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Tesla model S vs Chevy Bolt, Too Much Range?

An interesting question posed in the Tesla forums, points out, 'Does the Bolt have too much range?' Here we discuss the feedback and some of the pros and cons amongst other things.

At first you would think this is an unusual point to discuss Tesla Model S vs Chevy Bolt, an EV vehicle which has too much range. Most electric vehicle owners which includes the Tesla Model S and the Chevy Bolt would want the vehicles to be able to covers as much range as possible. However, the initial question posed concerning the Chevy Bolt addresses if an EV city car really needs that much range when a smaller battery pack could be used to save weight, cost and efficiency.

The initial point is that many drivers do less than 100 miles per day and without a supercharger network for the Bolt, the vehicle cannot make use of its full range unless you have an L2 charger and the ability to leave the car to charge overnight. So without high-speed charging the extra range is said to be useless, but nobody's going to buy an Ev vehicle that only has 100 mile range.

So, the basic premise is that no matter the range of the Bolt, without a fast charging network the extra miles are really redundant, which makes it a pure city car, thus not needing the extra range. Obviously, this has brought up a lot of feedback in the forums especially with range being one of the best selling points for any electric vehicle no matter the cost.

Pros and Cons
You can see the original poster's point of view where some weight saving will improve efficiency, especially for a vehicle aimed at city use, but one response from 'topher' states you would save on the price with half a battery size of about $4,350 and 13% efficiency in ideal conditions, but then you have a $33,150 car 'with a 134 (city) mile range. So roughly, a new Nissan Leaf. Competing against a Model 3, for $35,000 with 215 mile range.'

The Bolt's current EPA range is 238 miles, with city driving being 255 miles and highway driving 217 miles.

Another user 'polaris' points out the need for extended range, 'I want as much range as possible because it allows for the most flexibility. If charging stations became more ubiquitous - range becomes less of a concern but until then, you will want that range. We don't drive that much in the city so our use of a car is related to going on day trips or longer ones. Range is critical in that regard.' One more Rocky_H points out the need for extended range as people's driving needs cannot be judged on a daily average, 'You don't drive 40 miles every single day, month after month, year after year. Every few weeks or every month or two you will have a long day that needs 140 miles or something noticeably over the average but not 800 miles. Even if it's 90 miles once a month, that gets stressful and nerve wracking, where you're running down nearly empty.'

So, initially it seems that most would prefer an extended range and a slightly heavier vehicle for that piece of mind for when you do really want to go on a long trip. So you would think that the argument is done and dusted, but a few have agreed with the initial argument.

One comment stated, 'Without ubiquitous level 3 chargers it doesn't make to do long distance travel in a Bolt. And for normal driving and occasional longer trips around your area probably 120 miles would be sufficient for 99% of real life situations.'
Another user states that without the fast charging networks for the Bolt, you are left recharging at an L2 charger which takes hours, which means interstate charging is going to be difficult, resulting in the Bolt being a 'city commuter with more range.'

Another obvious point put forward by 'JeffreyR' states, 'Do I need 400 miles of range? No. Do I need 300 miles of range? No, but I want it. That's my target number. It makes my regular trips to see my folks w/ my kids much faster and more flexible.'

The whole premise of the moment is that L3 charging networks need to be expanded, range is still the biggest factor for any electric vehicle owner and the general feedback is that a base 200 mile range is a good starting point if you factor in all the variables. This is not really a comparison between the Tesla model S and the Chevy Bolt or even Volt as these discussions can soon move to, but a question of range.

One interesting comment which was posted today says that range is not really the problem, it's the psychological hurdle of people getting used to a new technology and current charging speeds. This stands to sense as if we had a situation where any BEV could be charged in under an hour wherever we wanted, I think many would pay extra in exchange for convenience.

Tesla in some respects have the upper hand with the rollout of their supercharger network, but that doesn't mean they will have it their own way in the long run. It seems many are happy with the range of the current Tesla line-up, but it would be interesting if in the future Tesla produced a pure city EV. Cheap and lightweight, but would it sacrifice range?

Please comment below with your thoughts on this subject - Ev range, Tesla Model S and the Chevy Bolt. It would be great to hear your opinions.


Ace Tunes (not verified)    March 14, 2017 - 10:06PM

I am looking forward to 600 K range. That's what I need in a vehicle because I drive for up to 6 hours without gas station. Never mind a charge station.