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Chevy Volt is Better For The Middle Class Than Tesla Because Electricity Is Always Cheaper Than Gas

Let's say you are a middle class family and need to decide between the Chevy Volt and Tesla Model S, how do you make the decision? I am not even talking about Tesla Model 3 as we haven't yet seen the the $35,000 price. Thus, it's not for the middle class.

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Yesterday Jeff Spross published a story in The Week called saying the middle class doesn't need Teslas. It needs Chevy Volts. Do you agree with it or no? The topic created an active debate at GM Electric Vehicle Owners Group on Facebook. Joe Real agrees with Spross' opinion. Here is what Real writes. Do you agree with him? See his thoughts below.

For the moment I agree. The Chevy Volt 2017 and 2018 is cheaper to drive long distances than a Tesla Model 3.

Tesla is charging $0.26/kWH on its supercharging stations for their Model 3. Other charging stations charge you much higher rates that it is still cheaper to drive on gasoline than paying for electricity at these charging stations.

The free public charging stations are on their way out when a lot of electric vehicles are out. It would be a pay to charge, and the charge station owners would be ripping your wallets off. I fear that the price of electricity at these commercial charging stations would be the show stopper for the adoption of electric cars, especially to those without charging access to garages when living in multifamily housing rental units and they'll be at the whims of the owners of charging stations for the price of charging.

Right now, it isn't pretty rate.

For home owners, you'll have no problem as electricity is always cheaper than gasoline at off-peak rates and you charge while you sleep. However, it will bite your wallet if you are just using a pure electric car and you decide to take a long distance trip with it and have to recharge from commercial stations.

That brings us to the Chevy Volt, and you can seamlessly switch over to cheaper fuel on very long distances. It is still faster to "recharge" the Volt without having to plan your very long trips around charging stations.

Until the prices of electricity from charging stations be as cheap as your off-peak rates at home and the charging stations are ubiquitous, the EREV concept like that of the Chevy Volt with at least 50 miles of battery range would be perfect as your primary vehicle, and it will be for a very long time.

Also see: Chevy Volt vs Tesla Model 3 Charging Cost and The Math

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kent beuchert (not verified)    May 25, 2018 - 8:45AM

Tesla charging stations are monopolies whereas universal standard CCS charging stations are open and non-proprietary and will vastly outnumber the sparsely located Tesla Supercharger stations. Competition amongst closely co-located CCS stations will guarantee low prices

VFanRJ (not verified)    May 27, 2018 - 11:11PM

The whole just enough battery to cover 90% of your driving needs continues to evade the mind's of would be consumers. Rather, it's BEVs or bust. Too bad because with me the engineering approach taken with the Volt is around 300 mpg over the past 31k miles. That turns out to be very little petrol/Co2.

Matt (not verified)    June 5, 2018 - 12:53PM

While this article is correct in its conclusion, it seems crazy to compare a $33,000 compact car to a car that starts at $75,000 in terms of suitability for the middle class. That's like asking whether a Chevy Malibu is a better choice for the middle class than a Mercedes S-Class. Yes. It is.

Even though the Tesla Model 3 isn't yet available in the base trims, the higher optioned cars around $50,000 would still be a better comparison than a $75,000-$100,000 Model S.

Finally, why does the test case involve long distance trips. The average middle class family needs their car to get them back and forth to work, school, and activities. Yes, there is the occasional need for a long trip for a vacation or out of state tournament or something, but most days can be completely covered in under 53 miles, so comparing the cost for a long trip only has an effect about 10% of the time...

Tesla estimates that their drivers will save $5,500 in fuel costs over 5 years of ownership compared to a gas vehicle. I imagine the number is similar for most commuters that regularly charge a Volt.

So the Volt is maybe $24,000 after tax credits and whatever bargain you can get at the Chevy dealer, and below $20,000 when you deduct the gas savings.

A base Tesla Model S is about $63,000 after fuel savings and tax credits are accounted for for total cost of operation over 5 years.

So yes, a Chevy Volt is a far better car for the middle class, but not because of the cost of fuel. It's better because it's an affordable car.

Matthew (not verified)    August 14, 2018 - 10:02PM

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Dcr (not verified)    February 2, 2023 - 12:29AM

Strange article title. It gives the impression that the Tesla runs on gas LOL there's absolutely no reason to mention gas when you're talking about two electric vehicles in comparison. Was even stranger is that the Tesla 3 came out of the year before this article so why are you saying that there's no prices available? One of my family members bought a Tesla 3 at the end of 2017 this article came out in 2018.