The base Tesla Model 3 is a great EV deal and the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt is dirt cheap by electric car standards.
The good news about the cheapest Tesla Model 3 is that it now has acceptable range. The base Model 3 back in 2017 only offered 220 miles of range, now it’s 263 miles.
And while the 2020 Chevy Bolt has always been affordable, it’s now seeing steep discounts making it one of the best EV deals in the U.S.
Very different cars:
The Model 3 is a sedan, the Bolt a compact hatchback. That’s the most glaring difference. Less obvious is the charging network: when you buy a Tesla you also get the Supercharger network. For long-distance drivers that’s almost as important as the car.
Tesla’s Autopilot, an advanced driver-assist technology that’s standard with any Tesla, is also a big plus. Chevy does not offer any advanced driver assist tech with the Bolt.
The best things the Bolt has going for it is reliability and the fact that it’s a mature EV (GM has been making EVs longer than Tesla).
Telsa Model 3 Standard Range Plus Late 2020:
Range: 263 miles (EPA estimate)
Driver assist: Autopilot included
Fast charging network: Tesla Supercharger network (exclusive to Tesla)
Audio: No Apple Carplay or Android Auto but a great sound system
Chevy Bolt LT 2020:
Price with discount: typically below $30K
Range: 259 miles (EPA estimate)
Driver assist: No advanced driver assist like Tesla’s Autopilot
Fast charging network: Electrify America, EVgo
Audio: Apple Carplay, Android Auto
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