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At a launch event last night held in Hawthorne, California, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk introduced the Model 3 sedan. After much anticipation, we were finally given a sneak preview of Tesla’s high volume and low priced electric vehicle for the masses.

So how does it stack up against the Bolt EV?

Price

Set to go into production in 2017, the Model 3 will start at a price of $35,000 U.S. compared to the Bolt EV’s $37,500 MSRP. These prices do not take into account the maximum federal tax credit of $7500 and without it, the Tesla base MSRP is lower than the Bolt’s by $2,500.

Range

Elon stated that the Model 3 has an EPA-estimated range of 215 miles or better and it has the potential to hit the 300 mile range mark with a larger battery. While Chevrolet hasn’t come out with a specific range number other than an estimated 200 miles or more for the Bolt EV, they could left themselves that bit of leeway on purpose in order to later claim a higher range number than the model 3 once it has been revealed. We can’t really put too much stock on the range number provided by either EV manufacturers until real world test numbers are out from reviewers and auto publications.

Acceleration

Chevy’s Bolt EV can go from 0-60 in less than 7 seconds and the Model 3 can go from 0-100km/h in under 6 seconds.

Interior

The Model 3 has a compressed dash which allowed Tesla to position the front seats further forward than normal, thus giving the rear passengers more leg room. As for the interior material quality, the Model 3 is made of similar to what you would find in the Model S and X.

Cargo

Like the Bolt, the Model 3 can seat up to 5 passengers but its cargo dimensions may be longer because you can fit a 7-foot longboard inside it.

And now we get to the fun stuff, all the gadgets and features each model has.

The Bolt EV will come with a standard 10.2-inch diagonal center display screen and 8-inch diagonal driver cluster, optional rear camera mirror, 360 degrees camera view, and optional safety alerts. Tesla’s Model 3 will have a 15 inch center display monitor, standard supercharging and Autopilot safety features. Those features include cruise control, ability to change lanes, self-park and etc. But, if you want to use these features you’ll need to pay an activation fee.
 

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Not sure about the design, I'm used to seeing something that resembles a grille but it's not all bad. Heard it has a full glass roof so I'm hoping the Bolt EV is still coming out with one.

Is it worth lining up for? Not really unless you're one of the people who manages to get the federal rebates. Once those are gone, you'll be paying the normal MSRP and you'll need to pay Tesla an activation fee for the Autopilot safety features.
 

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The Model 3 isn't worth all the hype about it

A lot of "maybe's" for the Model 3 since it is just a concept prototype which can change for better or for less in two years.

For starters, I know that the bland nose will change because it is the front bumper (What? Has everone forgotten that?) which must pass several levels of Federal safety speficiations, plus go through the NHTSA and IIHS crash test. Both the Chevy Volt and the new Chevy Bolt EV have grilles that are blanked out but look better and actually save weight in the "nose"(ask me later). And both have passed all crash tests before final production reveals.

I don't like that large edgeless display in the center of the Model 3 console. I have sat in and played with the console screens of the Model S (I have pictures as proof) and it was mounted much better. Having so many controls on a touch screen is a safety issue, because the driver can't "feel" the controls (while watching the road) as with a regular vehicle, and must look at the screen to touch it while driving. Look at the consoles of both GM EVs yourself and compare the controls. Some may say that they will use voice commands, but I have a 2009 Chevy Equinox with voice commands and the recognition isn't perfect, so you either get frustrated repeating the command or just go for the manual control which is faster and safer (and missing on the Models S, X. and 3).

Remember that the Model 3 is a sedan, not a Volt hatchback or a Bolt EV "Kammback" or CUV shape, which are much more space efficient. I can bet easily that the Bolt EV has more and better use of interior passenger space than the Model 3.

Finally, the 215 mile range is Elon's boasting, not a real fact! The Bolt Ev was announced January 2015 with that range, but the test engineers who were running with the 100+ mules the past year (seen on GM's videos with the camoflague paint) all commented that the range exceeded 200 miles constantly. GM will stick to the 200 mile range so the Bolt EV can over deliver as the two Chevy Volt generations have done. Be presently surprised when the first true range numbers are published this December!

So I am criticizing the concept TM Model 3, but I am pointing out the obvious deficiencies, and praising the GM Bolt EV instead. You all have two full years to wait until the real Model 3 are delivered, then return to this post and comment against (or in favor of) mine.:D
 

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For starters, I know that the bland nose will change because it is the front bumper (What? Has everone forgotten that?) which must pass several levels of Federal safety speficiations, plus go through the NHTSA and IIHS crash test.
Wow, you're right. This is important! You should tell Tesla right away about these safety rules.
 

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Wow, you're right. This is important! You should tell Tesla right away about these safety rules.
I need not tell TM because they are supposed to know that. The GM EV1 (ancestor of the Volt and Bolt EV) has a smooth nose, but did comply with the federal safety limits. So GM did it better over 15 years ago.:laugh:
 

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It may be concept but I don't really have high hopes for Tesla to deliver on time. those people with a down payment will be waiting for a long while before the Model 3 is actually out and while they're waiting, Tesla will continue to sell model S and X while filling up their 200,000 unit federal rebate limit.

I have higher chance of getting the Chevy Bolt with the rebate than the Model 3. Also like the Bolt body shape more. Price was one of my main concerns with EVs.
 

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I guess we will have to wait to see what the actual production model of the 3 is like whenever it actually hits the streets.........meantime GM will be selling Bolts.


Dave
 
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