2017 was a great year for electric vehicles. We have now truly started to see the revolution of electric vehicles with dozens of companies jumping on board. Big names like Tesla, Chevrolet and Nissan have come out with affordable long-range electric vehicles that are extremely popular. But the problem comes to deciding. So many factors are put into play:- range, price, incentives, spaciousness, technology, and automation. That leads us to this post which is the first of the series:- Which is The Best Buy.
The Tesla Model 3
This year, Tesla unveiled the Model 3, the 4th vehicle in Tesla’s Master Plan to revolutionize transportation as we know it. First talking about price, it’s $35,000. This is much cheaper than Tesla’s other vehicles, the Model S and Model X which start at $70,000. Thus, the Model 3 comes at a remarkable price. In that price tag comes lots of packed features. Starting with range, the vehicle can go 220 miles on a single charge. This is very impressive for Tesla as buyers currently cannot get this mileage on an S or X because the minimum is 240 miles. This allows them to make the car relatively cheaper while giving an impressive range. Moving onto space. The Model 3 is extremely spacious. As seen in the right image, there is nothing in the front row of the vehicle except for a horizontal screen. There are no buttons or knobs, no extending air vents, no HUD and any other gimmicks. Everything is controlled from the screen. This allowed for space to be cleared up, making extra legroom in the vehicle. The next category is technology. The Model 3 is supposedly packed with some of the best technology. As stated by CEO Elon Musk, the Model 3 was designed around the fact that it is an autonomous vehicle. Thus, Model 3 comes with all the necessary cameras and sensors needed to completely drive itself. Overall, the Model 3 seems like a car that would be worth to buy for the price it has.
The Chevy Bolt
In response to the Model 3, Chevrolet unveiled the Bolt which is one of the best competitors. Priced at $36,620, the Bolt gives a remarkable 238 miles of range. From all 3 of these vehicles, the Bolt has the highest range but is also the most expensive just by a little bit. But, the features are not as great compared to the others. Starting out with space, the Bolt doesn’t do the best job of providing lots of cabin or trunk space. Unlike the Model 3, the Bolt does not have a frunk or front trunk. Since there is no engine, electric vehicles can use the space in front for more storage, but the Bolt has moved the machinery that allows for charging at faster speeds towards the front. Given, it does add some extra space to the trunk. But the car is also shorter in length. This decreases legroom for the rear passengers which tend to be a problem in most vehicles. The amount of technology is also not amazing. There is a screen in the middle but it is not a touch display. There are normal control knobs and buttons. The heads-up display is digitalized to allow for more information to be added which is key and the Bolt has some basic self-driving features. It can control speed, stay in lane, maintain a certain distance between the car in front and automatic emergency braking. This makes it a Level 2 autonomous vehicle. Overall, the Bolt puts up good competition because of its range and price.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is the only car of these 3 that has not yet been released. Compared to the other two, it is slightly disappointing but also offers a good alternative and a step up from the previous model. The 2018 Nissan Leaf is priced at $29,990 and has a range of 150 miles on a single charge. Although this is much lower, it is a good and cheaper alternative for those who are getting their first electric vehicle. The refreshed design from the previous years gives a much sleeker and cleaner look and also decreases the price tag by $3,000. In respect to space, just like the Bolt, there is no frunk. Unlike most electric vehicles, the Leaf has its charge port on the front of the vehicle which is why all of the charging mechanisms were shifted to the front. But also like the Bolt, this allows for a significant increase in trunk space. Looking at cabin space, the front is very spacious but the rear is not as much. Since it is longer, it does allow for an extra inch or two of space but it is definitely not as much as the Model 3. Looking at the technology in the car, the screen in the middle is a touch display but there are still buttons to control certain aspects. The HUD definitely packs a lot of features in it because there are 20-30 different screens that can be toggled through on it. Just like the others, this car also comes with self-driving capabilities. It matches the Bolt and steps up slightly further with parking. The Model 3 can only parallel park and park backward. But the Leaf also has the capability to look for a spot in a short distance and park forwards. So it does beat the Model 3 in automation features. Overall, it stands out and serves as good competition to the other two.
The Best Buy
After looking at all 3 of these vehicles and all the features, I think that the Tesla Model 3 wins it. When it comes to range, the Model 3 is a slight step down from the Chevy Bolt but does to better for price and technology. The Model 3 has more space than the Bolt and the Leaf which is very important because passengers need to feel comfortable in a car that they may be sitting in for 2-3 hours at a time. The Bolt placed very close to the Tesla because of its range but its lack of technology and space moved it down a notch. The Leaf does very poorly with range. 150 miles is a good start but isn’t nearly enough to compete with other automakers. So that is why it placed last.
Tesla Model 3 – 1st
Chevy Bolt – 2nd
Nissan Leaf – 3rd
Please let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions for what we should talk about next on Which is The Best Buy.