Videos Compare Chevrolet Bolt To BMW i3 & Renault ZOE


Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

As the title rather concisely implies, what you’ll find here are two videos that pit the Chevrolet Bolt up against the BMW i3 94 aH and the Renault ZOE 40.

The videos compare exterior & interior dimensions, range, motor power, price and more.

Video description:

Comparison between 2017 Chevrolet BOLT EV vs 2017 Renault ZOE 40 EV.
Dimensions (length, width, height, wheelbase), engine (maximum power, torque, battery), performance (top speed, acceleration, range), trunk size, price.

Video description:

Comparison between 2017 Chevrolet BOLT EV vs 2017 BMW i3 (94 Ah).
Dimensions (length, width, height, wheelbase), engine (maximum power, torque, battery), performance (top speed, acceleration, range), trunk size, price.

Categories: BMW, Chevrolet, Renault, Videos

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39 Comments on "Videos Compare Chevrolet Bolt To BMW i3 & Renault ZOE"

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Since you can only get the Bolt and i3 together ATM lets just all get on the same page now… BMW is about 10k higher in cost and 100 less miles in range using a plastic frame and recycled parts for interior.

The ONLY thing the i3 has on the Bolt is you can get a range extender for that one trip every three years you take.

The Bolt is just a better car in every aspect besides the top speed of 2MPH? pff, Let me cry into the pile of money and extra room in my car that I have.

I am sure there are other positives for the i3 over the Bolt. Although that said ya, you’re definitely paying a premium for them…

i3 has available automatic parallel parking and adaptive cruise. Also available sunroof. It has a frunk although it’s only big enough to hold he portable EVSE and it isn’t waterproof. i3 is RWD.

I can’t think of anything else right now.

The i3 is much lighter.

Then again, the Bolt is more powerful, so the BMW isn’t necessarily quicker.

The i3 is a squishy-range EV town car.

Things are moving fast, and new quickly become old. How much range do you really need? Because that the only question really worth answering. I have a 22kW i3 and it fits my needs and the few times I need to go over my limited range, DCFC are there to juice me up. That plastic frame you are talking about is advance material (Carbon Fibre, Re-enforced with Plastic, CFRP). Make the car ligher, more efficient and more robust. Yes, the 3 years old i3 is more efficient then the Bolt. The base finish of a i3 is better the Bolt top finish. GM had to save somewhere, that’s where they did. So if you don’t like plastic, you won’t like the Bolt as this plastic is not advanced material. It’s just cheap hard plastic. Head room in the back is better in the i3, I sat in both and I’m 6’2″. Front seats are more comfortable in the i3. I prefer a propulsion, provide better driving dynamics. The Bolt might have a slight advantage on the overall cargo volume, but the seats don’t go flat to create flat surface. Something I really like with the i3. BMW increased the range… Read more »
The only version of the i3 that is more efficient than the Bolt is the shortest range one. The REx and 94Ah models are less efficient even though both of those have the plastic body too. The plastic body contributes positively to efficiency somewhat I’m sure, but it looks like it’s the tiny battery that really is making the biggest impact. And that tiny battery has its own downside, one of short range. I’m going to have to check again tonight, but I’m quite certain there is not more headroom in the back of the i3 than the Bolt. The Bolt’s roofline is 1 inch higher and the floor is 1.5 inches lower. Maybe you’re referring to how the headliner comes down by the door frame on the Bolt? It makes it seem like you have less headroom than you actually do. I can say this for sure having sat in both side by side, no one thought the back seat of the i3 was larger. In fact the first comment was “these cars are the same size how does the Bolt have so much more space in the back”? Despite this I will try to get a tape… Read more »

I couldn’t get access to my friend’s i3 tonight. So no tape measure. But internet searches say the i3 has more rear headroom. So I consider the matter settled. I was wrong, the i3 has more rear headroom.

Yes, at the car show, the Tesla owner sat in back of the Bolt and said it definitely had less headroom, and seemed less spacious inside than the i3. The large open flat dash in front of you contributes to the spacious feeling of the i3.

really? the i3 has more headroom in the back? damn, i couldn’t sit there in the back and hoped to get an ampera-e when it comes out in 2018 here :/

+100! Love my i3 Rex! Much prefer the finish especially when purchased for less than a new Bolt.

But the more EVs purchased the better. That’s what is important since in two years much like the i3 the Bolt will be old news…

The Bolt is the right car for some people, but you don’t need to justify your preference by belittling the i3 unjustifiably. The i3’s frame is aluminum, not plastic. Its passenger compartment is carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), the same very light, strong, and expensive material used in expensive, high-performance cars. Its exterior body panels are thermoplastic. None of this rusts unlike the Bolt’s heavier steel body parts. 25% of the i3’s interior is made of sustainable and recycled/recyclable materials that many have described as having a premium feel unlike the Bolt’s cheaper feeling interior that uses much hard plastic. The i3’s front seats haven’t received complaints about being uncomfortable and too narrow as have the Bolt’s front seats. The i3 has a much more sophisticated fully-independent rear suspension unlike the Bolt’s less sophisticated semi-independent torsion beam rear suspension. The i3’s rear wheel drive doesn’t suffer from the Bolt’s torque steer and wheel spin upon hard acceleration. The i3’s nearly perfectly balanced front-rear weight distribution results in a more nimble feeling than the front-heavy Bolt. Those of us who don’t want to carry around a heavier battery pack than we need, who don’t need a 4-passenger vehicle, and who prefer a smaller… Read more »
Yes, the i3 RWD multilink suspension is immensely more sophisticated than the Bolt set up. But like the video confirms, the RWD i3 is more premium than the Bolt, period. And again on the premium materials, just look at these pictures. The i3 door panels have a purposeful mixture of Kenaf fibers, padded cloth, and stitched leather. And you are fooling yourself if you think the Bolt sound system compares with the BMW HK system. Just look at the location of the tweeters in the A pillar, and the center speaker in the dash to see where the Bolt is fundamentally lacking. The BMW door panel detail, speakers, etc: The Bolt door panel. Nothing but hard cheap plastic: And if you had to drive 270 miles. The i3 could go 120 miles on electricity, another 80 miles on gas. So to go another 80 miles (280 mile trip), would take a 3 minute stop at a gas station. The Bolt, well if you can find a charger would take much longer at a level 3 charger, and a couple hours longer at a L2 charger. And again, you would be dictating where you drive by where you might find a… Read more »

Purposeful mixture is marketing tripe. It’s still hard plastic, just with stuff glued to it.

The doors are different, but both have padded cloth there. The i3 has stitched material and the Bolt does not.

I’ve listened to both sound systems. You’re just kidding yourself.

What if you have to go 300 miles? You’re just cherry-picking. And carrying a gas can? Give me a break. Hey, I could just hook up a roof load of batteries to my Bolt!

Forget the REx. I didn’t buy an EV to burn gas nor to drive an underpowered penalty box for 160 miles.

Wrong again. I’m telling you, I played with the Bolt Stereo extensively, no comparison. Even if it were a Bose, the HK system would be much more clearer. Surely you must be kidding about it being as easy to carry a roof load of batteries (about 20kWh worth) as 2 gallons of fuel in the small container. You can’t be serious. You talk about the Volt if you wanted to use gas?? Well since so many Volt owners brag about how little gas they use, can you imagine being in an i3 that goes twice as far on the AER? And can you imagine how much easier the i3 would be to pick up 25 miles or range at a quick charger in 10 minutes if needed, compared to 2 hrs to pick up 25 miles of AER in the Volt? If you want to use electricity, the i3 is much more versatile than the Volt. And if you want to go more than 280 miles with no range anxiety, the i3 will normally be more practical than the Bolt. And seriously, to get off the fwy and swipe your car and pump in 2.5 gallons of fuel takes how… Read more »

The i3 is an underpowered penalty box? Acceleration and size are both just below the Bolt.

You don’t want to carry around a heavier battery pack but you have no problem carrying around a tank of gasoline and an ICE.

Welcome to stage 4: denial.

Nope, not me. I would have no problem putting 200 miles a day on my car, and all my i3’s were pure BEVs.

Compare Bolt lease rates to i3 lease rates and you’ll see that the Bolt isn’t significantly cheaper to lease than an i3. In fact, it’s sometimes actually more expensive after discounts and artificially high residual values from BMW.

The Bolt has a lot going for it, mostly range, but it’s not “way cheaper” or “half the price” or any number of other claims people make about the two cars, if you look at the actual prices people pay to drive them.

It’s a lot cheaper. Leases are always highly dependent on discounting and the Bolt Ev is a new model which hasn’t even been released in more than 2 states and the i3 has been out for several years. Give the Bolt EV a few months. LOL

The fact is, the Bolt is not actually cheaper than the i3 now, and certainly not “a lot cheaper.” You might assume the Bolt would get cheaper as time goes on, but perhaps the i3 will, too… partly as a result. The Bolt may sell for $10k off sticker in a year like a lot of GM products, but it’s pure speculation, either way.

Fact is, right now, the Bolt is not cheaper most cases, let alone “a lot cheaper.”


Why do they use 7 seconds for the 0-60mph for the Bolt EV? Hasn’t it been tested now at 6.5 seconds?

In the engine section they show a picture of the Volt’s engine, so accuracy wasn’t high on the list of to-dos.

Precisely. Not to mention the fact that they all have motors, not engines. Unimpressive videos for sure.

They use 7 sec from 0-100 km/h, which equals 0-62 mph …

It doesn’t take 0.5 seconds to get from 60 to 62mph

Why are you so sure about that? If you split 7 seconds to 100 parts, you get 0.07 seconds for each kilometer.
0-60 mph vs. 0-100 kmh is 3.5 kmh difference, which is 0,245 seconds difference already.
And we all know that acceleration is much slower from lets say 60-62 mph that at lower speeds, isn’t it?

That extender is just about useless, the battery + fuel tank still gets you less distance than a Bolt fully charged.

Useless?! If both an i3 REx and a Bolt drove on an all-day highway trip traveling the speed limit, the i3 would arrive at the destination first because of the greater time required for the Bolt to recharge compared with the fast refueling of the i3 REx’s fuel tank. Hardly useless!

Hmm. Let’s see. Let’s say you want to go 500 miles and it takes 15 minutes to get off the highway and back on to refill the i3 tank. Let’s say it is one hour for the Bolt to get 80%. Maybe a tad more needs to be added to get off and on the road. i3 (94Ah plus REx) would be 0 minutes for first 97 miles and then 15 minutes for each additional 83. You need 5 stops to get 415 miles range, that’s 1 hour and 15 minutes stops. You can shave a minute on the last stop because you don’t need a full tank. Bolt would be: 0 minutes for first 235 miles. 60 minutes for each additional 188. So one 60 minute (full-length) stop and probably one 30 minute stop to get the last 82 miles. So that’d be one hour 30 minutes. Although I think I might be lowballing that last stop a bit. Both of these are contingent on there being a gas station/charger when you need it. If you have to stop earlier it hurts you with both cars. Honestly, if you’re going to drive all day you want a Volt or… Read more »
Like you said, it’s sort of a silly comparison because neither the Bolt or i3 are a great choice for such a trip, but why would you assume the i3 starts with an empty gas tank so it can only go 97 miles before fill-up? And 15 minutes to pull off the highway, swipe your card, put in 2.4 gallons, and get back on? You also didn’t add any time for the Bolt to get on and off the highway to the charging station, swipe, plug in, etc? The actual filling of 2.4 gallons is the only thing the i3 does that the Bolt doesn’t and that’s like 30 seconds or so of pumping. So you’d have to add 14+ minutes to each Bolt stop to make it apples to apples. But 15 mins is pretty pretty high, I’d say. Make it 5-10 mins to refill (or add time to the Bolts stops) and let the i3 start with a full tank, and now the i3 has a significant advantage. Again, neither are the best at this type of trip, but it seems like this was conveniently adjusted to keep the Bolt close to the i3. The Bolt has an… Read more »

Yes. 15 minutes to get off the highway, fill up and get back on. You’re talking about a car that only goes 83 miles on a tank, you might have to select a non-optimal station or fill up more often. You might end up in line behind someone at the station.

I did add time for the Bolt to get off the road and back on. It doesn’t tack as much on because you’re already going to charge for 45 minutes, the extra 10-15 to get to the charger doesn’t ballon as much proportionally.

As to the first fill, that was my error I shouldn’t have counted a fillup after the battery ran out but only after both the battery and tank run out.

The Bolt has a big advantage over the i3 in long distance travel in that you don’t have to put up with the REx limitations or stop every 70 minutes. Also, you don’t have to put gas in it. This might be of interest to some of us on If I wanted to use gas I’d have bought a Volt.

I understand not wanting to use gas, but that’s a different subject.

No, it won’t take 15 minutes to get off and fill 2.4 gallons.

Secondly, if you’re going to claim the i3 might have to choose a non-ideal gas station, the situation would be even worse for the Bolt. There’s a far better chance of an ideal gas station than an ideal CCS station.

Third, you say you already built in the 15 mins for the Bolt to get on and off the highway, but you say it could charge 188 miles in an hour. So, if the 15 mins are built in, that’s 45 mins of charging. At 4.0 mi/kWh, that’s 47 kwh. To do that in 45 mins, you’d have to average 63kw charging. Not going to happen. Even if the Bolt can charge at a nominal 80kw, good luck finding one at all, let alone at the perfect point along your trip route.

There are pros and cons to both cars for long distances and neither is the best choice, but specifically for this distance, an honest analysis shows the i3 is probably significantly faster to get to the destination.

“Let’s say it is one hour for the Bolt to get 80%.”

Chevy quotes 90 (combined) miles in 30 minutes, so you certainly won’t get 188 (highway) in 60.

“0 minutes for first 235 miles”

Hurray – there’s a fast charger magically situated at the 235 mile point! Only one problem – the Bolt can’t do more than about 210 at highway speeds.

In reality if you tried to go 500 miles on one of the few routes with Bolt-compatible DCFC you’d need to top 5-6 times at 45-60 minutes per. The Bolt simply isn’t designed for long highway trips.

Of course, neither is the i3.

To be fair, you would not spend 15 min on refilling 2 gallons of gas – maybe 5.

And, also most gas stations are *way* easier to access from the highway than most DC charging stations.

Also most DC charging stations (in my area at least) are placed on/close to gas stations, so an i3 rex owner could charge his batteries and at the same time go get 2 gallons of gas in a can to refill the gas tank.

84 mile (and happy) Leaf owner

Nice to see someone comparing the GM Bolt to an in-kind competitor, instead of comparing it to, say a Tesla Model X.

Don’t know about the bolt but the I3 IS VERY BUggY AND NO ONE CAN FIX IT. Even had to wait two weeks for the dealer to import repair technician to work on it. People only buy it because it says BMW and see it as a fasion stat mentioned. Don’t know of anyone having those problems with the GM cars.

Don’t know about the bolt but the I3 IS VERY BUggY AND NO ONE CAN FIX IT. Even had to wait two weeks for the dealer to import repair technician to work on it. People only buy it because it says BMW and see it as a fasion statement. Don’t know of anyone having those problems with the GM cars.

Or maybe because the i3, with RWD, has arguably the best driving dynamics of its contemporary EVs. Or maybe because they prefer the hatchback styling (Volts are hatchbacks, but with a fastback profile). Or maybe because it offers way more AER than the Volt…. The list goes on. The i3 isn’t for everyone, but there are a lot more reasons than “it’s a BMW” to drive one for people looking for certain things from their cars.