Tesla Model 3 Vs Chevy Bolt EV: Best Electric Car Under $40,000


It is the battle of Tesla Model 3 vs Chevy Bolt EV for the crown of the best electric car for $40,000. The 2020 Chevy Bolt EV is one of the most underrated electric cars and a worthy Tesla Model 3 rival under $43,000.

Even when the Bolt was launched back in 2017 it went under the radar for most users. It was mainly because of the high performance and sportier looks that Tesla Model 3 offered, which was also launched during the same year.

However, the 2020 version of the Chevy Bolt improves upon one of the most important factors of an EV, battery range. The electric car now offers 259 miles of EPA certified battery range, which is more than the cheapest Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus.

So is it only the 9 additional miles of range that makes the 2020 Chevy Bolt worth better than the Tesla Model 3? Here’s a video review from Driving Sports TV to clear things up.

Tesla Model 3 Vs Chevy Bolt EV: Specs, Battery Range And Features

The Tesla Model 3 is an electric sedan while the 2020 Chevy Bolt is a small hatchback. Obviously the Model 3 has more space for its passengers but the Chevy Bolt also offers decent legroom and headroom for a 6ft tall person.

In terms of overall space, though, the Tesla Model 3 trumps the Chevy Bolt in all areas, be it boot space or passenger cabin.

In terms of specs, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is powered by one electric motor which offers Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) capability. This makes the Model 3 relatively sportier and performance-oriented than the Chevy Bolt, which is a Front Wheel Drive (FWD) electric car.

Speaking of performance, here the Tesla Model 3 wins again with a 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.3 seconds. Meanwhile, the 2020 Chevy Bolt goes from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds.

In terms of battery range, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus offers 250 miles of range, but the Chevy Bolt comes with 259 miles of battery range.

I’d reckon that Tesla still wins here because of one-pedal driving. It’s a type of battery regeneration in the Tesla Model 3, where the car is slowed down using the electric motor as soon as you take your foot off the pedal.

The longer the regen stays active, the larger the amount of charge it’ll add to the overall battery.

The Chevy Bolt engages battery regeneration only when the user presses the brakes. This results in relatively fewer miles gained during the course of driving.

Furthermore, Tesla keeps releasing new updates as time passes. So there’s a good chance you’ll always end up with more battery range in the later years of EV ownership.

Speaking of EV ownership, charging time affects the buying decisions of several owners. The Tesla Model 3 has a maximum charging rate of 170 kW.

Additionally, in terms of overall driving performance, Tesla Model 3 takes the cake. People have taken their Tesla’s everywhere from drag strips to racing tracks. In almost all of these places, the Model 3 can easily outperform the Chevy Bolt.

What The 2020 Chevy Bolt Does Right

We can see that the Tesla Model 3 easily one-ups the Chevy Bolt 2020 in all major departments. However, there are some things that the Bolt EV does better.

In-car infotainment is one area where the Bolt EV does better than the Model 3. Specifically, in the area of Android Auto and Apple Car Play functionality. Tesla does not offer these functions in its electric car.

Tesla charges $10 per month for premium connectivity services like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc. However, most users already have a subscription to these services on their phones. Therefore, a lack of Android Auto or Car Play means the user ends up paying more to access similar features they have on their phones.

The presence of physical control AC buttons is also a plus point in the favor of Chevy Bolt. Because going through menus to change the AC speed is still more difficult than turning a knob.

Tesla Model 3 Vs Chevy Bolt 2020: Final Thoughts

At $39,900 the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is a better choice than the Chevy Bolt 2020, which costs $36,620 for the base variant and a whopping $41,000 for the top-spec version.

What are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the comments below.

Yetnesh Dubey

Yetnesh Dubey

Associate Editor at Fossbytes. Yetnesh manages the everyday editorial duties and oversees the writing staff. He occasionally covers news related to electric vehicles and tech.
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