous beautiful upgrade colors for for the much more reasonable $595.

The limited colors and outsized upharges for non-black paint from Tesla is more than a little obnoxious. White helps keep a car cool though it would help to have a non PUP model with a painted metal roof.

It is important to mention because it should be factored into the price comparison. Tesla has made the least popular of their colors the only one you can get without a further charge, therefor the vast majority of Tesla buyers will be $1500 to $2500 more for whatever configuration they choose. It’s significant. That $46,000 MR 3 that is within striking distance of the Bolt’s highest, full MSRP price is in reality going to cost $47,500 to $48,500 fulling further away from that striking distance.

Black is the least popular color? Heresy! Every loyal InsideEVs reader knows that black is far better than any other color! It’s a proven fact that black cars are faster, more reliable, and that driving them makes you more attractive, attracts better mates, and makes your children smarter and more successful. 😉


Black is the least popular colour? In what sort of alternative universe are you living?

One with lots of sunlight and heat in the summer? 😉

In their 10Q, Telsa now calls the $35k version as a sub base model. No doubt it will be a very basic configuration and any changes will cost a lot of money.

That was their last Q,this Q they have very strangely decided not to release a 10-Q yet, despite claiming very remarkable, and unbelievable numbers for the Q.They have about 2 weeks left if they want to obfuscate the information as long as possible.

For over 90% of our driving (1K miles a month) the Bolt wins. For one or two trips out of state each year, the Model 3 would definitely be the winner. But the current $10K price difference, makes a rental car look cheap.

The real question is: Will there be a decent non-Tesla, fast charging network available by the time a $40K Model Y arrives?

Check out the Electrify America map, only 12 stations currently up, but a whole lot more under construction and in permitting. The Charging situation is changing very quickly.

I have had my eye on it since they announced. It is years behind Tesla, and likely to stay that way. I would be thrilled to be wrong.

Agree with you Warren. It is not a network you buy a car for now in hopes of using anytime soon. It also remains to be seen how full they’ll be, how well they’ll be maintained, or how much they’ll cost.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure you’re correct.

Take a look at how many stalls per location… 2-4. When more people buy EVs, they’ll have to sit and wait to charge. It’s already happening at Tesla’s older 8-10 stall locations in busy areas, which is why new locations are 20-50 stalls. You better hope the new EVs aren’t very popular.

Which of the two do you believe will work better in preventing a major disability or death to you in case of a severe wreck?

Perhaps a better question is: Which one gives you better odds of avoiding a severe wreck? The best way to survive an accident… is not to have one.

How does the Bolt win ever? Just curious. Except in cost but you mention that for 90% of your driving the bolt wins…
I bet for 90% of your driving, a 2013 Leaf works for $20k less than the Bolt…

Can we please stop with this until there’s a real comparative Model 3 available. The only fair comparison is a base model at $35K if it ever arrives. The Bolt starts at $37500, but is often discounted, had a lower delivery fee, optional colors that cost hundreds (not thousands), and is available with a full tax credit for longer than Tesla. A $37500 Bolt is a perfect comparison to a $35000 Model 3 as far as price goes.

Since the Unicorn Tesla doesn’t exist, let’s hold off on comparisons of tiny hatchbacks to sports sedans that differ in price by $10K+

by the time you add stuff you’d want to the Bolt, the cost is more like $44k MSRP… so maybe $40k discounted.

The missus and I bought a $44k MSRP Bolt last December. After negotiation, federal credit, and trade-in we ended up paying about $28k.

Another point. The Bolt EV is already nearly half way through it’s cycle life. It should be due for a mid-cycle enhancement for the 2020 model year (which is when the base Model 3 will hopefully reach customers). So it’s not really fair to compare future versions of one car vs. present versions of another.

2020 for base Model 3? That’s just FUD.

(BTW, I doubt the Bolt will get a major refresh in 2020. More likely, it will get an entirely new generation on a new platform in 2021 or so… Unless it’s discontinued entirely in favour of new models on that new platform.)

One obvious mistake in the article: “…The 220-mile Model 3, when it arrives, will have a 32-amp (or 7.7-kilowatt) onboard charger. That’s faster than the Bolt’s onboard charger, but only slightly….”. In fact, they are identical – especially if you use the Tesla’s Nema 14-50 standard cord (as many previous Tesla owners – even starting with the Roadster – chose the cheapest High Speed charging method – at 40 amperes with the UMC in the Roadster and the MC in the “S” and “X” which plugged into the garage’s Nema 14-50 ‘Range or RV’ outlet(S). The current cord is 32 AMPERES for all Teslas – so assuming 240 volts at the outlet, 7.7 kw is the basic charge rate for all new Tesla’s, prior to installing extra equipment. Although some EVSE facility must be obtained additionally for the BOLT ev (either through a previous EV purchase, or a 240 volt charging cord, etc) , The Bolt ev charges AT EXACTLY the same rate. Even though ‘Advertised’ as a 7.2 kw charger, the Bolt ev , if hooked up to a 32 ampere charging cord or wallbox, will, at 240 volts, draw 7.7 kw. I’ve confirmed this myself at home, so… Read more »

Confirmed here as well. I have a net metered solar and i’m close to our local electrical transfer station so I have fairly high Voltage. I’ve recorded our Bolt EV charging as high as 7.8KW and our Gen II Volt charging at 3.9KW.

First time I plugged my Clipper Creek into the Bolt I was surprised to see 8 kw on the dash, assuming it’s rounding up from 7.x kw. I get 6 kw max on my Leaf as reported by LeafSpy.

As a design professional. refined lines, a modern purposeful aesthetic, and a visceral sense of beauty are all very important to me. Along with an undeniable performance advantage ( at least 30 mph and as much as 60 miles mph difference in top speed) these two cars are really not in the same league. The bolt is more in keeping with the Prius prime or Honda Fit – too bad those models don’t have a BEV variant.

Had the Bolt up to 90 mph once, just to see what it would do. If you are actually using the Tesla’s top speed advantage, you are a sociopath.

As a plus for the BOLT, it is uncanny how QUIET the car is at these speeds.

Indeed, and it still pulls strong at 80+, great for overtaking!

It doesn’t pull at all after 92, whereas the model 3 keeps going.

Because so many people are driving 92 mph on the highway. Lol

Depending on where you live

I think that’s exactly how fast i was going when I got a $340 (or more) ticket.

Nice – name calling now.

a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

My driving fit that description in my teens, and early twenties.

That description would fit the driving style of a significant percentage of young American men, as the accident rate clearly shows.

I mention top speed because my Ford Focus E is limited at 85. At short sprints when necessary I find that limiting compared to my Tesla S – I hardley consider myself a sociopath my any stretch of the imagination – sound like you are a bit unhinged.

I find talk of driving over 85 mph on public roads extremely antisocial.

You’ve never been on Phoenix highways, then. You’d get passed.

Yup. We are literally driving ourselves to extinction.

some highways in Michigan I drove on this summer have a posted speed of 80 mph… other states as well

“Honda Fit – too bad those models don’t have a BEV variant.”

Hmmm. I guess you should have done some research before you open your mouth again.

Honda eFit has existed long before Model 3 is for sale. Sure, Honda doesn’t make “new” ones anymore.

And that E-Fit can’t touch the Bolt EV in anything. Bolt EV crushes that EFit in just about every measurable area.

I am aware that they had the Efit, there was also a Rav4 E – all of us on this page are aware of the current offerings which those models are not – thank you very much. The only real commonality between the Bolt and the M3 is their range. My point is that in appearance, fit and finish, and size, the Bolt has little to compare to as far as the Model 3. People have compared the Bolt to the Nissan Leaf. Perhaps when the 200 mile 60 KW variant is available this coming year that will be a more viable comparison even thought the leaf is larger. BTW I put my research up against yours anytime ModernMarvel man. You obviously have some other hidden agenda to drive your insults and name calling. Can’t we just get along? Geeze

” which those models are not ”
E-Fit is still available at Honda Dealers. So, you should get yourself informed. They were lease only and still are lease only.

Bolt and M3 are comparable because they are the ONLY two model that has more than 200 miles of range that are relatively available for under $50K.

My insult? You mean asking you to research before talking is insulting? LOL. OKay, don’t research, just post like you don’t know what you are talking about then…

So, Mr Science we are down to the fact that Fits are available for lease but not available for sale, they can’t be compared to the Bolt because they don’t have nearly the range. I am being lambasted by your highly informed self because I say there would be a more viable comparison with a different type of car(Leaf, all electric smaller Japanese style hatch, not performance oriented or particularly stylish) – hilarious. Bottom line is you are deluding yourself if you think the Bolt, which is a clown car like the Honda Fit (viable comparison or not), is even in the same conversation as the TM3. Clown cars have their charm and can be entertaining but shouldn’t be compared sports sedans even if they have similar range. Most automotive writers agree with me and I dare to say most people on this page agree with me. Wake up – you bore me.

“The bolt is more in keeping with the Prius prime or Honda Fit – too bad those models don’t have a BEV variant.” Then I pointed out the E-Fit. “they can’t be compared to the Bolt because they don’t have nearly the range” Then it is range isn’t enough… So, either you are moving the bar or you are admitting that comparing E-Fit with Bolt isn’t fair so there is somewhat a reason to compare Model 3 with the Bolt because they have similar range and price as well as similar interior passenger volume and cargo volume… As far as your complain about clown car shouldn’t be compare with Model 3 already shows the clown here is the one insisting on the purity of comparison yet can’t a benchmark which is there to compare. The fact is that nothing is really comparable if you keep change the so called threshold. The same can be said for all the BMW 3 series to Tesla Model 3 comparison. One is ICE, the other is EV. But people do it all the time. At the end of the day, people can freely compare them all they want, it is for their own curiosity.… Read more »
“As far as your complain about clown car shouldn’t be compare with Model 3 already shows the clown here is the one insisting on the purity of comparison yet can’t a benchmark which is there to compare. The fact is that nothing is really comparable if you keep change the so called threshold. ” Your argument is diluted by the fact that you can’t express English correctly but nonetheless we are losing the forest through the trees. Apparently. name calling and insults aside: “clown here is the one insisting on the purity of comparison” “I guess you should have done some research before you open your mouth again.” “OKay, don’t research, just post like you don’t know what you are talking about then…”, we seem to disagree that comparing the TM3 and the Chevrolet Bolt is a valid comparison based on range alone. Maybe it is a language problem, that English is not your first language and I have mis-read the tone of your discourse. I was simply stating my opinion and your response through all of your posts was to ridicule and name call which I never did. If you read back on the thread you can see the… Read more »

“You mean asking you to research before talking is insulting?”

No, but the way you phrased it certainly was insulting. Dial back on the hostility, please.

The Bolt, performance wise is more in keeping with the Golf GTI.

The Bolt is very different from any existing Prius – Prime or otherwise – as far as size, body shape, capabilities and purpose. The only commonality, really, is that both have electric propulsion. Toyota does not believe the existing battery tech allows to make EV’s as reliable and as cheap as Toyota wants to. I don’t think Toyota would use the Prius platform, if they decided to make their hypothetical long-range BEV – my guess would be they’d go for a small CUV/SUV

The Fit is even further away form the Bolt on the evolution tree; the Bolt is visibly taller, longer and wider, with vastly more capable powertrain. By the way, Honda did make an electric version of the Fit a few years ago, and it was as expensive than the Bolt while having 1/3 of its range.

While the rest of the planet trys to get off coal. Trump want US consumers to pay more for there electracy by forcing utilities to sell more electricity from coal fired plants and bailout nuclear plants VC Summers and Vogel in South Carolina and Georgia are billions over costs already and will take billions more to complete. Work has stopped after Westinghouse went bankrupt and Toshiba lost 7 billion.

Just what didn’t you agree with that you gave me a down vote. Please explain

Because this isn’t a political topic? It is about Bolt vs Model 3.

It’s also an EV discussion people who buy EV’s are concerned about the environment and believe in Climate Change. Also all electricity consumers should be outraged where government policies will not only harm the environment but cost consumers more for electricity.

For some people, everything is a political topic.

Nuclear is our greatest source of non polluting current while coal plants are the dirtiest, please do not conflate the two.World wide nuclear generation just topped 400GW this week ,a new record.

The AWD TM3 has a 4.1 mpg per kwh energy efficiency the best in the industry. Compare this to the competitor’s 2019 AWD offerings which are between 2.4 and 2.8 mpg per kwh. Tesla’s battery technology is so much better.

Color me shocked that the Tesla fan-boys on here choose the M3 over the Bolt. To me it’s hardly an apples-to-apples comparison, the M3 is bigger, has a larger battery pack, and oh yes, costs thousand more. Seriously, why were these two cars compared head to head? Wouldn’t a more apt comparison have been to the Leaf?

Bolt has only sold about 35,000 bolts in close to two years. Maybe if GM was interested in selling Bolts a comparison could be made.

Let’s compare sales of the Bolt versus sales of the comparable (pricewise) $35k Model 3. Ready? Go!

How does that make any sense? Once the 36k Model 3 comes out the Bolt sales will decline even more.

They’ll struggle to sell any Bolts at all when the Model 3 reaches that price.

Not only that, but GM hits 200k this quarter, meaning the tax credit cuts in half in April. Between the Model 3 base, the tax credit going away and other cheaper EVs, they won’t be able to give the Bolt away.

Why don’t we just compare the lower priced Bolt vs the higher priced Model 3? Surely the Bolt will have cumulatively sold many more than the Model 3 since it was on the market a full year longer at $10k less.

Oh wait… 😉


Agree with the comments that this is getting old.

Both vehicles serve difference niches.
The TM3 can be a family’s only vehicle while the Bolt is more of a commuter.
Deniers are reminded to look at poster bro’s own awful experience going on trips that require charging.

One BIG miss here is not the paint or the exact pricing.
It is the CARGO space. I have tried both vehicles. The Bolt has more space in the trunk only on paper spec because of its hatchback design. The actual space is really very tight. It is a major deal breaker for family hauling. The TM3 has a larger trunk, it just doesn’t go up as high. Most people’s hauling needs tend to be more towards stuff that you throw in the trunk, not stuff that you pile high up. I sure wouldn’t pile up my Costco groceries in a Bolt. Home Depot trips for big projects? You choose.

Totally agree Stim, the Bolt’s trunk with the rear seats up is very shallow front to back and high. Whenever I take it to shop a lot like Costco I end up having to put a rear seat down to accommodate the purchases.

Also when going to the airport the trunk will likewise not accommodate more then 1 or 2 large suitcases very well so have to drop a seat to get everything in.

Bottom line is the Bolt is mostly a great commuter vehicle that can take you 200 miles between charges but totally sucks at DCFC speed so not great for longer trips.

I removed the two huge pieces of styro-foam from the bottom compartment, and covered it with a plywood board, creating two sections. The lower section if for rarely used/emergency items, and my daily stuff in the upper section. For work, I usually carry a large wheeled tool chest, one large toolbox and a bunch of smaller containers, organizers and carriers … the Bolt’s butt eats ENORMOUS amount of stuff.

But I agree that Bolt’s purpose is to be largely an urban/suburban/interurban utility vehicle with an added bonus of being a “white-hot hatch” as far as driving experience – not an interstate cruiser, hence the “microvan” body shape.

That’s an interesting point I haven’t seen mentioned in any discussion before…

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Question for all Bolt and TM3 owners.

Can you set the Sport mode and Aggressive brake regen both as default settings in the cars?

Quite a few people have asked me that, couldn’t answer them and I’d like to know as well.


Not on the Bolt. The aggressive regen (L on the gear selector) is achieved by toggling the shifter between L and D modes. Sport mode is turned on by a button on the console;I don’t believe it stays on after you turn the car off. And of course the regen paddle on the left back of the steering wheel only slows and regens as long as you press on it.

Correct, sport mode and L in the Bolt must be enabled each time you start the car. The model 3 retains the regen and sport settings between restarts.

No, if you prefer strong regen you have to fight against the GM defaults every time you get in the car.

Such a big “fight” flicking the car into “L” mode, I tell you. On the flip side, rather convenient how simply you can switch between L/max regen mode and D/min regen.
One pedal driving is something the Bolt has over the Model 3. Can literally go weeks driving a Bolt without ever engaging the friction brakes.

How many people actually *want* to switch back and forth between these modes?…

Roughly the same number of people who *want* to switch back and forth between “forward” and “reverse” – almost every driver! 🙂 One-pedal driving is great for city and hilly terrain, as it captures more of the deceleration energy than a simple coasting regen. I once saw the Bolt regenerating in L at 60-something kW, slowing down on a very steep hill.

Hey Folks. Thanks for the great comments. I know this comparison is old hat to EV fans but, believe or not, there’s a ton of people in the next wave of electric ownership that have both these two models at the top of their shopping list. There was popular demand to stack them against one another to help those shoppers. As I acknowledged, it’s challenging. But the idea was to benchmark the comparison now and we will keep updating it as new versions of the Model 3 come out.

I agree that the Bolt and Model 3 serve different buyers. Full disclosure: I’m a Bolt driver–so not exactly a Tesla fanboy. But I can still see the pros and cons of each model. Hopefully the post at least underscores the model best suited to those different type of buyers. And for those with other ideas for an EV, we’ll keep doing comparos.

Thanks, Bradley. We need to be occasionally reminded that InsideEVs isn’t just for us Üsual Suspects. 😉

I agree; It would be a sad waste of everyone’s time and mental energy to use this forum as a sandbox, where people with an emotional maturity of a preschooler can hone their “my daddy will beat up your daddy”-style rhetoric skills.

I think we can easily differentiate between Tesla as a vehicle, Tesla as a consumer culture and Tesla as a technical innovation effort. As a vehicle, the S/X are too expensive for me, and the TM3 is still a little bit too pricey, and too low. That doesn’t prevent them from being excellent cars for other people. As a consumer culture, I am not a fan of hype and cult-like following of any product, but Tesla is successful, productive and growing business that makes real products – so more power to them. As an innovator in the EV field, Tesla is the clear leader – once again, more power to them.

And the Bolt, the Prius and the Leaf also made very valuable contribution to the rEVolution.

Missed one of the biggest Model 3 advantages. The car will continually improve throughout its lifetime.

“Throughout its lifetime” is true, that is until Thelma and Louise temporarily borrow it, for some scenic Arizona Highways adEVnture. 😎

BEST OVERALL: TESLA MODEL 3 – Really ??? – What’s the point of this?

A more expensive EV is actually better than a cheaper one ?!?! – OMG, I ‘m shocked !

Great Article !

Its more expensive due to the longer range. Once the standard range battery comes out they will be pretty close in price.

Can someone, anyone (IEVs staff, etc) answer me this question:
Is the reason no other manufacturer offers a “regen on demand” paddle like GM does on its vehicles due to the fact that GM owns the patent on such a setup? I know other vehicles have regen “paddles”, but they all change regen levels 1 pull/click at a time, and none operate like the on/off setup of GM vehicles. I’ve always wondered why other manufacturers don’t use GM’s elegant regen on demand setup, but if GM owns the patent, it make sense.

Good question, bro1999. I can’t say without absolute certainty but I don’t think it’s a patent restriction. It’s just a matter of design preferences. It partly comes down to the automakers who think EVs should work exactly like ICE cars–to make them familiar and not weird–versus those trying to redefine driving manners for the electric age (and take advantage of their benefits). BTW, I agree with you that the Bolt’s approach with a Low gear and a regen paddle is an excellent design–and should be emulated by others.

On the eGolf the stick in B is max regen while in D is normal. Move up and down if you are really bored while driving to get the same result as with your on demand thing. Leaf epadel is a similar thing, press a button and go from nothing to max regen and back.

I use the L and D gears in my Focus that way. I am not sure if it is gearing or more aggressive regen that it initiates. I assumed the latter.

Now that electric cars in the US – thanks to Tesla, Nissan and GM – have become almost as mainstream as let’s say non-plug hybrids, it would be interesting, and beneficial for the cause of wider EV adoption to compare them with their ICE counterparts in the same segment.

For example, the Bolt could be compared to the H-RV or C-HR, or to the most popular “hot hatches”. Unless this has already been done and I either didn’t see, or forgot 🙂

I’d say any attempt at such a comparison on this side would inevitably be biased 🙂

Crazy timing- my dad just put the deposit down on a Model 3 mid-range, to be delivered/picked up by the end of the year. I was a very early pre-order (waited in line) but had to cancel due to money problems. In the time since, my dad bought a Bolt, which he absolutely adores. Now he is buying the Model 3 as a company car, to replace the 2013 Nissan Leaf that I drive to and from work. I’m gonna finally be able to live the dream of driving a Tesla (I mean, my family car, a 2013 RAV4 EV, kinda maybe counts if you squint). So excited! And also stoked that we will have both of these vehicles, the Bolt and the M3, in the fam!

American buyers have decided and it’s the Model 3 for the win, by quite a margin, though the Bolt is a decent car.
Better than an ice car.

the Bolt that was on Display at the Milwaukee Auto Show last March was $44,000

You’re a fool if you pay $44K for Bolt since average selling price is $34K. But everyone pays $46K for cheapest Tesla.

Insurance costs. Maintenance costs. Chevy Bolt wins.

The premium trim Chevy Bolt at $41k gets an EPA-rated range of 238 miles. The formerly available LR RWD Model 3 which started at $49k included the premium interior package (a non-premium interior isn’t available yet, so there is no $5k ballooning) and originally received an EPA-rated range of 334 miles (but were asked by Tesla to reduce it to 310 miles). If we normalize sticker price based on range, since the battery size is a big part of the cost and range is one of the more critical EV metrics, the Chevy Bolt premium costs $172/mi and the LR RWD Model 3 used to cost $158/mi (based on the lowered EPA range). That model is no longer available, but the mid range RWD Model 3 at $46k (also includes premium interior), which works out to $177/mi, very similar to the Bolt. The sound system and seats in the Model 3 are far better than what the Bolt offers and the performance is not even comparable. So the Model 3 wins on value even ignoring the rather huge charging advantages.

Difference is, you don’t get any discount on Model 3 while Bolt is always negotiated down. That’s why Bolt’s average is only $34K.

You look silly trying to find a tesla maintenance shop manual and parts other then having at great expense, to let mr. Musk fix your M3. Model S lost it’s CR recommend yesterday because of suspension issues. The tesla’s total out too easy in wrecks and GM has a better logistics / supply system. Thanks, but no thanks, tesla bad deal, GM better deal.

Comparing the pros and cons of two different BEVs is useful, but concluding that one is “better” than the other is counter-productive for EV advocacy. Which one is better for any individual is a matter of personal taste, personal needs, and personal finances.

The EV revolution is not a zero-sum game between different PEVs (Plug-in EVs). It’s a zero-sum game between PEVs and gasmobiles!

Up the EV revolution!

The frunk space of Model-3 is ignored. Can you please add it. That will give some more advantage to Model 3.
As long as GM intends to keep Bolt a low volume car and the dealers are not interested in selling it, Model 3 will outsell Bolt by 10:1.

The better deal should be the car that is closer in price to it’s comparable ICE competitors. Not which one is cheaper. Deal implies value for money.

The Model 3 is, before incentives, about the same price as comparable performance and equipment cars in it’s class such as the BMW 3, Mercedes C, and Audi 4 series cars.

The Bolt on the other hand is, before incentives, priced 1.5 to 2 times it’s comparable class such as the VW Golf, Honda Fit, or Ford Focus.

On the basis of what you pay for what you get, clearly the Model 3 wins hands down. That truth is reflected by the relative demand for Bold and 3.

Very valid point, Bolt is overpriced because GM wants to sell in low volume.

If I may suggest something: let’s make meaningful comparisons. Because if ana ICE visitor were to see the Bolt-Fit comparison, they might think that some posters here haven’t seen the Bolt and/or the Fit in real life, which wouldn’t help the cause of EVangelism … which is kind of an important goal, methinks.

Now, let’s look at the “hot hatch” figures:

If Bolt LT’s MSRP is roughly $36K, half of it would be $18K, and two-thirds $24K. To get the EV driving experience that comes with the Bolt as standard, you’d have to pick at least a $30K Golf GTI (the Focus RS doesn’t even exist in the sub-$40K MRSP range). And your $30K GTI will be 5″ lower than the Bolt, which is roughly in the same category as the subcompact CUV’s/SUV’s like the H-RV, C-HR, Trax or Soul.

The Bolt has better performance than entry-level variants of comparable combustion cars. When comparing to the performance variants, the difference is much smaller… Though Model 3 probably still wins on that score.

Bolt’s 0-60 time is 6.5 sec, so you should compare to VW GTI ($26K) and Focus ST ($27K), not Honda Fit. Bolt post subsidy is $24K in CA which makes it cheaper than comparable gasser.

Both cars are winners, until the Niro EV comes along. Then there’s the Volvo XC40 on the horizon, and the VW ID’s. No company can sit on its laurels.

I drive the Chevy Bolt And since I really exceed 40 miles an hour in my commute to work my range is closer to 320 miles per charge

Luxury car vs a -$10K Daewoo. I wonder who will win???

If you mean SparkEV (made by GM Korea, formerly Daewoo, about $10K currently), SparkEV wins in charging. 2.6C all the way to 80% whereas Tesla barely clears 1C to 50% and way less than 1C at 80%.

I’m glad the model 3 is becoming a huge success because Tesla is helping to finally get EVs into the mainstream. With this offering and it’s overwhelming popularity I think the EV market has finally turned the corner. But it won’t become completely mainstream until the charging infrastructure is standardized and vastly improved and that’s a long ways off.

I like what Mary Barra had to say, “https://insideevs.com/gm-proposes-national-zev-program/”

Amazing how a new company, right out of the gate, can make so many hits with all their vehicles. Plus the safest in the world! Just think what their following generations will amaze!

There is one place the BOLT is failing spectacularly VS, Tesla mod 3 , in sales Bolt is on a downward trend in sales.

With all the money GM has, they could of done better especially something larger. It was built as a compliance car. Buying batteries from a 3rd party will really cut into profits as seen with the tiny Bolt.

A smelly fart is mor real than a $35,000 Tesla model 3. A Chevy bolt can be purchased and driven off the lot Today. I’d say the REAL car is better. Now when both are real options then a comparison is practical.

It’s probably been mentioned but you have the 0-60 time wrong for the model 3. it’s 0-60 in 5.1 seconds.

Gazer Comparison: Porche Panamera vs Chevy Cruze.

There’s a Chevy/ Ford dealer in every town in America. If you r going to only use your vehicle near a Tesla dealer then for the masses (all rural areas) you will be without dealer services. Your article is looking at the comparison from a strictly urban viewpoint. Sorry, SERVICE trumps cost and amenities every time imo.

While there is a Chevy dealer in about every town, at this time not all of them carry the Bolt or can work on them.

Bolt is simply better for those on a smaller budget like me, plus I could get a Bolt in Sept. 2017 here in Colorado, and would have had to wait a long time for that elusive “affordable” Model 3, which still isn’t here.

I put $2,500 down on my 2017 Bolt, and got the full $2,500 back as a Colorado State Tax Rebate, so effectively $0 down. My monthly payment = $338, with 12k miles per year. That’s it. For a brand new car that I drove from Denver to Santa Barbara and back over the summer, and which is my ONLY car.

No way I could get anything close to that kind of deal on a Model 3, which is simply out of my price range.

Tesla doesn’t have a kick butt lease possibility for Model 3, does it?

The author is clearly a Tesla Fanboi…lets look at the whole issue from a different perspective… Tesla wins, hands down mostly on cachet… everyone who buys one wants to to have what the Jones, those snobby moneyed folk up the street driving a new Beamer, do not have… to be the first one on the block to have what everyone else does not have, A TESLA…and Musk knows a lot of people will pay big money for that privilege alone. It’s gonna get old fast, but for now it makes him a lot of coin. Right now if reliability is equal the smart money goes with the Bolt, there is a certain cachet and coolness to it too, but it’s utilitarian styling just doesn’t get the testosterone flowing quite like a Tesla does. But I’ll take the extra $10 grand saved and I will go buy half a pallet of solar panels, install em on the roof and use the sun to charge my electric car, while coal burning power stations belching ash and carbon charge those shiny new Teslas.. what an ‘Inconvenient Truth’ And I don’t give a damn what the Jones think, they’re still driving an ICE-mobile… I’m… Read more »
I own both a Model 3 and a Bolt and for the life of me I can’t figure out how they come up with the Bolt having a larger trunk space. With the back seats up, the 3 has a cavernous trunk and you can easily get several large suitcases in it. The bolt’s rear trunk is so small it is very hard to get more than two small suitcases in it and it has no frunk while the model 3 does. On the discussion below on free supercharging, very few model 3s get it (mine sure doesn’t) and even Ss and Xs no longer have it for life but get a $100 one year credit with a referral or some cars get 6 months free. Having done a 3,500 mile road trip this summer I can honestly say I never ran into a situation where I needed to wait to charge. The Bolt is a great little commuter car for areas like LA where we live but trying to find chargers for it, even in Southern CA is a huge pain. Fortunately its range is perfectly suitable for this area and long commutes and we can charge it at… Read more »

Thanks for see through photo. Did not realize Bolt is front wheel drive. That is deal killer for me. Either rear wheel drive or AWD is needed for proper handling for my vehicles

It’s kind of silly comparing these two cars using the performance criteria in this article. One car is an SUV and the other a sporty sedan. It would be like comparing a Porsche and a pickup truck. If you want a race car, the Porsche would win. But if you want a vehicle that can tow a boat or loads of furniture dependably, the pickup truck would win.